Time to Upgrade Roaster?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
mbg

#1: Post by mbg »

I have been roasting since December of last year on my Fresh Roast SR800. I added the equipment to use the Artisan software to control my roasts. Everyone loves the coffee...maybe too much. We drink about1.5 pounds of coffee a week. This means I need to make 4 batches a week on my SR800. I like to do this at one sitting so I need to cool the roaster down before the next batch.

Don't want to spend a fortune but what home roasters are recommended that handle more volume?

Thanks
Mike

Jrodanapolis

#2: Post by Jrodanapolis »

Hey Mike,
Sounds like you have a good problem on your hands! Could you give us some sort of rough budget to work with, as well as your fuel source options? I started with a Huky with a 500 gram capacity and now work with a Mill City 1k, but there are options at several different price levels in there. A bullet is a great option if you dont want to use gas, but an Arc or Buckeye might be easier to crank out coffee with if you're willing to roast with gas.
Excellent work roasting great coffee!

sfdamon

#3: Post by sfdamon »

I went from FreshRoast to a better FreshRoast to a Bullet, and I love it. Roasting three or four batches every weekend became a real chore.

I'm roasting more, and roasting better, than before. Really happy I upgraded. If you're adding DIY probes and software to a FreshRoast, you're ready for something bigger and more automated, for sure.

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GC7
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#4: Post by GC7 »

This is an addicting activity in addition to the caffeine.

IMO December to now isn't very long to get to know your equipment, green coffee suppliers of choice and beans you enjoy.

Four roasts a week only seems like a lot if you drink one coffee during that time. If you are using a couple of origins or a blend it might be more convenient to stick with your routine for a while to avoid having to freeze extra coffee.

I went from a popper to a modified popper to a HotTop (12 years) to my present Aillio Bullet (1 1/2 years). The Bullet is a step above for sure, however, I gift a lot of coffee and I have a freezer that is constantly rotating a few coffees that I enjoy.

If you want larger masses of coffee and or enjoy gifting and freezing for later use for variety there are many great choices as mentioned above.

Nunas
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#5: Post by Nunas »

Hi, I've been exactly where you're at. I had a Freshroast, which I had to run four times in a row, about once a week, to do enough coffee to last us a week to ten days. So, I bought another Freshroast that I ran at the same time; I had to do at least two back-to-back roasts a week for our needs. I was happy with that, but it eventually got to be less fun and more PITA, so I went to a Quest M3. The M3 easily does 300 grams (about 11 ounces) and can be run back-to-back without a cooling period. I did two back-to-back roasts of about 250 to 300 grams, but way faster with no cooling period. This was perfect for us. But, for no particular reason, I bought a Quest M6, which can roast up to 550 grams (about 19 ounces). That also works out perfectly for our consumption rate, although I still often do two roasts back-to-back. Before deciding on the M6, on my short list, I also had a Bullet, and a Cormorant. Although I was in line to get a Bullet (which were back-ordered then), I opted out; for me, it was too much capacity. I also did not like the fact that it uses proprietary software and components, and it was a bit more than I wanted to spend. I wanted to like the Cormorant, but the waiting list was long. Even though I live in a warm part of Canada, it can get down to -20 C (about -4 F); so when I thought more about it, I wanted to be able to roast under the range hood without having propane in the house.

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MNate
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#6: Post by MNate »

Read some threads about the Ikawa Home as well. It's smaller batch size should immediately put you off because you roast without even watching it and so can do it while doing random things around the house. Or a batch a morning at your coffee station.

But there is a lot of appeal to the other options listed, especially if you want to probe the depths of the roasting world. Still, give it a read through and you might be surprised. If you just want good coffee without the fuss, Ikawa Home is great (as is ordering 5 pound bags of roasted coffee from quality places though...)

clynch

#7: Post by clynch »

I'm n the same boat. I had a freshroast and an Iroast. Both did 4 oz batches. I see the new freshroast does 8 oz. There are several from Sweet Marias that do 8 oz. I would love to spend thousands on a bigger better machine but its just not in the cards. Additionally if I roasted more than a pound it wouldn't be super fresh when I brewed. When the iroast dies, I'll try the freshroast 800. Twice the batch size of the original and relatively inexpensive by comparison. I did look all the machines posted in replies. They were awesome but $$.
Charlie

Milligan

#8: Post by Milligan »

You are pretty limited without spending $1k or more other than a Behmor. If batch size and price are a primary concern then it would be a good fit. It will roast up to 1lb at a time. So you could do two batches and be done. I believe they are around $500. They have weird controls and rudimentary temp sensors but can be workable after getting to know it. It is relatively small compared to some of the other roasters mentioned here. I'd say it is a good fit if you aren't wanting to break the bank.

clynch

#9: Post by clynch » replying to Milligan »

You are absolutely correct! Some awesome roasters were posted and they do cost. The prosummers and invested hobbyists blow away any coffee from local starbucks and such. With all my coffee devices and gadgets, the most significant is the roaster. Fresh home roast, whether it be used for pour over or latte, can not be beat. Love my pour over as much as my espresso/latte.
Charlie

clynch

#10: Post by clynch »

Nunas wrote:Hi, I've been exactly where you're at. I had a Freshroast, which I had to run four times in a row, about once a week, to do enough coffee to last us a week to ten days. So, I bought another Freshroast that I ran at the same time; I had to do at least two back-to-back roasts a week for our needs. I was happy with that, but it eventually got to be less fun and more PITA, so I went to a Quest M3. The M3 easily does 300 grams (about 11 ounces) and can be run back-to-back without a cooling period. I did two back-to-back roasts of about 250 to 300 grams, but way faster with no cooling period. This was perfect for us. But, for no particular reason, I bought a Quest M6, which can roast up to 550 grams (about 19 ounces). That also works out perfectly for our consumption rate, although I still often do two roasts back-to-back. Before deciding on the M6, on my short list, I also had a Bullet, and a Cormorant. Although I was in line to get a Bullet (which were back-ordered then), I opted out; for me, it was too much capacity. I also did not like the fact that it uses proprietary software and components, and it was a bit more than I wanted to spend. I wanted to like the Cormorant, but the waiting list was long. Even though I live in a warm part of Canada, it can get down to -20 C (about -4 F); so when I thought more about it, I wanted to be able to roast under the range hood without having propane in the house.
I can relate. What exactly are you using right now?
Charlie