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ricardo_dacosta
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 31
Location: Montclair
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 5:20am
Subject: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

I go thru about 12-15lbs a week in a small stand I run.  I have been slowly learning about good coffee and am at the point where I would like to get into roasting my own beans.

I would want to start with something small, roast 3 lbs a day or so. I have been reading reviews of different home roasters on this site.

Will a home roaster be too much for 2-3 pounds a day? What would be my next step if not a home roaster?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated

Thanks

Ricardo
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,106
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
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Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

Don't forget there's going to be some weight loss to evaporation.  

Roasting at max rated capacity, with a 500g capacity roaster, you're looking at about 18 roasts a week; with a 1kg, 8 or 9; and with a 2kg roaster, 4 or 5.  A 5kg roaster is almost certainly too big unless you think there's a high likelihood your volume will decrease.  

Since you're looking at around 350kg/year, I don't think you'd want to use anything smaller than a 1kg, commercial roaster.  

For a gas fired, drum roaster:  Including maintenance and the other physical parts of roasting, you're probably looking at two, 3 hour sessions per week with a 1kg roaster; and two, 2 hour sessions per week with a 2kg.  

If it were up to me, I'd go with the 2kg.
  • What experience do you have roasting?
  • Do you have even a general idea of what sort of roaster you want?
  • What's your budget?

BDL
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ricardo_dacosta
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 31
Location: Montclair
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

Thank you BDL

I do not have any experience roasting coffee. I know, sounds crazy. Im optimistic and dedicated when I want to learn about something. I didn't know anything about tea and 7 years later after drinking my first cup of Chai in India, my Chai company has won 1st place for Chai at the North American Tea Championship :)

Im not planning on selling my own roasted coffee until I can find my roasted coffee drinkable and of similar quality than the one we currently sale.

I figured that I might as well learn with the machine I will be roasting my current volume than getting a very small roaster that is very easy to operate compare to a bigger one. Am I wrong? Do you suggest I start off with a much simpler machine and get my fee wet in that way?

I'm looking to spend $1000-2000 or a bit more if necessary. Maybe a used one if available. How much should I expect to pay for a 2kg capacity roaster?

Thanks again

Ricardo
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CoffeeRon
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CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 737
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

I think your idea of learning on the roaster you'll be using is valid- to a point. The basics of roasting will carry over from one roaster to another. Learning on a drum versus fluid bed would be probably be best if that's what you plan to use ultimately, but then from what I've seen pro fluid bed roasters seem fairly easy to learn if you know a bit about roasting.

Your $1000-$2000 budget is way low I would say. I have limited knowledge of pro roasters but I believe you should be thinking more on the lines of $5000-$6000. As such you may want to start with maybe a Gene cafe or a Hottop to get your feet wet. That would give you the chance to begin learning while you take the time to decide which roaster would be best for you. Just my 2 cents. Good luck to you!
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 791
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

This is a very active news forum and the very few answers you are getting reflects that your question is difficult to answer.  Perhaps I should explain that.

You could buy a (consumer) Behmor 1600 or a Hotop (consumer) roaster and pay $300 or $1000 respectively.  However, they are best for batch sizes of 1/2 lb or a bit more and you are faced with the issue:  Do you have time to roast 15 lbs a week (20 or 30 roasts) and also run a business?

Suppose you were able to find a used commercial roaster in good shape to let you roast (say) 5 lbs every 2nd day:  Do you understand that you would have to run fuel gas or 220V power to it and also provide an 'approvable' venting system for the smoke and smell?  Could you avoid installing a sprinkler-system for fire-protection in order to get a building-permit?  Is your area even zoned to let you conduct such business?  

My suggestion to you (as a Professional Engineer) is to buy the best (consumer) roaster you can afford and learn the 'ins & outs' of roasting.  Then start making a little business-plan to add roasting to your operation.  It should include a cost-estimate.  The first line of that 'estimate' should be (say) $500 for advice of an Engineer, who is familiar with your local zoning and codes.

 
Jerry
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oldgearhead
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oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 389
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 11:41am
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

I just like fluid-bed roasting. However, your budget may need to be a bit higher.
Information about fluid-bed roaster costs:
1) I spent $512, about 30 hours of labor, and called in a couple of favors just to built a 120V/25A, heat-reclaiming, 1 pound, roaster.
2) I believe the Sonofresco sells around $3000 for a a one-pound. gas-fired unit.



..and then there is this one:
Click Here (www.ebay.com)

/
...and an image of mine..

oldgearhead: DSC_9153.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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ricardo_dacosta
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Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 31
Location: Montclair
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

That's interesting you mentioned fluid-bed roasting instead of drum roasting. I just watched a YouTube video of CoffeeCrafters Artisan V fluid bed roaster. It has a 5lb capacity and claims it can roast 30 lbs per hour. At the price of basically $4,000 this would be a good entry level roaster.

The question is:

Can it be this good? Everything sounds too good to be true!

They even offer you a 30 day money back guarantee plus a full 1 year warranty.

Any thoughts on this company/roaster?

Thanks!
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 737
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

The Artisan V is a fairly new one. You can find out a bit more about them on this thread

"Re: Coffee Crafters Artisan V fluid bed Roaster"?LastView=1375669000&Page=1

30 lbs an hour would be pushing it a bit really, but I've seen the video myself and I liked what I saw.
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oldgearhead
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oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 389
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 6:26am
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

ricardo_dacosta Said:

That's interesting you mentioned fluid-bed roasting instead of drum roasting. I just watched a YouTube video of CoffeeCrafters Artisan V fluid bed roaster. It has a 5lb capacity and claims it can roast 30 lbs per hour. At the price of basically $4,000 this would be a good entry level roaster.

The question is:

Can it be this good? Everything sounds too good to be true!

>snip<

Thanks!

Posted August 4, 2013 link

Ever since the late Michael Sivetz encountered the European Aerotherm commercial fluid-bed coffee roaster he was sold. After many years working for large corporations developing instant coffees, he owned and ran a company that produced fluid-bed roasters for small coffee shops. I have no connection to the "Art 5" but it sure looks like a Sivetz to me, and you will need the cyclone separator...

oldgearhead: BMT_1.jpg
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,053
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 6:51am
Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
 

I chose the Sonofresco over the Coffee Crafter roaster because Sonofresco has been around for a while.  I was able to find mine used for $1750. (1.4 lb model).  New they go for around $2,400.  Amazon has them for sale too.  IMO this would be a good starting point.  It can roast 1/4 lb(666 g) in under 20 min.  To hit your 15 lb per week capacity you would only have to roast 3 times a day, 5 days a week or half a days time.  Some people think it's not the greatest roaster but from what I have seen it's built to take a beating.  As long as the temp probe stays clean it hits the roast target.  Yes right now it only has  0-9 profile settings Cinnamon - Spanish roast which IMO is awesome. :p They are working on a new control board that will allow you to roast custom profiles via Laptop/PC which should be available next year.
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