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Roaster needs help
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Spanaway01
Senior Member
Spanaway01
Joined: 4 Nov 2006
Posts: 9
Location: WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville 800esxl
Grinder: Breville Iconic Burr
Drip: Kurig K-cup
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Sat Aug 10, 2013, 4:06pm
Subject: Roaster needs help
 

It is unfortunate that the Hearthware i-Roast 2 is no longer available - no parts either. It has given many years of trouble free roasting, exclusively for espresso.

Recently the unit has been shutting off before the roasting is completed. When cooled down it continues, but the beans continue to crack/roast without the air circulation. Not particularly a good thing.

Have looked at others, but not sold on another manufacturer as yet - at least in my price range at this time.

Hoping that someone here has a base that is serviceable and not needed and willing to part with in some form or another.
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Skylar
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 134
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: lelit espresso
Grinder: lelit grinder
Vac Pot: B. D. Electric
Drip: chemex
Roaster: wok roast and popper, heat...
Posted Sat Aug 10, 2013, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help
 

I know this is not the answer you hoped for but if you have a heat source and can either do it outside or have a way of venting smoke, considering a frying pan roast, heat gun and dog bowl or some other "low tech" way of taking the bean from green to brown. Heck, I have done it indoors with a covered frying pan, outside with a popcorn popper, with a heat gun and now an ancient iron frying pan and a wooden spoon over a bbq grill side burner.

Sure don't have to trust a manufacturer.

Skylar
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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Sat Aug 10, 2013, 8:55pm
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help---I-Roast
 

Spanaway01 Said:

Recently the unit has been shutting off before the roasting is completed. When cooled down it continues, but the beans continue to crack/roast without the air circulation. Not particularly a good thing.

Posted August 10, 2013 link

Hi,

Your I-Roast has the classic problem of clogged screens caused by oils and chaff fuzz.  You can try cleaning them, but I'd recommend just removing them if you're not roasting inside the house, or if you have a fairly good exhaust system to vent this stuff outside.  You'll never have this problem again with clogged screens.  

These screens were an attempt to reduce smoke and particulates from the roasting process.  If you're roasting longer for  espresso roasts, then you already know it doesn't work for roasting inside without ventilation.  

When these screens progressively get clogged, and before the shutdown problem starts appearing; the circulation of the beans will begin to slow because the roast chamber is becoming more pressurized, causing less uniform roast results.  A bean which produces heavy amounts of chaff, enough to completely stuff the chaff collector full, can also be part of the cause for either the shutdown of the roaster, or a reduction in circulation of the beans, though the dirty, restricted screen issue seems to be a primary cause.      

My original I-Roast2 finally died last month after roasting about 275 pounds of beans.  The sleeve bearing on the impeller side of the motor became worn enough to allow the motor armature to rub against the stator, right in the middle of a roast.  Luckily, I bought a replacement I-Roast a few years back off Ebay to have a spare in case of a major meltdown like this.  I was able to switch the roasting pot over to the other base before the beans had cooled down much to complete the roast.  

Ken
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Spanaway01
Senior Member
Spanaway01
Joined: 4 Nov 2006
Posts: 9
Location: WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville 800esxl
Grinder: Breville Iconic Burr
Drip: Kurig K-cup
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Sat Aug 10, 2013, 9:20pm
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help---I-Roast
 

Thanks for the reply.

I do clean the unit often. The screen gets washed after every roast, but there are some plugged. So I could roast outside, which is what I do anyway, and just leave the top off, right? Never thought of doing that. Will try it on my next roast.

Thanks again!!! :)
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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Sun Aug 11, 2013, 6:25am
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help---I-Roast
 

Leaving the top off should be fine.  You'd still need to leave the chaff collector in place since that prevents major heat loss for efficient roasting.  You may need to add a bit of weight to it like a rock to keep it from floating up.

Update us when you roast again.

Ken
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Spanaway01
Senior Member
Spanaway01
Joined: 4 Nov 2006
Posts: 9
Location: WA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville 800esxl
Grinder: Breville Iconic Burr
Drip: Kurig K-cup
Roaster: i-Roast 2
Posted Sun Aug 11, 2013, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help
 

Success :)

I first washed/scrubbed the top with dishwasher detergent. Then used a needle and rapidly poked all over the screen, especially the areas that were plugged. I used my Dremel (Craaftsman) type tool with a wire brush, washed, dried, and started a roast. I haven't seen the beans jump like that for a long time. Guess it was so gradual over time that one doesn't notice it much.

The final analysis ... it was the screen.

Thanks to all for your help. You saved me a couple of hundred $$+ for a new roaster.

Blessings to all!!!
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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Sun Aug 11, 2013, 11:25pm
Subject: Re: Roaster needs help
 

Thanks for the confirmation that dealing with a major cleaning of those screens produced results.  I still keep hearing of people in this forum complaining about this overheat and shutdown issue causing them to give up on the I-Roast and go to something else like those mini toaster  oven style drum roasters.  

I modified my I-Roast about two years ago to give me more capacity to the chaff collector, as well as a little tweak to the chimney in the roast chamber.  This lets me do half pound roasts, since there's now enough room in the chaff collector to prevent a jam-up causing that reduction in bean movement when the collector gets stuffed.  Before, I had to reduce the bean load to about 4 ounces with some of the really chaffy beans to get through a roast with good results.  Even with these increased load sizes, the roast is ready for cooling after about 8-1/2 minutes when roasting to a Full City roast level.

I've also stopped using the cool mode for bean cooling, running it only for about a half minute after I determine roast finish.  It then gets dumped into a screen mesh colander, then set over a vacuum source to pull air through the beans, cooling them in about a minute.  My vacuum source is the downdraft intake from a jenn-air range.  When roasting, I replace the normal grille with a piece of wood with only a 4 inch hole, to connect a flexible dryer  exhaust hose.  When the roast is done, that hose comes off and the colander with the beans is set over it.  I'd think a shop-vac attached to a small pail at the bottom would produce the same result for not a lot of expense.  The quality of the roast seems to be so much better when the beans are cooled rapidly.  The 4 minute cooling cycle of the I-Roast is just too long for maintaining roast quality, since the heat dissipates so slowly.  If I'm doing back-to-back roasts, I'll dump the second batch of beans into the roaster and run that on the cool mode to allow a bit of pre-heating.  You just need to remember to dump the chaff collector before you go into the roast mode of the second batch.    

Except for the noise issue of the I-Roast, it's probably the best economy roaster out there.  Just too bad it's an orphan roaster and only available used if you can find one.  It's certainly got enough power to do half pound loads, and probably more than that with a little bit more re-engineering.  Chaff fires don't seem to be an issue with it since the chaff is contained far enough away from the heat elements and large amounts are not directly exposed to them.  Cleaning is a whole lot easier, (except for those pesky screens).  An occasional brushout of the fine chaff deposits keeps things tidy, and an occasional wipedown of the chamber glass when cool, gets most of the brown residue off.  A little coffee pot cleaner is sometimes needed to loosen really sticky deposits.  You certainly don't need to do some dry burn procedure every few roasts to maintain or restore the performance.  I'm sure your time is more valuable than that.

Ken
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