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BrianGudas
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: West Michigan
Expertise: Just starting

Roaster: SR500
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

Hi guys,

Quick question for you, I am either doing something wrong or I have a problem with my new SR500.  I am a new roaster so user error certainly could be an issue

Here is what I am seeing
1) Using fresh green beans
2) All pieces are clean and clear
3) doing 2 minutes to start on low heat and high fan to get the beans moving before the real roast starts
4) Roasting for 10 minutes on high heat and 30-50% fan
5) Volume of beans increase about 50%-70%..
6) I never get to what I think is a "first crack"
7) The beans never reach beyond a dark tan
8) I have roasted up to 20 minutes and they seem to stop changing before they appear done

I am expecting a very dark roast from this process, what I am getting is very uneven and not very dark at all.  Problem with the heating?  I am looking for a breakfast roast but dont think I am even getting near Blonde.  I did a quick video with the before and after.. I keep it moving along but it is 7 minutes.. would really appreciate some input on if I am doing something wrong or if you believe I need to look for an exchange on the heater unit

http://youtu.be/Im7_1a61lxs

Also attached a picture of the result after 10 minutes... I didnt hear 1 crack in any of the 3 batches I tried this evening

Thanks Brian
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RichardCoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2010
Posts: 108
Location: Long Beach
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: gaggia baby twin, mini...
Grinder: fiorenzato pietro 63mm,...
Roaster: weber grill with rk drum
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 8:46am
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

I haven't used this roaster, but I'm wondering if you have checked out the advice on Sweet Maria's site. There's pretty detailed advice there about how to avoid uneven roasts as you are experiencing. Notably, they point out that it's necessary to not follow the manufacturers instructions exactly (this is common for almost all roasters). I have a hunch to start that you are using more than the 90 gram charge Sweet Maria's found optimum.
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BrianGudas
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: West Michigan
Expertise: Just starting

Roaster: SR500
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 8:49am
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

Hi, thanks for the quick reply.  I have checked out their tips and tried the stiring techniques... in the last roast I tried 1 scoop of bean and could not get to first crack in 20 minutes.. really seems to hit the wall temp wise.  When I watch several of the videos I see people getting a nice dark color in 5-7 minutes ... I am not anywhere near that.  I will go back through there site and make sure I am not missing anything significant.. I ordered an 8lb sampler from them that I cant wait to try (once I figure out the roasting process).. thanks again for the insight.  regards bg
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kschendel
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2008
Posts: 277
Location: Pittsburgh
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Maestro
Roaster: Freshroast
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

I have an SR500 and mine does seem reluctant to hit dark roasts / second crack, but I have no problems getting to first crack.  I'd check your line voltage.  Also, if you aren't loading enough beans, hot-air roasters like the SR500 can run cool because there aren't enough beans to trap the heat.

If the heater is cycling off excessively even on high, you might have an out of spec control board, or possibly a blockage that is overheating the sensor.  (It will cycle on high, but at about 2/3 fan it should be on significantly more than it's off.)  Since it's a new roaster, you might want to work with the seller before you start opening it up.
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BrianGudas
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: West Michigan
Expertise: Just starting

Roaster: SR500
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:54am
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

I have the ability to measure the temp at the grate surface and here is what I get.. these are sustained

(all low fan)
Low = 342F
Med = 365F
High = 398F

Low fan / High temp should be the hottest this machine can get right?  Can I get a first crack at those temps?

Thanks
Brian
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 786
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

Great video !!  When asking for help it is good to provide lots of info.

I roasted with a FreshRoast + 8 for around 2 years.  It is an ancestor of the SR500, maybe a bit smaller.

I roasted 70 grams at a time.  Roasts were completed in 5 to 8 minutes.  My aim point was to have the beans uniformly dark brown with just the lightest sheen of oil (but no oil spots) which usually meant Full-City to Full-City + (and not Vienna).  I had no trouble getting there. I had no trouble hearing the 1CR and usually pulled the roast a couple of minutes after the cracking stopped.

Temperatures, at termination, ranged from 450 to 480F.  The temperatures were measured with a type K thermocouple installed by drilling a hole in the bonnet and attaching a probe down the middle of the roast about 2 inches from the bottom, so they were of the air/bean mixture.

As a previous poster suggested, you should make sure your supply voltage is adequate and your SR500 is working correctly.  I highly recommend a Kill-A-Watt meter.  It will tell you what your voltage actually is and also, when switched to watts, if your power is being sustained (or if you have a flakey thermostat).  You can buy one from Harbor Freight Tools, click here or elsewhere.  

I also suggest you do not use a scoop to measure green beans but actually weigh them in  I have a small Jennings scale, range 0-600 grams.

From the appearance of your roast in the video, I think you did not reach  the 1CR and I think that 398F will never get you there.

I hope this helps.  Good luck !!

 
Jerry
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BrianGudas
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Dec 2013
Posts: 4
Location: West Michigan
Expertise: Just starting

Roaster: SR500
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

Thanks very much for the thorough response, it really helps when you are trying to run down a problem.  I did get in touch with Tim from Fresh Beans and he is going to send me a out a new base ASAP.  Really good customer service

I do have a watt meter at the office, I will check that out directly and see if there is something going on in the house.

Thanks again everyone for the help, I am sure I will be back soon for roasting tips!

Happy holidays
regards
bg
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 786
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 2:01pm
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

Here is a typical plot of a roast on my FreshRoast +8, showing the temperatures where the cracks occur.

JKalpin: RoastPlot.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Jerry
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oldgearhead
Senior Member
oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 386
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: New Roaster question about the SR500
 

In general, with a fluid-bed roaster, you will need 465F+ hot air temperature and 400F+ bean mass temperature to reach first crack under 15 minutes.
Of course you must be using the amount of beans the roaster is designed for.

As for the Kill-A-watt, I believe it's rated for 1550 watts max. Is it okay to use with the 1600 watt 'Fresh Roast?

My favorite PVT (process variable hot air temperature) for SHG beans is 520F, and my favorite total roast time is 12 minutes.
The beans in your video might taste pretty good if rested about 5-7 days. If the volume doubled, then they can't be too bad.

oldgearhead: DSC_0095.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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