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BarryR
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Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 10:12am
Subject: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

I'm thinking of moving up from a Behmor to a Hottop. I like the Behmor a lot, but after three years and almost 400 roasts would like something with more control and faster roasts (for a brighter taste).

1) Is the Hottop much smokier? I roast right under a vent hood. Is there a way to use a hose to vent it into the hood? (PS: I rarely roast beyond FC or so).

2) Is 10.5 oz about the maximum reasonable amt for a Hottop roast?

3) Is it extremely likely that I'll get better tsating coffee with the Hottop?
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gregr
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Posted Tue Dec 31, 2013, 9:27am
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

Guessing you'll get a lot of good info since so many people, me included, have gone from a Behmor to a Hottop.
1) Yes, the Hottop is much smokier. I roasted with a fan in the window a couple feet from the roaster (no range hood back then) and within an hour or two there was little or no smoke smell in the house. Since the Behmor has that after-burner it does a great job in that regard.
2) I always roasted 8oz and I think that's the ideal amount but I think some will argue 6oz is better. Many reports of larger roasting success so maximum reasonable-- another "yes".
3) A simple yes for the simple reason you can control the roast far more effectively. Especially if you install BT and ET probes. Then you can fine tune each phase of the roast to bring out the characteristics you want. A common goal for espresso is to stretch out that last phase and with the Hottop you can consistently stretch to 4:30, or whatever you desire.
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BarryR
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Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 262
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 5:22pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

gregr Said:

Guessing you'll get a lot of good info since so many people, me included, have gone from a Behmor to a Hottop.
1) Yes, the Hottop is much smokier. I roasted with a fan in the window a couple feet from the roaster (no range hood back then) and within an hour or two there was little or no smoke smell in the house. Since the Behmor has that after-burner it does a great job in that regard.
2) I always roasted 8oz and I think that's the ideal amount but I think some will argue 6oz is better. Many reports of larger roasting success so maximum reasonable-- another "yes".
3) A simple yes for the simple reason you can control the roast far more effectively. Especially if you install BT and ET probes. Then you can fine tune each phase of the roast to bring out the characteristics you want. A common goal for espresso is to stretch out that last phase and with the Hottop you can consistently stretch to 4:30, or whatever you desire.

Posted December 31, 2013 link

Thanks though a slew of responses has not materialized.

So, if I roast under a commercial style, externally vented hood, how will the smoke be?

Also, should I be OK with 2/3 lb (300gm) roasts? I'd really like to be able to do 3 roasts / 2 lbs as opposed to 4.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 5:29pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

BarryR Said:

Thanks though a slew of responses has not materialized.

So, if I roast under a commercial style, externally vented hood, how will the smoke be?

Also, should I be OK with 2/3 lb (300gm) roasts? I'd really like to be able to do 3 roasts / 2 lbs as opposed to 4.

Posted January 1, 2014 link

You should visit Randy Glass'es site at
http://www.espressomyespresso.com

He has alot of info on the Hottop.  He is also a member of CG.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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gregr
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Espresso: Livia 90
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Roaster: Huky
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

Strong plus one on that advice. Randy's tutorial on roasting with the Hottop was what I used as a model when I was learning how to use the Hottop and even on the first roast I got decent results.
As far as your two questions- unfortunately I can't give you absolute answers. I only roasted half pound batches so it wouldn't be much help for me to guess on larger loads. All I can say is it does an excellent job on a half pound. As for the smoke- without knowing what your tolerance level is I can only guess. I think with a good range hood you might have a little lingering smell for an hour or so, but again, just a guess. I'm ok with a little smoke smell lingering for a couple hours or so take it for what it's worth.
You might want to try searching under something like "Behmore vs Hottop" or similar.
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BarryR
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Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 262
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 6:53pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

gregr Said:

Strong plus one on that advice. Randy's tutorial on roasting with the Hottop was what I used as a model when I was learning how to use the Hottop and even on the first roast I got decent results.
As far as your two questions- unfortunately I can't give you absolute answers. I only roasted half pound batches so it wouldn't be much help for me to guess on larger loads. All I can say is it does an excellent job on a half pound. As for the smoke- without knowing what your tolerance level is I can only guess. I think with a good range hood you might have a little lingering smell for an hour or so, but again, just a guess. I'm ok with a little smoke smell lingering for a couple hours or so take it for what it's worth.
You might want to try searching under something like "Behmore vs Hottop" or similar.

Posted January 1, 2014 link

Thanks. I'd seen RGs page and was going to go through it further when I have the roaster.
RE: Smoke - it's the family that's bothered by it. I usually roast early Sat a.m when they're away or early Sun a.m. when they're still in bed, so it might be doable.

If it's way more than a Behmor, it could be a probelm.
RE: 300 gm roasts, I wonder if preheating it to a slightly higher temp before dropping the beans in would help. I'll probably order the Hottop next week but really hope I can do 300 gms well.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 8:14pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

Smoke:
The HT produces significantly more smoke than a Behmor.  Some range hoods can handle it, some can't.  It's not so much a question of the hood fan's nominal cfm rating, but how much air it draws at the roaster's location.  

Many residential hoods (even if they're "commercial look") are underpowered and too high over the stove to handle a Behmor.  If yours doesn't have enough draw at the stove's surface, it may do well enough with the roaster elevated.  

Dose:
You're leaving the Behmor for the HT because the Behmor's too unresponsive, and that makes sense.  But overloading the HT to the point where it's unresponsive as well makes no sense.  

300g is too large a dose for the HT to do a good job, regardless of charge temp.  Too high a charge temp will result in scorching and going through the drying phase too quickly.  Overloading the roaster will result in "baking" and uneven roasts.  250g is the practical limit for the HT.        

Although, you can never make a HT a true batch roaster, there are a few relatively simple things you can do to cut the time between batches to about 15 minutes.  It may help to remember that despite Behmor's claim of a 500g capacity, 250g is very close to the top of its sweet spot too; and it takes considerably longer than 15 minutes to recover.  

A lot of guys tell you about the great results they get with overloaded doses.  But remember that any roaster is something of a psychopath.  It's deeply concerned with its own needs, limits, and comfort zones without giving a crap about yours.  Or your damn budget.

If you want a drum roaster with more production than the HT offers, you should look at the Quest M3 (which does true batches), or the Huky 500 which has a 500g capacity, AND does batches.  There are better, small capacity roasters than the Quest and Huky, but they cost considerably more, and are by and large completely unsuited for kitchen use.  

HT Capability:
With a lot of experience and work the HT is capable of doing much better roasts than the Behmor; as good really as big-boy professional roastmasters do on their professional big-boy machines.  

The HT can be modded with BT and ET thermocouples so that it reports real time temps to plotting software.  That's a HUGE help when it comes to making the roast behave the way you want it to.    

BDL
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BarryR
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 262
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: A few questions about Hottop Roaster
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Smoke:
The HT produces significantly more smoke than a Behmor.  Some range hoods can handle it, some can't.  It's not so much a question of the hood fan's nominal cfm rating, but how much air it draws at the roaster's location.  

Many residential hoods (even if they're "commercial look") are underpowered and too high over the stove to handle a Behmor.  If yours doesn't have enough draw at the stove's surface, it may do well enough with the roaster elevated.  

Dose:
You're leaving the Behmor for the HT because the Behmor's too unresponsive, and that makes sense.  But overloading the HT to the point where it's unresponsive as well makes no sense.  

300g is too large a dose for the HT to do a good job, regardless of charge temp.  Too high a charge temp will result in scorching and going through the drying phase too quickly.  Overloading the roaster will result in "baking" and uneven roasts.  250g is the practical limit for the HT.        

Although, you can never make a HT a true batch roaster, there are a few relatively simple things you can do to cut the time between batches to about 15 minutes.  It may help to remember that despite Behmor's claim of a 500g capacity, 250g is very close to the top of its sweet spot too; and it takes considerably longer than 15 minutes to recover.  

A lot of guys tell you about the great results they get with overloaded doses.  But remember that any roaster is something of a psychopath.  It's deeply concerned with its own needs, limits, and comfort zones without giving a crap about yours.  Or your damn budget.

If you want a drum roaster with more production than the HT offers, you should look at the Quest M3 (which does true batches), or the Huky 500 which has a 500g capacity, AND does batches.  There are better, small capacity roasters than the Quest and Huky, but they cost considerably more, and are by and large completely unsuited for kitchen use.  

HT Capability:
With a lot of experience and work the HT is capable of doing much better roasts than the Behmor; as good really as big-boy professional roastmasters do on their professional big-boy machines.  

The HT can be modded with BT and ET thermocouples so that it reports real time temps to plotting software.  That's a HUGE help when it comes to making the roast behave the way you want it to.    

BDL

Posted January 1, 2014 link

Thanks for the info. I know what you're saying about overloading the roaster. I've gravitated up to 13 oz roasts on the Behmor and realized that's probably why my roasts have been getting flat and am now working on 10.5 and 8 oz roasts. I guess I'll start with 200-250 gm roasts in the Hottop and see how it goes.

I thought about the Quest to enable larger roasts, but it's both more money than I'd planned on and more manual than I'd like.
The ability to store a profile in the Hottop B and then mostly reproduce might take some of the sting away from the small batch size.

Regarding my vent hood, it is fairly high up, but has true external venting with an external high cfm fan (forgot how much). It will create a strong updraft at the level of the range. It's not just wimpy fan in a fancy enclosure so hopefully it'll be adequate. With the Behmor, if I overroast and then open the door (for example during cool down) the smoke (or smell) in the house can bother the family. If I roast to FC (or maybe even FC+) without opening the door, any smell is very minimal.
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