Roaster blues

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

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Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:02 am

Yesterday I was happily roasting away, then I was not so happy. The drum slowed to a very slow jerky rotation, the heat shot up and disaster imminent. As the roast was nearly half way through, I attempted to control it by lowering the heat, due to the slow speed the temperature seesawed up and down but I managed to finish with a very good looking roast. This morning I tested it, there is that marshmallow blandness you get from using the beans too soon, I am hoping for better tomorrow.
The good new is that I contacted Mr Li in Taiwan and he is sending me a new motor by air mail.
I have stripped the machine down and I am very impressed by the skill that goes into building a custom roaster. The stainless steel welds are very neat, there are lots of screws and nuts holding it together and the whole unit strips down completely. I was able to clean it up in the washing up bowl in the kitchen.
To be continued.............
La Valentina Levetta
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Huky 500T
Bodum s/s Press Pot(Covered in dust)
Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby CakeBoy » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:55 pm

That's a pain Pete, glad you have it semi-sorted though. It's a lovely roaster you have there. Let's hope the motor arrives quickly.

These things just always go right on top of Christmas with only a little time to get them sorted. Both our major machine failures have been right on the festive season and kept us

How are you keeping old friend?
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:52 am

The roast yesterday looked good, wish I could say the same about the taste. Drinkable just! with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The good news it that the new 72rpm motor is coming by air mail, more good news it will only cost £27 including postage. Wouldn't it be nice if urgent items could be emailed. I will part reassemble the Huky later today, most parts will go together without a hitch. My biggest job will be fitting the new motor in to its housing when it arrives, the tiny nuts inside the motor housing were a swine to remove, getting them to hold still when I fit the Allen screws through the back will take time and bad language. Working in a confined space and the joys of arthritis are an interesting combination, my hope is pinned on holding the 4 tiny nuts that secure the motor, blutacked on the end of a pencil, while I line up the motor with the holes in the housing at the same time holding the 5mm Allen key.......................... I need alcohol.

Hi Cakey, I'm almost fine, I gets lots of exercise walking away from crowded doctors waiting rooms, I don't have enough time left at 83 to wait hours for a medic to say 'your doing fine for your age Mr Green'. boring updates on kidney status and prostate prognosis show I have a reasonable chance of surviving well past my alloted span. That suits me OK. Otherwise, I can always give up coffee and become just another complaining old fart. Just remember old friend, if a doctor tells you to give up muffins, you can always change your doctor.

Updates as they happen........................
La Valentina Levetta
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Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby CakeBoy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:19 pm

Well £27 sounds good indeed as long as it doesn't take ages to arrive.

You just keep on drinking the coffee and complain all you want, you've earned the right. I reckon you might outlast me. I'm old and broken but they'll never take my muffins! Carry on roasting those beans and you'll not go far wrong. Ooh matron! :shock: Sorry, ignore that, I should never start a sentence with 'Carry on' :oops:
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:11 pm

The plot thickens....

New motor arrived, after a lot of fiddling, curses, sweat and blood... BLOOD!... Where am I... Ah OK now, can carry on. Tested the motor and after a couple of groans it started and I ran it for 10 minutes before re building the roaster, lots of awkward sharp edges. hence the blood. All together again so plug it in, turn on the gas and wait for it to heat up.............. Did I ever tell you about the time I fell, I am sure I was pushed, out of a helicopter in Borneo? No!!! I will bravely carry on. The drum started to stutter and slowly, jerkily began to revolve, it was as if I had put the wrong motor back. Nope, old motor, with bits of solder on the terminal, on the table. I think it is heading towards another strip down, the drum revolved OK when I turned it by hand, not easy as without the motor it is only supported by the front bearing. I will take the bearings out and replace if necessary. I will also count the motor revolutions and hope it is 72 rpm. I will also check the Huky forums to see if others are having problems.

More.... when I stop crying......................
La Valentina Levetta
Mazzer Mini
Huky 500T
Bodum s/s Press Pot(Covered in dust)
Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:59 pm

Isn't it a lovely day, rain, cold snow forecast with high winds. I don't care, I am roasting again. After my second strip down I tested the drum bearings, no problem, running sweetly. I retested the motor out of the unit and it still stuttered round improving my language skill with words I haven't used since my career in the service of Her Majesty.
The wiring to the new motor was good, I even used a powerful glass to check the solder joints. I turned my attention to the switch, this was untouched as I only had to solder the leads to the motor. I noticed that the negative lead solder was not up to Mr Li's usual standard, the lead barely touched the terminal, I unsoldered and reattached it, plugged in and Bingo. Always check the simple stuff first. So with egg on my face I confess to forgetting the basics. The upside is I now have a polished shiny roaster that is even better than before, listen to my advice then do the opposite.
La Valentina Levetta
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Huky 500T
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Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby CakeBoy » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:07 pm

There is nothing worse than all sorts of repair and rebuilding only to have that sinking feeling and nothing. So pleased you sorted it Pete, that was very well spotted. Enjoy your roasting!
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby bruceb » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:58 am

Yes, most of us have been there, done that. It's the way we learn, even if it takes a dozen repetitions. I once tore an expensive vacuum cleaner apart, testing ever component, only to find that the house fuse had blown and there was no electricity at the socket. That will not happen again, but there is a similar trap waiting to spring every time we try to fix something. Enjoy the coffee!
Three Francesconi (CMA) espresso machines - Rossi, San Marco, LaCimbali, Faema and 2 Mazzer Major grinders- CoffeeTech Maggionlino, Hottop, Alpenröst and HW Precision roasters.
I decided I needed a bit of a change so I roasted some Monsooned Malabar. That was a change!
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:16 am

End story,

My first roast with the new motor, I am sure that the faster drum rotation also speeded up the roast. It was dark, a lovely shiny oiled perfection, every single bean had that dark beauty that you only ever see in TV Commercials, you could envision the hard working sweaty men toiling in all that heat to bring us natures greatest gift. IT TASTED LIKE S***, a foul baked carbon disaster that left an after taste from hell. My own silly fault, I had followed my usual timing routine when I should have treated it like a new roaster. Second roast was OK but I was too cautious and the result a little too light and mild. Roast No 3.... Getting there, nice even colour, drinkable and good enough to offer people I like a cup, I am pleased with the faster drum speed, the learning curve keeps me paying attention to every single phase of the roast and it can only get better.
Thank you for hearing my tales of woe, I no longer feel the urge to throw myself under a passing bicycle, if I can succeed, any idiot can.
La Valentina Levetta
Mazzer Mini
Huky 500T
Bodum s/s Press Pot(Covered in dust)
Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby CakeBoy » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:13 am

Re-calibration of anything is always a pain Pete. Is the new motor higher powered or is it a case of the old one slowly died and became weary on the way? I'm so glad you at least have everything working and can concentrate on the calibrating to taste phase.
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby sicinius » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:58 am

Well, this'll cheer you up, perhaps.

I'm in my home office, a three room from farm shed at the bottom of the garden. it has a separate central heating system to the house and the 16 year old Worcester boiler wouldn't start this autumn. It would light, burn for a few seconds, then go out. My usual service guy hates working on Worcesters and thought a new one would be the answer and in that case I should fit a Viessman like the big system in the main house. Same price as a new Worcester Bosch but much better, Well, he would say that wouldn't he. But, he said, Worcester will come out for a flat fee of £150 and fix anything that's wrong short of a replacement. This turned out to be true, so out they came but they couldn't get it going and after four hours pronounced it dead. £150.

My engineer said he's come and put in the Viessman 100. This looked, by the time he'd finished, like an extraordinary, almost DIY-simple, quick job. But it wouldn't light. It did exactly the same thing that the old Worcester did, occasioning large amount of time on the phone, some of it to Germany. It was producing error codes that weren't in the error code manual. An appointment was made for a Viessman engineer when Phil, that's his name, decided, just before he left, to replace the RCD in the fuse box, just out of curiosity. It didn't look funny, or have any faults but he just had a feeling. Everything immediately worked properly.

£2150 spent on gas boilers before discovering that £2.20 on electronics would have taken care of it.

Still, the new boiler is half the size and almost silent.

There are videos on drum speed made by Behmor fans here https://www.sweetmarias.com/product/behmor-1600-plus if you're interested in what we cheapskate roasters get up to. I do like the look of yours.
Isomac Zaffiro, Eureka Mignon, Isomac Gram Macinino, Aeropress, Stovetop espresso, various Moka stovetops, 3 cafetieres, 50's glass Cona. Behmor 1600.
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:52 am

7That is the final proof, all coffee roasters are idiots. I too have a Worcester boiler, luckily we have a local boiler service company that perform a full annual service for £60.
I had a Behmor 1600, no complaints, I just wanted to have something shiny to play with. The HUKY is a wonderful example of the Heath Robinson approach to engineering, but executed with style. If you love old steam trains, you love the Huky 500T. I lost count after removing more than 50 nuts, bolts, pipes rods and oddly shaped fittings. Miraculously I managed to put them all back together. OK! I lost a few drops of blood, but when you flip that lever and a river of still crackling beans fill the cooling tray....... Heaven
La Valentina Levetta
Mazzer Mini
Huky 500T
Bodum s/s Press Pot(Covered in dust)
Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby icke » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:01 pm

Hi motoman,

i haven't stopped by here in a long time really...

A few years ago I have experimented with that faster motor too but returned to the original slower one eventually. I don't know why exactly, but more often than not I got a burned, ashy taste from roasting with the faster drum speed. Not sure why that is as i didn't overshoot really. Have always monitored the roast with Artisan and never went into 2nd crack really so it was a bit of a mystery.
I made that motor switch easier on me though following a suggestion of Mr. Li. When I ordered the new faster motor, he suggested to order it with it's housing and not just the naked motor. That way swapping the motor takes just a few minutes.
Which drum are you using, the perforated original or solid? I'm using the solid for a long time, again, believing that the perforated drum lead to burnt/ashy tasting coffee - too much fire on the beans...

Cheers,
o
Black KvdW Speedster / Arrarex Caravel / Elektra Nino / Vario / Huky 500 / and a bunch of less frequently used things...
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby motoman » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:47 pm

Hi Icke, Yup, a long time no see............. muter mutter South of France....mutter..sunshine......Me shovelling snow off footpath ....mutter

I use the perforated drum but use the slotted slider in to keep the flame from touching the beans. I suspect my first burned roast was with the slider in the open setting. Typical of Asian engineering, you pull out the slider to close the slots and push in to open.. Similar problem with the gas burner rotary switch, first click = Half power, second click = full power, third click = low power. Confusing, yesterday I closed the door then tried to go through it. ME lie! never.
La Valentina Levetta
Mazzer Mini
Huky 500T
Bodum s/s Press Pot(Covered in dust)
Mokka, Vietnamese Press and other pots(unseen since I fell in love with La Valentina)
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Re: Roaster blues

Postby icke » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:19 am

@motoman
what would I do without you - hardly anything to laugh about in live (yes especially in the south of France)
but to ease your pain, we're moving to Nantes next week. Brittany sounds a lot better to you I'm sure, so no more reason to mutter under your breath... ;) I'LL BE FREEZING MY *** OF THIS WINTER!!! :D

I remember using the perforated drum with the slider in closed position all the time but I just removed that thing after installing the solid drum and have never looked back.
I never used half power on that burner, doesn't work so well I remember. I use full power or just low power towards the end of the roast to prevent the beans from turning into shock-frozen nescafe badness.
Black KvdW Speedster / Arrarex Caravel / Elektra Nino / Vario / Huky 500 / and a bunch of less frequently used things...
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