Hottop Upgrade

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Hottop Upgrade

Postby simonp » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:01 pm

I've just had delivery of my upgrade kit to make my old (not even the D model) to the B spec :D
Silly price for a couple of boards and a display really, but much cheaper than a new one and I cannot find another roaster that will do as good a job for that money.

I found that my Hottop always rushed the end of the roast with rarely more than 30 seconds between the end of 1st crack and the beginning of 2nd (somethimes no gap) so this wasn't really getting the best out of the beans. I'm sure the massive ammount of crud in the back by he motor won't have helped either!

For ages I said I would do some form of control myself, but without the triac control for the heater (which I could have done but making a PCB would be expensive) it was not going to be easy. In the end I decided that now my espresso machine was working properly again and the flavours had come back it was worth getting back to the roast profile control I used to have with the modded I-roast (or popcorn machine). The fixed Hottop one was OK, but not ideal.

I'll post more and maybe some pics when it is done.
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RE: Hottop Upgrade

Postby CakeBoy » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:21 pm

Looking forward to the updates. Have fun :)
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Re: Hottop Upgrade

Postby GeorgeW » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:37 pm

simonp wrote:
I found that my Hottop always rushed the end of the roast with rarely more than 30 seconds between the end of 1st crack and the beginning of 2nd (somethimes no gap) so this wasn't really getting the best out of the beans. I'm sure the massive ammount of crud in the back by he motor won't have helped either!



Is this unusual Simon? With my machine I would expect the gap between first and second crack to be about the time you quote. I've always found that the timing of the second crack would depend very much on the beans being roasted. With MM for example I would expect to hear the second coming in before the first has entirely finished. I would expect Bruce would be able to give a more definitive answer as I'm sure he has had a long experience with this roaster.
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Re: Hottop Upgrade

Postby simonp » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:32 pm

GeorgeW wrote:Is this unusual Simon? With my machine I would expect the gap between first and second crack to be about the time you quote. I've always found that the timing of the second crack would depend very much on the beans being roasted. With MM for example I would expect to hear the second coming in before the first has entirely finished. I would expect Bruce would be able to give a more definitive answer as I'm sure he has had a long experience with this roaster.


Maybe not then, though I'm sure I used to get a bit of a gap, possibly 1 minute. As you say though it does depend on the bean.
It is shorter than ideal though I believe. Certainly when manual roasting with popcorn maker or I-roast (both with heater control) I would always back off the heat around 1st crack to stop the heat running away and help to develop body. For a lot of beans, especially natural processed ones the standard profile is a bit slow at the start. We will see how much that is down to the limits of how fast the machine can heat and how much is the profile.

The kit is in. Easy job really, it would have taken less than 45 minutes if I hadn't decided to not read the instructions properly and taken out screws I didn't need to to get the bottom off and then having a devil of a job getting the screws back in again :oops: Getting all teh stray chaff and beans out took time too, wish I had an airline...
As I started it about 11:30 at night there aren't really many pics as I was rushing! I gave it a quick run for 10 minutes or so without beans just to check it out and all seems to work OK. I'll probably try a roast tonight and see how it goes. Probably some nice Cachoeira as I think this was the first thing I ever roasted in the Hottop, and it is a nice easy bean to roast.
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RE: Re: Hottop Upgrade

Postby bruceb » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:19 pm

Since George mentioned my name here I went back and looked at my logs and George is quite right. Second almost always began just as first was ending or even a bit before. The same is true with Maggiolino btw. My old Alpenrost did tend to finish first crack and second would begin anywhere for 30 or even 60 sec later, however I must admit I can't notice much of a difference in the results.
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RE: Re: Hottop Upgrade

Postby simonp » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:21 am

Well, I did a roast this evening of Brazilian Fazenda Cachoeira.
It will take some getting used to having control of the heater and fan i.e. when to run the fan and how much lag there is in the heater so as to know when to increase and decrease in anticipation of roast stages.
I followed (roughly) one of the recommended starting profiles on the Hottop USA site. This sort of profile looked similar to what I would do with the air roasters: Slow a bit during the drying phase and through 1st crack then ramp up to 2nd.
The Cach has always been a bit of a mare for the end of 1st going into 2nd crack where the beans would be a bit out of synch. The control certainly helped this as I saw at least 90 seconds between 1st and 2nd and the result is a much more even roast. The second good thing is that the outside of the beans is a fair bit lighter than when I usually roast to the same point i.e. the very first pop od 2nd crack. I would say (on looks at least) this is the best Cachoeira roast I have done. We'll see how it tastes in a few days!

So, good first impressions though can't help the feeling this is how the Hottop should have been at the start...
I need to mount a thermocouple properly to measure the bean mass temperature, my dangled in bead one wasn't that sucessfull as the temps wer way too low.
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Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:21 am

Sounds as though you have got it sorted, Simon. I find this sort of profile works well:

Image

This is produced by the default profile in the RoastLogger which is as follows:

Heater on 100%, fan off.
Load beans at about 146 C.
Fan on about 30% at 120 C to end of roast.
One minute before first crack starts* turn heater down to about 65%
One minute after first crack starts turn heater down to about 50%

I adjust the mass of beans used to get an overall roast time of between 14 and 16 minutes. With this profile I find that enough time is provided for drying without slowing things further.

* Find the temperature that is displayed one minute before first crack starts by noting the temperature profile of your first few roasts.
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Postby simonp » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:12 pm

GreenBean wrote:Sounds as though you have got it sorted, Simon. I find this sort of profile works well:

Image

This is produced by the default profile in the RoastLogger which is as follows:

Heater on 100%, fan off.
Load beans at about 146 C.
Fan on about 30% at 120 C to end of roast.
One minute before first crack starts* turn heater down to about 65%
One minute after first crack starts turn heater down to about 50%

I adjust the mass of beans used to get an overall roast time of between 14 and 16 minutes. With this profile I find that enough time is provided for drying without slowing things further.

* Find the temperature that is displayed one minute before first crack starts by noting the temperature profile of your first few roasts.


Cheers, will try that. Regrading your rather cool Roastlogger software, am I right in thinking that it won't work with an Omega HH806AU thermocouple meter? Might need to have a chat with you about the whole computer control thing a some point.
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Mazzer Mini
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Chemex
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Postby GreenBean » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:12 pm

simonp wrote:....Cheers, will try that. Regrading your rather cool Roastlogger software, am I right in thinking that it won't work with an Omega HH806AU thermocouple meter?....

Digital thermometers and multimeters that can read temperatures from thermocouples and send the data to a computer all use very different protocols. I have had to purchase each device that the RoastLogger is compatible with and decode the data myself. This is an expensive hobby when I have no intention of ever using these devices myself. The RoastLogger now works with a reasonable range of devices (but not the Omega HH806AU) and I have no intention of adding to the list in the near future. See the RoastLogger inputs devices page for details of all compatible devices.

simonp wrote:....Might need to have a chat with you about the whole computer control thing a some point.

For computer control you would need the TC4C and HTC. To just log and chart the temperature profile as the roast progresses, without control, there are a number of options. I would recommend the TC4C as it will perform this function and you could later add the HTC to get computer control if you wish to go that way. If you are not intending to add computer control then the easiest solution (as near to plug and play as it is possible to get) is the use the Victor 86 B but you would need two if you want to read from two thermocouples.
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Postby simonp » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:03 am

I understand the difficulty, it was just a question, not a complaint. I already had the HH806AU which of course already has logging (which was why I bought it). I take it me having one is no help in reverse engineering?

I think before I think about doing much else I should look at installing bean and environment thermocouples to the Hottop.
Profitec 700 dual boiler
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Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
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Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
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Postby MaKoMo » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:49 am

simonp wrote:I understand the difficulty, it was just a question, not a complaint. I already had the HH806AU which of course already has logging (which was why I bought it). I take it me having one is no help in reverse engineering?



Simon, the HH806AU is directly supported by the Artisan Roaster Scope software since a while and the TC4C/HTRI (also known as HTC) got some more love in the recent v0.6 version by adding slider controls.

Cheers,
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Postby simonp » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:28 pm

MaKoMo wrote:Simon, the HH806AU is directly supported by the Artisan Roaster Scope software since a while and the TC4C/HTRI (also known as HTC) got some more love in the recent v0.6 version by adding slider controls.

Cheers,
Marko


Thanks, actually I have been using Artisan for the last couple of weeks with the HH806AU. It works well and certainly makes roasting easier when predicting events and following previous profiles.
Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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Postby simonp » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:43 pm

So, on to the next stage of the upgrade! I am going to fit bean mass and environmental temperature thermocouples to better judge the roasts. I also have the boards coming from the USA to do full computer control using Greenbean's software 8)

To make life easier I have had 2 custom length thermocouples made by Omega. They are 1.5mm diameter grounded, sheathed ones. To mount them I am using a modification of an idea others have used. I am using stainless steel hexagon PCB spacers which I drilled out the thread from so they are 4mm inside. These will be JB-Welded to the back wall of the Hottop. Using 2 different sizes of silicone tube I can get a tight fit on teh thermocouple and in the spacer so the insertion length can be adjusted but also fit snugly. My plan is to drill the holes in the back wall just big enough to fit the smaller silicone tube through to ensure the thermocouple cannot tough the metal and also to hold it from moving in the vertical plane. See photo:

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Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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Postby GreenBean » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:21 pm

That looks good Simon. 8) I expect that the 1.5mm sheath will be robust enough to survive in the rolling bean mass but it will be good to have confirmation of that.

What is the maximum rated temperature of the small silicone tube that you intend to protrude into the roasting chamber? If it is less that 240 C it may be worth checking how well it is standing up after several roasts.
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Postby simonp » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:51 pm

Hmm, how ironic is this? I just went to roast some beans and the Hottop is totally dead.... Something had failed on the main board and no supply is getting to the control board! Not impressed that the new boards have failed after about 10 roasts. Unfortunately the extra board for the computer control need the original control board to be still working so now I am a bit stuffed. To add even more irony, the second pair of upgrade boards (sent in error) have just gone back to Taiwan....

The silicone is rated to 220 so add you say will need an eye keeping on. I plan for it to only just come through so hopefully it will be OK.
Profitec 700 dual boiler
Isomac Rituale
Mazzer Mini
Mahlkonig Vario
Chemex
Aeropress
2 Bodum press pots
Hottop updated to a B with Compuetr control
Imex roaster, dimmer mod on heater (under spare bed)
Rival popper, with split motor and dimmer mod on heater (retired)
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