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View Full Version : Best Coffee Home Roaster (for the money)



TimmyBoston
02-04-2008, 09:43 PM
I'm looking to pick up a home roaster, but my funds are somewhat limited, what's the best one I can get for the money and why?

Thanks all for the info, I can't wait to start homeroasting! :thumbup1:

rikrdo
02-05-2008, 12:17 AM
.......

TimmyBoston
02-05-2008, 01:10 AM
I should have said, I am specifically not looking to use a popcorn popper or to roast on the stove. I don't have a way to use these outside and I don't have good ventilation in my kitchen and there is a smoke alarm tied in with the alarm system, so I am specifically looking for a self contained roasting machine that I can use outside.

rikrdo
02-05-2008, 02:14 AM
Tim,

Look HERE (http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.freshroast.shtml) for some good ones with reviews


www.coffeegeek.com
www.ineedcoffee.com

are also good sources of info

Sabledog
02-05-2008, 04:29 AM
a lot of people use a heatgun and dog bowl. I've never tried it.

My setup is a stir crazy and Galloping Gourmet convection top. I got the top at a Goodwill. It will roast about a pound in around 16 minutes.

doleeo
02-05-2008, 08:42 PM
I am specifically not looking to use a popcorn popper

Does this mean the crank version or the electric hot air poppers?

The hot air poppers are great to start out on. The Poppery 1 is the holy grail of popcorn poppers. If you can get a hold of one.

ouch
02-05-2008, 08:52 PM
Hey, Rick uses what I use. :lol:

Hoos
02-05-2008, 09:07 PM
You say you need to roast outside, yet you don't want to use a popcorn popper. Which leads me to ask, why? It makes me think there's some issue with electrical outlet availability.

Since you need to roast outside (which is good, it is smoky) either the popcorn popper (if you can find one) or the SC/TO setup are both inexpensive and workable. The heat gun/dog bowl issue is also great. Affordable and a lot of people like doing it that way.

Otherwise, the iRoast2 can be used indoors. You'll need to buy a short piece of flexible dryer venting and and vent it out a window. The iRoast 2 is at the lower end of the price range for manufactured homeroasters. Sweetmaria's has it for $179 before taxes/shipping. (http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.hearthwareiRoast2.shtml) Which is inline with other places. You might find some at a lower price.

letterk
02-06-2008, 09:58 AM
Tim, I'm debating between the iRoast2 and the Behmor Electric Drum Roaster. I like a lot about the iRoast2, but I'm wondering if I'd regret not having the ability to roast up to 1lb. Additionally, at $300 for the Behmor, it's not a HUGE jump up to the Gene Cafe Drum. I'm realling leaning towards the iRoast2 right now.

Scotto
02-06-2008, 10:00 AM
I think the iRoast2 is a great machine to learn on (I did) for not too much money. Plus you can easily vent it outside with dryer hose so you don't have smoke problems. The only downside is how much you can roast at a time, but I actually liked that since it enabled me to try a lot of varieties of coffee.

doleeo
02-06-2008, 10:49 AM
Tim, I'm debating between the iRoast2 and the Behmor Electric Drum Roaster. I like a lot about the iRoast2, but I'm wondering if I'd regret not having the ability to roast up to 1lb. Additionally, at $300 for the Behmor, it's not a HUGE jump up to the Gene Cafe Drum. I'm realling leaning towards the iRoast2 right now.

I got a behmor about a month ago. Its an excellent roaster. I love being able to roast enough for about a week, or roast 1/4 pound just to try different coffees.

Mr Mockett
02-06-2008, 12:25 PM
I'll add another vote for the iRoast. I have a friend who has had 2 now, and loves them.

There's also the FreshRoast 8 which will get you into roasting for < $100.

Tanksfurnutin
02-06-2008, 01:29 PM
I also started with an I-Roast and quickly got tired of roasting every other day. I would go with the Behmor because of the flexibility (can roast from a quarter up to a full pound) and quietness. It sometimes gets a little difficult to hear the "cracks" especially the second on a I-Roast.

I was just on Sweet Maria's and he has a used Behmor and a used I-Roast2 on his sale page. Both include an 8 pack bean sampler.:thumbup1:

You guys should jump on this quickly if you are interested.

letterk
02-06-2008, 02:13 PM
I also started with an I-Roast and quickly got tired of roasting every other day. I would go with the Behmor because of the flexibility (can roast from a quarter up to a full pound) and quietness. It sometimes gets a little difficult to hear the "cracks" especially the second on a I-Roast.

I was just on Sweet Maria's and he has a used Behmor and a used I-Roast2 on his sale page. Both include an 8 pack bean sampler.:thumbup1:

You guys should jump on this quickly if you are interested.

The i-Roast2 isn't there anymore! :wink:

Edit: Weird. It's still showing it's there. They must have had more than one.

letterk
02-07-2008, 04:20 PM
Correction, the i-Roast2 is still there. The Behmor isn't. :biggrin:

doleeo
02-07-2008, 06:52 PM
Correction, the i-Roast2 is still there. The Behmor isn't.


Your going to love it. It really is a great roaster.

Hoos
02-07-2008, 08:03 PM
If there are any problems ordering from Sweetmaria's or problems with the webpage, just call them.

They're friendly (family run business - husband, wife, and one or two-year-old son) and really care about their customers.

Sabledog
02-12-2008, 04:51 AM
I looked at the Behmor, it looks nice! I'd like to try more with roast profiles.

letterk
02-12-2008, 10:10 AM
http://badgerandblade.com/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=11103

http://badgerandblade.com/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=11102

Tanksfurnutin
02-12-2008, 10:37 AM
That's sweet John. Did you end up getting the used one on Sweet Maria's or is that new?

letterk
02-12-2008, 11:33 AM
That's sweet John. Did you end up getting the used one on Sweet Maria's or is that new?

I got the used one, but honestly, it looks practically brand new. A couple fingerprints and some bits of chaff, but that's about it. It's supposed to have a dent somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. I also got the small druff as well.

JBHoren
02-12-2008, 01:20 PM
I dunno...

I started home roasting with a West-Bend "Poppery II", and it's served me faithfully (if not in small batches) for a long time. But I recently was reading on CoffeeGeek.com and found a photo-article from 2006 on making a BM/TO (bread machine/turbo oven).

It looked/seemed so cool, so I searched eBay for a used Galloping Gourmet convection oven (model AX-707) and a used WelBilt bread machine (model ABM-600), and found 'em (NIB). Now I'm waiting for them to arrive, so I can build it up. I bought a Mini Shop-Vac and some other parts, which will be my super-bean-cooling unit.

Here's a link to the article (http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html)

Here's a link to his "2nd-Generation" home roaster (http://www.homeroasters.org/php/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=52&thread_id=561)

14 Feb 2008: The Mini Shop-Vac arrived two days ago -- @1hp/1gal this is both a powerful and a noisy vacuum. The WelBilt bread machine arrived yesterday -- it works perfectly, and (so I've read on CoffeeGeek.com) can even roast 1lb-batches of green coffee. The Galloping Gourmet turbo oven won't be delivered until next Monday, so perhaps I'll try roasting a standalone-BM-load.

RoadKing99
02-12-2008, 03:48 PM
Any method of roasting green coffee beans will produce smoke, and the more beans in the batch. the more smoke in the air. The problem with roasting outside is variable temperature. (Not to mention comfort for the one who monitors the process.) Variable ambient temperature changes the desired roasting time, complicating your learning curve. And ultimate procedure.

The suggestion to get an iRoast2, and through Sweet Maria's is right on. This machine can be easily vented to the outdoors. Just do it.

Sabledog
02-13-2008, 07:10 PM
I got the used one, but honestly, it looks practically brand new. A couple fingerprints and some bits of chaff, but that's about it. It's supposed to have a dent somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it. I also got the small druff as well.

Is it tough to see the beans roast or can you open the door as it roasts?

letterk
02-13-2008, 07:46 PM
Is it tough to see the beans roast or can you open the door as it roasts?

I haven't' used it yet, but you need to look through the window and chaff collector. There's a simple cutout you can make (and approved by Behmor) that will let you see the beans better, but I haven't done it.

doleeo
02-13-2008, 08:02 PM
I haven't' used it yet, but you need to look through the window and chaff collector. There's a simple cutout you can make (and approved by Behmor) that will let you see the beans better, but I haven't done it.

Could you give me a link that shows you how to do this?

letterk
02-13-2008, 08:18 PM
You can get the instructions from Behmor, but here's a photo from coffeegeek that I swiped. You can see the hole in the upper left part of the chaff collector.

http://coffeegeek.com/images/36564/267x200/IMGP0321_2.JPG

doleeo
02-14-2008, 07:16 PM
Thanks for the pic. I think I might do that this weekend. Have you used your roaster yet? I love mine. So much better than huddling around outside over a popcorn popper.

letterk
02-14-2008, 09:47 PM
Not yet. First batch is this weekend.

Tanksfurnutin
02-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Good luck with your first roast John. With the Behmor you will hear the "cracks" very easily. I suggest that you hit the cool button when you hear the first few snaps of the second crack. This machine does "coast" and it will move along pretty quickly once you hear them.

Just have fun and enjoy your freshly roasted coffee.

letterk
02-15-2008, 01:14 PM
Thanks for the advice Scott. I've been reading and reading on how to use it and seen reference to coasting. I just haven't had time to plug the thing in. I will do so this weekend...maybe tonight.

Sabledog
03-16-2008, 04:51 AM
Any review updates for us?

-bp-
03-16-2008, 10:04 AM
I'm a big milk aficionado. Anyone know where I can pick up a Holstien cheap? I want to be a home milker.:lol:

OH NO! CAD (Cow Acquisition Disorder).:lol:

Sorry...I'm at work and need a shave.

letterk
03-17-2008, 10:36 AM
I'm a big milk aficionado. Anyone know where I can pick up a Holstien cheap? I want to be a home milker.:lol:

OH NO! CAD (Cow Acquisition Disorder).:lol:

Sorry...I'm at work and need a shave.

I have plenty of family members that could help you out.

Sabledog
03-18-2008, 03:45 PM
Hording milk, you would have MAD!

sweetzen
03-22-2008, 09:47 PM
a lot of people use a heatgun and dog bowl. I've never tried it.

I've been oven roasting for years, but have been experimenting with the heat gun method for the past month. It's quite good, and gives remarkable control over the roasting process. I use the Milwaukee 8977-20 variable temp heat gun (about $90), and I would be surprised if this tool didn't last me twenty years.

I use a steep 3 qt. stainless steel mixing bowl, a wooden stick (actually a handle for a hammer ended up working best), a large colander, and a strong fan (for cooling). With this setup I can roast around 450 grams of coffee at a time (but 300 grams is ideal).

There is a learning curve involved with this method, but so far I've only had one "throw-away" roast.

A friend here uses the heat gun method with a re-wired bread machine. He got the idea from Coffee Snobs (http://www.coffeesnobs.com.au/), a site with a wealth of useful home-roasting information. People are always dumping bread machines at thrift stores, so I imagine it would be easy to pick one up for a few bucks, if you were interested.

I've had more fun with the heat gun method, but that's probably due to the fact that I've got a "roasting buddy" here. We meet on Saturday mornings, "cup" coffee, and play chess. I'd highly recommend finding someone else in your area who home roasts, so you can compare notes. Just be prepared for your coffee intake to rise... :biggrin: