|How to Decrease Fan speed and make roaster run hotter
If your Fresh Roast +8 will not get hot enough - on 8 minutes it gets into first crack but that is all and never even get to city roast - you have a few options - as related to me by Tim at Fresh Beans Inc. -
1) Use more coffee. This blocks more hot air. Use 2.5 scoops of green coffee and that ought to make the roast darker. This may mean that the roast is slightly less even.
2) Reduce the fan speed. This fairly simple modification can be made in about 5 minutes with one philips head screwdriver. PLEASE NOTE: This adjustment will not work on older Fresh Roast models that do not have a green coil for controlling the fan. If you open up the base and there is no green coil - you have an older model machine.
Step 1 - UNPLUG THE MACHINE! I know, I know ... but one should never understate the obvious. Now, turn the base over. Remove the base cover by loosening the two screws that hold the top and bottom together.These screws are in the recessed holes indicated by the green arrows in the photo above. HINT: Place a piece of tape on the base and on the outer casing to assist in lining up the two when it comes time for re-assembly.
Step 2 - Once these screws are removed, lift up the base housing to reveal the guts of the machine. Locate the long green coil. With the green coil in front of you - locate the ring clamp on the left end of the coil. (RED arrow in image above). It may be at the very far end of the coil. You want to loosen the screw holding the ring clamp. I bent up the white wire slightly to get better access to the screw and nut. You may need to hold the nut behind the screw in place with your fingers.
Step 3 - Slide this ring clamp to the right, toward the center of the coil (in the direction of the RED arrows above) about 1/4 of the length of the coil to the right. This will decrease the speed of the fan. Fix the ring clamp in the new location by tightening the screw and nut - being careful to make sure that the slight dent in the ring clamp is in contact with the exposed metal stripes of the green coil. Without contact the fan will not turn.
Step 4 - Reconnect the top and bottom parts of the base. Push in the wires, and try to line up the holes on both pieces as you fit these two pieces together. This was honestly the trickiest part. When you replace the screws and tighten them - you will be able to feel if you got it right.
Plug in the roaster and test it to be sure that the heat and fan go on. That's it - I have done this several times now and it never fails to make the roaster roast hotter. If the fan fails to come on - open up the base and check that there is good contact between the dent in the rign clamp and the metal stripes on the green coil. You do have to be careful and never leave the roaster unattended because if the fan is too low or not coming on - the beans will sit there and burn on the heating element. You just want to balance the speed of the fan so you get good agitation but not blow all the hot air past the beans.
If you find you have killed the unit - don't worry. We can take care of units under warranty. Since Tim explained the procedure to me - and me to you - we can fix it if you kill it or if you don't want to tackle this yourself.
Look, a Freshroast!Before you open the roaster ... have you tried increasing the batch size? Try 2.5 level scoops, and set the timer to 8 minutes. As long as the coffee agitates after the first 20 seconds or so, and develops fairly evenly in color*, there is nothing wrong with increasing the batch size. What this does, essentially, is trap more heat in the roast chamber because it is more difficult for the hot air to exit the roaster. It effectively raises the roast temperature across the board. Check out this photo comparison:
If this doesn't work, consider a couple other things: low ambient temperature affects the roast. If you are roasting in your garage in a Minnesota winter, you will have problems no matter what. Secondly, use of extention cords lowers voltage to the roaster. Third, try a different outlet ... some outlets/circuits will have lower voltage due to the distance from the supply box, and other appliances running on them.
*Wet-processed coffees will roast to more even color that dry-processed, some, like Yemen and Harar should never be expected to roast to an even color. Even roast color is not a determinate of roast quality! We don't cup coffee with our eyes...