Latest Posts

  1. Video: A Cooler Way to Cool Your Behmor Roast

    Video: A Cooler Way to Cool Your Behmor Roast

    Cool your coffee faster by removing the drum.

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  2. Aillio Bullet R1 Support

    Aillio Bullet R1 Support

    Need a little help with your Bullet R1? We are here for you.

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  3. HotTop Roasters Details Page

    HotTop Roasters Details Page

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  4. Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters: The Spirit of Invention

    Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters: The Spirit of Invention

    For some people who roast their own coffee, off-the-shelf home coffee roasting appliances don't cut it.

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  5. Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

    Sweet Maria's customer jumps into his own coffee business

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  6. Product Guide: Drum Roasters

    Product Guide: Drum Roasters

    Miniature versions of those commercial roasters you always fantasize about using.

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  7. Quest Cleaning

    Quest Cleaning

    Photo doc of Dan's Quest M3 cleaning routine.

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  8. Behmor Roast Profile: Honduras Corquin La Lesquiñada

    Behmor Roast Profile: Honduras Corquin La Lesquiñada

    Let's take a deeper look at two roasts with only a 4% difference in weight loss, but a world of difference in flavor.

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  9. Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopia Agaro Duromina Cooperative

    Behmor Roast Profile: Ethiopia Agaro Duromina Cooperative

    This is the first in what we plan to be a series of Behmor roast recommendations specially tailored for individual coffees on our green coffee list.

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  10. Manual Mode & Cooling with the Behmor 1600+

    Manual Mode & Cooling with the Behmor 1600+

    Get more control over your 1600+.

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  11. Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Carlos Aguayo

    Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Carlos Aguayo

    I've been talking with some roasters, both home enthusiasts and professionals about why they do it.

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  12. Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Hunt Slade

    Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Hunt Slade

    I've been talking with some roasters, both home enthusiasts and professionals about why they do it.

    Read More

Probat L12 Gas-fired Coffee Roaster

Probat L12 Gas-fired Coffee Roaster

Ever since we moved back to Emeryville, California from Ohio, I dearly missed having a full-size shop roaster. In Ohio we had a Diedrich IR-12, basically a 24 Lb. capacity drum roaster from a really great manufacturer. I have little justification for having a roaster, except that I really like to cup coffees roasted by a variety of methods. I think our dedicated home roasting customers like this too, and I had the thought that some might occassionally want to add a pound of roasted coffee to an order to compare the "degree of roast" and cup results with coffees they roast at home. The only change I wanted to make was to avoid the Infra Red burners -they work quite well but just don't have the BTU output to change a roast mid-way through, or to chose faster roast profiles on full batches. Diedrich makes their excellent chassis with a open-flame burner, but this time I wanted to go with a gas-fired German roaster from Probat. The are real workhorse roasters with a big footprint, more overall bulk. They take more maintenance and cleaning, but really give the roaster-operator a wide range of choices in terms of roast profiling.

How I added logging temperature probes to the Probat L-12:
This is how I have the datalogging 2 probe thermometer set up in the front of the roaster. Then in the rear I have a non-logging single probe in the exit air flow of the drum. It's a setup that gives me exactly the information I need. My only last addition will be a flow-meter (in water column inches) for the gas so I can see exactly where the valve is set, instead of eyeballing the flame.

 

Travels of an L12: Moving the roaster from its old abode in San Francisco to Emeryville, just over the Bay Bridge, was an adventure. We had rented a truck but discovered the roaster was too tall. So we decided to move it in my pickup truck!

That's me (left) taking directions from my friend Troy. There were 4 of us to move it.
A roaster on Van Ness, on our way to the 101
It was a lot easier to get the roast out of the truck than into it... ... I really, really appreciate having a forklift: 3 hours to load, 5 minutes to unload! Here is the L12 sittin on the shop floor as I prepare to install it.
The roaster was in great shape, but dangerously dirty. I found the vent stack was clogged with just a 2" opening!
We are actually going to have the roaster on the 2nd floor mezzanine, a "roasting loft. Here's the space after I rand the gas and electric lines
Here's the same space looking across from the other side of the mezzanine
Here's the space after I layed the aluminum plate down -see the shiny spot from the old Diedrich -a much smaller footprint than the Probat.
Attaching the venting -really high quality Ampco grease duct.
Roasting the first test batches! Actually, I bought several bags of mixed samples to roast up while working out a few probelms, and getting a feel for the burner settings (they are a bit different on each roaster).

This is how I have the datalogging 2 probe thermometer set up in the front of the roaster. Then in the rear I have a non-logging single probe in the exit air flow of the drum. It's a setup that gives me exactly the information I need. My only last addition will be a flow-meter (in water column inches) for the gas so I can see exactly where the valve is set, instead of eyeballing the flame.

 

More to come...