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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    1

    Question Advice on new coffee roaster

    Hello friends,

    I'm new to roasting, I've been learning a lot lately but most of what I've learned is for home-roasting (I have a Hottop roaster.)

    I've decided to invest and open a coffee roaster in my hometown, and I have a few questions I'm hoping to get help with.

    Q1: Do you need a chaff collector if you have an afterburner?

    I saw a "Victory" coffee roaster for sale, which is a Toper roaster, updated with US components. It does not come with a chaff collector, but has an afterburner. What can go wrong if I just blow the chaff straight in the afterburner? Is that how it's meant to work?

    Q2: Does anyone know about Zeidan coffee roaster?

    There's a Zaidan roaster for sale in my hometown, ZRC-30. I can't find much information about them online... has anyone used these?

    Q3: Is an afterburner necessary when roasting in a populated area?

    I'm planning on starting up with rather small batches, 6 to 10kg batches, 1 or 2 days per week. What if I don't have an afterburner? Will the smell be really that strong outside? Are there cheaper filtration options that can be used instead? I was looking at vortx kleanair for instance (though it's still pretty pricey...)

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    428
    I'm way, way out in the country so don't even think about afterburners so, because I've never needed one, don't know all the answers. As to your afterburner and is one necessary though you'd need to check with the local authorities. If in a populated area it may well be the case you have to have one. That said, if you do, I'd check into a filter instead of an afterburner as there is going to be an expense to run it. I was in a cafe in Montpellier, France a couple months back. They were in the middle of town (several 100,000s population) and just used a filter. So just the expense of changing the filter, or cleaning it from time-to-time or both, not the expense of all the propane used by the afterburner. I'm sure an afterburner user here will chime in and give you good information.

    If you are just starting out I'd recommend buying a bigger roaster than a smaller one -- like a 10kg instead of a 3kg or 5kg. BUT, not too big. If the ZRC-30 is a 30kg I'd think it is definitely too big. If it is a 15lb roaster it might be just right. That is if you think you'll soon be able to roast a full batch and sell it quickly. I guess if the roaster has the capability of roasting small batches that'd be ok but if not . . . . think about it. The joy of a low price could easily be offset by a roaster you can only roast large batches in and then you've got roasted coffee sitting around and getting old.

    We started with 10kg and roasting 6kg batches in it is okay smaller is difficult. . It was tough for us to sell 6kg quickly when we started. Thankfully we can now sell 500kg a week, and I need a bigger roaster, but it has taken awhile.

    It is a balancing act between too small and too big. Talk to local places where you think you could sell your coffee to get a feel of what's possible. Oh, and however much people promise you they are going to buy, cut it in half. Chit-chat about your new business makes it easy for them to say they'll support you but when it comes to them parting with their cash a lot of them get cold feet.

    Also when you price your coffee build in enough to pay a distributor. At first you'll distribute yourself (probably) but if you get big enough to need a distributor it could be difficult to raise your price enough to pay him so start with that in mind . . . unless, of course, you are just doing hobby roasting. Then a 3kg or 5kg roaster should be way more than adequate.

    Chaff collector -- I'd think you need one - especially if you're roasting Robusta! If the unit doesn't have one you can easily make yourself or get a welding shop to whip one up for you. Keep it clean. Chaff collectors are great places for fires to start.
    Last edited by expat; 08-12-2020 at 02:25 AM.
    Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
    Posts
    3,598
    Stay away from the Victory. I love Don but the machine is poorly made. Also there would not be any support from Victory since they have been out of business for years. I had a friend buy one and it was not a good experience. Call Ambex coffee roasters in Clearwater Florida https://www.ambexroaster.com/ great product and great price. You will need an chaff collector and go with an external one. Internal chaff collectors have the nickname "FireBox". As for afterburner you will need to talk to your local code enforcement agency. I have run up to a 15 kilo without an afterburner and that place was in a busy mall in Tampa Florida. The only person that complained was Burdines because my stack was right next to their A/C and it would suck smoke into their store. Good luck and let us know what you go with.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    North East North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    93
    The key thing about a roaster is maintenance/repair.
    If something breaks, can you get spare parts quickly?
    You should want a roaster manufacturer (or agent) who supports you.

 

 

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