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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2007
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    Need Roaster Advise in the 10-15 Kilo Range....

    Hello Everyone.

    I am looking to purchase a used roaster in the 10-15 Kilo Range to start a wholesale coffee roast business. I have researched Deitrichs, Ambex, Jopers, and Probats.

    I''ve been debating on purchasing new vs old.....manual vs. automated (more about increasing multitask time)...and brand.

    Can I get some experienced feedback on strengths and weaknesses of these machines? For instance, I''ve heard that Deitrichs can \"explode\" because gas gets backed up in it if your connection wears out. Jopers are impossible to get parts for. Used probats aren''t automated. Ambex aren''t built to last. I''ve heard positives about each machine....just sharing some of the concerning input to gain clarity. I''m on information overload and need some clarity......

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2007
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    Clearwater, Fl
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    If you purchase a used machine the best advise i could give you is make sure maintenance has been kept up on. nothing like buying a piece of equipment and having to dump more money into it right away. Buying new is always nice because warranty's are handy its just nice having that new car smell. As far as automation i think you need to figure out how extravagant you would like to go. there are quite a few different types of systems out there that go to different extremes. do you want just a logger to track your profiles, or do you want a full blown control system so you can just push a button and enjoy your morning red eye cup?
    And for machine brands,i have roasted on the Deidriches, Probats, Has's, even a civits and obviously many many Ambex's. I have also logged many hours inside all of these machines and i can say all have different benefits over the others and just like buying a pair of shoes the best way to decide on one is to fire one up there are always roasting demonstrations at the coffee shows and the Roasters Guild Retreat is always a good experience. i think coffee fest in seattle is the next show coming up.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Ambex not built to last?? I have a 60 kilo that I bought used that was built in 02. I have beatin the crap out of this machine(ask lumberjack)..record day of roasting on it 21 hours non stop roasting..record 5 day week 96 hours of non stop roasting. The machine is still going strong. Yes I have replaced parts but nothing major. oh well...just wanted to chime in on that.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by topher
    Ambex not built to last?? I have a 60 kilo that I bought used that was built in 02. I have beatin the crap out of this machine(ask lumberjack)..record day of roasting on it 21 hours non stop roasting..record 5 day week 96 hours of non stop roasting. The machine is still going strong. Yes I have replaced parts but nothing major. oh well...just wanted to chime in on that.
    i don't know how you do it Chris. I hear nothing but nightmare stories from you on your roast days lol. running between three 60+ kilo machines all day you earn your wage my friend.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    74
    I have roasted on Diedrich, Probat, US Roaster, and Ambex. I currently have a Ambex. As far as Diedrich's exploding this is new to me. I think at least three of the above hold classes. This is a excellent way to experience the roasters as is asking a local roaster for a demo. In regards to new vs. used-I would buy new if funds are not a problem. That being said I have purchased used and have very good experience.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    Thank you for the replies. Please don't kill the messenger....I've heard all kinds of opinions and just shared some of the ones that were most questionable.

    With regards to Automation....I'm really just looking for a machine to consistently run accurate roast profiles. Every company seems to offer some type of automation....which one has the best software?

    Right now I'm leaning towards Ambex because of the price, although I'm not quite sure how they offer a new roaster with automation at such a competitive price. US Roasters is probably next. I have a line on a used Deitrich, but two things concern me. One, they go through bearings on a regular basis because there is no chaff sheild on them and they are exposed to high temps. Two, they don't handle propane that well (vs. natural gas) and can pop (explode) like a gas grill if gas collects in the chamber (can happen if the gas regulator isn't consistent). The last thing is that it's an old machine and doesn't have a thermometer to measure bean temp. I hear you can buy one from a supplier and have it installed, but does anyone know about this?

    I'm calling reference list tomorrow for both US Roasters and Ambex, but I would be interested in hearing both success stories and challenges experienced. If you're uncomfortable posting please send me a private email. I'm not looking to stir the Pot.

    Thanks,
    Uninformed but trying to catch up....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MobjackJaVA
    With regards to Automation....I'm really just looking for a machine to consistently run accurate roast profiles. Every company seems to offer some type of automation....which one has the best software?

    The last thing is that it's an old machine and doesn't have a thermometer to measure bean temp. I hear you can buy one from a supplier and have it installed, but does anyone know about this?
    I cant really say to much about the different automation softwares out there without sounding to bias. It sounds like you are looking for pretty much a "push button" system where you can figure out your profiles input them,and then sit back and watch the magic, that is coffee, unfold. I would call the different manufactures and compare them for yourself. just see for yourself which one has more to offer for the price. some automation systems even go further to tell you when routine maintenance is due by counting how many roasts you have done. or prints out and saves all your profiles to backup files you can access later. ect. also make sure you are getting everything you need to install one of these systems on your machine, such as a monitor or a computer to run the software ect.

    As far as adding a bean probe to a machine that did not originally come equipped with one is relatively easy. A simple watlow controller, a type J probe, and possibly a transformer is all you need. Its aslo easy to get the controller to control your gas valve as well. we offer these kits to put on any roaster and im sure most of the other manufacturers do as well.

    hope this helps! Cheers!

  8. #8
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    Oct 2007
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    Thanks Lumberjack.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying a "push button system", but one that can accurately control my roast profiles by using heat and blower adjustments to keep the bean temp rising at least one degree every three to five seconds until first crack. Are automated systems sensative enough to create a smooth profile curve?

    I'd be in the roasting room to hear the first crack, I'd just like to be able to multitask while confidently knowing my profiles are being run accurately.

    Thanks for the direction with the bean probe....would you recommend any brand? A source?

    Thanks for the help.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MobjackJaVA
    Are automated systems sensative enough to create a smooth profile curve?



    Thanks for the direction with the bean probe....would you recommend any brand? A source?
    Depending on which automation system you decided on there are defiantly systems out there that can control your roast extremely accurately. Most Profile systems out there plot a time/temperature point every second. which is a little more accurate then i have ever been able to do with a pad of paper and a stop watch haha.And fine tuning the profiles are also relatively easy. And, if you end up getting sticker shocked by the prices of some of the "control" systems out there, there are also less expensive routes to go. Such as loggers. Loggers enable you to input time and temperature data and it will plot your points on a graph and draw your profile for you. Then, while you are roasting, it would log your bean and environment temperature right over your desired profile. Most loggers also plot a new time/temperature point every second. But, you would have to control the burner manually to keep your profile on track. Loggers are more or less and aid for consistency.

    As far as probes and controllers i would say Watlow is the more widely used PID controller used in our industry and is very user friendly. Most of the Roaster manufacturers should have some sort of "kit" available to retrofit to most roasters.

 

 

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