2kg roaster and venting/regulation questions


New member
May 15, 2013
Hello there :) New to the forums but i've been reading them for a long time. I am running a very small home business right now roasting and selling online and to friends and family with two small wholesale contracts as well. I just finished a week long roasting course in Vermont and now i'm looking to make the jump into at least a 2kg and maybe a 5kg machine. Naturally, I have a few questions and I'm looking for input if anyone is willing to share.

I know that venting is required and I've done my fair share of googling and reading other posts but it's been hard to get a straight answer. If I have a smaller roaster in my neighborhood is it required that I get an afterburner? When I called my local zoning board they knew nothing of this or what the regulations were specifically for roasting coffee. The USDA inspector didn't have the slightest idea either. I'm in Syracuse, NY and other roasters have been less than helpful when I asked them questions.

Does it have to vent out above roof line or with a roaster that small can it go out the side of the structure? Are my neighbors going to smell it if I live in the suburbs? How much is venting typically for a small operation? And the afterburner to go with it?

I've been told that some roasters actually install fans half way up their exhaust that they can switch on that blows the smoke an additional 100' up in the air so that it isn't a nuisance to those around the area.

Getting customers was the easy part, dealing with regulations is where all the headaches come in! I'm sure this has been asked here 100 times before but I haven't been able to find anything specific to this. Desperate for help!


Super Moderator
Staff member
Top Poster Of Month
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
It depends on your area. Everywhere I have been I have not needed an after-burner for roasters under 5 kilo. Roasting in the burbs? Without an after-burner...everyone will smell it. The problem with talking to code enforcement is that if they have never signed off on one it is a pain in the ass to get them to. I was put through the wringer at my present location. I had a 5.5 ton air unit in my 600sq foot roastery. They made me add another 12.5 ton unit because they said my after-burner ran above 1,000 degrees. I explained that it is insulated and that I can touch the exterior while its running...they didn't care. I can now make it snow in South Florida(kidding).


New member
Dec 7, 2012
Michigan, US
Always the first honest person gets the crap.
I have seen people who did not put any after burner with their 10kg machine. And he just ran the shop. No one complained and he still runs.
Another person who asked the city to come out and tell him what he needs. That took him about 3 months. They never got back with him. So he proceeded to put on the system and they came back to shut him down.

I always never knew which is better. Get the approval from the city before or after.... lol...


New member
Feb 27, 2012
There's the smoke elimination system, from Coffee-Tech (where I work), that can fit almost any roaster up to 3kg
Simply Google "Avirnaki" (clean air in Hebrew) or find it on our site, coffee-tech.com


New member
May 15, 2013
Okay so I will look into all of that as well and thanks a ton for the feedback.

You guys started to touch on the idea of going ahead with doing it and asking for forgiveness later on :) This was also my thought process at first. As it is now I roast in a commercial kitchen but that's only because it's on a Behmor 1600 and it doesn't create much smoke and I can move it around. They won't allow a permanent fixture. My thought process was that until I get enough money/customers to rent a space to keep it and get it legit, I could simply do it out of my garage with some makeshift venting out the window and with the garage door open. I mean it would be a small roaster still doing on average like 3-4lbs a roast so I cant imagine that the smoke/smell would be THAT much of an issue if I'm not doing like 30lbs in an evening.

What are your thoughts? I could always just get a propane tank that I bring into the garage for roasting and do it that way. I know it probably isn't the safest thing in the world but with good care and cleaning, it wouldn't be an issue so long as I store the tank outside when not in use.