All Electric Roaster?

KharmaCoffee

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Jul 3, 2007
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Sneads Ferry, NC
Hello!

I planned on setting up a small roaster within my small carry-out coffee shop, but the space I am renting and the floor plan will not allow for gas - at all. I was originally interested in the Diedrich IR-3. Anything comparable out there without the need for gas or propane? (Well, I guess I could store the propane inside the building next to the roaster...but that is not exactly safe...is it?)

Any ideas?
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
propane can not be stored indoors...you should be able to run gas to the building...check with a gas or propane company.
 

Davec

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Oct 18, 2006
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Old England (UK)
For larger roasters gas is preferable, but for one of your size, electric might be better. Theres the issue of gas safety with cylinders, or the expense of having gas brought in I suppose. The flue requirements for an electric roaster are also less demanding (depending on your building codes/regulations).

I use a 1kg electric roaster and even after it has been on 4 or 5 hours, I can place my hand at on the metal of the exhaust vent where it entres the cyclone chaff remover. The flue really does run very cool on my electric roaster. Just be prepared to have to change the odd element now and again as they should be considered a consumable.

As for roast quality, if it's a well set up roaster (and not underpowered), I have not noticed any real difference between gas or electric.
 
OP
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KharmaCoffee

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Thanks for the input!

Because of my location in the building relative to the other tenants, the buildings actual structure and the owners reluctance to let me make changes, I really can't go with gas. I have "one" option, involving have the gas tank immediately on the outside wall with the tank sitting on an unused sidewalk (frame it in with lattice etc), but the owner isn't sure he wants me cutting in to the building for the ductwork etc.

By way of electric roasters, anyone have thoughts on Caffe Rosto Digirosto PRO1500+HD? I was hoping for something with a little more capacity.

I just spoke w/ Dan at US Roasters and I really think that is the way I will go (3 kilo electric). He was incredibly helpful and not at all pushy. His product sounds right in line with what I need.

But if anyone else has suggestions, I'll take all the advice I can get!!!
 
OP
K

KharmaCoffee

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I read in another post that electric roasters don't "roast" so much as they "toast" or "bake" the beans, resulting in a flatter, less full-bodied flavor.

Any opinions on this? I don't want to drop the cash for an electric roaster (most likely U.S. Roasters 3 kilo) if it is going to produce a sub-standard product.
 

Davec

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Oct 18, 2006
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Old England (UK)
KharmaCoffee said:
I read in another post that electric roasters don't "roast" so much as they "toast" or "bake" the beans, resulting in a flatter, less full-bodied flavor.

Any opinions on this? I don't want to drop the cash for an electric roaster (most likely U.S. Roasters 3 kilo) if it is going to produce a sub-standard product.

I guess it depends on which roaster you buy and the heating method it uses. Mine is a drum roaster with the heating elements inside the drum. The heating method is a combination of about 70% IR, 20% convection and 10% conduction. The roast quality produced has been indistinguishable from a gas roaster. I can't control some aspects of the roasting process on my roaster, but it is well set up and works very well. It also has the bonus of needing VERY littlle maintenance. I have roasted nearly 300kg in it and have not had to do anything to clean it apart from vacuum out the chaff collector and under the cooling tray. At around 400 hours roasting (1200kg), I will have to clean the fan that draws air through the roaster. I have heard that some small roasters require a lot of maintenance on an ongoing basis.

The best best would be to try out some of these smaller roasters if you can, or at least try the coffees roasted in them to see if they give you the flavours you want. Prehaps someone local too you is roasting with something similar.

Buying without knowing for sure, is risky and the biggest problem with electric roasters, is if they are underpowered or badly designed for the job they have to do....then they will "bake" the beans.....just taste anything out of a Hottop! Now 1000s of owners can't be wrong can they.....in the same way an owners opinion on his electric roaster is the same.
 
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KharmaCoffee

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Davec, thanks for the reply. You have been so helpful and I appreciate it. I don't mean to be obtuse, but could you give me an example of "underpowered"? Are you referring to BTU's in a ratio to capacity? Or, I guess with electric, it would be more like KW's to capacity??? Or am I totally missing it?
 

Davec

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KharmaCoffee said:
Davec, thanks for the reply. You have been so helpful and I appreciate it. I don't mean to be obtuse, but could you give me an example of "underpowered"? Are you referring to BTU's in a ratio to capacity? Or, I guess with electric, it would be more like KW's to capacity??? Or am I totally missing it?
It really isn't that simple, it all depends on how it uses the energy it's supplied. Take my Toper for instance, with the element inside the drum, it's quite energy efficient...it's also why the flu doesn't get very hot.

Underpowered is when the thing takes too long to roast and can't roast it's maximum capacity very well, some roasters state they are x kilo, but can only roast xkilo-10%. I have heard many a commercial roaster say...oh I never use it to it's full capacity and always run it 10% under capacity...All I can say is the few roasters I have known personally with very good kit can actually often roast 10% more than the nominal capacity of the roaster! e.g. 25kg in a gas powered 20Kg probat

My Toper likes to run at it's full Kilo capacity and is quite happy, it's not underpowered because it can roast a batch quickly (if I want) and I can drop the next batch in almost as soon as the 1st batch has been dumped into the cooling tray (in winter), I might have to wait a minute or so for the temperature to come up (were talking about 3-5C temperatures). Once my roaster is warmed up, winter or summmer I can achieve the same roast times.

However thats on a 1600W heating element, during my testing it had a 2000W heating element and actually roasted slower! But that's a long story. The warm up times for the bigger roasters will be long, my little Toper takes about 25 minutes in summer and 35-40 minutes in winter to become properly warmed through...same for any roaster

Because your buying an electric roaster, I really recommend you try the roaster you intend to buy., if you were buying a gas Probat, I could say, yes that will be fine....no worries, but your not. Electric roasters are OK, but some are going to suit you better than others.
 
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KharmaCoffee

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Thanks for clarifying that for me. It makes sense now...like trying to steam and pull consecutive shots with an espresso machine that is lacking in pressure. I have the names and numbers of a couple of folks in the region with the two electric roasters I have it narrowed down to. I plan on calling (and hopefully) visiting or maybe getting them to send me a small sampling of their beans.

Thanks again!
 

Harmyjane

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Apr 2, 2018
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The electric roaster might be more suitable for you, which doesn`t need a lot of space and multifunctional. The Oster is what I used for several Christmas, which is also helpful for lazy delicious food, with about 3 ounces weight.
 

GreenCoffeeGeek

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Natural Gas should not be an issue. Ask them about Natural gas. I can't imagine that it would be an issue. If you are looking for long term life, I would never recommend electric anything.
 
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