Ever heard of a Sivetz Roaster?

Baugo

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Nov 24, 2006
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I have serious doubts about the Sivetz Fluid airbed roasters. Has anyone ever heard of them? Do they roast well? They claim a 8 min roast and I quote "We roast 55 lbs in 8 minutes. Cool in about 3 minutes." a half bag in 8 mins? PuhLeaze Can sugars carmelize properly at that rate? I know the fluid air beds roast fast but???? Anyways here they are http://www.sivetzcoffee.com/online catalog.htm#1/2 bag
Thoughts please???
 

BeanGrinder

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Aug 11, 2004
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North Georgia, USA
Mike Sivetz wrote the book on fluid bed roasters. Literally. He is the inventor of the fluid bed roaster and holds a handful of degrees including chemical engineering. Sivetz has worked in virtually every aspect of the coffee industry. I would have to warn that his demeanor is a tad on the negative side, but I think he is simply jaded by the "crap" that is going on in the industry.

He has a variety of fluid bed roaster designs. I can't place any guarantee on his claims but would not doubt them. If you are skeptical, call him. He is very approachable and willing to explain the process. I spoke with him about a year and a half ago...he was very patient and answered all of my questions.

-BG
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
Fluid bed roasters use hot air to roast beans. Another term for hot air is convection heat. If you use air flow in you drum roaster, you are in some sense an air roaster. Some of the best specialty roasters are air roasters and for their style of coffee they prefer Sivetz over the venerable Probat, Diedrich, Ambex.....
 
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Baugo

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Nov 24, 2006
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OK ....... after reading a very long debate about Drum vs. Air. I DONT WANT ANOTHER DEBATE. But, are they superior, equal, less, in roast quality? One of the reasons I ask is I have a chance to buy one for under a G, it does 12lbs in 8 mins. My real question is; can the proper sugar and chemical magic take place in that time frame. I have been all over the board from 14 mins to 22 mins. And I have tasted everything from under developed to a burnt spanish roast, and everything in between. So I know both sides of the argument (to a degree) I have had coffee made from an air popper, it was a fair cup. However I have had awesome coffee's from the drum, and VERY PITY-FUL coffee from drum as well.
I just dont understand the process well enough I guess. From everything I have been told and learned, is that heat should be applied moderatly and steady for around 9 to 10 mins (or more) depending on the moisture and density for drying. Then a slower approch towards second crack to give ample time for pyrolysis to happen correctly. Honestly after reading the debate I am a bit confused. Both sides made awesome arguments, and the technical data for the fluid bed was very impressive. And now I have seen an ad in "Roast Magazine" for a Convection roaster. TAlk about really messin with my noodle.

El you said Quote:
Some of the best specialty roasters are air roasters and for their style of coffee
What do you mean by their style of coffee? (just curious) dont most all roaster roast all differant types like light, med, french, espresso, singles and blends (and everything in between)? I am not debating, I am just looking for answers. I am in no way attempting to debunk Mr Sivetz or anyone, in any way. I dont have enough experiance to take sides, besides if people buy your coffee how in the world does it matter what you roast on? Sorry the more I read the more question I have, the more hungry I get for more knowledge. Someone please make the room stop spinning. Ommmm, Ommmm, Ommmm. Theres no place like home, theres no place like home......Anty Em Aunty Em. :-D :oops: :cry: :wink: :shock: :? :!:
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
They are neither superior nor inferior. Both can produce very good coffee, the variable is the man behind the machine. As a general rule, air roasted coffee is brighter and cleaner while drum roasted coffee can add more weight and depth. I think 8 minutes roast is possible because hot air is more efficient at heat transfer. Maybe BeanGrinder and NW Java can give you more insight on hot air roasting, they use both fluid bed (monster) and drum roasters.

By the way, I won't do too many 22 minutes roast, and I'd shorten drying time from 9 to 10 minutes to about 8. And if you have not come across this, http://www.sweetmarias.com/roast.carlstaub.html, this is a good read.
 

morrisn

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Mar 27, 2006
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I don't have the experience to answer your question but some people seem to get excellent roasts from the Sivetz roaster. Alaska Coffee Roasting uses a Sivetz and has had some mentions on his quality including on the cover of Forbes www.alaskacoffeeroasting.com
 

CafeBlue

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Dec 8, 2006
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Toronto
Baugo;
The previous posts are valid advice.
Less than a grand is pretty cheap entry to micro-roasting. If you can "road test" the used Sivets before buying, you should do a couple different roasts with green you are familiar with.
Call Mike Sivets and ask for his input and his estimate of refurbishing and startup costs.
The commitment, skill, and palate of the cupper and roaster person make a bigger impact than the particular machinery. Having some experience with dozens of different espresso machines and different coffee roasters and roaster controls, I am convinced that virtually any equipment in good working order can produce creditable coffee. Exceptional product comes with exceptional commitment, aptitude and skilled experience. Excellent equipment with useful controls that allow repeatable production will make the pursuit of quality easier.
My experience with fluid bed roasters was similar to Diablo's for resulting cup characteristics comparing same green roasted in drum roaster. I also tend to prefer the dark roasts and espresso coffees from the roasters using drum roasters vs. fluid bed roasters. That said, any cup profile can be modified SIGNIFICANTLY by subtly (or dramatically) tweaking the roast profile (temperatures/heat transfer rates) in virtually any commercial roaster.
Folks naturally tend to be extra committed to the concepts they invented or paid for. Therefore some spirited discussions will rise (check any forum) about the subtleties between equipment.
Find equipment you will be comfortable and confident using, learn it, train on it, pay for the factory courses, pay for the skills courses at conferences (like SCAA, CAC, NCA, Coffee Expo, Coffee Fest), hire a consultant or several, take a course from a professional training operation, roast on the equipment you are considering (at the vendor/manufacturer/satisfied client), buy and evaluate coffee from your competitors, cup coffee with your green coffee vendors. Put the information you learn to the test (not all advice will be valid for you) by roasting and tasting comparatively with your standard practices.
Baugo, you have been asking a lot of questions, and received a ton of useful feedback, but you will gain more from hands-on roasting practice and comparative cupping. You will also have better informed, more directly useful questions and responses if you do a bit more basic research. Read Ken Davids' books (Coffee and Roasting), Kevin Knox's book, Ken's coffeereview.com take a course or two or ten. Do searches on forums and read the "back issue " threads, other people have already done all that you are doing and have discussed and asked the same questions already. Go to the coffee conferences, take the workshops. Hire someone experienced to roast with you on your equipment and cup the coffee with you. If you are planning to buy an Agtron meter or controls, buy it now and take their training program (same for Diedrich, etc.). If you don't have the cash to pay for training, do all the "free" reading. Then spend $100.00 buying coffee from several reputable roasters and comparatively cup them with your products.
All of this will make a much more significant impact on your roasted product quality than the particular roasting machine.
I admire your thirst for knowledge and pursuit of interesting coffee experience. I hope I only rambled and did not rant. Best regards, Bill
 
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