HELP:vintage probat L12 guidance


New member
May 13, 2005
Portland OR
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1976 Probat L12
I need some input about this machine,

so far i know that probats before 93 had a thicker drum.
but besides this i do not know what differences older probats
have compared to modern day probats.

I have stumbled upon one being sold and am at a loss as
what would be a good deal. I assume the L12 is 12 LB,
please correct me. I am planning a small roasting operation
and have learned enough about Diedrichs, and am partial to San Franciscan Roasters. I like how chaff on the SF is funneled out the front and over the top of the machine, much like Gothot i have seen pictured at Intelligentsia and older probats. But i do like the siezing ability of cast iron on probat.

could someone tell me how a Probat from 1979 would differ in appearance to current Probats, and also what price range thing like this would be in. What is the value of these machines and how rare are they?

thank you -joel


New member
Feb 28, 2005
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Probat has had several changes in the last 20 years to update the old design. But they work well.

If the Drum was thicker it was not by much as most use 14- 10 gauge Mild steel with a cast iron front support ring.

In the ninty's they started using 2 motors and I have heard that they are starting to offer two fans?

The Air flow has increased on the new machines.

They have moved the gas output control to the front also and some of the
machines have a temperture controller that will hold the temperture at the setting of the control. ( optional?)

Probats are not rare at all I have seen then of all ages.

Generall the older they are the more work then will take to get them in good condition. I have not seen one that is not worth fixing if the price is right.

New ones sell for $19,500+ options, used ones that are getting worn sell for 6-8 grand. Rebuilding one will cost 3-5 grand and it will look and opeate like new if the right people do it.

The SF is a more modern design then the probat with 4 motors for better air control. It is US made so you can expect better service. It is not cheaper.

The Probat is a good machine with support better then the cheap imports. It does not take 6 months to get parts either!

For a deal on the cheaper machines watch E-bay, normally a year old one will go for about half price of new or less!

I would stay were you are at, looking at the good ones that you know about. Gothot does not make any small machines anymore (never a cheap one either) but you can find one every now and then.

The UG style Probat is the best model they made in the smaller sizes in my book! but hard to find.

the L-12 roasts 25 pounds.
If funnels the chaff out of the front also but then back under the cooler.
They look about the same.
Far from rare more like very common.

Good luck!