The reveal from today's #CoffeeGeek #WITB
is an upgrade kit for my Hottop roaster. My unit was the latest as of February, and I had some immediate feedback about how it worked. LO and BEHOLD, a vast majority of my feedback was fixed in the newest model that will start shipping in June. Fortunately, the upgrade kits are already available!!! =D =D =D
Please see further commentary on some of the photos.
The main improvements are as follows:
1) Two temperature probes, one for the "environment" (the area above the beans) and one down in the bean "mass" which is now the "target" temperature for all roast profiling.
2) Four separate knobs for time, fan-speed, target temperature, and heat KNOBS -- the most important of which are the fan-speed and heat knobs, because those are the ones I tweak at various bean temperatures, throughout the roast.
3) Count UP timer to show progressed time of the roast instead of the meaningless countdown timer that the old model had -- beans always get ejected (manually or automatically if they reach the target temperature) before the target time, so the countdown time was useless to me.
4) USB port for updating the programming, and it will even be possible to control the roast from a computer. This opens the way to further tweaking how the unit works.
I am hoping this allows me to set my own preheat temperature AND to allow profiling based on bean mass temperature targets instead of the current time-based targets. Temperature based profile segments would allow more uniform results even in changing ambient temperature/humidity conditions.
That second improvement, above is QUINTESSENTIAL. The old way used a button to select between any of the four settings, then an up down button to change the setting. Now I can just grab the exact knob that needs tweaking -- SOOOOO much easier!!! WOOT!
Check out the instructions I carried out between work and hopping on the bicycle. Could you do it? I was not intimidated, but then I am a hacker/maker by nature. =Dhttp://hottopusa.com/kitB+.html
I just did a few dry run roasts without beans to get familiar with how the new controller works. I can't wait to do a real roast...maybe tomorrow. I'll have to tweak my past known temperature targets for use with the new bean mass temperature reading, so it might take me a few tries to get back to the optimal roast, but that stuff is fun to me.
It's like getting a whole new roaster all over again and getting to practice how to develop exactly the flavor I want from my beans. So much fun is in store for me in the coming weeks!!! Woot! Woot! Woot! =D =D =D#espresso #coffee #coffeeroasting #espressoroasting #homeroasting #coffeegeek #hottop #hottoproaster