Thread subject: Homeroasters.org :: mods to make Gene hotter
Posted by themikeinbaltimore on 11/10/2011 16:50
i have been wrestlig with a used gene I bought off ebay several months ago that never really got hot. I replaced the heater with a new one from Skalling and while there is a significant diifference, it still never reachesmax temp. ever. any way i can shorten a wire or mod i?
Posted by John Despres on 11/10/2011 18:17
First some questions - What is your line voltage at the receptacle you're plugged into? You may have issues with low voltage... maybe.
How are you testing how hot it gets? Do this with a stopwatch in hand - Starting with a cold roaster set your temp to 482F a set the timer all the way up. Start the roaster and the stopwatch at the same time and let us know at what time the roaster reaches 482F.
Posted by gene on 11/12/2011 07:27
And would be glad to do what John says and give you my 10 min, 15 min and 20 min readouts.
Let us know and I'll stopwatch mine.
Posted by John Despres on 11/12/2011 14:43
10 & 15 minutes? No, I think you'll hit 482 somewhere between 6 & 8 minutes.
This needs to be done with an empty drum... I didn't mention that...
Posted by themikeinbaltimore on 11/14/2011 18:45
My line voltage is 119.7 by the kill a watt. with an empty drum I can get to 482 MAYBE around 15 or 20 minutes but I just stopped it the few times I tried after no movement for a few minutes around 13 minutes in at 470ish.
And that's why I posted my question, because I had read just about every Gene thread on here and my experience doesn't match yours.
Mind you this is with a brand new heater from Tim Skalling.
But here's the odd part. My roasts aren't much different from yours- i get yellow at 6 and first crack at 11m or so, usually pulling at 13 or 14 for city plus and very accelerated- meaning if I am not careful here I have burned em at 15 minutes.
Maybe it's my thermometer that's off. So I've ignored the reading and am getting some decent roasts out of it.
But I just think 11 minutes is long and many times I don't even hear a crack. i think they are cooking so slow that they don't crack. i want to be able to hit first at 8 or 9 sometimes but my hands are tied unless I can get hotter. As it is I need to push it at max just to get to a possible first at 11 or 13 - if I get it to crack. Does that make sense?
Posted by John Despres on 11/14/2011 19:46
You nailed it. If your roast timings are similar to the rest of ours, then it sounds like your temp sensor is out of whack. Tell this to Tim just the way you shared it here. He'll take care of you. Keep the old heater.
Everything you say makes perfect sense. 119.7 volts is just fine. (More than I have) If you're hitting first at about 11M or so, that's fine. Why do you want to get to first sooner? Each Gene Cafe is a little different, so I'll ask a lot of questions to see if we can't figure something out together.
What profile(s) are you using? Are you preheating the drum? Running a bean warming phase?
Posted by themikeinbaltimore on 11/15/2011 05:22
I preheat the drum, 7 or 8 minutes and also do back to back. Ambient temps are always 60 or 70.
Profiles? well, if I back off the heat at all before first crack then I stall and end up with no first crack and flat beans- they just gradually get browner and browner until I realize they are City Plus with no first crack. So I have only been running one profile- heat on until first crack.
After that (if I get a 1st) then I back off to 450ish 460ish depending on the crack and after a minute or two push on again. I am finding that this takes a very careful touch, and I have been unable to successfully draw the time between 1st and 2nd out to 3minutes or more on the opportunities that I want a dark roast. I mostly roast city plus so that's really just ON til 1st, back off, then ON for a minute and dump.
I come from 10 years FreshRoast8 and iRoast2 roasting and I know I am not going to get those bright fluid bed roasts that I love out of this but is this all I can do?
Maybe a warming phase will make a difference. I also will try more FC roasts. I just figured if I can get 1st quicker than I wouldn't lose those flat batches that don't crack. I've read other people here also complain that they miss their 1st crack. I think it might be something to do with moisture and the heat acceleration. I always get nice loud 1sts when I get new beans in. I store them the same way I have for ten years, in the same poly bags they come in from whoever, with no air in them, but notice after a month goes by they don't crack. I figured if I push them to the 400s in 7, 8 minutes instead of 10, 12 minutes then I can get that crack again, and of course brighter cups.
Posted by John Despres on 11/15/2011 06:19
I came from a Fresh Roast as well. One thing to keep in mind is the hybrid air/drum Gene Cafe won't produce the same air roasted coffee you've become accustomed to; the drum changes that aspect.
Nah, at this point don't bother with a warming phase. I think it'll only make your roasts longer. There's something wrong with your machine, I'm certain of it, now. Lemme think on it a bit more before I send you to Tim with both guns blazing...
Next thing to try is wasteful, but set that sucker on 482F and roast until the beans are black. Track the time. Don't start a fire. Brew the coffee anyway and see what it's like just for the sake of science...
As to 1st crack, many have difficulty hearing it in the Gene Cafe. It took me a while to distinguish it from the machine noise, but if you've been roasting for 10 years, I think you know what 1st sounds like. Shoot, if you can find first in an I Roar, then you're set...