I scored a Hot Top B model

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shakin_jake
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I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:50 am

Hello, I was asking some questions here about other's experiences with the Hot Top coffee bean roaster. I thought I'd start a new thread if for no other reason than to mention I bought a model B Hot Top and recieved it yesterday (Wednesday 2/18/09) afternoon. I didn't get a chance to run a roast through it until 10 PM last (Wednesday) night

FWIW I made an inquiry to Hot Top USA mentioning I'd like to buy one of their roasters when they had a used model for sale. Michael replied via email saying he had a model B that was used for a few demo roasts and I could have it for $575 if I was interested. It didn't take me long to tell him "Yes, I'll take it". For those of you that told me you have had good experiences with this roaster, I wanted to say thank you for your candid responses which was a big part for me making a decision to go through with a Hot Top purchase

For the first roast I used 250 grams of an Ethiopian bean I bought from sweetmarias (Ididio Misty Valley). I bought 5 lbs last December, liked it enough to order another 20 lbs. I probably have 10 lbs of this bean left. I have been using my Behmor drum roaster to roast it and have logged my 97th roast on the Behmor recently. I started using the Behmor full time last July. I find I like to pull shots with this bean getting the roast to a full city. I've gone higher and lower but FC is where I like to drink it

When I roasted this bean in the Hot Top, I got a bit distracted watching the temp and time display towards the end so I was not aware of the roast going into 2nd crack when this first roast finished, so it ended up in light Vienna territory. Not a bad thing at all going this dark with the IMV. I pulled my first shot with this Hot Top roast early Thursday (yesterday) afternoon so it had about a 14 hour rest. The result was very pleasing

FWIW, I pull shots on a PID'd Gaggia Classic and grind using an MD-50 Ranchilio grinder. Since I've roasted and drank a dozen pounds of this particular bean, I find I enjoy the IMV best with a few days rest but less than 24 hours rest w/this bean is not bad IMO. Quite enjoyable in fact and the beans that went through the Hot Top, I noticed, seemed to end up as a more even roast vs the roasts that I get out of the Behmor. This is not a slight to the Behmor drum roaster but after examing the beans that came out of the Hot Top, the colour and degree of roast appeared to me to be more uniform

For my first roast notes I wrote using this roaster I found that I used a watch (digital) and wrote down the time I started the roaster and made notes every following minute in a colum like fashion in the composition note book I use for my roast log. I recorded the time, the roaster temp and the time remaining on the roast cycle on every page line for each minute

I used the 18 minute auto cycle for this first roast which has a temp limit of 420 degrees, then ejects the beans. For those not familiar with this Hot Top model (the B), the temp display reads the temp in the drum (via a temp probe) and displays on a LCD screen. Admittedly I'm a gadget freak and like the digital temp read out. I also like the fact you can adjust the heater temp up and down via 11 different settings (11 segments in a bar graph) and also there is a fan setting with 3 or 4 different speeds. For the record, I didn't adjust the fan or the heater element during this first roast nor was I planning to. I merely wanted to watch how this roaster's default setting would work and so I wrote down the temp and time remaining every minute of the roast

An interesting safety feature this roaster employs is two series of beeps during seperate timed segments of the roast so you will stay with the roaster while it's roasting. The alarm beeps coordinate with a certain temp set point and if you don't hit any button (except for eject) during 20 seconds after the beeps start, the roaster will automatically eject the beans and end the roast cycle, so you must stay with the roaster and press a button so the roaster will continue. I thought I might find this safety feature annoying but I didn't. But then the mosquitos aren't biting this time of the year and I roast in my garage= : - )

I need to mention, one of my main concerns using this roaster was how much smoke it puts out. Some here may recall me asking about this. I'm asthmatic so the amount of smoke the roaster puts out and I end up inhaling is a concern to me. I'm happy to report the amount of smoke that got past the Hot Top seemed inconsequential to me and I am suffering a chest cold at the moment to boot. No more smoke than the Behmor drum roaster emits and quite possibly less IMO, so I am a happy camper in this regard. Since I roasted only 250 grams of beans through the Hot Top, it stands to reason there was less smoke as I routinely roast (have been) 12 ounces of beans through the Behmor normally

I wasn't sure what happened but the roast ended (quite possibly on it's own) with the temp read out displaying 417 degrees and with 5minutes 40 seconds remaining on the timer. Looking at my notes, I started the roast cycle at 10:12 PM, at 10:17 the pre-heat cycle ended and I added the beans. At approx 10:30 the roast ended and the beans dumped so the beans roasted for approx. 13 minutes. I've never done many 1/2 pound roasts in my Behmor but that timeline sounds about right for that weight. I did note 1st crack was underway or started at approx. 10:27 w/7 minutes and 51 seconds remianing on the timer. I didn't take note of when 2nd crack started as I was busy watching the time and temp display and next thing I knew, the beans were dumping on their own. Next roast I do I wont watch the timer so closely and will be more mindful to listen for 2nd crack, so I can make note of it, stop it, and stop the roast before 2nd crack on the thrid roast cycle (FWIW)

I have always wiped the insides of the Behmor roaster down with a damp toweling after every roast and it was no different w/the Hot Top, cept I removed the end piece with the sight glass, the cooling tray and the chaff collector (Hot Top) and washed them all in a mild TSP/hot water solution, towel dried then re-installed. Since I have an air compressor in my garage I used that to blow the drum out after the roaster cooled (following day). There wasn't much chaff in the drum but I did notiuce a bit of chaff in the cooling tray along with the beans. When the beans were done cooling I transfered the beans into a small colander, blew the chaff away using my breath while sloshing the beans around in the colander, then the beans went into a specific roasted coffee baggie (one of those clear plastic valved jobbies) roasters use to ship retail roasted beans. I like to store my beans in these zip lock bags.

After using the Hot Top once, I'm quite satisfied with it at this point. The real test will be what my impressions are using the Hot Top for awhile but if initial impressions count for anything, I'm sure I'll be very happy roasting with the Hot Top


Jake
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:48 am

Sounds like a good deal on the B. I'm putting together my first greens order from SMs & was considering the IMV as one of my choices. Have you tried it in a vac pot or press roasted a little lighter?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:09 pm

Hi John, Yes, I've brewed the IMV in a vac pot and the lightest I've gone roast wise with the IMV has been to a City + (IMO). The IMV tastes very good in a vac pot. I started using a Yama 5 cup vac pot late last year. My first exposure w/vac pot was when I was living in Royal Oak MI (just outside Detroit) in the late seventies early eighties. There was a diner in town that brewed vac pot exclusively not far from where I lived (Woodward and Lincoln). Never had vac pot anywhere else since but the cup taste (clean) always stuck with me so when I got into home brewing/roasting-espresso, naturally when I read about others brewing w/vac pots, I knew it wouldn't be long before I tried my hand with it so last November I ordered a 5 cup Yama from SM's along with some beans, 20 lbs, 5 of which was IMV, a Yemen Sharasi, Costa Rican Guadaloupe and 5 lbs of Chiapis (Mex)

I have roasted and drank all four beans in both my espresso machine and the vac pot. The only bean I don't like in the espresso machine is the Costa Rican. I'm not sure why but the CR tastes great in the vac pot but then so does all of the other beans I mentioned in this reply

If you read what others have to say about the IMV, it's supposedly best roasted at lighter degrees so as to bring out the fruit that bean has to offer. I have to go along with their observations. Roasted at FC + and higher and you're left with choclate and nuts (not all bad) but then you can taste those flavors in just about any bean at the higher roast levels (IMO)

In my experience, IMV kept at FC and lower and you will taste more fruit, some describe cherries, others marmalade, etc. If you really want to taste cherries in the IMV drink a swig of Vic's Nyquil beforehand= : - )

Seriously though, lighter IMV roasts in both of my drum roasters will offer fruit flavors in the cup but I'm told air roasters are best to extract bright fruit flavors from IMV. I do have a Poppery 2 air roaster but I don't care enough to plug it in and use it. Admittedly, I don't have it modded enough to make it's use worthwhile (lack of interest). I'm more of a plug and play coffee bean roaster which led to my purchase of the Behmor and now the Hot Top

Getting back to using the Yama vac pot, I like drinking coffee from that brewer but when I make it, I'm normally the only one in the house that drinks it which means I have to drink fast if I want to savor fresh flavor. I wont reheat vac pot but that's me. Over X-Mass we had two house guest coffee drinkers for a couple weeks so I was making vac pot coffee twice a day usually and sometimes 3 pots daily. The yama got a good work out. Anyways, IMV in the Yama is good, light or darker roasted (C+to light Vienna) Go for it!


Jake
Reddick Fla.
One Black Salvatore HX
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Hot Top B model
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:38 pm

I'd never tasted vac pot brew until I got my Harios a couple weeks ago but both my wife & I love it. Already made 2 5c batches (20 oz) today using Intelli's El Diablo roast which never tasted this good in a french press. I'm getting ready to brew up a 3C batch of Pt's lighter roasted Sidamo Special Prep that just came in today. If it tastes anywhere near as good as it smells when you open the bag it should be excellent. I can't put my finger on it but the aroma reminds me of some candy I used to get at the movies years ago.

I'll definitely get some of the IMV. Any other recomendations for a newbie roaster that would be good in the vac pot? I definitely prefer the light to medium roast levels. I've never tried a Yemen, what is that like?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:24 pm

JohnB wrote:I'll definitely get some of the IMV. Any other recomendations for a newbie roaster that would be good in the vac pot? I definitely prefer the light to medium roast levels. I've never tried a Yemen, what is that like?


~~~~I purchased the 5 cup Yama vac pot at the same time I bought the four aforementioned beans and no other green beans since. I can't give you any other recommendations as I haven't tried others in the vac pot. Having said that about the only thing I would stay away from using in the vac pot might be buying blends that are meant for espresso. I've had at least 5 of SM's espresso blends and only remember one of them being recommended by Thompson for brewing methods other than espresso and that was his Puro Scuro blend

I doubt you would find an objectioonable single origin bean when home roasted and brewed in a vac pot unless you just didn't care for the taste of the bean. On another list (sweetmarias homeroast list) there was a few people that posted that they didn't care for the IMV. At the time I had already ordered and recieved that bean but hadn't tried it yet, so I was very curious to try IMV after reading other's onjections to it

I did not detect any of the taste components that the few were complaining of and I believe they were legitimate complaints. Members of that group asked all the right questions of the few that complained, questions like how did you roast, what degree of roast, and so on. That proves taste is subjective (IMO). I may like something someone else doesn't and vice versa. It really comes down to trying a variety of green beans and finding out for yourself by roasting them with your methods, what you do and do not like

When I first started buying green coffee beans and home roasting I would buy a lot of different one pound packages so I could sample. At the time I was buying green beans from CCM in Tampa (sent via UPS). A typical order might be 5 lbs of their espresso blend and 5 one pound packages of different beans. Eventually I outgrew my taste for their espresso blend (I thought it was a decent espresso blend, just got tired of it) and found I was attracted to their Mexican Marquessa green beans. I bought probably Marquessa from them in at least three different orders, 5 lbs per order then I tried single pound orders of other beans, so the minimum order I ordered was a 10 pound order. That's how I went about trying a variety of green beans to roast. For sure, I haven't tried everything yet= : - )

I like central American beans in general and Chiapis from Mexico in paerticular. I liked the Yirgacheffe CCM sold last year. They do not disclose whose lots of beans they buy unlike most specialty green coffee sellers so in a sense you don't know what you are buying, other than it is supposed to be 100% of the named coffee. I'm guessing but I probably went through at least 10 lbs of CCM Yirg, maybe 15 lbs.

The IMV is a Yirg but most who are selling IMV refer to it as an Ethiopian, not that it matters, it is an Ethiopian but it's grown in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. The Yemen I had was a one time try for me. I'll buy more beans grown in Yemen again. I bought 5 lbs of SM's Sharasi (Yemen). The one fault it had (IMO) there were beans in the bag that had defects. In particular, black spots, enough that I saw when I weighed out 12 ounces for a roast in December that I hand culled the spotted beans. That roast went on to be a very yummy roast and mirrored what Thompson said the beans/cup would taste like done to a specific roast then pulling shots in an espresso machine. I remember one of his comments that the beans had a buttery flavor when roasted to a FC and pulled as a shot in an espresso machine. Needless to say I really enjoyed that 5 lbs of beans. As far as the black spots went, I sent those beans I culled wrapped up and snail mailed them to SM's asking if I should cull all the black spotted beans from the lot I bought or leave them in there. By the time I got a response I had conducted my own experiments and the beans were gone= : - ) Yes, I roasted and drank all 5 lbs. I tried roasting w/o culling and I didn't care for the taste so I culled the rest of the 5 pound batch 12 ounces at a time as that was how many ounces I was roasting, so I would weigh 12 ounces, cull the spotted beans and toss the objectionable beans. I will not go through that every time I roast but it was only 5 lbs. and having said that, sweetmarias offered to replace the beans. It wasn't necessary as I used all of it up. Had I bought 20 lbs. of the Sharasi, I would have sent them back but not enough trouble in the 5 lb lot. Sweet Marias is stand up in my opinion and I wont hesitate buying green beans from them in the future



Jake
Reddick Fla.
One Black Salvatore HX
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Hot Top B model
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:31 am

Thought I'd update my post...

Did roast #9 Tueday March 3rd. I'm still using the default cycle but I have been playing around with increasing the fan speed once she hits 1st crack, and I'll open the top of the roaster up (bean chute cover) to exhuast heat out too at this time. I can tell it slows the roast up a bit, which is what I'm trying to accomplish, then dump before 2nd crack hits

Thanks again for everyone's feedback, PM's, the other user posts here on the Hot Top. The Hot Top is a very nice roaster and I'm getting along well with it


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
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Hot Top B model
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:12 am

I finally got around to placing my first greens order last night. Ordered the following from SM:
Espresso Workshop #3 - Basaltic Bourbon - 2 lbs
Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP -10 lbs
Yemen Mokha Sana'ani- 2 lbs
El Salvador Matalapa Estate Bourbon -2 lbs

I still need to find some cheap greens for a couple roasts to burn off whatever is inside the new roaster. Didn't see anything at SM that I wanted to toss in the compost.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:10 am

John, Let me know what you think about the IMV. Currently, it's my all time fave but then I only have 8 months of homeroasting under my belt so haven't tried all that many different beans, yet=:-) On another list I mentioned I was trying to increase the time between 1st and 2nd crack venting the chute top (removing it) and setting the fan speed on high after first crack started. Another poster there with experience using the Hot Top suggested I turn the heater temp down to 50 %-60% a minute before 1st crack starts. This will be my next Hot Top experiment




Jake
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:29 pm

Having never done any home roasting I have much to learn but it should be fun. I've yet to have an Ethiopian coffee I didn't like; either as s/o espresso or brewed. With all the talk of the Ethiopian Microlots disappearing with their new distribution system I figured I'd grab some of the IMV while I could. I'm drinking shots of Ethiopian Ademe Bedame today roasted by Terroir. I thought it was all gone but found a couple vac sealed bags when I reorganized the coffee section of my freezer.

I'll be breaking the greens down into 1/2 lb lots, vacuum bagging & storing in my freezer at 0*F. Don't know if that's really necessary but at least I won't have to worry about summer heat or mice in the storage room. In the future I'll try to buy when the new crops come in so I can get them as fresh as possible.

I didn't see any Mexican beans listed at SM or I might have picked some up. I drank quite a bit of Terruño Nayarita Mexican Natural roasted for espresso by GreatNorthern last fall & still have some left in the freezer. Unfortunately each successive order I placed came in roasted darker until the last one showed up covered in oil. Totally ruined & undrinkable as far as I was concerned so I'm no longer buying it. What flavors do you get from the Chiapis when used as a S/O espresso?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:32 pm

John-

IMV~~~I'm thinking the same way, in that it would probably be a good idea to order it while we can. Only problem I'm having is getting up off $100 + shipping for 20#'s=:-), but I better not dawdle or it will surely be gone. Unfortunately, in this instance, good things *don't* come to those that wait

I've heard of others doing the vacuum bagging but I think they store at room temp, not really sure. My stradegy is to buy what I can reasonably use and store all at room temp. The addage that beans last for a year at room temps may work for some but I have purchased greens that have gone stale before 8 months was up. Having said that, I don't throw them away, rather I roast them and use them for sink shots. Getting slightly OT, I have read the Vivaldi literature and they stress it's not important to detergent backflush daily, recommending only once a week but I have been in the habit of detergent backflushing every morning (I pull my shots on a PID'd Gaggai Classic) before pulling the shots I drink, so I use another 32 grams or so daily for garbage shots, hence the stale beans aren't wasted

Sorry I'm not any good at describing the flavors I taste when drinking roasted Chipais other than to say next to the IMV, it's my other favorite cup. Try it sometime. Last bit I bought was Proish Coop Chiapis from SM's. I still have a little (very little). Now if I'm pressed to describe Chiapis, all the beans i've roasted from several lots have had big body and nutty roast taste, but then I roast to FC, but nutty is a predominant taste



Jake
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:24 pm

shakin_jake wrote: Getting slightly OT, I have read the Vivaldi literature and they stress it's not important to detergent backflush daily, recommending only once a week but I have been in the habit of detergent backflushing every morning (I pull my shots on a PID'd Gaggai Classic) before pulling the shots I drink, so I use another 32 grams or so daily for garbage shots, hence the stale beans aren't wasted
Jake
Reddick Fla.
Where did you read about detergent b/f once a week? La Spaziale doesn't recommend it at all & Chris Coffee says every 3-4 weeks max. I've trued it after only two weeks & little to nothing comes out brown spooge wise. Do plain water backflushes at the end of each day & detergent cleaning once a month.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:27 pm

This is the website description for the Mexican Natural I was using for Espresso:
"Bursting with heavy cocoa, blueberry, bright cherry, and big, earthy body, this bean displays qualities in the cup usually reserved for African Naturals."

I got a strong berry flavor up front followed by a rich milk chocolate before they started over roasting the beans.
Last edited by JohnB on Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:23 pm

John-

About detergent back flush recommendations ala Sapz...


I thought I read they were recommending once weekly. If I misquoted their recommendation, my bad and it wont happen again
=:-)

I've heard it recommended elsewhere to backflush (via detergent) machines equipped with a 3 way valve, every 50 shots pulled. For me, that's once a week but when I started that ritual I noticed my shots always tasted better right after flushing so I thought "why not flush daily?". Commercial establishments will backflush at least once a day and busy shops, the recommendation is to detergent backflsuh around noon.

I have changed up my detergent backflushing routine more than once and I used to do it every night, chased with a couple garbage shots so it was ready in the morning, but then I read where some would just detergent backflush their machine before the first shot of the day and I tried that and preferred going that route as I have more time in the morning. It might take me all of 3 minutes including brushing the gasket and shower plate on my machine, and the ounce of coffee I use daily that goes down the drain?, I look at it as the cost of having/enjoying clean tasting shots

I'm not recommending my routine to anyone and keep in mind I'm not pulling shots on a Spaz, currently I'm using a PID'd Gaggia Clasic but will likely retire this machine soon and pull my shots using a Futurmat Rimini I'm rebuilding. If you want to take a look at this machine (a work in progress), I parked some photos of this machine on my flickr pages here:

http://tinyurl.com/ch7llk

first pic of the hx set loads then scroll to the right and click on each pic to load each following pic. If you go the left from the start, you will view my grinder and it's cleaning regimen. This rebuild is coming along slowly but surely. I might have it ready to go on my counter in a month's time. I"m still debating how I'll soften the water, whether to use the softener that came with the machine or buy one of Chris Coffe's canister systems



Jake
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:03 pm

Sorry, since you were posting on here I assumed you had a Vivaldi. :-? La Spaziale uses a 2 screen set up on the Vivaldi to trap the grounds so they don't end up in the 3 way, therefore you don't need to backflush with detergent as often as you would a "conventional" design. You do need to drop the screens at least once a week to clean out the grounds but a detergent cleaning every 3-4 weeks is enough under normal home use. I pull anywhere from 25-40 shots a week on my S1.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:11 pm

7 ltr boiler! What size is the heating element? HX?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:55 pm

John-

I just updated my profile to reflect my equipment. I've read about the dual screen technology the Vivaldi employs to negate the need to detergent backflush so often. Makes sense to me but I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop ordering so much Joe Glo <LOL>

I see plenty of of brown coffee ground residue when I detergent backflush my Gaggia Clasic daily. Mostly the colour of the detritus in the drain tray and also what I see in the blanking plate. I really am the odd man out detergent backflushing so much. I've been referred to as "Felix" on another list (think the Odd Couple=:-)

Yeah, a 7 litre boiler....looks like I will be helping to pay into the Fla. Power and Light retirement fund <LOL> The plan is to wrap the boiler using insulation before installing, to stop the migration of BTU's into my kitchen atmosphere. Another trip to Home Depot in my future soon

And yes this Commercial Gaggia (Futurmat Rimini) I'm rebuilding is a heat exchanger (HX) boiler, using an E-61 group

Heating element is 3 K watts


Jake
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by oton » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:11 pm

JohnB wrote:Sorry, since you were posting on here I assumed you had a Vivaldi. :-? La Spaziale uses a 2 screen set up on the Vivaldi to trap the grounds so they don't end up in the 3 way, therefore you don't need to backflush with detergent as often as you would a "conventional" design. You do need to drop the screens at least once a week to clean out the grounds but a detergent cleaning every 3-4 weeks is enough under normal home use. I pull anywhere from 25-40 shots a week on my S1.
A technician from La Spaz recomended me to not backflushing with detergent often. Just water backflushing everyday and perhaps detergent backflushing every some months because the detergent may damage the 3 way valve.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:16 pm

L/S is really down on the detergent cleaning but I think a couple months is a bit too long. In the U.S manual CC recommends every 3-4 weeks which I doubt would ever do any damage.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:19 pm

shakin_jake wrote: Yeah, a 7 litre boiler....looks like I will be helping to pay into the Fla. Power and Light retirement fund <LOL> The plan is to wrap the boiler using insulation before installing, to stop the migration of BTU's into my kitchen atmosphere. Another trip to Home Depot in my future soon
And yes this Commercial Gaggia (Futurmat Rimini) I'm rebuilding is a heat exchanger (HX) boiler, using an E-61 group

Heating element is 3 K watts
Jake
Reddick Fla.
A 3000 wt element should heat up the 7 ltrs pretty fast but I have to agree it will draw some juice. What do you need for a circuit? 120v 30A or is it 220v?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:50 am

John, She runs on 110 but needs a dedicated 20 AMP circuit. PO had an electrician wire the plug with the correct type in that it is the perpendicular bladed type which is no problem plugging into my 10 year old home's kitchen wiring as I have two or three GFI 20 AMP circuits w/the perpendicular blade recptacle. Only the resettable GFI's can accept the perpendicular plug. I have other plug outlets in this island couter that are 20 AMP and GFI protected but lack the perpendicular receptacle *and* the resettable feature

Something else about this boiler's heating element, it's actually two elements that can be wired together. The PO was running one element only. Admittedly, electricity is not my forte but I understood how he had it wired. Take a look here:

http://tinyurl.com/ckdcyo

The verbiage I wrote under the photo pretty much explains how you can heat the boiler using one or both of the heating elements

FWIW, and from what the PO told me about how and why he wired it this way, his reasoning for using only one of the two elements was so if one went down, he'd have the other as back up and just switch the wires around to get the other element to heat, w/o having to order another element and have the machine non functional waiting for a heater element to arrive

I suppose you could wire it using only one element if you didn't have a dedicated 20 AMP circuit, then I'd imagine you could plug it into a 15 AMP circuit and heat the boiler w/o over loading your 15 AMP circuit, but as I said, the PO was wiring it this way so he had a back up element w/o buying one. I remember him telling me he eventually burnt out both elements and had to buy another new element, which is what is in there now. He said there wasn't many hours on this element and it did look like new (no scale) when I removed it from the boiler

Here's a pic of the element I took after removing it from the boiler

http://tinyurl.com/ctc88d

The one and only time I threw power to the boiler, it was wired with one element only and it worked fine, in that it got up to temp in less than a half hour (IIRC). I didn't run it through it's paces though, pulling shot after shot. I did run water out of the boiler after it got up to temp using the hot water dispenser valve to disperse and it seemed to re-coup heat rather quickly as judged by how long it took to open/close the relays on the P-stat. The turn on and turn off times seemed to me to be short, meaning it clacked a whole bunch (hitting it's turn on and turn off temps)

Again, I have absolutely no experience using an hx machine other than initially firing this one yet I have heard from others that the relays in the P-Stat can be bothersome, hearing them open and close constantly. I know of a few people that have PID'd their hx machine so they wouldn't have to listen to the relay symphony=:-)


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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:38 am

So you have two 1500wt elements? If you run both together a 20A circuit would not cut it. The Vivaldi maxes a 20A circuit with everything running. Your 3000wt elements plus the pump, ect would definitely require a 30A breaker and the associated wiring gauge. I would think that a 1500wt element would be stressed keeping up with a 7 litre boiler & probably runs most of the time explaining why he burnt one out. I would think that the boiler recovery time would be very slow with that combination.
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:29 pm

John, I believe I have pled my case for electrical ignorance prior in this thread=:-) Yet I know enough to read the user manual and follow directions for electrical requirements, and it states to use a 20 AMP circuit. This information is coming from Gaggia engineering Barcelona Spain. You can download the same user manual as I did if you want to take a look. Goto qualityespresso.net Choose the main site (not the U.S. site) and take a look around. If you go to Futurmat you will see two downloadable PDF files for this machine. The U.S. site has these same PDF files but the main site offers more machines to peruse (if you care to look)

The bit I repeated, what the PO told me, how he wired the heating element to run on one side only...was conveyed to him by the dealer he bought the machine from. Now whether they wired the element up like that for him or his electrician did, I dunno, but he used this machine in that configuration for several years. If it was right or wrong, I don't have the depth of electrical knowledge to make an informed opinion. I will however wire both elements so they both run simultaneously. That is certain

There is a gentleman in England that is a Visacrem dealer I have emailed with on this topic. They sell the Visacrem Nero over there which is the Futurmat Rimini badged here. Anyways, he informed me that yes it can wired the way I recieved it but it is best to wire the heating element so both legs run at the same time, which is what I will do when I put the machine back together. Right now this machine is totally stripped down to the frame. I was going to re-finish the frame myself a week ago but decided to take it to a local powder coater instead. I'll post pics (already taken) to my flickr page soon and link back here afterwards



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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:10 pm

If your elements draw 3000 wts as you say then your manual is wrong. Here's the reality: Code only allows an 80% draw on a circuit. A 15A circuit can handle 1800 wts but 80% is 1440 wts. A 20A circuit is 2400 wts & 80 % is 1920 wts. Your elements alone are at the 100% rating of a 20A breaker & you still have a pump & other electrical items to run. Maybe he only ran one element to keep from popping the breaker/starting a fire?

If your machine was legally imported it should have a UL data plate with the total wattage draw listed. What is listed on that plate?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:30 am

Added 8 more pics to my Flickr Rimini set, (frame pics)

http://tinyurl.com/d6572h

View, scroll to the right

Johnny B- Are you trying to scare me with the AMP requirements?=:-) Gaggia engineering in Barcelona in error? FWIW, I phoned Quality Espresso Spain's U.S. rep located in Miami Wednesday, spoke to someone there (in the know) about this, told them I recently purchased one of their Futurmat Rimini's used, it's all apart but going back together soon and what size (in Amps) circuit do I need to safely power this machine? Their answer?.... Are you ready?=:-)...20 AMPs

Maybe it's a conspiracy John, you're right, all of them are wrong and every Rimini on a 20 AMP breaker is tripping itself to death, or they only wire one side of the heating element...


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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by Richard » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:57 am

shakin_jake wrote:Johnny B- Are you trying to scare me with the AMP requirements?=:-) . . . Their answer?.... Are you ready?=:-)...20 AMPs . . . Maybe it's a conspiracy John, you're right, all of them are wrong and every Rimini on a 20 AMP breaker is tripping itself to death, or they only wire one side of the heating element...
FACTS (no debate; these are the laws of physics):
  • 3,000 watts X 1.2 = 3,600 watts (this is the safety factor of 80%, as John told you).
  • 3,600 watts / 110 volts = 32.7 amps.
  • 3,600 watts / 220 volts = 16.3 amps.
THEREFORE 3,600 watts cannot be supplied by a 20-amp, 110-volt circuit. No discussion on this point; the laws of physics are immutable and it can't be done. 3,600 watts can, however, be safely drawn from a 220-volt, 20-amp circuit.

END OF FACT, BEGINNING OF OPINION:

It's likely your espresso machine was designed to operate on 220 volts. From your descriptions, it's possible someone, sometime, somewhere rewired it to use only one boiler heating element in order to make it operate on a 110-volt, 20-amp circuit. If the electronics are correctly supplied with power, that's certainly doable, but it comes at the expense of lackluster steam recovery; as John said, 7 L is a big boiler for 1,500 watts. If you have a knowledgeable electrician involved and if (s)he has correct electrical information about the espresso machine, it might be possible to use both elements on a 110-volt, 30-amp circuit; but why bother? If you have to go to the hassle and expense of wiring and installing 30-amp, 110-volt service, use 220 instead.
Richard J. Wyble

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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:48 am

Richard - You may be right about the machine being designed & sold as a 220v model. Not a lot of info out there but in this CoffeeGeek discussion of a U.S. Rimini 2 it is said to be a 208-240v machine. http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espres ... nes/281128 It would certainly explain the 20A recommendation.

Jake - Did you find a UL Data Plate on your machine?
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:15 pm

Gentlemen...


My Rimini is not 220 volts. I mentioned elsewhere in this thread (at least once) that electricity is not my forte' but I do know how to read and before I made the decision to purchase this machine, one of the photos the PO sent to me, two in fact, were both photos of the electrical information placed on the machine. One is a paper sticker adhered to the top of the frame and the other was a mylar sticker applied outside the frame on the stainless steel trim panel below the drip tray cover, along with a bar code and CE approval. It states the electrical information as follows: 115 volts, 60 Hz, 3125 watts. FWIW, there is also a 110 volt sticker on the motor. This is clearly not a 220 volt machine

Having said that, although I can read, had I been more astute in being able to determine that AMPS = watts divided by house current (115 volts)...I would know that I need a larger circuit breaker than what I currently have where I want to use the machine, which is currently 20 AMPS

I phoned a local electrician I know and left him a voice mail, telling him what I have and asked what do I need for a proper circuit breaker. Scott returned my call and told me I need to use a 2 pole 35 AMP breaker and that the 12 guage wiring I have running this 20 AMP circuit is not heavy enough and I need to run 8/2 copper. His concern is if the wiring raceways are large enough to pull the heavier cable I need. We'll know next week when he can make it out here to take a look see

Hopefully the raceways will be able to accomadate the 8/2 wire. If not, I may have to relegate this machine to garage duty where I know I can run 8/2 wire, yet I don't want to put the cart before the horse so I'll wait to see what transpires



Jake
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Hot Top B model
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by JohnB » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:22 pm

shakin_jake wrote:Maybe it's a conspiracy John, you're right, all of them are wrong and every Rimini on a 20 AMP breaker is tripping itself to death, or they only wire one side of the heating element...
So, about that conspiracy theory??
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Re: I scored a Hot Top B model

Post by shakin_jake » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:44 pm

When you brought up the possibility I would be playing with fire trying to run this machine on 20 AMPS, I took you seriously John. Serious enough to search out the facts. Now if I thought you were blowing smoke, I would have ignored you. I didn't


Jake
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Futurmat Rimini 1 Group HX (commercial Gaggia)
Hot Top B model
Yama 5 cup Vac Pot
Ranchilio MD-50 Grinder

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