HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Discussions about roaster hardware and the finer points of their use
coffeeowl
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Post by coffeeowl » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:00 pm

Well, Niko, go ahead and roast'em! and report the results... you know, all that cocoa powder available is made from low-fat beans. If I ever want to make a mocha, I guess I'll have to turn a 99% Cocoa Lindt Bitter Chocolate into powder myself... :blob5: :wink:
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Post by Niko » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:55 pm

Finally tore the Hottop apart for the 3-month cleaning routine. There was a good amount of junk in there but nothing unexpected, I changed the rear filter after while I was at it - even though I could of easily gotten 8-10 more roasts on it (but I did something stupid).
Anyways, the Hottop manual states getting up to 40 roasts on it so the info about getting only 20 is not true, you can easily get 40 or more with the proper handling.

4vDesmo
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Post by 4vDesmo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:23 pm

So Niko, tell us what you did that was so stupid to cost you 10 roasts on the filter. Did you poke a hole in it or something?

Is that thing washable, it looks to be paper?

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:42 pm

Must you ask, Steve? :lol:
I carefully removed the filter to flip it over after about 16 or so roasts, then about 28 roasts into it...of course I had to do something stupid enough to completely remove the filters entirely and wash the layers separately (this part went well) but trying to put them back together was a bear. I struggled with it forever and then my wife walks in the room and puts it together in about 30 seconds (damn her). Anyways, if I wasn't such a dumb$hi! and just simply dipped the filter in the cleanser - it would've easily survived into 40-something roastings.

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Post by 4vDesmo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:33 pm

What cleanser would you dip it in to clean it? It looks like a carbon filter backed up by a folded paper filter.

I let a buddy do a roast yesterday, and he went well into (even thru) 2nd crack before ejecting it. Yes, I was there, but it was his coffee and his preference. Monster smoke. I don't think the filter was built for that much. My roaster has the whole house reeking of coffee smoke, and it's just sitting on the counter.

Good thing we did the roast outside....
Last edited by 4vDesmo on Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Bigtwin » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:38 pm

What kind of cleanser would you have dipped it? oxyclean?
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Post by Niko » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:45 pm

I used Cafiza, others have used Simple Green - I prefer Cafiza since it's meant for coffee.
The filter is paper with a black felt liner, Cafiza knocked the crap out of both and the paper one to almost a nice clean white - only problem is you probably have to hand scrub it (like I did) to get it that clean.
Next time I'll just dip it for an hour and report my findings.
I will prevail, I will get more oomph outta' these filters.
Maybe I'll even find a reusable material that can be washed hundreds of times over :wink:
Maybe Hottop will eventually make one :dontknow:

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Post by 4vDesmo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:50 pm

Niko wrote: Maybe Hottop will eventually make one :dontknow:
What? And give up a revenue stream? Don't hold your breath!

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Post by Cafesp » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:19 am

Hello to all VII roasters,
17 pages reading ( not counting HB&CG ) made my eyes crying :lol:
Thanks for sharing all you thoughts,
Only one more favor, please!
Where's the good place to get a Hottop B! :roll:

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Post by coffeeowl » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:02 am

Cafesp wrote: Where's the good place to get a Hottop B! :roll:
No. No. No, nope, no!
You're not going to do it.
No way! No!!!
Please read it once again and I bet you will want the P!

:lol:
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Post by Niko » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:51 pm

Cafesp wrote: Where's the good place to get a Hottop B! :roll:
Cafesp
4vDesmo (Steve's) house :lol:
Steal his control panel when he's not looking, distract him with a beer and swipe it - the panel pops out with bare hands pretty easily :lol:

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Post by 4vDesmo » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:58 pm

You'll be fine with the HT-B model, don't cave in to peer pressure. I say spend the extra $200 on good coffee beans, and if you decide to upgrade to the P later you can still do it for the same $200 price diff.

I got mine at Coffee Bean Corral. Ships with 5lbs of free beans (half of which is your choice) and some heat resistant gloves. No sales tax either, which should more than pay for the shipping. You can also add one of their coffee samplers, 5lb more for only $10, a great buy for learning the roaster.

Do pay attention to the manual (it may not ship with the latest version) and note the temperature alarms that have been described in detail above. Now that I'm aware of them, they are a non-issue in my roasts.

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Post by 4vDesmo » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:02 pm

Niko wrote: Steal his control panel when he's not looking, distract him with a beer and swipe it - the panel pops out with bare hands pretty easily :lol:
Thanks for the tip, Niko. I'll have to remember this bit of info when I visit you to see your toys! :P

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:38 pm

That's why my stuff is equipped with LoJack :lol:

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Post by Cafesp » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:31 pm

coffeeowl wrote:
Cafesp wrote: Where's the good place to get a Hottop B! :roll:
No. No. No, nope, no!
You're not going to do it.
No way! No!!!
Please read it once again and I bet you will want the P!

:lol:
Thanks for caring, Coffeeowl.
Yeah :twisted: I know where the good place to get a Hottop P now :twisted:
Niko better drink more cafe & sleep with one eye wide opened :twisted:
Lojack not preventing anything!

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Post by Niko » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:30 am

Cafesp wrote: Niko better drink more cafe & sleep with one eye wide opened :twisted:
Lojack not preventing anything!

Cafesp
I don't think more coffee would be a good idea for me.
I've pulled over 5,000 shots on my VII alone and it's not quite 12 months yet on this machine :shock:

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Post by Cafesp » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:25 pm

4vDesmo wrote:You'll be fine with the HT-B model,..I got mine at Coffee Bean Corral. Ships with 5lbs of free beans (half of which is your choice) and some heat resistant gloves. No sales tax either, which should more than pay for the shipping. You can also add one of their coffee samplers, 5lb more for only $10, a great buy for learning the roaster.
:

What do you suggest 4 the 5+5bs beans ? :?

Cafesp :roll:
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Post by chas » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:13 pm

The free heat resistant gloves thing has me scratching my head. I didn't get any with my unit (many years ago!) and never have I been doing anything with the HT where I said to myself "Damn, if I only had a pair of heat resistant gloves".
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Post by chas » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:25 pm

Cafesp wrote::

What do you suggest 4 the 5+5bs beans ? :?

Cafesp :roll:
They had the same deal when I bought a Behmor from them. If you haven't noticed the small print, the freebies are limited to those beans that are $5.00 per pound or less. The beans I really wanted (Brazil Organic Fazenda) were higher as is most of the selection so I had to settle for less.

However, CBC still has a modest choice of beans in that price range. I usually go by their coffee matrix and select a bean that has the characteristics I am looking for.

You might try to Brazil Fazenda Alvorada or the Guatemala Huehuetenango SHB.
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Post by Niko » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:00 pm

chas wrote: You might try to Brazil Fazenda Alvorada
How's this one??

Niko

Post by Niko » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:08 pm

chas wrote:The free heat resistant gloves thing has me scratching my head. I didn't get any with my unit (many years ago!) and never have I been doing anything with the HT where I said to myself "Damn, if I only had a pair of heat resistant gloves".
You're more than welcome to take the ones I got with the Hottop...no wait, I've seen my wife use them to remove things out of the oven :lol:


for the record, I did manage to burn myself on the Hottop once, just once, I inadvertently reached for the brass knob after a roast. Don't ask me why I would do that but after holding a cold beer in the same hand for a while - the burns take a while to register to the brain... :tongue3:

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Post by chas » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:03 am

Of the few things I can thing of where I might need gloves, the gloves would be too bulky to actually do the deed!
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Post by coffeeowl » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:41 pm

:)
Niko,

when will you get a thermocouple for your pretty Hottop "P"?
Those "B" lovers over there at H-B would surely loose their poor minds after that... 8)
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Post by Niko » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:21 pm

I already have one, the Fluke meter with the standard probe should work just fine but I've never had the need to actually sink it in the Hottop.
The roaster works so well that I don't want to mess with a good thing.

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Post by bbqnut » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:24 pm

Hey, I am out of the circle of S1VII owners, but will be doing a Hottop article and video soon for INeedCoffee.

And I unlike some who only show their hairy arms, I will actually show my face (though content may not be appropriate for younger viewers). :twisted:

It feels kinda sad not to have an S1 or MACAP any more, but the Aeropress can come out of retirement for a few months (til I get the itch again).

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Post by Cafesp » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:02 am

bbqnut wrote:Hey, I am out of the circle of S1VII owners, but will be doing a Hottop article and video soon for INeedCoffee.

And I unlike some who only show their hairy arms, I will actually show my face (though content may not be appropriate for younger viewers). :twisted:

It feels kinda sad not to have an S1 or MACAP any more,..
:roll: missing your posts! :cry:
"who only show their hairy arms" :roll: " I don't get it!" :roll:
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Post by Niko » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:52 pm

bbqnut wrote: And I unlike some who only show their hairy arms...
Hey!
...I heard that.

For the record my arms aren't that hairy, it's the damn camera - it adds 10lbs of hair for some reason.

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Post by coffeeowl » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:10 pm

Niko, did you see that?
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Post by Niko » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:12 pm

I most certainly did :D
A guy who lives about an hour south of me has one of those, he loves it.

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Post by coffeeowl » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:35 pm

Did you compare it to the P?
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Post by Niko » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:54 pm

Sort of...
I still went with the P because that guy discontinued those roasters. What if i need support someday? :dontknow:

The P has all support it can ever need with a guy like Michael behind it, Hottop has service second to none.

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Post by bbqnut » Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:50 am

And how much were each of those special boxes?

As I recall, a lot...and now, they await a glorious resurrection on Antiques road show. I can see it now (200 years in the future):

"There were only 10 made, and yours is the only known surviving specimen. It is priceless. I don't even know how to put a price on it. I estimate at auction, it could go for 3.5-4.0 Billion Chinese Yuan."

Spoken in Chinese of course...

Niko

Post by Niko » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:51 am

Nice :D

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Post by coffeeowl » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:05 pm

Niko wrote:Sort of...
I still went with the P because that guy discontinued those roasters. What if i need support someday? :dontknow:

The P has all support it can ever need with a guy like Michael behind it, Hottop has service second to none.
That's obviously right, I was just curious how much of its idea went into P :)
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Post by Niko » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:40 pm

Not sure how much of it went into the P but that Uber Hottop can be connected to a laptop, that's pretty cool.

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Post by bbqnut » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:34 pm

I will have a Hottop article out on Mar 1, 2008. I will also likely have a video to accompany (if time permits).

I will post here when it goes live.

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:13 pm

Please do!
I can't wait :wink:

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Post by bbqnut » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:03 pm

Niko wrote:Please do!
I can't wait :wink:
Most of it will be old hat to you guys, but it should help some other newbs

Video will be fun - haven't shot it yet, and I have a lot of work to do...

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New Hottop Article & Video

Post by bbqnut » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:48 pm

Ok here it is. Remember, it is a first look and pretty basic, but I was able to put together a quick video along with the first look article.

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/08/hottop-roaster/

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Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:12 pm

Ok, dumb question time. Having never seen one of these what is the red gizmo behind the roaster?
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Post by chas » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:23 pm

Variac. 15 or 20A model
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Post by Niko » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:26 pm

Excellent work, Chris!
Very nice indeed 8)

That particular VARIAC is the 20A model.

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Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:44 pm

chas wrote:Variac. 15 or 20A model
I had no idea they were that large! I thought the white box was the variac. Makes the price a little easier to justify. So is the Hottop going to be happy if I only have 115-117v coming into the house?
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Post by bbqnut » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:44 pm

I knew I forgot something...

I will be adding some photos over the next few days. I will include one of the Variac and label it as such.

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Post by chas » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:29 pm

Some folks use the Variac to control the roast by changing the voltage during the roast. I just use it to raise the voltage and leave it there. I have excellent voltage coming into my house but the breaker box is at the diagonally opposite end of the house from the roasters and it's a large house.

The Hottop drops the voltage over 5V and the Behmor is much worse.

I was using the smaller, ivory 5A Variac with a 15A fuse. A couple times a year the HT would blow a fuse but the Behmor was blowing a fuse 2 out of 3 roasts. I am expecting a 20A model I picked up on Ebay any day now.
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Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:51 pm

How can the Variac raise the voltage over what you have at the outlet?
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Post by admin » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:13 pm

It's a variable transformer so you can go above and below line voltage. However, it's not a voltage regulator. If the load gives you a 10V drop over the no load condition, you will also get the same drop with the Variac. However, if you get a 10V drop but you want 120V with the load, you can set the Variac to 130V at no load.
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Post by Niko » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:36 pm

I have to use the VARIAC to drop my voltage almost every roast.

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Re: New Hottop Article & Video

Post by coffeeowl » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:16 pm

bbqnut wrote:Ok here it is. Remember, it is a first look and pretty basic, but I was able to put together a quick video along with the first look article.

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/08/hottop-roaster/
Nice article and nice video!
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Post by Niko » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:45 pm

...which reminds me,
I'll have to shave my arms for the next video. :D

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Post by bbqnut » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:03 pm

Niko wrote:...which reminds me,
I'll have to shave my arms for the next video. :D
If I do it for my videos, it's the least you can do for yours...

:D

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Re: HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Post by Zarzicki » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:30 pm

I had a similar choice and labored over it. I bought the Hottop 8828B and couldn't be happier.
The most significant feature and deal breaker for me was the cooling procedure on the HT.
Once the beans are ejected from the machine, the beans are cool in a couple of minuets. Besides,
you can eject the raost at any time because of color, sound, or smell and beans stop their roasting progression immediately--because they are out of the roaster. Can't beat that. The unit is not that big and the kitchen vent is more than sufficient to draw out smoke.

Happy Deciding, :grin: Zarzicki

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Re: HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Post by Niko » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:37 pm

Sometimes it's hard to make a decision...
so I got all of them :lol:
I've been using the Behmor quite a bit lately since the weather really turned out here. I hate roasting in the garage (since my kitchen banishment) but it's been OK so far. I'm giving the Hottop a little break since it's approaching the 100th roast soon.


...ok, time to confess - it's so dirty and it needs maintenance :lol:
The sight glass is almost jet black and the top filter smells like my Weber and there's chaff stuck in the LCD.
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Re: HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Post by shakin_jake » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:04 am

Wow!, 5 page thread, can't beleieve I read the whole thing=:-) But then I have been contemplating buying a new Hot Top. I've been using a Behmor since last July and have better than 90 roasts with it so for those of you that have used both the Behmor and the Hot Top, I'd like to hear what you have to say regarding the smoke output of both machines

Here's my concern, I roast in my attached garage next to the door that enters my home. I've been roasting there as I have an outlet to plug into but the garage doors (I keep 2 open for cross ventilation) are 20' feet away either side from where I roast. The Behmor has a smoke eater on/in it but the Hot Top doesn't. I'm wondering if I will be bothered by the increased amount of smoke coming out of the Hot Top vs. what the Behmor puts out after going through the afterburner. What say you?

FWIW, I registered on this site last year and was getting close to buying a Vivaldi. I held off on that purchase and wound up buying an 8 year old Futurmat Rimini instead. It's sat a bit (last 4 years) so I'm in the process of taking it apart for a thorough cleaning
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Re: HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Post by Niko » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:47 pm

I roast in a very similar situation like you, in the garage with the same 2-door ventilation thingy going on.
Get the Hottop.
:grin:
You won't be disappointed.
8)


And yes, the Hottop SMOKES LIKE A DEMON in hell. So make sure you don't sit there inhaling all the fumes (like I do), keep those doors open and run a fan from below to redirect the smoke away from you.
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Re: HotTop or Gene Cafe?

Post by shakin_jake » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 pm

[quote="Niko"]Get the Hottop.
:grin:
You won't be disappointed.
8) quote]



~~~Sounds like a rousing endorsement from a man that owns not only Behmor and a Hot Top, but a Gene Cafe and an I Roar too! I've never used the Gene nor the I Roar but as I mentioned, I have 90 + roasts logged on the Behmor. What do you like about the Hot Top Niko vs roasting with the Behmor, and vice versa



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

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