file do NOT fear the roaster !

  • caffiend
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11 years 9 months ago #2440 by caffiend
Replied by caffiend on topic do NOT fear the roaster !

Are you really saying that fires from a high end home roaster like the HotTop or GeneCafe are \"not a case of if, but when\"


DUring the second roast ever in my Gene Cafe, I had a chaff fire that started in the roasting cylinder and proceeded ino the chaff collector. There were flames and everything. Fortunately I was watching intently and was able to stop the roast ASAP and dump out the smoldering beans/chaff prior to any permanent harm to the Gene Cafe or anything else (save the wasted ashen coffee). To this day, the steel chaff screen on the roast chamber is tinted black/brown. However, the ABS plastic and steel the machine is made from seems quite chaff-fire resistant (moderate chaff fires anyway).

The fire was due to my own inexperience (trying to roast just a little too much of a particularly chaff-laden bean at once.

The moral of the story: If you are unsure of how \"chaffy\" the beans are, err on the side of caution and roast less.

That said, the event of a chaff fire definitley does not spell imminent doom, given a couple of minor precautions (ie, making sure there is a place to dump fiery ex-coffee and perhaps and oven mit to cover the task of handling an extremely over-heated roasting cylinder safely). I've had worse fires in the kitchen over the years from cooking.

So go ahead and roast away. Just don't let your six-year-old do it unsupervised...

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11 years 9 months ago #2441 by colin
Replied by colin on topic do NOT fear the roaster !
caffiend wrote:


During the second roast ever in my Gene Cafe, I had a chaff fire that started in the roasting cylinder and proceeded into the chaff collector. There were flames and everything. Fortunately I was watching intently and was able to stop the roast ASAP and dump out the smoldering beans/chaff prior to any permanent harm to the Gene Cafe or anything else


Thank you for that. Again, I do not want to leave everyone with the impression that roasting coffee at home is a totally bad idea - it's not. I just need everyone to know the inherent hazards that they do not come after me when something goes haywire.

The bottom line is - roasting coffee generates smoke, chaff and heat... lots of heat.
And we all know what they say about smoke.
A home roaster must have several things:
-Ventilation
-A method of chaff removal or filtration
-A dry fire extinguisher suited to a kitchen fire that is rated for electrical fires. The tiny baby-bottle sized units are useless. You must get one that can combat any fire for a minimum of at least 15 seconds, ideally more.

I have roasted several hundred pounds of coffee without incident - I have not (to the best of my knowledge) been close to flash-point with my roasts.

Be prepared.

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11 years 9 months ago #2456 by CAmper
Replied by CAmper on topic do NOT fear the roaster !
caffiend wrote:


The fire was due to my own inexperience (trying to roast just a little too much of a particularly chaff-laden bean at once.

The moral of the story: If you are unsure of how \"chaffy\" the beans are, err on the side of caution and roast less.



I think I recall seeing that in the manual! :-)

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