I do not advise you to do as I have done. Any modifications will most likely void any warranty.
August 5, 2012 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Like coffee? Maybe even looking to buy a home-roaster? Not enough, you say? Check out the Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters of those that have gone beyond.

From a modest roast coffee in a mug, to a bit more complicated heat gun & dog bowl combo, to seriously industrial, and incorporating tech from hand cranked brick ovens to linux powered machines, these guys are doing whatever it takes to get the perfect cuppa joe.
If modding is more your thing, you can go for a Caffe Rosto, or some hot-air popcorn poppers, or put a bit of oomph into your espresso press.
If it's all too much for you, there's the old roasting in a frypan route.
posted by brappi (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A 120 v shock isn't half as bad as burning down your house though, and that is a serious possibility.

I knew some people who had this happen to their roasting business. Knowing how rats-nest cluttered the back room at their other business was, I suspect it was a combination of dangerous equipment and user error.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:23 PM on August 5, 2012

Here's my modest modification to a $5 popcorn popper roaster. I have been thinking about upgrading to a drum roaster to go on my propane grill, as the batch capacity of the hot air popper is tiny.
posted by exogenous at 6:38 PM on August 5, 2012

I made a satisfactory roaster out of bits and bobs and have used it for years now: video, explanation. Every now and then I get the urge to improve things and then I realise it works just fine and give up.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:58 PM on August 5, 2012

These are awesome, and so is Sweet Maria's. Seriously a company that adores its customers. I look forward to every box I get from them, not just for the beans, but for the postcard with a photo from one of their buying expeditions and the newsletter.

I am just waiting patiently for my iRoast to go tits-up so I can get a Behmor. But goddamn this is making me want to, I dunno, get an Arduino and a torch.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:58 PM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

"You take the green bean, you stay in Kaffeland, and I show you just how far the rabbit hole goes."
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:09 PM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I started out with a popcorn popper and a homemade steel can chimney. But I'm very happy to have moved on to the Behmor. (But of course I admire the spirit of invention represented here...)
posted by Zed at 10:01 PM on August 5, 2012

I've been enjoying roasting with my Behmor, even though its begging me to replace its electronics with power/time controls instead of its weird profile controls.

It's been a fun hobby, and I'm always pleasantly surprised when it comes out "just right" -- roasting coffee is very touchy. I used to favor darker roasts, but in my roasting excursions, have learned to appreciate pretty much everything from mid-first crack through to end of second crack.

Drinking coffee from beans from around the world, roasted yourself, really makes you appreciate the amazing supply chain from small farmer all the way to your cup.
posted by dylanjames at 10:50 PM on August 5, 2012

I personally prefer to roast with this little buddy...but to each his own.
posted by furnace.heart at 3:43 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I personally prefer to roast with this little buddy

That's adorable.
posted by Zed at 9:17 AM on August 6, 2012

I tried roasting my own in a stove-top wok for a few months last year, but eventually returned to buying my beans from SBux, because I wasn't that impressed with the quality, and because several members of my household have respiratory issues that were exacerbated by the smoke

If I wasn't such a cheapskate, perhaps I'd like the results of a real roaster, but for now, I'm good.
posted by hwestiii at 11:21 AM on August 6, 2012

At the London Coffee Festival, there was a startup exhibiting a compact computer-controller roaster. This device plugs into a laptop through a USB port, with software on the laptop controlling the roaster, and displaying graphs of the progress of the roasting. The roasters are designed for making sample roasts of bean batches.

My first thought was: why tie up a laptop when you could put in an Arduino or Raspberry Pi and run a web server on it, or have it controllable from clients across a network?
posted by acb at 7:54 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Graphing the bean-crack frequency would be pretty cool.
posted by Zed at 11:05 AM on August 7, 2012

I like this setup with a Hottop roaster and Arduino datalogging.
posted by exogenous at 12:36 PM on August 7, 2012

This is my setup. Sub $1000 if you already have the laptop, but good enough to win the Home Barista roasting competition the past two years.
posted by rama at 3:03 PM on August 7, 2012

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