• Owning and Using the SR700

    Forum Forums Coffee Discussions Owning and Using the SR700

    This topic contains 61 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Jeff 3 years, 11 months ago.

    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 62 total)
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    • #61

      Jeff
      Participant

      I’ve had my SR700 for about 3 months now, and I just wanted to share my experiences with it for those who might be considering this machine.

      1. Buy it!
      If you are new to coffee roasting this is the perfect machine to start with. If you have used the SR500 I hear you will love this even more.

      2. Programming it.
      Sorry, but the programming feature is never going to do it all for you. There are too many variables to coffee roasting to handle with a step progam. The real benefit of the programming is the help it provides for recording and building on what you’ve learned. It can give you a basis to start each roast, but you will almost always need to modify it on the fly.

      3. The real reasons to buy it.
      Quality.
      Ease of use.
      The temperature readout. This makes the learning curve for making good coffee way easier than anything else I can imagine.
      The responsiveness of the maker. (I broke the roasting chamber and they got me a new one in 2 days!)
      The coffee. It’s unbelievable.

      4. For more information.
      Check out Sweet Maria’s coffee forums under Air Roasters/SR700. There is a lot of good info there on using the machine.

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  Jeff.
      #64

      Hi Jeff,
      We’re happy to hear that you are enjoying the SR700. If you have anything that you would like to see in a software update, please post it! It will help us make this roaster even better.

      Thank you,
      Sam

      #67

      Jeff
      Participant

      Sam,
      Is there any reason not to have an unlimited number of steps?
      I don’t know if it’s really essential, but it can be frustrating to run out of steps before completing a roast.

      If I can dream, it would be to have the ability to program for target temperatures at target times as an alternative to time,fan speed and temp settings.

      The current system is nice foot its simplicity, but it seems to me that if the program could be set to hit x temp at y time and the machine made the necessary adjustments in temp and fan speed to accomplish the goal, it would create more consistent roasts in a greater variety of environments.

      #68

      That’s great, I am looking into this and see the need, I was also thinking of making the program notify the user when a target temp has been reached and we will just have it in a graph form, along with being able to set the time.

      Thank you

      #69

      Jeff
      Participant

      Thanks for considering the suggestion.
      Just out of curiosity, what exactly does the temperature readout measure? Temperature of the air in the roast chamber, temperature of the beans, or something else?
      Thanks.

      #71

      TennDave
      Participant

      I am fairly new at roasting and am using a Poppery at the moment. I was going to modify it to change heating and fan speed but when I saw all that was involved I decided to look into buying an actual roaster and that’s where I’ve stumbled into this roaster and thus this forum. I am planning on getting the SR700 in the near future (my wife says I have to wait until Christmas)…anyway, thanks for the add and I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you all!! I currently am roasting Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans and having mixed results- sometimes the beans are awesome as predicted and I establish a good bold dark and even roast…other times the 2nd crack is barely present and the beans are not evenly roasted and the cup of java is earthy and unflavorful. I’m looking to change all of this. Just wondering what is the cup capacity of this roaster (1/2 cup like I’m doing now) and if the files from the profile can be exchanged by email, etc.
      -David

      #72

      Jeff
      Participant

      Tendave,
      I’ve been doing 4.9 oz.of green beans per roast which yields about 3.8 oz. of roasted beans. That’s probably closer to a cup I would guess.
      The roast profiles are saved in a discrete file, so they should be easy to attach to an email and send.
      The files aren’t very complex though, and it’s my opinion that the environments we roast in are different enough that what works in one setting may not work in another. So I don’t think trading files would be as useful as you might think.
      More important is timing and temperature, which might require different settings in your setup than mine.
      There are some good posts on the Sweet Maria’s website on the SR700 that would be a bigger help to get you started.

      #73

      TennDave
      Participant

      Thanks for your reply Jeff!
      Yes, I am finding out that it all has to do with ambient temps.
      Lately I’ve been roasting in the garage with doors shut where the temp stays about the same and I’m getting better, more consistent results. However, I’m still on the Poppery…By Christmas I should have the SR700!! Now, I guess this is really nothing to do with the roaster but I like full bodied, unflavored columbian roast. What green/raw beans have others had success with to get what I’m looking for?
      Thanks in advance and as soon as I get my SR700, I’m sure I’ll be way more involved and on topic!

      #74

      Jeff
      Participant

      TennDave,
      I’m sort of a ‘one trick pony’ when it comes to my coffee. I like a very dark Italian Roast with almost no acidity, rich aroma, and full body with a slight smoky, chocolate highlight. I’ve gotten the best results for what I’m after using Mexican beans from Sweet Marias – they are a strong flavored bean that doesn’t get too bland when roasted as dark as I like. I Don’t think I’d like this bean at a lower roast level.
      Check out the forums at sweetmarias.com for more info on different beans. There is also more info on the SR700.
      BTW – I have recently been able to stabilize my roasting environment, and I’m starting to think that the saved roast profiles could be more useful that I did previously. There is still a big difference between a first and second roast done consecutively, but if everything is warmed up properly, you can almost run a profile without making any changes.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Jeff.
      #76

      TennDave
      Participant

      Thanks buddy- I’ll check them out!
      -D

      #77

      Jeff
      Participant

      Here are a few suggestions for anyone starting out using the SR700 that I have found helpful. Most of these things aren’t absolutely necessary, but they make the process a little easier:

      1. Ventilation
      If you don’t mind setting things up under your range hood fan every time you roast, that should be a decent option – the better your fan, the happier you and your family will be.
      Roasting outside is also a good option during nice weather, but ambient temperature dramatically affects roast temperature. (Early on, I did have a neighbor run over to make sure we didn’t have a fire!)
      As temperatures cooled, I moved to my basement shop, set up a window fan and roasted on the deep window ledges in front of the fan. It worked great for ventilation, but the extreme air movement made it tough to reach roasting temps. As outside temps continued to drop, it also started to get cold in the room.
      Recently, I built a ventilation system from a $15 bath fan (from Home Depot) and an old computer desk. I’ll try to attach a picture if I can. This system works great and was very inexpensive.

      2. Lighting
      Good lighting is essential to the end of the roast process. You can’t have too much light to help you see the exact shade of the beans as you reach the end. An incandescent bulb works best thanks to the yellower light – I tried switching to a CFL but the bluer light made it harder to identify the shades of brown that get critical at the end of a dark roast.

      3. A shop vac
      I keep my shop vac in arm’s length of my roaster. When the roast is done, I turn on the vac and vacuum out the Chaff collector. First the top, then the bottom section, and finally I get it just close enough to the roast chamber to pull off any chaff remaining on top of the beans. Having heard of issues with chaff collecting in the body of the roaster, I also vacuum out all the openings in the roaster after each use. With this method, this only takes a few seconds and keeps things clean.

      4. Hot pad
      A hot pad for removing the chaff collectors and roast chamber is almost a must. I have one with a rubberized side that makes it a lot easier to hold on to the fragile parts.

      5. Chopsticks
      I’ve cut down some cheap wooden chopsticks to about 4″ long. They work great for freeing stuck beans from the chaff collector and the bottom of the roast chamber, as well as for stirring through the beans to find any burned ones. I also use them to stir the grounds in my Technivorm coffee maker. It’s a very useful and cheap tool.

      6. Glass containers
      I took a trip to Goodwill and bought a bunch of glass bowls and lidded containers or various sizes. I spent about $20 for 3 airtight containers, several fancy glass bowls, and some plain ones for cooling and storing beans, etc.. Very handy and a little classier than the plastic containers I’d been using.

      7. Dedicated circuit
      If you have the option, the biggest thing on my wish list would be a dedicated electric circuit to plug in the SR700. It’s so sensitive to voltage variations that I think this would give much more consistent roasts. Maybe someday.

      As I said, all of this isn’t essential, but it sure is nice!

      #82

      TennDave
      Participant

      My SR700 arrived on Friday and I opened it and got it out of the box as well as my 2 bags of (free) Guatemalan beans. Thanks Sam etal!! I’m so excited!! However, my parade was cut short- my wife would not allow me to begin using it- she is wrapping it back up to go under the tree! Oh well- will continue to roast with the Poppery for now. I have however copied the software onto a Win8 notebook and taken notes on different profiles. I can’t wait to start roasting with the SR700…hoping for a City+ dark, bold and even roast.

      Just a question about the wait time after roasting. With the Poppery, I have been waiting 5-6 days before grinding and brewing. What is your take on the time after roasting with the SR700?

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  TennDave.
      #92

      TennDave
      Participant

      Finally opened my roaster on Christmas and brought it back from where we were (in-laws) and did 2 roasts last night. A basic profile of times and settings that someone posted on here which resembled the level of roast of what I like was used. During my first roast, I had trouble understanding exactly what to push to get temp/timer/fan adjustments to change and so there was a lot of fumbling about and I know I roasted longer than the “recipe” called for. So, needless to say, my first roast was a learning process. My second roast was spot on in regards switching things up to what I had written down. What I found was my first roast actually turned out better and darker to the extent I like so I put the second batch of beans back in and roasted them some more. I also figured out how to append to the profile file so I’m good to go for my third roast now. I can’t wait to try out the coffee that I roasted. Btw, I got 2 lbs of the Guatemalan Huehuentango Dulce Leonardo with my roaster so that is what I roasted. Any suggestions specific to this bean? I like to take things just past full City- maybe what is called City+.

      #94

      bpweed
      Participant

      TennDave, I had to reply to your comment about being confused about what to push to get temp/timer/fan adjustments. I had the same experience the first time I used my 700. I noticed in another post that Sam was looking for feedback on software improvements. Sam, if you’re reading this, I would consider changing the software to respond to a click on the function you want to change. So, if I click on the fan speed display, it flashes and I can increase or decrease the fan speed. I think that would be more intuitive and quicker than clicking on the right arrow and working your way over to whatever function you want to modify. Other than that, I’m having a blast with the machine. Sorry I can’t help you more with your other questions TennDave, but I’m still new to this also.

      #95

      TennDave
      Participant

      I agree, the buttons to change settings are not very intuitive. Simplifying the design of the software, as you indicated would make things much much easier and it would eliminate two operations to change one setting- something that takes a few seconds even with practice…this when you are trying to change settings quickly to accommodate the roast you’re trying to create. Even easier would be an up or down arrow for each thing- Fan/Temp/Time… not sure if all of that could fit on the front of the machine but it should be possible in the software- the two don’t have to be identical… Just a thought

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