The Alpenrost Rotary Drum Home Coffee Roaster by Swissmar

Our detailed review:

Here are some of the key benefits of the Alpenrost (the first few points are reiterated from the previous page):

  • The Alpenrost has a 1/2 lb. (225 gram) capacity, almost 3x the capacity of other home roasters. You want to be consistent with the batch size. The low-cost digital gram scale we sell would be a nice accessory to have with the Alpenrost. Roasting less requires adjusting the roast time to a lower number to compensate. That could get tricky to control. For example: on my roaster a 1/2 lb batch at "10" roast setting produces a nice Full City roast, but a 1/4 lb batch at "10" is a French Roast. So I would urge you to use a full 8 oz. every time --that's the whole reason for buying this roaster anyway!
  • The Alpenrost is a rotary drum coffee roaster, all others on the market currently are air roasters (or fluid-bed type roasters). The Alpenrost is the only conduction/convective air roaster. (The Unimax was a conduction roaster too, but it is not being sold currently).
  • Conduction/convective roasting requires more time to transfer the heat from to the coffee by convective air flow and by conduction via the hot metal surfaces.
  • In this way, the Alpenrost IS an electric, automated, modern design of the traditional coffee roaster's sample roaster. (Which, incidentally, still cost over $3000!)

This is an end-view of the Alpenrost drum --you can see the tines that drive the coffee just like they do in a full size drum coffee roaster. If they were not there, the coffee would settle at the bottom of the drum and not truly agitate. They are alos flared on the ends so when the Alpenrost is finished cooling, the motor reverses and drives the roasted coffee out into the bean collecting hopper and the end of the machine
And this is what the drum sits upon --a view of the roast chamber with the lid open. You can see the squiggley heating coil (very substantial) and at the bottom the chaff tray. The blue arrows point to the sprocket that drives the drum. You will notice rollers in each corner. When you put the drum into the roaster, be sure you have it aligned on the sprocket. The white arrows indicate the two vanes that open up when the cooling cycle begins, venting the hot air rapidly from the roast chamber. They are in the open position in this image.
This view shows the drum mounted in the roaster with the lid open. The chaff tray is pulled out several inches (white arrow) and the bean collector hopper is not in place (it would be where the chaff tray is). You notice that the drum material is a rather large screen openings, which does cause some trouble for very small bean coffees...
And here is the opposite end from the image above. The fan is of very high quality ... the exahust directional piece is in the forground, and it mounts in front of the fan in the image. You can direct it down if you have a Jennair type stovetop exahust vent, or upward into an overhead exahust vent. You need an outdoor exhaust to fan of some kind to use this roaster --or to roast outdoors in fair weather. It is very smokey due to the large capacity! Roasting in cold outdoor environments poses problems too. Cold intake air temperatures stall the roast. There are ways to create a warm air baffle around the roaster by redirecting its hot exhaust air back through it (a large box works!) but be aware of this limitation. Another solution for smoke control is that a 6" Aluminum Laundry Vent Hose ($6 at any hardware store) can slip on the end of the black exhaust directional piece in the image to send the smoke where you want it to go!

 

Follow this link for My Comparison Chart of Home Roasters

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