Espresso! My Espresso! "HOW TO" Pages
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved

DISCLAIMER-As stated within the owners manual that comes with every Hottop Roaster, be sure to read all instructions and warnings before using any coffee roasting appliance. Never leave a coffee roaster unattended when in operation. I present these instructions only to document what I have done to get the roast I like using my Hottop. It is your responsibly to use these directions safely.

14- Profiling With The Hottop KN-8828B Roaster

      For those looking to get more out of the "Hottop KN-8828B" model, and make better use of its excellent capabilities, here's a starting point. As with all roasting profiles, consider this just that - a starting point. There are so many variables, the most important of which is your personal preference when it comes to the taste of the coffee. Modify these instructions to match your coffee and brewing method to get the coffee taste you prefer.

Some comments and tips before beginning:
* I have about 122 volts with element off and 119-120 with it on. Lower voltages (below about 112 or so) will affect some of what you read here. The later models of the Hottop roasters are voltage compensated/regulated in some way, so unless your line voltage varies a lot you probably will not notice the difference much, if at all.
* I normally roast +/-300 grams at a time. It lengthens the roast time, possibly beyond what you may like. This is particularly true if you have been using a roaster that is fast (air roasters and such). The same if you are roasting for drip which benefits from a shorter total roast time.
* I roast almost exclusively for espresso. Other methods of brewing require changes in profile. For example, for drip, you want a shorter roast. This can be accomplished using a smaller mass of beans- around 230 to 250 grams.
* I use a permanent stainless steel mesh rear main filter (intended for computer fans) instead of the stock, consumable filter. While I have restricted it to flow about the same amount of air as a new Hottop Filter, the airflow through mine may be more than with your filter. Adjust your heating element and fan speed to get the desired results.
* Temperature control is accomplished by changing the heating element level and to a lesser extent the fan speed. If you think of the heating element as the coarse adjustment and the fan as the fine adjustment you begin to get the idea. Be aware that the fan has the potential to slow the rate of temperature rise so use it cautiously when a rise in temperature is desired or when the heating element is set to low levels. With a new filter and the fan set at 100% with the heating element at 50% or less, the temperature may drop so rapidly that it will be difficult to hold the environmental temperature in the drum from actually dropping, and that can ruin a roast.
* Remember that the fan should be left on in the roast once the coffee begins to produce smoke. This is to maintain airflow in the roasting chamber to clear the smoke.


- Start the roaster on Auto mode, but program it with maximum time and maximum temperature possible (I think that is 25:00 and 428 F.), and the default fan speed of "0%." There are times when the program will drop the heat or change the fan speed. Watch carefully as these take place and override them using the panel controls to keep the roast going as described below.

- Start the roaster and allow it to go through the preheat cycle (never add beans before the preheat cycle completes). Allow the "Add beans" signal beeps to take place, and then wait for the roaster to reach about 230-250 F. Add beans at about 240 to 250 F.

- After about three minutes or so after adding the beans (or when it smells a bit damp or grassy) run the fan at 25% to 50% for about thirty seconds to clear out the humidity, then turn the fan off.

- You want to control the drying time. When the temperature display indicates about 290, start lowering the heating element power and try to hold the indicated temperature in a range of about 300-325 F. Do this by adjusting the fan and heating. Hold the temp in that range until the beans just begin to go from green and begin turning tan. If you do have a bean temp probe, you are trying to get the beans up to about 300 F which marks the approximate end of the drying phase. When the beans hit about 290-295 it is time to turn up the heat.
      Just as you see the green fading away, turn the fan off (if it is on) and set the heat to 100% again. In NO CASE should you allow the temperature to drop. Holding steady is OK as is a slow rise. It takes a bit of experience to know how to set the heating element, but pay attention to what happens and you will quickly figure it out.

- At about 325 F (or when you first start to see smoke), set the fan to 25% and consider this the minimum fan speed for the remainder of the roast. If smoke starts coming from other areas of the roaster other then the rear filter, turn the fan up to maintain sufficient airflow through the roaster. The speed required is dependent on the age of the main filter.

- Allow the roast to continue, pressing a button (other than EJECT !) when you hear a beeping. After the "Add Beans" signal beeping, there are two times when this may occur. See the manual for details- Page 17. If you have a very recent model and the beans have ejected early it is probably from the new safety measures. Download the updated manual from the Hottop website and refer to page 14.

- At the first clicks of first crack (or just before), set heating element to about 75%. As First become a bit more active set the heating element to about 50%. near the end of first to about 30%. The beans will be exothermic and the temperature will continue to rise, slowly. At NO TIME should the temperature be allowed to drop. If the temperature seems to be rising too quickly, switch the fan speed to 50% or more as necessary, for only as long as necessary. Remember, do not let the temperature drop..

- The goal of dropping the temperature at the beginning of first crack is to get a time span of about 4 minutes between the beginning of first crack and the beginning of second crack. Another way to look at this is that you are trying to achieve a pause of two minutes between the end of first crack and the beginning of second crack.

- Just as (or a bit before) second starts, set the heating element back to 100% and the fan speed at 50%-75%.

- Eject when the desired level of roast is achieved. For my house blend for espresso I am going about 10-20 seconds into second. If there is a rule (and thee isn't other than what tastes good for you) it would be to use a slightly darker roast for more basic outfits (like Silvia and Rocky) and the lighter (early second crack) roasts for better outfits (like a HX machine and Mazzer).

- Allow the cooling cycle to complete, and when prompted, save the program in one of the three memory areas. This will make it easier to use next time since you have overridden the various temperature changes and fan adjustments in the auto program. Make a note of the roast and area where it was saved since these three memory locations cannot be named in the machine for reference.

* Use this as a beginning foundation and modify it as your needs and taste dictate. For example, for drip I would use a smaller mass of beans and add the beans at about 275 F or so to shorten the total roast time, and eject about midway between first and second, or just as the first click or two of seconds sounds off.
* Be aware that even after saving the profile you will still need to monitor and manually control the roast to achieve the best possible results. Small changes might be necessary from batch to batch to get perfect results.