I have just found out about this forum! Was over on CoffeeForums at Jord93.
I posted my initial impressions of this roaster on the ‘home roaster’ section here it is for all you :)
I was looking for a while for a roaster that suited my current needs.
I started last year in March on a popper went to gene101 then my little china fluid bed - which are all home roaster grade. I put plenty of kilos through my little fluid bed & still very much use it.
My requirements were: I needed it to fit through my relatively small loft hatch, be commercial grade, no new electrical requirements & be affordable.
The most obvious 2 that come up upon researching was the Cormorant CR600 & Aillio Bullet, which have plenty of support out there, facebook groups etc.
But what got me thinking was the great results I got from my mini fluid bed from china via alibaba. I did find someone in the UK that has the same one and we chatted about it helping each other to use the machine in the best way we can. A video by Ken from coffee crafters also helped me a great deal - your first roast on artisan 3e - of understanding the basic principles of the fluid bed that I applied to my mini one.
Initially, I was considering artisan 3e but it did not meet my current needs/requirements at this time.
Searching more on alibaba I stumbled across the Combb-500.
It satisfied all my requirements and above all was commercial grade & affordable for me. As it looked really good I searched everywhere for other customers thoughts on the roaster but did not come across any actually there was one 5 star rating on alibaba from 2020, I think.
I got in contact with the supplier what was reassuring to me the company is the one behind the Amazon Dalian 1kg that bella barista sell in the UK. I chatted with the supplier asking many questions, they sent me the manual, windows software to check myself. I was again reassured how helpful they were to all my questions.
So I thought why not and took the plunge! I struck up a good deal including spare heater elements, bearing, UK plug, engraving, switches etc.
The roaster was in production for about 2 weeks and was informed of updates throughout the process. I then got dispatched to me early December, after a bit of stress with delivery haha it finally arrived safely on the 23rd 2 days before Christmas!
The machine details as follows: 45Kg weight (It is heavy! don’t ask how I got it in loft lol 3 people) the machine itself feels quality. 600g max green capacity / 1.8kw power / Bluetooth controlled via software / Drum speed 80rpm / Infrared heating / Drum chain driven / The machine has bolts / hatch compartments (heat elements access) for replacement of parts.
I couldn’t wait to use it so did a 150g roast in the living room. The Bluetooth connection was easy to do no noticeable delay. I did the roast and it went great and I loved using a trier for the first time! The machine is super quiet and was great hearing first crack so easily.
Once in loft I set it all up properly and did the seasoning roasts. Any concerns the supplier was right there to assist.
I have done a good few roasts on it the software has its quirks which was expected but I have learnt the process just like driving a car.
The roasts are very even and not dry it manages chaff very well there is a large chaff bin at back (no filters to clog) there is a tray under roaster drum that collects some chaff from the roast - it has 2 screws I have opted to keep them out so I can remove it partially during roast and vacuum out to stop any possible charring of the chaff - keep an eye during chaffy roasts.
Machine has plenty of power did not struggle at all in 1c temps to get up to heat - when it is up to heat it is quite a thermal mass due to all the metal. Generally warm up time is 12mins give up to 15mins - cooldown around 15mins bean temp at 50c. I have never needed to use more than 70% power. Power range is 0 - 100% and air is 0 - 100% controlled in software. I determined my general air settings low, medium & high with the lighter trick via trier hole.
I currently use a 420g charge with around 350g out with great results, gives plenty of free space for beans to expand / agitate well. So 3 roasts are 1kg out. I have not tested other batches sizes thought it states between 100g min to 500g upper limit 600g.
Typically my roasts times are around 12 mins in total with first between 8 & 9 mins. My generally settings are 70% heat back off to 60% when close to charge temp. A roast: 420g in / Drop temp175c / Initiate procedure in software / records turning point automatically / dev percent calculation upon first crack / Heat setting 60% Air at 30% upon first crack pops Heat 35% Air increased to 50% (depending on bean chaff) until end of roast this results in a nice steadily declining ror. Roast profiles/graphs can be saved and printed off. There is auto mode - not used.
Initial impressions - this is a very good roaster and I am very pleased with it. It could be a great roaster with a few more tweaks, I have sent manufacturer improvement ideas which they like the sound of which are of extra fine sieve on bean cooler & graph axis recalibration. The software is not perfect but it more than adequate for the time being.
I may write the English manual for the roaster in future as in discussion with Dalian amazon. Hopefully some more folk in UK get this not just me lol.
Pics are attached below.
Happy roasting all! My insta is @barista.jord
Video Link https://ufile.io/8ziqhv7t