FreshRoast SR700 and Roastero

When I started home roasting with the FreshRoast SR700, it was for two reasons.  First, I realized that even though I had started to buy really great beans from local roasters, it was expensive.  I looked, and a pound of very good green coffee is about $5, and a pound of good roasted is anywhere from $15 to $20.  So, by roasting myself, I save big bucks.  Second, I am able to get exactly the coffee I want when I want it.  I roast on demand, and never have any wasted coffee.

So, I decided on the FreshRoast SR700.   It’s computer controlled, and that’s too geeky to pass up.  But, a friend had an SR500 and recommended that.  So, after some research, it really did look like a great way to start at home.

Now, enter Roastero.  After I started roasting, I joined the FreshRoast Facebook group.  There’s over 100 people there comparing recipes and sharing advice on the FreshRoast SR700 and SR500.  Then, I see a post from 2 college kids that are writing an open source program to control the SR700.  You better believe I jumped on that invite.

The stock SR700 software lets you save lots of steps, but you still only have control over 3 heat levels, and 9 fan speeds.  It’s pretty flexible, and produces fine roasts, but it’s still sort of limiting.  Roastero on the other hand uses temperature targets for each step.  You can actually build a real roast profile.  This software takes a really good machine and makes it a great machine.  The roasts you can do with this level of control are incredible.  The only nit is that the software is still using those 3 heat levels, so it toggles back and forth between them to maintain a given temperature.  That is a limitation of the hardware.  So, the resulting curve is not smooth.  But, the average of the result works out fine.

I am able to create profiles that put 1st crack anywhere I want it.  I can produce nice even light roasts, or dark roasts with a roaring 2nd crack, and they are all nice and even.

Here’s a quick video.

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