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.