Longer term upkeep


#1

As home roasting is a niche hobby there aren’t a ton of video, pics or a breadth of user input out there to sift through for this info, and the Allio forum has to be the best place to get this info.

Of the few videos out there on the Bullet, there seems to be two categories of videos out there showing the condition of the unit after use. Either the videos/pics are all from new users or first timers or reviews of a brand new unit, or there are the one or two videos/pics where the roaster looks like an old battery left in a kids toy for two years. So for those of you who’ve had the unit for a longer term and have a lot of roasts on it my question is, keeping up with standard maintenance on the unit, do the. Bullets start showing signs of use that you can’t clean? The last video I watched in the use of one showed what sounds like a pretty young guy roasting a batch, sounds like he has some experience since he makes temp/fan adjustments and mentions their effect on the roasts, but the unit itself looks corroded under the drop door. Not to mention the SM video where someone tried to pull a fast one on them with a junked/burned unit.

Does the outside metal structure succumb to moisture from roasting over time? I see everyone says these are well built but either people aren’t taking any care of them whatsoever or over time the outside of them start to show this corrosion look from heavy use. Also it seems there are areas of the roaster where you can’t clean it effectively so any input on that would help with a decision as well.

Anyone have any input on this? Looks like I have a couple more months left to pull the trigger on one.


#2

Here is one user review…I think my Bullet looks like new. I just cleaned the fan impeller and filter basket Sunday, and so I took a good look at the overall machine. It’s 14 months old, averaging about 10 roasts per month, for my family and friends.

Here has been it’s life so far:

  • V1.5 with IBTS, from Sweet Maria’s
  • Kept inside (heated and air conditioned) and roasts inside.
  • Routine maintenance done, but I don’t baby it…I’ve taken the front off and cleaned, including the IBTS just once…after the 47th roast just to see if it needed it (it didn’t). Plan to do again after next roast session.
  • I’ve roasted batches no larger than 454 grams (1 lb)
  • Never roast into 2nd crack (except the 5 seasoning roasts).
  • Roast 2 or 3 batches back to back
  • Exhaust is via an approximate 3 ft. pipe connected to a 3D printed adapter and then empties several inches below a kitchen exhaust fan
  • Vacuum chaff collector and filter after every roast session, and the cooling tray/filter after every roast.

So, although I don’t overdo cleaning, I don’t push the roaster to the max, either, so it doesn’t need as much.

Have had no problems except a one time lock up that I think I may have caused, using a new software feature.

Love the roaster, its coffee, and the help received here and from Sweet Maria’s and Aillio.

Good luck to you!


#3

Thanks for the rundown wngsprd! That’s a fair amount of use if it still looks like new. One main reason I’m upgrading from a 1600 is the batch size though. Was truly looking forward to (2) kilos a week in two sessions. We also like things on the darker side although I am trying to back that off a bit to explore more flavor profiles. My current roaster is in front of a window and I think I can just do a fan/shroud over the output and should be good on exhaust without too much pipe length/back pressure and moisture retention in the exhaust system.

I do notice that there’s always some chaff that falls out from the front of the roaster in most videos and was thinking could moisture be exiting from there early in the cycle and cause the corrosion look. Also saw somewhere that not enough exhaust throughput can allow chaff to exit from somewhere below the door. Is this where the air enters the chamber from? Maybe the combination of low exhaust values an open front end can cause moisture loss from the front rather than out through the exhaust?


#4

I can mirror almost everything wngsprd said with a couple of changes. I had a support issue and it required that I disassemble the bottom end of the unit. Support was fast and awesome. No issues since…it happens. I roast in batches of 500-600 grams and will roast up to 5 batches back to back. I will occasionally roast into SC. My machine is about the same age and with minor maintenance/cleaning it looks brand new. Being that this is my sixth roaster and I also have a Phoenix Oro 4 gas roaster I’m used to taking care of the machine as necessary. For most people it comes down to justifying the price. The machine is an amazing piece of technology and if you need to roast at this volume and you’re ok with the cost i’d say pull the trigger. You won’t be disappointed.


#5

re: Experienced roasters… they come in all flavors, some old and some not. It’s all about the beans and what you do with them. If I can learn from a 20 year old or a 90 year old, I’m all in. YouTube doesn’t rank the quality of the material presented, but it’s a great source if you find someone that communicates well.

Bruce


#6

Being a new owner of one of this spring’s batch of V2 machines from SM this is slightly off topic but hopefully useful:

The bits of chaff that fall from the front of the Bullet into the cooling tray are a non-issue. Much more chaff is mixed with the beans when they drop. The cooling tray does a good job of filtering this chaff into the space below the stainless bowl, which is easy to dump later.

Since you mentioned exhaust: I’m roasting in my kitchen. The Bullet fits perfectly on top of my 30" stove. The range hood vents outside, and I only need the lowest of three range hood fan speeds to fully vent all exhaust. This is a very nice setup that is even more effective with the Bullet than with my old Gene, requiring no exhaust pipe or attachments. I roast 450g batches, occasionally to second crack. When not in use the Bullet sits on a cart in the corner of the kitchen where I think it makes an attractive showpiece.

I originally wanted to upgrade roasters primarily for larger batch size. But now I realize that the sensor information, software, and controls are the biggest improvements. These will take your coffee hobby to the next level. I hope you take the plunge and enjoy your Bullet as much as I do.


#7

The sensor information and batch size is why I’m leaning bullet rather than waiting for the jake. The software is nice although since I don’t have a bullet there’s not much to play with. I can however play with artisan and it seems like setting alarm actions may let me tweak some more automation out of it than roastime may do. It appears much of the sensor info isn’t available in artisan from the bullet though.

I like the sensor idea, so long as the new version holds up well, fan life and all.

No one has experienced an issue with the filter getting pulled into the squirrel cage?


#8

The Bullet should not corrode over time. The outside barrel is made of stainless steel which is then powder coated. Other materials are high temperature plastic / silicone and anodized aluminum. the only thing that can corrode is the inside of the drum. However this should be prevented after you season it. The outside of the drum is painted with high temp paint. Almost all screws are stainless steel (a few black painted are not).
Circuit boards are conformal coated to resist dust and moisture and the new exhaust fan’s PCB is also coated.
A little bit of rust can sometimes be seen inside the drum of un-seasoned bullet, but this will disappear after seasoning.

If the filter gets pulled into the squirrel cage it is because it was not seated properly - there is a groove it needs to sit in.


#9

Yes, I have. On the 3rd batch of some beans with a lot of chaff, the air flow thru the filter basket was blocked enough that the filter holder got warm which softened the friction grip on the filter basket. As @jacob said, it wasn’t installed correctly- the lip of the filter basket wasn’t in the groove in the filter holder (I hadn’t even noticed the groove in the holder at that point!). Got hot in the chaff collector. Installed correctly it won’t happen. (I posted something here at the time.)

Bruce


#10

One of the videos I saw mentioned the filter moving in a bit although I don’t recall whether it was the gasket not being seated in the frame properly or not. That was actually one of the better videos on this roaster I’ve seen but it was also brand new as most of the videos are.

Can anyone comment on full kilo batches? Other than tweaking it being the control freak I am about roasting, once I get a handle on how it reacts and roasts I plan on mostly doing kilo roasts with it. I have multiple drinkers in the house and we go through 3 to 4 pots a day, more on the weekend.

Jacob thanks for the input on the coated electronics, surely helps with longevity overall. Well thought out.


#11

re: 1 kg roasts… V1 & V1.5 Bullets are apparently at their limit with a 1 kg roast and power line losses can make it iffy to complete a roast properly. As a result some have dialed that back to 900 g where they have no trouble completing a roast. Other V1/V1.5 users don’t have an issue. It’s my understanding V2 Bullets, which have the new power board, have no issue with a 1 kg batch. As I understand it the last delivery of Bullets were all V2, so hopefully it’s ancient history, but a good idea to confirm which version when ordering.

Bruce


#12

Interesting that you mention waiting for the Jake or buy a Bullet. The Bullet is attainable and has a tremendous support group. The Jake isn’t even in production and has been a vapor trail for a long time now. And when the Jake does come out what issues will it have? Who knows? If it comes out.


#13

I haven’t roasted 1KG, but I typically roast 800g no problem (Perfect size because I get about 2 12oz/340g bags out of it).


#14

I suppose dropping a bit down to 2lb is no great loss. I use mason jars so to get a full jar a kilo would be perfect but that’s not a huge issue, roasting more at a time is a main goal. As for deciding between the Jake and the bullet I fully agree the behmor has been nothing but coffee porn now for a year. They refuse to answer any questions about it and respond with nothing but the same “contact a vendor” emails no matter what the question is and no vendor has any information either. What did strike me about the behmor was obviously the look, but also the cooling system professes to be better. Not a fan of swapping out the circuit to 20amp either but between the look and the cooling tray feature I was on the fence. The bullet being out for a while now has a great following and the software seems solid. Those videos of them looking rotted gave me pause but apparently it’s not the inevitable end of the roaster but how it’s taken care of. All that and the bullet costs 300 more for new tech.

I guess it doesn’t have to be pretty, and I do appreciate the tech if the consensus is the new probe is the future and it’s current incarnation will stand the test of time.

As I spend more time in the Facebook club I realize the difference between this type of roaster vs a 1600. Completely different and obviously closer to how a commercial machine roasts coffee. I think it will offer me more control of time vs temp rather than having to do 18 to 20 minute roasts all the time. The 1600 doesn’t give me the control options as a bullet or the like does.

I’ll be going with the bullet it seems. I’m sure I’ll have questions before I fire up a first roast.


#15

We’ll definitely be here to answer any questions!