The Do’s and Don’ts of Roasting on the Bullet R1
Follow these rules for raising a happy, healthy roaster, so that you may enjoy many years of wonderful coffee…
Do use the RoasTime software.
Of course, roast profiles can be very helpful for visualizing what is going on in the drum, making them a valuable ally in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup. But in addition to generating profiles, RoasTime is also essential for maintaining the health of your roaster.
In the event that something goes wrong, the debugging information RoasTime provides can help us quickly diagnose the problem. Without that information, it is sometimes impossible to troubleshoot issues. With that in mind, we only offer technical support to those who use RoasTime on a computer that is connected to the Internet. Besides, that’s the only way to update your firmware. Speaking of which…
Do update your firmware in RoasTime.
We are constantly making the Bullet R1 better, and firmware updates are our favorite way to roll out new features and improvements. Some of these updates are absolutely essential to the long-term health of your Bullet.
Do remember to empty the chaff collector.
If you do not empty the chaff collector regularly, the airflow in the Bullet will be reduced significantly, leading to a host of problems ranging from overheating of the Bullet, to moisture build-up in the control panel.
Do not roast without the chaff collector.
If you roast without the chaff collector assembly attached, there will be no airflow within the drum, which again may lead to the aforementioned host of problems.
Do remember to clean the chaff filter.
Depending on how much and how dark you roast, you may not need to clean your chaff filter very often. But, inevitably, the day will come when it becomes clogged with coffee chaff and oils. If you value your Bullet R1 and the coffee it roasts, you will need to clean it. Please don’t overlook this. We have seen a few Bullets that needed major overhauling because of clogged filters.
Do not roast without the bean chute plug.
The plug helps control air flow within the Bullet and prevents heat from escaping. If you preheat or roast without using the bean chute plug, you’re going to be fighting against physics. This also means you should only use the bean funnel while charging, never while preheating, roasting or cooling.
Do not roast with the tryer removed.
Roasting with the tryer removed from its slot will allow heat to escape the drum and affect your roast. The same can be said for taking too many samples during the roast.
Do not roast in an extreme environment.
When you roast in temperatures above 30c, you risk overheating your Bullet R1. This is particularly true for 110V units which run a little less efficiently than their 220V counterparts. And the longer you run any electronics at higher temperatures, the faster they will degrade. On the other side of the spectrum, roasting in your garage in the middle of winter will likely drastically alter your profile curves — you may need significantly more power to complete your roast normally — and keep in mind that the Bullet is not designed to be run at temperatures below freezing.
Do not roast in a windy environment.
A windy environment will change your profile curves. And while preheating, the Bullet may not automatically go to charge mode as the temperatures will be less stable under windy conditions.
Do not yank on the power cord or the cooling fan cord.
This can result in an untimely death for the cord.
Do stir the beans in the cooling tray.
This is especially important for big batches. Stir the beans for faster cooling.
Do not plug-in the extra connector on the power PCB/induction board.
If you’ve ever ventured into the belly of the Bullet, you will probably have noticed a connector that isn’t connected. That’s because it’s supposed to be disconnected. You can see this in our wiring diagram for V1 Bullets. It is the same on V2. Do not try to plug it in. If you’re confused about this, please contact us.
Do not touch (or otherwise mishandle) the wrong side of the IR glass.
(Serial Numbers 001–1424 ONLY)
There are two sides to the Germanium IR glass/window. One side is coated with diamond-like carbon, and thus is relatively resilient to scratches. This is the side facing the beans when seated in the roaster, and it is a little duller (but should still shine when clean.) The other side has no protective coating, and so it is very, very fragile. Honestly, you should avoid even touching it. And absolutely do not rest it on a hard surface.
Do not clean the IR glass with abrasive pads or sandpaper.
(Serial Numbers 001–1424 ONLY)
Just don’t. We have seen this too often. It will ruin your IR glass, making it extremely difficult to manage your roasts, and could potentially damage your Bullet.
Do not remove the air duct for cleaning.
This is not supposed to be removed as it is glued in place. By removing it, you risk damaging the carefully placed insulation on top of it.
Do not soak the impeller in cafiza/espresso cleaner for a long time.
A short soak of no more than a few minutes will get the job done. A long soak while you kick your feet up and watch the football game will completely dissolve the impeller. We’ve seen this. Definitely not good for the home team.
Do use a high-quality shielded USB data cable.
The Bullet is quite finicky about USB cables. You must use a shielded cable made for data transfer. But even these can sometimes be of a lesser quality, or go ‘bad’, meaning they may work for a time and then stop. This is true even if other devices still work with the cable — remember, the Bullet is finicky.
Do not assume machine is a set-it-and-forget-it toy.
Like all other professional roasters — and pretty much anything else with so many moving parts — though it is built to last, the Bullet R1 requires regular maintenance. In addition to cleaning, this may include occasionally whipping out a hex driver to tighten a bolt, or removing the control panel to inspect the connections. Simply put, you must show your roaster some love if you want to keep it (and you) happy.
Do take advantage of the community.
There is a lovely, thriving unofficial Facebook community with much useful information. There is also a new roast sharing website being developed. The latter is called Roast.World, includes its own forum, and integrates seamlessly with the new RoasTime 3. Check these out. Joining the community is a big part of the fun.
DO READ THE MANUAL!
This is the big one. The manual contains additional valuable information regarding safety, maintenance, and basic repairs. Failure to maintain the Bullet as described in the manual will result in damage to the machine and a voiding of your warranty. No one wants to be that guy… or gal.