Hottop USA User Maintenance of Hottop Coffee Roasters
DISCLAIMER: These tasks described here as well as the video presentations are not intended to be all-inclusive instructional videos nor offer advice on appliance repair. They merely illustrate the process. The information here as well as the videos take a lot for granted such as, but not limited to, safety around electrical devices, proper choice and use of hand tools, techniques to ensure personal safety, protection of property, fire safety, and more. By viewing. listening to, or watching these videos, and/or attempting the procedures on this page, or following any repair or maintenance instructions on the Hottop USA website, you assume all responsibility and release Hottop USA and all its employees and contractors from any and all liability. If you do not accept these terms and/or your local laws prohibit such a release of liability, you may not watch or use the information contained herein.
Regular maintenance of your Hottop coffee roaster is important. Just like regular oil changes and keeping the tires of your vehicle properly inflated, there are many benefits to keeping your Hottop roaster properly maintained:
It can extend the life of the roaster
It has potential to improve the taste of the coffee
Can help eliminate the possible hazard created by the buildup of flammable debris inside the roaster
Help spot minor problems before they become major repairs.
To those ends we have created this page to help you in your maintenance chores.
This page has been divided into five maintenance sections to help you create a maintenance schedule. A true schedule (such as, “every thirty days'” or, “every twenty roasts”) is difficult to universally define. While the number of roasts between cleanings is the major factor, even that varies by the influence of a number of factors:
The type of coffee you roast
How much you roast per batch
How dark you roast
Environmental factors such as the general humidity of the roaster's storage area when not in use
Use the schedule here as a beginning guideline. Over time you will get a feel for how often you need to perform any given task to keep your Hottop performing at its best. To gain that insight we offer the following schedule to get you started. Whether any given set of tasks below are performed more or less often is up to you, but the important thing is to perform them on a regular basis to keep your Hottop operating at peak performance.
SOME TIPS BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Wear gloves to protect hands from sharp edges
Eye protection is necessary to protct against cleaning chemical splashes as well as dirt and dust when using compressed air or brushes
Neither clean nor disassemble a hot machine.
Allow roaster to cool before doing any maintenance chore.
Unplug the machine from the power outlet before cleaning or disassembling the machine.
After performing any maintenance task always run one “empty roast” cycle (run a full roast with no beans). Set the roaster to "Auto" and hit start. Allow it to auto-eject without any interference and be sure that the eject door opens in the roast chamber.
There are times when a roaster is partially disassembled when you may wish to run the machine. Usually this is during troubleshooting or after a repair to test your work before final assembly, but may also be done as part of these maintenance tasks. This may include a short test run with the rear cover removed or the front cover removed and other such procedures. The dangers when doing such testing may include, but are not limited to physical harm to you or others, fires danger, burns, electrical shock, and damage to the machine. The source of these dangers could include:
Exposed electrical connections
Moving parts such as the rotating roasting drum
Heat from the heating element
If you are unsure about the safety of any such task discussed below or any other repair or testing procedure, please feel free to contact us first at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to assist you.
TOOLS and MATERIALS
For all the following tasks a minimum of tools is necessary. This list should cover all your basic needs:
A #1 and #2 Phillips screwdriver (The #2 will handle most tasks, but will not fit in a couple of places such as the two bottom screws holding the main fan to the back cover of the machine and the recessed screws holding the side panels.)
A small slotted screwdriver (for “-2” models to remove the safety eject knob)
Magnetic pickup tool (for dropped screws)
Brushes for removing chaff
Chopstick or equivalent
Food-safe cleaning product
Compressed air source
Be aware that most of the screws on the roaster only need to be tightened slightly more than just past “seated.” Over tightening screws can damage parts and strip threads. The main motor mount should be well-torqued to the frame and other machine screw such as those that hold the eject solenoid as well. But those which thread into plastic parts (main fan, rear cover, side panels, etc.) should not be overtightened. A good starting guide would be turn with minimum torque until the screw stops, then turn 1/16th of a turn further.
Loosening tight screws can be a challenge. Use a screwdriver with a rounded end on the handle. This allows you to comfortable press the screwdriver into the screw with the palm of one hand against the end of the handle while turning the screwdriver with the other hand. A steady, slowly increasing force from you is easier to control then a sudden “grunt” of an attempt.
Some screws can be difficult to start into their threads. One trick is to turn the screw counterclockwise until you feel it "drop" into place, then turn it clockwise to tighten. Some parts are difficult to hold in place while inserting screws. In that case, get assistance from someone.
The #2 Phillips screwdriver should be of good quality. With well-defined edges on the tip and the tip should be hardened to keep its form over time.
THE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULES
I – AFTER EVERY ROAST
Remove and empty the chaff tray.
Allow the roaster to cool, remove the front cover and check for chaff in and below the roasting drum. Chaff can be removed using a long brush or vacuuming with an appropriate tool. Also look into roast chamber and remove any beans that may have remained in the drum. A long chopstick or length of wood dowel is handy for that.
CAUTION – Chaff in the chaff tray or in the roaster may be smoldering just after a roast completes. To avoid the risk of fire, do not dump chaff into a trash receptacle nor vacuum chaff until roaster has cooled.
II – WEEKLY - Perform the above tasks plus:
Examine the main filter and replace as necessary (around every 35-45 roasts).
Clean the front glass. A microfiber rag with a corner dampened with water is normally sufficient. A drop or two of a multipurpose cleaner that is safe to be used around food can be used to break loose tough buildups. Wipe all remaining cleaner off with a rag moistened with water and allow to completely dry before the next roast. NOTE: We DO NOT recommend removing the four screws inside the front cover that holds the glass viewing window in place. These tend to fuse to the cover and the threads can be damaged.
III - MONTHLY - Perform the above tasks plus:
Remove the drum and clean the roast chamber of stray chaff and bean particles.
Examine the heating element. It should not be touching the wall of the roast chamber, nor should it be possible for it to touch the drum. Look for signs of warping. If warping exists, replace element.
Visually check the temperature sensor for build up of roasting oils. If necessary, clean with a grease-cutting cleaner and nylon scrubbing pad.
Operate the eject door by pressing it inwards along its bottom edge and quickly releasing it using a wood dowel or wooden spoon's handle to be sure that the door operates smoothly and closes securely. Additionally, if you have a roaster with the emergency eject knob under the main fan, pull and release it to check the operation of the emergency eject system as well.
Remove the main filter and using an appropriate air source (if available) blow out the roaster to remove as much stray chaff as possible. NOTE: Inspect the top filter to make sure that the material in it has not been displaced.
CAUTION: Use a chopstick or similar tool, inserted through the grill of the main fan to stop the blades from spinning while using compressed air through the rear of the machine. Allowing the fan to spin under the influence of the high-speed air can damage the fan. Do not blow high speed air directly through the bean cooling fan's grill under the cooling tray.
IV – EVERY SIX MONTHS - Perform all the above tasks plus:
Remove main fan and remove rear cover. NOTE: -2 owners be sure to retrieve the spring which fits into the recess on the inside of the rear cover, and be sure it is in place before replacing the cover.)
Examine the blades of the fan and clean as necessary. A microfiber rag and multi-purpose cleaner will work well for this. If you remove the fan from its holder, be sure to mark its orientation first so that it can be replaced in the same orientation.
Clean the back cover with soap and water. Rinse and allow to dry before replacing on machine.
Using compressed air, blow out any stray chaff and bean particles in the rear of the machine.
Examine the top filter to be sure that the material in the filter assembly is still in place. Inspected from inside the roast chamber the filter material should completely cover the opening in its mounting frame.
V – ONCE A YEAR - Perform all the above tasks plus:
Remove and discard the top filter.
Remove the top cover of the machine and using a suitable cleaner clean the inside surface of the cover.
Use compressed air and blow out all areas of the roaster. DO NOT blow compressed air into the bean cooling fan's grill under the cooling tray.
Install a new top filter.
OPTIONAL – Advanced cleaning can be accomplished by removing the roast chamber inner wall and clean the rear wall of the roast chamber. Pay particular attention to the temperature sensor. For more details, and even more advanced cleaning techniques, take a look at our video page called Cleaning a Dirty Hottop Roaster which not only shows a slide show of "Before" and "After" images of a roaster which was thoroughly cleaned, but also offers further tips to make cleaning a more complete job. Whether or not you which to go to this extent, you will have to decide. TIP: Removing the inner roast chamber wall makes it a lot easier to clean the temperature sensor and the rear wall. It also makes realignment of the heating element much easier (if that is necessary). A #2 Phillips with an 8” long shaft makes it a lot easier to remove the screws from inside the electronics/rear area of the machine. Magnetizing the screwdriver makes it a lot easier to reinsert those same screws. Remember, if you are unsure about performing any of the tasks discussed here, please feel free to contact us first at email@example.com and we will be glad to assist you.