At the turn of the year, great things were happening in our roastery! A new member has joined our roasting family – the Giesen W45A roasting machine. And this is its story.
Great successes behind us, even greater before us…
The end of 2019 was marked by the celebrations of our successful 10th year, which resulted in the first year of Coffee Barber – Open Day. However, behind the scenes, demanding preparations were already underway for the coming months, which were to bring with them great changes and news.
New production and storage facilities
Successes on the domestic market as well as in international competitions motivated us to gradually try to expand abroad. Along with this step, however, the question arose as to whether our production capacity would be sufficient in the future. Nevertheless, our premises and the roasting machine itself have their limitations. And so an important decision was made: we will build a new production hall and buy a larger roasting machine.
And so another Giesen was added to Giesen!
Five years ago, when choosing the first roasting machine, we faced a difficult decision – to choose one of the established manufacturers of roasting equipment in Europe. The German Probat, the Portuguese Joper and the Dutch Giesen were considered at the time. After a long decision, we finally went for Giesen. When choosing the second roasting machine, we were more sure in our decision: Giesen W45A.
Behind our new roasting machine is the family company Giesen from the Netherlands, which produces the best and, in our opinion, the most beautiful roasting machines in the category of small and medium-sized roasting equipment in the world. Thanks to their concept, which is based on a combination of craftsmanship, 20 years of know-how and quality materials, they are among the leaders on the world market.
Behind every cup of coffee lies a powerful production technique that uses the most modern technologies.
Like the first roasting machine, this one was made to measure according to our specifications and requirements. All Giesen roasting machines are made of cast iron and they also include a number of electronics that help in the accurate evaluation of roasting. This takes coffee roasting to a completely different level.
Old versus new: What are the differences between roasters?
In a drum of a smaller roaster, 15 kilograms of coffee can be roasted in one batch. The new roasting machine is not only larger in volume – we can roast up to 45 kg of coffee in it, but even in the number of components. It is not just one machine, but more precisely a 4.5-ton fleet of machines, which consists of up to 6 free-standing devices: a control tower, a suction device with a scale, a cyclone, an afterburner, a destoner and an external propane tank.
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The first of these is a control tower with software, whose task is sensory monitoring and continuous evaluation of each roast. Giesen Profiler software has only recently been used and, in addition to basic indicators such as air temperature, grain temperature, drum pressure, etc., it also provides detailed information on the individual roasting stages. In addition, the software responds much faster, so it evaluates the entire roasting process much more accurately.
A novelty is also the so-called Green Coffee Conveyor, i.e. a suction device that allows much faster, more comfortable and safer pouring of green coffee into the roaster. While when roasting on a smaller machine, Andrej has to manually lift the green grains over his head and pour them into the hopper, here it is not necessary. All you have to do is lift a coffee bag a little above the ground using a hydraulic truck and simply pour its contents into the suction device. Inside the device, the coffee is first weighed and then it is “sucked” out of it into the roasting drum within a few minutes. In our opinion, it is one of the coolest parts of a new roaster.
Another device is the external cyclone, whose task is to collect chaff (small scales) from roasted coffee beans. Freshly roasted coffee beans, which are poured into the cooling sieve, are thus already cleaned of skins and, after cooling, can be immediately poured into storage boxes.
Thanks to the high-tech approach, our production is even more environmentally friendly, which we are also very happy about.
We are especially proud of the new afterburner, thanks to which our production is very environmentally friendly. Smoke and odour are natural by-products of coffee roasting, which can carry residual flue gases. The purpose of the afterburner is to blow the air from the roaster once more through the burning process, and thus to decompose all possible flue gases that might otherwise escape into the air.
Just to give you an idea: when roasting coffee, the temperature in the drum is approximately between 200-240°C, when burning the flue gases, the temperature in the afterburner can exceed 500°C. Thanks to this device, we can reduce the smoke content by up to 90%, and thus further protect the air from residual solid particles.
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Last but not least, there is the so-called destoner. With both small and large roasting machines, it helps to clean roasted coffee from stones, twigs and other objects, which sometimes inadvertently get between the beans during the collection of coffee cherries and the processing of green coffee.
A 4,850 litre propane tank is also an integral part of the entire roasting system. We do not use natural gas in production, but pure propane, for several reasons. Propane is both more calorific and therefore more efficient, but it is also more stable. When roasting coffee, stability and accuracy are extremely important, because we cannot afford the temperature in the roasting drum to jump. At unstable temperatures, there is a risk that the coffee will not be roasted evenly, so some beans will be burned and others remain unroasted. Stability in this case is synonymous with precision.
It was Tuesday, the day after the Three Kings, when a truck brought us 7 huge crates. They were unloaded by five men for several hours, but unloading was far from the most demanding task.
A total of 14 specialists took part in the installation of the entire roasting machine, which lasted for two whole days and was preceded by several months of preparation – from technicians from Giesen, through gasmen, welders, chimney sweeps, electricians, air conditioning experts to the roaster operator himself. They all did a maximum of professional work, for which we would like to thank them once again.
It was a challenging period, which required more than 100% commitment and concentration of all people in the roastery. Despite various complications, in the end everything turned out well. The new production hall stands proudly and both roasting machines work there precisely. And although we are far from making full use of the big roast, it already gives us more variability in roasting and especially room for further growth and expansion. Last but not least, we are also very pleased that we have moved technologically forward again. According to Frans, a Giesen chief designer, modern technology has made us one of the most modern coffee roasteries in Europe in our size category.
Let´s set out for new coffee adventures!