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Roasting Curves

Now that version 1.1.0 is up and running on iOS4, it’s time to shift efforts to what I knew would be the number 1 feature request for Roastmaster – editable roasting curves.

Believe me, I’ve given this a lot of thought – even back to the initial steps in development. While working on Roastmaster, I laid all of the groundwork necessary to make sure this first big new feature could be implemented as easily and quickly as possible. It’s no small undertaking, given that all of the home roasters have different ways of dealing with heat curves. Some, like my beloved Behmor, have profiles and programs hard coded that are not editable. Some, like the Hottop allow you to save your own custom profiles, with roasting curves preserved from roast to roast. Others, like the Genie Cafe, or even tricked-out BBQ grills, are completely manual – allowing you free control, but no programmability. (This is from research only – I only own an Alpenrost and Behmor, so please correct me if I’m wrong)

This brings up a lot of questions about how profiles are saved for individual roasters. For instance, when I roast 400g of Ethiopian Yrgacheffe in my Behmor on profile 2, I can rest assured that that profile is the same exact profile I roasted with when I first purchased the roaster – it can’t change. A hottop owner, though, may have changed ┬áthat profile many times over the life of the machine, so the profile and any associated curves in Roastmaster must be unique to each roast, instead of shared between them like profiles and programs are at the moment. I have plans on how this will be handled in the completed version, but I do have some questions for users who are anxious to see roasting curves.

Let me start by explaining the track I am on at the moment. The roasting console view shows a small graph with a timer wiper. I’m thinking that, when viewing the roast console, if the device is rotated to landscape orientation, the graph will zoom full screen, with condensed versions of the start/stop button, 1st and 2nd crack buttons, and the timer. With the graph occupying the full screen, there is room to comfortably add a control strip for roasting curves. Curves plural? I think so. Most home roasters will only have need for 1 heat curve, but BBQ grill roasters might have 2 or 3 different burners to contend with – and possibly benefit from curves for each.┬áThe larger screen real estate should make it quite comfortable to scroll, zoom, add and delete curves, and adjust points on those curves by dragging them. The graph might optionally display very light representations of past roasting curves, superimposed on the background, to give you an idea of what curves you used for past roasts. This is how I had envisioned the graph to function, so I’m excited to finally be working on it!

Once a roast is complete, the action button at the top left of the standard roast console (once you rotated the device back to portrait) would give you the option to export that setting (time and curves) to a Roastmaster roaster as a stored profile if you planned on doing the same on your roaster appliance.

I’m asking for input because, well, first of all – users are the majority vote in this app, not me, even though I use it every time I roast. More importantly, though, I don’t own any of the roasters that would benefit from roasting curves, so I want to see if my thinking is in line with how you think they would best be implemented. Please give me any comments, thoughts or suggestions you have – and especially any corrections if my research on the roasters mentioned is not accurate.

I’m all ears…

About the Author

Danny HallHome Coffee Roaster and App DeveloperView all posts by Danny Hall »

  1. Anthony
    AnthonyJul 28, 2010

    I have to commend you on a job well done. Roast master is simply amazing. It’s about time us home roasters have an app but well worth the wait. You have yet another great idea regarding the profiles and utilizing the landscape rotation to allow for the roasting curves, yes plural. Looking forward to seeing this in action!

  2. Maskedman
    MaskedmanAug 21, 2010

    Hi there, I just wanted to point you to a place where you can get the best and most useful tips and pointers for exactly what you want this program to do. Head on over to http://www.home-barista.com and tell people in the roasting section that you’ve created this fantastic app – there are some very very good and competent people around in there.

    As for my personal experience with this program, I think it’s absolutely perfect – I can’t wait to see what it’ll be in the future.

    Hope this helps!

    Kind regards,

    Thomas

    • Danny Hall
      Danny HallAug 22, 2010

      Thanks for the kind words Thomas, and I’m glad you like it!

      Roasting curves are in place, and I’m alpha testing time now. I built them in such a way that I barely altered the interface at all. I realize not everyone will have a need for them, and I’m really happy with the way they’ve turned out. Now I’ve just got a lot of proofing to do before they’ll be ready for release. I’ll update the site soon with some info and pics.

      Thanks for the link. I’ll be on there soon. I’ve resisted the urge to post anything about Roastmaster in forums – even though I think people would be interested, I recognize that advertising doesn’t belong. In this situation, though, I think people will be receptive, and interested. After all, all of us who roast love to talk about it!

      Cheers
      Danny

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