We are often asked by prospective buyers whether the KN-8828B-2K+, the KN-8828B-2K or the KN-8828P-2K would be their best choice. Specifications only go so far when helping to make such a decision. In many cases it is a clear-cut choice, but for others it is not so simple. We understand that it can be a difficult decision to make, so we present the following in order to help clarify which model may best suit your needs.
Let me begin by stating that in many ways that for the most part, all three roasters share almost all the same parts. Other than what is noted below in the text, The only difference between the tree model is the control panel and how the user interfaces with the machine.
The KN-8828B-2K+ is our current flagship model and we think it is the most sophisticated home coffee roaster ever offered. The control panel has infinite-rotation, speed-sensitive, rotary knobs to set target temperature, target time, heating element power, and fan speed. Clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease each of those settings.
The "+" features two thermocouples; one monitors the bean temperature (BT) and the other the environmental temperature (ET). Both temperatures are simultaneously displayed on the control panel throughout the roast. The "+" also has a USB port that allows it to use third party software to graph and record roasts on a computer in real time as well as the opportunity to have the "+" be controlled by the computer as well.
The timer can be changed from count-up to count-down easily, the color display changes to indicate which parameter is being changed, and even the BT temperature display changes color at about the time the roast enters 1st crack (the beginning of the development stage). The display can also be easily read from a wide angle range.
This sophisticated level of GUI and ease and speed of changing parameters on the fly make the KN-8828B-2K+ the top pick of home-roasting enthusiasts.
The "B-2K" is a very good choice for someone who wants precise control over virtually all parameters of their roasts and doesn't mind making adjustments during a roast to get exactly what they want. Many "B" models have been sold to be used as sample roasters to small coffee roasting companies, small coffee growing farms, and small coffee processors who cannot justify the $5000+ cost of a commercial sample roaster. We have been informed that a KN-8828B-2K was actually used to develop the first, 100% Hawaiian espresso blend!
The "B" gives the user the opportunity to control the power going to the heating element. It can be adjusted in 10% increments from 0% to 100% at any time once the roasting process begins until the beans are ejected. This control panel features push buttons to make the changes; select a parameter on the display and then use the arrow buttons to change the selected parameter. This level of control give you the opportunity to contour the roasting profile to create the taste you prefer in the cup. The main fan's speed can be adjusted from 0 to 100% in 25% increments. This gives you another tool to control the roasting profile.
The "B" has three, non-volatile memory locations to store a roast once it is completed, but you cannot create a profile before the roast. A saved profile cannot be changed in memory before a roast. You can modify a saved profile by recalling it, using that profile to roast coffee, manually controlling the roaster during the roast to change whatever you wish (fan speed or heating element power at any time), and then re-saving the completed roast in the same memory area, over-writing the previously saved program.
The "B" is not just a "manual" roaster. It also does have one factory-default "AUTO" roast profile. A roast can be easily started with this profile and allowed to complete, but the user can still modify the process while the coffee is roasting if they desire, then save the changes at the end of the roast after the cooling cycle has completed.
The "P" model has been discontinued. It was for someone who, once they find a roast they like, would prefer to allow the roaster to go through its cycle with as little user attention and input as possible. This user if happy just getting something pretty close by just selecting a program and hitting a button. The KN-8828P-2 only affords control over the roasting temperature during the roast in a binary way by manipulating the current segment's temperature target. The heating control is binary- it is either on or off at any given time.
Other than that, If the user wants a specific profile, it has to be created by the user using the control panel and saved before the roast begins (download the manual to read through the programming process which is detailed therein). If manual changes are made to the temperature during the roast, in order to use those changes in the future, the user must go back and modify the saved program when the roast is completed. Changes are not recorded during the roast so cannot be saved directly.
The "P" model is also better suited to someone who does a lot of different roasts. The reasons the "P" might be better suited for those folks include:
• they don't want to take the effort of carefully monitoring each roast
• they roast for a number of different people who each like their coffee a different way
• they regularly roast decaf as well as regular coffee
• they roast for different methods of brewing and prefer a different roast for each use.
they are not interested in precise control, and a roast that is "pretty close" is good enough.
The "P" excels in this because of its 10, non-volatile memory areas for storing and allowing the user to name each one differently with a three character designation. Once a profile is saved, any portion of it can be modified at any time (except during a roast) without having to re-enter all the parameters.
Drip roast can be in location 1, decaf in location 2, etc. Select the program, start the roaster, and let it do most of the work.
If, for some reason you decide that you would rather have the "other" model (switch from a "P" to a "B" or vice versa), all you need to do is switch the Control Panel. This is only available with the "B-2K" and the "P-2K. These are easily swapped from the outside of the roaster without having to do anything other than snap out the control panel, exchange the three cables plugged into the back of the panel (three different sizes and polarized so they only go in one way), and snap the panel back in. The only tool you might need is a plastic pry tool (like a stiff plastic knife) to pull up the panel to get your fingers under it and a small pair of pliers to pull the plugs out of the back of the Panel.
Note that the above swapping of control panels to update those two roasters will not work to give them "B-2K+" functionality. For that, there are other parts necessary beyond the control panel that need to be changed.
Please feel free to take a look at the PDF Product Sheets for some basic information and photos of each model. You can also Download the Current Owners Manual (in PDF format) from our website as it contains detailed instructions on how each model operates. If after reading the manual you have any further questions about which model may be best for you, please feel free to Contact Hottop Americas by E-Mail for assistance.