The Diedrich Difference: IR Series Offers The Repeatable Roasts We Crave
Isn’t it grand to live in a time when coffee-roasting professionals have access to such a wide range of advanced roasting machines? There are so many roaster brands — including old standby’s with ever-evolving technology and new players entering the market — each designed (and with big claims) to bring out the best in your beans. Among the crowd, the Diedrich IR Series stands out as a testament to innovation, craftsmanship — and, almost more important in today’s unpredictable world — dependability. And we’ve got to say, that brings a certain element of comfort.
In fact, when we were looking at this striking cobalt blue Diedrich IR-5 in our Used Elite collection, we couldn’t help but think of SpongeBob’s similar-hued blue case for his prized golden jellyfish catcher, “Ol’ Reliable.” If you’re roasting coffee today, we’re guessing you’re the right demographic to appreciate that pop culture reference. We’re also thinking a lot of Diedrich owners would agree that “Ol’ Reliable” might as well be Diedrich’s middle name.
There’s a lot to be said for the kind of consistency that Diedrich owners have come to expect, but that’s certainly not the veteran brand’s only selling point. In this article, we’ll provide a broad overview of Diedrich’s IR Series of coffee roasters, exploring their technology, features, and the unparalleled coffee roasting experience they offer.
The IR Series: Revolutionary Infra-red Technology
Diedrich’s IR Series of specialty roasters includes its 5 kg and 12 kg infra-red roasters — designed to provide precise control over the roasting process. That’s exactly what the “IR” stands for: infra-red. These roasters utilize infra-red burners that emit radiant heat to evenly roast coffee beans, producing a consistent and exceptional cup of coffee, batch after batch.
The innovative technology of the IR Series allows for faster and more efficient roasting, minimizing the risk of over-roasting and ensuring optimal flavor development. In addition to the infra-red roasters, Diedrich utilizes a single-walled drum designed for optimal conductive energy transfer — from the air to the drum and from the drum to the bean.
Some roast masters also claim that the infra-red technology results in a more healthy cup of coffee, as it removes acids that can be harmful to your stomach and create a bitter taste. (As if we need another reason to be sold.)
Customization and Control
One of the most notable features of the IR Series is the level of customization and control it offers. Each IR Series roaster is equipped with Diedrich’s updated industrial-grade hardware and user-friendly interface, offering operators the ability to precisely fine-tune and control the roast. Roasters can experiment with different temperature, airflow, and time settings, allowing them to achieve their desired roast profiles and bring out the unique characteristics of various coffee beans.
Diedrich’s customization isn’t confined to technology; it also offers an entire rainbow of colors so you can match your Diedrich roaster to your company branding. We know this because we feel like we’ve sold almost every color under the sun — and we’re currently looking for a buyer for this gem of an IR-12, practically the color of the sun itself!
In addition to its technological advancements, the IR Series is also recognized for its eco-friendly design. The infrared burners consume less fuel compared to traditional roasters, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the roasters are built with sustainability in mind, utilizing recyclable and energy-efficient components whenever possible.
Capacity and Versatility
The Diedrich IR Series offers two models to cater to various roasting needs:
- The IR-5 is designed to roast up to approximately 11 lbs (5 kg) of green coffee per batch, with an hourly capacity of up to 44 lbs (based on four roasts per hour).
- The IR-12 is designed to roast up to approximately 26.4 lbs (12 kg) of green coffee per batch, with an hourly capacity of up to 106 lbs (based on four roasts per hour).
Another unique feature: Diedrich IR Series roasters are designed to roast half batches, offering greater versatility. Again, we have the infra-red burners to thank for that. Generally, industry knowledge supports that the smaller the batch size, the more difficult it is to control the heat during roasting. The infra-red burners offer a more uniform heat that supports these smaller batch sizes.
A Roaster (or Two) for Every Roaster: A Quick Story
We want to give a quick shoutout to Coffee Equipment Pros client Ryan Connor and his wife Leah of Critical Mass Coffee in New Hampshire. When we think of the Diedrich IR Series, Ryan and Leah and their USDA-certified organic roastery quickly come to mind because not only are we selling their IR-5 (remember this blue beauty?), but they recently swapped it out for a brand-new IR-12.
Ryan, the logical-thinking engineer that he is, studied up on roasters and decided Diedrich was the best choice based on the brand’s combination of affordability, efficiency, and those trademark infra-red burners. Due in part to the repeatable roasts the Connors were able to churn out, their business expanded so quickly that they grew out of that IR-5 in about six months.
Here’s the fun part: When Ryan brought in the new IR-12, he was able to slide out the IR-5 and simply slide in the IR-12 and keep roasting. That’s because all the dimensions on the back side of the roasters are the same. The operational features and how the heat is distributed are also the same. Ryan did note, however, that the difference in volume meant it took a bit of time to season the new machine. But that’s par for the course, and before too long, he was roasting at capacity.
It’s also worth mentioning something Ryan did right that made the IR-5 to IR-12 switch-out so seamless: He installed Class A, dual-walled, ceramic-insulated venting, including clamping that not only makes the venting easy to assemble but also disassemble to clean for regular maintenance.
Sure, this Class A venting choice is more pricey than other options, but doing something like this right the first time is always a money-saver in the end — and it’s one that we at CEPros recommend per top technicians’ advice. Plus, if layout is an issue, Class A venting is a space-saver, reducing the clearance needed and maximizing your roastery’s operational pathways — plus ensuring safety from combustibles. (As one of our technician friends likes to remind us, “It’s all about distance to combustibles!”)
This entire conversation underscores our commitment to a “tech-first” approach because we understand the impact of a perfectly functioning roaster on your vision and livelihood. That’s why we created our Tek-Net and Tek-Pak offerings. If you purchase a Toper or Air-Motion Roaster from us, our virtual basic Tek-Pak is included. We also offer this and other service plans at an affordable additional cost for our Used Elite equipment.
Diedrich IR Roasters: A Testament to Specialty Coffee Roasting
There’s no doubt about it: Diedrich is a classic. And the Diedrich IR Series of coffee roasters is a testament to the art and science of coffee roasting. With their revolutionary technology, precise control, and eco-friendly design, these roasters have set a new standard in the industry. Coffee roasters around the world trust the Diedrich IR Series to bring out the best in their coffee beans, ensuring a delightful cup of coffee with every roast. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a passionate coffee enthusiast, the Diedrich IR Series offers a gateway to the world of unparalleled coffee roasting experiences.
Let’s Find The Right Roaster For You!
Given our high opinion of Diedrich’s, we’re thrilled that at the time of this article’s writing, we have four Diedrich’s in our Used Elite collection: the IR-5 and IR-12 mentioned throughout this piece, plus this IR-24 and CR-70 mini-plant.
But we’re here to serve at all times, so we can’t overlook similar machines that can serve you just as well when our Used Elite Diedrich stock is low. For example, our line of fully automated Toper shop and industrial roasters ranging from 3 kg to 500 kg offers ultimate control, with an intuitive interface for roast profiling, dual-wall steel drum, cast-iron face, Cropster/Artisan connectivity, and UL/CE/ETL/ISO certification.
We think the Toper line is every bit as solid, reliable, and affordable as a Diedrich, and here’s why.
We’re here to find the right roaster for you — quickly and affordably.
Because Roasters Need To Roast™.