HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Drum roasting (20 msgs / 413 lines)
1) From: DeCambre.Peter
I will be out of the office starting  11/26/2002 and will not return
until 12/02/2002.
I will respond to your message when I return.
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

2) From: Lesley Albjerg
I've roasted Alchemist John's cocoa beans in my poppers and seen a demo in a drum.  They are very addictive too!  Another reason for an RK drum!
Allen Marsalis  wrote:
Capacity was what I had in mind. :) I'll let you know how it
goes.. I got the 57 rpm motor with it. Looks *very* nice. The
quality of workmanship is apparent in both the motor mount and
the drum itself. Also I understand that it will also roast
Alchemist John's cocoa which intrigues me.. I might have to
try doing that someday.
At 07:25 PM 7/14/2004 -0700, Lesley Albjerg wrote:

3) From: Bob Adams
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi all,
Ron at RK Drums supplied me with a nice link when I told him I needed =
just a spit for my BBQ.  clagrills.com  Good prices and can get =
individual parts instead of the entire rotisserie kit.
My drum ships manana--so excited!

4) From: Wesley Simon
I have a drum roasting question.  I have an RK drum.  I ramp up the heat so
that I reach first crack at around 8 or 9 minutes (or at least this is my
goal).  I usually hear a pop of first crack, wait until I can confirm it
with another pop, then my goal is to crank down the heat to as low as
possible.  My burner is split in two sections like most.  I find if I turn
both burners to low, I head towards second crack faster than I'd like.  So,
I've taken to shutting one burner off and the other to low.  I'm getting a
good City/City+ roast if I go about 2 minutes after the second pop of first
crack.  My concern is that I may be introducing an uneveness to the roast by
only running one burner.  I don't know that I have much choice since running
two burners would put me at City/City+ within a minute of reducing the
heat.  I would rather lengthen this time than shorten it.
Any comments?

5) From: Les
First off, you are roasting to 1st crack at too hot a temp if you
can't stretch your time before 1st and second.  Doug and I have been
expermenting with a bump to a higher heat in the middle of the ramp to
1st crack.  I don't have it down well enough to write it up yet, but
you can roast too hot to 1st.  In general, I roast fairly hot to the 4
minute mark and then cut my heat in about half and coast into 1st
crack.  I never have to shut my burners off even when I roasted in 100
plus degree temps outside this week.  Try ramping down at the 4 min.
mark and coast into 1st at about 9:30 or 10 min.
On 7/27/06, Wesley Simon  wrote:

6) From: Wesley Simon
I'll try that Les.  If I roast 3 lbs or so, I'm hitting first crack at 13-14
minutes, but my total time is 13-14 minutes for a 1 pound roast.  I've been
working from a "reasonably fast ramp to first, coast into the sweet spot"
I know my thermostat readings are nowhere near the temp of the bean, so I
just use it for relative temperatures.
I think I'll try to go a little hotter initially, maybe 50 degrees F, and
then back off at the 4 minute mark to maybe 50 degrees below where I was
trying to level it off to before.  The worst thing that could happen is a 20
minute ramp to first crack.
So, I must be introducing enough heat into my drum and grill that the beans
are still absorbing the heat when I cut the heat to low.  Thus, the
temperature of the bean continues to rise while my applied heat is reduced.
Thanks again Les,
On 7/27/06, Les  wrote:

7) From: Jerry Procopio
I'm using the RK Drum in a 50,000btu Fiesta grill.  (I think part of 
those 50K btu go to the outside burner which I never use.)  With roasts 
of 2 pounds or more, I never have to shut a burner off, but with a 
typical 1 to 1.5 pound roast I find that to control the heat I often 
have to shut 1 burner off for maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute.
I have a charbroil thermometer mounted on the front of the grill. 
Temperatures are relative, since in the RK, we never know (by 
measurement) what the temp of the bean mass is.  For a 20 oz roast 
(which yields 1 pound roasted) I preheat to about 490° then try to 
maintain 465° up to 1st crack.  Shortly before 1st crack, the temp will 
suddenly rise about 25°.  This is usually about 10 to 12 mins from start 
of roast and within a few seconds 1st crack will begin.  After start of 
1st crack (when it is acutally crackling good, not just the outlier 
cracks), I turn my knobs to down to low.  My goal is to get the temp 
back down to 450°-460° (never below 450°) and maintain it there until 
end of roast.  I will often have to turn one burner off to get the temp 
down into this range.  Once I have it there I turn it back on to low and 
tweak my temp till I have reached end of roast.  I usually try to get 4 
or 5 minutes between 1st crack and EOR.  My typical 1 pound roast to FC 
is 16 minutes total.  I'm roasting about 30 pounds a month, mostly 
larger roasts, and with the larger roasts I never have to shut down a 
burner to maintain or achieve my temperature goals.
RK Drumroasting in Chesapeake, VA
Wesley Simon wrote:

8) From: Neil Atwood
Long time lurker poking his head up here... ;-)
I would go with what Jerry is saying here.
I roast between 5-10 kilos in my RK Drum per week and follow a system prett=
close to Jerry's.
I definitely think the OP is running too hot too fast...
Neil A.
Sydney, Oz
On 7/28/06, Jerry Procopio  wrote:

9) From: Wesley Simon
Hi Les,
Yesterday I roasted two batches and tried the temperature curve you
suggest.  I ramped it up pretty hot for the first 4 minutes, then backed off
the heat to much lower than I have been.  The batches were about 2.5 lbs
each, so they hit first crack around 14 - 15 minutes.  Once I heard a pop, I
turned both burners to low.  First crack seemed to happen more gently than
before.  The pops didn't seem as loud or as rapid.  Since I was shooting for
a City/City+ roast, I let it go for about 3 minutes.  Both roasts were more
City+ than City.  The Harrar Horse Lot 30 was uneven, of course.  The Costa
Rican was beautifully even.
It's easy to develop habits and then lose track of how and why you ended up
with those habits.  I need to make it a habit to regularly read up on the
basics of roasting so that I can continuously adjust my style as I learn
On 7/27/06, Les  wrote:

10) From: Les
It is easy to drift into bad habits.  I was roasting everything a few
seconds into second crack.  Most of it was good coffee, but it could
have been great if I was paying attention.
On 8/7/06, Wesley Simon  wrote:

11) From: Bill Wilson
There are a couple of problems with drum roasting.  First, it is difficult
to regulate the temperature since you are roasting with a gas burner.  But
the big problem is this - there is no air circulating and the rotisserie
does not rotate fast enough to compensate.  I, for one, was very unhappy
with this method of roasting.  In fact, if you live in N Texas, I will
gladly give you my drum roaster if you come pick it up.

12) From: Ed Needham
I think you revealed the reason for your poor results in your post. 
Rotisserie not turning fast enough.  With a batch of more than a pound, a 6 
RPM or less (standard) rotisserie motor will not be adequate for roasting 
evenly.  I roasted with a 30 RPM motor since about 2000 and now have a 57 
RPM motor.  The results are always very even with both.  The faster motor 
shaves a minute or more off the overall roast time, likely due to increased 
agitation (energy) and maybe more stirring of the air inside the grill 
As to profile roasting, I can raise or lower temps as fast as anyone would 
ever need in order to roast coffee properly.  I just have an average setup.
I did add a flue a few years ago so that I could vent most of the smoke 
outdoors, since I roast in my workshop in a building detached from my house.
So what do you roast with now?  How happy are you with that method?
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

13) From: Bob
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Sorry Bill, there may have been a couple problems with your drum =
roasting rig, but do not believe you can condemn the method due to the =
problems that you had.
The 45K BTU 3 burner grill that I use, coupled with the steel plate =
diffuser, makes regulating temps very easy. Once warmed up can almost =
instantaneously change temps, and can hold a temp within a few degrees.
RK's motor, 55 rpm I think, is more than sufficient to give a =
beautifully even roast.

14) From: Brett Mason
I use a 56rpm motor from RK, and a stainless drum I built myself.  I roast
in a 42000 BTU BBQ with a steel heat diffuser and a high-temp thermometer
positioned at bean-mass height.  This method is excellent, and I am sure
most commercial roasters had the control and understanding that we have
gained by actually working with the roast.
I started with a Home Despot 3rpm motor, and basically tumbled my burnt
beans....  Not a recommended strategy!.
On 3/20/07, David Echelbarger  wrote:

15) From: Jim De Hoog
I use a cordless drill with a plastic zip tie to dial in the rpm=
's to turn my drum roaster.  I use the slow speed on my 2 speed vairable co=
rdless drill.  I can set it to the RPM's I want for the roast, usually abou=
t 60 - 70 rpms.  I check the rpms with the timer I use to watch the roast. =
 The cordless drill is an inexpensive way to gain rpms over the rotisseri m=
otor since most hany men have them.
Jim "Ice Bucket Roaster" De Hoog=
San Antonio, TX
----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Wilson 
To: homeroast
Sent: Tuesday, =
March 20, 2007 5:55:55 PM
Subject: +Drum roasting
There are a couple=
 of problems with drum roasting.  First, it is difficult to regulate the te=
mperature since you are roasting with a gas burner.  But the big problem is=
 this - there is no air circulating and the rotisserie does not rotate fast=
 enough to compensate.  I, for one, was very unhappy with this method of ro=
asting.  In fact, if you live in N Texas, I will gladly give you my drum ro=
aster if you come pick it up.

16) From: Scott Marquardt
On 3/20/07, Bill Wilson  wrote:
Let me join everyone else, Bill, and say that about 1 spin per second
is great. In my case that's with a 10.5" diameter drum.
Don't let not having a good motor slow you down, though. Just fashion
a handle for the thing and try a roast with manual cranking, just to
prove to your own satisfaction whether the unanimous response you're
hearing ;-) might be on to something. Then you can decide whether to
spend a few bucks to motorize your rig a bit more vigorously.
Best of luck no matter how you roast!
- S

17) From: raymanowen
"...it is difficult to regulate the temperature since you are roasting with
a gas burner."
Don't mention that to gas welders who have to maintain a 1000° F puddle o=
molten metal and weldment within a couple of degrees. Otherwise, it could
vaporize or not flow.
If what you say is true, eschew gas fired furnaces or boilers, "since you
couldn't regulate the temperature." A gas stove or oven is out, too, I
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"...the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate,
contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive--of our
forebears. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of
thought."* **- -**John F. *Kennedy*, Yale, 6-11-1962*

18) From: Tom Ulmer
I roast less than one pound batches and have found that consideration of the
placement of the stirring vanes and resulting bean agitation is important
when using a standard rotisserie motor. I modified an asparagus steamer by
placing the stirring vanes to move the beans from either end to the middle
and back again. Even though the rotation is slower the beans are not sliding
along the drum and seem to be always tumbling. The slower rotation works out
quite well since the drum has an open end which was originally manufactured
as a stainless canning funnel.
The heat comes from a crudely modified portable propane grill. Since the
drum rides in the fire one of the more effective means of heat control is
simply lifting the lid. If I've really let it get out of hand I can point a
fan into the drum.
While not a very sexy or refined apparatus, it serves my needs quite well.

19) From: RK
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I just bought a new Charbroil Premium Rotisserie.
It seems the new ones only rotate at 3 rpm, the older ones in a steel =
case roatated at 5 rpm, the new ones are in a plastic case. IMO 3 rpm is =
to slow for coffee roasting, you can get away with 5 rpm for up to 2 lbs =
but 3 is to slow and leaves the beans in contact to long with hot metal =
drum and will cause some slight scorching.
Just thought I'd pass this along for those who may buy the new ones in =
hopes to use them for coffee roasting.

20) From: Eddie Dove
Good info ...
Thanks, Ron!
On 5/20/07, RK  wrote:

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