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Topic: The death of my Alprenrost - Now the Alp Phoenix Drum Roaster (3 msgs / 260 lines)
1) From: Todd Smith
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Yesterday was my first day roasting on a gas grill as well.
My trusty Alpenrost finally gave up the ghost on Friday night...    
It's been giving me warning signs of it's demise for weeks.    I  
should have done something sooner on finding a replacement.
Having cut my teeth on hot air popper, then a Hearth-ware Precision,  
and the Alpenrost for the past 3 years, I've roasted close to almost  
2000 thousand pounds of coffee, according to my roasting logs and  
coffee orders over the past 5 years.    I''ve toyed with idea of RK  
Drum as I find myself often roasting  3 to 5 lb. a week for friends  
who I've "converted" to drinking my home roasted coffee.      I know  
I've pushed the Alpenrost well beyond the limits of it's design.   I   
was ready to purchase a second Alpenrost  but quickly found they were  
no longer available, as a new model was to be be released soon.
Faced with the dilemma that it as Friday night on a 3 day weekend and  
I had less than 8 ounces of roasted coffee on hand, I looked at my  
options:
  1. Go online and see what was available. (It would be almost a week  
before anything would arrive, since this was a holiday weekend.)
  2. Check the nearby local roaster to see if they still had the  
Alpenrost they had on the shelf about 6 months ago.  ( Answer was  
NO.   They sold it at a loss about 3 months ago, as it had sat on  
the  shelf for almost 2 years)
  3. Get the hot air popper out ( No,  It was ruined when our  
basement flooded in January when our water softener failed.)
  4. The Hearthware gave up heating about 2 years ago, so it was not  
an option.
  5. Get creative...  I was not ready to pay $10.00 per pound for  
coffee.
By now it's Sunday...    Enough coffee for two more pots!    My wife  
suggested we purchase some roasted coffee from the local roaster.  I   
told her that I had a plan in mind.   She rolled her eyes and  said  
"Whatever".
I went back to option 1 and started looking at drum roasters,  stared  
at the dead Alpenrost and decided to i could use the Alpenrost drum  
on a spit on the Weber grill.
A trip to Lowe's on Sunday afternoon yielded a universal rotisserie  
motor and spit for less $25.00.  That  was good enough for the  
experiment I was about to try.  A quick drilling of the closed end of  
the Alp drum to allow the rotisserie rod to pass through, and few  
slight adjustments on each skewer end had the drum securely attached  
to the rod.   It was raining and too late to start attaching this to  
the Weber, so I quite for the night.
On Monday morning, the brackets were attached to the Weber, but I had  
to enlarge both sides of the Weber to allow the rotisserie rod to  
turn freely, so out came the Dremel tool.   10 minutes later the  
grill was fired up and preheating.    Base on one of on Ron Kyle's  
roasting profiles, I had a 9 ounce batch of Huehuetenango roasted  
with less than 90 minutes total time for the modifications to the  
drum and grill.
I roasted a second time, but pushed the load in the drum to almost 11  
ounces.    This proved to be too much as the beans started spilling  
out the open end of the Alp drum as they expanded during the roast  
process.
Overall, the Weber seemed pretty easy to control the temperature.     
The Alpenrost Drum worked very well.  My family was amazed that the  
plan came together and worked the first time.
Now for the wait... Had to let these roasts rest, at least overnight.
Monday morning....  5:30 AM  -  Grind the Huehuetenango, and brew  
it.      My wife comments this is one of best cups she has tasted  
lately.
Look like I'm a convert to gas grill roasting and that RK drum is in  
my plans for the near future.
  Todd
On May 30, 2005, at 10:23 AM, DEchelbarg wrote:
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Yesterday was my first day =
roasting on a gas grill as well.    
My trusty Alpenrost finally= gave up the ghost on Friday night...   It's been giving me = warning signs of it's demise for weeks.    I should have = done something sooner on finding a replacement.
Having cut my teeth on hot = air popper, then a Hearth-ware Precision, and the Alpenrost for the = past 3 years, I've roasted close to almost 2000 thousand pounds of = coffee, according to my roasting logs and coffee orders over the past = 5 years.    I''ve toyed with idea of RK Drum as I find myself often = roasting  3 to 5 lb. a week for friends who I've "converted" to = drinking my home roasted coffee.      I know I've pushed = the Alpenrost well beyond the limits of it's design.   I  = was ready to purchase a second Alpenrost  but quickly found they = were no longer available, as a new model was to be be released = soon.  
Faced with the dilemma = that it as Friday night on a 3 day weekend and I had less than 8 ounces = of roasted coffee on hand, I looked at my options:
 1. = Go online and see what was available. (It would be almost a week = before anything would arrive, since this was a holiday = weekend.) 2. Check the nearby local = roaster to see if they still had the Alpenrost they had on the shelf = about 6 months ago.  ( Answer was NO.   They sold it at a loss = about 3 months ago, as it had sat on the  shelf for almost 2 = years) 3. Get the hot air popper = out ( No,  It was ruined when our basement flooded in January when our = water softener failed.)    4. = The Hearthware gave up heating about 2 years ago, so it was not an = option. 5. Get creative...  I was not ready = to pay $10.00 per pound for coffee.
By now it's Sunday...   =  Enough coffee for two more pots!    My wife suggested we purchase = some roasted coffee from the local roaster.  I  told her that I had = a plan in mind.   She rolled her eyes and  said = "Whatever".
I = went back to option 1 and started looking at drum roasters,  stared at = the dead Alpenrost and decided to i could use the Alpenrost drum on a = spit on the Weber grill.
A trip to Lowe's on Sunday = afternoon yielded a universal rotisserie motor and spit for less = $25.00.  That  was good enough for the experiment I was about to = try.  A quick drilling of the closed end of the Alp drum to allow the = rotisserie rod to pass through, and few slight adjustments on each = skewer end had the drum securely attached to the rod.   It was = raining and too late to start attaching this to the Weber, so I quite = for the night.
On Monday morning, the = brackets were attached to the Weber, but I had to enlarge both sides of = the Weber to allow the rotisserie rod to turn freely, so out came = the Dremel tool.   10 minutes later the grill was fired up and = preheating.    Base on one of on Ron Kyle's roasting profiles, I had = a 9 ounce batch of Huehuetenango roasted with less than 90 minutes = total time for the modifications to the drum and grill.    =  
I roasted = a second time, but pushed the load in the drum to almost 11 ounces.   =  This proved to be too much as the beans started spilling out the open = end of the Alp drum as they expanded during the roast = process.
Overall, the Weber seemed = pretty easy to control the temperature.    The Alpenrost Drum worked = very well.  My family was amazed that the plan came together and = worked the first time.
Now for the wait... Had to = let these roasts rest, at least overnight.
Monday morning....  5:30 = AM  -  Grind the Huehuetenango, and brew it.      My wife = comments this is one of best cups she has tasted lately.
Look like I'm a convert to = gas grill roasting and that RK drum is in my plans for the near future. =  
  Todd

On May 30, = 2005, at 10:23 AM, DEchelbarg = wrote:
I appreciate the information on your use of = the Drum.  Yesterday when I asked the RK Drum question, I was = tasting something weird in my 1st roasts and wondering how long it took = to season the drum and free it from any production oils.  It is clear = to me now that I was baking the coffee.  I had never tasted baked = coffee before but know what it is like now.  I was trying to duplicate = on the drum what I experienced in other methods -- which turned out to = be an error.  Ron was very helpful in directing me to maintain a = stable temperature that will produce a suitable 1st crack at an = appropriate time given the particular volume I am roasting, and then = reduce the temp at the 1st crack.  His advice mirrors the Boot piece= in Roast Magazine on drum profiles.    Based = on Ron's advice, I preheated the grill, maintained the temps had a nice = 1st crack on 300 grams of Mexico Oaxaca Hidalgo at 9 minutes  -- = carried it a bit further for a City Plus.  This morning, while it is = clear the coffee needs to degas a bit more, the coffee is like I would = expect from this bean -- no baked flavor at all.  Frankly, I find the = learning curve to be a lot of fun, and one of the reasons I roast -- = I'll keep refining things and any information helps.  The only = reason I am interested in a 150 gram roast is that I am the only = espresso drinker in my family and usually like to roast only that amount = for my needs to keep things fresh and am tired of cranking my popper. = I'm confident that with practice and added understanding I'll be able = to do that as well, if I choose.  I'll probably end up missing the = popper so that my be my 150 gram roaster.   I am = really loving the RK Drum -- just a fascinating piece of equipment.  A = new adventure for me.   Dave E   =          = In a message dated 5/30/2005 8:47:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, kdmary writes: = Actually, with my drum (not an RK), = longer profiles in the 15 to 18 minute range are much better than 10 = minutes. Of course, small loads will roast much faster so you need to = reduce the preheat temp or even do a cold start. Do not worry about = moisture loss. = = --Apple-Mail-7--338331600--

2) From: R.N.Kyle
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Loved the story Todd. nice job on the drum roaster.
Just proof that all things that seem bad are not necessarly so, and =
necissity is the mother of invention.
RK

3) From: R.N.Kyle
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necissity is the mother of invention.
but not necessarily the invention of good spelling:O)
RK


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