HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The ugliest roaster in the world (33 msgs / 1091 lines)
1) From: Derek Bradford
Hi All,
I've just joined the group, but have been learning about home roasting
for a while now.  I've just finished making my home roaster, and
thought I'd share it with all of you.  It's really ugly, but it works.
 You can see it here:http://uglyroaster.blogspot.comI'd appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone has.  I still have
to get a thermometer for it.
Cheers,
--Derek

2) From: Philip Keleshian
Hi Derek,
I don't think it is all that ugly, in fact considering the tools at your =
disposal I think it looks pretty good.
Good Job!
Phil

3) From: David Yeager
At 01:22 AM 8/20/2005, you wrote:
 >Hi All,
 >
 >I've just joined the group, but have been learning about home roasting
 >for a while now.  I've just finished making my home roaster, and
 >thought I'd share it with all of you.  It's really ugly, but it works.
 > You can see it here:
 >
 >http://uglyroaster.blogspot.com >
 >I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone has.  I still have
 >to get a thermometer for it.
 >
 >Cheers,
 >--Derek
Nice debut, Derek!
Obviously a lot of thought went into that "form follows function" set-up.
A wind-break; reflector shield; low-friction hinges and bearings; 
elegant fastener on the drum door; non-too-fussy yet semi-geometrical 
drum ventilation design; low-HP low RPM variable drum rotating 
device; compact, portable heat source; digital timing device; fan 
powered cooling; and a chaff collector as big and unencumbered as the 
whole outdoors!
Welcome to the List.
David Y
Atlanta
Warning!  The Zass-packing campers may lift this design from you 
without warning.

4) From: Derek Bradford
On 8/20/05, David Yeager  wrote:
<Snip>
Are you in marketing, by any chance?  That certainly is a creative
description...  Thanks!
<Snip>
Talk about roughing it...  I think if I came across someone roasting
coffee while I was backpacking, I'd have an instant friend for life.
Cheers,
--Derek

5) From: Gregg Talton
That's GREAT.  I can't think of a better use for a can of corn.  Now
I'm thinking about how to use items I currently have on hand - I could
roast using heat from burning moving boxes...
Gregg T
Belmont, NC
On 8/20/05, Derek Bradford  wrote:
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>

6) From: Robert Avery
Derek .... I like it !!!! Simple and it works ... Were I see you could 
improve ... Heat and airflow are strange things ... If you look at it from 
the top ... you can see uneven air spaces ... So ... the goal here from my 
work experiance's that dont include coffee roasters are that from a design 
stand point. You need to minimize the different air channels. One simple way 
would to put a top on the tube with a smaller  stack on it. This would hold 
back the heat and help make the heat in the chamber more unified. It would 
also allow you to cut back on the heat losses with such a big tube. Now ... 
would have to think about the gas control for a bit ... have to look back in 
some of my old stuff relating to a gas fired Kiln .. Later, Bob .... nice 
job!!!
<Snip>

7) From: Derek Bradford
On 8/20/05, Robert Avery  wrote:
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Hey Bob...Thanks for your comments.  I'm not sure I understand your
comment about the top.  Can you clarify what you mean by a top with a
smaller stack?
Thanks,
--Derek

8) From:
Derek:
Way Cool.
I will look more closely for any ideas but I think you have done a great job here.
Congratulations.
ginny
<Snip>

9) From: Dan Bollinger
<Snip>
Oh, He used the CAN!   Silly me, I was trying to figure out how he used the
kernels.  As fuel? As drum buffer?  Then I remembered coffee beans are
sometimes referred to as 'corn'...

10) From: Dan Bollinger
Nice work, Derek!  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The only suggestion
I'd make is drill more holes in your drum.  It will make it more efficient,
and more easily controlled. Dan
Hi All,
I've just joined the group, but have been learning about home roasting
for a while now.  I've just finished making my home roaster, and
thought I'd share it with all of you.  It's really ugly, but it works.
 You can see it here:http://uglyroaster.blogspot.comI'd appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone has.  I still have
to get a thermometer for it.
Cheers,
--Derek

11) From: Derek Bradford
Drill...  Hah.  If only I had a drill...  But, I still have that
hammer and nails!
I'm going to modify the heat settings tomorrow, to try to extend the
roast by a few minutes.  I'd like to get longer between 1st and 2nd
crack.  To do this I'm going to change two variables (bad, I
know...one at a time...): a few less beans, maybe 150 grams, and lower
heat from the start, and then down to about minimum as 1st crack gets
rolling.  It might have enough heat to carry it to 2nd crack,
extending the roast at the same time.  Any comments on this?  I think
I'll roast the same Brazillian beans again, to eliminate a third
variable.
--Derek
On 8/20/05, Dan Bollinger  wrote:
<Snip>
ion
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ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Check out my blog--catch up with me on YOUR schedule, not mine.http://novernae.blogspot.com

12) From: Dan Bollinger
Good idea sticking to the Brazilians, they dont' have any roasting quirks.
Say, you can borrow my cordless drill!
Drill...  Hah.  If only I had a drill...  But, I still have that
hammer and nails!

13) From: Derek Bradford
On 8/20/05, Dan Bollinger  wrote:
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.
<Snip>
Can you have it here in the morning?   ;)  To be honest, I'm not
certain the drum will be able to handle that much more hammering...it
really takes a beating.  A drill is something I'll look into in a bit,
after I play with the other settings I've mentioned.  I can pick one
up for 40 bucks, so it's not a big deal.

14) From: Robert Avery
What I ment by a top is this ... the opening on from the main body of the 
roaster is so big ...it's hard to control draft velocity from the bottom. As 
you know heat rises and the what you are creating in one sense of the word 
is a jet engine. The more heat in the pipe the more outside air gets drafted 
up the pipe from the bottom. This isnt all bad ... just doesnt allow good 
heat control. So if you were to put a cover on with a smaller opening in it 
... it would help reduce the loss of heat due to increased draft. This would 
give you more even heat around the tumbler so you dont get any hot spots in 
it. This would help insure a more even roast ... I would bet beans in the 
middle kind of stay in the middle ... and so forth. If it gets cooler on the 
sides due to higher air speed ... an uneven roast ... the top would help 
spread the heat ... the top would have a hole in it ... just smaller ... I 
would start with maybe half the size and work out ... Like I said though ... 
looks good ... and more importantly ... it works ... Good for you !!!
<Snip>

15) From: Michael Wascher
I think he's saying that you could put a tube/pipe that's smaller diameter=
 
than the body (trash can) on top of the roaster. that means you'd need to=
 
make a transition from the larger size to the smaller size. 
If I understand correctly, this would force the hot air to flow around the=
 
roasting chamber (corn can) more evenly. You'd get a more even roast & 
increase efficiency.
It'd reduce your visibility into the roaster while it's in operation, too.
On 8/20/05, Derek Bradford  wrote:
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-- 
"Not all things that are countable, count, and not all things that count,=
 
are countable". Albert Einstein

16) From: Derek Bradford
On 8/20/05, Robert Avery  wrote:
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Ahh, I understand.  As it stands now, I do run the roaster with a
cover on it.  If you look on my blog http://uglyroaster.blogspot.com)you can see the lid off to the right of the top picture.  The lid is
tight fitting, but the "vents" along the sides allow for air to leave
the chamber.  I think this helps keep the majority of the heat in the
chamber.  I have considered cutting a hole in the top that I could
open and close (adjustable opening, of course), that would act as a
chimney of sorts.  The air that is being drawn in through the bottom
of the roaster should (at least it will in my head) channel up, around
the drum, and out the top hole.  I had originally considered adding
fan circulation, but I'm going to try this first...keep it simple and
all that.  Would this accomplish what you're talking about?
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17) From: Michael Dhabolt
Great job Derek
 I think you're plan to lower the heat substantially at the onset of 1st 
should put you where you want to be with respect to extending the time 
between 1st and 2nd. Your timing to 1st is just about what I shoot for. All=
 
in all a tremendous job. Give us the dimensions of the drum (corn can) and=
 
if anyone can think up an alternative container with more holes we'll let=
 
you know. Although the current drum you are using seems to be getting you t=
o 
where you need to be. Congratulations on an innovative and definitely not=
 
"ugly" design.
 Cut to the real question. How did the roast cup?
 Mike (just plain)
 On 8/20/05, Derek Bradford  wrote: 
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18) From: Derek Bradford
Thanks Mike,
The drum's dimensions: Volume is 2.6L; radius is 7.5cm and height is
15cm.  I found a couple perforated drum-like items here, but I didn't
think they were steel or aluminum; they were probably some alloy.
Cup...not so well.  I'll check again tomorrow--I tried it today after
only 8.5 hours of degassing, and it was salty in my espresso maker.  I
think that can be attributed to a few things: Brazillians are salty
anyway (though not as salty as this), the roast was too fast between
1st and 2nd crack, and the beans were roasted too far.  I'll try them
again tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to trying my next roast with
the new adjustments.  However, I did get wonderfully thick crema from
top to bottom of the cup, with only a whisper of black at the bottom
before it settled.  That's of course to it being Brazillian and chock
full of CO2, but it was still pretty to see.
On 8/21/05, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:
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19) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Derek,
Actually, that's one great looking roaster.  Simple and designed to do =
what
it's supposed to.  What's the chamber you are using for the heat source? =
 Is
it gas supplied?
How did the roasted coffee taste?  That's the final test.  Looks don't
matter as long as it delivers the goods.
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
Espressing myself with a Via Veneto and LaPavoni
<Snip>

20) From: Robert Avery
Derek ... D .....a on my part. Should have noticed ... I didn't see it till 
you mentioned it .. I should have known that a design like this should of 
had all the bases covered .. Were did you get the burner unit from ... ??? I 
have seen them around, but that looks like pretty good quallity. Later, Bob
<Snip>

21) From: Derek Bradford
Hah...  My girlfriend and I have both commented on the "good
qualityness" of the burner.  I bought it at a department store
(actually a Carrefour, a French chain) around the corner.  It's just a
$20 single burner, probably butane (the gas canister is in Korean
only).  It's the colour scheme that makes it look like decent quality.
 Yellow and black (think Caterpillar, Dewalt) mean solid industrial
tools and equipment.  We both remarked that it looks like a really
high quality unit because of the colours.
That said, the heat output is pretty stable until the can gets nearly
empty, as is the case with these kinds of burners.  One can will burn
at high output for over an hour, and costs 65 cents.
On 8/21/05, Robert Avery  wrote:
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ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Check out my blog--catch up with me on YOUR schedule, not mine.http://novernae.blogspot.com

22) From: Dan Bollinger
Just so people know, that is a common burner in asian homes and restaurants.
In fact, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Indiana uses these so people can
do their own 'hot pots', or family style soups.  They have an ignitor and
when you turn them off it mechanically disconnects the tank from the valve
so gas can't possibly leak.  I imagine you can buy them from restaurant
supply houses.  Dan
Hah...  My girlfriend and I have both commented on the "good
qualityness" of the burner.  I bought it at a department store
(actually a Carrefour, a French chain) around the corner.  It's just a
$20 single burner, probably butane (the gas canister is in Korean
only).  It's the colour scheme that makes it look like decent quality.
 Yellow and black (think Caterpillar, Dewalt) mean solid industrial
tools and equipment.  We both remarked that it looks like a really
high quality unit because of the colours.
That said, the heat output is pretty stable until the can gets nearly
empty, as is the case with these kinds of burners.  One can will burn
at high output for over an hour, and costs 65 cents.
On 8/21/05, Robert Avery  wrote:
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look
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unsvbscribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Check out my blog--catch up with me on YOUR schedule, not mine.http://novernae.blogspot.com

23) From: Charles Cowdrick
I don't know if you are familiar with MAKE magazine. It's an updated  
Popular Mechanics/Popular Science in the same format as those old 50s  
classics. Anyway, you should direct the editors to your blog -- I bet  
they'd be interested in putting together a story.
On Aug 20, 2005, at 12:11 PM, Brent - SC/TO Roasting wrote:
<Snip>

24) From:
Not ugly! Not Not Not Not Not!
From the appearance of the "corny" drum and the roast #1 you achieved, the=
 
movement of the drum has precluded hot spots. Sure, there probably are 
hotspots indeed, but the standing waves in a microwave oven create RF 
microwave power peaks in the cabinet of better than 1000:1, hence, "Rotate=
 
food..." or, the ubiquitous carousel. 
Drill the holes in the corn can, and you'll weaken it, since you're removin=
g 
metal with the drill. Whenever you drill a hole in metal, you leave hundred=
s 
of tiny metal burrs that can be removed with a chamfering ream, or just 
allow the tumbling beans to knock 'em off during the roast. Then, where, oh=
 
where do they go? Get a mirror!
For heat control, you just need to control airflow. In a flame-heated 
roaster, you need to establish a good flame at the different heat settings.=
 
Then you can control the bleed air into this hot plume of combustion gases.=
 
[My RK Drum process is evolving.]
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
On 8/20/05, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:
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-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the 
Wichita WurliTzer

25) From: Gene Smith
<Snip>
Thank you, Charles!
Gene Smith
threading the wild learning curve, in Houston

26) From: Jeffrey Bair
To Dan's point, I live in the Dallas area, where we have quite a few good=
 
sized asian markets and it seems they all stock these types of burners and=
 
at a fairly cheap price, if memory serves. I've seen them used in the asian=
 
restaraunts around town for shabu shabu - sounds like the same thing Dan ha=
s 
experienced.
Jeff
On 8/20/05, Dan Bollinger  wrote:
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27) From: Dan Bollinger
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
The important thing, to me, is that Derek has found an alternative heat =
source for roasting outdoors. They are compact, inexpensive, and =
portable.    Thanks, Derek!

28) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
My favorite thing about you so-called "ugly roaster" (I don't think 
it's that bad lookin') is your impressive tool list. You should win 
an award for making a roaster with the most limited amount of tools 
and materials!!! And your roast looks pretty nice too!
Tom
-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom

29) From: Derek Bradford
A comment about the hot spots.  Before I used the drum for coffee, I
spent a good hour or so burning the crap out of it (really, off of it)
in direct contact with a high flame.  Some areas were left on the
flame for longer than others, which I believe is what you're seeing.
By design, however, there will be two hot spots that I can see: First,
the flame is round under a rectangular object.  The heat will be more
concentrated in the middle of the can.  Some sort of heat diffuser
might be in order.  Second, the design of the rotating shaft means
that the drum rotates a little off its centre axis, and has vertical
movement of about an inch during each rotation, which brings the beans
a little closer to the flame each time it goes around.  I can fix, but
I'm out of steel rod and will have to find more.
On 8/21/05, raymanowen  wrote:
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-- 
Check out my blog--catch up with me on YOUR schedule, not mine.http://novernae.blogspot.com

30) From: Derek Bradford
That would be fun.  I'll check their submission requirements. 
Although, most of you should be able to make submissions, too.  It's
not as though I didn't steal ideas from all of you...
On 8/21/05, Charles Cowdrick  wrote:
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Check out my blog--catch up with me on YOUR schedule, not mine.http://novernae.blogspot.com

31) From: R.N.Kyle
Snip from Derek Bradfords accounts of the ugliest roaster.
<Snip>
Derek nice job on the roaster and drum. If you could make a heat =
diffuser
about 1" smaller then your roaster housing and support it about 1" above =
the
burner, it would even out the heat and help in your roasting process. =
Sheet
metal can be bought at HD or tractor supply. 16 or 20 gage should work. =
as
for the uneven rotation, this should help more then hinder, a bump in =
the
road will shake up the beans a bit.
Good luck and nice work
RK
-- 
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32) From: Derek Bradford
Haha!  (said menacingly)...  You didn't do your homework.  The whole
premise behind The Uglyroast is that I'm in South Korea, and don't
have access to those wonderfully simple and convenient items.  My drum
would be a lot prettier with access to a HD/.
I just had a thought, though.  What about using some interlaced
(stacked) steel mesh as a heat diffuser?  Does anyone see that
working?  I have access to about a billion various collanders, and
there's great mesh in those.  Perhaps taking four or five sheets of it
and putting them a little below the drum...  Any thoughts?
I also have a question about a thermocouple.  In an ideal world, I'd
have a way of probing the temperature of the actual bean mass.  Any
thoughts on that?  I don't really know anything about thermocoupling. 
I've considered probing the ambient internal chamber temperature, but
it seems like checking the bean mass itself would yield better
results.  Please note that with this roaster I have no way of seeing
or checking the beans until I stop the roast, so any information I can
gather (smell, sound, time, typical bean characteristics, etc) is
critical.  Bean mass temperature seems ideal.
On 8/21/05, R.N.Kyle  wrote:
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Thanks!

33) From: fjm
<Snip>
Since when?  Hot air rises if the air around it is cooler.  Heat goes 
where it isn't.  fjm


HomeRoast Digest