HomeRoast Digest


Topic: "Best" Method for 4-16 oz roast? (12 msgs / 435 lines)
1) From: Geary Lyons
Although I enjoy the process of roasting in a popper, I am looking to
increase capacity and control. Typically I would want to roast 4-8 oz, with
occasional 16 oz. roasts for sharing.  I would rather not use a commercial
homeroaster, (IRoast, HotTop, etc.)  I am considering HG/DB on gas grill or
small drum on gas grill.  I have looked longingly at RK's great drum, but it
appears, to me, that I would be well below ideal loading for a drum that
will roast up to 4 lbs.
I have sketched out a plan for 6" X 9" drum, which is about 40% the volume
of an 8" X 12" drum.
Now, I am no sheet metal artisan, so I am not leaning toward the drum,
necessarily. The more hands-off of the drum is appealing. I would appreciate
feedback on users of HG/DB and BBQ drum for your thoughts.  I may just try
the HG/DB as I have a heat gun and SS bowl, so I have a reference for the
starting point of the learning curve!!
Cheers,
Geary

2) From: Paul Sack
On Jan 19, 2006, at 11:44 PM, Geary Lyons wrote:
<Snip>
Well, do keep in mind that 4 lbs is just the maximum for the RK drum. 
I've easily
done 8 oz roasts in it, and I think people have done quite a bit less 
than that. I'm really
happy with the RK drum (as is everyone else who uses one). I think in 
contrast to
an air roaster, where you have to match the airflow with the batch 
size, drums
are much less sensitive to batch size. I just increase my profile by 
about 30 degrees
for larger batches over smaller batches and listen to the beans.
I can't compare it to HG/DB though. For your batch size, that should 
work very well, too.
Yet, I still look longingly at the heavy 1 lb sample roasters.
-Paul

3) From: an iconoclast
On 1/19/06, Geary Lyons  wrote:
<Snip>
th
<Snip>
l
<Snip>
or
<Snip>
ate
<Snip>
y
<Snip>
Geary,
I do 1# roasts regularly with my HG/DB colander on BBQ side burner. 
Last Saturday, I ended up with 8.85 lbs of roasted beans, so figure I
started out with at least 10# of greens.  I hang the HG from the main
BBQ hood held down with a bag of beans.  It points down into a
double-walled dog bowl with a mesh colander in it sitting on the BBQ
side burner. I start with both HG on high and side burner on low. If
it's cold and windy, I may increase the bottom heat a bit to get
things started.  I stir with a light-weight SS whisk that's long
enough to prevent my hands from getting hot, but still light enough to
avoid pain in my hands.  Once first crack gets going, I turn the
bottom heat off and depending on the bean, I adjust the HG as needed
to finish the roast stretching out first crack and beyond.
I rarely roast less than 3/4 of a pound anymore unless I have a small
amount left in a bag.  I'm roast enough for my husband and I, several
family members, gifts, parties, etc.  People are starting to ask about
buying my coffee, so my husband is hinting about building a drum set
up.  If he does, we will still probably use both methods, as I like
variety.  I would rather have 3-4 varieties of caffeinated coffee and
at least 2 varieties of decaf each week.  But for the family, I tend
to stick to larger roasts of 2 varieties.  I may do end up with 1-1.5#
of Brazil YB and another origin and give away 3/4 to 1# at a time.  I
ususally give 1/4# or slightly more in samples to co-workers.
And I just got a 21 lb order, so I can roast more tomorrow.  Saturday
all my co-workers get to try my coffee.  It's going to be a blast.
Good luck,
Ann

4) From: Gary Townsend
 Geary Lyons wrote:
<Snip>
with
<Snip>
What you need is a Convection Oven & Stir
Crazypopcorn popper!
But, here's what you need to look at to get some inspiration to building
your own:
hom 
emade-homeroasters 
Gary
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your
character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what
others think you are. John Wooden

5) From: Geary Lyons
Ann Wrote:
I rarely roast less than 3/4 of a pound anymore unless I have a small
amount left in a bag.  I'm roast enough for my husband and I, several
family members, gifts, parties, etc.  People are starting to ask about
buying my coffee, so my husband is hinting about building a drum set
up.  If he does, we will still probably use both methods, as I like
variety.  I would rather have 3-4 varieties of caffeinated coffee and
at least 2 varieties of decaf each week.  But for the family, I tend
to stick to larger roasts of 2 varieties.  I may do end up with 1-1.5#
of Brazil YB and another origin and give away 3/4 to 1# at a time.  I
ususally give 1/4# or slightly more in samples to co-workers.
And I just got a 21 lb order, so I can roast more tomorrow.  Saturday
all my co-workers get to try my coffee.  It's going to be a blast.
Good luck,
Ann
Ann,
Thanks for the insight!  Seems that you really have the process dialed in!
I am consistently getting feedback that folks' roast batch sizes seem to
grow larger over time.
I. too, just picked up my 21# order from SM.  We are definitely drinking
more coffee and now decaf is in the mix.
Cheers,
Geary

6) From: Geary Lyons
Paul Wrote:
Well, do keep in mind that 4 lbs is just the maximum for the RK drum.
I've easily done 8 oz roasts in it, and I think people have done quite a bit
less
than that.
Thanks Paul,
It looks like some folks are successfully doing smallish batches in the RK
drum.  I am recent to the list, but the "longing looks" seems to be
infectious!
Regards,
Geary

7) From:
Hi Geary,
4 lbs is the MAX batch size for the RK drum. "Normal" is probably more
like 1/2 to 2 lbs.  I've yet to do over a pound, usual batch is 280
grams, yielding slightly over 1/2 lb.  I haven't tried a smaller batch
yet.
Perhaps you didn't see the thread a while back where Les decided to do a
1 bean roast in his RK.  He ended up with a seemingly perfectly roasted
bean (but cupping results were inconclusive).
Other than cost and personal preference, the only issues with the RK
drum are having a place to store the grill, a place to roast with the
right combo of ventilation and wind protection, and cooling apparatus.
Before getting the RK, the other alternatives I considered were:
HG/DB - Seems to work well for the folks doing it this way. I'm just not
going to stir coffee by hand while roasting, and the mechanized
solutions were more fabrication than I wanted to bother with.  Since
you've already got the parts needed for this, it couldn't hurt to just
try it.
SC/TO - First runner up. Already have a SC that could be sacrificed, TO
is not too expensive, fabrication requirements barely within acceptable
bounds.  If I hadn't got the family to go in on getting me the RK for
Christmas, I'd probably have tried this.
"From scratch" small drum roaster, along the lines of the not-so-ugly
roaster.  Tempting from a tinkering / engineering problem standpoint.
Still too much fabrication, problematic for going big enough for a 1 lb
roast.
With about 3 weeks and less than 20 roasts total, I'm still a newb with
the RK.  I think I'm getting closer and more consistent on getting the
roast I'm targeting.  Since you can't see the beans, it comes down to
time, temperature control, ears and nose, coupled with experience.  I
was using the "pour back and forth between two colanders" method of
cooling until this week.  The colanders just aren't very effective.
I've now got a 20" box fan and an 18" SS bakery sieve.  These have been
extremely effective - 1/2 lb to room temperature in less than a minute.
The only real disappointment with the RK Drum?  Discovering that Les is
NOT included in the package :)
If we learn from our mistakes, I must be learning a lot!
Bruce

8) From: Mike Chester
Bruce,
If the coffee samples that you sent me in the coffee exchange were roasted 
in the RK, it appears that you have the technique down pretty well because 
they are excellent.  I had a press pot of the Horse today and I can see why 
people have been raving about it since I have been on the list.  The Thunder 
Mountain Kona makes excellent SO shots.
I have been thinking about building or buying a drum roaster and the RK 
seems to be a lot of value for the cost.  I have been thinking about 
building an electric heated drum roaster but without specialized tools, the 
drum fabrication would be the toughest part. I know there are many pre-made 
cylinder devices out there that can be used with modification, but has 
anyone tried Ron's drum in something other than an outdoor grill?  I have 
several outdoor cooking devices and if I were to add one more gas grill, it 
might just push my wife over the edge.  Also, I am in the very early design 
stages of an electronic temperature controller to automatically control 
roasting curves.  I don't know what will come of it, but it would pretty 
much need to control electric elements.
BTW - I see that someone else is using the name that I have been using on 
this list (Another Mike) so I will just change my signature to my real name.
Mike Chester
Hi Geary,
4 lbs is the MAX batch size for the RK drum. "Normal" is probably more
like 1/2 to 2 lbs.  I've yet to do over a pound, usual batch is 280
grams, yielding slightly over 1/2 lb.  I haven't tried a smaller batch
yet.
Perhaps you didn't see the thread a while back where Les decided to do a
1 bean roast in his RK.  He ended up with a seemingly perfectly roasted
bean (but cupping results were inconclusive).
Other than cost and personal preference, the only issues with the RK
drum are having a place to store the grill, a place to roast with the
right combo of ventilation and wind protection, and cooling apparatus.
Before getting the RK, the other alternatives I considered were:
HG/DB - Seems to work well for the folks doing it this way. I'm just not
going to stir coffee by hand while roasting, and the mechanized
solutions were more fabrication than I wanted to bother with.  Since
you've already got the parts needed for this, it couldn't hurt to just
try it.
SC/TO - First runner up. Already have a SC that could be sacrificed, TO
is not too expensive, fabrication requirements barely within acceptable
bounds.  If I hadn't got the family to go in on getting me the RK for
Christmas, I'd probably have tried this.
"From scratch" small drum roaster, along the lines of the not-so-ugly
roaster.  Tempting from a tinkering / engineering problem standpoint.
Still too much fabrication, problematic for going big enough for a 1 lb
roast.
With about 3 weeks and less than 20 roasts total, I'm still a newb with
the RK.  I think I'm getting closer and more consistent on getting the
roast I'm targeting.  Since you can't see the beans, it comes down to
time, temperature control, ears and nose, coupled with experience.  I
was using the "pour back and forth between two colanders" method of
cooling until this week.  The colanders just aren't very effective.
I've now got a 20" box fan and an 18" SS bakery sieve.  These have been
extremely effective - 1/2 lb to room temperature in less than a minute.
The only real disappointment with the RK Drum?  Discovering that Les is
NOT included in the package :)
If we learn from our mistakes, I must be learning a lot!
Bruce

9) From: Geary Lyons
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Bruce wrote:
4 lbs is the MAX batch size for the RK drum. "Normal" is probably more
like 1/2 to 2 lbs.  I've yet to do over a pound, usual batch is 280
grams, yielding slightly over 1/2 lb.  I haven't tried a smaller batch
yet.
Perhaps you didn't see the thread a while back where Les decided to do a
1 bean roast in his RK.  He ended up with a seemingly perfectly roasted
bean (but cupping results were inconclusive).
snip
The only real disappointment with the RK Drum?  Discovering that Les is
NOT included in the package :)
Bruce thanks for your input!  Based on the coffee's that you sent me in the
exchange, you may not need Les as much as you think!!  I emailed Ron, his
response was the small batches were not an issue on the RK drum. It is
obvious that a virulent strain of upgrade-it is has infected this list.
Since I have been exposed, I may just have to go with the RK drum.
My thanks to everyone who replied.  I am going to try HG/DB this week-end.
All of the methods suggested are amazingly creative.  Perhaps the caffeine?
Cheers,
Geary

10) From: Geary Lyons
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
No Dang!! Here's my 4-16 oz solution!! No more upgrade-itis!!
Cheers,
Geary
Coffee Roaster - $5500
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Reply to: sale-127116199
Date: 2006-01-20, 7:48PM PST
Diedrich IR3 20lbs/hr - 2 years old. Good Condition. Currently in use.
Available February 1, 2006.
  a.. this is in or around Long Beach, Washington
  b.. no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other
commercial interests
127116199

11) From: Ed Needham
Go get ya a stainless food container at WalMart and take off the lid 
portion, add stirring vanes, a flange to mount the drum to an axle, and a 
support for the other end of the drum.  Add a small cookpot lid from a 
thrift store and you're in business.
You have to be a bit creative with picking out the parts, but it's fun and 
easy.
Here's a pic of a small drum that works like a charm.http://www.homeroaster.com/tinydrum.htmlA food canister, and a stainless canning funnel.  Total cost, maybe $15 and 
a few hours work?
Think pop rivets.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] somewhere in the subject line of any email correspondence)
*********************

12) From: David Yeager
At 11:14 PM 1/20/2006, Geary wrote:
<Snip>
Hi Geary,
I love HG/DB, but hate the stirring.  The cure for me has been to use 
a modified bread machine to do the stirring.  It takes a little bit 
of tinkering, but it's well worth it.  It puts 1 1/2 lbs well within 
the reach of your heatgun and gives a very even roast.
If you are interested, contact me and I'll talk you through it.
David Y
Atlanta


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