HomeRoast Digest


Topic: RK drum Setup keep the objective in sight (6 msgs / 287 lines)
1) From: rdhenne
Fellow (almost) RK drum roasters,
I think we have about covered it.  Let's face it we don't need a "man from Texas" to figure this out.
 
What is the objective?  Even heat, responsive heat control, buffered retained heat for those with light weight grills that are susceptible to wind effects cold weather etc.  OK that's easy.
 
Even Heat:  Use a diffuser to diffuse the direct flame hot spots into hot blobs that overlap and give even heat most important directly under the drum footprint any further diffusing area is really not necessary as "diffusing" but as heat buffering mass.
 
Even Conductive (heat transfer by touching another hot object) heating:  RK has taken care of that for us with the rotating SS drum, better if we got the motor too.
 
Responsive Efficient Convective heating:  This is hot air folks.  How much can you use?  How much mass and how much power do you have? If you have lots of both you can use the most convective heating.  This is most important for those with dedicated flimsy low BTU grills that are exposed to the elements vs. the lucky ones with massive high BTU built in grills.  If you have a low BTU grill you don't have a choice you will have to add mass to your grill and preheat more. There are times when you want to control the heat and when the wind blows you want to maintain the heat.  You have to strike a balance here probably in favor of maintaining the heat.  To maintain heat you need to add power or hot mass i.e. instead of a cookie sheet consider a cookie sheet with ceramic tiles or massive steel plate.  Don't forget to leave room for some convective heat too.  Sounds like 2 to 3 inches around the edges will work fine, remember you only need a diffuser under the footprint of the d
 rum af
ter that you need mass call it what you will it will depend on how much power you have, how cold or windy it is where you live, how protected and how much mass your grill already has etc. Bottom line most guys with dedicated grills got cheap ones and will have to add mass not a big deal but don't forget to allow enough convective heat in so you have adequate control over the roast temperature.  Baked beans taste dull.
 
So what does the man from Arizona say  (I am really the man from Japan today) remember the objective you want to roast coffee and everyone reading this already knows how to do that.
If you have a cheap flimsy dedicated gas grill add some mass call it a diffuser if you like but make it a massive one like ceramic heat tiles or thicker steel and leave some room for that relatively less expensive more responsive to the dial heated air to enter the roaster too, 2 to 3 inches all the way around will work or just anywhere that is relatively evenly distributed outside the footprint of the drum will work.  
Remember the objective you want to roast coffee that means you want to be able to do all those tings you already know and have learned by roasting in the other appliances something like this--dry the beans and bring the temp of the whole bean up to 350  then ramp them the rest of the way to first crack at an even rate in about 9 to 17 minutes total,  then reduce the heat to stretch the time to second crack two to three minutes etc. with variations I don't know about or haven't tried yet etc. etc.
Yes, I know, I know all this wisdom comes to you from a guy that hasn't even assembled his RK drum yet. FedEx says it's home waiting for me. I'm in Osaka and I ran out of my coffee today. There is a Carbon Bucks on the corner but I opted for the free (yes I am a cheap airline pilot)  hotel Japanese green (steamed not roasted) Tea.  The Chinese roast their tea supposedly that's because they like the aroma, vs. the Japanese who like the color, of course as always, taste is in the taster hope all your RK roasts taste good.
Regards,
Ross 

Fellow (almost) RK drum roasters,

 

I think we have about covered it.  Let's face it we don't need a "man from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Texas" to figure this out.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

What is the objective?  Even heat, responsive heat control, buffered retained heat for those with light weight grills that are susceptible to wind effects cold weather etc.  OK that's easy.

 

Even Heat:  Use a diffuser to diffuse the direct flame hot spots into hot blobs that overlap and give even heat most important directly under the drum footprint any further diffusing area is really not necessary as "diffusing" but as heat buffering mass.

 

Even Conductive (heat transfer by touching another hot object) heating:  RK has taken care of that for us with the rotating SS drum, better if we got the motor too.

 

Responsive Efficient Convective heating:  This is hot air folks. <g> How much can you use?  How much mass and how much power do you have? If you have lots of both you can use the most convective heating.  This is most important for those with dedicated flimsy low BTU grills that are exposed to the elements vs. the lucky ones with massive high BTU built in grills.  If you have a low BTU grill you don't have a choice you will have to add mass to your grill and preheat more. There are times when you want to control the heat and when the wind blows you want to maintain the heat.  You have to strike a balance here probably in favor of maintaining the heat.  To maintain heat you need to add power or hot mass i.e. instead of a cookie sheet consider a cookie sheet with ceramic tiles or massive steel plate.  Don't f orget to leave room for some convective heat too.  Sounds like 2 to 3 inches around the edges will work fine, remember you only need a diffuser under the footprint of the drum after that you need mass call it what you will it will depend on how much power you have, how cold or windy it is where you live, how protected and how much mass your grill already has etc. Bottom line most guys with dedicated grills got cheap ones and will have to add mass not a big deal but don't forget to allow enough convective heat in so you have adequate control over the roast temperature.  Baked beans taste dull.

 

So what does the man from Arizona say <g> (I am really the man from Japan today) remember the objective you want to roast coffee and everyone reading this already knows how to do that.

If you have a cheap flimsy dedicated gas grill add some mass call it a diffuser if you like but make it a massive one like ceramic heat tiles or thicker steel and leave some room for that relatively less expensive more responsive to the dial heated air to enter the roaster too, 2 to 3 inches all the way around will work or just anywhere that is relatively evenly distributed outside the footprint of the drum will work.  

Remember the objective you want to roast coffee that means you want to be able to do all those tings you already know and have learned by roasting in the other appliances something like this--dry the beans and bring the temp of the whole bean up to 350  then ramp them the rest of the way to first crack at an even rate in about 9 to 17 minutes total,  then reduce the heat to stretch the time to second crack two to three minutes etc. with variations I don't know about or haven't tried yet etc. etc.

Yes, I know, I know all this wisdom comes to you from a guy that hasn't even assembled his RK drum yet. FedEx says it's home waiting for me. I'm in Osaka and I ran out of my coffee today. There is a Carbon Bucks on the corner but I opted for the free (yes I am a cheap airline pilot)  hotel Japanese green (steamed not roasted) Tea.  The Chinese roast their tea supposedly that's because they like the aroma, vs. the Japanese who like the color, of course as always, taste is in the taster hope all your RK roasts taste good.

Regards,

Ross 


2) From: Ed Needham
It ain't rocket surgery folks.
:::grin:::
Great post.
You can't ignore the details, but you can ruin the whole experience by 
fussing too much.  As homebrewers say, and adapted to us..."Relax, have a 
homeroast."
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

3) From: Les
Great post Ross.  It sounds like you need to head back home and get some
homeroast to drink!  I have  seen a couple of RK setups where the owners
have put so much mass in the roasting chamber, the ability to change
temperature is almost as slow as trying to stop an oil tanker.  That said,
don't discount the cutting edge experimenters like the dude in Texas.  He is
taking a pretty analytical approach to continuing the quest for roasting
improvements.  I dialogue with him on occasion.  We need people like him
that want to push the envelope.  It isn't rocket science, you are spot on
Ed!  Oh, I am enjoying a very fine TV brewed RK roasted City Plus Moka Kadir
as I type.
Les
On 4/15/07, Ed Needham  wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Rich
I am finding this discussion of the setup of a RK drum roaster quite interesting.  I am considering the 
purchase of an RK drum as I consume a great deal of coffee and do not want to deal with a small 
batch system.
Based on the above I have a question that I have yet to see answered or even actively considered.
How is a commercial gas fired roaster constructed?  Is the gas flame applied directly to a solid drum 
or...?  Is the gas used to heat air that is drawn through the drum and then exhausted or is it a 
combination of several of these methods?
I know there are contributors to this list that have the knowledge to comment on this.  This 
information may be helpful in the setup of a grill to heat an RK drum.
Rich
--Original Message Text---
From: Les
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 08:00:17 -0700
Great post Ross.  It sounds like you need to head back home and get some homeroast to drink!  I have  
seen a couple of RK setups where the owners have put so much mass in the roasting chamber, the 
ability to change temperature is almost as slow as trying to stop an oil tanker.  That said, don't 
discount the cutting edge experimenters like the dude in Texas.  He is taking a pretty analytical 
approach to continuing the quest for roasting improvements.  I dialogue with him on occasion.  We 
need people like him that want to push the envelope.  It isn't rocket science, you are spot on Ed!  Oh, I 
am enjoying a very fine TV brewed RK roasted City Plus Moka Kadir as I type. 
Les
On 4/15/07, Ed Needham  wrote: It ain't rocket surgery folks.
:::grin:::
Great post.
You can't ignore the details, but you can ruin the whole experience by 
fussing too much.  As homebrewers say, and adapted to us..."Relax, have a
homeroast."
*********************
Ed Needham

5) From: Coffeenut
I agree with you Les and am not bothered (or feel I'm losing sight of the
objective) just because we are discussing various methods of thermal
management in our grill roasters.  Sure it's not "rocket science", but I
don't see any harm in discussing the topic openly and hearing about
improvements.  I've played with this quite a bit with my grill roaster, and
these factors that Ross discussed so well are affected by how the
deflection/heat storage is configured.  Ed posted a pic that touched upon
one of my concerns which was shielding the temp probe from excessive direct
heat.
I hope that you and Ron will keep us tuned-in to what the fellow in Texas
finds or he can comment here himself.  I don't consider myself ever done in
the learning new techniques.
Rick
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Les
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2007 11:00 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +RK drum Setup keep the objective in sight
Great post Ross.  It sounds like you need to head back home and get some
homeroast to drink!  I have  seen a couple of RK setups where the owners
have put so much mass in the roasting chamber, the ability to change
temperature is almost as slow as trying to stop an oil tanker.  That said,
don't discount the cutting edge experimenters like the dude in Texas.  He is
taking a pretty analytical approach to continuing the quest for roasting
improvements.  I dialogue with him on occasion.  We need people like him
that want to push the envelope.  It isn't rocket science, you are spot on
Ed!  Oh, I am enjoying a very fine TV brewed RK roasted City Plus Moka Kadir
as I type. 
 
Les
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6) From: Les
I wasn't going to share this because it makes me feel really dumb, but
humble pie is good for the soul!  The biggest improvement I have made with
my RK roasting is so simple that it makes me feel dumb.  Keep it clean!  I
was only vacuuming out my roast chamber when the chaff had built up to a
level that just begged me to clean.  Since I have been simply vacuuming out
the roast chamber before every roasting session (when the BBQ is cold), I
have seen a dramatic improvement in my roasting control and flavor even when
there isn't much chaff at all in the chamber.  So, that has been my biggest
improvement in the last 6 months.
Les
On 4/16/07, Coffeenut  wrote:
<Snip>


HomeRoast Digest