HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Drum roaster setup (11 msgs / 262 lines)
1) From: Ross
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I finished putting the drum roaster together and have already roasted 8 =
lb of beans.  It's so fun!  My wife says "how long do those beans stay =
fresh?"  I will say I'm glad I did start with a small roaster because I =
have wasted a few "small" roasts" in the learning process.  My first =
impression of big drum roasting was: "This is so much easier than the =
IR2."  I think the reason for that is when you want to change the heat =
during the roast you don't have to guess ahead of time and program when =
you want to do it you just exactly when you want to do it!   The only =
disadvantage of making the transition from small roaster to large one is =
you have trained yourself to roast a bunch of batches and once you get =
in the groove the next thing you know you better start selling coffee =
because you will have a lot of it!  I guess my friends will get free =
coffee for a while!  Good news for Tom is the order quantity will go up.
Here is the rest of the story on assembly for those who are following my =
progress. (Delete key now if appropriate) 
It turned out a number 49 drill bit (Ace Hardware) was the correct =
answer to converting my 3 15k BTU LP burners to natural gas.  I drilled =
each of the three nozzles and reattached the front power panel to the =
grill, perfect blue flame from HI to LO with the sliding air openings =
full open.  If you have different size BTU burners you will need to =
adjust that size (bigger for more BTU).
Diffuser:  After some thought I replaced the two pool tile with a thin =
sheet of 8"X18" metal I picked up at Lowes, works great.
Cooler:  Started with a 20" box fan ($10.00) from Lowes, and found a =
super perfect stainless tray in the garage (I have no idea where it came =
from so not much help for you guys but proof that sometimes I do get =
Thermometer: When I stuck my SM Cooper 8" probe thermometer under the =
hood it was too low relative to the drum and obviously in direct heat =
because it would have pegged out if I didn't pull it out when I did.  =
The built in grill thermometer on the Charmglow/Brinkman grill is in the =
ball park with the temperature profiles Ron has posted on his RK drum =
web site, it is graduated in 20 degree increments and responds at a good =
speed so I don't think I need anything else.  The 45K grill power is =
over kill on a two pound roast way more than enough power. (makes me =
wonder if 30K would have been sufficient, but I haven't done a 4 lb =
roast yet) it was windy and it was still easy for me to change =
temperature very quickly.  Bottom line I would always rather have =
overkill than not enough and my natural gas setup may be hotter than the =
LP version.  I didn't put any lube or Teflon tape on the bearing areas =
and I still had no problem hearing 1st and 2nd crack.  You will laugh =
when you see the picture of the pin on the drum, that's what happens to =
a twice bent pin when you are in a hurry to get it out!  If someone has =
found a better drum pin setup please post it, this one could be =
improved.  I got two Ove Gloves at Walgreens and I'm glad I got two.  I =
wouldn't be typing this otherwise.  I will post the pictures in separate =
emails so I don't bog down the server.  For what it is worth for those =
considering this transition here is how much you can expect to spend.  
Drum and gear drive motor setup:  $395.00
Grill                                                210.00
LP bottle or natural gas parts             22.00
Rotisserie kit                                      75.00
Diffuser plate                                      8.00
Ove Gloves                                      28.00
Box Fan                                            10.00
Cooler Tray (18" flour sieve)            ~25.00
Total                                            $773.00  compare to =
HotTop or professional roaster.                                         

2) From: neal prentiss
Thanks for the info Ross.  FedEx is supposed to deliver my drum tomorrow.  I
have a question about the natural gas.  Is there any benefit to switching
from propane to natural gas other than cost, and convenience? Such as easier
temp control or flavor differences?
On 4/20/07, Ross  wrote:

3) From: Ross
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
No, that's about it.  Except you never have to worry about running out =
of gas in the middle of a 4lb roast!  But it could be argued if the gas =
company was bombed by terrorists you could still roast coffee with LP =
and you could take your roaster on a camping trip with LP.  I would not =
have done it if I didn't already have a gas line plumed in and the parts =
laying around ready to go.  I noticed the conversion hardware (flex gas =
tube and quick disconnect) are about $35 to $40 bucks at Lowes or Home =
Depot.  The gas pipe fittings (shut off valve and assorted fittings to =
put the quick disconnect where you want) are easily available at Ace =
Hardware.   The only real consideration is do you have access to a =
natural gas line where you will be roasting.  If so I would convert, if =
not go with LP. 
Have fun,

4) From: Ross
Sorry about lack of pictures I have reduced the size in kilobytes but I =
can't seem to get them across.  I will try to send just one.

5) From: Ross
OK here is another

6) From: Ross
This is what the pin looks like after a couple frantic removals.

7) From: Ross
Diffuser with lots of burned chaff that needs to be vacuumed out.

8) From: Ross

9) From: Ross

10) From: Ross
Sorry I sent duplicates, this is the last picture showing the geared =
motor mounted on the right for us left handers.

11) From: Eddie Dove
It looks like you did a lot of great work!  How about some links to
really big photos?
Docendo Discimus
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 4/20/07, Ross  wrote:">http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 4/20/07, Ross  wrote:

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