HomeRoast Digest

Topic: BBQ Drum Roasting: Pushing The Limits..Possible?? (7 msgs / 277 lines)
1) From: Roger Pilon
Hi all!
Is it possible to push the limits of BBQ roasting with PID or ...?
I explain!
When you are hunting for information on home roasting on the net, as a
newbie roaster like me, you see people that are FREAK-control type of a
person (like me) , goes for fluid air rather than drum roasting!
Why?? Simple! Fluid air has 2 sides of the coin: air flow and temperature.
You can add Variac,dimmer, etc to control both of these 2 variables...quit
easily and with many links available!
On the other hand, when it is a matter of BBQ roasting (with a drum)...well
this is another story!
So far, on BBQ roasting, I found very few I-Am-A-Controller-Freak-Roaster
type of person? So tell me if I am wrong, why is it so?? Or maybe it is just
that when you go to the drum-roasting-side it is harder technically to
control anything? Or less variables!!??
Examples: the only electronic tweak I have seen on BBQ drums id the use of a
digital temperature probe in addition of a mechanical one!
Bottom line question:
Any users over there (links, blogs)  that are pushing the limits of
controlling BBQ roasting?
Thank you to all!

2) From: Justin Marquez
The reason you see the thermocouples on the BBQ lids is that the el-cheapo
thermometers supplied by the grill mfr are essentially useless. Most of them
have a thick probe and a very short extension. A decent thermometer,
correctly placed is much better. But the T/C allows you to stay a step ahead
as it reads the air temp inside the grill nearly instantly. If you are
targeting to hold some temperature point, the T/C gives you instant feedback
on whether the temp is rising or falling and how fast it is changing.
IF you had a good burner control setup (a real challenge with 3 burners...)
and a PID controller, I bet you could profile a roast using the T/C as the
process input variable.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)
On 9/2/07, Roger Pilon  wrote:

3) From: RK
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I do not know of any that I'm familiar with.
There is great deal of control with manual knob control and profiling is =
easy once you get the hang of roasting.
Air roasting needs control as the temps and the small amount of beans =
you are roasting roast very fast. When you get into roasting 1 to 4 lbs =
at a time  it takes longer naturally because of the larger mass.
I have roasted 1/4 lbs in a popper in as little as 4 min. the area to =
heat is very small, but with a drum and grill the area is larger =
requiring more time to just get up to temp.
You have all the control you need with just knowing about basic roasting =
and the smells that come along with the process. Gas is very =
controllable and I use a analog thermometer because it is much slower =
reacting then a digital and this more reassembles the actual bean temps. =
as they just do not heat up and cool as fast as the ambient temps inside =
the grill.
This can be as simple as you want to make it or as difficult as you want =
to make it, but really it is quite simple to get professional roast with =
the RK drum and a simple gas grill, it just takes some practice and =
learning your grill and the sounds and smells of roast as it progresses.
First start roasting with a popcorn popper to get used to the smells and =
sounds of roasting and the transition is easy.
Start with some coffee that is cheap to practice with and take notes.
read the profiles on my profile page and try to go by them to get =
started. It is not as difficult as you may think and seeing the beans is =
not a big factor in producing good roasts.
You have all the control you need with just your senses and your hands.
There are many of my customers producing top quality roasts with just =
these simple methods.
Read some of these reviews and especially Denise Brennan's
as she is one of the pioneers of commercial roasting with the rk drums http://snipurl.com/1q8m0

4) From: raymanowen
Drum roasting Is something to which I aspire. Got my RK already. I
will transfer the small batch roasting ability that I eventually gain.
The rapid temperature control possible with a heatgun invites Crisis
Management Roasting. The thermal mass and hysteresis of the drum will
put an end to step changes in my profiles.
You can get a mighty good roast using a hand held heatgun. One roast
to the next won't be absolutely identical, but where's the fun in
that? You really want  miKe's Foulgers or Mystery House
same-same-ness? Variation leads to discovery and epiphany.
Just like walking, driving or flying, a lot of mid-course corrections
have to be applied. Best to stay on course, avoid the other guy and
get to the destination in one piece.
Flight plans are good, but they still have the Captain and First
Officer up front. Without them, who's going to notice the stall
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Coffee, tea or Black Jack sour?
On 9/2/07, Roger Pilon  wrote:

5) From: Alchemist John
I think the main issue is the need to control a flow gas instead of a 
flow of electrons.  I think you  would need some ilk of mass flow 
controller and those are a bit pricey.  I think no one has gone there 
yet.  If you do,  you would probably want some type of convection and 
a slightly "insulated" TC probe (one in SS tube) so you don't see and 
react to the wild swings seen by the instantaneous bead tipped TC.
At 13:00 9/2/2007, you wrote:
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

6) From: RK
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I must appoligize for this post as I thougt it was to a potential =
customer that has be sending me emails with questions on drum roasting I =
did not intend for it to be posted on the list and appoligize for the =

7) From: Brian Kamnetz
In my opinion your post was pertinent to home roasting and interesting to boot.
On 9/3/07, RK  wrote:

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