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Topic: BBQ grill roaster - improvements! (33 msgs / 1079 lines)
1) From: R.N.Kyle
snippet from Ed Needham:
can I be your friend Ed :O)
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
even so
mess up
My roast
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2) From: Mark Smith
I took the sage advice offered here to heart, and installed three=
 3/4 inch high agitator vanes that run the full length of the=
 drum. Made them from a 3ft length of aluminum angle-iron cut=
 into three parts.
I also aimed for a longer roast from a much lower start temp. I=
 was surprised how little heat had to be pumped in to get that=
 slowly rising temp. I have a cheapo 30,000 BTU Fiesta grill from=
 Home Depot with their Char-broil rotisserie kit (which seems to=
 run at 6 rpm). I started with the two burners at their absolute=
 minimum setting, and only had to increase the setting a tiny=
 amount after 10 min. to get the profile I wanted.
Anyway, both my initial problems were solved. The roast was nice=
 and even so I could pick my end point easily, and the beans were=
 all at a point where they had dried and expanded properly, so no=
 more rock hard beans to mess up the grinder! Tasted dreamy good=
 too... Plus I can do a pound at a time with no problem! Talk=
 about a happy camper with a smile riveted in place! My roast=
 time was still a little short at 16:40 to second crack, but now=
 I can fool with the profile to my heart's content.
This adventure was prompted by the second failure of my=
 Alpenrost. First time it was under warranty, but now the=
 warranty is up. My family goes thru about a pound to 1 1/2=
 pounds a week, and trying to do that 3 oz at a time in the old=
 Hearthware Precision is just not a long term solution! The=
 Alpenrost was the only somewhat reasonably priced roaster that=
 would do larger quantities, and I just don't feel that it worked=
 well enough (or long enough!) to justify the price.
My thanks for the helpful hints offered by the old Grill-roast=
 hands. I suspect I will now be a longtime member of the IGRO=
 that Ed mentioned!
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3) From: Dan Bollinger
Ahem...  that would be angle-aluminum.  ;)  Dan
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4) From: John Abbott
Or Angle-Steal if he didn't pay for them!

5) From: floyd burton

6) From: Ed Needham
Wonderful to hear successes like that.  I'm sipping a Papua New Guinea that I
roasted last night.  It is wonderfully smooth and has that distinctive PNG
subtlety about it.  I am mentally comparing this roast to one I did of the
same coffee using my Precision air roaster.  It is definitely brighter with
the Precision.  I may even like it better than the drum roasted version.  I
really need to cup them side by side and note the differences.  Drum roasted
PNG is long and lingering, with an 18 minute roast just into second crack.
The Precision roast was stopped at the same spot, but time of course was much
I roasted three ounces in the Precision and three pounds in the BBQ grill
drum!  It will give me enough for the whole week and some to share with
friends.  I do like roasting larger batches, and the drum roast body, but the
Precision still has it's place on my kitchen counter.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

7) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 Great post Mark. Seems like good agitation does make up for
slow rpms, at least with one lb roasts. Agter your first post I
wondered if you had direct flame touching your drum and
charring, but it was that smooth drum material not getting the
beans to tumble. Keep playing with it, but my guess is that
you'll find that over 16 minutes to first crack is plenty with a
one lb batch. Larger amounts need more time for a full and even
roast.  I hadn't ever done a small batch in my brick oven
roaster, using a fire place popper instead since the FR pooped
out. But yesterday I tried some 1/4 and 1/2 lb sample bags in
the drum/basket and danged if I didn't get quick (well, 7
minutes) even roasts with airroaster-type brightness in the cup.
I'm used to 22 to 28 minute 5 lb roasts.
--- Mark Smith  wrote:
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8) From: Mark Smith
I am near Atlanta, and ambient temp when I roasted was around 40=
 degrees. I added the beans immediately after lighting the=
 burners, so grill temp was cold (no preheating!). Drum came from=
 in the house, so it was room temp. Grill temp rose to around=
 300F over next 10 min, then I upped the burners (technical term=
 there hey?) very slightly to start it rising again. Topped out=
 at around 430F around 14 min or so and entered first crack=
 shortly thereafter (This was with 1lb Sweet Maria's Sumatra=
 Mand.). After trying to make out cracks over the noise of Alp or=
 HWP, this was super easy with the drum turning. The rotisserie=
 motor is very quiet, and there are short sections of relative=
 quiet between times when the agitator vanes scatter the beans...=
 absolutely dead easy to make out cracks. Love it!

9) From: Mark Smith
The grill does have some diffuser plates mounted above the=
 burners, so direct flame touching the drum wasn't a problem. The=
 agitators were the main key! Secondary factor was just not to=
 crank up the heat so fast or so high. I plan to try a 1 1/2 lb=
 load next, since that is our normal weekly demand. I don't doubt=
 it will work fine; the drum is 13 inches long by 8 inch dia.,=
 and seems to have plenty of room for a bigger roast.
I still have my old HWP and plan to use that for small=
 variety-type roasts. Thanx to the list and homeroaster.com, I am=
 definitely in the catbird seat!

10) From: floyd burton
Er one suggestion-have a spare gas tank about-know a guy who had 5# in his
drum and ran out of gas.  How do you get the beans out of the drum-have a
funnel arrangement or a trap door on the end.  Sounds neat-a good size for a
family roaster.

11) From: Ed Needham
This Homeroast list is truly a 'think tank' for coffee and roasting.  I am
ever so thankful for all of you...OK, most of you .
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

12) From: Ed Needham
I only had 2 1/2 pounds in the drum Floyd .  And it re-roasted quite
nicely, thank you very much.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

13) From: floyd burton
Yes it is-I have saved many of the posts and divided them into various
topics including drum construction, roasting temps/times and so on.  It is a
fun hobby and on occasion you are rewarded with a very nice cup of joe.
Always more to learn and more refinements to make.

14) From: floyd burton
Yeah but I bought another tank on Saturday and had it filled-oh here in WI
we have a stupid law that sez first time tank fills must have a flush first
at $5-what bs-propane is much heavier than air-let the tank remain still for
a bit-open the jets wide open for a couple of minutes and for pennies you
have flushed the air out.

15) From: R.N.Kyle
 Ron, what happened with your replacement Alp? Or shouldn't I
Charlie I posted about the replacement Alp, just 10 or so minutes ago. =
After seeing the latest Chinese junk, I think I will be building my own. =
I really love drum roasted coffee.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

16) From: R.N.Kyle
Ed I think that is a great Idea, OK my be. When I get yours I will post =
and offer 1/4 lb of mine, Kinda like the Keeping up the Traditions. =
Thanks Ed thats a really good idea.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

17) From: R.N.Kyle
come on Tony, I'm sure you have roasted some really good coffee.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

18) From: Oaxaca Charlie
--- "R.N.Kyle"  wrote:
 Ron, what happened with your replacement Alp? Or shouldn't I
ask?  I figure you for the next homeroaster with a home built
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19) From: Mark Smith
I would LIKE to have a funnel on the end like some of those on=
 homeroaster.com, but I couldn't see any easy way to attach=
 something like that (I don't weld!). The Lowes trashcan has a=
 rolled top edge, and didn't seem to lend itself to bolting,=
 riveting etc. So I used an 8 inch aluminum pot lid with a hole=
 drilled thru the middle. Goes over the rotisserie spindle and is=
 held in place with one of the collars that clamps to the=
 spindle. Not as easy to use as having a funnel, but does OK (Got=
 to be sure to get that clamp good-n-tight, though! Voice of=
 experience speaketh!). 
 good size for
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20) From: Ed Needham
Ron...you're already on my 'friend' list.  Ya wanna be the first one to start
the 'Coffee Exchange'?  I'll start and send you a quarter pound of my best.
You send someone else a quarter pound of yours.  ...and on and on...
I'll sacrifice the first quarter pound and postage to get it started.  A half
pound I think is too much if someone only roasts in 3 oz. batches.  I don't
want to make this difficult for anyone.  I think a quarter pound will ship
regular USPS in a bubble envelope, and won't cost much for shipping.  I think
it'd be a great way to get to know each others roasts.
Waddaya think?
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

21) From: Tony McDonald
I think it's a great idea as well.... though I feel sorry for the person who
gets stuck with my rookie roasting. :-) Perhaps I'll have to send out
several batches to compensate....

22) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Ed Needham" 
Sounds like a great idea, maybe even better than the original *tradition*.
The hardest part would/will be deciding exactly what is *my best* when it
comes my turn. Uh, don't hold your breath for ISH being sent:)
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Dual Variable Transformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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23) From: Ben Treichel
I love it! I just can't decide if I should wait for something I'm 
familiar with, or try something different.
Mike McGinness wrote:

24) From: John Abbott
I was off the list for the last five hours (my bad) so I missed the original
post from Ed, but it sounds like a great idea! And if I draw your name Mike
I'll remember that it was you who took the ISH off the list ;O)  I found the
data - it was the second week of July that my SM order went in - it was
August for my direct order and you know which got here first, like 2 months
ahead of the island direct.

25) From: R.N.Kyle
Ed wrote: Snippet > 
Ball is rolling.  Coffee on it's way to Ron Kyle.
Sounds great Ed, I can't wait, thanks, now I will ponder what I will =
offer. I have some new greens coming from SM's I may wait until it gets =
So let me get it straight on the guidelines. 1/4 lb of our best roast, =
include profile and roaster. Do we post and go with the first response. =
and will the response be on list, or off list.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
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26) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 07:39 PM 1/27/2003, Mike McGinness typed:
Agreed, sounds really good.  Aside from each other's roasts, it is also a 
chance to maybe taste coffee's you have not had to opportunity to try.
How would it cycle through to different people.  Would you just post "I 
just received X, and can roast Y or Z, who wants what?"
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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27) From: Ed Needham
That's kinda what I was thinking.  Not much different than the 'tradition'
(which I hope continues).
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

28) From: Ben Treichel
Actually that's what I was thinking of doing when I was on the sending 
end. I would list what I'm willing to roast, my roaster, and how they 
wanted it done. I.E. I have a,b,c green, I have a mod'ed FR+, I normally 
go to 350 in 5 minutes, etc.
Also, its simpler if the sender simply pays the shipping. Freely 
receive, Freely give. ;-)
Ed Needham wrote:
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29) From: Ed Needham
It would definitely be good to have a 'spec' sheet enclosed within the
mailing that listed the name of the person roasting, the date of roast, type
of coffee, what it was roasted in, how it was roasted, etc.  At least then it
would allow comparison.  Good idea Ben.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

30) From: steve_w
Hmm...  Seems to me that someone needs to get the ball rolling:
I use a Whirley Pop on the stove.  My still evolving roast technique
gets me to Full City in 12-18 minutes, depending on the beans and
how I manipulate the stove.  I don't have a scale so I roast about
10-11 fl oz batches by volume.  I'd be happy to split a batch with
Preroasted I have:
Kona - Greenwell Farms, City Roast (borderline Full City).  Roasted 1/25
Kenya Kii - Full City Roast.  Roasted 1/26.
Both roasts ran in the 15-17 minute range and the resulting coffee is
rather mild.  I think I'll shoot for a slightly faster roast next time.
Greens on hand:
Java Blawan
Brazil Fazem Varga Grande
Kona Greenwell Farms
Quoting Ben Treichel :
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31) From: Ed Needham
Ball is rolling.  Coffee on it's way to Ron Kyle.
Ron...I meant to put this info in the envelope, but forgot.  Postage was
$1.522 First Class for a 6 oz. bubble envelope.  I included a bunch of small
zip loc sample bags you can use and pass on until they run out.
Papau New Guinea
18 minute BBQ grill drum roast in a 3 pound batch
Highest bean temp at 445F as measured by my new 12" thermometer stuck through
a hole in the grill and into the hole on the end of the drum, into the moving
bean mass.  Not totally sure it's accurate, but it's closer than what I got
measuring roaster temps.
Stopped roast as soon as I could when I began hearing second crack.  Cooled
to hand touch in about 1 1/2 minutes in my squirrel cage cooler.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

32) From: R.N.Kyle
Good Idea Ed, just may mix it up a bit from the original List =
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

33) From: Ed Needham
I dunno.  Maybe the first one you see?  Same as the 'tradition'?  Or you
could fake it like radio DJ's do when they say "and the prize goes to the 9th
caller!".  They wait until some sexy voiced gal calls in and "Hey!  You're
caller number nine!  A winner!  Come on down and claim your prize!"
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!http://www.homeroaster.comed

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