HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new roaster design (long) (146 lines)
1) From: Simpson
I am pleased to be able to announce the birth of a new roaster. Paul Hees,
godfather of the HeesHeater, sent me this message to forward to AdotC and
the HR list. Kinda ironic to have a devout fluid-bed guy shill for one of
them drum boys, but hey, we池e all bros in da bean.
Here 奏is:
末末末末末Subject: WIP- Grillwear Imprecision 末末末末-
By Paul Hees
This is a pictorial review of a current work-in-progress, a minimalist
drum roaster built on the cheap for use in a backyard barbecue grill.
The principal motivation for me has been trying to get from weekend to
weekend without having to roast. Even with our modest, 2-person
consumption, this hasn't been efficient with the HWP.
She's kinda ugly, not really ready for the debutante ball. But results
from the last month (3 roasts, total) have been encouraging, so she's
coming out. (She'll certainly help you appreciate, by comparison, the
full features and sophistication of the latest Simpson creations!)
Basically, the concept is a rotisserie spit that turns a cage made of
copper mesh, held in place by opposing endcaps, which are old coffee
cans punctured by the rotisserie claws. These claws are the bits that
are meant to hold the pheasant in place, and are lock-bolted to the spit.http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/GWI.jpgThe mesh started as a rectangle. It was hand-shaped into a prolate
ellipsoid, a football shape. The conical ends were shaped by
spiral-folding the ends of the rectangle, and this spiraling, along with
the larger-diameter 'belly' (+ gravity) keep the beans centered in the
cage [thus, one rotation direction is better than the other].http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/drum.jpgThe seam is pinched & held closed with leaf-spring paper clamps, which
are then removed for the dump.http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/dump1.jpghttp://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/dump2.jpg
Sorry about the camera angles; it was an inexperienced crew.
That's pretty much it. This batch was about 1 lb green, a remnant run
(some SM Moka Kadir blend, some SM French Roast blend, some Colombian
Supremo, some Yemen Mokha Ismaili, & some Yunnan), twice the size of my
1st 2 batches. I held temp *down* to about 475F (had to open the lid; I
could go higher, of course. Should I?), & this batch took 17.5 min to reach
~mid-2nd (previous, smaller batches were 12-13 min). No beans were lost
in the dump, 2 were found in the grill post-roast. Previously, no beans
had been lost at roast.
As you might guess from that laundry-list of beans, the cracks ran on a
bit and almost blurred together [the Central Value Theorem visits
home-roasting]. In previous roasts with the GWI, about 0.5-0.75 lb of MK,
cracks were quite distinct; in fact, this rig is so much quieter than
the HWP, cracks were very easy to hear.
This dump was into a large can whose base is lined with mesh, with a
hole cut in the bottom. The hole is the diameter of the hose from a
canister vacuum cleaner. This design is a complete rip-off of the Simpson
Volkscooler; I previously used a regular coffee can for this.http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/quench.jpgIt's remarkable to feel, when holding the can during the quench, a distinct
'meniscus' boundary of hot/cool passing beneath your hand, as if a
liquid were being drained out of the can rather than heat. This batch
took 2 min to reach ambient.
The reason I used the big can this time is that my vac is reversible,
and I used it to cyclone off the chaff by aiming it at an angle down
along the inner wall of the can. I tried to capture this operation on
tape and failed (grr). The blizzard of chaff undoubtedly played a role
in my inability to confirm that tape was rolling. [I can imagine my new
neighbors' bewilderment at this specter, holding a vac hose & a
camcorder aloft, one in either hand, both pointed down into a giant
vessel, standing amidst a swirling brown cloud like some kind of demented
latter-day sorcerer trying to summon the demons of Robusta to roam the
earth & stretch yields across the land.] Again, it proved possible to
execute this operation without loss of bean (of course, it appeared
possible to blow them clean out of the yard, too).
Epilogue: Though, as has oft been noted, no medium can adequately
capture the color, etc, of a roast, here's a pic of the featured roast
lying on the counter later, exhaling. It's a bit shiny (less so a day
later, it seems). If it appears a bit heterogeneous in tone, please note
the constituents. It really is fairly even in person (and tasty).http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/lig/t/n/tnjsimp/DaBeans.jpgNotes:
1. Beyond the grill, I paid $30 for the rotisserie & $5 for the mesh
(still have a bunch left, too). [Just a thought; even with a new grill,
tank of propane, etc., the cost can still be under what I've seen for
dedicated 1-lb roasters, plus you can do kebobs and a duck!]
2. Once I had the materials, I spent ~2 hr on 'manufacture'.
3. The aerated ceramic tiles lining the grill bed (approximately
replacing lava rocks) are very important. They diffuse the flame,
leveling the heat distribution. Moreover, they burn off any residual
drippings, etc., in 2-3 min during preheat. I cannot detect residual
flavors in coffee made from these beans, though I'm surely not the most
sensate person in the group. Even for regular BBQing, these tiles vastly
reduce flareups; in short, they're great. I think it cost ~$10 to line
my grill.
4. This is not a fluid-bed roaster. As a result, no electricity is
necessary (I do use the motor-drive, but I don't HAVE to).
5. In terms of roasting, I'm a hack. I don't know much about any of the
myriad variables, and so am on a random walk across this hypersurface
through n-space. If I find any local optima in it, it'll be by dumb luck
[neither Newton nor Raphson can point me in the right direction, alas].
Roasting once a week, I won't even have much experience at the end of a
year, really. But I'm having a nice sip as I write, and Bob's my uncle.
6. With the Grillwear, it is possible to use a smoker to add a touch of
hickory or apple or cherry or maple to the roast. I've heard of this
offered as a feature from some torrefazione, but have neither sampled
such nor tried to accomplish it yet (but I do for pizza, so it's just a
matter of time).
7. I know I can hit roast temperatures, outside, in the winter.
8. I am definitely considering merging the HWP's chaff collector with
this operation.
9. This Cu mesh is a tad soft. I have some fine chicken wire that's more
rigid, but it looks like it's dipped in solder, so may have Pb in it,
plus steel can get brittle. Still looking for a better material for the
drum, but will roast on meantime.
10. *You* could do better than this (there's a *lot* of room for
improvement!).
---
Paul Hees


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