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My LPG fired roaster in an old LPG bottle
Nissanneill
Thought that I might post some pics and comments on my first roaster build. An inexpensive unit, only cost a few dollars for the steel that was used to make the basket, thought that I needed thin steel that didn't hold the heat but caused problems to weld easily so bought some larger holed 16g steel today for a new even better basket.
Initially I set up a thermocouple in the very top of the dome but that proved to indicate temperatures almost twice that of where the axle and beans are, re-located it to midway and the next roast batch cracked at 5 minutes exactly with a temp of 230 C and pulled out when smoking profusely and second crack at 6min 12secs. Cooled them quickly in a heavy based aluminium pan floating in cold water (1/2" deep) in less than a minute but I feel a little overdone. Only used el-cheapo Indian beans so nothing lost but will grind and try tomorrow.
Next batch will be in the thicker basket, put in cold, with a roasting temp reduced to 210 C and pulled 30secs after first crack.
Any and all comments welcomed!!!
Roflmao
Cheers.

Neill

Oops, lost the pics here
Nissanneill attached the following images:
batch23.jpg thermocouplerelocation.jpg heatsource.jpg cageopen.jpg cageopen_1.jpg setup_3.jpg

Edited by Nissanneill on 03/12/2013 2:21 AM
 
Nissanneill
I ground the test beans, the ones that got a little too hot for a little too long and had a slight burnt taste. I can drink it without a problem, BUT the other half wanted our usual. They had heaps of oil on them and smelled wonderful for dark roasted beans, the darkest that I have experienced. Well, at least I now know when to remove them, after all it as a trial roast and with $7/kg indian beans.
Next roast will be much better beans but I will also trial more tests on the cheap product.
I need to make the new basket for the roaster, bigger holes and 1.6mm thick. Just another job for the week-end.

Roflmao

Cheers.

Neill
Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
Ringo
I think you have an awesome roaster, a little fine tuning and tweaks. Maybe you could try a piece of steel between the fire and the drum to even out the heat. My first roast on my gas fired drum went just as fast, but I learned to control the beast. Maybe a vent out the top.
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain
 
Nissanneill
My very first trial roast was with the thermocouple in the top but that temperature is almost double that at where the beans are. I did have a metal pie type dish over the flames which slowed down the roast but the actual temperature was somewhere around 130C, way too cool. I intend going back to the tray in order to slow the process down a bit.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect but the sound of the first crack and now I have much more to build upon.

Cheers.

Neill

Roflmao
Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
Nissanneill
Having trouble, (rather getting used to the procedures here) attaching pictures. I'll try again to add the picture.
Nissanneill attached the following image:
tray.jpg

Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
bud
That's a great job Neill. Much better then mine. I will post a picture.

Welcome

Bud
"the beer was very cold and wonderful to drink"

brew with old perc
 
Nissanneill
Got the materials to build a better rotiserie cage,made it last night and 2 roasts this morning. Still expect to to make a few minor changes to the roaster, namely a wind guars around the front of the unit as a cool breeze on my second roast made the temperature control a little more difficult that the first.
Still a lot to learn but I feel good in so far as making positive progress.
I get my first crack at close to 6m15s with a temp of around 215C but it doesn't seem yo stop (with 250g beans) and runs straight into the second crack. Is this the norm?. Then smoke, panic, get those beans out and cool immediately!!!! Over roasted again. Right cool everything down and second roast on the go with a strong cool breeze complicating temp control. See the profile. Does this look normal or the norm?
Cheers.

Neill

Roflmao
Nissanneill attached the following images:
roasting-profile.jpg roast-results.jpg roaster-mods.jpg

Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
sversimo
Perhaps some sort of a ventilation system will give you more control, it seems like you have a ton of power and the problem is controlling it.

Cool project.
 
Dan
Neil, I had the same accelerated roasting problem with my flame roaster's first few batches. It took a while before I got the knack of reducing heat just when I heard the vanguards of first crack. What seems to work is reducing the pressure by half. Reducing it too late, or just by one-third didn't help much. Reducing it two-thirds caused the roast to stall.
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
 
Nissanneill
Yesterday, after 3 days, I ground and made cappuccinos with the lesser roasted beans in the latest roast. I found the flavour of the Kenyan beans much stronger than I have experienced before, very nice but STRONG, easy to solve, tonight, I used less in mine, the same (double dose) in the other half's, a very happy customer!
Repeatability is the key to consistency once you have an ideal roast (profile), but I really don't think that I will be aiming for such perfection(?). I have simple tastes and just enjoy "nice or great coffee" rather than the usual. I will however make some modifications to the roaster, starting with a wind shield around the mid section, preventing any breezes from rapidly changing the roast temperatures or as it did Sunday morning, blew out the relatively low flame.
I will also play around with sone vent system in the dome, thinking of a rotating baffle style where the amount can be changed a little or a lot, maybe even help to control the temperature rather than the flame intensity.
Thanks for the advice!

Cheers

Neill

Roflmao
Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
Nissanneill
I also ground and made coffee from the darker roast beans, Kenyan AA Dorman, agin, very strong but nice taste, even the other half, who is very fussy about her coffees didn't pick it.
Now that I have the basics, it's time to develop the subtle taste difference with temperature and time changes.

Cheers

Neill


Roflmao
Do it right the first time!
The more that I learn, the more I realise how little I know!
 
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