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1lb fluid bed roaster help
Hi, I'm new to the forums but have been reading on here for awhile. I'm trying to build a 1lb fluid bed roaster using a bake around, vacuum motor, cocktail shaker top, sink drain and a head gun. I got it all put together and made a very crude stand for it just try and test it out yesterday but I was not able to get past the yellowing stage and into 1st crack. The heat gun is a 1500w element I have a router control for the vacuum motor and had the beans moving as slow as possible. I only loaded 300g in to test.
Wondering if anyone has any ideas for what is keeping me from reaching proper roasting temps.
My initial thought is that the sink drain might be too long. heater element is about 6-7 inches from the air inlet of the roasting chamber. I also have one small air leak by the shaker top.
Any other ideas?
Thanks for your help
I did a little more testing today and shortened the distance between the heat element and the RC. With 300g of beans I can only get to about 325f with the vacuum motor running just enough to move the beans. When I tested temps with no beans I had slow the vacuum down to where it will only lift about 100-1500 grams and I can get to about 425f.
Any suggestions on getting more heat to the RC? when running the vacuum high enough to loft 300-500 grams?
I built a 600g fluid bed roaster, but it's gas fired, so I can't offer much help in your situation. Allenb will show up and save the day, no doubt!

A few pics would help us understand your setup. ThumbsUp

Like most roaster issues, this one WILL get resolved by the HRO crew!!

I will try and post a couple pics tomorrow. Right now I have a amtek lamb vacuum motor hooked up with a 90 degree elbow to a chrome 1.5 inch sink drain.
Sink drain is connected to the shaker top that is inserted into the bake a round.
Distance from vacuum outlet to the heating element is about 6 inches and then about 3 inches of sink drain to the shaker top.
Having a hard time understanding how its cooling the heating element down that much to not roast. Should I get a new element. its out of a cheapo Genesis GHG1500A Dual-Temperature Heat Gun from amazon.
Welcome to HRO!

Ok, pay no attention to those gas fired roaster guys who never have to worry about dimming the lights in their house when they switch on their fluidbed! Shock

All kidding aside, Barry has one fine gas fired fluidbed roaster if you ever need one to emulate.

Please check this out for a very basic lbs versus KW/BTUs for fluidbed and drum roasters.


Also see further down where oldgearhead describes reduced KW needs when doing a little recirc which you might find useful as well. He's able to roast a lot of coffee with a whole lot less power required.

Keep us posted,

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
My heat-reclaiming, electric, one-pound, fluid-bed roaster has been in regular use since July 2010. The temperatures available at each wattage setting are:
997 watts = 435F
1075 watts = 500F
1234 watts = 620F
1389 watts = 650F

My roaster is built from:
__A bake-A-Round
__Cocktail Shaker
__1500 watt heat gun element
__A two-stage, flow-through, vac motor.

Five differences that make my roaster unique:
1) 120-150F intake air is used for the vac motor intake. The heat for this air is removed from the top of the RC and reintroduced.
2) The RC is restricted: .3009 sq" inlet and .3068 sq" outlet.
3) All chaff is captured in the RC (which further restricts flow).
4) The RC is insulated (in the winter).
5) Ambient air temperatures below 40F require an adjustment of the 'ambient air' mixing door.

I roasted 3 pounds last Saturday. The unheated garage was 44F. I did NOT need to close the 'ambient-air' mixing door. The intake air was running 117-126F. The heating element wattage and roast times were:
_1) 457g Eithiopian Sidamo Decaf Coffein - 11 minutes at 1075 watts
_2) 455g Guatemala Antigua Guipil - 12 minutes at 1116 watts.
_3) 458g Guatemala Antigua Guipil - 12 minutes at 1116 watts.

You will need 500f air temperature. Does the element draw 1500 watts? Is your manifold insulated?
Image of manifold before adding insulation.
oldgearhead attached the following image:

Edited by oldgearhead on 01/21/2015 7:21 PM
So I added another heat element in and tested it. I put in 1 lb of greens and it roasted perfectly yesterday. I have some hot air leaking in the spot where the 2nd element is that I need to plug up but I just wanted to test it to see if it would work.

I currently just have the high and low switches attached to the heating elements that were on the heat gun and want to replace them with dimmer controls. What type of dimmer switches would be the best? one heat gun element is 1500w the other is 1200. The 1500 watt element has 3 wires the 1200 just has 2 going to the element. any suggestions on what to use?

OGH I do plan on trying to recycle air in the future and hopefully that that will allow be too do more that 1lb then.

Thank you for the help
If high/low then thinking two elements, so two wires. Wire one then two to see if temps higher.
For temperature control it's hard to beat a temperature controller/SSR combination. I would be sure and get one that has a manual control mode.
Also if your heater elements are 120V you ,might want to wire them in series and use a 220V supply.
Alright so I said I would post a couple of pics of the roaster. Here goes, kind of embarrassed at how ugly this is at this point but please understand that I made the "stand" for this out of scraps lying around just for testing purposes before trying to fit it in a more perm home.
Robswithee attached the following images:
roasterteamloc.jpg heatelements.jpg

Edited by Robswithee on 01/23/2015 10:47 AM


oldgearhead wrote:

For temperature control it's hard to beat a temperature controller/SSR combination. I would be sure and get one that has a manual control mode.
Also if your heater elements are 120V you ,might want to wire them in series and use a 220V supply.

OGH, I don't understand the SSR and PID stuff very much I'm new to all of this. Maybe there is a forum thread that would explain how a lot of that stuff is hooked up that I could read 100 times and hopefully understand. I was hoping to not need 220v supply. I was also hoping for a really cheap control like a light dimer switch for each element but I don't think they are rating for that kind of wattage.

Thanks again for any help

Just go here:

.. download the instruction manual and read. If you buy a temperature controller, get one that has a 'manual' mode as well as a 'PID' mode. With a temperature controller, therocouple, and SSR you will have what you need for temperature control. The SSR is selected based on load current.
Whoa, easy...
Just ran across this sweet item!
Edited by JackH on 01/26/2015 3:49 AM


mk1 wrote:

Whoa, easy...
Just ran across this sweet item!

Mk1 - Yes I think a SSVR might be fine for controlling both the heater and blower in a fluid-bed roaster. However, I haven't tried one just yet, but I hope to this summer. But for about 50 USD you can have manual temperature control, PID temperature control, and a temperature display.
Thanks OGH and MK1 for posting these. Really looking into these, think I'm getting a better understanding of these.
Just for un update on the roaster 3 roasts this weekend each of 1lb loads and they came out really well.
Now that I know it works I will be moving on to getting rid of that ugly testing stand and work to see about recycling some heat. and getting some accurate temp readings and control.
OGH. Was looking at the PID and SSR link you put in the post and was wondering what you though about this from amazon.

These seem to be similar from what I can tell and I have a few amazon gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket.

Edited by JackH on 02/01/2015 7:07 PM
Same, but with auber get better docs and better support, so there's that. I have good docs saved somewhere for the TA4, so message me if you buy this and I can find it for you. There is also a bundle with 25amp ssr and heat sink for like $36. Just make sure you get amazon fullfilment with this stuff so can return with minimal hassle.
As long it as a manual mode, I like it.
I'm not a fan of PID control for fluid-bed
Glad I found this, I have the heat gun, glass, and air flow in route, no idea how to get this stuff wired, or the best route to go, learned a bunch from this thread so far.

My goal is to build a 1lb ish roaster then a larger 3-5 lb version once I screw up enough to know what I am doing.

Keep the posts on you build coming I appreciate it, any build sheets, info that helped I would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks
Hi its been awhile since I have posted on this. I have bought the Mypin PID controller with a SSR and have really only been using this as a temp display up to this point. In my quest for a little more control of the roast I wanted to be able to use the PID on manual mode to control the heating element.
Model # is the MyPIN TD4 I have the output hooked up to the input on the SSR to the correct polarity I also have the other side of he SSR wired. to ensure that I have everything hooked up correctly and to test the output I have it currently hooked up to a lamp. Now with the PID on manual mode I have the Temp set to 100f and the output light goes on and the lamp is also on. when I decrease the SV temp to say 50f the output light goes off but the lamp stays on. The input light on the SSR will not turn off it is always on and I cant get it to turn off unless I unplug the whole device any ideas?
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