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Our first BM roaster and a big thanks!
Hi all,

First off, thanks for this amazing resource!!

Not including our free time, this spreadsheet shows our projected savings per year of home roasting to be ~$350 CDN. That adds up over the years. My folks live next to the US border and we see them regularly so I am able to ship within the US. Other Canadians might have to pay a lot more for shipping that would reduce (or eliminate?) the savings.

After getting weary of the Whirley pop manual stove-top roaster technique, which produced excellent results, I remembered giving away a wedding gift (15 years ago) bread maker to my folks, as we didn't use it. Turns out neither did they and I was able to get it back. :) Used a wire brush drill attachment to remove the non-stick coating on the mixing bowl and followed David's great instructions for gutting and rewiring the unit. Started up first time I flipped the switch. Next I used a roll of tin I had laying around to rivet some extra layers between the two parts of the stock lid: the lower metal piece and the decorative plastic part. Then used a hole saw bit to cut a hole in the lid for the heat gun. This way no heat is coming back up to melt anything via this hole as it is tightly sealed by the gun. Then drilled a 1" exhaust hole in the lower right corner of the bm and fashioned a tube from more scrap tin so the chaff won't collect between the 2 walls. Finally drilled a hole for my cheapo DVM's thermocouple probe and we were off to the races! Way simpler than the Whirley pop. We just watch the time/temp and manually flip between the 2 settings on the heat gun to approximate a 4-4-4 profile. We just make espresso for shot's, latte's and Americano's so I'm starting with 4-4-4 and will then research tweaks that would result in better espresso roasts.

Couple of questions:

Is it possible to adjust the AC motor wiring on these typical units to be able to reverse the motor? I currently have a 3-way switch installed on/off/nothing, and it would be cool to wire up the unused portion of the switch to occasionally change the direction to mix things up a bit.

I'm a geek so the next obvious step is to automate the heat gun (and maybe bm mixer?) and add data logging so we can see what we are doing. I'm sure this has evolved over the years so what's are the current crop of recommended methods for this?

RoninTech attached the following images:
img_20150124_170443_small.jpg roastnum3small.jpg snowroast2a.jpg coolingsmall.jpg finishedsmall.jpg roaster_peek_small.jpg

Edited by RoninTech on 01/25/2015 12:27 PM
Check it out..
Control that heat!
Edited by JackH on 01/26/2015 3:47 AM
Nice job! Well on your way!!
I started with a Whirley Pop as well.

As far as heat control goes I use a router speed control like THIS.
Works very well.

For datalogging I use the RoasterThing software and the usb interface tha Ira sells.

The software is free and very fully featured. The interface is $99 USD. Makes for a nice off the shelf solution that will have you up and running with a minimum of fuss.

But, since you're geeky you may want to diy with an Audrino setup and the various software packages available. Check out the Data Logging forum here.

Good Luck! And Welcome
Koffee Kosmo
Great roaster build Ronin
A tried and tested design invented in Queensland Australia

I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
Blog -

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
Thanks for all the feedback fellas. As an intermediary step between now and automatically controlling the heat gun, a coworker lent me this to play with. He found it in the garbage. I did a quick fire up, turned the gun on hi and then used the dial form 100 to real low. Extreme control of heat and fan, tied together.

How do you guys use these variable manual controls? Constantly tweak the dial or try and find a level and stick to it?

RoninTech attached the following image:
Paul, the variable speed control with the heat gun really doesn't allow me to find a repeatable knob position. With some way to also monitor power, it would. So I am plotting my temps every thirty seconds. If my rate of rise is acceptable, I don't change it.If it's too high, I'll tweak it a little. After 1st crack very small adjustments at a time. Hope this helps. Ben.
Bad coffee prevails when good coffee roasters stand by and do nothing.


RoninTech wrote:
How do you guys use these variable manual controls? Constantly tweak the dial or try and find a level and stick to it?

Yes Grin

Similar to Ben's experience. For a given charge, typically 3/4 lb. for me, I know roughly where I need to start out and where to cut back when approaching 1C, but I monitor and tweak as needed at the beginning. Once I see that my ROR is on track I can generally leave it go until approaching 1C. Of course that is not a great deal of time, yellow is typically around 5 min after charging and 1c is typically between 9-10 min and End Of Roast 12-14 min.
After my buddies variac almost caught fire Shock I picked up a Wagner HT3500 for $45 CDN at Home depot that has adjustable low and high fan heat levels:

Settings Low Fan High Fan Low % High %

1 250 350 17% 25%
2 450 550 32% 40%
3 650 750 47% 55%
4 850 950 62% 70%
5 1050 1150 77% 85%
6 1250 1350 92% 100%

I found my temps weren't good with my cheapo DVM/temp probe and I was just using sound, smell and sight. I've just been setting the new heat gun to High #4 and leaving it there which seemed to work ok. While roasting away like this with good results I started ordering bits for the next mods:

ET/BT Type K metal probes, easier to insert/remove
Arduino Uno (so I can use it for other projects as well)
TC4 shield
acrylic case for Uno

Finally got them all and set them up with artisan 0.9.2 and aArtisan-V310beta. Attached are pics of my new setup and yesterdays results using some Sweet Marias Liquid Amber Espresso blend.

The metal TC's seem much more accurate than the flexible one on my old DVM. I put some heat shrink on them to prevent grounding issues on the body of my bread machine (only to the point where they just enter the basket). The old TC read much lower than these which now seem to match other roast profiles I've seen. The attached profile shows how I dropped the heat gun setting at ~11:30 to try and stretch out the FC to drop time. In my excitement I didn't write down what I dropped it to :), but I think I went too low.

So now I think I am setup to "automate" things with Artisan and the TC4 shield. Since I don't have an AC Zero detect circuit I think I could use the TC4 to control my old cheap heat guns heater and just leave it's fan on high.

Some things I've learnt:

- A good stove hood vent allows for indoor roasting
- Keeping the original bread maker lid helps retain heat
- Having a tight fit for the heat gun hole prevents its case from melting as the heat can't escape.
- 99% of the chaff ends up beneath the basket, likely helped by the (1" or 3/4" ?) lower rear exhaust hole I cut.
- The TC4 shield, open source Artisan and the TC4 sketch aArtisan rock! Grin

P.S. Out of fear of wasting beans I've been doing 8oz roasts. I think I'm ready to go bigger now. Would that require more heat for the larger bean mass?
RoninTech attached the following images:
sm_liquid_amber_12_5_15.jpg tc4_results.jpg tc4_setup.jpg

Edited by RoninTech on 05/13/2015 11:52 AM
Nice job Paul...


Here's a few more pics of the setup.

Thermocouples, arduino uno and TC4 shield. You can see the heat shrink I added to the TC's so their bare metal doesn't contact the bread machine case:

Thermocouple mounting on bread machine. Drilled hole through exterior, interior and basket to get TC's into bean mass and environment temp locations.

The TC's going into the basket with teflon removed. Not a fun job but made easier with this cheap kit:

Inside of bread machine showing exhaust port made with hole saw, some scrap tin rolled into a tube and tin snips:

Removed original sight glass from lid and then riveted a sheet of double layered (folded) tin to drill hole for heat gun mount. Mounting hole is tight so no heat blows back to affect gun:

Lid setup. Had to snip off some plastic for heat gun fitting. Bungies keep gun in right spot and are easily removed:
Edited by RoninTech on 03/19/2020 11:33 AM


RoninTech stated: I think I'm ready to go bigger now. Would that require more heat for the larger bean mass?

Hey Paul, beautiful BMHG build! I really like the clean lines and great craftsmanship.

On the more heat question, for a fluidbed it always requires more heat due to increased air flow to lift the heavier batch but I've found with my drum roasters that I've been able to use identical burner power settings for a 10 oz batch and a 1lb + batch so for your BMHG I'm going to assume you should be able to get away with the same heat output or only a slight increase.

Keep us posted with progress updates. ( I think you're going to love the TC4/Artisan combo).

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Really starting to enjoy the setup. It's roasting great coffee for us now. We start the roast on the gun's high 4 for drying, then up to high 5 until FC, then back down to high 4 until the end. Usually just play with the length of the last stage.

Easy, makes better than store bought coffee and pays for itself fast. greenman
RoninTech attached the following image:
Darn google! Easier to put the pics in an album:

Now merrily roasting 3/4lb with fantastic results. Love following previous profiles with Artisan and seeing changes! Had to go to Hi5 on the Wagner heat gun to 400degF then Hi 4 until done with the bigger roast. Grin
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