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Need Help in Building a 10 to 15 LB Coffee Roaster
I'm preparing to build a gas-fired 10-15lb coffee roaster. I have been researching the various home roaster forums for specs for a 10-15 lb roaster but have only found a smattering of information. I have been following the postings of Ringo, Homeroaster's Ed Needham, The WildHarvest, AllenB, Broeke, Jim Schulman and many others..

I do have tons of info researched on 5 lb roasters which i think i can also use on this 10-15 lb roaster project. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone from this great gathering of innovative and generous coffee roasting machine builders in giving me directions to get started properly on this newfound challenge of mine. I would also appreciate if you can shoot me some links and resources (and to home-roasters-enthusiasts who have already built this kind of roaster) to more information sources about building this 10-15 lb dream machine.

Initially, I need information/specs on the following basic parts of the machine:
1) Drum Size (length and diameter),
2) Motor that can power the drum
3) Info on Burner that can handle the 5 kilo load.

I already have some info on Exhaust Fan, the Vane configuration inside the drum, the kind of metal to use for the drum, Airflow considerations, thermocouple, PID stuff, bean cooler system, and other parts.

I am also right now working on a computerized drawing of the design, but I do need some of the basic missing specs above. I have contact with a friend machinist who can promptly make this roaster a reality based on my drawings, specs and research. I will be posting my progress report on this project with pictures and descriptions so that others can also benefit from all your assistance on this project.

It'll be great if you can give me any input you may have that you think I need to be aware of regarding this project..

Thank you in advance..
That is a big roaster so any answer is a guess. If I were to build a 15 pound roaster I would use 12 inch pipe 12 inch long and would drive that with an 1/2 Hp motor going through a drive with 60 rpm final. I have no scientific info to back it up but just seems right. I believe a drum should be a little less than 1/2 full so you could check the volume of the tube and the volume 15 pounds of beans take up. I would not have a guess on the burners but just to say a lot. If I was going to build a big commercial roaster I would try to buy a premade burner. In a commercial setting make sure you do some sort of flame sensor.
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain
The formula Dan provided here:


should get you pretty close but I would knock a couple of lbs off the answer you get to have some headroom.

Ringo, when I ran the numbers using his formula it looks like a symmetrical 12" (12 dia x 12 long) would be a tight 10 lbr. I too would highly recommend keeping the drum equal length to diameter for good heat distribution.

On burner/burners capacity for a 15 lb charge, 50,000 btu's should work well with a little headroom to spare. This is assuming one uses decent insulation and does not use excessive air flow.

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
THANKS so much for the initial inputs, Ringo & AllenB, I'm collecting all these great inputs and will use them as basis for the design.. so please keep all the pointers coming as they will help shape the design which i will be posting..
I use a polidoro burner in my 4kg machine...... U can get them in nearly any size and power....
That's a great looking burner. I see they have a sales office in California. Did your burners seem reasonably priced? I'm assuming he would need to do some adapting to go from their burner jet connections to US brass fittings but this shouldn't be a problem.

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
my burner was like $35 and its super easy to put any jets in you like, they just bolt on the end heaps of room for most setups :-)
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