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What equipment would you go with?
JSA Coffee
Hi all,

Right now I am using an old Aussie LP Gas grill with 4 burners and a 2 lb drum from CRC. I have a variable speed rotisserie motor that tops out about 55 rpm. I use a thermometer with the probe mounted about an inch away from the drum as it spins down towards the back of the grill. This grill has seen better days. I am going to replace it with a new one. I eventually want to upgrade to a 5 or 6 lb drum.

Are there any favorites for a grill? The Charbroil seems to be popular, but I want to see if anyone has a grill I should look at instead. I want to have finite control over the temps, so I will probably upgrade the valves right of the start, and will be insulating it. For temperature readings, I just picked up a PID with two inputs so I can keep an eye on the temps.

If you live in U.S. try the Backyard Grills make available at Walmart. I recommend them to my customers. Great value, lots of space inside the grill, big headroom, bottom burner. All important areas to focus on when doing BBQ grill coffee roasting with a drum.

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
JSA Coffee

I am in the U.S. and will take a look at those.
JSA Coffee
I picked up the Backyard Grill 5 burner. I also have a Amprobe data logging thermometer with dual input, and two mountable K type thermocouples for it. Does anyone have a suggestion for the best place to mount the sensors? I am thinking of one on the back side of the grill, near the middle of the drum, and on the front, near the middle of the drum. I think if I do that, I will get an idea where the drum temp is.
That is good. However it will not provide bean mass temp. You may wish to design a hollow rod setup and slip your thermocouple probe through the rod. You just get a hollow stainless rod and attach to each end of the drum. You would need to use welded on shaft collars on ends of caps to allow the rod to remain perpendicular to drum caps as the rod cannot go all the way through the drum. That would only work well at full capacity loads, however may be worth a shot.

Personally I do not bother with electronic temp controls. Face it, you are roasting in a grill which is basically pure artisan way of roasting. Just use the sound of the cracks to determine your roast.

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
JSA Coffee
I put the grill together and installed two thermocouples. One in the back about an inch from the drum, and about 6 inches above the middle burner. The other one is mounted on a stand in front of the drum at the same height location as the rear one.

Since it is a 5 burner grill, I haven't used the middle burner because of the probes, and it looks like I don't need to. The probes are hooked up to an Amprobe TMD-56, and that is connected to a mini laptop running Windows 10 and Artisan. I like this set up.

The direction of rotation makes a difference in the temperature readings, as does the rotation speed. I can't get bean mass temp yet, but so far, I have pretty good control over heat. Thanks for the grill suggestion Len, it's working great.

Now I have to find a rotating connection for the thermocouple like a phone line detangler
Glad to see the Backyard Grill worked well. They are pretty decent for roasting. Also, another way to do the bean mass is to get the probe i the drum by drilling a hole next to the center rod hole and stick the probe in there; after that you wrap the probe cord down the rod and under the rod collar that spins on the grill bracket. Of course the cord needs to be heat proof. Then at the end of the rod you just fasten the temp readout screen. It will need to be a small unit. NOte that the screen will spin around with the rod. Due to that you will need a bit bigger digital readout. Not an ideal setup but easy to do and has been done with success.

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
JSA Coffee
I am going to try to find a rotating connector that will give me enough play to work with.

My other thought is to use a 1/2 inch round shaft, about 42 inches long, with a 1/8 in hole drilled through half way so I could feed a thermocouple wire through the middle of the shaft, then connect the rotating connector, but so far those don't seem that common, so I emailed a company to find out if they have what I need.
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