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My first REAL roaster
OK, so this is not quite my first roaster - I started earlier this year, using a popcorn popper like so many before me, and processed about 2kg of green beans, at 60g or so at a time, until several truths dawned upon me, to wit:
1. One should agitate the beans vigorously, but one should not use one's wife's (or daughter's) wooden spoon for this purpose. Neither, to take a random example, should one use a plastic spoon...
2. The popper (at 1.4kW) is too aggressive, but due to the way they use the element to drop the voltage for the fan motor, there does not seem to be an easy way of controlling the heat without affecting the fan speed.
3. Roasting coffee is strangely satisfying, even though I am not really a coffee enthusiast.
4. There must be a better way, which still should not entail shelling out vast amounts of filthy lucre.

So, some lurking and searching turned up the excellent idea of using a stainless steel flour sifter with hand-crank agitator, resting on top of a hot-air blower; while many use their poppers as heat source, I decided that a heat gun with built-in power control would be just the ticket (I have, after all, decided that I had outgrown the popper), and therefore I acquired a 2kW Black&Decker, as well as an 8-cup flour sifter. Happening to have a piece of stainless steel sheet metal and a spot welder laying around, it was but the work of a few minutes to concoct a cone that press-fits to the nozzle of the heatgun.
The sifter contained two plastic spacers/washers which I noticed and removed before they caused any sadness, and while I was in there I wielded the trusty old M5-die to extend the thread on the end of the crank axle by about 20mm, which allowed me to increase the clearance of the agitator wires from all sides (by bending them in and around as shown), lest any beans get ideas of jamming in the heat of the moment. Some locking nuts and a few (stainless steel) washers later, and we were ready.

Now I do 2 measuring cups (= 500ml = about 340g) of beans at a time, approximately meeting the weekly domestic demand. This works out nicely, as I buy them in 1kg packs, which means three batches per bag. However, this weekend I did a batch of almost 500g (i.e. well over one pound for those of you in Liberia and the USA), and am still exceedingly pleased with the results. But then, of course, I would be biased.
Kladrie attached the following images:
sifter2.jpg heatgunsifter1.jpg
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