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3-5 lb fluid bed roaster
Mustang967
Hey guys, I'm working up a design for a 3-5 lb fluid bed roaster. But I could use some expertise around how large I should go. I'm looking at using 6x6 inch square aluminum somewhere around 2-3 ft long for the roast chamber. What kind of math should I be doing to figure out how much coffee I could effectively roast with a RC of that size? I'm currently using a bake a round and its working great but I would like to be able to ramp up my batch sizes. What would you guys expect the minimum and maximum roast sizes to be?
Thank you all so much!!

Royce
Mustang967
Okay so here is the basic idea.

c4.staticflickr.com/6/5628/30544797331_cc06eea503_z.jpg

c6.staticflickr.com/6/5568/30544797221_fd5b13edcd_z.jpg

The base of the Aluminum will be flared then attached to a sealed box that will be the source of air. Currently I'm using a shop vac as my air source and it works great.

c4.staticflickr.com/6/5326/30544797171_b68d8e777f_z.jpg

I'm planning on getting either tempered glass or borosilicate glass for the view port.

c8.staticflickr.com/6/5574/30544797111_ff7bed0d91_z.jpg

Also I don't think I'd want to pick this thing up to dump so I figured I would make a dump gate that would catch the beans before they fall back to the perf plate.

c8.staticflickr.com/6/5645/30632883055_ebd74c97f1_z.jpg

Royce
JETROASTER
Hi Royce,
Looks like you're off to a great start! My small contribution;
Green coffee @ 1 cubic foot= 42lbs. You can scale out the math as needed.
Cheers, -Scott
(...and have fun!!)
coffeeroastersclub
My 2 cents: You can save yourself alot of aggravation in emptying the beans if you angle the perf plate so that it angles down to the bean escape chute rather than in the opposite direction you did. Then you can just open the bean escape shute door and the beans just pour out. Let gravity be your friend.

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

Quote

JETROASTER wrote:

Hi Royce,
Looks like you're off to a great start! My small contribution;
Green coffee @ 1 cubic foot= 42lbs. You can scale out the math as needed.
Cheers, -Scott
(...and have fun!!)


Does that mean that 42 pounds of roasted beans occupy about 2 cubic feet?
No oil on my beans...
JETROASTER
Sounds roughly correct, I'll measure and confirm. Cheers, Scott
Mustang967

Quote

coffeeroastersclub wrote:

My 2 cents: You can save yourself alot of aggravation in emptying the beans if you angle the perf plate so that it angles down to the bean escape chute rather than in the opposite direction you did. Then you can just open the bean escape shute door and the beans just pour out. Let gravity be your friend.

Len


Thanks,

I was thinking the gate would catch the beans and it would be simple, but when I really think about it just using gravity would probably be much easier. Thanks for the advice!

Quote

JETROASTER wrote:

Hi Royce,
Looks like you're off to a great start! My small contribution;
Green coffee @ 1 cubic foot= 42lbs. You can scale out the math as needed.
Cheers, -Scott
(...and have fun!!)


Thank you!

So I could fit approximately 10.5 lbs of greens in a 6x6x12" section. And we're saying that roasted beans take up about twice the space, So I would need 24" not fluidized for 10 lbs of roasted coffee. My current design will have about 30" from perf plate to the top of the roaster. So looking at the numbers, I might have the ability to roast significantly more than I had hoped. That's a good and bad problem...

From experience what would you guys expect the minimum roast to be on something of this size?

Thanks again!

Royce
JETROASTER
Roasted Coffee Volume @ City;
1 cubic foot = 9.28lbs. Seems like the roasted volume is WAY better than twice the green.
Bean swell and moisture loss can't possibly account for all of that. I'll redo the measurements from scratch and repost Cheers, Scott
Edited by JETROASTER on 11/01/2016 8:54 AM
Mustang967

Quote

JETROASTER wrote:

Roasted Coffee Volume @ City;
1 cubic foot = 9.28lbs. Seems like the roasted volume is WAY better than twice the green.
Bean swell and moisture loss can't possibly account for all of that. I'll redo the measurements from scratch and repost Cheers, Scott


Perfect. Thanks!
Mustang967
Hey, how far away are you guys placing your burners from the perf plate? On my current roaster its probably about 4-5 inches and I think its too close as I can see flames lightly coming through the perforated plate holes. Also, do you guys see burning bits of chaff rolling through the bean mass during roasts?

I'm trying to decide between rebuilding my box so I can lower my burner a few inches or build a steel baffle that would go directly above the burner to disperse the heat rather than flames going directly into the RC.

Thoughts?
coffeeroastersclub
You want to make sure no flames go throught the perfs. I would keep them at least an inch below when running. Otherwise the beans will light up (happened to me on my gas fired fluidbed). Also the chaff shouldn't singe, if so the flames are getting to it. The chaff should just blow out of the chamber right away.

Len
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." ~Abraham Lincoln
Mustang967

Quote

coffeeroastersclub wrote:

You want to make sure no flames go throught the perfs. I would keep them at least an inch below when running. Otherwise the beans will light up (happened to me on my gas fired fluidbed). Also the chaff shouldn't singe, if so the flames are getting to it. The chaff should just blow out of the chamber right away.

Len


Yeah that makes sense. I'm going to rebuild the box to add a bit of extra space so I can lower the burner. I'm guessing that's the cause of the scorched beans and burning chaff.
Thanks!
Royce
allenb
One thing that can help when we've got limited space between burner and RC bottom inlet is to use a "turbulator" mixer to get a swirl going to get air and flame mixed to a uniform temperature before hitting the beans.

Here's Ken's (snwcmpr) gas fired fluidbed and shows a turbulator plate that's just above flame level.

http://forum.home...post_41864

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Mustang967

Quote

allenb wrote:

One thing that can help when we've got limited space between burner and RC bottom inlet is to use a "turbulator" mixer to get a swirl going to get air and flame mixed to a uniform temperature before hitting the beans.

Here's Ken's (snwcmpr) gas fired fluidbed and shows a turbulator plate that's just above flame level.

http://forum.home...post_41864

Allen


That is a very interesting idea. I'm rebuilding my box right now, but I might incorporate that into the design as well.
Thanks!
Royce
JETROASTER
+ 1 on Allen's point. Dilution is the solution.

Perf location depends on how effectively the air can be mixed. Cheers, Scott
Mustang967
So this was what I came up with to more effectively mix the air and flames.
You cant see it in the picture but I have two arms on both sides of the round(ish) center section that are clamped to the top of the burner.

c8.staticflickr.com/6/5789/30780182295_83b5e91e66_k.jpg

It works surprisingly well considering the simplicity.



It makes quite a bit more noise than before but it works great!
I roasted a batch last night and it was easily the best looking and most consistently roasted batch yet.
Thanks for the help guys!

Royce
Elwynn
Hey guys I'm new here... I've been working on a 3 to 5 pound roast or myself. I need some help as to where I should put my air temp probe. I know the bean temp probe goes in the beans but do I read my air temp after the roast chamber or before the roast chamber? Any help would be great!
Thanks
Elwynn
Mustang967

Quote

Elwynn wrote:

Hey guys I'm new here... I've been working on a 3 to 5 pound roast or myself. I need some help as to where I should put my air temp probe. I know the bean temp probe goes in the beans but do I read my air temp after the roast chamber or before the roast chamber? Any help would be great!
Thanks
Elwynn


Hi Elwynn!

On my current roaster I have one directly below the perf plate so I can know the general temperature of the air entering the roast chamber. Not sure how everyone else has theirs but that's me. I've found that its not a very important data point in my roasting. Since PID is monitoring bean mass temp I don't find it very useful. But I do like as much data as possible so I'll keep it for now, unless someone can explain its usefulness. :)

Royce
Elwynn
Hey thanks Royce! I have contemplated that too. I took an interest in the javamaster roasters but I just can't afford one. So my brother and I our building one that has similarities but we are just using our heads to build it. It is going to be set up very similar using two PID controllers. One for air temp and one for bean temp. I know where I'm going to put the BT probe. The air temp has baffled me… I am curious where the Java master gets the air temp reading… Before or after the roast chamber…? Mine is an electric heat element for heat and the Air temp PID Controls my roast and the bean temp PID will end the roast. So if someone could help me, where is the best place for the probe? Maybe that is too complicated… Thanks for your help

Elwynn
Mustang967

Quote

Elwynn wrote:

Hey thanks Royce! I have contemplated that too. I took an interest in the javamaster roasters but I just can't afford one. So my brother and I our building one that has similarities but we are just using our heads to build it. It is going to be set up very similar using two PID controllers. One for air temp and one for bean temp. I know where I'm going to put the BT probe. The air temp has baffled me… I am curious where the Java master gets the air temp reading… Before or after the roast chamber…? Mine is an electric heat element for heat and the Air temp PID Controls my roast and the bean temp PID will end the roast. So if someone could help me, where is the best place for the probe? Maybe that is too complicated… Thanks for your help

Elwynn


From their website it looks like its after the roast chamber right near the exhaust to the cyclone.

I'm curious why you want to use two PID's though. I believe using bean mass temperature for the PID is usual as the temperature of the beans is what you want to control not the air coming in or out. I see significant fluctuations in air temp during roasts as my PID is keeping the bean temp on the curve. I'll be interested to hear others thoughts on that though.

Royce
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