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AlpenGrill Roaster
Heat deflector:

I've also replaced all that ceramic rock in my roaster with a burner heat deflector (made by Charbroil). The thing I liked about this product was that it was 2 pieces that could slide atop each other to fit a variety of grill interior lengths. We had some discussion over on the Sweet Marias List about leaving/allowing a gap on each end of the burners (outside of whatever heat deflector you used) for better heat circulation. I decided that I had way too much heat absorption with all those ceramic rocks. So, I bought the metal deflector at Home Depot and it fitted perfectly right over my burners.

The deflector has sort of a "W" shape to it that includes two slots that run the length of the metal deflector between the peaks of the W shape. Those slots would allow some flame to still reach toward the drum. So, I took a few of those diamond ceramic stones and placed them into the valleys of those slots to block the flame (only under the area where the drum sets). The diamond shapes fit perfectly into those V shaped valleys and block any flame. So, now what I have is a mostly metal deflector with a few ceramic stones to block any flame. I've attached a pic for those who have interest.

To make a long story short, this new deflector allows a lot more heat to reach the drum and it is still manageable for roasting. Using the flashing really allowed me to use less heat than before, and this new heat deflector has allowed me to reduce heat settings on the grill even more. I can do my roasts at just about the lowest settings of my grill as a result of both of these mods. In case anyone is interested, my grill is an old dual burner Sunbeam 44k BTU. I'd like to have gas controls that have less "play" in them, but that?s possibly a future project.

Here?s a pic of the Charbroil product as it comes from the package:
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Here?s a pic of the deflector inside my grill with a few diamond ceramic stones. The stones are added to deflect flame under the area where the drum sets.
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Wind and Heat Deflector (Lid & Base):
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Basic Process of Roasting with this Roaster:

1. Preheat grill to 450F
2. Pour beans into drum (cold drum for first batch, warm to hot drum for successive batches)
3. Close drum lid and insert with hairpin cotter pin
4. Run the spit rod through the hole in the closed end of the drum, out through the square hole in the drum?s lid until the drum meets the fixed collar on the spit rod.
5. Insert the other cotter-pin through the spit rod to hold the drum in place.
6. Mount the drum and spit rod into the grill and push into the Lovejoy connector on the motor shaft.
7. Set the handle (using the set screw) such that it holds the spit rod firmly against the Lovejoy,
8. Close the lid and flip the switch to start the motor.
9. Start a count-up timer to keep track of time.
10. Burner controls on Low to prevent too fast a ramp in the first few minutes.
11. The grill will start off about 370F because the lid has been opened to load the drum.
12. For the first 3-4 minutes, temps will gradually climb up to the 420 to 470F areas.
13. I like to keep temps below 450F during the first 7mins and then allow them to climb no higher than 480 until 1st Crack is reached.
14. 1st Crack varies with beans, but in general it occurs around 13mins.
15. It will last 3 to 3.5mins and then 2nd Crack will begin.
16. Open the grill lid, remove the spit rod and set the drum across the resting area (lined with ceramic rock) to the left.
17. With a pair of pliers, pull out both cotter pins, pop open the drum lid and pour the beans into the bean cooler.
18. Before loading the next batch of beans into the drum, I like to quickly blow out the chaff that fell through the drum onto the grill?s heat deflector. I do this so that I?m not continuing to burn that chaff and introduce any smoky flavor from it into the next roast. Maybe not necessary, but only takes a few seconds.
Roast Log I use for recording roasts & profiles:

Here?s something else I?ve found useful?a roast log. I began logging results of my roasts back in 2000 when I first started roasting as a learning tool and I still do it today. My log has gone through many versions (and roasters) to evolve to what I?m sharing below.

This log allows me to record 4 different roasts on one 8.5 by 11? piece of paper. I print the log front and back on a single sheet of paper, so I get 8 roast recordings from each sheet. Portions of the log have to do with bean(s) used, blend data, etc. Other portions of the log have to do with recording my gas valve settings, temps by the minute, 1st Crack and 2nd Crack times, and other info.

The small white circles with line markers are representative of my gas control valve and match the marks I have added around my valves as reference points. I can easily note on the log where I had my valves set and what changes I decided to make as the roast progressed. Above each white circle is a block where the temp can be manually recorded for each minute as the roast progresses. I use a thermocouple probe for my temp readings. The thermocouple is ~ ?? from the drum and about center mass of where the beans are located in the drum.

I also have a Notes area where I can jot a few pertinent ideas about the roast that may be useful for future reference. This log was created in an Excel file for ease of managing row/column data and formatting same.
Coffeenut attached the following image:

Edited by Coffeenut on 07/20/2007 5:40 PM
Here?s a snapshot (zoomed portion) of the log showing the gas valve settings area:
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Pic of the two gas control valves on my grill and my rudimentary markings as reference points.
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Well, that about does it. I hope this will be of use to someone in building and using their own grill-roaster. It truly has been the best coffee roaster I?ve owned and my weekly favorite to use. Happy roasting to you all!

Rick Waits

Disclaimer: Coffee roasting on a gas grill is a very rewarding endeavor when done safely. The process does involve high heat, combustible fuel and the potential risk for serious injury. The coffee roaster information contained in this entry is for informational use only. Any person using this information to build a coffee roaster uses it at their own risk and they accept sole responsibility for any potential damage or injury that may result.
Coffeenut attached the following image:
Exceptionally thorough treatise on your roaster. I have an old Alp that is still working as a back up (if I have trouble with my primary roaster). If and when the Alp gives up the ghost this will be an extremely helpful thread. After the contest, we should talk about turning this into a permanent article for the site.

Thanks for your entry! Dan
Dan and Mike,

Glad to help out and add to this great list of roasters. I've been out of town for several weeks and just didn't have time to get mine done. Please feel free to use this submission as you see fit in the future.

Awesome in function, form and presentation! Thanks for showing us!


Really nice grill roaster. Your directions and presentation make it easy for someone to be able to make a great drum roaster.

Your photo's are excellent. GREAT entry. Thanks and good luck.



Excellent job presenting all the details including photos of various parts and tools used; a very well-written presentation. s:2s:1s:2s:1s:2

Just as soon as I have the time, I will be adding flashing to my grill as you have yours. Great idea of supporting the upper flashing with the copper tubing.

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
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