Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
You must login to post a message.

04/19/2021 8:46 AM
Welcome edwardbarnett

04/18/2021 3:00 PM
mtsattemt welcome cup

04/18/2021 9:07 AM
Welcome, Ankafe!

04/16/2021 2:04 PM
SkipG welcome cup

04/16/2021 2:03 PM
meeuw2000 Welcome welcome cup

Users Online
Guests Online: 16

Members Online: 0

Total Members: 7,162
Newest Member: edwardbarnett
In Memory Of Ginny

Latest Donations
JackH - 25.00
snwcmpr - 10.00
Anonymous - 2.00
Anonymous - 5.00
Anonymous - 5.00

View Thread

Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
Tri-Clamp Roaster
So I got sick of the 100g capacity of my gutted popcorn maker and wanted something a bit more powerful. Plus I needed a project.

I didn't know what to do for the roasting chamber as I recently moved to Germany (from Colorado) and gave my bake a around I was holding onto to a friend.

Then I found this distillation column on Aliexpress for only 36 euros:

It's kind of huge, but it seemed close enough. I'm also a little worried about the silicone seals, but I can always take them out if they start to burn up into the coffee beans and replace them with something better.

The heater is from a 1900w heating element from an Amazon heat gun stuck inside of the 1.5" tri-clamp tube with a wrap of mica to hopefully not electrocute anyone.

The fan is a "Fern" 400w (240v) air blower from Amazon. It's all wired together with a TC4 from Greencardigan, a ZCD, and a Crydom random fire SSR.

I accidentially destroyed my heater SSR, so the best I've done so far is a loft test without the heater on. Did about 25og of beans without much of an issue.

Like my construction method? Several things went wrong at this point. First, the poor little cyclone separator I got worked well at separating the chaff and random dirt from the beans, but there's a lot of back pressure from the little guy that's making it tough to loft the beans. In fact, when I took it out, I blasted a bunch of beans out the top when the pressure decreased. oops.

Second, its my plan to blast the beans into the chaff collection to remove them might not work, but I haven't gotten full power from the fan yet. Which brings my to the final problem. The ZCD/TC4 combo is working well above 25%, but I'm getting weird skipping when I'm lower. Anything I can do there? There was a resistor capacitor combo in between the live and neutral that made it work slightly better, but not a lot. It seems to work well at higher speeds.


It doesn't sound super happy, and I think I'll likely be roasting at pretty low power.

Link to distillation column please, search don't return anything useful.

Regarding weird skipping, is this related to fan or heater?
Recently posted here some notes from my experience, could be a similar issue.

If issue is for heater, I would try CONFIG_PWM mode instead ZCD/ICC and see what happens.
Sure thing:

It took a while to get here in DE, but it was remarkably well packed and seems like pretty nice quality.

It's the fan control, and I found a few things to try in there. Thanks for the link.


Mains is correct (60Hz, I'm in the USA). I think I figured it out - I had 5 volts going to my ZCD from the TC4, per But your (still excellent), quick start guide PDF only showed ground and signal going to your ZCD. I disconnected my 5V wire, and now it is much much smoother. I get one blip very occasionally, but its much much smoother and feels more like "full fan speed" at 100% as well.


Also try connecting the TC4 ground to mains ground. I've had motor pulsing issues in two controllers that were solved by grounding the TC4.

Edited by JackH on 01/26/2020 2:42 PM
Well I prepared a big post about my first attempt using the roaster after a number of setbacks (lets call them opportunities to improvise).

Then my crappy German Internet screwed up and I lost the whole thing before I could post it. So I gave up, writing is hard. Short story is, I was struggling with the ZCD/TC4 method of fan control and then also the Tindie PWM/ ZCD/Triac module which I think is just DOA. So I hooked the blower up to it's old handle/speed controller that I was holding onto "just in case". I was running out of coffee, and it's Sunday in Germany so of course nothing is open to buy coffee from for such an emergency.

Things I learned:
1. I needed the back pressure from cyclone separator to get enough temperature out of the element for 200G. Could likely do a fair amount more than 200g with the back pressure.

2. The PLA adapter for the separator lasted even less time than I thought it would, and I ended up holding the whole mess together with oven mitts for the roast.

3. You can just sandwich a thermocuple in the silicon tri-clamp gasket for BT, and it works pretty well.

4. FC is much harder to hear with this setup, but when I'm less panicked and not holding it all together with oven mitts it'll be fine.

5. I can blast 200G out of the top at full power, into a jar. Exactly what I was hoping I could do. Need to take the separator off for that though.

[email protected]:

The profile. You can see at the end where I installed the separator and the temp started to shoot up almost too fast to control.

Link to a photo Album:
Finished up another roast, things worked out a bit better with some more preparation. Still hard to hear 1st crack, but I did. I'm going to move the temp probes a bit. I'm going to add an inlet temp probe, and then have all three just for fun. Perhaps I can measure temperature difference for fun.

I tried to eject the beans at full power, but the giant sight glass I have is too big. I'm thinking I might go shorter, perhaps 3" by 140cm or so. We'll see, I can eject the beans if I remove the cyclone separator and open up the flow a bit though.


I still had issues with my TC4, I'm thinking I might try a new arduino as it's a less expensive option than trying a new TC4. This time the temperatures went to -1 right when the roast was done so it wasn't that big of a deal.
jessep attached the following image:
Jessep - looking at your RC have you had any issues with beans getting stuck, not circulating, getting caught in the last couple of inches of the reducer?

In my new build I'm hoping to implement a butterfly valve for bean dump purposes and was curious to see if this will create any hot spots or hang ups in the bean mass circulation

With the 2" or so from the perf plate to the top of the fitting I'm unsure if that will circulate the bean mass or if whatever ends up near the perf plate will get stuck there?



CharcoalRoaster wrote:

Jessep - looking at your RC have you had any issues with beans getting stuck, not circulating, getting caught in the last couple of inches of the reducer?

I haven't yet. I just has a mesh screen at the bottom, so there aren't really any spots for the beans to collect. I do notice a few catching on the orange silicone gaskets on the glass part of the chamber.

I do have a slightly more uneven roast than my popper, but I'm not sure if it's the variance in the cheap beans I found at the local market or the machine.

Very interested in the butterfly valve! This machine is pretty annoying to empty, especially with dense beans.
How've you put the thermocouples in there, also did you get the rest of your triclover parts from aliexpress as well? Looking to change up my roaster and this looks much cleaner
I just sandwiched them between the roast chamber and the conical reducer for BT, and between the heater pipe and the reducer for ET. Works mostly ok, probably do some modifications to fix the weird offsets you can see in the last one.
Correct me if im wrong, you're RC base is a 3inch to 1.5inch conical reducer and your top is a 3inch to 1.5inch bowl reducer. Do you just have the heating element free sitting in the 1.5inch triclamp tube?


jooi123 wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, you're RC base is a 3inch to 1.5inch conical reducer and your top is a 3inch to 1.5inch bowl reducer. Do you just have the heating element free sitting in the 1.5inch triclamp tube?

It's not really free, it's surrounded by mica and wedged in so hard I was afraid I was going to break it.

The rest is correct!

The poorly attached cyclone separator is key though, it allows for 220ish gram batches with that heater. I think if I were to put in a more restrictive perforated plate that could also be a solution. Plan for the quarantine (not sick, yet) is to further insulate the heating tube and the RC base. As well as build a less janky adapter from the tri clamp tube to the separator.
Nice build... i put a project together last year and had to stop due to the fact i was not able to figure out the heating element mounting that would work.. just started back into this project again. hows yours holding up? are you willing to share a few more pictures of the lower section of the build?
Jessep, I am also looking to build something like yours but have a couple of questions.
Where did you buy the cyclone?
is the RC a pyrex or?

One comment on the bean load & unload, have you seen (near the end)
A Tri-clamp TEE with a cap atop (in place of the 180) and a 1" long tube to use as a Vacume- (Blower pressure out) for the beans, but may need to seal around where the 1" goes down in the 1.5"
The cyclone looks like a frankenstenization of the Aluminium Cyclone Dust Separator, that can be found on eBay/Aliex, used by many of us, mentioned in other threads.
Use the highlighted search terms if the link below is no more valid:

Renatoa: thank you!

I found it with your link, but not so easy to get here in the USA
The spec I found on Joom

Material: Aluminium Alloy
Color: Silver
Inner Diameter: approx. 25mm est 1" +/-
Size: approx. 190*105 mm Not enough detail Just overall?
The air volume: 45-70m3/h 30 to 40CFM +/-
Wind pressure: 2-50 kpa
Wind speed: 12-36m/s
Matched Power: 250W
Efficiency: 90-99% Not sure. 90 is bad 99 is pretty good
Dust Particles: 8 um - 20 mm would be better to get down to 3um, 20mm golf ball?

And Jessp I missed on the u-tube link, it should have been
Sorry about that.

Again Thanks Renatoa for the information, but from the spec. its seems a bit to small for my design 150 to 800g. I may wind up building one from a corny keg, with about hour of cutting and fitting and 30 min of welding but capable of 100cfm +/-
I bought mine from: https://bigupgadg...74505.html

I bought it months ago and it took a few weeks for delivery.


Buildit wrote:

Size: approx. 190*105 mm Not enough detail Just overall?

105 is diameter of the circle, without the three mounting ears.
190 is the overall height, 120 mm from the mounting circle down to exhaust hole.


Buildit wrote:

Again Thanks Renatoa for the information, but from the spec. its seems a bit to small for my design 150 to 800g. I may wind up building one from a corny keg, with about hour of cutting and fitting and 30 min of welding but capable of 100cfm +/-

I am using mine for 500 grams and more, connected to an 140 m3/h 20W exhaust fan, so their specs are simply bogus.
I don't see any limiting factor for this cyclone other the capacity of the collector jar.

I can't comment about the 3 microns requirement, what about a hepa filter on top of the cyclone?
I don't feel the need for more filtering because above the exhaust fan is the stove hood.

Sure, we can tinker anything, but the look... guess what led the the OP to the choice to use a tri-clamp, instead glass from a french-press, and funnel as stainless steel parts from a cocktail shaker ? Grin
best post

Well, this is interesting.
I started looking into components for a fluid bed roaster build and fairly quickly arrived at the tri-clamp system. Two quarantine days and a LOT of painful Aliexpress search queries later I have ordered almost all my parts just a few hours ago - and they look eerily like yours. Down to the heating element crammed into the 1.5" pipe ("Will it fit? I'll probably be able to make it fit, with appropriate force if need be.") Maybe I should have searched forums earlier, could have saved me some headache. :)

Here's the parts I ordered:
- Heating element https://www.aliex...09009.html
- Tube 1.5" for heating element https://www.aliex...29764.html
- Reducer 1.5" to 3" (opted for the bowl) https://www.aliex...21509.html
- 3" Meshed gasket as "bed" https://www.aliex...10026.html (also got a 1.5", might work before the reducer as well)
- Tube 3" with thermowell https://www.aliex...03344.html
- 90mm glass tube 3", 122mm length https://www.aliex...25199.html
- Aluminum cyclone https://www.aliex...16520.html
- Some gaskets, clamps, mica paper

What I'm missing (on paper) is the blower, bits of tubing here and there, a chaff bin. And then, once all the parts have arrived and are working well enough, a nice method of inserting and extracting the beans of course.

I was initially thinking vacuum cleaner motor, but that seems like a bit of a hassle. What blower model do you have? Are you happy with it so far?
I think the control issues could be solved by using something like this to reduce motor speed https://www.ebay....3593033976
Untested, but should properly "dim" AC motors without hiccups if various forums can be trusted. The regulator I linked to should be controllable via 0-5V analog voltage.

What do you use as a "strainer" to keep the beans in the roasting chamber? A PTFE mesh like the one I ordered?

I have to say, I'm very excited to have stumbled across this thread here - sheer luck.

PS: Word of warning, never search Aliexpress for "tri-clamp thermowell nipple". Yes, that's what the exact part I ordered is called but no, Aliexpress has different ideas.
Edited by JackH on 04/01/2020 7:09 AM
I found this, which looks very similar to yours, supposedly more power: https://www.amazo...07FN2PZ5R/
A DC motor like this https://www.bauha...p/26221384 would probably be easier to control, but I have no clue what current it draws and also whether the blower is strong enough.

We should have a way to save valuable posts, as the above #18 ! Grin

Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Tri-clamp biped build Fluidbed Roaster 13 04/18/2021 10:42 AM
Android App: Coffee Roaster Free ROASTING SOFTWARE APPS 1 04/16/2021 4:03 AM
HearthWare Roaster Value? JAVA TRADING COMPANY 7 04/02/2021 2:35 AM
Roaster build forced air and agitator Building a Coffee Roaster 6 03/31/2021 2:50 AM
TC4+ Arduino coffee roaster shield (TC4-compatible) Dataloggers/Controllers/Rate of Rise Meters 229 03/24/2021 11:30 AM
Homeroasters Association Logo, and all Content, Images, and Icons © 2005-2016 Homeroasters Association - Logos are the property of their respective owners.
Powered by PHP-Fusion Copyright © 2021 PHP-Fusion Inc
Released as free software without warranties under GNU Affero GPL v3
Designed with by NetriX