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Paint can drum roaster?
I was thinking of materials to use for a small one pound sample roaster and thought of those empty (never used) paint gallons that you can buy inexpensively. Would there be any downsides to using something like that as a drum? It's fairly thin and I don't know for sure what metal they're made out of but I haven't read about anyone trying that. Would it work? Seems like it would be about the right size.

Edit - I forgot to mention the can would be an unlined version. Some have a grayish lining/coating but I don't think those would be good to use.
Edited by Spresso_Bean on 06/25/2008 4:13 PM
I don't see why not. They are plenty big enough for one pound. I know the gray lining is epoxy. I don't know if the unlined ones are plated or just plain steel.
Thanks - I don't know for sure what they're made of but I'll try to find out, and maybe give it a shot. If it ends up having issues, I guess I can always replace it with a different drum of the same size. Right now I'm just planning it out and figuring what materials to use, and I've seen people using large food cans (corn, etc.) for their drums as well.
Welcome, Spresso_Bean! You have a great idea for a drum. Much easier than fabricating one of the same size. I'm pretty sure they're just made of steel, since rust shows up on misused cans :) and therefore should work for your purpose. It would be a good idea to thoroughly heat the can to burn away any production residues.

Do you have a master plan in the works? Do tell!

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover

Sounds interesting, and reminds me of an earlier thread about paint cans.


Edited by bvwelch on 06/26/2008 8:35 AM
What about a piece of well casing? Be pretty heavy, even heat.

Better yet, I would want something that is totally non-electric. You all rely on electricity too much. ;)
Edited by opus on 06/26/2008 10:02 AM
Let me add that I am real interested in such a project-- I've never tried a drum before, and have been wanting to give it a try.

How about a "stock pot"? Seems like there is a neat project around here somewhere that even had a mechanism to keep the lid on tight.



seedlings wrote:
Welcome, Spresso_Bean!

Thanks - I don't know how I missed finding this site for the few years I've been roasting my own coffee but this site is great!

Thanks everyone for the comments and the link. I'm still trying to figure out how to make a small drum roaster without spending a ton of money, and right now I'm using a Stir Crazy and digital Turbo Oven but I like the idea of a drum roaster but also to have everything in one piece rather than pulling out a base, top, multimeter, etc. I'd like to make something similar in design to a San Franciscan sample roaster, although those are probably more complex than I can replicate since I'm not an engineer or anything like that. I'm looking for these features:

-one pound batch
-non-perforated drum that can handle a pound or so
-funnel for dropping the beans
-sight glass and trier
-dump chute in the front
-cooling tray, possibly with something to stir the beans

It might be a lot more work than I can handle with the tools and equipment I have, but I'd like to try it anyway. I mostly do woodworking and I have table and band saws and a lot of hand tools so it could get interesting trying to build this roaster. For the heat, I might try using a small camp stove I have and pull the burners out (there are two), otherwise I might be able to use a heat gun or even my Turbo Oven top for the heat source. Still not sure about chaff removal and air flow yet. A stock pot is another idea and I might try looking for one of those instead, and I've seen the roasters others have made with those.
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