I've had my RK Drum for less than a month and just love it! Just
minutes ago I also ordered the 50rpm drive motor. Silly thing just
happened to me today. I was looking at my stash and trying to come up
with a blend. I had completely forgotten that I have other methods of
roasting available to me (popper..iRoast..hg/db..sc/to) and was becoming
frustrated because I was thinking in terms of roasting pounds instead of
ounces to make the trial blend. Duhhhhhh! I love my RK Drum. I love
my RK Drum. I love my RK Drum.
Have I mentioned..... I LOVE my RK Drum.
I couldn't be more pleased with my drum. I finally got it set up last
weekend and have only run 5 roasts through it, but I'm already quite
pleased. You have a great product. Thought I'd send you a picture. you're
welcome to put it on your website. I went with the brinkmann 45k btu grill
from walmart. Great grill. It will hold a temp steady with very little
adjustment. I haven't needed to roast in cold temperatures yet, but I'm
sure it has the power. I keep it at 500 with the three burners at med-low
in ~50 degree ambient temps
in Arlington, VA
I've roasted about 300 pounds in my RK. I enjoy roasting the larger batches. I prefer 2 1/2 pound batches. When you start roasting with an RK you will find that a five pound bag of greens doesn't last very long. I really enjoy being able to roast coffee for my family and friends, with out having to spend hours of my time to do it.
Mike Simanyi wrote:
Just had to post. I received my RK drum and 50rpm motor setup last
week and fired it up for a few small roasts (1 to 1.5 pounds each). I
slightly over-roasted the first batch while trying to dial-in my
thermometer readings and reconcile them to the instructions I found at
Ron's site, but the next batches went like clockwork.
Three words: Oh. My. Gosh!
The scent of the roast is amazing. Using the I-roast, 2nd crack was
always exceptionally subtle. With the drum it's like firecrackers.
And darn near the most entertaining part is pouring the smoking mass
of beans into the sifter and holding them over the fan for cooling.
Within about 75 seconds they were almost to ambient temp... and
smelled AMAZING! One of my neighbors came
I can't tell you how pleased I am with the new drum/motor combo you sent me. Installation took about 45 minutes and after that I was up and running. I've got the Charbroil Quickset grill (35k) and installed the big thermometer from Home Depot.
My grill seems to like 480 degrees so here's what I've been doing:
Preheat to 500 degrees
Put 1 lb beans in the drum while
Wow. I am . . . speechless.
Your drum is built for the centuries. I can remember learning to drive
in a '54 Chevy stick. Your drum is a '54 Chevy.
And the motor/mount: lord have mercy. I am the man with the biggest
smile on his face in Kansas City. Until I received these, I didn't
believe this kind of quality was still available anywhere in the world.
I'll be installing and firing up (first time to ever use a propane
grill) in the morning. No trouble getting me up tomorrow! I'm like a
kid at Christmas. The snow is melting, and it should get into the 50s
Friday and Saturday, so I'm anxious to begin my learning curve. [sunday
is forecast rain].
Thank you for providing such amazingly well-built and thought-out
What I love about the RK drum is what I think scares most people away. At first look, an RK drum with a BBQ looks like you have no controls. The opposite is true! With a RK drum setup you have total control! It is the only home roast system that I know of where you have the power and control to roast from 4 oz to 4 pounds of coffee. Where people get in trouble is not realizing the flexibility of this system of roasting because they don’t go beyond the first look. After 20 years of homeroasting using every type of roaster from the new commercial home models to roasting over fire with an antique popcorn popper, I think I am qualified to say the RK drum is the best home roaster you can buy for less than $1,500.00. I have not found a limitation to my RK system yet. After spending $150.00 on a commercial machine a few years ago, it only took me a month to go back to my $3.00 popcorn popper.
The RK drum reminds me of roasting over fire with the popcorn popper except it gets rid of those dimensions that need to be consistent for a good roast every time. The RK drum moves the beans at a consistent rate. The RK drum keeps the beans at the right place to receive the heat they need to roast. The RK drum gives you a way to control the heat. So, instead of five dimensions to control, the RK takes care of three and leaves the roaster with the two most important dimensions to control, time and temperature. It lessens the
From: "Mike Smith"
Subject: My first run with my RK Drum BBQ Roaster
First off, I'm in no way connected to the production or manufacture of this
fine product. Although, I wish I were. What follows is a description of my experience
setting up for my first roast with my RK Drum, that I received...yesterday.
Upon opening the well packed box, I was impressed with the heft, and build
quality of this all stainless drum. Anyone that has worked with stainless steel, knows what
a bear it is to work with. All of the cuts are clean, no burrs, and all of the welds have
been ground and smoothed. A very well executed construction. The height of the stirring
vanes kind of surprised me. All of the other drum designs I had seen, as on my Alp, the
vanes were a fraction of an inch tall. On this drum they are at least a full inch high.
They stir a large load 2 pounds or more very well. For the grill, I purchased a I was having to look into the bottom of the grill from underneath to see the
burner so that I could adjust it down as low as possible to maintain 435, and still have a
flame. At 10 minutes first crack started and I could tell by how " all at once " it was, that
second was going to follow very rapidly. I was right, by 11 minutes I was into one heck of a rolling second crack. I cut the heat, grabbed the spit, and dumped and cooled the beans.
I had sort of mélange roast, with most of the beans a very full city, with
slight oil showing, and some french, with about 10 % city. I had observed
the good mixing action of the vanes, and knew that this unevenness was not
due to poor bean movement. I surmised that it was a result of too rapid of a
bean temp rise.
I decided to load up a larger batch. I loaded up 1 and 1/2 pounds of La Manita, and started again.
This time the temp recovery after drum insertion was much slower. I think that the larger load
actually made the temp more stable, and a lot less ticklish. This time first crack started at about 14 minutes, and started much more gradually. Second crack followed after a
little added heat at 17:30 and I pulled the roast immediately upon onset of second. I usually like LM right before second.
Anyhow, this roast was MUCH more even, and easier to control. I really like a more mellow taste,
hopefully this won't be TOO mellow.
I am thoroughly pleased with the drum, and it will make my roasting much less involved than 6 or 7 Alpenrost roasts a week. I think I will look at putting a cast iron griddle in the bottom of my grill, to more evenly distribute the heat and flame, and to act as sort a thermal mass. I think that a load of about 1 pound is as small a roast as a beginner BBQ roaster should try. That
1/2 pound roast was just too hard to control. The larger batch tracked along a profile almost
exactly like my Alpenrost.
The drum is by far the best investment in my roasting that I have ever made, and I am grateful
for such a quality product. The drum is easily worth the price of an Alpenrost.This thing is built as well as anything I've ever seen. I have fabricated a few gadgets in my life, as I have been a
homebrewer. It is much like coffee roasting in that you have to build everything
if you want a nice setup without spending thousands.
To replace my BBQ roaster would cost $6000 for a San Francisco sample roaster, and the end result is every bit as tasty. Until someone decides to sell a computer controlled, commercial style drum roaster for under $2000, I've got THE best setup out there for us that don't like being tied to 3 hours of 8 oz roasts once a week.
flyin' hillbilly BBQ RK Drum roaster
just a satisfied customer
July 17,2004 Allen M
I finished assembly of my RK drum roaster today and I burned it in and I'm ready for my first roast!
I used a 35k BTU Char-grill model from Home Depot and I'm using Ron's gear drive motor which is sweet. The drum spins fast and
smooth and should be quiet enough to hear first crack. I located my thermometer about an inch too high but other than that, I think this is going to be a great little rig. Tip:
If you choose a Char-grill Pro thermometer like I did, use a "step bit" to drill the ~7/8th hole for the threaded mount. Step bits are expensive (about $35) but I use them almost everyday
at work to drill holes of all sizes in sheet metal. It cuts through the Char-grill lid like butter.
tell that I'm going to enjoy roasting outdoors in winter. I played around with the controls while performing the break-in and the controls are sensitive but very responsive. I'm surprised how
quickly the temperature can shift and then hold steady.
Putting one of these together is not difficult, but there are a few considerations that give it a little twist over buying a pure appliance. I ended up pulling out my dremel tool to cut off the
"foot pegs" of the flame diffuser to lower it about an inch. Now it is perfect and enabled me to put the drum down low closer to the flame. When ordering, I told Ron I wanted the motor on the left side, but
I changed my mind during assembly. I really like how Ron designed the hardware to be re-configurable. It was a simple matter to change the motor and switch over to opposite hand. All the holes were
pre-drilled for mounting either side.
I would like to thank Ron for his help along the way. It is evident that he really cares about his drums and drum customers. I will reserve further comment and praise until after such time that I get to sample the fruits of his and my labor. More pictures
(This a review by Thomas Owen from Sweet Marias. I sent Tom 3 sample roasts, roasted in a gas grill, with the RK Roasting Drum. Below are Toms remarks.)