of straight Oaxacan Pluma beans. I could see the beans flowing
and flying in the drum, looking through the roticery hole in the
end plate. Love the cha cha cha sound the beans make as the drum
turns. A strong, even, first crack started at 9 minutes into the
roast, finished a minute later, and at the 12 minute mark it
smelled right and just before any second cracks sounded I dumped
and cooled. Perfect light full city roast. Every bean fully
developed and nicely colored. Impressive, better than I usually
get for that roast stage with my regular drum that only has some
cable (like a Hot Top) for agitation. Cupped as good as it
looked the next day.
Next days roasting- I had several orders to fill, and couldn't
waste time with 1/2 lb roasts. Ron figured the drum is good for
4 lb roasts, so I put 4 lbs of beans in,(a blend of 50% Pluma,
25% El Salvador Bourbon, 25% Organic Bolivian) got the oven to
500 degrees (a little lower temp than I usually roast at,
counting on the fast agitation to make a difference) and got
started. A few beans started to fall out the holes for roticery
attatchments, but not many. At 12 minutes first crack began, and
lasted for about 3 minutes, then stopped. I lowered the temp to
about 460 and kept going, but by now beans started pouring out
the end plate holes and burning on the hot bricks. Dammit!
Second crack began at 17 minutes, and judging from the beans
falling out, the roast was amazingly even. At 18 minutes I
unloaded, dumped and cooled. Even though the drum isn't very
heavy I noticed that I need new welders gloves-today!-ouch, that
felt hotter than my ss mesh drum. It cooled almost imediately
after the beans were out, though. Perfect roast. Not one burnt
bean, no tipping, no scorch marcks, nary a divot. Exactly the
roast I wanted (full city plus, no oil) I've never done (or
seen) a more even roast, wow.
I pluged the end plate holes with some short bolts and washers,
then loaded it with 5 lbs of greens. That still only fills the
drum to about 1/3. Same blend, only I needed some Vienna
Roast-rolling second crack, a slight sheen of oil. I was a
little nervous about roasting "blind", with no way to see the
beans. The temp, time, sounds and smell were easy to follow, and
after another 20 minutes I had a perfect Vienna Roast-again, not
one burnt bean, nothing stuck in the drum, nothing fell out
during the roast. Super duper mixing as it turned, at least as
much motion as a hot air roaster. 6 more roasts after that,
mostly 4 lb ones, and every one was perfect. I'm a happy camper.
I tried at a slightly higher oven temp and took 2 minutes off
the time. I'll carefully try at even higher temps untill I
finally burn some beans, just to find out the limit.
I'm going to make a square tube tryer to put in the end plate
hole that faces me as I roast, and drill some holes in that
plate, too, just because I like to be able to see at least basic
bean color. Other than that, I'm a very satisfied customer. This
drum will outlast me. I will order a longer(18") one for 8 lb
roasts, and Ron says maybe he can put a glass window in the end.
Thanks, Ron! I've been waiting 6 months for my local machinist
buddy to make me a new drum. Who knows when that finally would
have happened, and I'm positive it wouldn't have been so finely
made. The old one wobbles and moves on the rollers, and catches
and burns some beans in a few spots. Not yours, it's a beauty.