This is a note to let you know I have been having great success with my drum. Thanks for the effort you put into its design and construction.
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
I'm an engineer--the drum is a work of art and the motor and mounts are terrific and the whole kit is well thought-out and it makes GREAT COFFEE! I've done several roasts using your suggested profile for 1lb batches and I'm getting the hang of it! I will graduate to larger batches when I decide what kind of beans I want to order in quantity. The only bad thin.g about this setup is that I want to roast all the time and you need lots of beans in your inventory to have all that fun!
Thanks for your great products, and even more for your superb customer service! Keep up the good work
Got the drum up and running on the weekend here.
Eased into it with a 1.5kg (3.3 lbs) roast of Peru Ceja de Selva followed by 1.8kg (4lbs) of Bolivian Green Mountain.
Very happy with the results of the first 2.
A very short pictorial review of the first roast can be seen in:
Your drum is awesome! I just roasted my first batch of beans on my new
RK drum and they came out great. I feel like a kid at Christmas! Oh
yeah, it is Christmas and this is my present to myself! I roasted 1 1/4
pound on my first try and chose a bean that I do not really care for so
that it did not matter what happened. My grill did a great job of
getting to temp fast and I was able to maintain temps even in the 45
degree weather with a little breeze blowing. I hit first crack at 9:11,
cranked back the heat some and
it lasted till about 11:00 minutes. I
normally stop my roasts at a C+ and rarely ever reach 2nd crack but I
wanted to gauge things so I kept on going. At 13:40 I hit 2nd crack and
at a 14:00 I shut it down and pulled the drum. I don't have a cooling
system yet so I had a little difficulty but I will get that squared
away in a day or two. I got a quick lesson in how much heat is
generated in even a pound of beans. It took me a few seconds on a small
fan to get second crack to stop. I can't wait to try again.
As to my bowed rod issues, things seemed to level out some when I
heated it all up for the first time and even more on this first roast.
I think some of my "thump" may have come from the fact that I can't
seem to get the coupler that mates to the motor to secure to the end of
the rod squarely. It always wants to have a slight tilt, just enough to
make things a little uneven. Nonetheless things went great, even with
my 80 year-old mother watching and talking to me the whole time! The
beans came out at a very nice FC+ or so and were probably the most
evenly roasted beans I have seen in a long time. Thanks again. I will
send some pics of my setup and success later. I've got to go now; I am
supposed to be roasting a turkey for dinner tonight, not coffee beans!