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.
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
Quickly put the drum in the grill and get it back up to 480 asap (within 1 to 2 minutes)
1st crack happens around 11-12 minutes
2nd crack is right around 15-16 minutes
This makes a really nice City+ roast and since I've gotten the timing down I've put about 10 pounds through it in the first few days. Each batch has come out the perfectly the same.
Thank you again for making such a great product and if I keep roasting like this I'll be back with you shortly for your bigger motor!
P.S. Thank you also for the extra collars...I've got them in a safe place for if/when I need them!
P.P.S. One design enhancement you might consider - The retaining pin that holds the drum closed has a small washer attached to a chain. If you could solder that washer in place (or just attach the pin directly to the chain) it would stay out of the way. I've been using needle nose pliers as you suggested which helps, but that washer does get in the way and can hamper the pin removal.
I just wanted to take a moment and explain to you my experiences with the RK Drum. I am currently using a Fiesta 36,000BTU setup. I also have Ron's Gear motor setup as well. I must tell you that the combined setup does extremely well. I have now probably roasted two 70 Kilo sacks of coffee through the RK Drum and I always get consistent reliable results. The coffee always cups very nicely and my customers are pleased. I am actually starting out as a roaster and found the entry level costs on roasters to be quite prohibitive. I would recommend this solution to anyone. Due to our increasing volume, I am thinking about building another setup. The only drawbacks I can think of is that it is slightly cumbersome removing the pin from the drum door when it's hot and you're trying to cool the roast in a hurry. However; it only takes a couple of roasts to get the hang of it and you can usually pull the roast, get the pin out and get it into the cooling tray within about 10 seconds. As to construction, the drum is really a very fine piece of work. Not a single complaint on its reliability or sturdiness or design. It really should last a lifetime. Highly recommended!
Old Spanish Main Coffee Company
Flowery Branch, GA
My search for "larger quantity, more control" has ended. The smallish popper batches were getting bothersome. I tried HG/DB, but the gun I had did not move enough air and my roasts were flat. But, the quantity was nice.
Given the investment in a better gun, this would be a great method. But I
went for the RK drum. It arrived today. I quickly cleaned, prepped and rushed to the gas grill
to "burn" some UGH! My old Charbroil 3 RPM motor is pretty clunky, but I couldn't wait. I did order Ron's motor, but it is not ready to ship. I roasted 4 test batches of 150 gr. each; Ethiopian Harrar FC+, Java Estate Prince FC+, Guatemala Huehuetanango FC+ and SM Donkey V. I wanted the
Harrar at FC, but just wasn't quick enough getting the drum off and emptied!
I am very happy with the roast control. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hear the cracks. Not a problem!! Now to let the coffee rest & taste!! My stash has been diminished by the simple capacity of the drum!! The drum is a work of industrial art! It is truly a pleasure to use!
Hard to believe I've been using my RK drum since 2004 and it is still as great as day one. In looking for information for a friend and having been away from the site for several years I was amazed to see the progress made. I saw the new drum latch and had to have it. It arrived last week but only got around to installing it today. I had to roast some almonds for some Custom Crafted chocolate I make.