Just to let you know that I finally got my cooling stand put together, burned in the drum and did my first roast this evening on the patio. I was concerned about being able to hear the cracks (coming from using an iRoast2 that was an issue for me). I had my wife standing by to make sure I didn't miss the sounds. I needn't have worried. The sounds of First Crack were loud enough to be heard on the other side of the back yard. I backed the temp off a bit and let her coast. The first time trying to control the temperature is kind of like trying to back up an 18-wheeler but we managed just fine. I was going to pull at the first sign of 2nd crack and I overshot a few seconds but oh, well. The cooling stand worked great and for the maiden voyage of my RK Drum, I am very pleased. The rest will come with experience.
Thank you, Ron. We're off and running. Now if I could only find someplace I could lay my hands on some more of that Brazil Fazenda Ipanema "Dulce" that Tom and Maria had!! A number of my friends just rave about that one and I have only a small amount left. I'll know better next time to lay in a good supply when I find a great bean like that one. Of course, SM has many great beans.
I just wanted to let you know that everything worked out great for the shipping.
We christened the roaster this evening, and all went well. I am looking forward to my first cup tomorrow!
Many thanks for all your coordination.
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
It's been a week since I received and put together my new 6Lb DIY combo and in short, I'm thrilled! I had a few small challenges with the installation but engineering the solutions was part of the fun.
With this 10 year old Weber grill, the square tubes were about 3/4 inch too low for the base plate-motor mount combo at the highest position so I cut a pair of 1x2 shims to sit between the base plate and the tubes and got some 3-inch bolts for the muffler clamps--just right! The rotisserie cutouts in this grill were tiny and wanting to avoid using the Charbroil mounting brackets, I used my Dremel to cut those slots in the grill deep enough to accomodate some extra bearing-bushings that I bought at a grill parts supplier. Now the rotisserie spit is strongly supported on each side of the grill and I think it makes the motor's job easier since the spit and drum aren't hanging on the coupler. By the way, the motor , motor mount and baseplate is very well made and I especially appreciate the holes being pre-threaded for the electrical boxes. I chose to mount an unswitched duplex outlet on the back position to give me a place to conveniently plug in a fan to blow on the motor when I start doing big long roast sessions. To make the grill more efficient on gas, I blocked off about 70% of the rear vent with a piece of carpet threshold that fit perfectly and already had a slight bend which makes it press against the grill base nicely when the hood is closed.
Enough tech-stuff--forgive me, 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 thing 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! The picture attached is Guatemala--Villa Herminia at a very even roast...delicious.
Thanks for your great products, and even more for your superb customer service! Keep up the good work!
This is a email I received from Adam Jahiel: http://www.adamjahiel.com/
I'd like to thank Ron for producing his roasting drum.
After quite some time of struggling with my Alpenrost, or Alpenusuallyrost, or Alpensometimesrost and sometimes not rost, I can tell you that Ron's RK DRUM drum is a GODSEND. At our house, we go through so much coffee that the Fussyrost usually sits on the counter in the kitchen, taking up space for days, because we have to roast so often. With the RK Drum, on the first try, I loaded it up with a couple pounds of Malabar Gold, popped it in my Weber Genisis Gold Grill after a preheat, sat in front of it keeping an eye on the thermometer, and shortly, crack,smoke, crack (I'm referring to the coffee roasting process here, nothing illegal), and suddenly, I had a bunch of perfectly roasted coffee. No muss, No fuss, No Alp. And this was just my first attempt!
Thanks, Ron, you now join the ranks of my other hero Les, maker of the THOR TAMPER. In this increasingly mechanised and mass-produced world, I am delighted to have your lovingly, hand-made products in my home, improving my life.
As for the ALP, maybe target practise?