January 14, 2004
I received the drum and I am impressed the way you have made it. People tease me that I over build when I make anything, but there is no substitute for strength and quality. I can see how the drum will last forever, great work.
I haven't roasted coffee in it yet, but I did the initial burn. I have a small BBQ, but the heat
quickly climbed to 500 degrees and then slowly up to the 600-degree range, way more then I had expected or need. I am looking forward to roasting. Feel free to use my comment on your web site.
Bob Wuest #44
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!
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've been meaning to write but I've been too busy roasting! The drum is working great and you were right, once it gets seasoned and "settled in" it just keeps getting better. I've also become more adept at controlling the heat and of course the movements of getting the drum in and out
quickly become more second nature as you go along. I've been turning out some excellent roasts and have been able to hit the roasts just where I want them whether it's for a dark roast or a beautiful City+ or Full City on an island coffee.
Taking the ceramic briquettes out madeall the difference in the world as far as being able to reach roast temps faster, bring my roast times down to where they should be and to better control temps during the roast. It's funny since I had thought it would be easier to do all that with the briquettes. I haven't gotten the steel plate made yet and am still using the cookie sheet. It's working fine so I may just leave it.
Anyway, I'm thrilled to death with your drum and am wondering why I
didn't do this sooner! Regards Brian
Got the new clip, and pop riveted it on. Must have taken me all of 2 minutes!
Just completed roasting 20 pounds of various beans, and I LOVE the new clip!!!!
No more fiddling around with the pin, just pop it out, flip the clip, dump the beans, and on to the next batch. As you mentioned in your review, a bit less noise, and much faster turnaround times between roasts.
Still regret not going with the 6 pound drum.