Super Roaster - BM/Heat Gun

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Super Roaster - BM/Heat Gun

Postby MDixon » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:48 am

I have been roasting beans for a long time using a Popcorn Pumper and that really only roasts enough for two pots of coffee. I finally managed to get a large commercial coffee grinder (Grindmaster 875) and was looking for a way to roast enough coffee for an entire week. After scouring the web I decided to use a heat gun and was going to make a stirrer basket when I came across the Correto method link 1 and link 2 using a bread machine.

It took awhile but I finally got a bread maker for $15 off Craigslist. It had pics and all that jazz, but turned out to be very dirty and required disassembly for proper cleaning. Before doing too much I ran it to see how long the cycle was since most of the heat gun bread machine methods speak of 10-12 min. It turns out the motor cycled on and off for two minutes and then was on for 50-55 seconds of every minute for the next 5-6 min. Not quite enough to make a batch and it would be a real PITA to have to stop and restart the cycle.

Anyway, took the machine apart, cleaned and killed a few crawlies (yup, it was that nasty inside). Thought about calling the previous owner and telling them to exterminate, but figured they had to already know. After cleaning played around with the circuit board and inadvertently crossed two wires and tripped the circuit breaker. After figuring out I had fried the board I decided to take the thing apart so I would know more about them the next time I found one on the cheap.

The motor was 110VDC and I disassembled it completely. I thought about direct drive and looked at motors online and could not find a replacement. I spoke to an electrician and he said I might be able to run the motor off household current by using a bridge rectifier since the voltage was simply a swap of AC to DC. I found one at Radio Shack for $2.59. Since that sounded like an easy test I drove to RS and got one and it worked like a champ. In case the motor was only rated for intermittent duty I ran it for 15 minutes and it did not heat up at all, that may not be the case with a full load of beans, but the motor is real close to the bread baking chamber so it must be slightly immune to heat.

With the bread machine gutted I reinstalled the heat shield, but the only electronics that remain are the cord and motor wiring. I left the heating element in place since it seems to add rigidity to the baking chamber.

Of course I had to try a small test roast. I followed the instructions I found here and the pictures here and from the Corretto links I had seen a fan setup to blow the chaff away from the bread machine so I set it up that way.

I found a little over a cup of green beans which turned out to be a little more than 6 ounces by weight. This seemed like a good amount to try out the setup since it was more than the capacity of the i-Roast 2. With the digital heat gun on the highest setting I was afraid I would not hear the 'cracks' due to the BM and HG noise combined so I backed down. Turns out I should have kept it up full blast and closer to the beans since my total time went nearly 15 min for the test roast. I could hear the cracks plainly and it was a piece of cake to back off and move around for an even roast. I cooled the way I always have by putting the beans into a colander and spritzing with a spray bottle of water.

Anyway, the two photos are my results, one with the flash and the other without. I figure this is just about midway Full City roast.

Flash
Image

No flash
Image

So the bread machine was $15, the heat gun was $40 and the bridge rectifier was $2.59. So my total out of pocket was less than $60 and I can use the heat gun for other things. Not bad for a Super Roaster!

The old Toastmaster Breadmaker has become the Roastmaster Coffee Bean Agitator... :wink:
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Postby MDixon » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:24 pm

Since I can't get any love, might as well blog...

Second roast in the Roastmaster today and I made some mods recently. I put the motor on a switch and since the heating element was still in place I wired it to a dimmer to heat since it ran off 120V and 400 Watts. The dimmer is rated for 600 Watts and was $5 at the home improvement store. The wiring was around the house as was the wall switch. I did spend a buck on a wall plate to cover a two gang outlet (also lying around) and wired a 3 prong plug from the switch gang to the machine with three working wires to be able to separate the gang from the machine for easier storage.

Turns out I have no thermometer that can go to 550F and MoreCoffee was out of them when I checked the page so I got several from Sweet Marias which are yet to be delivered. Once I calibrate the temps available with the lid opened and closed using the heating element I plan to try a roast using only the element in a closed Roastmaster.

Since I was SOL for a thermometer today I preheated the Roastmaster and after heating up put in the beans and used the digital heat gun on the highest setting till just before first crack when I turned it down and ran it through the rest of the roast to ~Full City+ with some Peaberry. This time it was about 8 ounces of beans and went off perfectly. Tomorrow we'll sample the results.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:56 pm

How did I miss your first post?

Sounds like an awesome project! What's the word on total roasting capacity?
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Postby MDixon » Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:03 pm

I'm waiting on the new thermometer before I mess up a large batch of coffee, but 8 ounces roasts like a charm with the BM/HG setup using the heater for the warmup of the chamber and the HG for the actual roasting temps. Based upon the first two roasts, a pound (my next trial) shouldn't be a problem and it might be possible to do two pounds, but that would be more than I would consume in a short amount of time since the wife only helps me drink coffee on the weekend.

Once the temps are tacoed out on the dimmer an 8 ounce roast without the HG will be the next experiment. The Peaberry was/is very good! I did not cool the beans with water but put them in front of the chaff fan and they cooled/stopped roasting within a few seconds.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:12 pm

Nice! I may have to look into setting one of these up for myself.
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Postby MDixon » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:39 am

It's a no go with the top closed. I was calibrating the dimmer and once it hit about 450F internal temp on the Roastmaster the plastic on the exterior was getting very hot and the lid was very, very hot. I did spend a long time calibrating the dimmer up to that point, but I don't want to risk having a puddle of melted bread machine so my plan is to heat up the roaster to about 400F and then turn off the heat and add the beans and apply heat using the HG. On my next roast I'll see what sort of profile that will develop.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:55 pm

MDixon wrote:It's a no go with the top closed. I was calibrating the dimmer and once it hit about 450F internal temp on the Roastmaster the plastic on the exterior was getting very hot and the lid was very, very hot. I did spend a long time calibrating the dimmer up to that point, but I don't want to risk having a puddle of melted bread machine so my plan is to heat up the roaster to about 400F and then turn off the heat and add the beans and apply heat using the HG. On my next roast I'll see what sort of profile that will develop.


I think I'll let you experiment a bit more before diving into this.

:wink:
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Postby MDixon » Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:00 am

As far as a stirrer for the beans, it works like a champ and the profile could be controlled by setting up a timer and moving through the temp profile desired. But as a roaster without an external heat source I don't think a BM could take the heat...it's one thing to blow hot air into the baking pan and quite another to heat a large element which surrounds the pan. With the HG the chamber really never heats up much, with the element the entire machine gets toasty...
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:37 am

Do you think it's viable to go solely with a HG? It's definitely a cost effective way to go, as long as roast times are reasonable and results are fairly consistent.

I'll probably end up giving it a go later this summer when I have time to tinker.
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Postby MDixon » Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:49 am

Oh yeah, in fact that's how most people do it. I just wanted to tinker and had most of the parts. The roast profiles I have seen online look like:
0-230F 2min
230F-270F 2min
270F-390F 4min
390F-425F 2min
425F-445F 4min
445F-475F 3min

City+ is about 435F, Full City 446F, Full City+ 454F, Vienna 465F, and French 474F...

With most of the beans I generally roll just into Full City but have not had a thermo that could measure the temp until recently. On the next roast I'll try to profile the beans as I roast and if the ramp is occurring too fast I'll back out with the HG. I have a thermo to measure the air temp and a probe for the bean temp so it should be a good measure.

I have no idea how everything is affected by the times but there is probably a warmup temp of the BM that is optimal for hitting the Ambient to 230F roast without having to add in the HG. With my old Popcorn Pumper I didn't worry about this stuff and roasted excellent coffee IMO, but I figure since I have the ability to control the roast a bit more now I should try what others think to be optimal...
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:15 am

I'm wondering if a BM could be gutted and rebuilt around a roasting chamber to accommodate the heat. A simple roasting chamber could be made at home with a little effort, just a matter of shielding the motor et al from the heat.

Might be a fun project for the summer.

:0)
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Re: Super Roaster - BM/Heat Gun

Postby MDixon » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:53 am

I guess several years is long enough to wait on a follow up ;)

I've found we really like a Vienna roast on almost all beans, 465F. I no longer heat up the chamber and don't use the heating element on the bread machine. I get the thermometer http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/ ... ouple.html clipped into place submerged in the beans, turn on the bread machine to stir the beans, fire up the heat gun and close the lid slightly on the heat gun to hold it in place. I have a fan blowing across the opening to remove the chaff. I monitor the temp of the beans and once they hit the desired temp I turn off the heat gun and hit them with a little water to cool down into the 250F range. The I let them cool completely spread out on a cookie sheet and later transfer into the bags from MoreCoffee http://morecoffee.com/view_product/6879 ... e_Bag_1_lb till time to grind the beans.
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