Over the past few months, I've been building my own drum roaster. So far the results have been getting better and better. It is able to roast 2# in about an hour depending on the roast level, a light roast is more along the lines of 40 minutes and a dark roast may be up to an hour and 15 minutes. However, even those times are getting better with each test.
Some challenges I've faced are:
Loss of heat and poor recovery
Slow drum rotation
Slow preheating, loss of heat and poor recovery: Solved with lining the chamber with aluminum foil. It went from taking an ho ur to preheat to taking 10 minutes. Therefore, heat recovery became much quicker. Specifically, the foil is lined with the shiny side facing the inside of the chamber, which reflects the radiant heat going out.
Slow drum rotation: I've been using the rotisserie motor that came with the electric grill, which only does 3RPM. The average drum roaster does anywhere from 60-80RPM, so definitely not fast enough.
Solution: I found a variable speed rotisserie motor that goes up to 55RPM, which is certainly better than 3! I'm still working on rigging to make sure the motor stays put, the torque pulling it off the spit.
Finally, Chaff removal: Originally, I've just been tossing the beans around in a colander and blowing the chaff off. This is generally done outside, but I can't count on doing that in bad weather, which means I need to be able to do it inside. I also shouldn't be directly blowing on the beans if I'm going to be selling them to other people.
Solution: I bought an 18" heavy-duty plastic funnel made for filling oil barrels. I place the colander in the funnel, the beans in the colander, hook a shop vac to the spout, then stir the beans around. Not only does it remove the chaff from the beans, it pulls the chaff out of the air into the funnel. The first test was the least messy chaff removal I've ever had!
No Roaster's Choice beans for sale at the moment, I've been getting ready for some exciting new projects. I'm still taking custom orders though, place your order today!