NOT ALL grills will work for your roasting application, so picking the correct grill is important.
One of the most common questions we get is "Will this or that grill work?" Determining if your grill will work is quite easy. Please click the size of roasting drum you have purchased or want to purchase below to see the requirements:
Rotisseries are included in the Everything Kit. You will need to purchase either an RK Drums Rotisserie or find one at a hardware store if you are purchasing a drum individually or purchasing the DIY kit.
An example rotisserie is shown in Figure 3.3 and is available at Lowe's, Home Depot and many other major hardware stores.
Whatever you find however, must be 5/16" in diameter (square, not hexagonal) and we recommend 40" or more in length. Some rotisseries are 3/8" diameter and these will not fit through the drum bore.
Step 1. Unbox and prepare your grill for your RK Roasting Setup.
Step 2. It helps to have good stable ground for setup, complete the grill setup in the way that you would prefer it. Remove all grates that you would normally grill meat on. The only thing we want inside is the burners and burner diffusers.
This will attempt to be a step-by-step setup guide for building your own roaster (This may not be the exact methods you will follow as your grill may be different.) It is a collection of documents and images that give close-up or additional detailed information that may make the assembly of your RK Roaster easier. Since every setup is unique, a little ingenuity and forethought is necessary to completing your setup.
Step 3. Get all of your supplies together so you will be able to build quickly and efficiently. This should be most of what you will need.
Step 4. First we really need to check and make sure that your drum is going to have enough clearance above the diffusers and below the lid, if the drum scrapes against your grill when turning, you are going to have to make some significant modifications to the grill to make it work, and you're probably better off returning your grill and selecting another model. We'll illustrate this better in the next picture. For now, insert your rod through the drum and just lay it in position on the grill. Close the lid and turn the spit rod by hand and make sure the drum doesn't rub anything (lid or diffusers) (Figure 8)
Also, when you have 4-5 pounds of green coffee in the drum, and the metal rod becomes more flexible due to the heat, the drum could sag nearly an 3/4 an inch and scrape the diffusers. So be aware that if you have 3/4" or less clearance now, when you load it down and heat it up, it probably is going to rub. This will be illustrated better in the next picture. (Figure9)
NOTE: The following steps, Figures 11, 12 and 13 are no longer required with the Everything Kits as of March 2013. We supply a Heavy Duty Rotisserie rod with locking collars. If you have the RK Rotisserie Basic, or RK Rotisserie Deluxe, or have purchased an Everything Kit, please skip forward to Figure 14. You may also use this section if you intend to use a store bought rotisserie. Note these steps only show you how to utilize the useless meat splined collars for your roaster. The collars are used to lock the drum along the rotisserie rod so that it cannot right and left along the rod. You may alternatively provide your own collars.
Step 5. These are the standard rotisserie splined collars (Figure 11) that come in the rotisserie kit. We really have no interest in the splines, only the locking collars. So we need to remove these splines now.
Using a hacksaw, (Figure 12) bolt cutters, a Dremel, or whatever method you choose, remove these splines. I chose to stabilize them with some vise grips and take a hacksaw to it. Just a few swipes of the saw and it leaves a groove in the metal. A couple of bends back and forth and the spline snaps off. (You don't have to cut all the way through).
This is what you should be left with after removing the splines. We will use these collars to secure the drum laterally on the spit rod. (Figure 13) While you do not have to use these collars, and can resort to other methods, they come in the rotisserie kit, why not use them?
Step 6. Now it's time to mount our bearing bracket(Figure 14.1). If you are lucky to have purchased a grill with pre-drilled rotisserie holes (Figure 14), then you can save a little work here. This is the bearing end of the rotisserie rod. You will want this bearing bracket, the bearing and the handle of the rotisserie rod on your FAVORED hand.
Please note that your wooden/plastic handle will also go on this end, therefore you will want to be careful to install this bracket on the side of the grill where your most adept hand is located. For example, if you are right-handed, most people will prefer this on the right side of the grill.
The reason for this, is that when you pull the beans and dump them, you are holding 14-33 pounds (depending on the drum and the amount of coffee) of extremely hot metal and beans that will need to be controllably dumped onto the cooling tray without accidentally burning yourself. For this reason you will want as much control as possible when handling the drum and rod to prevent burns. Therefore put your handle on the side of your strongest most coordinated hand.
This picture (Figure 15) shows the bearing bracket on the left hand side of the grill (Generally for left-handed people).
This picture (Figure 16) shows the bearing bracket on the right hand side of the grill (Generally for right-handed people).
This picture (Figure 17) shows the bearing bracket mounted correctly showing a small amount of space (1/4"-1/2" recommended). Position the bearing bracket on the side of the grill, lift the bracket up until the rod sits clear of the grill 1/4" or 1/2" and then use a pencil while holding the bracket to mark the holes where you will drill. (Also note that when you put in the bearing you will get another 1/16th inch clearance additionally). After you mark the holes with the correct height, drill the holes. (I recommend center-punching the spot, use a small drill bit first to make a pilot hole, then the drill with the size bit of your bolt that came with the bracket).
The next picture (Figure 18) shows you the amount of clearance between the grill and the rod as viewed from the inside.
Step 7. Center your drum visually in the grill. Now insert one (now splineless) locking collar onto the bearing bracket side (Figure 19) and slide against your drum and lock down with your thumbs.(Figure 21)
Step 8. Insert the second (now splineless) locking collar onto the opposing side of the rod (Figure 20) and slide against your drum and lock down with your thumbs. (Figure 21)
Step 9. Now slide (Figure 22) your bearing onto the bracket side of the rod and insert into the bracket(Figure 23) , then tighten with a screwdriver for now (We may readjust this later).
Step 10. Insert the 7/16" Lovejoy coupler (Figure 24) onto the pointed end of the spitrod and tighten with an Allen wrench. Make sure this is secure.
There are two approaches to motor mounting. With the two generic grill types, you either have some sort of tray mounted on support tubes (with this type we will mount to the grill tubes using the muffler clamps. Step 11-B NOTE: This method of grill manufacturing with the support tubes hasn't been seen readily since 2005) or we will have a non-removable platform (mount directly to the tray . Step 11-A More Common Post 2005). Please skip to the section that is relevant to your grill.
Here we need to make sure the mount plate is equidistant from the tray edge and then make sure that the rotisserie rod is perpendicular to the mount plate. This ensures a square fit of the coupler to the motor. You want to make sure to use about 5" minimum here, but not so far away that your handle gets too close to the heat. Every grill is different and every setup is different, so use this as a rule of thumb and just think it through before you commit. Basically you want the rod to be fairly balanced with the drum on it without too much weight on one side or the other.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are scenarios due to wider grills, where there isn't much rod to work with. For example, the standard rotisserrie rod is 40". If the grill were 35" you would only have 2.5" of rod to work with on each side of the grill box. In this case, the motor and coupler could come very close to the grill's side, and could be impacted directly by the heat emerging from the rotisserie slot during roasting. This has been known on occasion to melt the motor coupler and\or motor, which will stop your roast in its tracks. Always strive to move the motor 4 or 5 inches away from the grill to keep the coupler away from the heat, even if that means pushing the rotisserie handle closer to the grill.
You also want to make sure the rod sits visually between the narrower holes. Later we will want some free-play here to move the motor mount plate left and right. (Figure 25.1)
I'll measure out from the edge of the tray about 5.5" (The edge where the grill and side tray meet). This seems right for my setup. (Figure 25)
If your grill tray or grill itself is not square, you may not be able to use the same measurement on either side of the plate. More importantly, make sure the mount plate is perpendicular to the rod. In my case, the grill is square so I can use the same measurement on both sides.
I'll measure the other side too (Figure 26) and then lastly make sure that the plate is PERPENDICULAR to the rod.
Use a pencil and mark the four 5/16 bolt holes. (Figure 27) Note that the holes that are closest together face the grill.
NOTE: For a quick timesaver skip over to Step 13 (here) to mark and drill the holes for the switchbox. My preference is to wait till later.
Here are my four marks for my bolts. (Figure 28)
Here I use a center punch (Figure 29) to dent (mark) the location I will drill. This helps keep the drill bit centered on my hole instead of walking around all over the place. I recommend always for a cleaner job, use a small drill bit first to make a pilot hole, then follow up with the larger drill bit to make the size of hole you need.
Drill out the bolt holes. (Figure 30)
Here we are with the holes complete. (Figure 31)
Line up your mount plate (Figure 32) and then push your 5/16" bolts and washers through from the bottom (Figure 33 & Figure 35) and lightly secure with the hex nuts if necessary. We will still make some adjustments, so just finger tighten it up to keep everything in place. I don't even use a wrench at this point. Next, skip on down to motor mounting. (The next section is for the tubular mount folks.)
The tubular mount is arguably easier than mounting to the side platform.
Remove your side tray if you have a grill with the tubular bars and mount as shown by inserting the muffler clamps through the slots in the mount plate and secure with the clamp.
Bolt it down to the side tray bars with two 1-1/2" muffler clamps and four 5/16" X 2 1/2" long bolts. You can use the washers and nuts supplied with the hardware kit. The muffler U-bolts are readily available at Advance, Autozone and other auto parts stores. You may find them as well in hardware stores.
Keep them loose for the time being as we line everything up. I think the pictures will provide all the needed explanation.
The square style tubular mounts. (Figure 36)
The mounting hardware from the top. (Figure 37)
The mounting on the round tubes from the bottom. (Figure 38)
The following section, referencing the OEM square rotisserie motor, is generally no longer applicable after 2008. To our knowledge, all/most OEM rotisserie motors turn now at 1.2RPM. This will not produce acceptable roasts, and will result uneven and poorly roasted coffee. A minimum of 6RPM is required for acceptable roasts, with optimum roasts between 25 and 60 RPM, with a preference towards 40-60RPM. If you're planning a new roaster, be sure to choose a motor with 40-60RPM for optimal results.
Information is maintained below for purposes of those who have or find the older 6RPM OEM motor.
Step 12-A (Rotisserie Motor Mounting).
You may roast with the 6RPM rotisserie motor, but consider this your budget motor and consider upgrading to the commercial motor supplied here. This section will cover rotisserie motor mounting and mounting of the 52RPM (or greater) motors.
The rotisserie motor should only be used for the occasional small roast. Works best around 1-2 pound loads. You should really upgrade to the higher RPM motors sold here to get your best roasts. It will provide for better mixing, but you CAN roast with this.
If you plan on only using the rotisserie motor, measure and drill out the holes for the rotisserie bracket(Figure 39) . You will want to make sure if your grill does not come with pre-drilled rotisserie holes, that you get the correct height of the motor bracket as compared to the bearing bracket back in Step 6. You don't want the rod to rub on the grill or anything else and you want the rod to be as close to level as possible to prevent your beans from piling up in one end of the drum or the other as the drum turns. The motor just slides onto the bracket. Not much else to it.
Step 12-B. (Standard RK Motor Mounting)
We will now need the motor mount plate. If you find it easier to work with you may go ahead and finger-mount it to the base plate, this might help to get the screws started if you're short on hands. I will mount it temporarily to the base plate, but then remove it again to finish up. Go ahead and tighten the baseplate (Figure 40) down with a wrench as the weight of the motor is significant.
Mount the motor (Shaft down) in the center slot of the motor mount. (Figure 41)
Lightly-tighten the four screws that hold the motor in place. Don't crank it down yet as we will need to line it up with the rotisserie coupler in a few minutes. (Figure 42 & Figure 43)
Insert the opposing 3/8" coupler onto the shaft. Careful to align the Allen screw with the flat face of the motor shaft. (Figure 44) With an Allen wrench, tighten it down. (Figure 45)
Insert the Buna-N bushing into the motor and lets align the rod to the motor next. NOTE: You can put a little rubber cement or silicone between the bushing and the motor coupler to keep it stuck there. Makes life easier when trying to pull a hot drum out. Don't expect it to stay there forever, with the heat and turning force, but it should last you 20 roasts or so. (Figure 46)
Note that the couplers and rods are not straight here. Next we must align it. (Figure 47)
Loosen your motor mount plate nuts and the motor mounting screws and:
1. Align the motor mount plate laterally. (Figure 48)
2. Align motor vertically so that the motor shaft and the rod are straight. (Figure 48)
3. Check that the rod sits nicely in the rotisserie cutout of the grill. (Figure 49)
4. Check the space between the cutout and the rod is the same as the space between the rod and cutout on the bearing plate side. (Figure 49 & Figure 18 (Click here))
Check that the coupler and rod/shaft is straight and tighten all bolts/screw or readjust if necessary. Don't obsess with straightness here, but make sure it's relatively close otherwise your bushing will wear out sooner among other problems. (Figure 50)
Insert your fan (if included), it's a little tough, don't be afraid, push it on. Careful with the blades (Figure 51 & 52)
Make sure that the inside edge of the bearing is tight on the bracket, check that the motor coupler and rotisserie coupler, base plate and motor mount is all tight. Everything should be fairly rigid now. Tighten the bearing on the rod with a screwdriver. (Figure 53 & 54)
On the bracket end, lets go ahead now and install the wooden/plastic handle
(Figure 55 & 56) as far away as possible from the grill. You can even put another locking collar at the far end (wooden handle only) to make sure the wooden handle stays put.
|We prefer this handle farther away from the grill as you will likely be handling this with your bare hand and we want to minimize its heat absorption. It can get pretty warm after a few consecutive roasts.|
Now would be a great time for one final check. Make sure everything is lined up and centered, then tighten your bolts on the motor mount, or adjust as necessary, tighten all your collars and bearing and handle. Everything should sit comfortably tight, centered and without much free movement.
Put a level on your drum and make sure it sits level so that you get an even roast. You don't want beans piling up on one end.
If it is un-level, you may need to re-adjust your bracket vertically, or laterally. Sorry, I'll go ahead and say this. Make sure you aren't sitting on a hill :) (Figure 57)
OK, so that's that, lets move on to the wiring. Here is what we should have at this point. (Figure 58)
The "Ove Glove" is a kevlar/nomex glove that permits handling of the 400-600 degree drum. This is absolutely necessary and you should not skimp on this purchase as these hot parts will burn you instantly and severely if not careful. Also available at Home Depot.
If you should have trouble finding one the Ove Glove can be ordered and shipped online. You of course don't have to use these brands but it is what I have found to work best. Try these links while they last!
H. ELECTRICAL & SWITCH WIRING
Step 13. Switch Mounting and Wiring.
While it is possible to do this part also back where we were mounting the base plate, I like to make sure that things are lined up before I make additional holes. If you have short screws you don't need to do this at all. If you are using the tubular mount, you can skip this part also. Use a pencil and mark the locations of the switchbox holes. (Figure 59).
Remove your mount plate, center punch, and drill your holes for the switchbox, and reassemble. Sorry for this extra disassembly/reassembly. I tend to work in stages to prevent mistakes. (Figure 60 & 61).
Screw down the switchbox with screws (Figure 62 & 63)
Knock out the hole closest to the motor, its a bit tough, beat on it with a screwdriver. Use pliers or your fingers to wiggle out the insert. (Figure 64)
MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING
PLUGGED INTO THE ELECTRICAL OUTLET AT THIS STAGE.
UNPLUG IT NOW!!!!
Strip both ends of two pieces of approx 6" wire, Set them aside for now.
Strip the motor wires so that you have a good 1/2" of wire or so. (Figure 66)
Insert a wire connector onto one end of each of your 6" wires. (Figure 67)
Crimp it down. (Figure 68)
Insert the end of the motor wire into the other side of the wire connector and crimp down. (Figure 69 & 70)
So all we've really done here is make the motor wires longer. (Figure 71)
Get your 3 pronged power cord and both of the motor wires (now extended) and insert them through the threaded bracket that will attach to the switchbox. (Figure 72)
Insert the threaded bracket into the switchbox. (Figure 73)
Insert the threaded collar onto the bracket on the inside of the switchbox to hold the bracket in the switchbox. (Figure 74)
This is what the switchbox and brackets should look like now. (Figure 75)
The top bracket goes on the outside and screws down into the threaded bracket to hold the wires tight. (Figure 76)
Here's what it should look like now. (Figure 77)
Get your switch ready, it should have double connectors on the grill side and a single ground connector on the outside. (Figure 78)
Connect one 6" wire to one connector. (Figure 79)
screw it down tight, pinning the wire under the screw. (Figure 80)
Take the black wire from the power cord and connect to the other connector . (Figure 81)
Screw down tight. (Figure 82)
Attach the ground wire (the green one) from the power plug to the single terminal on the other side of the switch and screw down tight. (Figure 83 & 84)
Connect the remaining 6" wire from the motor, and the white wire from the power cord together with another wire connector or the screw connector type connectors. I will use a blue wire connector. (Figure 85)
Crimp both ends. (Figures 86, 87, 88, 89)
Screw it down to the switchbox. (Figure 90)
That's what it should look like before we cover it up. (Figure 91)
Plug it in and throw the switch, the motor should spin. If you blow a breaker or if something doesn't work, you need to go back and inspect your wiring. (Figure 92)
Hooray! It runs!, motor turns, drum turns. (Figure 93)
Lets button her up. Screw down the plate onto the switch (UNPLUG IT FIRST). (Figure 94)
OK! So that's it, you can technically roast now! If you're grill does not have a built in thermometer or you purchased a thermometer, move on to section I. Thermometer installation. After this section is the final walkthrough, sheet metal customization and enhancements, and first firing.
Provided for ease and convenience, here is the illustrated electrical wiring guide.
I. THERMOMETER INSTALLATION
Finally we want to install our thermometer. We need the probe as close to the center of the chamber as possible. Ideally we'd love to have this in the center of the bean mass, but currently this is not convenient, so we'll get it as close as possible. You can see my approximate location of the probe which should let it sit fairly close to the drum while in operation.
Drill an appropriate hole to fit, you may need to use a file to fine tune it. Be careful to make sure it fits snug. (Figure 95)
This is the picture of the probe on the inside of the hood with the hood open. It lies a couple of inches from the hood lip.(Figure 96)
And there ya have it.(Figure 97)
The following represents some possible modifications that you may wish to do to your grill. The end result is a grill that is more efficient in most cases and can over time substantially lower your cost per pound on coffee, and extend the life of your components. These mods are entirely optional but I don't regret for one second the decision.
For example, after completing my first 6Lb assembly, I noticed that I had to run the burners at 100% to maintain 550 degrees. With a 4 pound roast you will want to run about 545 F at least through first crack and then perhaps back off just a bit.
Imagine the savings I experienced after modifying the rear vent and capping off the dome. As a result, I was able to maintain temperature at only 40% gas. That translates to 60% more roasts on each tank. That is HUGE.
Similarly, on this model used for illustrations, 100% gas netted 550 F, and after this rear vent mod, We achieved 600F at 33% gas. So the efficiency increase is, well, astronomical.
Granted, everyone has a different way of doing things, someone out there will tell you that not venting the heat/smoke/moisture as quickly will change your roast. Perhaps that's why coffee is such an art, there are a million ways to do anything. Do what works best for you.
For me, however, my costs have dropped tremendously and not one complaint from one customer.
So these are the mods we have done, others will have other mods. Share yours in the forum! Try these if you want to! With that aside, lets get on to
WARNING: Sheet Metal will cut you open in a flat second. Use gloves and be aware that it will get you. I'm experienced in Aircraft repair and construction with sheet metal and aluminum, and I've cut myself many times. I told myself, "Be careful, you could get cut", and guess what? Yep, I got cut, during the assembly of this fine machine. Be careful, don't work aggressively with this stuff, you push or shove and slip, you'll be getting stitches. Be firm, gentle, careful, plan your actions and movements and don't swing or hammer wildly at this stuff - you slip and it gets you.
Step 14. Rear Vent Blocking.
During our roast this is where the vast majority of your heat will escape. If we seal this off, then a great deal of our heat will remain trapped in the grill case and we can effectively lower our burners substantially. This and the dome capping represent the greatest efficiency increases you can make. (Figure 98).
This is a piece of Zinc Plated Aluminum picked up at Home Depot, I think it was $7 as of early 2009. This is enough sheet metal for the rear vent and the motor shield, but not for the dome cap. Get an extra piece if you need to cap the dome. We'll get to that later. (Figure 99).
Here are the details for those who want to know exactly what I'm using. (Figure 100).
I'll go ahead and measure my rear vent. (Figure 101).
A bit hard to see in this picture but it looks like 26.5 inches. (Figure 102).
As a rough rule of thumb, I like to block off 80% or 90% of my rear vent. In this example, I'll use 80%. 80% of 26.5 is 21.2 inches. I'll just round off to 21 inches (close enough). (Figure 103).
This part gets a little interesting, you need to think about how your grill hood or base works. This one is not a one size fits all mod. For example, on one grill, the hood hinged up nicely, so I was able to attach the sheet metal to the hood and when you closed the lid, the sheet metal presses itself against the base and seals off 80% of the vent. In this grill design the hood works differently. I will attach the sheet metal to the base of the grill and when the lid is closed, the lid will press up against the sheet metal sealing it off. You will have to study your grill and see how best to do it.
So the plan here is, we need approx. 4 inches of sheet metal, we will drill 4 holes in the base to screw the metal to the outside, bend a flange in the top rearward so that when the grill closes the lid pushes up against the sheet metal blocking our vent. We'll take a better look at that as we move forward.
For this example, you see my measurement of 4" will completely close off this vent (vertically). So we need a 21" X 4" piece of sheet metal (Figure 104).
Wow, do I need to find my square.....ok, so 21" and we'll use this piece of metal as a straight edge. (Figure 105).
Mark your line at 21" (Figure 106).
There's my line at 21". (Figure 107).
Measure down 4" square it up and draw another line. (Figure 108 & 109).
Wish I had some sheet metal cutters. Oh well, tin snips it is. See we can do all of this at home, without professional equipment. (Figure 110)
Here's my 4 X 21 sheet and the 4 screws/nuts I'm going to use to mount it to the grill. (Figure 111)
I'm going to use my metal sheet and a piece of wood to bend the metal cleanly to create my flange that will press up against the hood when closed. (Figure 112)
Here we are after the bend. (Figure 113)
Here we'll mark 4 equidistant points for our screw holes. (Figure 115)
Hey! Who stole my center punch??? A big nail will have to do. We'll mark four points for our drill bit . (Figure 116)
And to the drill. (Figure 117)
Here is my 4 holes, one of those is where I accidentally center punched. (Figure 118)
Visually, center the shield on the back of the grill, I used finer widths at the sides. You see we will now have a relatively small area for heat escape. Use a pencil to mark the spots for the drill holes. (Figure 119)
Center punch your marked circles. (Figure 120)
Here, I'm going to just make a mark with my drill and verify that everything lines up (Figure 118)
After all 4 holes are started inthe grill, I hold my sheet metal up to the grill and verify that I can indeed see my mark through each of the 4 holes. (Figure 119)
Here are my 4 holes, ready for assembly. (Figure 120)
Screws in the back.... (Figure 121)
Nuts on the front... (almost sounds like a joke, doesn't it) (Figure 122)
Tighten everything down, here is what it looks like. You can clean up some of these bends with vise grips on the bend, and a file if you choose. (Figure 123)
Here's a view from the inside with the door closed. (Figure 124)
And one more, see how it pretty well seals off the back? It will do a little better when fully closed, how do you think I took the picture? (Figure 125)
( Also a safety tip. The vents in the grill are designed to keep the grill at a safe operating temperature, thus, if you do choose to restrict the vent, then operating the grill for extended periods of time at highest heat, could overtemp the entire rig. Please do not forget that you have left your burners on high and go and do something else. We don't want any fires)
**END OF SECTION**
We'll start the motor shield by taking the remaining section of sheet metal we have left from the original single piece. Let's make sure that it will be wide enough to shield the motor assembly from any escaping heat. You see the metal is at least as wide as the motor assembly. That should do just fine. While I have it here, I'm going to mark to the left and right side of the rotisserie, about 1/2" on both sides. Making a slot so to speak, 1 inch wide, 3" or 4" high, doesn't really matter much at this point. (Figure 126)
Lets do a rough cutout, that top section is a bit tough, no problem, we'll file it later. (Figure 127)
Let's hold it up on the grill, make sure we're in the ballpark. (Figure 128)
Go ahead and just cut the corners off, this will allow opening and closing without interference. (Figure 129)
And we'll trim off the top, we'll be a little flexible, and go longer than necessary, we can always cut off, but we can't put it back together! (Figure 130)
And lets just check again, now look at the front of the grill, where we have that big obnoxious corner just waiting to cut someone. (Figure 131)
Let's use the tin snips and rough that out, just like scissors, round it off. (Figure 132)
Looking a little nicer. Went ahead and trimmed up the other corners too, just to avoid any accidental injuries. (Figure 133)
Using my pencil I am going to find 4 spots, preferably in each corner. Look behind the sheet metal and look for 4 spots that, are in relatively flat spots on the grill hood. Try to keep the marks in the corners to offer the most support and keep the shield from accidentally getting bent. We are getting ready to drill holes where the marks are, and insert bolts and nuts. NOTE: Also remember the shield should stay with the hood, so keep the holes/marks on the hood and not the grill base. (Figure 134)
Using my center-nail (I mean center punch), lets dent the metal under each mark, so the drill bit doesn't walk around. (Figure 135)
There is where I'll drill. (Figure 136)
And the drill again. (Figure 137)
Looking better!. (Figure 138)
OK, hold it up, now it's important here we get this right, hold it perfectly in position, exactly where you want it to be. Make sure your rod, clears your shield. Take your pencil and mark the position on the grill, in the holes. This is where we will drill on the grill. (Figure 139)
Center Punch your 4 marks. (Figure 140)
And Drill..... (Figure 141)
Here's my four bolt holes, now were ready to clean up the shield. (Figure 142)
Just to be sure make sure our holes lines up correctly. NOTE: At this point before we put it on, use a metal file and file any sharp points or edges, get it cleaned up so you can't get cut on it and we're ready to mount it. If you don't have a metal file, I've actually used the concrete driveway in times past to file it down if you find yourself without one :).(Figure 143)
Here's the hardware I will use. 4 two inch bolts or so, and 12 nuts, three per bolt. You'll see why that many are necessary. (Figure 144)
Insert the bolts into each hole, (the threads towards the grill) run a nut all the way to the metal and tighten, we want this part solid. (Figure 145)
Here's all 4 bolts with 1 nut each. (Figure 146)
Now, lets run another nut onto the end of each bolt, say about 3/8" onto the bolt (like shown). (Figure 147)
Here's where we should be now. (Figure 148)
Mount your shield up on the grill. See if your bolts line up. The beauty with the threaded bolts are that you can adjust the height of each bolt based on the contour of the grill. Adjust the nuts until the shield sits nice and even. (Figure 149)
Here's the inside view, some bolts will be longer than others, this is OK. (Figure 150)
Tighten the shield down to the grill. (Figure 151)
There you have it, opened........ (Figure 152)
And closed.......make sure there is no interference. (Figure 153)
Look closely, if there is a problem this is where it will be. (Figure 154)
Another view. (Figure 155)
Finished...... (Figure 156)
Finished...... (Figure 157)
And.....finished...... (Figure 158)
This triple burner beauty is done, it has an included thermometer and no need for a dome cap, so we won't do anymore to this roaster. (This roaster was built for Craig Jensen of Hammond, LA-Thanks Craig) (Figure 159)
This grill has a high dome and there is a cavernous space above the drum. All your heat concentrates here. You are basically paying to heat an area that your drum and coffee see no benefit from. Capping this area off will increase efficiency, decrease heat up times and lower gas consumption. It focuses heat on the coffee and not just heating empty space. (Figure 160)
Here I basically cut this sheet metal to size, crammed it up in there and we are going to simply use a screw and a nut to hold it in place. (Figure 161)
Picture is worth 1000 words.... (Figure 162)
And the outside. That's it, pretty simple, this whole mod took less than 15 minutes to complete. (Figure 163)
Here is the normal thermometer installation. Notice that the probe is completely exposed. On some grills, with a horizontal diffuser (Figure 165),the heat column from the burner rises straight up the internal front face of the grill and hits the temperature probe head on. This causes wild, uncontrollable fluctuations in temperature. If your probe is already shielded by your diffuser, then you need not worry about this section. This is just for grills where the heat rises up and hits the temp probe head on. (Figure 164)
You see when you push up the gas, a massive quantity of heat immediately rises and strikes the probe within seconds, and causes wild needle/temperature swings, it makes it hard to control your roast. We will make a quick shield to shield the probe from the heat blast, giving us a better idea of actual internal temperature. (Figure 165)
This is simply a piece of sheet metal, with tabs cut in the top, the tabs folded over and three screws run through the front of the grill. Now the heat column is directed around the probe and the probe now measures internal temp, and fluctuations are mitigated significantly. Note the sheet metal is taller then the probe, completely shielding it from the heat blast. (Figure 166)
Here is the view with the lid open. (Figure 167)
That concludes the sheet metal mods.
Wash your drum in hot water and detergent before using. A 5 gallon bucket works great, wash the outside, but not the inside, not much room and you could cut yourself, just slosh it up and down in the bucket. You may also use dish detergent and rinse it off in the tub. After washing you will need to do a burn in.
Burn in is the process of burning out anything unsavory (machine oils) etc that could be in the drum from manufacture. So, burn in is putting the whole thing together the first time, empty, and run it at high temperature. (600F) or thereabouts for about 30-45 minutes. This will temper the metal, burn any contaminants out, and begin to "season" the drum for coffee. The metal will start turning a golden bronze color (this is what we want). After it cools down, go back through the whole roaster and tighten everything one last time, since the heat and warping will loosen things up. Now you're ready to roast.
The drum will go through some changes for about 5 heat cycles. The door may get a bit tight, or loose. The drum should stabilize after 5 heat cycles and will stay put after that. It’s called tempering, and stress relieving. The drum should turn a nice bronze color; this is normal, and actually quite nice.
The roasts will improve as the drum and your grill normalize. The more you roast the better it will get. Practice, Practice, Practice.
1. The drum is all stainless steel, not a high polished stainless, but durable.
2. The drum will turn a bronze color when heated. This is normal, so don’t be
3. All grills are different and you will have to adjust the profile to suit your grill, but the profiles provided are a good starting point.
4. Placing the drum as low as possible in the grill is preferred.
5. Thermometer placement in the grill will affect the profile temps. Locate your thermometer in the center of lid and dead center of the drums length and diameter if possible. The profile was developed in our grill, yours may be different, and so you will have to adjust the profile temps to suit your grill.
6. If your thermometer is near the top and off to the side, like a Weber grill. You will have to go higher then the profile because the top of the grill is cooler then at the bottom, all heat goes to the top, and cools as it raises.
7. It is not hard to relocate or install a new thermometer near center and pointed to the center of the drum. It will be nearer the bean temps. Refer to the pictures on the web page.
8. CAUTION: Wear protective equipment when handling the hot drum. Gloves
should be able to withstand 500 degrees, or more for at least 30 sec.
9. The drum will take 3 to 5 roasts to season; the coffee will improve in taste as the drum seasons.
10. If your rod becomes loose in the sq. tubing, and you begin to hear a thumping noise while roasting. You can tighten it by removing the spit rod and putting a slight bow in your spit rod. Just bow it a bit over your knee or thigh and insert back in the drum. Allow it to cool before doing this. Another option is to very slightly "V" in the square tubing to tighten the fit on the rod. You may also shim it with strips of metal or wire, just inside the square tube.
Here is our thermometer cold, on our first test firing. (Figure 168)
Light'er up. Make sure you turn on the motor thereby turning the drum. It allows for even heating, expansion and burns off the protective oils, and the residuals oils that are impossible to get out. These other residuals oils were used for cooling the stainless metal during the welding process. It gets inside the drum and you can only burn it out. You will also smell the paint fumes and other strange odors during the first firing. This will absorb into your coffee. I recommend running the roaster at 550-600F for 40 mins to 1 hour before putting coffee in it. We want to burn it ALL out. (Figure 169)
The bearing may squeak initially and from time to time. A little 3-in-one oil or motor oil will clear it up. Avoid spraying aerosol based oils (WD40 and similar) as it could flame up being close to the flames.(Figure 170)
I have made additional metal inserts that I can use to simply wedge under the sheet metal. This closes off the rear vent. Particularly useful for max efficiency, cold weather, windy weather and high-heat roasts. (Figure 171)
Lets do this first burn-in, empty and let it run at 600F for 1 hour. (Figure 172)
Right on my numbers. If you have built it efficiently, then you should be able to hold this temp at a relatively low gas setting. (Figure 173)
All three burners set between 40%-50% and holding 600. Not bad, that means 550F should land at about 1/3 gas. That's great! (Figure 174)
------(This below section is for Pre-2008 Drums and does not apply to the new assemblies with the latch.)----------------------------
Some people have mentioned that when the drum is hot (right after a roast) the door is very hard to open, and impossible to close again until cool. This is a result of thermal expansion and is incredibly hard to predict, or fix from the shop side without firing the drum. This was the case with this new drum as well. Inspect the lid and pin where the lid closes to see where you have overlap. Take a drill bit and just insert the bit into the hole in the lid and hold it at the side of the hole that is interfering. Not a lot, do it slowly little by little until the drum closes and opens semi-easily while hot. As time goes on, it will loosen up, so you don't want it to fall open either.
--------------------------------------------------------END section on Pre-2008 drums---------------------------------------
Once this is set, you are ready to roast your first batch and you can roast back to back without waiting for it to cool. For how to roast, please see the roast profiles section for assistance in this area. (Figure 175)
One last suggestion, keep your roaster garaged, and don't cook meat in it after it becomes your roaster, unless you like meaty flavored coffee!
Keep the ash and chaff vacuumed out every few roasts, and your roaster will last you absolutely many years.
Ready for your first roast? Start with our Roasting Guide.