Since you’ve chosen the Do-It-Yourself path, we basically supply you with all the stuff that’s hard to find, or hard to make.

You will still need to supply other common hardware store items to complete your build however.  These items will be noted in the guide below for your reference.  Note also, there can be a large amount of variability in how a person chooses to complete their roaster, so we’ll provide some limited instructions below.

If you wish for a more no-nonsense, one-stop-shop approach, please See this Planning guide here.

### Choosing a drum\roaster

What drum\roaster size is best for me?

Choosing a drum size is a common question by many.  Click one of the items below.

For the home user and hobbyist.

We recommend a 2LB Drum Everything kit for home and hobbyist users that expect very light use and have no intentions of ever roasting for business.  See all 2LB options here.

If you consume large amounts of coffee you may want to opt for the larger 4LB Kits

It's quite common for you to begin roasting exceptional coffee, share with family and friends, and in no time people are willing to pay you for fresh coffee.  This has a curious way of turning a hobby into a business.  If you think that could end up being you, then opt for the larger 4LB drum Everything kit.  See all 4LB options here.

If you're on the fence, about going larger, go ahead and get the next size up, as we hear many folks wishing they had gone larger, but never wishing they had bought smaller.

 DRUM IDEAL BATCH SIZE MAX BATCH MAX VOL /HR 2LB Drum 2LB 2LB up to 6LB per hour 4LB Drum 4LB 5LB up to 15LB per hour 6LB Drum 6LB 7.5LB up to 22.5LB per hour 8LB Drum 8LB 10LB up to 30LB per hour 12LB Drum 12LB 15LB up to 45LB per hour

IDEAL BATCH SIZE: Guaranteed even roast

MAX BATCH SIZE: Usually achievable with extra heat available, evenness may suffer in some machines, results may vary.

If you're looking to start a business, but you're unsure of yourself, your business plan or your customer base, you might start with smaller business drum.  While we've seen a few people start a business with a 4LB drum, it quickly will result in quite a lot of roasting time.

At a minimum, we find the 6LB Everything Kit to be the most suitable for entry level business roasting.

If you are sure of yourself, your business plan or business model, and have access to a substantial customer base, we recommend starting with the 8LB Everything Kit or the 12LB Everything Kit.

Remember, these drums will roast these volumes 3x and hour.  So the 12LB Everything Kit can roast up to 45LB of coffee per hour when fully loaded, the 8LB,  30LB and so forth.  These volumes are calculated by overloading the drums by 20%

 DRUM IDEAL BATCH SIZE MAX BATCH MAX VOL /HR 2LB Drum 2LB 2LB up to 6LB per hour 4LB Drum 4LB 5LB up to 15LB per hour 6LB Drum 6LB 7.5LB up to 22.5LB per hour 8LB Drum 8LB 10LB up to 30LB per hour 12LB Drum 12LB 15LB up to 45LB per hour

IDEAL BATCH SIZE: Guaranteed even roast

MAX BATCH SIZE: Usually achievable with extra heat available, evenness may suffer in some machines, results may vary.

If you are sure of yourself, your business plan or business model, and have access to a substantial customer base, we recommend starting with the 8LB Everything Kit or the 12LB Everything Kit.

Remember, these drums will roast these volumes 3x and hour.  So the 12LB Everything Kit can roast up to 45LB of coffee per hour when fully loaded, the 8LB,  30LB and so forth.  These volumes are calculated by overloading the drums by 20%

 DRUM IDEAL BATCH SIZE MAX BATCH MAX VOL /HR 2LB Drum 2LB 2LB up to 6LB per hour 4LB Drum 4LB 5LB up to 15LB per hour 6LB Drum 6LB 7.5LB up to 22.5LB per hour 8LB Drum 8LB 10LB up to 30LB per hour 12LB Drum 12LB 15LB up to 45LB per hour

IDEAL BATCH SIZE: Guaranteed even roast

MAX BATCH SIZE: Usually achievable with extra heat available, evenness may suffer in some machines, results may vary.

### Choosing a heat source

A propane or natural gas grill is the preferred method for roasting.  Accurate heat control makes the roasting process much easier and quicker.  This is our recommendation.

Grills - Grills are the most common and easily accessible method.  Purchase one, or use one that you already have.  There are some requirements.  NOT ALL grills will work with the RK Drum, so picking the correct grill is important. See Grill Requirements

While we don't recommend grills specifically, the following brands at Home Depot, (as of 2019), work for anything up to 12lb, and can be had for $200 or less. We do not guarantee that these grills will work, please see Grill Requirements to ensure that the grill you pick out will work with your RK Drum. NEXGRILL DYNAGLO SPECIAL NOTE: If you are planning on buying a grill anyway, go ahead and buy a grill that will fit a 12LB Drum, this way, since all of our kits are cross-compatible you can just swap the drum out if you wish to upgrade later on. The easiest way is to choose one of our kits that has most or everything you need. Select a roast volume below to see the kits. • 2LB Roasters - Roasting for the family or for the professional sample roaster. ¼LB-6LB per hour volumes. • 4LB Roasters - Entry level hobbyist or business roaster. ¼LB-15LB per hour volumes. • 6LB Roasters - Mid-level hobbyist or business roaster. ¼LB-23.5LB per hour volumes. • 8LB Roasters - Large volume business roaster. ½LB-30LB per hour volumes. • 12LB Roasters - Largest volume business roaster. ½LB-45LB per hour volumes. • Need bigger? We have custom drums up to 150LB/hr. Call us. 470-798-9464 or NAME: rkdrums 5. Not sure what you need? Check out the roaster flowchart here to help you decide. What are the requirements in a grill? # Grill Requirements for RK Drums Understand that 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! You can find a video showing how to measure whether a grill will fit an RK drum, as well as specific measurements for each drum size here. While we don't recommend grills specifically, as of 2019, the following brands at Home Depot seem to work well for anything up to 12LB, and can be had or$180 or less.

NEXGRILL
DYNAGLO

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are planning on buying a grill anyway, go ahead and buy a grill that will fit a 12LB Drum, this way, since all of our kits are cross-compatible you can just swap the drum out if you wish to upgrade later on.

Just tell me which Grill I need to buy.

#### While we don't recommend grills specifically, as of 2019, simply because it's a major task to keep track of all of them, and most of them will work in any case.  The following brands at Home Depot seem to work well for anything up to 12LB, and can be had or \$180 or less.

##### NEXGRILL DYNAGLO

We make it easy by providing a video of Shane measuring a grill at Home Depot to determine if it will work with the RK Drum. Also on the same page, below the video are the specific measurements for each size RK Drum.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you are planning on buying a grill anyway, go ahead and buy a grill that will fit a 12LB Drum, this way, since all of our kits are cross-compatible you can just swap the drum out if you wish to upgrade later on.

Can I use my Meat Grill?

Using a meat grill is generally frowned upon by the coffee purists.  It's possible the carbon, soot, meat flavors and aromas in your meat grill could contaminate your roast.

The reality is that most likely your meat grill is not going to significantly impact your coffee however.  It's likely people won't come back to you and tell you

"Hey, your coffee tastes kind of like steak."

Most probably the elite coffee cuppers of the world could possibly detect some of these negative traits in your coffee, however, if you're simply after a fresh, great cup of coffee at home, then we are confident that your meat grill will still deliver a cup of coffee far superior to that of store-bought coffee.

There are a good number of folks that do use their meat grill since they already have it, and it's just more convenient.

If you do use a meat grill, you may want to use some C Clamps, or wood clamps to simply clamp your motor assembly to the grill so you can remove it easily for grilling out.

On a final note, meat grills tend to rot out relatively quickly, being out in the environment, and being subject to lots of grease, soot, moisture and heat.  These combined can take out even the nicest of grills in just a few years.

Our recommendation for people wanting to roast professionally, and also preserving their roaster investment is to buy a dedicated grill for coffee roasting only, and to store it under cover.  Most people still have their coffee grill 20+ years and counting since it doesn't get exposed to the weather or the grease and soot of meat roasting.

Either way, you'll need to make sure that the BTU and size requirements are met, see the requirements question above.

Will the Grill I have work?

Most likely it will work on one of our drums, see the requirements above.

Does a more expensive grill make better coffee?

NO!  Do not feel the need to buy an expensive grill for the coffee's sake.  If you want it for your own reasons, knock yourself out.

Grills (Charcoal\Wood)

Charcoal or wood fired grills can be used if desired.  Some people, approximately 5-10% of the people we talk to (in 2019) are interested in doing this kind of coffee because it provides a more artisan, and perhaps niche method for producing coffee.

The upside here is that you will be able to impart a charcoal\natural wood\smoked flavor to your coffee which some people may find attractive.

The downside is that heat control is more difficult and will require good air flow management to increase or decrease the heat.  Keeping your roast timed correctly is important, so some experimentation may be necessary, and sometimes you just may not have quite as much control.  Nevertheless, if you're in to this kind of thing, there's nothing wrong with it.

We recommend propane/gas for ease of use and roast control however.

What are the size requirements in a charcoal grill?

# Charcoal Grill Requirements for RK Drums

Understand that NOT ALL grills will work for your roasting application, so picking the correct grill is important.

#### Make sure that your charcoal grill meets the dimensional requirements provided here.  You'll still need the equivalent BTU heat output to roast well however, but usually this means "more charcoal".

Can I make wood smoked coffee?

Yes.  You can do this either on a gas or charcoal grill.

You can smoke the green coffee beforehand and then roast, much like a pork butt, or other meat, or smoke during the roast process.   Your results may vary.  We are hearing more and more of this, particularly from folks looking for a roasted coffee niche.

Check our Youtube channel for a demo of this:

https://blackbalsam.co/rkdrums/roast-videos/

Charcoal presents a more challenging platform for roasting in that it is more difficult to add and remove heat precisely, quickly.  If your charcoal grill has a way of managing heat well, this may be less of an issue.   In coffee roasting, timing is everything, and we use heat to speed up the roast or take away heat to slow down the roast.

Check out the recommended roast profiles for target times and suggested temperatures here.

In this way, you may find dialing in the correct time for the roast for each given volume more challenging.   For this reason , we recommend gas\propane as you can control the heat with the turn of a knob.

Once you understand the amount of airflow required to adjust heating for your particular roast volume, then you may find that heat control is less of an issue.

Some people, however, interpret the charcoal as imparting unique flavors to the coffee and it may represent a niche, business advantage, or simply a more interesting cup of coffee.

### Electrical System

Within the Do-It-Yourself path or the Inventor path, we don't supply the electrical system, as this is considered common hardware store components.

You will need to supply at the very minimum your own power cord, which is nothing more than a 2 prong standard power cord (see image).

This is extremely simple to do, simply wiring one wire to one side of the motor and the other wire to the other side.  In this scenario you would:

b) Use the power switch on the surge protector to turn your roaster on and off.

You can do other sorts of things such as incorporating power switches and the like, it's really up to you how you want to build it.  See the electrical section of our assembly guide for how we accomplish this.  You can model yours in the same way with a nice attractive power switch which attaches to your motor mounting plates.

Our Everything Kits, supply the entire electrical switching system if you'd prefer that approach.  See the "I just need to roast now" path for this.

What type of electrical system is it?

In the United States and Canada, we simply use 110V AC electrical equipment.  Common hardware store household electrical works fine.

Other countries such as Australia use 220V and we have a 220V motor option for Australians and in other countries.

While it's possible to use 220V in areas that commonly use 110V (Such as the United States), if you have this most likely you know who you are.  If you don't know, most likely you have standard 110V and you probably don't need to give it much more thought.  Consult an electrician if you have any particular concerns.

Within the Do-It-Yourself path we provide you a standard 110V motor, so 220V won't be of concern here.

### Choosing a rotisserie

5/16" Square rotisserie (required)

1.  A rotisserie rod to mount the drum on is required.    See our rotisseries here.  Note the rotisserie rod must be 5/16" and square.  Fortunately, this is the most common rod found in stores.   Please do not try to use hexagonal, or split rods, or 3/8" rods.

I already have a rotisserie, will it work?

It might, but it needs to be 5/16" and square.  The reason for this is that the square rod acts as an interface to the drum.  This functions a bit like a square peg in a square hole and it prevents the drum from ever slipping on the rod.

Note that you cannot use:

• A 3/8" rod
• A rod with a hinge or a split in the middle unless it is less than
• 5/16"
• A hexagonal rod.

Should you decide you need a rotisserie rod   See our rotisseries here.  Note that we include a rotisserie in the Everything Kits, and you might opt at this point to choose one of these kits.

Do you have a hand-crank rotisserie?

Yes we do!  If that's your thing, we have them here.

### Temperature sensing

Use a quality thermometer...

We strongly recommend using a quality thermometer from a company that specializes in making quality temperature sensing devices.  The reason for this is that the repeatability and predicatability of your roasts from one roast to the next depends on accuracy of your thermometer.

Our Everything Kits ship with a Tel-Tru brand of analog thermometer.  If you need to recalibrate your Tel-Tru brand of thermometer, click here for instructions.

We have found that the thermometers used in grills are completely unreliable for the most part.

The most challenging concept to understand when roasting with your thermometer, outside of the coffee bean mass is the relativity of your thermometer.  Read here for more on this point.

Can I put a temperature probe in the bean mass\in the drum?

Installing a thermocouple or temperature probe inside the drum or inside the bean mass has been done by some individuals.

In short it requires drilling a hole on the side of the end cap near the outer circumference of the drum and inserting a thermocouple or probe so that it touches the beans when in rotation.  This wire would then travel down the length of the rotisserie towards the rotisserie handle where it connects to a wireless transmitter.

This then transmits to a wireless receiver.  At this time we do not provide guides on how to do this.  See our Facebook page for examples of people doing this.

This however is not required for accurate roasting.  See this article here.