I have been exploring roasting methods. The general consensus seems to be that a rotating drum roaster produces the most uniform results. It seems that re-purposed coffee machines are common. Coffee roasters, however, are mega expensive - even used they run $15K and up.
Has anyone tried converting a commercial rotisserie oven into a roaster? The commercial oven are quite large and should be able to hold a drum with 10 kgs. The drum would have to be custom made - I have seen some on eBay for about $500. A used commercial rotisserie is around $1500.
Any thought, comments are welcome.
Maverick Chocolate Co.
I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion on what is best (probably a purpose built drum cocoa roaster!) but the idea of tray roasting seemed like hard work to me so I got one of these second hand and will get a perforated stainless drum made up (by a mate who is an air force engineer):
I think it is the best way to go in terms of roast quality vs. expenditure.
Maloko Chocolate Co
Auckland, New Zealand
Hi. This is exactly the idea. I will have to make sure all the chicken aroma is cleaned first.
I've thought about this a lot and don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Keep us updated on how it works if you end up going this route!
I have a rotisserie that I had an engineer convert into a drum roaster which seems to work really well. I also got him to put a sample port into the side of the unit to allow for sampling without having to open the door or stop the roast.
Any chance you'd post some pictures of it? I'd be very interested.
Also, are you able to monitor the temperature of the beans while roasting?
It does display actual oven temp as well as the set temp but I wanted to have a reading of the temp in the beans so I also had a static probe put in the sample port. Not sure if that makes sense but I will try put up some pics so you can see it.
Thanks Allison! That looks awesome. How much cacao can you roast at a time?
It can do 25kg easily but I usually do around 20kg which is a suits the rest of my gear and also keeps it below the sample port.
Looks good Alison, I think our rotisseries may be identical.
Do you not have any baffles to stir the beans up a little as the drum rotates?
To extract the beans do you put a tray in to catch them and then pull the hatch open? I wondered about using the drip tray at the bottom as a way to send them down into a waiting cooling table on wheels.
This is exactly what I had in mind. I am buying a used Henny Penny oven tomorrow. It is a 220V, 3 phase oven so I will not be able to use it until I move into my factory space. I will work on the drum next week.