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Ghetto Roaster Mark I

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  • Ghetto Roaster Mark I

    As a I'm new to roasting, I didn't want to invest a massive amount of money up front. So I bought a bag of the Tanzania Kyaurinde FairCrack from Beanbay, and did half a dozen pan roasts. Results ranged from horrible to quite drinkable, but it became apparent that the roast was uneven and could be scorched. Trying to avoid scorching led to some long roasting times, and to what (I believe) is the "baked" flavour of a slow ramp up. The answer is to move away from conductive heat transfer, to radiative/convective.

    Again, not wanting to over invest, I cobbled together the Ghetto Roaster Mark I:

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    Total investment so far $6: $4 for the 6" chip fryer basket and two $1 butane canisters. I already had the stove and the whisk, and the other bits were donated. The top of the oil can was removed and inverted (it had a plastic handle and spout), and a hole was cut in the bottom to fit the basket. I covered the basket with a saucepan lid, turned the stove on full and gave it about 3 minutes to preheat. I then backed it off slightly, added 125g of green beans, and stirred it constantly with the whisk.

    Total roast time is about 10 minutes. Nice clear first crack after about 6 minutes. I took it about 30 seconds into past the end the rolling first crack. Once I get a feel for how the rig works, I'll add a more scientific approach to timing and temperature.

    The result: Much faster, more even roast with no scorching. There is also a fantastic aroma of fresh coffee that I didn't get from my previous attempts. I'll give this a few days to settle, and see how it tastes.

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    Last edited by Sheumack; 21 July 2014, 05:45 PM.

  • #2
    Those beans look quite reasonable, well done.

    So is there is a hole for the flame? or does the flame heat the metal oil tin and this in turn gives you indirect heating of the fryer basket?

    EDIT: ok i just reread the post and sounds like there is a hole for the flame. But looks like there is a good amount of distances to avoid any direct flame scorching. Good stuff, I almost want to do this just for fun now.


    • #3
      You read that right - the underside (as seen in the photo) is removed. As that was actually the "top" of the can, it had a plastic handle and pouring spout, so I cut that out with an angle grinder.

      The diametre of the can matches the diameter of the pot stand on the stove, so I can either push it in slightly to sit on top, or out slightly to sit flush. I went for the former to ensure that there was enough oxygen for the flame, but as it's sitting on the open weave of the milk crate, it should draw enough air through the bottom to avoid any risk of it going out.