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View Thread » BUILDING A ROASTER » Fluidbed Roaster
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Oreck XL blower and Popper heating with recirc
I finally received some fine screen to use in place of the cloth vacuum filter that pretty much clogs up after each roast and has to be replaced with a clean 5" disc. OGH recommended 120 mesh, but could only find 100 mesh so used that. After two successive roasts this morning, it looks clean enough to go at least 5 or so before cleaning. Big improvement in air flow - Thanks OGH!

For some reason my line voltage at max power has dropped from 115VAC to 111, but at ~1600 watts, I'm still able to steer a 300 gm charge along a target profile for both what I prefer for pour-over / cone brewing and the somewhat darker roast my wife likes for her espresso. She prefers roasts that are just into 2C. In this system, in-chamber cooling is very rapid.

I've attached data log profiles for the two I did this morning along with photos that I hope will illustrate differences in color. I decided to throw in a Charbucks espresso roast shot for comparison. After trying Lavazza Super Crema and some previous roasts I did, she says she now notices the charcoal flavors in the Charbucks she'd been drinking for the past 10 years.

I've been getting up to right around 180F on the blower motor outlet case temperature by the end of each roast running on 100% recirc, nowhere near the resettable thermal fuse or upper limit I set for the microprocessor to monitor. That whole component of the design turned out to have been unnecessary, but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.
ChicagoJohn attached the following images:
three-roast-comparison.jpg lighter.jpg darker.jpg

Edited by ChicagoJohn on 04/18/2017 08:40
So many beans; so little time....
With a 20A autotransformer to boost my line voltage up to 120VAC now, I am working my way up to see what the maximum capacity will be. Today I did a 340 gm Sumatra Mandheling from Happy Mug from a cold start and because the 1C was quite a bit later than I'd been seeing (374F), I decided to take it a bit longer to about where my wife prefers them for espresso. I did a print-screen on the eee-PC I'm using for data logging.

Maximum blower exhaust temp reached 180F where it's been running for several previous trials. I used 1.7kW; 14A at 120VAC with about 3A for the OreckXL motor. There is a 20A fuse in the autotransformer and the breaker on this circuit is also 20A.

So everything is looking pretty good and I'll try and make a YouTube video this coming week. Thanks again to all for sharing your experience and ideas which I was able to use to get this far.
ChicagoJohn attached the following image:

So many beans; so little time....
Counting up my stored runs, I was surprised to find today was my 73rd. Thought I'd post a few pictures and share how things worked out. I'm running this on a 20A circuit and with the recirc typically reaching around 180°F at the motor outlet, I run the heating coils (7.4 Ohm) at 14.8A/118VAC from an autotransformer and the blower motor at 400 watts / 3.3A, just under the 20A curcuit limit (and 20A autotransformer fuse). I've found that I can comfortably process 340 gm of greens (4 runs / 3 lb). I have done 500 gm, but it's a lot more of a balancing act so I've just settled on 340 gm.

Recirc air at the inlet to the heater assembly typically gets up to 160 - 200°F and typically runs around 180°F max. I replace the resettable thermal fuse the OEM used which cut out around 80C with a SF113e and I also monitor it with a Nano programmed to shut everything down if it gets over 205°F. The heating coils are on 20A relay that the Nano controls and will shut down instantly if the heater wattage drops so as to prevent excessive temperature in the heating assembly.

The heating assembly is from a PopLite and I replaced the 30AWG nichrome with 26 in order to reduce the 9.6 ohms for the OEM coils in parallel to 7.4 ohm for higher wattage output.

As I recall OGH saying he does, I basically just start out at full heat and control the roast by blower motor speed and percentage of recirc -- using the valve on the airbox at the bottom. The first roast here, lighter, was run with no preheat. I took the second one up to 415°F and made melange / blend of the wet / dry processed yirgacheffe's.

After a minute of cooling, I remove the chaff collector and let the excess chaff blow off and then disconnect the roasting assembly from the heating coils and motor below and dump the roast into a collecting bowl without removing the globe.
ChicagoJohn attached the following images:
73rd-roast.jpg 72nd-roast.jpg bean-motion.jpg orekxl-based-roaster.jpg roaster_22.jpg

So many beans; so little time....
Way to go, John! You roast pretty much, the same as I do. The recycled heat usually does not exceed 160°F in my roaster is about the only difference i noticed. My used 2-stage, flow-through spa blower has been doing fine with the hot air for several years (6) now. Also note the second and third roasts usually take one minute less time to reach the same roast level as the first.
oldgearhead attached the following image:

Edited by oldgearhead on 09/13/2017 10:42
No oil on my beans...
One of the best roasting setups I have seen John!

KKTO Roaster.
oldgearhead wrote:

Way to go, John! You roast pretty much, the same as I do. The recycled heat usually does not exceed 160°F in my roaster is about the only difference i noticed. My used 2-stage, flow-through spa blower has been doing fine with the hot air for several years (6) now. Also note the second and third roasts usually take one minute less time to reach the same roast level as the first.

Thanks. Never could have done it without your experience with recycled heat -- I'd have been too concerned about its effect on the motor. But I found out that an SF113e is fairly common on vacuum cleaners so it seems they can get up to 235°F briefly without long term damage. I think the OEM fuse value was so much lower because the OreckXL is meant to be handheld. Safety first. I bought a spare used OreckXL off ebay just in case, but I'll be surprised if I every have any heat related problems.

The profile I've been using seems pretty close to what you do. I hadn't yet considered going to 440F. I do go over 410F for my wife's espresso. She had been using Starbucks which is like charcoal, relatively speaking and Lavazza's espresso which is not as burned as Charbucks but still darker than what I've been making for her lately. Maybe I'll try going out to 15 minutes, see what temp I reach and see how she likes it.

Anyway thanks again for all the help and advice. This sure beats the hell out of my modified popcorn popper in so many ways.
So many beans; so little time....
JackH wrote:

One of the best roasting setups I have seen John!

Wow... thanks so much for the complement, Jack. Never would have happened had it not been for HRO; especially OldGearHead, allenb and BenKeith. With the quantities of coffee we're consuming lately, I'm sure glad I have it !
So many beans; so little time....
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