IF you’ve been a fan of Brown for a while you know about our DIY roaster, lovingly known as Big Brown. A few weeks ago Big Brown went under the knife yet again to revamp her ducting, cooling and chaff collection system (all basically intertwined). The results since she’s been back online have been a keen clarification of roasts that are more on point due, I think, to more optimized airflow.
Basically, Big Brown received a helping hand from a reclaimed “squirrel fan” that pulls air upward through the ducting into the rafters beyond the drop ceiling, through the fan itself and out the ducting through the roof. We also added an overhead exhaust vent overhead above the hopper/front face of the roaster to draw off ambient smoke (read: as when you drop beans into the cooling tray).
The final big improvement is the reintroduction of our old beer keg cum chaff collector. Originally this was to be the guts of a larger cyclone chaff collector, but upon my protestations, my father in law encased the cyclone he built into the beer keg–a mistake at the time, since it underpowered the chaff sucking necessary. With the new system the cyclone is modified inside the keg and uses negative pressure to keep the chaff swirling downward to a hole in the bottom, while a filter was fashioned around the internal fan to keep it from being gummed up with chaff. Any still-swirling chaff falls through the floor hole once the power is cut and is collected in a large bucket…for now. The backside exhaust from the beer keg is legged through a dryer vent ducting stretch and clipped on the top side of Big Brown’s hopper, feeding very nicely into the overhead vent hood.
Pics will follow, I suppose.