8th December 2019 Uncategorised 0

One year later, hello Black Betty.

New coffee roaster takes its place in the container roastery

Just over a year ago we held a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to build a new coffee roaster, and at the same time started planning the building of the roastery that would house it.

We had so many contributions as a result of the campaign! It was amazing and humbling to have the help we did, and we got right to work, but building a coffee roaster isn’t as simple a matter as you would think just by looking at one. The concept is simple–a drum turning over a flame with some airflow to provide convection–but there’s a lot of precision and specific materials needed, so it still took time to build. Favours were called in, Pieter did much of the building himself, and various engineering companies each had a hand in making different components. Even after the roastery was completed, the actual roaster still needed work.

In the mean time the original roaster Pieter made out of scrapyard finds was wearing out past the ability to fix it. The worst problem was that the gap between the open side of the drum and the front face was growing and every roast was a frustration as we struggled to keep precious beans from falling through into the flames.

Finally, on October 23 this year we celebrated the maiden roast on the new machine! We lovingly retired the hand turned contraption that saw Bayhound through inital startup and every step of growth over the next four years (you did good, Frankenstein, and we’ll always be in your debt). With no time to waste, we began a flurry of roasting, modifying and tweaking until we achieved a satisfying result on the new roaster, and boy has it been life changing! We have full control over all the variables like heat, air flow and drum speed, but best of all, no more hand turning—it does that by itself, accompanied by a pleasant soft whirring sound.

We’ve named her Black Betty, she’s rock steady and always ready.

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Susan Le Roux:

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