Roasting Help Please: A very, very dark roast - electricity outage while roasting

Today, the electricity went out.
The outage affected my building and a few others nearby.
I was 9 minutes into a roast at that moment.
I was very lucky that the beans didn't catch on fire. (Surely this was the darkest of roasts)
I couldn't manually rotate the drum.
When power returned after approximately 1 hour, I was again lucky that the drum didn't seem to have warped.

I need to learn a few lessons on what measures to take.

I would like some advice as to how to verify my roaster is still OK.
I think it is OK, but I want to test it out and am open to suggestions.

In the early stages of the power outage, I was standing by watching fairly thick smoke (no fire) coming out of the roaster.
I opened the door on the roaster to allow some air to cool things down, but didn't want to potentially fan any glowing embers.
I tried using various wooden implements to get as many beans out, into the cooling bin.
I had a water squirt bottle and 2 fire extinguishers on hand.
I took the guard cover off the chain drive to the drum (took about 5 minutes) and tried to rotate the drum by hand.
The drum would not rotate because the electric motor wouldn't permit it.

I intend to grind some flat spots on the end of the drum spindle to attach a socket so I can rotate the drum manually.
... but I need a quick way to detach the chain - any ideas?
I am considering buying a portable generator.


The time between loss of power and achieving an alternate way to rotate the drum must be as short as possible to prevent warping the drum.
How long before the drum might start to warp?

Any other thoughts?

Yes, it was scary.

Thanks
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
What brand roaster and what size? I have a 60 kilo roaster and have had the power go out several times. I am able to grab the drum spindle and turn it with gloves or a towel...make sure you turn the power off to the machine. I learned that once when the power kicked back on and almost lost my hands(you do stupid things in the time of panic ;) ) I had a 120 kilo once and it had a handle you could screw into the back spindle to turn manually. Portable generator would be a good idea...if this isn't happening often I think your drum will be ok. Do you hear a grinding or rubbing when you turn it on? As for fire extinguishers do not use the chemical ones...they are a pain to clean up after use. I use the silver ones that have water...good luck ;)
 

abellay

New member
Nov 12, 2020
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0
This topic is very relevant, because in my energy district, energy surges occur constantly. i'm sorry about your toaster. I can only recommend that you contact st Louis electrician who have helped me quite often in the past with similar problems. When such situations happened I often got upset about it and the only thing that calmed me down was these guys who came very quickly and fixed the problem quite easily. I like this service and the quality of the work they do, so I recommend contacting them
 
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OP
N

NorthSouth

Member
Feb 13, 2012
103
1
North East North Carolina, USA
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I was lucky that there was absolutely no damage to my roaster.

I shamefully admit I have taken very little action.
Since my electric company installed a new substation, we now hardly ever have any outages.
When an outage occurs, it is typically momentary.

The most important thing I have done is to buy a (big, heavy) CO2 extinguisher on the advice of a member of the local fire department.
CO2 extinguishers are good for this type of problem because:
1. They don't leave any residue behind. The CO2 simply vaporizes.
2. The CO2 that is emitted is very, very cold. This will not only put out the fire, but also help cool the roaster as well.
I will use this extinguisher if I suffer another outage, even if there is no fire, because it will help prevent one.
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,516
6
Kansas City
Interesting revitalized topic... I just tried moving my 12K drum manually and no dice... may have to rethink things. You can't be too cautious on fire safety! (my Fire Marshall likes hearing that... LOL)
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,516
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Kansas City
Musicphan, I forget what brand roaster you have. I can move my 60 kilo ambex by hand.

USRC ... when you move it by hand are you simply reaching inside and turning or do you have exterior method? I tried mine after reading this thread and the drum won't budge (Its direct driven from motor)
 
OP
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NorthSouth

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Feb 13, 2012
103
1
North East North Carolina, USA
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Any comments about the CO2 extinguisher?

I note a previous post on this thread from topher stating that he has a silver(water) extinguisher.
I personally reckon CO2 would be better because:
1. Water running everywhere could cause damage.
2. CO2 being emitted is very cold, which should help cool the roaster down somewhat.

That said, I also have a silver(water) extinguisher which I bought before the CO2 one.
Heck, I even have 2 chemical extinguishers which I will only use as a last resort.
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,516
6
Kansas City
NorthSouth - I think the CO2 is probably the preferred method... followed by water... last result chemical. I personally use a water/silver extinguisher.. but am considering the Co2. The only negative I've heard is if its a 'smoldering' and/or larger fire the CO2 ones don't perform as well as water. Someone wrote/posted this for the SCA

117433341_10208249106980952_3943172607885808933_n.jpg
 

topher

Super Moderator
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Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
I never have used the co2 only the water. I was offered it a long time ago but it was expensive. You know another thing that can warp a drum is cooling it too quickly. I have had some doozie of fires and to be honest I usually grab a hose I have set up with quick release on the 3 compartment sink. A fire breaks out and I kill the power. If it isn't put out by chocking it(no fans) I then hit it with water. Afer it out a quick wet vac and fire the roaster back up. I was able to contain a chimney fire in my old 120 kilos after burner. I just kept hitting the outside of the afterburner with water till the fire department showed up. A hour after the fire department left we were up and running again. I am not saying that co2 is not the answer just that what I have experienced in the past works for me.
 

Severuss

New member
Jan 10, 2021
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Most likely, there is a problem with the outlets, or just with that one specific outlet. I had a similar situation. When I vacuumed the house and had to change the plug, when I put it in the outlet from the bedroom, the light in the whole house went out. And I had to start it again from the electricity meter. So I had to call an electrician to change the outlets and see if something else was wrong, because sometimes when I turn on the TV, there is an electricity outage as well. The electrician I called was pretty fast in changing the outlets and verifying everything else related to electricity.
 
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topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,740
15
Boca Raton
Severuss, Actually we are talking about black outs or brown outs. Where everyone around you loses power. It can be super scary if you have coffee in the roaster and the power goes out. If the power does not come back on you need to get the coffee out of the drum before it cathes on fire. This is hard to do if you have a larger roaster seeing that electricity is what moves the drum.
 
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