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  • Any popcorn maker?

    I want to do some roasting and I read here that a popcorn maker is a cheap way to get started. Are all popcorn makers the same or are some better than others for roasting coffee?

  • #2
    Re: Any popcorn maker?

    A search of previous threads will tell you, but in a nutshell, no theres not much difference between them. Most of the cheap ones appear identical anyway, and probably all come from the same factory (cf B&D, Mistral, MaitreD, Chef, Aldi, etc). The Aldi one though has a reputation for heating too fast...

    One I know of (Sunbeam Cornelius) has a microswitch on the lid which would be counter-productive to adding a chimney (which you should do by all accounts). I think my chimney is the best (exhaust tip) but most people use an old soup can...

    It seems that most people shop on price when it comes to poppers...

    oh, and apparently you should avoid the ones with the vent slots in the base (get one with the vents in the wall) - prevents chaff falling into the heater.

    see the Sweet Marias website for more info, and grab a newbie pack in the May Poll! Its lots of fun!

    cheers.

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    • #3
      Re: Any popcorn maker?

      Steve- have a go mate- its fun and easy.
      A standard popper from Kmart will do it.
      start with around a hundred grams of beans and I recommend timing the roast- have a digital watch ready and record when you hear the first crack and then after a short space youll get a lovely crunchy sound which is the second crack and for me its time to stop before they go too far. :-?
      The chimney is important and simple. Buy a golden circle tin of pineapple juice from woolies. Drink the juice and take both ends out of the can and cut it up the guts. I have a big hose clamp round it to keep it the rioght diametre for jsut fitting inside the top of the popper. THis will extend the popping chamber. If youre thinking of doing it inside- have good ventilation and a wire thingy to catch the chaff that will coming shooting out.
      I like the tin cos it increases the height of the chamber so I can roast larger amounts- up to 160 grams... but there is a technique if you want to do that much.

      From the momnet you turn it on, hold the popper in both hands and gently lift and lower it in front of you - enough to get the beans rising up and down the chamber. This will assist in getting the hot air to circulate. Dont be too rough though otherwise youll damage the inards of it. ;D

      Make sure you stick the beans in a dry place for 48 hours- not air tight- before you sample them.
      PM me if you have any other questions.
      I might even know some other answers.
      enjoy the experience of roasting your own brew- youll never go back.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Any popcorn maker?

        Thanks for that. I have a Cornelius at the moment which does have have the auto off switch when you lift the lid... I might have to cut the top off so the switch doesnt shut off the popper.
        Ill grab a can and make myself a chimney. I emailed Andy about a starter pack so hopefully I can get one of those.
        I cant wait to test out some home roasted coffee, should be a bit of fun.

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        • #5
          Re: Any popcorn maker?

          Originally posted by rayzurhed link=1146210868/0#2 date=1146226961
          Steve- have a go mate- its fun and easy.


          From the momnet you turn it on, hold the popper in both hands and gently lift and lower it in front of you - enough to get the beans rising up and down the chamber. This will assist in getting the hot air to circulate. Dont be too rough though otherwise youll damage the inards of it. ;D
          .
          I just use a long handle wooden spoon that I hold the spoon part in my hand and use the round handle to stir the beans for the first minute after I turn the popper on. After that time they move on their own unassisted.

          Saves having to shake the popper to pieces

          Also another option for the chimney is the Heinz "Very" range of soups. These fit the Kambrook / Aldi / Chief / et al poppers great.

          Like razyrhead said - JUST DO IT !!! Its great fun and you get amazing coffee as your reward.

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          • #6
            Re: Any popcorn maker?

            Steve,

            Refer to below link if you are interested in this method.

            http://www.sweetmarias.com/airpopmethod.html

            Cheers

            Q

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Any popcorn maker?

              Ive finally taken the plunge into home-roasting.

              The popper: a Breville for $30 on special. I had already destroyed two B&D poppers before finishing one roast. So I was hesitant. The fans fell off both B&D poppers resulting in a molten mess and a blown thermal fuse. I had some greens just lying around and no popper, so I decided that $30 wasnt too much to pay...

              I roasted some Dominican Republic and Guatamalan greens in 120 gm batches. First crack for these beans was from 4-7 minutes in. I intended to take them to second crack, but must have come up a bit shy. The first roast (the DR beans) was stopped at 9 55" and the second at 10 17". The colour was a medium brown with some lighter beans in there. So I went longer and took the 3rd roast to 11 and the 4th roast to 11 30". Both came out a little darker but there was no smoke during the roast and just a puff upon cooling.

              Then for the Guatamalan. This time I decided to go further with the roast. I took the first roast to 12 and the second to 13 30". Both came out dark brown but not burnt and there was no smoke. These were noticeably darker than the DR beans. None of the beans had oil on the surface.

              The beans have aged between 40 and 48 hrs and today I did a taste test. The first two DR roasts came out very bright. The next two much more subdued and smooth. Still lacking in body though. Both the Guatamalans came out very smooth. I then blended the DR 4th roast with the G 2nd roast and made it into a cappuccino. WOW! I hit the jackpot with flavour, with sweet milk chocolate dominating. The body was a bit light though, so Ill look into blending with another bean to enhance the body without subtracting from the flavour.

              Im looking forward to seeing how these roasts develop in the next few days...

              First roast experience.... AWESOME. (aside from 2 dead poppers)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Any popcorn maker?

                Great Stuff Sparky [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

                I was starting to give up hope that you would one day, start roasting your own ..... happy roasting and brewing ,

                Mal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Any popcorn maker?

                  Thanks Mal.

                  It was always on the cards. I just wanted to get my hardware and technique sorted first. I cant have too many uncontrolled variables flying around. Im still not sure where this will take me, but its sure to be interesting.

                  I dont want to detract from artisan roasters who have years of experience, but home-roasting might fit in well for trying different single origins. Whether it becomes my mainstay for day to day consumption remains to be seen.

                  Cheers,

                  Mark.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Any popcorn maker?

                    I bought a Sunbeam Cornelius with the micro-switch in the lid. After reading here that a chimney was a good idea, being the delicate handyman that i am, i actually just physically ripped the lid off (the plastic mounts break pretty easily), with no problems. Doesnt look very elegant, but it means that the switch isnt triggered!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Any popcorn maker?

                      Hi I guess I have been bitten buy the roasting bug. Harvey Norman had Kambrook Popcorn Factory on special for $15. When I returned home I kicked myself for not getting 2. One for a spare. I am now looking forward to geting a beginers pack and trying my first roast.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Any popcorn maker?

                        Is anyone able to post some pics of their chimney mods?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Any popcorn maker?

                          Gday again TG,

                          Heres a link to some pretty clear instructions on how to go about it....http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1139024033/4#4 . Should get you started,

                          Mal.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Any popcorn maker?

                            Originally posted by Thundergod link=1146210868/0#11 date=1154526816
                            Is anyone able to post some pics of their chimney mods?
                            http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1141290048/0#8
                            1) buy exhaust tip
                            2) stuff into popper

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                            • #15
                              Re: Any popcorn maker?

                              Is a chimney mod necessary if Im roasting half a cup at a time? Sweet Marias doesnt say much about a chimney being essential.

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