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And another first roast.....

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  • And another first roast.....

    Finally de-mothballed the popper today and got going on my starter pack. After reading a lot of the posts here, I thought Id be in for a few problems with roast times (its a Breville Quick Popper), which turned out to be the case. Damn - one day in and Im already thinking about an upgrade, but that seems to be pretty common around here!

    so, armed with the popper and a freshly emptied pineapple juice can (yes, another can of pineapple juice. While I was at the supermarket I considered getting a can of International Roast and dumping it, just because the idea of an International Roast can being used to actually produce coffee was appealing. But why pay a few extra bucks just for irony?) I got going this morning.

    Anyway - first trial was with the PNG Grade A - started with 100g, and just let it go to try to guage the different stages. Im guessing first crack was at about 2:30 - so very quick. I let it motor along, until about 3:35. It was looking very uneven up until this point. Started getting what I thought was 2nd crack at about 4:00, and again just kept it going until I thought there was a risk of the neighbours complaining. What it looked like at 5:30 is below.....yes, a tad dark....but a good educational run.

  • #2
    Re: And another first roast.....

    2nd run, with the same beans.
    This time, I cut it back to 80g, to see if things moved around a bit better.
    This time I got first crack at 2:15, and pulled it at 3:15 just after all the pinging stopped.
    The beans did move around better, and overall it looked a lot more even than at a similar stage first go


    • #3
      Re: And another first roast.....

      for the third attempt, I switched to Sumatran Mandheling. The beans looked a little smaller to start, so I figured with the whole surface area:volume thing Id better bump the batch size up a little. So 90g this time.

      1st crack at 1:40 (this was getting increasingly worrying); I ran them to about 3:10.
      Again, uneven - they look a bit uneven in the picture - but getting the colors right is always hard - if anything, they look slightly better than in the photo.


      • #4
        Re: And another first roast.....

        Final batch for the day was the starter pack Brazilian (not sure exactly what).
        Batch size was back to 80g, first crack at 1:40 again. Obviously when they named this thing the quick popper they werent fooling around. Stopped this batch at 3:20, again, a bit of unevenness.

        So, all in all, a fair result. 4 batches for the morning, and the only things stopping me were a) I ran out of bags, b) the forecast for Melbourne was 36 degrees, which, I figured, would speed things up even more, and c) Being melbourne, it started raining. suffice to say, Im hooked, and te information Ive found here is what got me going in the first place, so thanks

        Things are moving a bit quick for my liking, but for the moment Im without a fan - may help a bit with the cooling - but I cant see it stretching times out too much. And running 4 batches in a row means the popper probably didnt cool completely each time. Will play around with it after I taste these tomorrow. (If I can wait)


        • #5
          Re: And another first roast.....

          A fan is key so that it blows away chaff and also better airflow for the popper. Getting it off the ground will be important as well. Can be as simple as a bowl under it (with ice in it is also an option) so that it can draw in more fresh air. You probably have read the posts about experimenting with more holes and things to add even more airflow.
          Good to see you had fun and I am sure you will love the taste in a couple of days after they degas. They are some seriosuly fast times though. Popper is a good entry point though and I have been happy how mine have tasted so far even though they have been quick.
          Keep us updated with how they taste and future roasts. And add any tips or tricks you discover to get these poppers to slow down!


          • #6
            Re: And another first roast.....

            varanid99 good going.

            Yes those poppers can be fast.
            Coffeechaser and I have Crazy Poppers and they ARE crazy.

            Ive managed to get mine out to about 5 to 6 minutes with the few mods Ive done/experimented with.
            Have a look at the Breville Crazy Popper thread.

            Looking at the first batch and then the rest, I reckon you could stretch to 4 minutes and get some evenness to the beans.

            Also, I get 30 seconds longer from a 50g batch instead of a 100g if you dont mind spending a bit longer roasting.

            And I agree that a preheated popper seems to make subsequent batches run faster.
            Do get a fan.


            • #7
              Re: And another first roast.....


              thanks for the tips - the fan is definitely on the way (weve recently moved, and theres still a bit of stuff that we didnt need right away to be tracked down. Like the popper, for example...). This mornings efforts were what I saw as a good trial - the design of this particular popper makes it a bit hard to pull apart at the moment without the right tools (non standard screws) but one Ive opened er up hopefully some of the ideas that have started to form can really take shape....

              And Thundergod (thanks also!) - Id been checking the crazy popper thread, but the inflow on the quickpopper seems a little different - am I right in guessing that most of the intake venting in the crazy popper is in the one spot (ie that little opening at the front of the machine)? It might have been the thread with your custom decal-mod, where somebody mentioned a bonnet scoop, which got me thinking - could you actually try to shunt more air through that opening, rather than putting it over the ice container (i.e. kind of ram flow ventilation) - I was hoping to rig up something under the unit , maybe with a pc fan or something, to try to increase the flow rate of cool air in. Obviously the cool air going in is still going to be heated, but I figured that pushing more air through the unit might do similar things to your bowl of ice. (and the next extension would be ram flow bucket of ice air, of course.....)

              But the intakes on mine are just little slots all over the base


              • #8
                Re: And another first roast.....

                No, all the intake vents are under the base of the popper.
                I actually point my fan at that opening with the same thoughts you are having, getting more air in.
                It gives a little help to the popper while blowing away the chaff at the same time.

                I decided that it wasnt making enough of a difference though.
                After the air gets into that area it still has to get under the popper and only has a few mm clearance anyway.
                Hence the idea of raising it.

                As I said in the other thread, half the vents under mine were not allowing enough air through. Thats why I drilled the extra holes rather than try cut off the plastic baffling those vents.

                (The slots are the intake vents - the ones on the right are "baffled")

                When youve got the right tools, have a look at your vents and see what you think regarding extra holes.


                • #9
                  Re: And another first roast.....

                  just as an update after the first days work (3 days post) - didnt try the first batch as i thought that even my as-yet unrefined tastebuds probably wouldnt appreciate the charcoal notes....

                  Im still at the stage where Im not exactly sure about how to describe what Im tasting, but the other batch of PNG came up quite drinkable, as did the someone said in another thread - it smelt like coffee, and tasted like coffee, so thats a start I guess. Havent got onto the Mandelhing yet because it still smells a bit lawnmowery....

                  in terms of mods for these poppers - have you guys tried pumping air into the chimney to slow things down, rather than using a fan? Just a thought, which has probably been tried and failed, but I might experiment with it a bit on the weekend....


                  • #10
                    Re: And another first roast.....

                    oh yeah - Thundergod:

                    the bottom of mine looks nothing like that - just a bunch of little piddly holes all around the bottom, no intake vents like that. Still havent pulled it apart, but seeing your pic, and looking at mine got me thinking. weve got naked portafilters - why not a naked popper?


                    • #11
                      Re: And another first roast.....

                      Originally posted by varanid99 link=1163978592/0#9 date=1164286453
                      weve got naked portafilters - why not a naked popper?
                      I can think of about 240 reasons.... and everyone of them has a V sign

                      They designed these things so that the plastic stops gerfingerpoken the zappers living inside....

                      Most dont have a protective earth (actually no earth at all - double insulated- ) so the metal bits can be live... live... live like 240 volts worth !!!!!

                      So be careful, vary careful when removing bits of plastic or you can be dead, very dead!!!

                      And that spoils your roasting experience something chronic ;D ;D ;D


                      • #12
                        Re: And another first roast.....

                        Originally posted by JavaB link=1163978592/0#10 date=1164286897

                        I can think of about 240 reasons.... and everyone of them has a V sign

                        dont worry, its perfectly safe. I might have a few problems when I pour the bucket of water down the chimney to cool the beans down, but otherwise....cant see how it could possibly go wrong.


                        ....And all that was left, were his smoking boots.....


                        • #13
                          Re: And another first roast.....

                          I actually tested a batch with the bottom off to see what effect totally unrestricted airflow would have and the end result was disappointing.


                          • #14
                            Re: And another first roast.....

                            a little fine tuning over the weekend - the fan unfortunately didnt do much in terms of the roast times (maybe an extra 20 seconds). Air temps were high on Saturday, but I did most of the roasting early morning to avoid this, and even doing a batch in the middle of the day came out with about the same roast time. but smaller batch sizes did help (thanks TG) - up around 6 minutes instead of 3 1/2, but only doing 60g batches makes for a long afternoon when youre popping for 3 people

                            most of the problems with unevenness in the roast seem to be ironed out now - i think it was just a case of not stirring the batches enough early on, and having some beans sit on hot metal until they start getting blown around. I did about 15 batches on the weekend and they were very evenly roasted (except for some Ethipoian Harar), and Id stirred quite vigorously for the first 45 secs or so.

                            My next thought, which Id planned to try on the weekend, is to use a small electric pump used for blowing up air matresses. I was planning on running a thin metal tube into the chimney, and hook the other end up to the pump, then switch that on while roasting. These things dont spit out huge volumes of air, but it might be enough to drop the air temp inside the chamber, and hence dercrease the heating rate and draw out the roast time. I couldnt test this out because the only pump Ive got runs off a car cigarette lighter

                            If anyones tried this method, maybe they could tell me if it works or not, and save me lugging the car battery upstairs....


                            • #15
                              Re: And another first roast.....

                              So you roasted 900 grams? If you do that on a regulr basis you may be better off going for the corretto or atleast a heat gun and stir like crazy. Glad to see you that you times have stretched out, some.