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Modified popper roast profiles

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  • Modified popper roast profiles

    Hi All,

    My roaster is a modified popper that allows me to adjust the fan and heating element with a thermocouple to monitor the temp. I'm approaching 200 roasts and feel pretty comfortable with it.

    Initially I was aiming for pretty long roasts (1stC at about 10 mins, cool at around 19 mins, just before 2ndC) and thought this was producing pretty good espresso. However, I kept reading around and found info over on HB and other places that suggested shorter roasting times, especially on air-roasters. So I have spent about 6 months shortening things down and tweaking the profile. I was recently talking to Mark at Coffee Roasters Aust and came away thinking my time from 1st to 2nd was probably not increasing sweetness as I thought, but flattening the flavors. So, I shortening things down again and after a couple of months comparing would say that I'm getting the bests roasts yet. Still nice and sweet and smooth as before, but with more "life" and interesting flavors, maybe "depth" (not real good with the descriptors yet).

    So, below is my current profile (for espresso), which is based pretty closely on one published by Jim Schulman:

    0 - 2 mins room temp to 130 degC as quick as possible
    2 - 4 mins steady ramp to 140 and hold until all beans evenly yellow
    4 - 7.5 mins 140 - 199 (1stC) steady ramp, tapering at about 196
    7.5 - 12.5 mins steady ramp to either just before or first snaps of 2ndC

    Then cool to room temp (which takes about 1.5 mins)

    For reference, 1stC is about 199 - 210, 2nd begins at about 220 on my roaster.

    I've tried this on a few different blends, although my most common is 50% Brazil Pulped Nat, 35% India Elephant Hills Grade A, 15% El Salvador Finca Belvedere SHG. I often replace the Brazil with Peru CDE and sometimes the Finca with Sulawesi Blue and still get nice results.

    Was wondering if any other modded popper roasters (or anyone, for that matter) wanted to post their current roasting profiles or comment?


  • #2
    Cheers for the write up. I'll try those milestones Pete...

    BTW - what are you using to measure your temp, and where is your thermocouple located?


    • #3
      The whole things is made mostly from bits and pieces from other projects. The TC feeds a cheep meter I found on the net. The TC itself is like the SS ones on BeanBay, but the probe is 50 mm long (i think - its in the shed and I'm on the couch having a glass of red!). The probe is mounted on the bottom of the roasting chamber and runs along the axis of the cylinder, if that makes sense. The fan is actually from a hairdryer (the original fan died) mounted in a bit of PVC pipe that is glued to the bottom of the popper. I'll try and post a photo soon.



      • #4
        I'm looking to modify my popper for more control. What method are you using to control the coil and fan?


        • #5
          Here is how I did mine.