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  • Recommendations for a virgin popper roaster?

    Hey all. I picked up a Tiffany popper the other day and I'm keen to get into roasting.

    Could you recommend something from BeanBay that might suit the beginner??

    I usually drink it straight up as an espresso shot from my Silvia

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Welcome to the home roasting journey Eskimo.

    The Peru Ceja, Colombian Volcan, PNG Wahgi or the Elephant AA will all work well through a range of roast depths and any of them should be a great start.

    80g of beans, ie: fill to the top of the "shark-fins" in your popper and turn it on.

    empty into a bowl when a good colour and cool between a couple of strainers or just tip back and forward between a couple of bowls until cool.
    (they WILL be hot so be careful)

    Try some as soon as they are cool enough to touch, put the rest aside in a jar and try in a couple of days.

    Do another roast using the same weight of 80g , make this one lighter or darker (or do both) and taste the differences.

    Take lots of notes, make one change at a time to your roasting technique, read lots of posts in this section of the forum and you should progress pretty quickly.

    Enjoy the journey ahead!

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    • #3
      Legendary!

      Thanks Andy. I just ordered some of the Peru Ceja this afternoon.

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      • #4
        Hi Eskimo,

        Welcome to the new world :-) I also started out about 3 months ago and havent looked back.

        take a look at some of the popcorn roasting profiles i did to get an idea. Sometimes you need to go a little lighter if it roasts really quickly. Also note the hotter the ambient temperature the faster the roast.....in a popper i find you have to slow it down. So roasting first thing in morning or evening is best. Do it outside unless you want a mess indoors.

        As Andy said....take notes, get a stopwatch and let the coffee rest a few days before you try it out.

        http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...tml#post542050

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        • #5
          Thanks Madaxle, everything you've mentioned is on the money after doing my first roast today.

          I checked my Tiffany roaster - it's rated at 1200-1300w which seems to be at the upper end of the scale. Sure enough I basically cremated my first batch

          The following few batches were getting the odd 1st crack at around 1min(!) then consistent cracking at 2-3mins which seemed to roll through without any distinct pause - 2nd crack. Just going by sight I was stopping the machine between 3-4mins (which I'm sure is not long enough for a good roasting process) otherwise they were burning.

          The beans seemed a bit oily after roasting - hopefully this disappears after a few days rest?? Or are they roasting so quickly that I'm losing the 'goodness'?

          Anyway, I'll let them sit in the valve bag for a few days and see what they're like in the cup. Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Hi Eskimo,

            Oil on the surface after roasting means you're well into second crack. More oil will migrate to the surface with time not the other way around.

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            • #7
              Hi Eskimo,
              If they are cracking after 1 min I think it's going too fast. So it's either the ambient temperature, too many beans in the popper (you can stretch the roast with less beans - try 50-60g a batch) or the popper may need some mods to allow for a slower roast.

              Typically I use a wooden spoon to help stir the beans in the first few mins so the chaf comes out and air circulation is good. Make sure between roasts you cool the popper down. Suggest morning before temp is too hot (below 23 degrees) or in the evening when it's cooling down

              My tip is to stop roasting when you hear 2nd crack. All the oil means your well into 2nd crack.

              I would say your loosing the goodness. It's just a different spectrum of the roast and a different flavour to the bean.
              You should roast a few batches and take some before 2nd crack, 2nd crack, 20sec into 2nd crack and then past 2nd crack.
              Smell each batch. Note down the smell. I found that the longer I could stretch the popper batch then there was less charcol / burnt smell = better coffee.

              Expect to wait a couple of days 2-5 before you can taste. But you will be eager to sample.....so do so.

              If you record some of the conditions, temp, roast time, weight of roast batch, when you sampled it, etc you will soon learn what works good in your popper.

              My first popper I thought was good but it roasted too fast. My second one which costed $10 from vinnies stretched the roast time and was muchh better than the $30 popcorn machine.

              If you are going to mod your popper. Be careful. Research what other people do. Plan what mods you want to do or you will end up with an ugly popper if you stuff it up :-)

              Good luck. Look forward to hearing how it tastes

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              • #8
                This time of year its best to popper roast late at night when the temp has dropped. Its easier in winter!

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                • #9
                  I just tried my first roast using a Mistral 1200W popper (about $15 from KMart). Total fail. The first batch I added 80g (ambient temp of 22). Burnt in about 40 seconds. For my second attempt I only put 40g in. First crack at 1minute then the machine shut down at 1:45 (perhaps a safety feature?). All the while I was continuously stirring with a wooden spoon to keep them moving. Not sure where to go from here... This thing was so hot I had to get a longer wooden spoon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gombul View Post
                    I just tried my first roast using a Mistral 1200W popper (about $15 from KMart). Total fail. The first batch I added 80g (ambient temp of 22). Burnt in about 40 seconds. For my second attempt I only put 40g in. First crack at 1minute then the machine shut down at 1:45 (perhaps a safety feature?). All the while I was continuously stirring with a wooden spoon to keep them moving. Not sure where to go from here... This thing was so hot I had to get a longer wooden spoon.
                    If you live in the southern hemisphere, this is the worst possible time of year to try roasting with an unmodified popper. If you live in the tropics, there is probably no time of year that is good for roasting with a popper unless it is heavily modified.

                    You can have a look at this thread :- http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...icks-mods.html

                    It will give you some info that might help, but the simple mechanical mods in part one will only work where and when it is cool or cold for at least part of the year.

                    If you have the tech skills to do them, the major electrical mods will allow you to do a 15 to 20 minute roast on 30°C days - but I don't recommend it. In summer I only roast early in the morning or late at night.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Deegee. I'll drill holes and fan the unit to see if this helps. Also see if I can wait till it's cooler in there. Do you have any photos of a popper with it's chamber drilled? I'll hold back on the electrical mods for now. I've worked with potentiometres before but only lower voltages and I know when to walk away. I built a mechanised dolly for my camera recently using gear motors. They are fairly cheap and torquey - I'm starting to think of a rotating basket with variable heat gun. I'm sure it's been done before, maybe something to look into later...

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                      • #12
                        I have never drilled the chamber of a popper, but here are a couple of different examples of outer case ventilation. I used a hole saw on the B&D - but I did it with the case removed. Holes are in the upper half only, well away from any exposed terminals and circuit boards. The wires visible through one of the holes were double insulated before reassembly. The round popper with many holes is not mine, but is on another thread somewhere here on CS. I would have put more holes in the top half and none in the lower section near the electrics. Most poppers have no wiring or components in the upper half, so holes could be cut or drilled without removing the case, but you would have to be careful. The square holes in the Target case were done with a cutting disc in a Dremel.

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                        • #13
                          Well I'm ready to try again but the ambient temp in my workshop (Canberra) is still 26 so I'll wait till early morning.
                          Here's a pic with the holes cut and half a tomato tin chimney. If it's still too hot I could funnel more air in one of the plastic case holes.
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                          • #14
                            It's hard to be sure from the angle of the shot, so I may be wrong here, but it looks like that tomato tin chimney still has the bottom in it with a few holes drilled through it. If so, this will restrict airflow and retain a lot of heat.
                            The chimney should just be cylinder with no top or bottom whatsoever. It's just a vertical extension of the roast chamber walls to keep the beans from jumping out when they get lighter towards the end of the roast.

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                            Like this.

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                            • #15
                              It's just the photo. This is the top half of the tomato tin. I didn't use the full length so I could still get a wooden spoon in there to stir.

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