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Latest Target Popcorn Popper Any Good ?

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  • Latest Target Popcorn Popper Any Good ?

    After see many online resource about coffee roasting at home, thought I give it a go.

    Today i bought the Target Popcorn Popper for 15 dollars after cannot find any Kmart or Big w stocking these things.

    When I got home , I opened the box, according to instruction booklet it is 1100w and has thermostat with auto shut off ( assuming may be coffee roasting).

    I read some threads on these forums about Target Popper 900w but none about this one.

    Any fellow CSs have used these Popper for Coffee Roasting and is it any good ?
    I think of returning this cos of the auto shut off feature, or the thermostat might be okay for coffee, but also hesitant of commence roasting since won't be able to refund it.

    Attached is a picture of the Target Popper.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    G'day mate...

    Yes, they do work Ok for small batches but in order for them to get hot enough, you have to disable the thermostat. With the t/stat disabled, the batch size is limited to 60-80g; much higher than this and the roast will head into a runaway situation and the resultant black ash will be where you thought the coffee should be...

    If you are not licensed to do electrical work, I would suggest that you either involve a friend who is or look for a Tiffany or Breville branded Popper, as these will get you started without much mucking about...



    • #3
      Last weekend i bought the same one and tried roasting. Started with 70 grams - it was too fast, second crack before 4 minutes. The fan is too weak. When i started the coffee beans just didn't move had to run to kitchen and get a wooden spoon. Too late, bottom layer turned into ash.
      I have already opened it and hopefully do some mods this weekend. Remove the thermostat, disconnect the DC motor and attach it to a separate power source with PWM. BTW, the motor running at only 14 volts but it is rated to 18v. When i connect it to my lab supply it took 1 amp at 21 volts without any signs of distress (heat). The good news is that the motor can push the fan at least 25% higher than stock circuit. Should do good job of cooling and also taking over 120 grams of beans (guessing here).
      Ordered SCR to adjust the heater but will take a while to arrive. Meanwhile, will attach a switch to coil and do it manually. If i am remotely successful you'll hear from me by next week.


      • #4
        All sounds good mate...

        Hope you're a sparky, by the way...



        • #5
          I've just bought one of these, and currently starting my roasting escapades with some Columbian volcan and some Ethiopian sidamo.
          Wow. It's actually quite good. I have to say I was a bit surprised...!

          I've started with about 60 - 80gs of beans. Any more and they will fly everywhere as they dry out and expand upwards. Getting about 55-65g end product.

          I'm doing it outside on the back deck, great for chaff purposes. Also it's been a bit chilly here in Hobart and it's been great for roasting time. About 2-4m for 1st and anything from 6m to 10m for 2nd.

          My top tip: get a big kebab stick or a chopstick or something similar, and stir stir stir. The beans won't rotate at first, until they dry out a bit. So the ones at the bottom will burn and smoke within about 30secs if they don't move.

          You can also subtly change the roasting time by doing this too - slow them down a bit (from spinning) for faster, or spin them round a bit quicker to slow the roasting.

          Also, get your oven mitt or whatever and cover the top, and you can increase the temperature a bit. I have to do that on a colder day - other places you probably won't have to.

          I'm not using the plastic cover at all, but I have tried it, and it will increase the temp a bit.

          My on/off switch melted into the on position after attempt 3 - I don't think it will last long but hey, for $15, it's an experiment I'm very happy with and I will happily order 10 more poppers to keep me going for a few more years.

          (they are only available through target online, I think, if you can't find them).

          I've also found my grinder is struggling with them, I'm playing around to get good extractions and wasting a shot or two to do it. But with a good extraction the coffee is as good as my local café (which has won awards for roasts) if I say so myself (!) and is way better than most other places.

          As I said, I am really surprised how good it has been.

          Next is to get some Brazilian beans for body, and start on the blending! I'm hooked.


          • #6
            Welcome aboard Nick
            Roasting is great fun - and highly therapeutic! You will find that most standard popper roasts will be a little harder than commercial beans in the grinder, mainly due to the shorter roast times (most poppers are 3.5-4mins total!) but down in Tassie you'll be at a natural advantage - cold days will help to slow things down as you've noted already. Enjoy the journey!
            Cheers Matt


            • #7
              An old Breville popper works well

              I've been using an old Breville popper for a few years and run it 5-6 mins (second crack) with no problems. I grind in an electric burr grinder and have a good end product.

              Have been experimenting refilling Aldi coffee pods and have worked out that you can recycle the old pods a couple of times with the existing insides. Don't worry about reusing the foil tops, since the machine works without them.


              • #8
                Finally got the Target popper mods done. Just finished my first roast and it went of really well. Took about 12 minutes in Canberra weather (13 C outside temperature).

                Separated motor from heater. Motor is rated at 14V but i am running it at 18V while roasting and 24V for cooling. Don't think it'll last long but no signs of heating so hoping it will last longer than my interest in roasting

                Heater is connected to a a 4000 Watts SCR dimmer (bought for 4.85 $ on ebay). Works really well in ramping temperature steadily.

                Motor speed is controlled by a voltage regulator attached to a cheap laptop power supply. Don't know the price as they were in my electronics junk box. But i guess - regulator is around 5$ and laptop power is around 10$.

                Using my multi-meter to monitor the temperature. Pic of my setup.


                • #9
                  Two years since I made this target popper roaster. It is still going strong. Only thing that gave up was laptop powersupply otherwise all is well. Roasted well over 40kgs over this period - Way beyond my expectations.


                  • #10
                    Hi gred, just looking at getting into roasting my own beans (after being continually disappointed with anything other than the more expensive pre-roasted beans I can't afford to keep buying), so I went all in and got myself 2.5kg of the Peru Ceja de Selva AAA that seems to be a good all-rounder and an easy roaster and go from there, and i figured that a popper would be a good place to start, so I was hoping you might have a copy of that picture of your set up as the old one isn't showing up in your post any more?

                    I was also going to ask for a basic diagram of how it's set up, but i'm not sure if the forum guys would be okay with posting something with the potential to electrocute someone who didn't know what they were doing.




                    • #11
                      Hi guys,

                      all this info is very helpful and encouraging for a newby to all this. I just picked up an old Breville popcorn maker from an op shop (Quick Popper 1250W)... just worried if it might be too powerful?
                      I'm still waiting for my beans to arrive so have not had a go at roasting as yet. Anyone have any experience with this popcorn maker?



                      • #12
                        If you are waiting for beans then you didn't buy them from here, we don't make anyone wait.

                        The popper will be fine. They all get slower over time and no two are the same (even when new) so just adjust the volume to suit.

                        Have a read of the popper threads here (plenty of them) and you will be roasting great coffee in no time.