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A beginners guide to Roasting using a popper

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  • Use less beans. Try about 50-60g.
    It's somewhat counterintuitive but the less beans means more hot air escapes and it's cooler in the chamber.

    Also stir it like crazy! Just a metal skewer or something and hold it with an oven mitt.

    Aim for about 5-8 min first crack if you can. When you get to first crack you will need to stir more. Beans will go exothermic and the reaction starts to create heat.

    Also if you can, tilt the machine so the beans sit on one side so 50% of the air doesn't even touch the beans.

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    • +1 for stirring.

      +2 for oven mitts.

      I used to shake my popper when I used one back in the day. Try bouncing then up and down a bit, basically anything to slow it down a bit.

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      • Originally posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
        Use less beans. Try about 50-60g.
        It's somewhat counterintuitive but the less beans means more hot air escapes and it's cooler in the chamber.
        You can try canting the popper over at about 15-20° from the vertical, as this will also allow some air to escape and encourage the beans to swirl around more...

        Mal.

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        • Thanks for the advice.I quickly ditched the popper after realising how much work was involved vs the yield. I got myself a corretto setup, did my first roast today and Im really happy with the result.
          Last edited by iPatch; 8th January 2018, 02:16 PM.

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          • Don't throw away your popper though...
            Handy for when you might like to add a small proportion of high quality Robusta to a blend.
            Ideal for that purpose.

            Mal.

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            • Can you use a dimmer like this to lower the voltage to slow the roast times? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
              I use the 1040 watt Nostalgia popper from SMs, and my first crack is pretty consistently about 2:30 with the second crack about 4:00 if I let it go that long. I also have a heat gun so maybe will give that a try!
              Thanks.
              Bob

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              • Welcome Bob...

                That dimmer you linked to is rated at only ~300 Watts or so. Too small...

                Out of interest, what's your location?

                Mal.

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                • Mal
                  Im in Boynton Beach FL in the US
                  R
                  Bob

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                  • No worries mate...

                    You can use floodlighting controllers for this purpose too, which are usually rated at up to 2,000W or so.
                    There are also various Triac Controllers available from eBay too, if you do a search.

                    Something like the one below, from Amazon, would work Ok.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Mal.
                    Last edited by Dimal; 12th March 2018, 12:58 AM.

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                    • Mal:
                      Thanks. I might have to try one of those. I can get it with free 2 day shipping with Prime. I think first I'll try the extension cord and tipping the popper slightly.
                      R
                      Bob

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                      • Been roasting with an old Sunbeam 'big popper' I picked up at a garage sale a decade ago, been very happy with it till a few days ago, suddenly fan is dropping to half speed. Figured time for a change so dropped in and bought a Target $15 popper today.

                        Not so good .. my old sunbeam takes around 4.5 minutes till first crack and 9-10 minutes total to roast, the target version is only taking 4 minutes till smoke (approx, did not time it yet) .. also the chamber is shorter so I was losing some beans.
                        Fans seem same power as expected, they both spit out popcorn after all, plugged into a power meter and the sunbeam is 1040W and the target 1320W .. I just saw the other thread about tacking a PWM controller on it, will do that (I am an electronics guy), will also need to raise chamber height. The actual inner chamber seems the same size, just the sunbeam has more moulding above it.
                        All good, just like to post info when i get it, more later.

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                        • Thank you to all posters.
                          Great thread for a novice popcorn popper to read.

                          A Moda popcorn popper 1200w.
                          I need to slow the process down, it all happens way too fast.
                          Like about 3 minutes, with 90gms green beans!

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                          • Head down to ~70g and see how that goes mate...
                            Also, try tilting the popper towards the front about 10 Deg. or so; should allow more hot air to escape before it transfers energy to the beans.

                            Mal.

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                            • I posted above over a year ago about the target popper https://coffeesnobs.com.au/roasters/...tml#post629290

                              Not sure if I mentioned it here but I ended up making a little circuit with a triac and a microcontroller that cycles the power to the popcorn maker at 4 seconds on and 6 seconds off (from memory) .. the target popper works a treat now, around 3 minutes to first crack and a little over 10 minutes to second crack.
                              Not had any reason to replace it since then, I am not a huge user though.
                              If I was to do it again, I would buy a sonoff basic, reprogram it with tasmota and create a rule to do the same thing.

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