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My new ALDI popper setup

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  • My new ALDI popper setup

    Hi Everyone,
    Heres some pictures of my popper setup, acquired today and ive put it to good use already.
    Popper is a Lumina brand from ALDI - 1200W, seems to be near on identical to the ones that K-Mart used to sell. ALDI also happened to have stainless sieves on special as well - $10 for 3, small medium large, the big one is what you can see covering the popper, the smallest one is the perfect size for measuring out the number of beans suitable for the popper. The middle one, like a lot of middle children seems to get left out

    My wife told me that she would banish me to the garage if I made too much of a mess, and so I needed to have a system to catch the chaff. It works well.

    First Roast:
    Well Robster was kind enough to give me a couple of kilos of green beans he didnt want. Cheers Robster.

    The beans are Dominican Republic - Calderon Co-op

    1st Crack - 3:35
    Rolling - 4:00 - 5:20
    2nd Crack - 11:15
    Stop - 11:45

    Cooling time with a metal pasta strainer is about 5-7 minutes.

    What do you guys think?
    Any obvious ways I can improve?


  • #2
    Re: My new ALDI popper setup

    12 mins to sc in a popper is a pretty darn good effort

    the sieve and peanut jar is a brilliant idea for chaff and to catch the beans that try and get away - over a year of popper roasting and I never thought of either of those

    the timings sound good based on what others have done with poppers and the roast looks like a good colour and consistent as well

    what weight of beans were you roasting?


    • #3
      Re: My new ALDI popper setup

      you have done no mods to the popper?
      I have a k-mart one and even after many mods will get to 2nd crack at 6 to 8 minutes

      think i better try one of these aldi ones, 12 min 2nd crack is excellent time.


      • #4
        Re: My new ALDI popper setup

        Tomorrow ill weight the beans and try the other one I got from ALDI (this one might be an anomaly)
        Theyre only $12, like the K-Mart ones.
        It may be the sieve over the top that catches the chaff, but allows a bit of heat to get out to push the times out.

        Is the large gap between cracks too big?


        • #5
          Re: My new ALDI popper setup

          No, i think it about right, slow between 1st and 2nd is good , that where the flavours get made, but theres not much choice with a popper. ideally 8 to 12 is minimum for 2nd crack. less than that beans are cooked too quick.
          even the i-roaster is aiming for 15min roast time.


          • #6
            Re: My new ALDI popper setup

            Great stuff Hatchy... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

            Nice roast mate and that looks like a good popper youve got there. Definitely a keeper 8-)



            • #7
              Re: My new ALDI popper setup

              11:45 popper roast? that is great! max i can get on my cornelius is 9 min or so. the roast looks pretty nice and even too!

              how does that chaff collector work exactly? forgive me if Im a bit slow haha


              • #8
                Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                popper has a scooped out section near the front for popcorn to fall from, the sive on top just block chaff from escaping and only place it can fall to is down the scoop section and into the jar.

                most poppers are used outside so chaff and smoke not a problem and can just blow away.

                usual way to increase roast time is by allowing more airflow, by drilling more vent holes in base and open the shark gill inside the popper chamber.

                hole for thermocouple probe for USB datalogger is drilled from where the top and body join seam at top rear down at a 45 degree angle , so the probe tip sits centered in the bean mass.


                • #9
                  Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                  Hatchy, only thing that occurs to me is that time to first crack is short, then a comparitively long time to reach second. Ideally, you should have a more consistent temp rise.

                  Perhaps as the beans dry and get lighter, they bounce around too much and the heat transfer to the beans slows.
                  How large a batch are you roasting? You may want to increase the size slightly.

                  As popper roasts go though, it looks good and you obviously picked up a good popper.


                  • #10
                    Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                    I bought the same Lumina popper today, and unmodified, I reach second crack between 5 minutes 30 seconds and 5 minutes 45 seconds with roast sizes of 75-80 grams.


                    • #11
                      Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                      I checked the batch weight, and I do about 80grams on each roast.
                      Firepower - youre right about the chaff catcher. Its basic. Chaff is caught by the sieve, and then some falls down into the chute, and what I do otherwise is wait till the first crack and then ill tap whatever is caught on the sieve into the chute. I make sure the jar catching the chaff is wet so that the chaff sticks to it. I also spray a fine mist of water onto the cutting board that everything sits on which is an additional chaff stop. I do make sure theres no water near the power cord... - this popper also has rubber feet that raise it 3mm or so off the deck.
                      I roast directly under a rangehood that is set to full power, and it pumps directly outside, so no smoke issues inside the house.

                      I read on the box that this popper has an overheat protection. Perhaps this is what is causing the increased times for me with this machine.
                      Im yet to try the second popper that I bought, so ill give it a crack this week when I get time, and see if this long time can be reached with a different (same LUMINA brand) machine.


                      • #12
                        Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                        Heres a question that someone with some electrical expertise may be able to answer.
                        Is it possible to put the heating element on a relay or something that would have it turn on for say 10 seconds, off for 5 etc?


                        • #13
                          Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                          Yep - have a search, youll find plenty on this (you need to provide a separate supply for the fan). Many build a simple triac-based controller. Ive done it with what I think is the same model as yours, just bought from Kmart. Just BE CAREFUL - designs vary slightly and 240V can kill.


                          • #14
                            Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                            I doubt the overheat protection is causing the long time to second crack.
                            There are usually two forms of overheat protection:
                            a thermal fuse - when it goes, no heat until it is replaced/bypassed
                            a bimetal strip - when it trips, it takes time to cool and close the circuit again. While this COULD be the cause, they normally dont trip in an unmodified popper with a small batch. Also you would notice the heat drop off dramatically when it triggers and would probably keep tripping again and again so preventing you getting any hotter than the first time it goes.

                            Try a 90 or 100 gm batch and see if the first and second crack come closer together.


                            • #15
                              Re: My new ALDI popper setup

                              I havent timed it officially, but I have tried a larger batch, 100g+ and the time between cracks has decreased slightly. Id think im getting about 9 minute roasts now.
                              The flavour difference is amazing. Big bold toffee coming through.

                              Loving it!