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My first popper roast

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  • My first popper roast

    Not long ago, my wife bought a popcorn popper for the kids, yeah, for popcorn. A Kambrook flutter butter I think it's called. Sure pops corn nice. Last week I decided to secretly roast some coffee in it. 90gm in, 72 out. It worked well but roasted fast, about 3:30-4min not quite to 2nd crack I guess (hard to tell).

    I let it rest a day then brewed a shot on the machine, tasted 'ok', but I wonder if the roast was too fast and therefore the bean just isnt developed enough.

    I did a second roast, this time after reading more here on CS. I added a can on top (chimney), put in 150gm of the same beans, and stirred it for the first 2-3min with a wooden spoon handle. Total roast time was 5m20 and was well in to first crack. The roast looks nice, but still it's a fast roast. 130gm came out.

    Yesterday, after my wife discovered what I was up to, she bought me a $15 target popper. I took it in to the garage, opened the box, unscrewed the popper, pulled it apart, enlarged the vent holes, added a chimney and put it mostly back together. Haven't roasted on it yet, BUT, I'm hoping that the 900W popper has a longer roast time than the 1200 kambrook which is a real beast.

    Why roast on the popper? I have a corretto already!? My corretto hates batches under 400gm and I really need small batches for cupping or samples. If I try less than 400gm I tend to end up with scorched beans and uneven roasts, obviously it's a stir/mix problem.

    So I'm keen to further develop the popper method. Looking forward to learning more about this

    and here's a pic:

    Last edited by JamesM; 29 November 2012, 02:00 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Target popper will definitely stretch your roast. If you want the roast to stretch you should reduce the amount of beans you are roasting at a time especially on the kambrook. It's a little confusing that you added more beans but the roast was longer when in most cases it's the opposite.


    • #3
      He hee hee
      I've tried that too :-) $2 at the tip shop…
      I got some nice 50g roasts on a cold day (15-20mins) but then did the maths and worked out that my weeks worth would take about 2 hours, if I could get those times consistently! But boy I had some fun trying!

      I did have some success too doing a bigger batch (100g) sitting over the top of the popper in a mesh sieve and stirring - that was a much longer, gentler roast too.

      I'm sticking with the corretto for now … but have fun!


      • #4
        Roasted for the first time on the target popper (900W). I put 160gm in, way too much for this popper. I had to stir the roast the ENTIRE time. I did however manage 5m20 first crack, I pulled it out at 7m. It looks good. I think I'll try around 90gm next time.


        • #5
          That's adventurous! I've not gone more than 120g on the target popper and I don't think u could really.


          • #6
            Did another roast on the target popper. This time about 120gm. It was easier to manage, still required stirring, but after a little while I could tilt the popper a little and it mixed the beans under it's own power really well.

            Now for the punch line. It was a 14 min roast! Yes, 14 min, and it was probably roasted to "city" or CS7.

            A combination of wind outside, stirring, tilting and jiggling and I really was able to draw out that roast time. I was quite happy with it.

            mods to the popper are enlarged vents and can-chimney. oh and I use a 10mtr ext cord.


            • #7
              Hey for anyone who needs a new popper, check out BigW $10. Remember to check that that it has the internal heating vents on the side of the chamber rather than the bottom.

              Comments on OzBargain:
              $10 Popcorn Maker, Waffle Maker, Donut Maker, Milk Shake Maker - Limited Time Only @ Big W - OzBargain


              • #8
                Tried another roast, 120gm again, in the sun outside, no wind, wanted to aim for a roast for espresso (near 2nd crack) but couldn't get the lil 900W anywhere near where I wanted. Might have to go back to the 1100-1200W kambrook


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JamesM View Post
                  Tried another roast, 120gm again, in the sun outside, no wind, wanted to aim for a roast for espresso (near 2nd crack) but couldn't get the lil 900W anywhere near where I wanted. Might have to go back to the 1100-1200W kambrook
                  Hello James, I have done several batches with the 900w Target popper over the last week. I usually roast fairly early in the morning, which is the coolest time of day here in Brisbane. Temps have been about 24 to 28 C

                  I have removed the front panel, and cut a 90 X 65 mm hole in the back panel with a fairly powerful desk fan blowing through the holes.
                  This slows down the first stage of the roast, but depending on ambient it may not even reach F/C. So as it approaches 200C I watch the temperature carefully and if it stays the same for more than one minute I turn off the fan. At ambient temps around 25-30C it will now reach F/C, usually somewhere between 6 and 9 min.

                  To reach 2C I then have to cover the holes in the casing and sometimes also sit the popper on a folded tea- towel which restricts the air intake vents on the bottom. This will ramp up the temp quite quickly and the safety thermostat may operate and cut the power to the element, unless you have tweaked it or bridged it out.

                  At the same ambient levels my Brevillle 1100/1200/ watt unit is a bit too fast and usually gets to 2C in about 8 or 9 min even though I run it topless and have one fan beside it and another underneath force feeding the air intake.

                  So until it cools down again I will be using the 900 w unit with fan forced cooling at the start, and restricting the intake towards the end to reach 2C

                  Cheers, Leo.

                  P.S. I usually do 80 gram batches in summer.
                  Last edited by leograyson; 9 December 2012, 07:18 PM. Reason: PS


                  • #10
                    With my 900 watt popper, to get the temp up, I use a piece of wood to partially cover the top of the chimney to restrict airflow.
                    On a typical Melbourne night in the garage without restricting the air out of the chimney, the popper gets to a maximum of ~180 degrees with ~100-120 grams green bean which is barely 1C.
                    Covering the top of the chimney lets me ramp up the heat above 180 & easily gets to 200-220 range for 2C.
                    I do have a thermocouple probe in there which is really handy to see exactly what's happening temperature wise.


                    • #11
                      $11 at Target
                      Just picked up another one today to go with the one the kids got me for Xmas
                      I see them as my sample roasters for my KKTO