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First Roast in the Breville Crazy Popper: Did I reach first crack?

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  • First Roast in the Breville Crazy Popper: Did I reach first crack?

    I put in 80gms of El Salvador San Emilio coffee beans into the Breville Crazy Popper that my friend gave me today.
    After 24 minutes I still hadnt heard first crack. Videos I have watched seemed to indicate it is reasonably loud. Can you tell if it reached first crack by the pictures i have posted?
    Looks like I have the same setup as LeroyC, even down to the same colander. I haven't done the chimney mod yet though.
    The ambient temperature was pretty low - 11 degrees.

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  • #2
    G'day "jrm"...

    21 minutes is an awful long time for a popper and not hearing 1st-Crack. It should be quite obvious and easily heard above the noise of the popper fan.
    Probably down to the cool conditions more than anything else.

    Try increasing the batch size at around 10g at a time, and then see how that works out.
    You're basically looking for an overall roast time of between 10-12 minutes, say just to the edge of 2nd-Crack.
    Most likely you'll destroy a few batches of beans but it's all part of the learning process and so long as you keep good records of each batch - good and bad - you can keep track of where you are heading.



    • #3
      Some beans are quiet at 1st crack, others like penny bangers. It also depends on the background noise whether or not you will hear it.

      The beans you have roasted have gone through first crack...... fully expanded with some breakdown of the cellular matrix and no

      silverskin/chaff in sight, other than in the centre line.


      • #4
        Hi mate, welcome to the crazy popper madness.
        I have got several poppers the same as yours but with the added chimney. Ditch the topsection of the popper, head down to the local paknsave/countdown and buy a small can of peaches! the difference with/without chimney (I roast the exact same san Emilio bean as you) is heaps, I was roasting 150grams of the elSalvador.
        use the thin end of a wooden spoon to help the beans circulate when starting the roast, until they are freely moving by themselves (due to weight loss).

        I live in the Waikato, and I used to roast on my back deck to assist the chaff cleanup, but I found that in the winter it would blow my roast times sky high. It helped by wrapping a thick towel around the chimney area to help hold some heat in, sometimes I even covered the top for a short time. just be careful you don't catch it on fire!

        my roasting times were usually around the 14 min mark.


        • #5
          Many thanks for the replies guys. I will head down to Countdown and grab some peaches and ditch the topsection of the popper. Will gradually increase my beans too.
          150gms is good going 260zman.

          FWIW, the coffee is smelling great. I have it degassing in a glass jar with the lid on very loosely.

          It is fun roasting your own beans! Thanks again for the help.


          • #6
            Hello jazrotorman and all,

            I use a Breville Bratz popper, 110-112w, with great result.

            The only modification I have is to add a chimney. Not peaches but an Alaskan 415g salmon tin. Eat the fish and file off the bottom. These tapered tins have perfectly fitted all my poppers.

            I think that 80g is far too little. By trial and error I find I get the best results with the green beans up to the silver screw inside the chamber. This is about 180g. Any more and they jump out of the chimney.

            I stir with a wooden spoon handle to get them spinning and sample the roasting beans with a table spoon.

            I usually roast until the start of second crack. CS 8 –10. When there are no longer straw coloured beans and before there are any oily beans.

            I toss the roasted beans in a colander to remove chaff and cool on baking trays where I can see and remove the occasional stone.

            I store my roasted beans in zip top bags. I recycle muesli bags..

            Usually my results with roasting CoffeeSnobs greens this way are as good as what I can get anywhere.

            Senior Member
            Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 26 August 2015, 08:44 AM.


            • #7
              Thanks for the information Barry.
              I created a chimney tonight and that certainly improved things.
              Got to first crack at 4 mins 40 seconds and I think I reached second crack around 6 mins 30 (but not 100% sure that that is what I was hearing).
              Also increased my amount like you and 260z suggested to 150 grams.
              Had the neighbour stop by for a looksee...think he was quite taken with the whole process.

              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Mate that's quite a quick roast time!

                Mind you, it's been ages since I roasted with a popper so I may have forgotten the roast times I used to do -I roll with 1kg batches in a 13b semi pp turbo oven (I'm presuming your user name is Mazda based!) .

                Keep us posted with how it tastes.


                • #9

                  ~6.0 minutes odd is a bit too quick in my opinion as well.

                  Head back to about a 100g batch and see what that gets you, keep increasing by 10g per batch until you're hitting Rolling 1st-Crack at around 10-11 minutes with the first few snaps of 2nd-Crack happening about 2-3 minutes after that. This will be in the ballpark to allow for proper development of the flavour profile. You can then fine-tune your roast profiles by adding or removing 10-20g from various batches as you experiment, in order to get the best result in the cup for your palate.

                  Also, bear in mind that warmer/cooler ambient conditions will dictate to a great degree, what the optimum batch size will be for various bean varieties as you progress along the learning curve. It's great fun though, and you never stop learning...



                  • #10
                    I agree with you Mal that ambient temp will affect your roast. In mid-summer I have had the heat switch throw out and when I haven’t had a spare popper available I have finished the roast in a frying pan on the stove.

                    In summer I do my roasting in the cool of the morning.

                    The test of your roast is not just numbers but the taste of the coffee in the cup.



                    • #11
                      13b pp turbo oven? You're having me on right?
                      Yeah, I love the rotaries, but my only one at the moment is my Crazy Popper!


                      • #12
                        Yeah I'm having you on with the 13b pp bit, it is a turbo oven though. I'm a datto guy myself with a rb powered 260z.

                        Anyway, back to the roasting.