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Thread: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,

    Just thought Id share some of my experience with the Breville Crazy Popper, as Ive had excellent results with it.

    I started doing 75g roasts as recommended in several sources I read. They worked well but I was having a bit of trouble reaching a consistent 2nd crack (and hearing it) with smaller bean types.
    I pluggged the popper to an extension cord (to lengthen roast times with larger amounts of beans) and started experimenting with larger volumes. I get the best results, and the most reproducible with bean weights of approximately 150g in the popper, so that the beans are barely moving for starters. These take ~4 minutes to 1st crack and about ~6-7 minutes to 2nd. Comapared withsmaller runs of 75-100g, the roasts seem more even with less over- or under-roasted beans.
    By comparing this to resources especially in the States, it seems like the Breville machine has a fan capable of handling significantly larger volumes of beans than their machines.
    I should clarify here that I have put a chimney in the popper and removed the useless, melting hood that came with the machine, which only serves a useful purpose to direct popping corn into a bowl. There is an upside-down colander on top to stop the chaff going everywhere.
    Anyone else had experience pushing the capacity of the popper? What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    I own a crazy popper aswell, and interestingly enough find the optimal roast weight to be identical to yours - around 150g. The popper does a good enough job for me, even in colder weather (admittedly the 16 degrees I was roasting at yesterday evening isnt particularly cold) and the only drawback Ive been able to find with it is the machines reluctance to be tinkered with. I had to drill through an unused portion of a circuit board to get to a screw so that I could disassemble the thing, and even then it was a real pain to take apart - I can only wonder what attempting to modify the thing would be like (I gave up).

    That said, it is a very good stock-standard popper. I got mine for $25 a month or so ago, and it has so far roasted very consistently and much quicker than I expected after reading articles here and elsewhere.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    I used to use a Mistral, and it had a very strong fan. I loaded 200g at a time, and it only required stirring for about a minute till the fan took over the stirring. Massive chimney, roasted outside for chaff. Each popper is just different, but I did enjoy pushing the limits of the Mistral.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    South Coast NSW

    Re: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    Gday Farmer Joe,
    Congrats on your early success with your roasting endeavours.

    In relation to using the extension cord to lengthen the roast time. The extension cord is used to reduce or drop the voltage at the appliance, which for a popper will reduce the output of the heater, thus slowing the roast down.
    This is a favourite of our US roasting cousins, but it has hardly any effect over here due to the different mains voltages used.

    The simplest mod, relatively speaking is to split the heater and fan circuits of the popper and boost the fan voltage. This enables you to use a greater volume of beans, or to use a smaller volume of beans and increase the roasting time, due to greater airflow around the beans. A word of warning, there are potentialy deadly voltages inside which will kill you if you grab the wrong wire.

    I have a Maitre de popper, but if you search this site youll find it listed as an Aldi popper, which was very badly behaved and required extensive mods to make it any near useful as a roaster. Have a look at this link which details my experiences with it.

    In the end your roasting amounts are limited with a popper by:
    1. The fan speed, which can be modified, and
    2. The physical size of the roasting chamber, which obviously cant be changed.
    I would think that the upper limit of a popper would be a 200-250g. If you need more than that, you may have to look at another method, ie HG/DB or a BBQ drum roaster, or you could always do roasts more often in the popper.

    Hope this helps,

  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    Fewer beans more often takes the stress from these cheap and lightweight gadgets. Up to 100 grams -- the volume these poppers are designed for-- then wait about 10 minutes for it to cool, and do the next batch.

    This might be inconvenient, but should increase the longevity of the machine.


  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Re: Breville Crazy Popper volume handling

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I find that doing 100-150g per batch is plenty for me as Im the only coffee drinker in the house. A 100g batch will last me maybe 4 days, 6 days to a week for 150g, so its not what Id consider heavy use of the popper.

    At the moment Im not crazy about modding it, as Im getting brilliant results. As I get a 1 - 1:30 break between the end of 1st crack and the beginning of 2nd, and also with 150g loaded the beans are close to the top of the chimney near the end of the roast (means I can see them well), Ive been getting spot-on results for the roast I intend.



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