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Thread: Getting started with a popper

  1. #1
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    Getting started with a popper

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been roasting my own beans for would be close to a month or more in my popcorn machine, and have recently started building a bbq roaster (father being a welder and fabricated, it seemed to be easier). While at a CS sponsor today, they told me it was a waste to be roasting with a popcorn machine. I understand the fact that a popcorn machine does not offer the same cabalities as a commercial or even a hottop or behmor etc. etc. I guess I was just expecting the sponsor to be more supportive and helpful like I find the coffee barun to be.

    So do other coffeesnobers believe it is a waste to be roasting with a popcorn? *I personally believe that the roasts I have been doing are pretty good, and so have family and friends have really liked it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    You are certainly NOT wasting your time with the popper, that is how most of us started out!, prolly them too, i dont know what he/she was on :o Not good........

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    this is the important bit !!!
    Quote Originally Posted by 3164776C020 link=1265007987/0#0 date=1265007987
    *I personally believe that the roasts I have been doing are pretty good, and so have family and friends have really liked it.

    BUT i tend to agree with the statement about it being a "waste" I tried using a popper and found that I could not get any real control and the batch size is way to small.

    if i was going to suggest a cheap way into roasting it would be a heat gun and a stainless steel bowl and wooden spoon. You then can roast 300 - 400gram with ease and have more control over heat. IMO the major benefit being control and batch size.

    but thats just MY opinion and you asked...... :)

    Leeham

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I started around Christmas time, and had a popcorn machine in the house already, but not a heat gun, so that was the option I went with. Being a uni student and being able to pay a quarter of the price for coffee is very helpful cost wise. Which is what he seemed to be saying the waste was.

  5. #5
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Keep using your popper if thats what suits you financially, and if it is producing results that make you sit back an go...hmmmm thats a great cuppa!, yes there are better methods out there, but big $$$ also comes with some of them, leehams recommendation of the heat gun with bowl is a good one, but still, if you are a uni student then i can understand you prolly dont have the dollars to buy heat gun, i know it can get tight......enjoy what ya doing, and if your happy with what ends up in the cup.....thats what its all about

    I still cant believe a sponsor said that.......... :-[

  6. #6
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I still think that popcorn machines are the perfect entry into roasting if for no other reason than just to prove that it is possible to roast at home.

    As you said, you had one around the house already (and if not you can often get them from pawnbrokers for $5 odd) and with a bag of green beans you are off on a worderful journey of home roasting.

    1. Toss 80 grams of green beans in and turn it on.
    2. When they look right turn it off and cool them down.
    3. Grind and drink.

    Many many people on CoffeeSnobs have roasted with a popper for years and are very happy with the results and have no intention of changing roasters.

    Often its the low volume of the popper that makes people move away from popper roasting as they find themselves roasting more and more each week for family and friends.

    Some other CSrs here like to fiddle more and refine the roast further. *The popper wont let you play with profiles or air-flow or get too creative so you need to look at other devices to fix your tinker urge.

    Your BBQ project sounds like you plan to tinker and Im sure you will have fun and also see some different results that you might like better (or not).

    Good coffee beans roasted in a popper and ground when you need them are often produce better coffee than many local cafes and certainly way in front of stale supermarket beans. *Better flavour, better crema, roasted how you like them and cheaper.

    ...far from a waste of time in my book!

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Hopefully I will have a bbq roaster made, till then I will be using my popcorn machine. It also threw me that he said it.

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Im a popper roaster from way back and like Andy said..the only reason i stepped it up to a purpose made roaster was batch sizes..aswell as my budget allowed.

    I stuck with a popper for a couple of years. It served me well.
    To date i have had around 5 popper and only one of them gave up the ghost...the rest went to new homes to people with an interest in home roasting like yourself.

  9. #9
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F4A59422C0 link=1265007987/0#0 date=1265007987
    While at a CS sponsor today, they told me it was a waste to be roasting with a popcorn machine.
    You havent said, so Im wondering if they explained what they meant by "a waste".
    A waste of time, effort, money, what?

    If they didnt explain and you didnt ask them to, Id like to give them the benefit of the doubt before we all shoot them down in flames.

    -----

    I too started with a popper and modified it as best I could without playing with the electrics.
    Most of my modifications centred around airflow and heat dispersment.
    Eventually batch sizes got the better of me too and I moved on to a bowl and spoon followed by a corretto.

    An idea: a heat gun from Aldi costs about $20 when they are available.

    I kept a new one in the box as a backup in case my new more expensive one died in the middle of a roast.

    Now that Ive got a new KKTO Ill have to rethink that strategy.....

  10. #10
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I also think a popper is a great way to begin roasting.
    As others have said, some people stick with the popper, some move up to other means and I would say some also ditch home roasting all together.

    The home roasting bug isnt for everyone and a popper is a fantastic and cheap way to find out if it is something that interests you. Obviously in your case, it does.

    Not sure of the context that the CS sponsor meant it to be a waste to be roasting with a popcorn machine, but I would not dwell on it too much. Everyone has different takes on home roasting and there have been a few dicussions in these very forums about a home roast versus commercial roast and the relative merits.

    Something that Andy and many others have said a lot - "Let your tastebuds be your guide".

    If YOU like the results via the popper, then its worthwhile. If you progress to a BBQ roaster, I reckon you will like it even more (BBQ roasters RULE ;-) ).

    Brett.

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    Re: Getting started with a popper


    If you decide to use a popper to roast coffee, then my advice is to be very, very careful.

    I started with one and just look what happened to me! ;D


  12. #12
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D5B5E5E4F4D4148484B4B2E0 link=1265007987/10#10 date=1265078794
    If you decide to use a popper to roast coffee, then my advice is to be very, very careful. I started with one and just look what happened to me! *;D
    Did you go from popper to Dudley?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 717B6E7979766264170 link=1265007987/11#11 date=1265082230
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D5B5E5E4F4D4148484B4B2E0 link=1265007987/10#10 date=1265078794
    If you decide to use a popper to roast coffee, then my advice is to be very, very careful. I started with one and just look what happened to me! *;D
    Did you go from popper to Dudley?
    Nah...dog bowl came next.

    Though as a child I was entrusted to keep the barbecue roaster turning under the watchful eye of my parents..."a little bit slower; a little bit faster".


  14. #14
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I still use a Popper now and again as it happens.

    Mainly to test roast some new beans or new crops of previous beans Ive used in the past. Dont think you could really call it sample roasting in the genuine sense, but it does allow me to play around with small batches of beans so that I can roughly transfer the results through to the Corretto or now, the KKTO.... Does a good job in this guise.... 8-)

    Mal.

  15. #15
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 58797272756F1C0 link=1265007987/12#12 date=1265095341
    as a child I was entrusted to keep the barbecue roaster turning under the watchful eye of my parents
    About the age you were when your profile photo was taken, Im guessing. A worthy apprenticeship, Den.

  16. #16
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    [split] [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1265334404/0#0][splithere][/link][splithere_end]

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I have a popcorn popper at home and am pretty pleased with the results. I am getting a friend one for his birthday, but cant find them in the shops (apparently popcorn popping is a seasonal pastime).
    Has anyone seen any and, if so, where? As its a prezzie, it has to be new.
    Cheers.

  18. #18
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    For a new one try K-Mart.

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Thanks, Thundergod,
    I phoned around the KMarts and apparently they get them seasonally (for example, before Christmas). Got a Breville today from Harvey Norman ($44).

  20. #20
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Crazy Popper?

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I have just started roasting and after some research found that a popper was the fastest (and possibly easiest) way to get started. I have to say that wil minimal trial and error I mamaged to produce a very satisfying first batch, I can only assume it will get better from here. I am wondering though can anyone give me an idea of what an ideal roasting time would be ? I have settled for the mean time at 4 mins 30 seconds (just after the beggining of the second crack) but would love to get some more veteran opinions.

  22. #22
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Hi Chris.
    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.
    If you search the forum you will fine many, many posts regarding popper roasting.

    Heres a good one for a start.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174699442

    The longer you can make that roast time the better.
    What popper do you have?
    Depending on the model I might have some tips for you; if not, someone else will.

  23. #23
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    During the heatwaves, I was using a pedestal fan, to cool the surrounding air, to increase the roasting time.

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Thanks for that Thundergod. The one I have is a Sunbeam CP4500 Cornelius.

  25. #25
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Different to my one.

    Have a look underneath and see if you can add extra holes for it to breathe better for a start (more cool air in).

  26. #26
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Mine has or should I say had a lid with a switch. I removed the lid and jimmyd up the switch so it would still run. I drilled 10 more holes in to the bottom for increased cold air induction performance :0).
    I have also moved from the back patio to the air conditioned shed. After all said and done I have managed to extend the roast time from 4 mins 30 sec to 8 mins.

    Thanks for the very helpful info.

  27. #27
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F243E253F212D22283E354C0 link=1265007987/25#25 date=1266187594
    After all said and done I have managed to extend the roast time from 4 mins 30 sec to 8 mins.
    Excellent start!!!

  28. #28
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Yesterday I managed to over heat it and fry the circuit board half way through a roast.

  29. #29
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Sorry to hear that :(but.......early upgrade to KKTO or Corretto? 8-), that is exactly how it happened to me, fried then upgraded ;)

  30. #30
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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    I have a BBQ project on the go, but I did spend a good time looking through the sale board, because I though I saw a corretto setup in there in Adelaide. Upgradtitus already has struck.

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    Re: Getting started with a popper

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I was using a popper, but rather then goto dog bowl i had a good result using a stainless steel wire mesh sieve and a heat gun, worked out better then the popper, just aimed the heatgun at the beans and started them swirling.



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