Im new home roasting and was hoping for some advice as I dont think ive achieved second crack using my black and decker popper.
Whilst eagerly awaiting for my first beans from the co-op i bougt some mandeling and harrar from a local provider. Using these in ammounts between 80 -100gms i heard very clear cracks at around the 4min mark. After this . . . .nothing. Im running the machine out to 12 mins - concened at this stage it may blow!.
After melting the plastic chute i inserted a asparragas . . still no second crack.
As theres hardly any smoke im wondering if the popper just isnt getting hot enough, or perhaps im not hearing the second crack if its happenning.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
As theres not much smo
The intensity of the cracks varies depending on the beans you are using. There SM can sometimes be a little quiet and hard to pick but there should not be any issue with the Harrar. I imagine you have previously read about the difference in the sound of the cracks and know what you are looking for. Smoke is also a good indication, particularly the smell so I think you are probably correct in assuming you are not getting to the second crack.
There is something odd about your timing. Getting to FC in 4 minutes would normally indicate the roaster in hot enough; even more than hot enough to do the job. It might be possible that the thermal cut-out is limiting the temperature but I always understood the cut-out to shut the device down completely rather than regulating the temp to a precise level. Ambient temp is always a factor with poppers. Coming into the warmer weather it is going to work a lot faster than in the winter. Something you might consider is putting the popper into a box such that it recirculates warm air rather than continually drawing in cold air. I have had to do this with a few poppers before I went to an alternative. A word of caution though should you decide to try this. Stay very close and be ready to shut it down quickly. The transition from SC to charcoal can be very short.