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Thread: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

  1. #1
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    Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I been been a long time reader of this site and i have gotten some great tips and ideas. Thanx everyone!! I need some help, and i apologize if this topic has been discussed before. I am a bit of a noob to home roasting, I dug out an old B & D popper from the cupboard, found an empty asparagus can for a chimney, bought a kilo of green beans from my local roaster and decided to give it a go. I loaded 100g of beans and turned it on. It just got to the first few pops of the first crack before the cut-off switch stopped it from overheating. Where am i going wrong or is this something that cant be avoided with this brand of machine? Any ideas or tips?

  2. #2
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    how long to FC?

  3. #3
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    just short of 3 minutes

  4. #4
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Its colder, so youre going to be getting into at least 7-8 mins to 1st crack. You can partially block the top of the chimney with a plank of wood to hold more heat in.

    You can also set the popper into a box to allow warmer air intake to the roasting chamber.

  5. #5
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    can you increase cooling to base of popper by ensuring "vents" are clear
    make sure its on a flat surface so air can get in etc.

    maybe point a fan at it a bit (base of popper)

    also maybe increase beans a bit more?

    3 mins seems quick as popcorn would take longer (i think?)

  6. #6
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    it may not have been the start of the 1st crack but a heard a few pops...

  7. #7
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    How old is the popper? It might be on the blink, especially if it has plenty of prior use.

    Check the vents are clear in the chamber and externally. maybe apply a vacuum cleaner in the chamber to see if it sucks out any dust or old popcorn crumbs (or cockroaches!!!) and try starting with 80g instead of 100.

    Otherwise, they are pretty cheap. even brand new.

  8. #8
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    the popper hasnt had much use, even when it popped corn!! the unit is clean on the inside, and ive got it on a flat bench when im roasting. ive heard that drilling some holes or vents in the side may help. Your thoughts?

  9. #9
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    yes on the holes but pull it apart to do it dont just drill into it.......

    i would do a few more batches 1st to experiment, make sure it has cooled right down before trying again.

    you can suck out some heat from the base with a vacuum over the vents a bit .....

  10. #10
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Poppers are very sensitive to ambient temperature. You get extended roasting times in the winter (bonus) because of cooler temps.

    You can also try upping the amount of beans to give you a bigger thermal mass to hold temp. With poppers, more = faster (until you reach max batch size).

  11. #11
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    All this being said, Flynn could be right, it could be the popper, when i first started i had two poppers, a breville and a B + D, both near new cond, breville.....no probs, B+D sometimes never got to FC in the winter.......it would just sit there baking beans....

  12. #12
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    just done another roast, dropped it back to 80 grams and got almost to the rolling crack before it cut out (approx 5 mins).

  13. #13
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Do yourself a favour and buy a new popper. No point in wasting more beans.

    I bought a Tiffany one for $25 for a Seconds store. At this time of the year, you might pick up a Sunbeam one for around the same price.

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    If its overheating it wont hurt to try get more cold air into it.
    This will slow down the roast and hopefully prevent the thermal cut-out happening before 1st crack.


    P.S. Please update you profile with your location.
    Someone may be nearby that can help.

  15. #15
    KJM
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3775736837716D6437010 link=1275617958/11#11 date=1275623914
    just done another roast, dropped it back to 80 grams and got almost to the rolling crack before it cut out (approx 5 mins).
    Having used poppers extensively and modified some to include PID controllers, let me point out that the fan that cools is also the fan that moves the beans.

    Check to ensure the beans are well lofted in the roasting chamber. If they arent moving much, youre probably blocking the airflow too much and the bimetallic strip will ping the heater off. 100g is at the upper limit, I think. All the poppers I used were able to do 70g. One old-faithful was able to do 140g and lasted me almost a full year! They vary a lot.

    I successfully used my poppers in reasonably cool temperatures - single digit temperatures. Total roast times with the PID were in the 7 to 8 minute range with 3 to 4 minutes to FC. So 5 mins sounds a bit slow to me.

    One thing to check is how well the fan actually works - they are a plastic thing that simply pushes onto the motor shaft. So they can "slip" and not be quite as efficient as they ought be. To get to that youll need to take it to bits. If you havent already, youll need some security screw driver bits. The cheapie ones Jaycar sell work on the B&D poppers Ive had.

    Good luck!

    /Kevin

  16. #16
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2A2D600 link=1275617958/14#14 date=1275641896
    I successfully used my poppers in reasonably cool temperatures - single digit temperatures.Total roast times with the PID were in the 7 to 8 minute range with 3 to 4 minutes to first crack.So 5 mins sounds a bit slow to me.
    But you want slow!

    Most poppers roast too fast.

    Without a PID I managed to modify mine to reach almost 12 mins:
    first crack - 4:25
    End first crack - 8:00
    second crack - 11:20
    Stop - 11:50

    Ambient temp. was 15C.
    100g gross weight
    85g net weight

  17. #17
    KJM
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    The trouble with slow on a popper is that it melts the fan...

    I agree with all you said, however, TG. But I stopped pushing mine past 10mins because they kept failing :o

    /Kevin

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Pretty sure what TG was referring to was a "Slow Temperature Gradient" Kevin. Usually attained by allowing more air-flow through the Popper and cooling things down a smidge....

    Mal.

  19. #19
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Thanks for all the great advice, i might in the next couple of days modify the popper with some holes for airflow, see if i can get the temps down a little. Ill keep u posted....

  20. #20
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Help!! Cant get up to the 1st crack!!

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I would never put anything less than 120g in my popper. Especially in the winter months, you need that mass to keep from stalling the roast.



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