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Thread: 300g popper batches

  1. #1
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    300g popper batches

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Gday all,
    After trying poppers, heatguns and woks & ovens Ive finally decided that poppers are the go. Heatguns were too much work, & woks & ovens I found too slow and lacked control. The only drawback to the popper is batchsize & control. But now Ive found a way though to do at least 250- 300g batches in an average popper, and still with some degree of control.
    On my poppers I disable the thermostat, and use a soup can (both ends off) as a chimney. I then wire the can to the plastic top (chute thingy) so that is is pressed down onto the popper.
    To roast I turn it on and pour in over a cup of beans. I agitate them manually by shaking the popper for the first minute or two. After that the beans become light enough to loft themselves. I can control the heat they get by the amount of shaking, lots of shaking =slow roast, stop shaking = fast roast. I always start slow then finish them really hot and fast hopefully caramelising the sugars inside. Im most happy with the big batches I can get out of the poppers though.


  2. #2
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Instead of shaking the popper (not a good practice long term, considering that poppers arent exactly built to endure this), you might want to use a long stick to stir. I used to use a pair of long chopsticks when I was roasting with poppers many moons ago. You can get these chopsticks cheap from any Chinese grocery store, they are meant for deep frying.

    slow

  3. #3
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Im curious about your thermostat modification. Can you let us know why youve done it and how you go about it?

  4. #4
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    shaking the popper sounds like harder work than the heat gun! ;D

    Has anything melted yet on the popper? The heating coil of the popper might not be designed to run for 13 mins at a stretch ... and the thermostat was probably there to stop that from happening.

    Just my thots.


  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Hi All,

    A better and Safer way to extend the capacity of your popper, is to speed up the fan so that a larger bean load can be accommodated without the temperature becoming excessive. This, balanced with the weight of beans being roasted, is able to give you a reasonably wide range of control.

    CAUTION:
    ALL MODS TO ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES SHOULD ONLY BE ATTEMPTED WITH THE POWER SOURCE REMOVED AND SUBSEQUENTLY CHECKED AND TESTED BY A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN. ELECTRICITY CAN KILL.

    This can be done in one of two ways depending on the type of popper you have and your inclination to tackle technical mods. The simplest way to achieve a higher fan speed is to "short out" a section of the Voltage Dropping Resistor (the smaller wire wound element usually found internally concentric with the main Heating Element).
    A short piece of heavy gauge single strand copper would do the job, about 25mm long with 3mm of the ends bent at an acute 80 degree angle or so, something akin to what a used staple looks like when removed with a staple remover. This would then leave you with a copper "staple" about 19mm long.
    This is then stretched over about a 22-24mm length of the wire wound Dropping Resistor such that when the copper staple is released, it is held in place by the spring tension of the compressed turns of the coils of the Dropping Resistor. This effectively reduces the resistance of the resistor by a small amount which subsequently increases the voltage at the Fan Motor terminals by a proportional amount and therefore increases the Fan speed.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A better method though, is to separate the Fan Motor(which is usually D.C. by the way) input from the internal power supply and then supply it from a separate supply source external to the popper. On most cheap poppers, the fan motor Voltage is between 20-25 Volts A.C.(Alternating Current) which must be "full wave rectified" to D.C. (Direct Current).
    The only thing you need to be careful about here though, apart from the obvious, is that you dont bring the fan speed down to such a low level that the beans are no longer being agitated properly for any given bean load. This will result in excessive temperatures being reached in the roasting chamber which may prove to be too much for your popper and will at least, most likely burn the beans. Something to be avoided obviously.

    Now, to get the ball rolling...
    This is most easily done by purchasing a 240V to 24V Transformer rated at 25-50 V.A., an ON/OFF switch(240V), an "inline" fuse carrier and a Half-Amp Fuse to suit, a couple of metres of Appliance Cord(PVC), a solid state Ceiling Fan Speed Controller, and a suitably sized Jiffy Box either PVC or Metal. The usual array of workshop tools would be handy too. All of this stuff can usually be purchased from Jaycar or Oatley Electronics, etc for a very modest sum of money.

    For instructions on how to complete this modification, just visit the Home Roasting website here... http://www.homeroaster.com/homemade.html where there are links to several detailed "How To" web pages on the whole process. They of course usually refer to the West Bend Poppery type of popper for the most part but they are very similar in construction to the cheaper units that we can buy over here like Tiffany, Mistral, etc and it is only in some small details where differences may occur. These can usually be overcome with very little effort in order to make the mod work for your particular brand of popper. This is one of the better mod descriptions to be found... http://tinyurl.com/56ucz.

    A good idea, if you have any old or buggered poppers in a spare parts bin, would be to pull one of these apart first to get an idea of where all the various components are and refer these back to the above "How To" pages so you know where everything is on your particular popper. Heres a link to a page that has a pictorial description of the innards of a Poppery II, but is nevertheless very similar to most cheap poppers other than the supply voltage, which is 120V over in the States... http://tinyurl.com/54aqq.

    If you think this sort of thing is something that you wouldnt feel comfortable tackling, then dont do it. Instead, con.... er request an Electrician friend to do the mod for you for a bottle or carton of their favourite poison. Once you have all the parts, the job will only take a couple of hours at most to do and then you will have a controllable popper to roast with, rather than the other way around. Im happy to field any questions that anyone might have about their particular popper, but within the contstraints outlined at the head of this post for both yours and my protection.

    Theres lots of other useful information to be found on this site for most forms of roasting, from the very simple and straight forward mod to the very complex. Hope there is something here that you find informative and maybe inspirational. All the best and happy modding,

    Mal.

  6. #6
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    you can easily roast over a kg with a heat gun and get good consistancey no mods required ;)

    We use a large pot that we use for pasta and lots of stiring

    Rich

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Hi Rich,

    Glad to hear from you, you and Rae are Legends.

    Re the HG/DB method versus Poppers and other methods... my illness prevents me from being able to manage the HG properly so although this is an extremely popular and effective method, it is unfortunately not suitable for me and possibly some others for similar or other reasons.

    I think the popper remains an extremely popular method for roasting and with some very minor mods (not the extreme ones) it can roast enough beans for a couple per week of consumption. This satisfies the needs of an awful lot of people and is a relatively "hands off" method for those who prefer this.

    For my money, Im still tinkering around with the Turbo Oven/ Stir Crazy type of roaster but with the Stir Crazy substituted with a home made version like some of the extremely talented tinkerers on CS have come up with. Because of my very limited strength and dexterity, this is a very attractive option for me when Im roasting batches as "give-aways" or gifts.

    In the end, I suppose there is a way to suit everyone and it is just a matter of experimentation to discover which is the best method to suit your particular circumstances. For me it is the "enhanced" popper or an upcoming TO/SC. All the best Rich and more power to you,

    Mal.

  8. #8
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Rich and Rae can roast a kilo with the heat gun?

    Do you use any kind of grill/colander, or do you roast them just in the pot?

    How do you not burn your arms to pieces if its a big saucepan?.. Ive been finding that even wearing decent gloves, I feel the heat.

    Does the larger quantity effect the roast time? I wouldnt think that it would....

    My problem is that my roasts are too small (400 - 450gms) and I am using them way too quickly.... Ive been forced to live on decaf alone this past 2 days.... too busy to roast. If I can increase the roast size then maybe my problems will disappear....

  9. #9
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    just do them in the pot ill organize some photos but it does get very uncomfortable you need a wooden spoon wiht a LONG handle.
    Roasts are very even but harder to stop so I use Raes EXPENCIVE french enamel caserole dish to help cool them and a hairdrier set on cool.

    We finally blew uo our XU1 heatgun after a year of faithful service so had to go back to a popper. 90g batches im lost for words. Im use to 500g batches a least. Off to Bunnings tomorrow to get another 2 XU1s

    Cheers
    Rich

  10. #10
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    ;DI am quite interested in the demise of your heat gun. *Did it go quietly? Or with a bang?

    I still think the heat gun gives a very good control over the roast. *But do invest in a long wooden spoon for stirring. *The hairs on my fingers are always burnt! *

    I do my roasts in 250g batches. *How long does a 1kg batch take?

    Yes dont overlook the rapid cooling factor. I use a fan, and blow up through the collander while stirring (yes again), that blows away all the chaff, and the beans are cool in 1 min.


  11. #11
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    We use a big Wok... and its great.... when were feeling lazy we use the Imex.... Actualy looking at building a roasting drum, but liek you all we too are "Time Poor", Time Challenged"

    FB

  12. #12
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    Re: 300g popper batches

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas_cho link=1086392969/0#9 date=1111572335
    ;DI am quite interested in the demise of your heat gun. *Did it go quietly? Or with a bang?

    I still think the heat gun gives a very good control over the roast. *But do invest in a long wooden spoon for stirring. *The hairs on my fingers are always burnt! *

    I do my roasts in 250g batches. *How long does a 1kg batch take?

    Yes dont overlook the rapid cooling factor. *I use a fan, and blow up through the collander while stirring (yes again), that blows away all the chaff, and the beans are cool in 1 min.
    Element died with a bit of a flash then the fan ran fast then stopped.

    about 20 mins for a kilo

    Rich



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