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Thread: My first mod...

  1. #1
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    My first mod...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I havent even done my first roast yet, and Ive already modded my popper.

    Its a simple mod, its main purpose it to catch chaff. Made it from a couple dollar splatter screen. Ripped off the ring and handle, and formed the mesh into a tube, bent it down and closed off the end.easily removable from the popper, so I can just dump out the chaff collected. Think ill call it the "popper prophylactic." :o


  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: My first mod...

    [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    That is very cool Nunu, I love the "popperdom" idea, it will be interesting to see how it goes.


    What is splatter screen?

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    Re: My first mod...

    Splatter screen is a round, flat mesh thing that you put over a frying pan to protect yourself and the kitchen from oil splatter. Sort of like a flat mesh lollipop.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My first mod...

    Top job nunu,

    It kind of looks a bit painful from the prophylactic perspective, but then there are probably S&M types whod salivate something prolific at the prospect. Oh ok, Ill go to bed now :),

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: My first mod...

    Nonu -
    This would seem to be a very large size - and may also scratch. *I would also be wary of putting it on because youll burn your Coffeesnobs member as well as your hands.

    Seriously though.... Do you think youll be able to agitate the beans whilst this chaff catcher is in place? *You need to stir things up a bit to start with until the beans are light enough to jump about on their own - and thats when most of the chaff is produced.
    Am eagerly awaiting your report, hopefully not in 9 months time :-/

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    Re: My first mod...

    It is easily removable, so I can agitate the beans every so often. I just have to remember to keep the open end up as the chaff falls out. It also helps when I dont drop the bloody thing either ::)

    The reservoir tip could use a bit of tweaking to seal it of more, as some smaller chaff does fall out.

    Other than those main issues, it does a good job at collecting chaff. However, it is not 100% effective at protecting from the transmission of STDs or pregnancy. Abstain! abstain! abstain! :D

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    Re: My first mod...

    Today, I modded my popper a bit more by adding a chimney. Took an old tin of cat food (washed it until no more fishy smell, and then soaked it in boiling water with detergent), used a can opener to take off the bottom rim, but left the top one intact, since the tin had a pull tab. I then cut a slit to within a centimetre of the top rim with a pair of kitchen shears. Gently overlapped the tin to insert it into the popping chamber.

    I also tweaked the popperdom a bit, making it a bit wider, so it would fit over the chimney, as well as increasing the reservoir, to better catch chaff.

    Did a test roast with the Bolivian organic. Starting weight was about 140g, twice as much as I was roasting without the chimney. Bit more smoke and chaff than other beans Ive roasted so far. Got 1st crack at around 6-7 mins, and 2nd around 10-11 mins. I turned the popper off just as the 2nd crack started, and then the rolling started seconds after turning it off.

    Heres the end result...Smells fantastic :D


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    Re: My first mod...

    Nunu:

    It is always nice to see a roasting success story!

    It took Mal and others quite a few posts to convince me to put a chimney on my popper. I finally did and it worked just fine although I find 120g in my B&D popper is really the upper limit. After that the beans dont move much.

    I still love roasting after nearly four years of it. I dont think you ever tire of the sight and smells of freshly roasted coffee, especially when youve done it yourself!

    Grant

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    Re: My first mod...

    The popper with chimney now rivals our demand for freshly roasted coffee. Since it is usually only the two of us, 120 - 140g is good enough for a few days.

    If we plan on having guests (like this weekend), several extra batches will be needed.

    I really am enjoying the crafting of good quality coffee, not to mention the satisfaction of tinkering with the popper and producing successful mods.

    I currently use a small box heater set on fan only to cool the beans. This works decently, but the fan is a little weak.

    Once Ive roasted some of all the beans from the starter pack and sampled them, I think I may start blending a bit. Is it wise to have different stages of roasts in the same blend (not roasting all of them together, but some lighter some darker)? Or should I just roast all the beans in the blend together to the same stage?

  10. #10
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: My first mod...

    Well done, Nunu. I bet the neighbors are already opening their windows to that wonderful aroma.

    As your beans were into second crack, you would naturally want to stop them as soon as possible. Im all for gadgets, but it takes little effort to cool down down beans in the 200C-plus to ambient outddor temperature (especially when we are experiencing Hurricane Katrinas little sister here in Melbourne).

    Just pour them from one colander or container into another half a dozen times in succession and their slight journey through the air will do the rest. Its also good for blowing away any remaining chaff.

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    Re: My first mod...

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1125061629/0#8 date=1125444991
    T
    Once Ive roasted some of all the beans from the starter pack and sampled them, I think I may start blending a bit. *Is it wise to have different stages of roasts in the same blend (not roasting all of them together, but some lighter some darker)? *Or should I just roast all the beans in the blend together to the same stage?
    Nunu -
    Sounds like youre really getting into it. *Well done. *I started by roasting different beans separately, thinking that roasting profiles would vary too much to do them all together. *If I want to do a large HG roast, Ill blend them before I roast and do 400g at once. *Im yet to see any discernible difference in the beans that would make me do it differently for that quantity. *Regarding blending, I would suggest that you do 100g per time in your popper - separate varieties - and a good selection - label them and blend a different lot for each coffee you make. *Be aware of what each SO is like and see if you can improve upon it or add complexity by adding to another. *If you have, say 4 lots of 100 g, thats enough for you to see if theres any point being scientific about your blending. *I am basically taking a "lucky dip" approach and have come to the conclusion that *almost any blend beats a single origin. *I might mix some Yemeni Ismaili with an Indian Cherry (exotic and expensive arabica / very cheap robusta) and find that the result is great. *To tell you the truth, Im yet to be disappointed in any combination and the only strong preference in my household is that my partner has a thing for the Guatemalan Attitlan. And she only drinks hers with milk.

    My recommendation would be that at this stage you really work out how far into 2nd crack you want to go (if at all) and then get your grinding and extraction times spot on. *A standard 25 sec 60ml shot will mean that you are comparing apples with apples.
    Read as much as you can and dont be freaked out about a bit of chaff in your garden. *Also - Ive yet to hear of a person who doesnt enjoy the smell of freshly roasted (or roasting) coffee. *Any houses in the neighbourhood that are for sale might find the buyers lining up.

    I guess my main point is that if you master those basics, youll have a clearer picture of whats going on. *Make notes and refer to them.

  12. #12
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    Re: My first mod...

    Just got done roasting a batch of the el salvador. I forgot to bring the scale out with me, so I tried to fill it by eye. I ended up one scoop too many, and had to battle with the popper cutting off. after dumping nearly a scoop out, the roast finished nicely. It reminds me now how important it is not to overload the popper with beans. It also seems that the el salvador beans are a bit denser than the rest of the beans Ive roasted thus far (only have the Brazil washed left to roast for the first time). They also seemed a bit chaffier and smokier than the others. I dont mind chaff, but I had to empty the popperdom a couple times. The popperdom also seems to keep stray beans from jumping ship. How versatile is that, when the initial outlay for the popperdom was only 3 bucks :P

  13. #13
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    Re: My first mod...

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1125061629/0#11 date=1125452446
    Just got done roasting a batch of the el salvador. I forgot to bring the scale out with me, so I tried to fill it by eye. I ended up one scoop too many, and had to battle with the popper cutting off. after dumping nearly a scoop out, the roast finished nicely.
    Hi again nunu,

    That Bolivian Roast you did looks almost perfect. I dont know which variety of Bolivian bean you have, but the Caranavi stash I have seems to peak in flavour at about the 25-30 seconds before 2nd Crack starts. If you kept a record of your original roast, this should provide you with a guideline.

    Poppers are very individual little beasts, as you have no doubt gathered from reading the many posts of roasters who use them. Most of the variability seems to be due to the actual fan speed and in the case of your machine, it would appear to have a pretty gutsy fan... and thats a good thing. Lets you roast bigger batches and to stretch your roasts out to a reasonable length of time.... 11-12 minutes for a 140 gram batch is pretty darn good for a popper and will allow you to tailor your roasts to a much greater degree.

    Youll need to be pretty careful with the Brazil beans.... they tend to be at their best well before 2nd Crack starts and if allowed to progress too far into 2nd Crack, youll end up with a brew that has mostly Roast Flavours dominating rather than the flavour of the bean itself. I guess your palate will be the best judge but the predominant view is to keep them this side of 2nd Crack.

    Anyway, as I said above already... darn nice roasting job [smiley=thumbsup.gif]. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: My first mod...

    As a matter of fact, I roasted a batch of brazilian this morning, with the wife supervising. She was keen as to what sort of mad science I had been undertaking in the garage. I wanted to be safe, so I measured out 130g of beans. First crack came at about 6 mins, with about a 2 minute gap between 1st and 2nd crack. 2nd crack started and I shut down the popper. There was a fair bit of smoke, but nothing really wrong.

    Upon sampling later this evening, The shot was a bit smoky in flavour. Aftertaste was smoky as well as lingering on the palate. Im pretty sure the beans were over-roasted, not by a normal roast standpoint, but for the beans themselves. Ill see tomorrow how they go, and note not to roast as long next time.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: My first mod...

    Nice mod there Nunu with your PopperDom. Another item people might try for this is a lint catcher for washing machines. These are tubes of wire mesh closed on one end that are designed to go on the outlet hose of a washing machine to prevent the lint from clogging the drain. Around here you can usually find them at the dollar stores at 2 for a buck. You might have to shop around and look at different brands in order to find one where the mesh is the right size.

    Java "Loves a good mod" phile

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    Re: My first mod...

    Until last weekend Ive been roasting 130g batches in my popper too. On the weekend I tried a 100g batch and result was really noticable in the cup. It took the total roast time from about 6 mins I ususally get to nearly 8 mins til the first evidence of 2nd crack. It produced a short black that was a lot smoother with the individual flavours being more distinguishable.

    Ive also drilled almost a billion holes in the bottom of my popper with the smallest bit in my kit to try and get more airflow but I dont think it made a difference to the temperature or roast time. It was fun though - I love powertools.

    Luke

  17. #17
    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    Re: My first mod...

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1125061629/0#6 date=1125409999
    Today, I modded my popper a bit more by adding a chimney. *Took an old tin of cat food (washed it until no more fishy smell, and then soaked it in boiling water with detergent), used a can opener to take off the bottom rim, but left the top one intact, since the tin had a pull tab. *I then cut a slit to within a centimetre of the top rim with a pair of kitchen shears. *Gently overlapped the tin to insert it into the popping chamber.

    I also tweaked the popperdom a bit, making it a bit wider, so it would fit over the chimney, as well as increasing the reservoir, to better catch chaff.
    Hi Nunu, I realise you wrote this a while ago, but Im a newbie, being talked into trying to do some roasting, so I started reading these posts.

    Would you mind sending a picture of your chimney? *Im having a bit of trouble visulising it :-[

  18. #18
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    Re: My first mod...

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    No worries, I posted the link in the Coffee Polls section, after your post with the error message.

    About the error message, I just let it go. Dont try to post again as you will often double post. Just click on home, to refresh the forum and it will have already been posted.

    I guess Ill put it here as well :P

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1126057714

    I think the error comes up from having multiple tabs/windows open within the forum, because you re-login with each new tab/window, overriding the last one.



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