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Thread: My first roast with Target popper

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    My first roast with Target popper

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Theres nothing like jumping straight into it hey? I got my first grinder a week or so ago, my first real espresso machine (Silvia) yesterday and attempted my first roasts today! My roaster is a Target 900w popper with a tin can chimney.

    So Im asking for critique, tips and suggestions please. :)


    My first ever roast - Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo.
    This one I started with 100g of green and roasted for 19 minutes with no crack at all. The yield ended up being 85g. The beans seem to vary in colourI was outside with the popper on my BBQ. I had quite a long extension cord. The outside temperature would be around 15-16 degrees today.


    My second roast - Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo
    I decided to add more beans, 120g this time. I went for 16 minutes and didnt have a crack. Yield was 100g. Same conditions as above. The beans vary in colour as above but not as much.


    My 3rd roast - Peru Ceja del Selva Estate
    I went with different beans this time. It also started to spit rain so I moved into the garage and left the garage door open. I also changed to a shorter extension lead, 1.5m I think. I stayed with 120g of beans and got a crack at 7:33 or so. I got a crack every now and then until 13min and nothing after that. I stopped the roast at 19min. Yield was 95g. The beans seem to be much more consistent in colour.


    4th roast - Peru Ceja del Selva Estate
    Same beans again, 120g. 1st crack at 7:33 again and a crack every now and then until 12min. Nothing after that and I stopped at 19min. Yield was 95g. Only change was closing the garage door. Again, consistent bean colour.



    Im guessing the cracks arent happening due to not getting a high enough heat? Maybe a higher wattage popper would be better for the cooler ambient temperature? Itll be interesting to see how the Columbian beans go with the same conditions as the Peru.

    Ill see how they taste in a couple of days.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Hi Dan,

    Im assuming this was with the soup can on? on this popper Id not go much past 16mins as the taste and aroma becomes flatter if you over extend the roast. Its obvious that youre just not getting the heat up enough for 2nd crack. Was there any wind while you were roasting? This popper just hates wind. Needs to be under sheltered and away from wind. makes a huge diff. Would you say your roasts are around CS7 or CS8?

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Yes to soup can and there was a little breeze. Thats why I moved into the garage for the 2nd two roasts where I did get a first crack. The first two roasts are quite uneven in colour. Id say between CS5 and CS6, the second two roasts CS7-CS8. Ill have another go next weekend and see what the temperature is like. Maybe put the popper in a box to insulate it a bit.

    I do look forward to tasting them once theyve rested a day or so.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    That last one looks pretty good!

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Some like their roasts fairly light, personally I try for CS9 as anything under tends to be a tad "bright" for me. See how they taste. Remember what you taste in the first week will be different to 2 weeks. Some beans I prefer to drink within 1 week others I found tasted better from 3 weeks rest. I agree with Marcism that the last roast looked around CS8, closer to what I like. In my target popper I get 2nd crack before 10 minutes in 20 degrees and up ambient temperature. Have not really used it since Ive moved to Corretto in the cooler weather.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    try sitting the popper in an aldi bag, the ones that are used to carry your freezer stuff home. Mine has a silver lining and it keeps the heat in, keeps the wind away and shortens the time considerably.* First crack at about 3 mins and second about 7 or 8.* Great for popping in cold weather.
    cheers

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Thanks guys. Great idea on the cooler bag leatheroo, I have a few of those lying around. Ill give that a go for sure.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Great job Dan
    Looks like youre really getting into it

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Given those suckas a taste yet?

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    No not yet. Tomorrow I think. I did give the beans a smell and Im happy that they have a nice aroma now compared to he burnt smell after the roasting.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Ah ok. Gotta say I am very excited to get using my popper. Im using your thread for potential troubleshooting problem I might encounter! ;) (holds up aldi chillybag)

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    I just cleaned out my grinder and put some of my first roast in - the Columbian.

    Now Im still very much a beginner in the home barista scene so my coffees are far from perfect. I made a single cup latte with a double basket. The extraction was a little slow, mouse tail to drip, mouse tail to drip and it produced a medium coloured crema.

    How does it taste? To me, yum!

    Ive always had my coffees with a sugar but I thought Id taste this one without. Im glad I did! No need for sugar at all. I dont have a developed coffee palette yet so I cant really compare or judge how good it is. Im not sure how a more seasoned drinker would rate it.

    I guess if it tastes good to me then its a good start!

    Ill have to have a taste of the Peru roast next and see how it compares.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    If you like it thats all that matters. I think youd love the peru if you liked the Colombian, especially looking at the photos. The peru should cut through the milk a little better. You should really try them as espressos. In milk everything is more forgiving but at the same time hides much of the characters of the roast and the beans.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    I also did my first ever roast last night. Bought a 1200W popper of ebay. I set up for roasting outside in Melbourne at about 9:30pm. It was about 10degrees.

    First roast was 100gm of Ethiopian beans, roasted very quickly, first crack at about 2m45sec and no separation between first and second crack. Also a bit of inconsistency in the roast. Took it off the roast at about 4m30sec.

    Second roast I did another 100gm of the Colomian. This time I had the fan on the whole time and juggled the popper during the roast. Still no real separation between first and second crack but a much more consistent roast, still about the 245" for first crack and let this one darken up and run out to about 530" with a little smoke at the end. This roast was more consistent in colour.

    I have added couple of holes either side in the casing now, about the size of a golf ball in each side to get some better ventilation. Also I think I will use an extension lead to lower the power a bit. Hopefully I can get that separated first and second crack and drag the roast out a few minutes.

    P.S. beans didnt seem oily or anything, after letting them sit I had a quick sniff on the way out this morning and they smell like roasted coffee beans.. so thats a start :D

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Hi Bergs,

    You may find that with your more powerful popper you might have to reduce your qty of beans (around 80g) to allow more airflow through and therefore less heat and therefore extend the roast. It is the opposite with the Target Popper.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Bergs, you could also add a chimney to the popper, works a treat.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 173C3E0C103C3F3F3C232A530 link=1338101772/15#15 date=1338521090
    Bergs, you could also add a chimney to the popper, works a treat.
    That would be counter productive in Bergs case since hes trying to lower the temperature and extend his roasting. The chimney would increase the heat.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    It would increase the heat but it would also allow for a greater roast capacity, wouldnt it?

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 53787A4854787B7B78676E170 link=1338101772/17#17 date=1338523699
    It would increase the heat but it would also allow for a greater roast capacity, wouldnt it?
    Yes...but then adding more beans would raise the temperature on top of the increased heat from the chimney, so youve just raised the temperature twice...the beans would be roasted in 2 minutes and very inconsistent roast and more than likely there would be tipping as well.

    In some ways thats why I think the Target popper (if you get a decent one) has its good point being low power output in that to compensate for its low heat you add more beans and a chimney to raise the temp plus a little elbow grease for stirring.



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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    i meant if a chimney is added to the existing 100g batch, not adding more beans.

    this way the batch size does not need to be reduced, after all, youre looking at 85g or less of roasted coffee and thats sometimes not quite enough to play with ...

    :)

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    If you add the chimney to the existing 100g batch you will increase the temp in the chamber and reduce the roasting time...anyways, just give it a go. Best way to prove a point is to do it.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    I tried out the Peru roast today. It also tastes pretty damned good to me. It seems to produce more crema. Here are some sample pics...

    Pour:


    Settled:


    Latte:

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Hi Dan,

    Looks good. The lack of crema in your Colombian may be more due to the roast being "baked" and not so much the beans itself. Try roasting the colombian so that you do get 1st crack and compare the crema then.

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    Re: My first roast with Target popper

    Quote Originally Posted by 11030D1B07620 link=1338101772/14#14 date=1338519885
    You may find that with your more powerful popper you might have to reduce your qty of beans (around 80g) to allow more airflow through and therefore less heat and therefore extend the roast.* It is the opposite with the Target Popper.
    Spot on Saoye, I reduced the quantity, removed any chimney and also modified the popper.. basically removing the sidewalls... all worked a treat. Depending on ambient temperatures the roast is now taking up into the teen minutes. I just have to get a good consistent roast time so as not too cook the popper itself. But so far results are going good.

    I see your point about the chimney, as soon as you add it on the heat sky rockets.

    Thanks for you help. I tested the first brew that cooked too quick but it still tasted better than anything you get off the supermarket shelf.

    Cheers again.

  25. #25
    Senior Member C-man's Avatar
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    I am still looking for a low watt popper, I picked-up a homemaker 1200w for $2 a while ago

    I have hacked all the plastic around the top and half way down the sides, also cut some vent slices into the heat can.

    It is doing better now, with a big industrial floor fan just above it, but would rather have a lower watt one.

    getting first crack at about 4-5min and second crack about 10-12 when it comes

    using soft Mexican Decaff beans for the Mrs. makes it harder.

    Cheers!

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    Target don't seem to be stocking many of these anymore

    I've ended up with a kambrook popcorn factory from the good guys for $20. It's doing the job - roasts in about 6 minutes but it's 1250W and tbh, popcorn machines are becoming really hard to find.
    I checked, kmart, big w, the good guys, harvey norman, target.
    Target only had kambrook popcorn factories for $28 I did ask about the target $16 poppers and the lady said she's been working there for 12 months and never seen one besides the kambrook ones. The good guys could do it for $20 down from $34.95
    People just buy microwave popcorn these days making them obsolete
    If you find one let me know because less and less places are stocking them. Ebay might be a better option.

    I also tend to follow the sweetmarias guide to roasting in a popcorn machine. They state the following:
    "Total time for a lighter roast should be around 4 minutes, full city roast around 5, and darker roasts closer to 6.5 minutes. Roasts develop quickly, so be vigilant. You want to pour the beans out of the popper when they are a tad lighter than the color you desire, since roasting continues until beans are cool."

    Im achieving these times in my kambrook one with a chimney doing 150g roasts.

    Here is a pic this is from 3 different roasts as I'm still learning.

    20120810_235019.jpg

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    It's been a while since I've done a roast but did a Brazilian today. I put the popper in an esky to insulate it from the wind which resulted in a quicker roast and reached the 2nd crack. Two 120g batches resulted in 200g yield.


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    My first roast with Target popper

    Hi all. I have been roasting quite a bit in the last week. A two bean blend. Java b and Ethiopian coop. I have a kambrook popcorn factory. I think it might be an old model. Says its 1100-1200 watt. With a ss water bottle chimney I get 220c by about 8 mins. 1st crack is consistently diff with the two varieties. 2.30 min and 3.40 min and sort of rolls on until somewhere around 8 min plus. I have found 130 gm batches seem best. Second crack (I think), a creaky popping pinging begins around 12 Min and I have been really enjoying the flavour with a finish around 15 min. Cool and leave for at least a day.
    The same roast stopped at 9 min is too bright and mild for me. Its undrinkable for at least 4 days. I'm shocked at the talk of 5 min roasts!

    Today I got a target 900w popper for 15$. It all looked good but it will not circulate more than 40 grams of beans!!? I pulled it down. It's bowl looks very similar to the kambrook. I can only think the kambrook has a higher air flow? The angles of the vents look the same. I don't even need to stir the kambrook, it circulates 130gm easy and roasts consistently. I tried opening up the air flow ports into the roast chamber but made no difference. Thought it would be a good backup popper or I could even run them at the same time but I don't think so
    Are others having this trouble with the target popper? Cheers!!

  29. #29
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Hello Kammy, There seems to be a fair bit of variation in the Target poppers, both in the fan speed and the element heat, judging by the posts in the other big thread about them in this section.

    Mine will spin about 50-60 grams of green without help, but any more than that needs to be manually stirred for the first few minutes. Once they are tan coloured, they will spin on their own. I doubt that it would handle more than 100 grams, unless I manually stirred the beans at least until first crack.

    I got it to use in summer because my 1200 watt unit was too fast, so I'm surprised that you can roast for up to 15 min without setting the whole lot on fire. I guess that your Kambrook must have a powerful fan and not so powerful heater element, which is a good combination.

    Re the five minute roasts, in warm weather some poppers will reach first crack in about three minutes, & second crack at about 4 to 5 min, so the result is quite a dark roast even though it only takes a short time.

    I don't use my Target popper any more because I fitted my 1200 watt popper with a variable speed fan and voltage control on the elements, so that I now have control over both the heat and the air flow.

    Cheers, Deegee.
    Last edited by deegee; 24th April 2013 at 11:00 AM.

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    Well I drank last weeks roast this weekend and it turned out quite well. Very happy with the nice crema and fresh taste. Another roast today. It was a little cooler out this late arvo/early evening so I put in 130g which helped keep the temp up. Looks like they turned out alright, next weekends latte will let me know.


  31. #31
    NRB
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    Quote Originally Posted by deegee View Post
    I don't use my Target popper any more because I fitted my 1200 watt popper with a variable speed fan and voltage control on the elements, so that I now have control over both the heat and the air flow.
    You wouldn't have a guide for doing this would you?

  32. #32
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Re popper mods

    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    You wouldn't have a guide for doing this would you?
    No I haven't, I didn't follow any specific instructions when I did mine, but I could probably knock one up if you are interested.

    If there is enough interest out there I would be prepared to start a new thread and do a step by step guide, or if there is not I could send you the details in a PM or via email.

    Cheers, Deegee.

    P.S. it would help to know which make/model popper you are interested in modding.
    Last edited by deegee; 17th May 2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: see the P.S.

  33. #33
    NRB
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    I'm am interested... a popper I picked up secondhand for $5 (Target, 1200W) seems to roast 85g in around 4 mins! I've reduced the batch size, but would prefer to be able to increase the size and slow it down, rather than speed it up...

    I reckon if you're going to the trouble of making a guide, you should make it for all, rather than just myself. I'm sure the CS community would like it.

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    Here is the controller I made a while back:http://coffeesnobs.com.au/roasters/2...ontroller.html

    Gary

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    OK it might take me a day or two (or three). There are several threads here on the subject, but some are fairly old and they are scattered over the site.

    I have gathered a lot info on popper mods, here and from other sites, and I have done a couple of variations of my own.
    Maybe I should start a new thread that brings them all together in the one place.

    I'm a little surprised that you have a 1200W Target popper. Everything I have read about them refers to them as 900W, as are the ones I have seen.
    Your roast time for 84 g is fairly typical for a popper, and as you have noted, can only be extended ( a little) by reducing the batch size.

    My poppers are now fitted with an SCR in the heater coil circuit and the fan is powered from an external supply with a pot to control the fan speed.
    With these I can do batches up to 150g and stretch them out to 20 minutes, though I prefer to do 100 - 120g and keep them to about 15/16 min.

    You do need some tech skills to do these mods. They involve dismantling and re-wiring which will vary depending on the make/model of the popper.

    I may start with a list of mods, & the basic principles involved, and if there is enough interest I could expand it into a full on "how-to" guide, complete with pictures and circuit diagrams.

    Cheers, Deegee.

    PS I just read Gary's post. The mods I have done are very similar, but perhaps a bit simpler.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    I'm am interested... a popper I picked up secondhand for $5 (Target, 1200W) seems to roast 85g in around 4 mins! I've reduced the batch size, but would prefer to be able to increase the size and slow it down, rather than speed it up...

    I reckon if you're going to the trouble of making a guide, you should make it for all, rather than just myself. I'm sure the CS community would like it.
    Get some silicon-based (high-temp) exhaust-header sealant (not to be confused with silicone).

    Weight the cup down and seal the gap between the cup and the heater/fan housing and leave to dry/cure.

    This significantly increases the airflow coming into the cup and will slow down your roasts for a given bean load.

    I have the same popper (HomeMaker brand?) and went from roasting 80-90g to 100-110g with little to no need for manual agitation of the beans at the start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    I'm am interested... a popper I picked up secondhand for $5 (Target, 1200W) seems to roast 85g in around 4 mins! I've reduced the batch size, but would prefer to be able to increase the size and slow it down, rather than speed it up...
    If you want to slow down the roast, there's a thing called an on/off switch that's standard on every popper I've seen. That's what I use to slow down my roasts...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by lobstermash View Post
    If you want to slow down the roast, there's a thing called an on/off switch that's standard on every popper I've seen. That's what I use to slow down my roasts...
    Others have reported poor results by shutting it down and then firing it up again. I'd prefer to reduce the intensity of the heat.

    Will have a look at the exhaust silicon as an option too, thanks.

  39. #39
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Hello NRB, I have put all the info I have collected into a single post and started a new thread in this section it's called popper roasting tips tricks & mods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deegee View Post
    Hello NRB, I have put all the info I have collected into a single post and started a new thread in this section it's called popper roasting tips tricks & mods.
    Awesome work, thanks degree!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRB View Post
    Others have reported poor results by shutting it down and then firing it up again. I'd prefer to reduce the intensity of the heat.
    That's interesting... I use the Breville Crazy Popper and switch it on and off right through the roast like a thermostat would. The unit and the coffee holds enough heat that I can turn it off for about 3-5 seconds every 30 seconds or so (depending on what I'm roasting) without dropping temperature at all. In fact, the temp keeps going up a little for a couple of seconds before stabilising, then very, very slowly starts to fall away (how long it stays at temp and how fast it drops depends on ambient temp - also the reading on the thermometer is likely to be lower than the inside of the beans). By not letting the temp go backwards, flicking the on/off switch at appropriate intervals for a few seconds can slow the roast by several minutes because after you switch on again, the heat builds more slowly.

    I've only ever had one bad roast with this technique, and that was a pacamara bean which needed to be slowed down even more.

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    you can also slow the roast by titing the popper wooden stick under one side

    you can also juggel/shake the poper to make the beans "float" more thias will also increas the roast time.

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    Thats a great result, much better then my attempt with the Dora Explorer popper.

    I looked away for only 10 seconds and a dark grey smoke was shooting out of it. Oops.

  44. #44
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    Guess I found a use for my spare PID... I bought a Kambrook popper for using while I'm up here in darwin. 1200W, 3.5min to second crack, over-roasted before tehy're even dried out.

    Tastes awful, man. Sour, even with milk.

  45. #45
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Tastes awful, man. Sour, even with milk.
    I've just had that with a batch of Kenyan beans I've only roasted once. Not a fan. Hoping subsequent roasts don't result in the same outcome; all others so far have been quite nice despite rocketing to second crack in under 5 minutes.



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