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Thread: Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

  1. #1
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Can I have some photos if possible on this mod?

    Do you guys drill straight through? How do you know when to stop and not damage the insides? Or do you take the base and bottom out and away from the insides to drill?

    Also, for the chimney mod, read all the instructions, but can't seem to visualise it. Can someone point me to some images?

    Sorry for the basic questions. I just got a popper and want to start bit don't want to do it wrong.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    I'll answer it with...

    DONT DRILL HOLES IN A POPPER!

    I really don't like the idea of putting holes in the insulation cover that protects you from getting zapped. Far better to use a popper for a "cheap proof of concept" roasting device and when you outgrow the volume that you can roast in a popper then change to a domestic roaster.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Thanks Andy, point taken.

    Anyone else out there able to make this work in a hotter summer without drilling holes?

  4. #4
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    I find my popper gets hot too quickly getting to 1st crack after ~3min so to keep things cooler in the first few minutes I frequently turn the unit off but keep stirring to control the temperature from rising too high and can extend 1st crack to 8 or so minutes.
    Also found the popper doesn't get as hot when roasting smaller amounts of beans. Just experiment a little to see what works for you, I highly recommend a temp probe to see exactly whats going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    Thanks Andy, point taken.

    Anyone else out there able to make this work in a hotter summer without drilling holes?
    Hello brokenvase,

    In principle I agree with Andy - unless you are technically qualified, it's not usually a good idea. There are other options, but most of them also require a degree of technical expertise. One way that does not, is to roast during the coolest part of the day, when ambient temps are lowest. Another is to blow cool air over the popper, and if possible, into the air intake area using an external fan (or two).

    As fg1972 has said, smaller quantities seem to keep temps down a little, and go a little slower than bigger ones.

    These will help a little, but unfortunately most poppers run a bit too hot for our Queensland summers, and we get a very fast roast that probably costs us some of the more subtle flavors, and needs spot-on timing to get exactly the right depth of roast.

    In answer to the second question in your OP here are some links that show some different chimney's.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/Attachments/chimney_002.JPG

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/Attachment...0344-small.jpg

    http://midwestchasers.com/blog2/wp-c...e/roaster3.jpg

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/Attachments/popper_setup.jpg

    Note that the last one shows a popper with the top half of the outer casing removed. Some people run them like this, which is even better than drilling holes, but ONLY if the make/model of popper has ALL the electrics still fully enclosed in the bottom of the housing.
    The green wire in the pic is an earth wire and as such is quite safe. If the mechanism is securely mounted in the bottom section it seems likely that this unit could be run topless, though there would be hot metal exposed.

    The best can for a chimney is a large (500 gram ??) of salmon. They are tapered nicely, and you just need to cut the bottom off at the right place to get it to fit your brand of popper. A few people use the glass from a hurricane lantern if they have had one that fits.

    However it is likely that a chimney will also raise temperatures, so if you can do a small roast without the beans escaping, it may be better to leave it off if you can.

    Cheers, Leo.
    Last edited by leograyson; 30th September 2012 at 09:24 AM. Reason: correction

  6. #6
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    the popper doesn't get as hot when roasting smaller amounts of beans
    smaller quantities seem to keep temps down a little, and go a little slower than bigger ones.
    +1 for these.
    Smaller amount of beans will help.

    Try 60g and roast in the cooler part of the day.

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    I only ever used a chimney, never drilled any holes. I always had a pedestal fan nearby and used it to push air past the popper. After first crack I would swing the fan directly towards the popper to try for a slight change in profile. Without a temp probe it's a bit hit and miss but doable. Much easier with a probe as you can measure the effect not just guess.

    All that aside, it's only 60 to 80gms - a few cents really - so try a few variations on technique all with the same bean. As a first time roaster, it's good to hear cracks and their differences anyway. Take note of amounts and time to first crack and second crack plus final roast depth so you have some measure of the overall technique used.

    Have fun.

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Cool. Thanks all. Waiting for my starter pack to arrive. I also got a cheap second hand bread maker. So I might move on quite quickly. Wasn't planning to, but $10 bread maker was too hard to pass up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leograyson View Post
    Hello brokenvase,
    The best can for a chimney is a large (500 gram ??) of salmon. They are tapered nicely, and you just need to cut the bottom off at the right place to get it to fit your brand of popper.
    Cheers, Leo.
    The tins I use as a chimney is the 415g or 15oz can of Alaska Salmon.

    It allows you to use a spoon to sample the roast as you go.

    The salmon is good healthy tucker, containing omega 3, and the tin being slightly tapered has fitted neatly into all the poppers I have used. I took the bottom off by using a metal file on the rim.

    Enjoy your roasting results whatever way you do it.

    Barry

  10. #10
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Opened a can of coconut. Looked inside. They seemed to be using some glue like rubbery thing to hold the can together! Don't think that's safe to heat up? will try another can.

  11. #11
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Did my first batch. But I wasn't sure if I even got to 2nd crack! After the first pop at 4mins, there was a series of pops and occasional pops all the way to 7mins. I decided to stop as I didn't want to burn it. Could my 2nd crack have happened already and was buried in the series of cracks?

    I guess my question is how do you know when 2nd crack happens of they keep cracking on and off for 2-3 minutes?

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    Hello Brokenvase,

    Q :- Could my 2nd crack have happened already and was buried in the series of cracks?

    A :- It's possible, but probably not. I have done four popper roasts over the last two weeks, during which the weather has been very similar (i.e.fairly mild) here in Brisbane. My first cracks have been starting at about five minutes, and lasted for about three minutes.

    Q :- I guess my question is how do you know when 2nd crack happens of they keep cracking on and off for 2-3 minutes?

    A :- You cant be sure, but there is usually a gap between first crack and second crack. With a popper this gap can be short, especially in hot weather, because when it's hot everything happens more quickly.

    However, my last three batches have all had a gap of about 3 to 4 minutes between the end of first crack and the start of second crack.

    I usually stop at the first signs of second crack, but the beans keep cracking in the sieve for a while before the fan drops the temp enough to stop it. The sound is much more noticeable with the popper switched off.

    If I catch it early, right at the start of second crack, there is only a little very faint smoke, but if I run more than 20/30 secs into second crack the beans are really cracking and smoking as I pour them out, and the smoke is quite obvious.

    I suggest that you try an 80 gram batch (that's what I've been roasting) and be prepared to risk losing one batch by letting it go until you get to second crack, or have gone for at least 15 minutes. You have almost certainly baked them to death if you have not reached second crack by then. This can happen , but with most poppers it is very unlikely, even in Winter.

    I think you will get second crack and then you can stop there, OR you could let it go longer just to see the colour changes and when the smoke becomes obvious. When it does, it's time to STOP quickly before they begin to smolder.

    This would mean sacrificing a batch of beans, but it's only 80 grams, and I think it is well worth it to see and hear the full range of colours and sounds, from green to almost black.

    Cheers, Leo.

    P.S. Don't burn the house down - or if you do don't blame me !.
    Last edited by leograyson; 4th October 2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: PS

  13. #13
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    I had a laugh. I went from popper to corretto within a week! Both interesting experiences.

    Will use both methods and mix up the fun!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349497661.289686.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1349497672.795291.jpg

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    I use Plumrose Frankfurt Can as the chimney with a zig-zag cut (interleave the teeth) in the bottom third to make it fit. I use around 120g per roast and manually stir the beans up to the first crack.

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    Ha Brokenvase! I am almost a year in (Jeez maybe more...) and still on a popper. How is that corretto treating you? Ever bother with the popper mods?

  16. #16
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Err... No not really. I'm averaging 750g per week now. Especially nearing Christmas. Lots of visitors. The popper is too small! I'm even thinking of another corretto to increase speed of output!

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    Err... No not really. I'm averaging 750g per week now. Especially nearing Christmas. Lots of visitors. The popper is too small! I'm even thinking of another corretto to increase speed of output!
    I roast once a week in a Coretto, 725 grams, set up right it does it with ease.
    Roasts are consistent and very repeatable.

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    I roast once a week in a Coretto, 725 grams, set up right it does it with ease.
    Roasts are consistent and very repeatable.
    How many rounds do you go? You mean 725g in one hit? I do it in 3 batches.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    How many rounds do you go? You mean 725g in one hit? I do it in 3 batches.
    Yes, 725g in one hit.

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Wow! Err.. How? I haven't modified anything on mine. Just took the top off and doing open corretto. I'm not so good with tools and electrics so that's why I've been holding off to modify anything. Is yours closed? Also I found that if I increased the weight the stirring action is not as consistent and uniformed...

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    If you know someone in the trade, you could always add a PID controller?
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/roasters/3...my-popper.html

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    Wow! Err.. How? I haven't modified anything on mine. Just took the top off and doing open corretto. I'm not so good with tools and electrics so that's why I've been holding off to modify anything. Is yours closed? Also I found that if I increased the weight the stirring action is not as consistent and uniformed...
    Hi brokenvase
    We seem to have gone a bit off topic, but…
    I use a corretto too - I tend to do 350g batches but have done up to 600g. I think you'd find that if you covered your pan, you'd get a much more even roast overall. Even from your pics I can see the un-eveness you mentioned - maybe partly stirring action, but more heat un-eveness IMHO.
    The principle is that when it's an open top, even with the smaller batches, you have to have the gun temp much higher to get a similar profile - and the beans on top get more direct heat than those underneath. Can get some scorching even. Even more extreme results with larger batches.
    But cover the top/insulate the pan, and it's an enclosed system - much lower gun input temps needed, much more even heating throughout. As Yelta said - bigger batches shouldn't be an issue :-)

    Matt

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Silly question on drilling holes in a popper

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Hi brokenvase
    We seem to have gone a bit off topic, butů
    I use a corretto too - I tend to do 350g batches but have done up to 600g. I think you'd find that if you covered your pan, you'd get a much more even roast overall. Even from your pics I can see the un-eveness you mentioned - maybe partly stirring action, but more heat un-eveness IMHO.
    The principle is that when it's an open top, even with the smaller batches, you have to have the gun temp much higher to get a similar profile - and the beans on top get more direct heat than those underneath. Can get some scorching even. Even more extreme results with larger batches.
    But cover the top/insulate the pan, and it's an enclosed system - much lower gun input temps needed, much more even heating throughout. As Yelta said - bigger batches shouldn't be an issue :-)

    Matt
    Yes. We are going off topic. Maybe the mods can move these ones?

    I get what you mean about the even roasting. I'm just too lazy to do the lid up properly. Plus my laziness self justifying reasoning tells me that these imperfections are like what Holga film toy cameras are to photography: intentional random flaws that adds the the beauty of it :P perhaps these lighter beans add to its fruitiness *grin*



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