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Thread: Getting started roasting with Crazy Popper

  1. #1
    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    Getting started roasting with Crazy Popper

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I mainly just wanted to share my story and how cool this is, since I think it's cool
    Plus, I'd be happy to get any feedback and input from more experienced poppers (I mean, roasters).

    I got a Breville Crazy Popper for $5 from Gumtree and did my first two roasts yesterday.


    85g of Nicaraguan green beans (69.5g out), about 30 degrees in Townsville at 11am.
    My first roast must have been pretty hot because I got first crack (as far as I can tell... I'm brand new at this) at only 2:30.
    I took them out at about 4:45 when it sounded like more little cracks and they were smoking a bit
    Here's the result:


    I then bought some John West pink salmon, cut the end off the tin for a chimney (I'd read here about getting that tin but didn't realise why until I saw the taper on the can!). I also put the popper up on a little cooling rack and pointed a small fan at the bottom.

    This time (6:30pm, about 28 degrees outside, 85g in, 71g out)
    I got first crack at 3:15 and let it go until 7 minutes - not long after what I thought was second crack. No smoke and slightly lighter roast. (I'd estimate the first is about CS9 and the next is CS8?)
    Batch 2:


    I ground and brewed the first batch this morning (20 hours after roast). I think the grind setting was too fine as it clumped, but it seemed to brew OK as my Sunbeam EM7000 showed the pressure gauge in the middle of the orange. It tasted OK to my limited palate - more interesting and a bit sour compared to the blend I've been drinking (Bounce Venezia Nouvo), and with milk it was nice and smooth. I liked it!

    So we'll see how it changes over the next few days, and then how the next batch compares.
    I've got over a kilo of these beans - I think I'll try them for a while and then look at getting some others and some blending - but I'd like to start small rather than stockpiling 2.5kg bags... Anyone in Townsville want to share orders?

    This looks like it will be fun

  2. #2
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    One of the things I love about poppers is you can roast in really small batches so experimenting costs very little.

    I had a whole line of small jars at one point, from roasts stopped at the start of first crack right through to well beyond end of second crack. Great way to discover how dramatically flavour changes over time, even for the same bean type. Also good fun when friends come over for testing.

    btw 500ml beer cans with skewers also work and have the advantage they are taller and taste better emptying them

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    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    I thought I'd add that I've enjoyed drinking the first roast, and on to the second now (not much difference). It's nice - quite mellow and very drinkable.
    I'm still going on the salmon
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    Great work, I am considering to roast my 1st batch by using poper as well. Have you compared with coasting by bread maker? And tips for popper roasting? And how can I download a coffee roasting chart and print out like what you did. Thanks.

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    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    Hi 1kan. Sorry I didn't see your post until now! There are many more experienced people here to ask, and much has already been recorded in the threads. I got the chart from a thread on this site. Get used to searching and you'll find lots!

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    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    I did my first roast of the year - same beans and popper, but I got a "FANTAST" meat thermometer with a probe from IKEA ($10), so I could start recording my temperatures.
    100g in, 82g out
    7:45 total roast time
    First Crack at 3:15
    Second Crack about 6:30

    Looks like CS9-10 to me

    Here's the "roast profile". Can anyone see anything worth mentioning? Does this chart suggest I should change anything?
    Thanks!
    CoffeeRoastingTemps170208.png
    Last edited by lindsayward; 9th February 2017 at 11:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=lindsayward;600290] Here's the "roast profile". Can anyone see anything worth mentioning? Does this chart suggest I should change anything?
    Thanks!
    G'Day Lindsay,
    Those profiles look pretty typical for a popper roast, though I'm a little curious about the dip in th graph at the two minute mark of both roasts. Did you do anything to cause that, or did it just happen without any help from you ?.

    As for suggestions, I have a couple. The first is to try stopping a batch a little bit earlier, say at the very first snaps of second crack. That's where I find the best results for most beans. That's to my taste of course - you may find that you prefer a darker roast, but you could give it a try and find out.

    The next thing you need to try is slowing down the first stage of the roast and increasing the time to first crack. Unless you do major electrical mods, it's not easy to do this, but there are a few simple mechanical mods that will slow it a little. One of them is to ventilate the outer case of the popper, or remove the top plate, so that your fan can blow more air around the metal internal parts.

    I have a very similar, but slightly earlier model than yours and have completely removed the top half of the case. This doesn't esxpose any of the electrics (except an earth wire) so it is quite safe, and it allows the fan to cool the insides much more effectively.
    If you do this, you may have to back the fan off after first crack to allow the roast to reach second crack. Based on your profiles, I think you need to stretch the time to first, but not the time from first to second.

    Breville. (1).jpgBreville. (2).jpg

    Here are a couple of pics of what it looks like with just the top off. At the time this was taken I also had a piece of thick lead sheet wrapped around the chamber, but it didn't make much difference, so I took it off.

  8. #8
    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply and advice!

    The dip is most likely an inaccuracy in my scientific rigour. I took the probe out at one stage and I'm sure my timing wasn't spot on.

    I've heard about removing the top and will definitely give this a try. I currently have the popper on a little baking rack with a small fan blowing there, below the popper.
    When I remove the top, would I be better off pointing the fan at the top cavity - or where?

    I did try a lighter roast, pre second crack, maybe about CS7 and I liked the darker (CS8-9) ones more. I'll try the next one just on second crack and see how that goes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsayward View Post
    I've heard about removing the top and will definitely give this a try. I currently have the popper on a little baking rack with a small fan blowing there, below the popper. When I remove the top, would I be better off pointing the fan at the top cavity - or where ? .
    It would probably be most effective with the fan blowing down into the cavity at angle of about 45 or so. I would turn the popper sideways, and put the fan beside/above it so it blows down through that low part of the case which is normally at the front.

  10. #10
    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    OK so I just tried a coffee from the beans I roasted on Wednesday night and they seem well overdone. The coffee was much darker than others and left too much after-taste.

    Is there a way to salvage this roast? Maybe grinding finer or something? Are there any standard suggestions for this situation? Thanks.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsayward View Post
    Is there a way to salvage this roast? Maybe grinding finer or something? Are there any standard suggestions for this situation? Thanks.
    A bit late now I guess...
    You could try a much tighter pour and see how that goes but that will probably only exacerbate the issue you describe.

    Just looking at your earlier profile again, the initial "Rate of Rise" is very steep indeed. The quality of the end result may be helped by trying to flatten this out a little. With a popper, you can do this in a couple of ways, some already mentioned above. A couple of others would be 1) To cant your popper over at an angle from the vertical, to allow some of the heated air to blow past the beans more easily and thereby slow down the transfer of heat to the beans, or 2) Reduce your batch size in an effort to achieve a similar result...

    Such a steep initial gradient runs the risk of scorching the outside of the beans before the internals have roasted properly. What ever you can do to stretch out the profile to ~12 minutes would be ideal...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Cold press for your remaining beans?

  13. #13
    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    Cold press for your remaining beans?
    Hey that worked a treat!
    I made a brew in a French press flask, left it in the fridge for a night or two and it was actually very nice. Much nicer than made with the espresso machine.
    Thanks for the tip

  14. #14
    Member lindsayward's Avatar
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    Going Topless

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I removed the top (found a YouTube video that showed I needed to unplug the plugs that covered the screws), and pointed the fan as suggested, down and into the side.
    Same beans and quantity, similar time of day and starting temperature, and here's what happened:
    Graph shows the last one (blue) and this one (yellow), stars are the cracks.
    (I "smoothed out" the previous values (blue around 2 mins) to remove the temp dip that I think was just a mistake in my measuring.)
    CoffeeRoastingTemps170222stars.png
    So first crack was extended from 3:15 to 4:00 and second crack went from 6:30 to 10:00.
    Looks like CS9 to me.
    The initial temperature increase were only a bit slower, but the maximum temperature was fairly different. It only got up to 221 instead of 235, and was slower getting there, as the chart shows.
    I'll taste the results in a few days, but how does this 'profile' look now? Should I still be trying to slow down the initial increase (to first crack), or should I reduce the fan to get the max temp up later, or... any other suggestions?
    Thanks for your interest and input!



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