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The Hillbilly popper mod
Beaner
Well I figured I should name this mod something and Hillbilly Popper seemed fitting. This is the Jethro-1 model, Jethro-2 is in the works. First let me say that I only have parts laying around to use and can't afford any professional kind of modding. Functionality was the goal here so it's not too purty.

A little background info. I had a apple cider jug I was planning to use as part of a popper mod but was intending to use it in a different way. When I saw Hergum's heat gun & whiskey bottle setup I decided to experiment that route. Btw, I use the single. round, mesh air outlet type of popper and not the slotted spin-cycle type.

In the original mod I cut a cylinder from a vodka bottle and fashioned a crude funnel from a thin piece of aluminum flashing. The cylinder fit directly onto the top rim of the popper metal base after removing the original chimney. The funnel sat inside thte cylinder and rested on the mesh airflow outlet of the popper. This worked pretty good put was limited to about 1/3c of beans. The air pressure from the little 24v fan just wouldn't push more than that. So the next logical step was to increase the airflow.

As a test, I cut the bottom off of another liguer bottle (as Hergum did) and directly placed the neck end on top of a 12V DC minivac meant for plugging into a car cigarette lighter. This didn't produce any more pressure than the original fan so I decided to try my Stinger minivac and the resulting rig is what I have posted here, the Jethro-1.

I removed the 24Vdc fan from the plastic housing. Instead of controlling the Stinger fan motor I use a ball valve to adjust the airflow. This works very well and will push a lot of beans, much more than I need to roast.

This first pic is the overall view. The switchbox to the left of the router speed controller is just power to the minivac. Temp meter is to the right and the probe just hangs in the cylinder through a hole in the lid.
i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Hb-popmod-1.jpg

A little closer up.
i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Hb-popmod-2.jpg

Shows how I dump the beans. The whole popper section lifts up out of the lower plastic piping. I plan to add a wire mesh screen in the neck of the bottle so that just the bottle needs to be removed.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Hb-popmod-6.jpg

Just a closer pic of the beans flying around. Hard to see with the bottle glare. I use three wire-spring-hooks to hold down the bottle. these are temporary untill I make more of a frame to hold the bottle in place.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Hb-popmod-4.jpg

There is an inherent problem with this setup though. I would like the capability to roast at least up to 1c of beans. The problem is that when the valve is opened enough to push that many beans the temperature drops, as it should. So the next progression is to add more heat and that will be Jethro-2. It is nearing completion but has a few kinks to work out.

I'm concerned though with just how much heat these liquer bottles can take. I have experimented with several types of liquer and wine bottles. The wine bottles seem to be thinner and I've caused a few hairline cracks in them.

B)
 
seedlings

Quote

Beaner wrote:
I have experimented with several types of liquer and wine bottles.


^That's the money line!

I think this is a perfect example of homeroasters innovation! We watch videos, read writeups and find inspiration! Way to go!

Those bottles are usually pretty beefy so that the inebriated can jangle them around quite a bit and keep the liquid intact. As long as the glass is allowed to expand and contract, it should be no more dangerous than any other roasting glass.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
Unta

Quote

seedlings wrote:

Quote

Beaner wrote:
I have experimented with several types of liquer and wine bottles.


As long as the glass is allowed to expand and contract, it should be no more dangerous than any other roasting glass.

CHAD

I can attest to this. I have been roasting with a cookie jar as a portion of my roaster for months. It took me about three cookie jars to realize that it needed a gasket. Once I added some silicone to the top and bottom of the jar, no problems.

Awesome mod BTW, really looks great. Hows the coffee?

Sean
Sean Harrington
educate.
 
jkoll42
Looks great - nice mod with what you had. As I was reading I was wondering if you would run into issue wit lack of heat but looks like you are releasing a new version to address that.

On a side note, if you are looking for a wider round liqueur bottle you should check out "root". Besides being a very interesting remake of the original alcohol version of root beer it's bottle seems like it would be perfectly suited for roasting. Nice and thick glass as well.


-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
Beaner
Sean, so far the roast have been nice, actually the last couple of roasts I did were a couple of the best yet since I started roasting.

Here is a video just showing the original mod using the cylinder cut from a vodka bollte and a couple of segments demonstrating bean movement with more beans than I usually roast. Thats's 1/3c green beans in the first segment, 2 cups of grean beans in the second segment using the large bottle, and 2.5 cups of roasted beans in the 3rd segment. No actual roasting going on here, just air.

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01AUcC7sxKA[/video]


What got me started down this path was simply wanting to be able to see the beans while they roasted. I didn't like just looking down into the original chimney and scooping out a few beans to check them. The original vodka bottle cylinder was the fix for that. It sat perfectly on top of the rim of the popper.
 
ginny
Hillbilly Popper looks more like a Fresh Roast on steroids.

Beaner you did a great job here. Your plumbing creativity looks almost better then mine!!

What is the black vehicle your setup is sitting next to? Can't quite make it out.

ginny Grin

way to o beaner!!
 
Beaner
Ginny, there is a Buick Park Avenue next to the rig if that's what you are referring to. What project of yours uses plumbing, I'd like to see it if there are pics of it somewhere in the forums.
 
UNM
Interesting setup there. I saw this thread and meant to post a reply then promptly forgot until I saw pics of it again on an australian forum.

One thing occurred to me that might be a potential improvement. The ball valve is not only quite an expensive component, but restricting the airflow will put more load on the vacuum motor. If you put a waste gate in, that would still allow air flow to be controlled mechanically, but keep motor load constant.

I think a pipe connector piece, sawn in half so it slides over the pvc pipe would work well. Drill one or more holes and then rotate to open or close. Obviously you would need the waste airflow to be directed so it doesnt interfere with other parts of your roasting setup.
Just a thought, please don't take it as a criticism of your efforts.

I currently have a dead popper (fan motor meltdown) waiting to be resurrected and will probably use some of your ideas.
Edited by UNM on 10/27/2011 4:43 PM
 
PeteH

Quote

UNM wrote:

One thing occurred to me that might be a potential improvement. The ball valve is not only quite an expensive component, but restricting the airflow will put more load on the vacuum motor. If you put a waste gate in, that would still allow air flow to be controlled mechanically, but keep motor load constant.

.


Believe it or not restricting the airflow on a blower will reduce the load and current draw on the motor. If it's a thru type blower that relies on airflow to cool the motor then restricting airflow wouldn't be a good thing.

It's the same thing as a pump pumping water, the more you restrict the flow the less it is moving thus reducing the load. Maybe someone else will chime in here too.
Pete
 
Unta
The next mission is modding the
Buick to roast 1lb.. :)
Sean
Sean Harrington
educate.
 
UNM
Hworx - most domestic vacuums use a flow through type motor. Ducted vacs typically use a tangential bypass type.

Obviously there are exceptions, but I know all the vac motors in my pile of bits are flow through and reducing airflow does reduce their working life.

I doubt this setup will cause any major problem, since airflow will never be completely shut off, but a sleeved waste gate seems like a cheaper and still effective solution.
 
Beaner

Quote

UNM wrote:
I doubt this setup will cause any major problem, since airflow will never be completely shut off, but a sleeved waste gate seems like a cheaper and still effective solution.


I'm not quite sure what you mean by a sleeved waste gate but at the end of the hose that conects to the vac there is a sleeve that slides over an opening in the hose. I leave it open to let air escape.

Is this what you mean?
 
Beaner
Jethro-2 is complete but I have to state that it is not really a popper mod. The only parts in common with a popper are two heat elements taken from a couple of poppers. I use two router speed controllers to adjust the heaters separately. I don't believe 1 controller could handle both heaters since it is rated at 15A.

First pic just shows the basic parts minus the heaters.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2-1.jpg

Next few pics are just different views and with a couple of different bottles.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2a-1.jpg

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2b-1.jpg

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2c-1.jpg

Last couple of pics show the bottle I'm currently using and the screen I finally attached.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2d.jpg

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro-2e.jpg


I've roasted two small batches so far and both came out pretty well. Another thing I like about this setup is that I can cool the beans without removing the bottle. Just turn off the heat and open up the ball vavle. I do however have to replace the roasting lid with a screen lid when I do this but just takes a few seconds to do so.

I've already started on a modifcation to this rig with a heat element taken from an old heat gun. Should provide even better heat than the two popper elements and require only one controller.
 
UNM

Quote

Beaner wrote:

I'm not quite sure what you mean by a sleeved waste gate but at the end of the hose that conects to the vac there is a sleeve that slides over an opening in the hose. I leave it open to let air escape.

Is this what you mean?


Pretty much. Easy enough to make one up for the plumbing pipe to reduce airflow there in place of the ball valve (but you already have that, so why change).
Will make something up with bits I have lying around and post a pic. Pictures are easier to follow in most cases.

I may consider this the first step in bringing my old popper back from the dead. Zoroaster the zombie roaster may yet put in an appearance.Grin
 
allenb
I'm really liking the Jethro 2. Fantastic design ideas.

A couple of questions,

Please explain how you stacked the two popper elements. I've pondered doing this for a while but couldn't come up with a good plan.

Also, how did you cut the end off the bottles?

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
Beaner
Allen, I mounted the elements with 3 strips of aluminum flashing bent to right angles to form brackets. One end is bolted to the can and the other is bolted to the element. One obstacle had to be overcome and that was making sure the srews didn't make contact with the heater coil.

The coil was close to the edge of the milar so after pushing in the coil a tad I inserted a screw from the top just across from each bracket screw head. This kept the coil pushed in a bit and being careful that the main outer coil also didn't touch the smaller inner coil. It took a little finesse but it worked.

In this pic you can see the three brackets and the three top screws marked A, B, and C. I'm sure this isn't the only method of doing this but it keeps the element from moving any. As you know, the milar disks are fragile and you have to be careful not to break them.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Jethro2-open.jpg

Here is a crude side view diagram showing how the brackets are mounted:
Actually, the brackets are drawn wrong, they actually point up from the elements instead of down. You can see this in the picture.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/Hb-mod-diag.jpg

Again, it aint too pretty but it does work. ;)

I used a regular glass cutter bought from the hardware store to cut the bottom the bottle. The cutter doesn't work very well on the neck so I used a diamond disk in my Dremel to cut that. For the bottom of the bottle I used the method of stressing the score line. This is heating the score, and then applying cool water (or ice cube) to the score. Took me a few tries to get a decent cut using this method. Youtube has many vids showing this method.

Here is a link to a nice video, he uses a fancy cutter but the info on stressing the score line is good. I tried hot water as he does but I switched to using a mini torch. I think maybe the mini torch can actually put too much heat on the score and cause it to crack off the score line so I had to be careful with that. I don't know for sure if this is true but it's my theory. I advise practicing on a bottle other than the intended roaster bottle, something I should have done but didn't.

http://www.youtub...FXngPx3w3M

I hope this helps.
Edited by Beaner on 10/29/2011 10:20 PM
 
allenb
If the nichrome shifts slightly due to heat/cool cycles hopefully it cant end up touching the brackets. Looks like a nice heating element package.

In the past I've thought about trying to find a way to sandwich those together by adding holes to the mica board but probably wouldn't work.

That's one neat video on cutting bottles. That guy should be hosting a home improvement show with the talent he's got. Without seeing the video I would have thought the deeper the score cut the better and more heat the better but not the case.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
Beaner
Allen, I did drill holes in the mica disks for the bracket mounts. Really, the only time I had to be extra careful was when positioning the disk down into the can. It was a tight fit with the brackets already attached to the disks.

I had to remake a few of the brackets so that the distance from the inside of the can to the drilled hole in the disk was less. The thinness of the brackets allowed flexibility to compensate for a non-exact fit, without stressing the mica disk too much. If that makes sense.

Another crude diagram showing a top down view of just 1 of the popper elements:

Let's pretend the mica disks are transparent. The blue circle represents the outer edge of the upper mica disk. The gray "tubes" are the inner & outer coils. You can see how the outer coil is pushed in a little and held there by the screw I'll call it the outer coil guard screw, which is right next to the bracket screw.

On my mod the outer coil guard screw only touches the lower mica disk and doesn't penetrate it but maybe it should a little, it might make it more secure. Each bracket screw has a outer coil guard screw, I just didn't draw them in the diag. What I'm calling the outer coil guard screws here are the three A, B, C screws marked in red in the previous photo.

i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk282/izamal/Coffee%20Stuff/micadisk-top.jpg
Edited by Beaner on 10/30/2011 3:03 PM
 
Beaner
Here's a video to see how it would roast 1 cup of beans. Video is in two parts. Sorry about repeatedly putting the meter and timer up in the camera, I didn't think they would be very visible due to the glare.

Also, I started out by saying I would run the temp up to about 250 but really took it to about 300 before lowering it back down some.

Generally speaking, and based solely on this video, would any of you folks have any thoughts on how you would profile on this thing? Would you have done anything differently than me with the temp vs time?

I know I am still learning with this roaster and will figure out time and temp eventually but I value the opinions of the members here.

Part 1

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5p7bZMfiJQ&feature=youtu.be[/video]

Part 2

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTnQ81zNw2E&feature=youtu.be[/video]
Edited by Beaner on 10/31/2011 10:50 AM
 
JETROASTER
Nice use of simple stuff! -Scott
 
seedlings
Wow. I was really surprised when you said "I'm going to turn on the second element now". Nice work!

Improvements? Get a dozen or so roasts under your belt and I imagine the improvements will reveal themselves. I use inlet hot air temperature before it hits the beans in addition to bean temperature. What you especially don't want to do is let the bean temperature 'stall' or worse, go down. Since you're reading mostly exhaust air temperature, I would not like to see that temperature go down at all during a roast.

Do you lose any heat where your gaskets meet?

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
Beaner
Chad, actually if you notice at 51:00 I do turn on the 2nd controller and turn it up also. That was just to get some good heat going at the start, at 1:41 I turn it off again.

There is a tiny amount of loss where the gaskets meet. After I sqeezed a small bead around the sink drain thing I rubbed a little oil on a flat piece of metal and placed it on the bead. When the sealant cured I removed the metal piece and was left with a relatively flat surface on the sealant. On the screen mesh I just smeared it on with my finger.

You know, I've even learned a few things about my rig after watching the video. One thing is that I need to pay a little more attention to the airflow as the beans lose moisture and get lighter. This is a truely hands on roaster and I like it that way. Personally for me, it would be too boring if I let a programmed controller do all the adjusting for me. Results would be more consistent I guess but not as much fun. :)
Edited by Beaner on 11/01/2011 8:13 PM
 
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