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Throttling with the Poppery 1
MichaelK
As the new kid on the block, I am trying to figure out how to extend my roasts on the West Bend Poppery 1 without having to modify the popper.

My roasts have consistently been getting to first crack at around 4 minutes and ending around 5 minutes...then pretty short after at around 6 minutes I hear the second crack and I stop the popper.

I keep seeing the "4-4-4" rule and that is a total of 12 minutes. I am roasting in half that time and feel like my coffee is not developing correctly.

What is the best method to extend the roast? Let's say I turn off the popper and turn it back on consistently after the first crack...how many seconds should I turn the popper off and then how many seconds should I turn it back on? I want to make sure that it does not go below 300F.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 
jkoll42
I never formally said welcome, but welcome to the forum.

I also started with a poppery 1 (it actually seems like ages when I think about it)

The toughest part, like you said, is stalling 1c-2c. You need very little heat at this stage but the P1 just keep pumping in the heat stock. If you want to do absolutely no modifications, your only option is to use a long extension cord to try and drop the current flowing to it and thus reduce the temps. Unfortunately its a minor improvement. You can also use less beans which will lengthen the roast but the 1c-2c ratio will not be improved much.

Unfortunately, unmodified, the off/on approach will only scorch the beans since the airflow will also be cut off and the beans will be sitting on the very hot roast chamber metal.

You have two options. Be happy with the roast you are getting until you build/buy a different roaster, or ...... modify.

It's actually relatively easy to split the heater/fan circuit. You can either go the highbrow variac route to control the heat and stretch the third phase or the ghetto 'flipping a power switch on and off repeatedly' approach that I used for nearly a year.
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
MichaelK
Thanks. This forum has been tremendously helpful and I appreciate you helping me out.

I read that you can modify the popper so that when it is plugged in it automatically powers the fan and flipping the "On" button will add the heat. Even if I did that it would still require me to turn the heat on and off, right?

Let's say I do go ahead and modify it that way, what ratio of heat to just plain air would you use after the 1C? For example, would it be 15 seconds cool air, 15 seconds hot air? etc. etc.
 
jkoll42

Quote

MichaelK wrote:

I read that you can modify the popper so that when it is plugged in it automatically powers the fan and flipping the "On" button will add the heat. Even if I did that it would still require me to turn the heat on and off, right?


You can do that but if you are going to split the circuits IMHO you might as well make a control box so you don't have to hold the popper and flip the stock switch. I can take a coupe pics of my old setup Friday when I have some time if you want.

As far as time on/off, if I remember correctly it was a fairly quick cycle. Maybe 1 sec on/ 1 sec off or so? Obviously it would vary based on load,etc but you get the idea.
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
MichaelK
That would be great, but don't kill yourself doing it either. How the heck do you make a "control box" ?? I'm going to be an engineer after all of this. I'll keep in mind that the on and off will be fairly quick.
 
jkoll42
It's basic wiring. I used a 4 gang workbox and some switches and wire.

Now that your down the rabbit hole you may be forced to become an engineer, physicist, fabricator, and wizard. :th-cof1.gif:
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
MichaelK
Haha! It's definitely becoming a great hobby and the fact that there is no set-in-stone way to do this makes even better. And, there seems to be an endless, lifelong amount of information about coffee roasting as well. Beats sitting lazy on the couch for extended periods of time on my days off. Wizard...
 
jkoll42
Ok, that settles it.

Ginny we need a roasting wizard emoticon!
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
bvwelch
I really don't recommend a popper for beginning roasting -- it is what I started with, and it took a lot of trial and error to get the popper modified and 'tamed'.

In my opinion, if you don't like the dog bowl idea, then switch to a bread machine.

save the poppery for later, when you want to modify it and turn it into a 'sample roaster'.
 
MichaelK
Something tells me that I will end up trying all of these methods eventually...but I am determined to make a great cup of coffee...I will have my way with that popper...
 
imaroaster
I started with a popper and had the same issue you did. I removed the thermostat and patched in a single gang box with a dimmer switch. This worked out well for me until I decided to go bigger and built from scratch. Just make sure that the switch is rated for the popper

Good luck

-John
 
jkoll42
I think somone mentioned this in a parallel thread but the router speed control is a great, inexpensive control for the heater element. I was not aware of them back in the day but used it for my heat gun for years.

http://www.harbor...43060.html
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
tom957
I just modded my Poppery I and roasted 4 batches yesterday with the flipping on and off business. It's really not that bad even though I now want to make an external control box (foot switch maybe?). Doing a batch size of around 110-115g I can easily follow the 4-4-4 rule. Being able to control the heat is cool in that the Poppery instantly becomes a bean cooler.
 
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