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02/27/2021 9:50 AM
Questions are best asked in the forum. The posts will last longer, and will be seen the most by members. After a few more posts in the Shoutbox, the post you made will no longer be seen.... maybe you could also introduce yourself and share a little.

02/27/2021 9:29 AM
I'm looking to hire someone to teach/help me to find the best roast profile for the 3 types of coffee that grow on my farm in nicaragua. I live in LA, but but could go anywhere in so cal with my Behmor for a roasting lesson. Please contact me if you're in

02/17/2021 7:20 PM
When your wife thinks 30 grams for a 6 cup setting is strong, you learn to drink muddy water when you are making coffee for both of you.

02/17/2021 8:32 AM
I use a rule of thumb of 60 grams per liter. 8 cups (1 liter, 32 oz) = 60 grams, 6 cups (3/4 liter, 24 oz) = 45 grams. 10 cups = 75 grams 12 cups = 90 grams

02/17/2021 1:47 AM
OldMan41, depends what is "a pot"... usually is more accurate to specify the brew ratio, instead grams of coffee. The most usual is 1:15, thus 40 grams for 600 ml of water. If the 100 grams are for one liter pot, then we are talking about 1:10 ratio.

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Advice wanted: newbie modded Poplite roaster
kaffeine
Greetings,

So first of all, a HUGE thanks to all of you for posting so much information on all things popper roasting! A buddy of mine introduced me to popper roasting by roasting a few batches in his stock Poppery II. I thought it was a lot of fun, and then 24hrs later I made a cup of coffee with it that blew me away. Yes, this is my new hobby!

So with curiosity, this forum, and an engineers mind I went to work on a secondhand store Poplite Popper:
-funnel section added to chamber bottom
-separated fan from heating element
-fan runs "full tilt boogie" on separate 24VDC source
-heater controlled via Harbor Freight router speed controller
--And I have a thermocouple and simple LCD readout on the way for bean temp

Advice wanted:
I've got some beans on the way (Costa Rica and Brazil) and I'm curious how, with heat control capability, I should roast them. What I'm looking for is a city+/full city roast, and I'm familiar with first crack - second crack concept. Mainly I was hoping some folks could advise me on temps I should shoot for throughout the roast, and if preheating is or isn't necessary. What is your old trusty method with your Poplite?

I realize this will be trial and error process, but it would be great to have a ballpark idea of what works. There seems to be so many methods, and so many poppers in various states of tune, that the net is overflowing with (sometimes conflicting) advice.

Again, a HUGE thanks to everyone here. I really look forward to growing in this hobby with all of you!
bobbooks
I get good results by taking the beans to 200F degrees in a couple of minutes. Then increase 20F degrees per minute to first crack then 15F degrees to 2nd crack. Dump at beginning of 2nd crack.
ChicagoJohn
I use the same model of popper you have. If you look at the next post in this forum -- something like Rao Profiles -- I have posted several example curves that I've used on a number of varieties with results I like. These might be of interest as a starting point. What I like to do is to prepare a table of target temperatures for each minute and then do my best to adjust the power to the coils to achieve that.

I use 91 gm / 20% of a pound. I make sure the blower is running, no heat, dump in the beans, set the initial value for the power input, and start the timer, making small adjustments in the control to try to steer to the target values. You should see some of this in the posted charts. At the end, I shut off the heater and continue with the blower until I hit 50C.

When I do multiple batches, I do see a slight difference in settings after the first batch, but I don't have a problem with it, and for these small batches, I don't believe there is any need to preheat. I think that would be important for much larger batches, however because the heat up time of the larger roaster will become a more significant variable.

I follow the Rao concept of trying obtain a time after 1C that will equal about 20% of the total roast time. I've experimented with getting into 2C, and have found that coffee tends to be consistently flat to my taste, but of course everyone's preferences differ.

I guess my suggestion would be to make up a recording system of time and temperature, start doing plots in Excel, and then after allowing the roasts to stand a day or two, see what kinds of differences you observe when you make coffee from them in your standard brewing method -- I have settled on the Aeropress and have arrived upon a procedure that I apply consistently.

I think you'll enjoy experimentation and may be surprised where you wind up in a profile after some trial-and-error. So far, for me, the PopLite mod has proven to be an inexpensive yet fairly precise and reproducible method of exploring some of the variables involved in roasting.
ChicagoJohn
Hi again Kaffeine,

I did a couple of roasts today and thought about your question, so I thought I'd do a second post that may be of use. I roasted an Ethiopian Harrar "Deep Blue" from Happy Cup. They seem to provide detailed guidance. In this case, they suggested a "rule of thumb" of a quick initial rise, leveling, and a target of 30 degrees above 1st Crack and 3 minutes after 1st crack.

So using my modified PopLite, same as you have, I did two 91 gm samples using a Rao-shaped profile and trying to hit the target "rule of thumb" that Happy Cup recommended. Results are attached.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try it, but it smells good :)

They did mention that this particular sample tends to show greater color variation among individual beans, and I definitely noted that. They said not to worry, that it was just a characteristic of this sample. I really like buying from a place that provides this kind of guidance as it has real value in reducing the learning curve for each specific sample.

Anyway, hope this may be of help to you, Kaffeine.

PS - You asked about preheating, and you will note that the blue line in the graph was "cold" while the red line was "warm". Very little difference in power inputs between the two and the results were quite similar although the "cold" start did run a little longer.
ChicagoJohn attached the following image:
ethiopia-harrar-from-happy-cup.jpg
kaffeine
Thank you guys for the advice, especially you ChicagoJohn! I modded my roaster based on your posts about your rig. I must say, you thought this thing out! It works wonderfully! As you will read below, it muscled through evenly roasting 100g without breaking a sweat :-) ...

So, I just finished roasting two "first trial" batches a bit ago, before reading these responses.

I did a 100g batch of dry washed Ethiopia Kochere, and a 90g batch of Brazil Adrano. I did 100g of the Ethiopia because my buddy just dumped some beans in a zip-loc for me to try. It being my first batch I was really nervous about scorching, so I was really easy on the heat, which in turn drew out first crack to something like 7:30ish. I let the first crack finish (took about 1:30-1:45) and I killed the heat because I read somewhere that this stuff is great when lightly roasted. Well, the beans sure are smelling great already!

With the Brazil I dialed up the heat to attain first crack nearly dead on 5:00, which I've read is a pretty good target. First crack finished in about 1:40, but things started getting a little hectic, haha. Beans started jumping out (I need to extend my chimney), and the temp really seemed to take off. With the chaos at hand I felt that it rolled right on into second crack. However, looking back I think there was a lull for a minute or so as I tried to address the jumping beans. Anyhow, I killed the heat as second crack was getting underway. Total time was 7:20ish, and again the beans smell great!

I plan to get better at keeping temp and time notes after a few more batches. My perfectionist anxiety, chimney, setup, and overall process need ironing out before I add note jotting into the equation, haha. I will also heed the roasting advice you all have given.

I will report back soon on how these batches turn out, but I have a feeling they'll be pretty good.

Lastly, my first impressions of roasting... This is a blast!!!
ChicagoJohn

Quote

kaffeine wrote:


Lastly, my first impressions of roasting... This is a blast!!!


I couldn't agree more. It really is a blast.

With the roasting systems we are using, you probably don't have to worry much about scorching; aluminum (funnel) has high thermal conductivity and is very unlikely to develop hot spots, and in addition, the beans are constantly moving.

I think that an important part is to have a thermocouple located off center so that it is not in the direct path of the air but rather in the path the beans take when they slide back down the sides of the funnel. While your and my set up will probably not duplicate the temperature values reported from other, larger volume roasters, in my experience it is quite reproducible with respect, for example, to first crack temperature. So if you just use 1C as a benchmark and slow down heating after that to get a 2-3 minute time with very moderate continuing temperature rise, that will probably be a good starting point.

In any case, I'm glad you shared your experience; I know exactly how you feel about it because I feel the same way; It is indeed a blast, and a big part of that is the discovery process. Have fun experimenting; I know I will too :)
kaffeine
I certainly agree about the scorching, or lack thereof. After coming down from my first batch anxiety I gathered that the airflow, thermal conductivity, and steep angle will prevent any scorching. Not having seen the thing work, and hearing stories of the un-modded Poplite scorching, I was just nervous ;) .

I am going to try to mimic your Rao-shaped roasting profile. The beans I roasted turned out absolutely terrific. But as with any hobby, practice makes perfect. Furthermore, having routine(s)/method(s) to practice helps to that end.

Thank you for mentioning thermocouple placement as well. I haven't installed it in semi-permanent fashion because I was confused as to where it should be. Seems like I see pics of them in the air path a lot, but I read something somewhere else that agrees with your placement suggestion.

I think I've got my chimney situation/fix sorted. I can't wait until my next roast!
ChicagoJohn

Quote

kaffeine wrote:

I certainly agree about the scorching, or lack thereof. After coming down from my first batch anxiety I gathered that the airflow, thermal conductivity, and steep angle will prevent any scorching. Not having seen the thing work, and hearing stories of the un-modded Poplite scorching, I was just nervous ;) .

I am going to try to mimic your Rao-shaped roasting profile. The beans I roasted turned out absolutely terrific. But as with any hobby, practice makes perfect. Furthermore, having routine(s)/method(s) to practice helps to that end.

Thank you for mentioning thermocouple placement as well. I haven't installed it in semi-permanent fashion because I was confused as to where it should be. Seems like I see pics of them in the air path a lot, but I read something somewhere else that agrees with your placement suggestion.

I think I've got my chimney situation/fix sorted. I can't wait until my next roast!


Dude: Check out the passive chaff collector under the "low cost" thread. Yesterday I decided to go with a "let it fly" chimney as I did when I started, and even outdoors it's a mess. It got all over me and everything else. If you make a passive chaff collector such as described in the "low cost" thread and don't put the window in it, it'll only cost you a few bucks and totally eliminate the chaff without restricting airflow. You just go by listening for 1C.

I have done three successive 91 gm roasts and the chaff collector does not plug up. (I would not recommend going more than that without washing it out.)

To clean, you just put it in the sink inside a screen strainer and flush water into it, and all the chaff ends up wet in the screen and you just tap that onto the kitchen trash can to empty it. Very easy to do.

Give it a try.
kaffeine
I saw that chaff collector you figured out. My roasting goes on in the garage, so chaff spreading wasn't much a concern to me. I just swept it up when I was finished. However, I did find that it was annoying when the the wind picked up and carried it further into the garage.

I'll give your passive collector a try. If anything it'll shorten clean up, which I am a fan of. School will be back in full swing soon, and if this hobby is to continue it will have to be as time efficient as possible... I probably will go windowless. Using temp, time, sound, and Rao method guidance I can't imagine not seeing the beans will effect quality.
ChicagoJohn

Quote

kaffeine wrote:

I saw that chaff collector you figured out. My roasting goes on in the garage, so chaff spreading wasn't much a concern to me. I just swept it up when I was finished. However, I did find that it was annoying when the the wind picked up and carried it further into the garage.

I'll give your passive collector a try. If anything it'll shorten clean up, which I am a fan of. School will be back in full swing soon, and if this hobby is to continue it will have to be as time efficient as possible... I probably will go windowless. Using temp, time, sound, and Rao method guidance I can't imagine not seeing the beans will effect quality.


Make sure you look at how to make the distortion cuts and squeeze it into an oval, and then you will have to make a gasket to seal the gap in the top. You might be able to think of a better way than I did it using the silicone gasket material.

Get a copper mesh pad and make it into a donut as shown. I wound my donut with thin copper wire to help it stay in shape. Then make sure to press that donut downward until it fully contacts the inner can top before you start. You will get zero chaff. After the two minute cooling after you shut off the heater, you can lift it off bare handed (if you're tough like me - otherwise use a hot pan holder :) to dump your beans, and after three successive roasts you just put it under the faucet in the sink over a screen strainer and run water in the top and it will flush all the chaff into the strainer.

The window is useless is totally unnecessary. Good luck and happy roasting. I'm glad to see you're having fun!!
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