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My first time with a Popcorn Popper. It broke
I hope the section is the right one.

Hi to all, I ask to you to forgive me for my little english. I am italian and I brew my coffee with a Bacchi Espresso and have a Porlex Mini Grinder. This is the result I can reach with them:


Now after 2 years I would like to roast by myself coffee beans.
Some years ago my girlfriend bought a Popcorn Popper 1100 W and I tried with it.

I put in 50 grams of green coffee and they spin too much fast, in almost 3-4 minutes they was ready.

After some hours I tried it again with 65 grams but after one minuts or a little bit more, it stopped to blow beans, it was just hot but no air more.

I opened the popper and I noticed the fan was broken.

So can you help me? How could I roast my coffee at hme not spendi a lot of money?

Have I to buy another Popcorn Popper 1200W?

Is it better to buy a manual one:

- drum on the fire;
- or that one typical ceramic hand roaster from japan?

In Europe the only roaster is Gene Coffee and it costs 500? too much for me.

I was thinking to buy something from USA but the voltage is different.

So what should I do?

Thank you.
Edited by JackH on 09/11/2015 4:19 PM
You say the fan broke. Can you post any pictures of it? Make sure your image is less than 240K and less than 2000 pixels on the longest side. Then select Browse, find your image on your computer, open it and select it.

Unmodified popcorn air poppers tend to heat up very quickly. So often people decide to modify them to control the heating rate and the blower rate. There are several threads you can find here showing different approaches to this.

Based upon my experience with popcorn poppers like this, my best guess is that the loading of green beans may have been too much and perhaps prevented air from flowing freely. With this arrangement, you often have to use a stirrer to keep the beans moving, or tilt the popper at a 45 degree angle, otherwise they will stop moving and prevent the air from flowing freely.

These poppers rely upon the flowing air to cool the heating coils. If you block the air flow, in a matter of a few seconds the heat will cause excessive temperatures.

One effect of these temperatures is that it can cause the air impeller to warp. In this case, the motor is still OK, but the impeller won't turn in the housing.

Another effect is that a thermal fuse on the heating coil assembly will melt, interrupting current to the coils.

If you can post an image of what you mean by "the fan broke", I can tell you more about the cause of the problem, but I would guess it may be along the lines I've indicated.

Sometimes people find that they can reduce the current / power by using a long extension cord and then use the popper without doing the modification to separate the heating and blowing functions. But in any case, you must always make sure the air is moving through the chamber well enough to keep the coils from overheating.
So many beans; so little time....
Unfortunately I opend it and noticed it was broken so I threw everything in the trash. Or better I put in the trash (in a stupid way) everything was electric and the fan too.

Now I have the frame of Popcorn popper and I was thinking to use it connecting down of it a heat gun. Do you think could be a good idea?

Anyway what happened? The popcorn popper were working without air. it was hot and there was red light from heating coils. When I opened it, I swas the fan piece was broken in the central pin.

So, I have any skill in electronic stuff, could I buy another popcorn popper and modify it in an easy way or is it better to change my mind?
I can easly make a manual drum roaster, but I don't know if it works good.
Or I was thinking to buy a ceramic handy roaster, the same doubt. does it work good?

The idea to use a heat gun is it a stupid one? There are many heat gun in italy works with just 2 temeperature: 300? and 550?. Now, I think 300? is too much hot, could I control the temperature just appling an extension so the hot air will start from far or the temperature in some time will arrive always to 300?
Edited by consenso on 09/13/2015 9:10 PM
I have not used a heat gun, but many people do. Some put the beans in a round bottom stainless steel bowl and just stir them with the heat gun until after first crack occurs. You can find many discussions here and also on YouTube.

If you have some knowledge of electronics, you could try reading the various threads on how to convert a popcorn popper for roasting here. Several are in the same area as your post shows up.

There are also articles here on drum roasters and how to build them.

So there are several different paths you can take to get into roasting small batches and then go on to explore different methods in the future. If you have a heat gun, you might start there. If you go to YouTube and search for "Roasting coffee using a heat gun" you will see many different ways to do it.

I would not recommend trying to use a heat gun with the housing of the popcorn popper. That housing is a thermoplastic which will distort and melt if it gets too hot and it could ignite and burn. I would suggest only using that housing with the parts designed to be used with it.

Good luck, and again, use this website to find many articles on various methods.
So many beans; so little time....
Thank you, I will try to find a way.
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