Hi All, I'd like to try my hand at home roasting, so I thought I'd start small with a popcorn popper. Anyone know of a good one to use for coffee?

 

Thanx

 

Zev

:)

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Zev,

 

Check out sweetmariascoffee.com

Tom is excellent and has a wealth of knowledge as well as products for the home roaster.

 

Nick

Get a model that does not have wire mesh on the bottom of the chamber.  You need the type with perforated metal vents on the bottom.  As nick said Sweet maria's is a good place to start.  Coffeed.com is a great forum to q&a and learn from.
The west bend poppy II is legendary. Though I use one that has a mesh screen on the bottom(because thats the one I found in the house). But that means i have to continuously shake it so the beans are roasted evenly. Any popcorn popper with vents on the side(not the bottom) should work just fine.
Poppery I, Popper II, Popcorn Pumper.

Either of those. If you can find either a I or a Pumper, you're doing well.
West bend Poppery is what i ment to say... not poppy.

I second Sweet Marias website. Even being a full scale company, I still reference Thompson's information. 

I use the Poppery II. It has the air vents on the sides that help rotate the beans around the cylinder to make it a more even roast. You can easily find one of the old Popperys on Ebay. There are some models that show up at Target or other places randomly that people say work, but overall, the older models are better options because they got hotter. Some of the newer models have higher safety standards and won't get you up to the required temperatures as efficiently. 

Honestly, I've been really pleased with the results I get from the hand-crank Whirley Pop. I know there's a distinct lack of airflow, but the coffees I've done have turn out nice.

I suppose its worth mentioning that I prefer to take things into second crack. (I know this places me in the minority, but just don't enjoy my coffees super-bright.) I've heard that at earlier roast degrees this method is not preferred. Works great for me though.

One other plus of this method is batch size. I've had best results so far with an 8oz batch. This means I can produce enough coffee to last us a week in under an hour... and gives me enough so that I can brew each batch a couple of times.

Say it aint so Brady! Do you roast all your coffees into second crack?

Ive been thinking about buying a poppery 2 and pulling it apart so I can control the element and the fan separately. The high likelihood of my electrocuting my self and/or starting a fire have prevented me from moving forward(just yet anyway).

Yes, I dump it out somewhere within the first 10-20 seconds of 2nd, at least for right now.

Since I'm roasting only for myself and my wife, I focus on producing the kind of coffee that we most enjoy in our morning brew. This means a coffee with good balance of sweetness and round acidity, retaining complexity of flavor and aroma, having good body, but without the vegetable/hay "green" flavor that dominates lightly-roasted coffees on my palate. I'm not going for any perceptible smokey flavors at this point.

I know there are lots of other factors to the roast that determine how the finished coffee cups. However, the coffees I most enjoy are almost always right about a "Full City" roast, so that's about where I'm focusing for now. Once I'm more comfortable with the amount of control I have of the roast and learn the coffees I'm using better, I probably will play with other stopping points.

I know this style is not ideal for some coffees, but I don't gravitate towards those anyways - coffees that sparkle, bright citrus, and/or green apple flavors aren't really my thing.

That to me is the beauty of home roasting... no need to make anybody but you happy with the results :).

Hope this doesn't come off as defensive. I'm not at all offended by this question, in fact I love talking about the coffees I enjoy. Thanks for asking!


Dustin DeMers said:

Say it aint so Brady! Do you roast all your coffees into second crack?

Nope, I doesn't come off as defensive at all. Im excited you have started home roasting. Though once you start you dont stop, and you will continually dream about wanting a sample roaster. (though Ive finally reached a point where im happy with my set up!).

I may be reading into what you wrote, but your saying you only like coffee roasted into second crack when YOUR roasting. Not you only like coffee roasted into second crack? This is much easier for me to understand(that is, if im reading into it correctly). Ive roasted way more than my fair share of sourer underoasted coffee. And ive grown to dislike sour much more than bland.

And I really dont home roast to drink the coffee, which sounds stupid i know. I guess im more concerned about figuring out what effects what at the moment. Though I do produce cups on occasion that rival whats offered locally, but then again Im roasting strictly for MY tastes and they arnt. And its really the beans, anyway. 

What made you choose the hand crank whirlly pop?
Brady said:

Yes, I dump it out somewhere within the first 10-20 seconds of 2nd, at least for right now.

Since I'm roasting only for myself and my wife, I focus on producing the kind of coffee that we most enjoy in our morning brew. This means a coffee with good balance of sweetness and round acidity, retaining complexity of flavor and aroma, having good body, but without the vegetable/hay "green" flavor that dominates lightly-roasted coffees on my palate. I'm not going for any perceptible smokey flavors at this point.

I know there are lots of other factors to the roast that determine how the finished coffee cups. However, the coffees I most enjoy are almost always right about a "Full City" roast, so that's about where I'm focusing for now. Once I'm more comfortable with the amount of control I have of the roast and learn the coffees I'm using better, I probably will play with other stopping points.

I know this style is not ideal for some coffees, but I don't gravitate towards those anyways - coffees that sparkle, bright citrus, and/or green apple flavors aren't really my thing.

That to me is the beauty of home roasting... no need to make anybody but you happy with the results :).

Hope this doesn't come off as defensive. I'm not at all offended by this question, in fact I love talking about the coffees I enjoy. Thanks for asking!


Dustin DeMers said:

Say it aint so Brady! Do you roast all your coffees into second crack?

I chose the hand-crank Whirley Pop because of the larger batch size and how closely some claim it mimics a real roaster. The fact that it was only $20 and I could buy one at the store around the corner helped too. The batch size was necessary, because from the first roast I did we've only drank homeroasted at the house. (Sipping one of yesterdays mistakes as I type, in fact.) We've had a lot of change in this market lately, and I lost access to several coffees that I used to really enjoy. I now roast in an attempt to get them back.

To clarify, I was including professionally roasted coffees when I said that my favorites are usually Full City-ish. That's something I figured out a couple of years ago, and used that as a starting point for my own roasting efforts. Its not that I can't appreciate a nice bright fruit-bomb Ethiopian, its just not what I enjoy. Hope that's clearer.


Dustin DeMers said:

Nope, I doesn't come off as defensive at all. Im excited you have started home roasting. Though once you start you dont stop, and you will continually dream about wanting a sample roaster. (though Ive finally reached a point where im happy with my set up!).

I may be reading into what you wrote, but your saying you only like coffee roasted into second crack when YOUR roasting. Not you only like coffee roasted into second crack? This is much easier for me to understand(that is, if im reading into it correctly). Ive roasted way more than my fair share of sourer underoasted coffee. And ive grown to dislike sour much more than bland.

And I really dont home roast to drink the coffee, which sounds stupid i know. I guess im more concerned about figuring out what effects what at the moment. Though I do produce cups on occasion that rival whats offered locally, but then again Im roasting strictly for MY tastes and they arnt. And its really the beans, anyway. 

What made you choose the hand crank whirlly pop?
Brady said:

blah, blah, blah...

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