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Topic: Urban Popper Myth? (8 msgs / 187 lines)
1) From: Paul Jolly
Ken,
I'm intrigued by your comments!  I echo the point
that several others have made--I too get lots of
smoke from my PII, even before second crack, and
the coffee's great.  But living in California
means that I can roast outside and avoid filling
my house with fumes.
The more intriguing point to me was regarding the
use of popcorn poppers.  Does anyone have
experience using a mesh-bottom popper for
roasting?  I'm guessing that such a popper would
probably blow lots of beans out of the top,
especially as the roast progresses.  What are the
other drawbacks?  
Cheers,
Paul
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2) From: Hammonds, Derek
As a user of a popper and a HWP I think I can say that any device that
roasts coffee is going to produce smoke.  Most of the smoke, though is
rather whispy/clear.  I was amazed at how much smoke I was able to see when
I started roasting in my basement and could actually see the smoke coming
out of the roaster and out of my basement window.  Guess the lighting
conditions are different down there...
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3) From: Dave Huddle
Derek Hammonds said:
---------
As a user of a popper and a HWP I think I can say that any device that
roasts coffee is going to produce smoke.  Most of the smoke, though is
rather whispy/clear.  I was amazed at how much smoke I was able to see when
I started roasting in my basement and could actually see the smoke coming
out of the roaster and out of my basement window.  Guess the lighting
conditions are different down there...
----------
I agree with the smoke/lighting comments.   I never noticed much smoke,
untill I roasted (popper or HWP) with strong sunlight coming in the
window.  The bright light made the smoke much more visible.  I roast in
the kitchen with an exhaust fan in the window and a thin sheet of
cardboard placed horizontally just above the fan.   The underside of
the cardboard is VERY yellowed with smoke.   There is also an
interesting deposit of very fine dust on the fan and the window
screen.   Also, the window curtain near my crude vent/hood set up is a
little yellow now.
Dave Huddle	Westerville, OH  just 25 minutes from SweetMaria's
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4) From: EuropaChris
I find roasting smoke to be very similar to cigarette smoke.  It's basically oils from the beans that vaporize, similar to the tar in cig. smoke.  It will attract itself to anything light colored as well as to your clothes.
My wife hates the smell, as she can't stand cigarette smoke, either, and they can both have that same, rancid smell.
I roast in the basement with a Poppery, and have a vent system rigged with a 6" muffin fan in the basement window and a section of 4" dryer vent hooked to the suction side of the fan that runs to near the popper spout.  It collects about 90% of the smell and smoke.  After a few dozen roasts, the inside of the dryer duct is already nice and yellow.  It works great.
Chris
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5) From: Scott Odell
I used one of those (a Presto?), years ago, for a while. It worked "ok"
after I drilled a bunch of 1/8" holes in the bottom to spread out the air
stream jetting out of that central hole.  As I recall, though, it was a bit
anemic wattage-wise, and had trouble getting hot enough when roasting
outdoors in cold weather.  Fortunately it gave up the ghost fairly quickly
and I moved on to the oft-recommended Poppery I ("The Poppery"), which I am
still using once again after a 1 1/2 year flirtation with a Hearthware
Precision.  I liked the HWP despite it's well-documented ideosyncracies, but
after a recent meltdown went back to the Poppery.
I tend to agree with the recent opinion that the stern safety warning
against using the mesh-covered hole in ther bottom poppers may be "urban
legend"  -- I never noticed any chaff problem even after dissassembling it a
couple of times to fiddle with the innards.
On the other hand, there are much more appropriate poppers to be found and I
see no reason to use one ot this type other than desperation.
Scott

6) From: JKG

7) From: robot .
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Paul
I use a bottom mesh air popper... The trick is to slightly angle the roaster 
away from the outspout. You do get beans above the edge but they fall 
quickly back down. I probably lose 2 or 3 beans a roast. The airflow is 
powerful enough that there is no chaf falling into the screen.. it comes out 
the spout like it's suppose to. The unit is a Presto and it runs 1500 watts. 
About 5 minutes (I'm still refining it) to 'city roast'. About 5 1/2 minutes 
to French. 6 1/2 minutes to lighter than air burnt.
I also only roast outside. Not too much of a problem in the Bay area of 
California, but this weekend... yeach!. Rain both days.
I am thinking about a 120 volt rheostat for the heating element. While I 
find the airflow is sufficient, I might like to slow the roast down a little 
bit. I touch more control, you know.
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8) From: Tom & Maria
<Snip>
Yes, blowing the coffee out of the popper, and also roasting too fast,
unevenly and danger of chaff and fine chaff dust igniting on the burner.
They can work with modification to the chamber!
T
                  "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
           Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
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