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Topic: Trouble Roasting with WB1 (formerly First Experience) (8 msgs / 215 lines)
1) From: Andy Conn
Hi All,
About 3 weeks now and here are my results:
1) 1 Pound of Brazillian Santos - yuck
2) 1 Pound of Sumatra - yuck
3) 1 Pound of Kenya AA - Excellent!!!
4) 2 Pounds of Celebes - yuck
5) 1 Pound of Yemen Mokha - so so
My only good experience thus far is the Kenyan.  It seemed to roast pretty
quick and consistently.  Second crack was very obvious.  Result was
outstanding.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.
All others have been dissappointing so far.  Too much burnt taste - not much
flavor.  It seems that if I try to let it go to the second crack, the
outside is already partially burnt.  In fact, there are burn scars pretty
early into the roast, leading me to believe the WB1 is just too hot!  (I've
even tried removing the metal plate underneath for more airflow as someone
I finally got a thermometer to measure temperature.  It seems the roaster
very quickly gets up to about 425 - 450 and stays there the rest of the
Does it sound right to everyone that it is just plain old too hot too soon?
Please help!
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2) From: Michael Allen Smith
Follow-up questions:
1 - Please tell us you are getting your beans from Sweet Marias.  Beans from
the local roaster are probably going to be older and inferior.
2 - What is the outside temp and was it windy?
3 - Did you weight the beans prior to roasting?  How many ozs?

3) From: Andy Conn
Answers below:

4) From: Hugh Solaas
From: "Andy Conn" >
Yep, that's what it sounds like to me, Andy.  Although I'm surprised you are
not getting higher end temperatures closer to 470+ degrees, though.  But,
your low  high temp reading might be due to thermometer error or probe
At any rate, I have a Poppery 1 that also gets too hot too fast.  Upon
investigation, I found that the fan was going too slow.   It also made more
noise than my other Poppery I's. So, even though the unit had been modded
for increased air flow, the roast temps were too high too fast.  Possible
fix may be to clean the armature and lube the motor bearings with some light
oil.  I'm looking for a new motor for mine.
My advice is to get a Poppery II or HWP in the meantime, so you're not
burning up all that good coffee!
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5) From: Andy Conn
Forgive my stupidity: What is an armature?
I bought a 2000W dimmer on EBAY that I am planning to apply.  Do you think
that's a good idea?
FYI: I also experimented with a Wearever Popcorn Pumper with near identical
- A

6) From: Ken Mary
The dimmer is a good idea but make sure it can dissipate heat. Any enclosure
must be ventilated. And connect it to the heater only, this means you will have
to supply the motor with its own power. Make doubly sure you have the original
WB1 with the 110 volt ac motor. You can buy a 600W dimmer from any home supply
store for about $4.00 and connect it to the blower motor. But this will help
only if you have too much airflow.
I suggest you tear down the WB1, clean all parts, lube the blower motor
bushings, and reassemble making sure there is no air leakage between the blower
and heater. Do the same with the other popper if it is second hand. Do not
forget to draw wiring diagrams and mark flanges for correct alignment.
Since you had near identical results with another popper, this may also indicate
bad green coffee.
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7) From: Spencer W. Thomas
My experience with my WB1 does not match Andy's at all.  I see a steady rise in
temperature with 1st crack between 375 & 420 depending on beans and 2nd crack
between 435 and 450.  (Temperature measured with the 5" pelouze thermo sold by
SM, stuck in a hole near the bottom of the tin can "chimney" that keeps the
beans from jumping out of the popper.) Overall it takes 6-10 minutes to roast 4
ounces (weight) of beans.  I have not had a problem with "burning" the beans.
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8) From: GerardFF
I would try using the dimmer! My exp. with all my Poppery 2's and Pumper I's has been bad to okay but not great.  I still have yet to beat my HWP.  Try the dimmer and see what happens.  Follow the 3-4 min 1st crack and lower the temp to get a 8-10 min 2nd crack. Look for the "Roasting Curve" on past posts.
Also, are you roasting a small amount 2-3 batches and then tasting before you try again?  
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