HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Help: Voltage and Roasting (5 msgs / 147 lines)
1) From: Eddie Dove
I saw recently that someone suggested using an
extension cord to slow the roast on a popcorn popper
... I assume this has something to do with voltage
drop over distance and the same will work on other
roasters as well.  Is there a specific voltage that I
should be looking for?  Voltage at my outlets is 120.3
... if that helps ...
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2) From: Pat Murray
I've never formally introduced myself to the list but have been lurking for 
a few months and posted a couple times.  I have now completed over 50 roasts 
in my split wired dual variac Original Poppery roaster.  I am starting to 
get very good consistent roasts at whatever roast level I am shooting for. 
I usually aim at 12-15 minute times and city+ to FC roast level.
That said, I had the same problem at first.  My voltage is 120v and my first 
roast was into rolling 2nd in 3-4 minutes.  I started trying extension cords 
and found that even with 300 feet I was still getting to 2nd in 5-6 minutes 
and 1st and 2nd crack just ran together.  The main problem was that the 
extension cords, whether using 50 ft. or 300 ft., did reduce the voltage to 
the heating element but the voltage to the fan inside the popper was also 
reduced.  So, with reduced air flow it was still too fast and hot. Then, 
Derek at SM's recommended I join this list and read the archives and I 
started learning what to do to gain control of my roasts.  Many of you have 
been totally helpful and I owe you all a great big THANK YOU!!!
I use a 2 amp powerstat on the fan circuit and a 20 amp variac from SM's on 
the heater circuit.  I get 138 v to the fan which means I can roast a 
heaping full cup measure - none of these 1/2 cup roasts.  I tip the roaster 
to the side at first (prop it with a scrap of lumber or a rock) to help keep 
the beans moving till they loose some mass, then I level it at about the 
start of 1st.  Then as I need to, I can turn down the air flow some to keep 
the beans from blowing out of the soup can chimney.
I start the roast with the variac on the heater circuit on full voltage 
until about 325F measured in the beans, then I turn the voltage down to 
85-95 v until 1st crack gets going.  Then I turn the voltage down to 75-80 v 
and I usually can drag the roast time out another 4-6 minutes before any 
signs of 2nd crack. This is in 85F weather outside.  In cooler weather I 
keep the voltage proportionately higher to keep the roast from stalling.  I 
now have total control of my roasting no matter what the weather is doing.
I hope this helps, and again, thanks to all of you this has become a great 
hobby/way of life.

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Well then, formally Welcome to the List! Isn't it great being in total
control of the roaster rather than being controlled by the roaster:-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

4) From: Ed Needham
You don't want to pay attention to the voltage numbers, but instead look at 
how it affects your roast.  Is it improved?  Would a longer cord work 
better/worse?  Shorter?  Stop messing around and buy a variac?  Why am I in 
this handbasket and where am I going?
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
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5) From: Eddie Dove
I am fairly new to home roasting and my quandary is
this:  I was roasting in poppers, but they roasted so
fast that I could hardly distinguish between first and
second crack and I didn't like the grassy taste.  So I
did more research and I bought a Zach & Dani's roaster
because everything I read stated that it roasted
slowly and would have a difficult time achieving dark
roasts.  I do like dark roasts, but was hoping to
achieve lighter roasts with more body and less of that
grassy flavor.  However, I can turn green beans to ash
in the Zach & Dani's and was just wondering if it was
the voltage.  While I can actully rewire an entire
house, I admit that I don't quite have a comprehensive
understanding of electricity.  I do all of my roasting
in the house under the range hood that vents to the
outside; temperature in the house rarely exceeds 75
degrees F).
BTW, what a great bunch of folks on this list.  It has
sure helped with my learning curve.  My wife actually
drinks my coffee now and LIKES IT!
Thanks again,
--- Ed Needham  wrote:
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