HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Adjustable popcorn popper (38 msgs / 775 lines)
1) From: will mehls
Hey,
   Has anyone else who roasts with a popcorn popper
tried making it adjustable to better control the
roasts?
   I have been roasting for a few months with my
popper with mixed results.  I brought in some of my
roasted beans to the coffee roaster who i have bought
green ones from and he said he thought the roasts were
going too quickly, and the outsides of the beans were
far more roasted than the inside sections.  He
suggested i try to increase the length of my roasts.
   I experimented some with fans blowing on the
roaster and taking the lid off the roaster, but the
beans were still roasting quite quickly.  Most
recently i took a dimmer switch, normally used for a
lighting fixture, and hooked the popper up to it.  I
have only tried it once but it seemed to work great!
   Has anybody else altered their poppers like this,
or have any other good suggestions for controlling the
roast in a popper?
Thanks,
Will Mehls
Cheap talk?
Check out Yahoo! Messenger's low PC-to-Phone call rates.http://voice.yahoo.com

2) From: Tim TenClay
Will..
That is the biggest problem with a popper - I roasted with a popper
for 2 years.  People around the list tend to recommend putting a
couple of extension chords between the plugin and the popper -- that
will slow down your roast a little.  For me, it still wasn't enough.
I tended to dump the beans out of the popper at 1 minute intervals
(which had the effect of cooling them a little).  I'd roast until I
started first crack, then dump the beans out for 30 seconds, roast for
60, dump out for 30, etc. until the roast reached where I wanted
it....that usually slowed the roast down to about 10 mintues (or a
little less).
You'll want to be careful with the dimmer switch - most dimmer
switches aren't rated for the kind of wattage that most poppers draw.
You can get industrial ones, but then you might as well purchase a
variac (the industrial dimmers are REALLY expensive).
Hope that helps.
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
On 11/28/06, will mehls  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
The content of this e-mail may be private or of confidential nature.
Do not forward without permission of the original author.
--
Rev. Tim TenClay, IAPC, NATA #253
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
Personal Blog:http://www.tenclay.org/blog

3) From: Scjgb3
http://members.cox.net/felixdial/popper.mods.shtml_
http://members.cox.net/felixdial/popper.mods.shtml)
 
http://www.engadget.com/2006/02/28/how-to-make-a-popcorn-popper-coffee-roaster/_ 
http://www.engadget.com/2006/02/28/how-to-make-a-popcorn-popper-coffee-roaster/)
 
here is a couple of links that are pretty good, hope this will help.
 
scjgb3

4) From: Ken Bozarth
I spit wired my Poppery I and put a variac on the heater coil.  I can
totally control the amount of heat going into the beans.  I can stretch out
a roast to last as long as I want now.  Some people put a dimmer controller
on the fan power to be able to control it too.  I just let the fan run full
blast as soon as I plug it in.  My roasts are much better now.  I guess the
next step is the Stir Crazy and Turbo Oven combo.  I have the oven on the
way now and have already modified the stir crazy by disconnecting the
heating element.  Now I will be able to do 1 pound batches instead of 265
grams.  Wooo hooo
Roasting Realtor

5) From: Sheila Quinn
I didn't get great results with a popper either, but I wasn't about to 
modify it. Didn't seem worth it to me when I can use a heat gun (which I 
already owned) and get better roasts. Very little investment, other than 
a brand new dog bowl!
Sheila
Tim TenClay wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: john nanavati
can you hear first and second crack over the heat gun? i don't know how loud
it is but i imagine that it's like a hairdryer.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

7) From: Scjgb3
Yes you can hear the first and second crack, the heat gun isn't that bad,  
Well let me say my HG isn't. (Wagner Digital HT3500 1500 watts) i can hear  
everything those little beans are doing. 
 
scjgb3

8) From: Vicki Smith
You can definitely hear the cracks. I was amazed at how different it 
sounded from what I heard using my IR2. Part of it might be the quantity.
I roast using a heat gun/bread machine.
vicki
john nanavati wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: Captain CowPie
John,
You can hear the cracks. The gun is noisy, but the cracks are loud enough. =
I use a bread machine and am able to hear the cracks over top of it and  th=
e heat gun.
Vince
<Snip>
oud it is but i imagine that it's like a hairdryer.
<Snip>
<Snip>

10) From: Sheila Quinn
Similar to a hair dryer, yes, but you can definitely hear everything 
that is going on.
john nanavati wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: john nanavati
Thanks for the feedback. I'm starting to think that I may go the way of
HG/DB. It sounds like you have much more control over the roast than an
uncustomized popper. I don't mind messing around but am not seeing the
Poppery as worth the time investment - small batch.
  I use a bread machine and am able to hear the cracks over top of it
<Snip>
I am, however, interested in the Bread Machine approach and will probably
followup with you later about that. I have an old DAK bread machine that I
haven't used for several years and would be very interested in customizing
it.
Happy day.

12) From: Brett Mason
John - go to a Thrift store and get a coffee roaster.  Popper.  You could
lose $5 trying and failing - but you can cover that gamble!
Brett
On 11/29/06, john nanavati  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

13) From: Vicki Smith
FWIW, I use an old Sunbeam and haven't had to do any customization at 
all. I use it on the dough cycle, which runs for 22 minutes on my 
machine. If you are going to do a really big batch, you can stop the 
bread machines I have part way through, for just a few seconds, and then 
restart it, giving you a whole long time for roasting. On my machine, 
you can't start it immediately if it gets to the end of the cycle.
If I am roasting 1.5 pounds or less, I just run it straight through and 
have time to spare. I have tried the stopping and starting because I 
wanted to figure out if it could be done.
I've also roasted in the bread machines of various of my friends. All of 
the machines worked just fine on the dough cycle, without modification.
vicki
john nanavati wrote:
  I am, however, interested in the Bread Machine approach and will probably
<Snip>

14) From: Julie Tieszen
I don't understand the roasting with a breadmachine process. Is there a goo=
d website detailing this or could someone explain the basics?
Thanks,=
Julie
----- Original Message ----
From: Vicki Smith 
To: homeroast
Sent: Wednesday, Nove=
mber 29, 2006 3:12:23 PM
Subject: Re: +Adjustable popcorn popper
=
FWIW, I use an old Sunbeam and haven't had to do any customization at 
al=
l. I use it on the dough cycle, which runs for 22 minutes on my 
machine.=
 If you are going to do a really big batch, you can stop the 
bread machi=
nes I have part way through, for just a few seconds, and then 
restart it=
, giving you a whole long time for roasting. On my machine, 
you can't st=
art it immediately if it gets to the end of the cycle.
If I am roastin=
g 1.5 pounds or less, I just run it straight through and 
have time to sp=
are. I have tried the stopping and starting because I 
wanted to figure o=
ut if it could be done.
I've also roasted in the bread machines of var=
ious of my friends. All of 
the machines worked just fine on the dough cy=
cle, without modification.
vicki
john nanavati wrote:
  I am, h=
owever, interested in the Bread Machine approach and will probably
> foll=
owup with you later about that. I have an old DAK bread machine that I
> =
haven't used for several years and would be very interested in customizing=
> it.
homeroast mail=
ing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo cha=
nge your personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) g=
o tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

15) From: Brian Kamnetz
Vicki, just to be clear, if I am not mistaken, you use the bread machine
only for stirring, right? And use a heat gun for heat?
Thanks,
Brian
On 11/29/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Justin Marquez
On 11/29/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
OR.... Go to Walgreen's and buy a "Kitchen Gourmet" popper new for
about $10. It has the side air inlet vents. Roasts pretty fast, too.
I used one for a while in Snyder.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

17) From: Vicki Smith
I have a report and some pictures of my first bread machine roast on my 
weblog. See:http://taming.motime.com/post/597194At this point, the main thing I do differently is that I roast more at 
once--usually a pound, sometimes 1.5 pounds, and I now use the heat gun 
on high until first crack gets really going, but then back it off to the 
lower setting for a bit, before finishing it up with a return to the 
higher temperature.
I'm sure other, more experienced folks can tell you more.
vicki
Julie Tieszen wrote:
<Snip>

18) From: Vicki Smith
Yuppers.
v
Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>

19) From: stereoplegic
kenbozarth wrote:
<Snip>
you're going to love it! just make sure you secure the spacer to the 
stir crazy. it really sucks to have it pop off mid roast, or while 
you're dumping your beans for cooling. i'm working on a way to avoid 
dumping the beans (i'm clumsy, my beans end up on the the floor waaaay 
too often): check out the "SC/TO + cooling in one unit?" thread 
 
i started at homeroasters.org

20) From: Sandy Andina
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Mine lacks a spacer. I don't really miss it.  I cool my beans by  
letting them stir with the top off (I disconnect the cord for the  
bottom's heater when first crack starts).  Takes abt. 20 min.  I  
sometimes help it along by scooping up the cooling beans with a large  
slotted serving spoon as they stir.
On Nov 29, 2006, at 11:20 PM, stereoplegic wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-364--273667058
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
Mine lacks a spacer. I don't =
really miss it. I cool my beans by letting them stir with the top off =
(I disconnect the cord for the bottom's heater when first crack =
starts). Takes abt. 20 min. I sometimes help it along by scooping =
up the cooling beans with a large slotted serving spoon as they =
stir.
On Nov 29, 2006, at 11:20 PM, stereoplegic =
wrote:
kenbozarth wrote: = = I guess the next step is the Stir Crazy and Turbo Oven combo. I have the oven on = the way now and have already modified the stir crazy by disconnecting the heating element. Now I will be able to do 1 pound batches instead of = 265 grams. Wooo hooo Roasting Realtor you're going to love it! just make sure you = secure the spacer to the stir crazy. it really sucks to have it pop off = mid roast, or while you're dumping your beans for cooling. i'm working = on a way to avoid dumping the beans (i'm clumsy, my beans end up on the = the floor waaaay too often): check out the "SC/TO + cooling in one unit?" thread i started at = homeroasters.org Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-364--273667058--

21) From: john nanavati
i've been popping for a couple months. got one on ebay for about 9.
i thought that it was a safe investment to try something new. i've been
enjoying the results but want more control - same thing with my marriage ;-
)
i enjoy noodling around but am intimidated by cutting and splicing wires. i
really love scjgb3's suggestion about opening the airflow -easy and low
tech. short of rewiring for a dimmer switch or a variac, i don't see a way
with a popper that i can control the speed of the roast. this is what
attracts me to the hg/dg solution.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

22) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
I've heavily modified my Popcorn Pumper.
I control the fan with a dimmer/transformer setup, greatly increased the
throughput of air by enlarging openings and drilling new air holes, and =
I
added a PID for temperature limiting purposes.  All of it is built into =
the
base of the popper, so I have just one piece to deal with, rather than
dealing with a separate power supply.
This allows several alternatives:
I can do extra-large loads:  I set the air temperature low enough so =
that it
will not go beyond the drying stage until the beans are lofting.  Once
there, I adjust the PID to finish the roast.
I can do tiny loads:	I can turn down the fan, so that the temperature
will get high enough, even with a small load.
I can control the length of any part of the roast by adjusting the PID.
I can specify the exact air temperature at all times.
So far, so good.  I'm having fun with it.

23) From: Justin Marquez
On 11/30/06, David B. Westebbe  wrote:
<Snip>
If your PID has remote setpoint capabilities, you could probably use a
PC (or a basic PLC) to auto-profile.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

24) From: Michael Rasmussen
David B. Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
Did you use a lighting dimmer switch?  I the highest rated ones I can find are for
1000W, far less than the 1200, 1450 or 1500 watts of the common popper models.
-- 
   Michael Rasmussen, Portland, Ore, USA
  Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
       http://www.patch.com/words/

25) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
I use the dimmer only to adjust fan speed, so the standard 600 watt =
model is
sufficient.  I control the heating coil using a PID, which is, in =
essence, a
fancy electronic thermostat.
The two work very well in tandem.  I can use the fan control to adjust =
the
airflow without it affecting the temperature.  Under normal =
circumstances,
poppers go down in temp near the end of the roast.  This is because the
beans become less dense, and the airflow increases.  Before I installed =
the
PID,I used to just turn down the fan to keep a steady, or rising,
temperature. Now I do the same thing, but I have precise control over =
the
temperature independent of fan setting.

26) From: Michael Rasmussen
David B. Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
Not Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Not Process ID
Not Periodic Interrupt Damper
What is it?  Where do you get them?  Am I going to wince at the cost?
-- 
   Michael Rasmussen, Portland, Ore, USA
  Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
       http://www.patch.com/words/

27) From: raymanowen
John, which DAK do you have? My oldies are like round silos with hinged dom=
e
glass tops. The loaf pans are cylindrical. Not hot enough at 350 bread
baking temperature to roast coffee barefoot.
But we have ways, even though it won't exactly be easy. [Fancy that?]
If I had a line on those bread machines by the dozens, I can imagine a new
business...
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

28) From: Justin Marquez
On 11/30/06, Michael Rasmussen  wrote:
<Snip>
It is an electronic process controller set up to control temperature.
P = Proportoinal
I = Integral
D = Deriviative
Which are 3 modes of control logic used in varying degrees to control
the process to the desired setpoint.
Proportional control sends more correcting output signal in proportion
to the "error" measured against the setpoint. Proportional always
leaves a little error by itself.
Integral is time related - longer time in error condition results in
more signal to correct. Integral is used to line out the remaining
error from proprtional mode.
Derivative is a mode frequently causing instability - it sends more
signal to correct if the error is moving quickly away from the
setpoint.
For temperature control, you would need mostly Proportional mode, a
little Integral mode and probably NO Derivative mode.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

29) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
It stands for proportional-integral-derivative.  Does that help? :)
 
<Snip>
Like I said, it is a fancy electronic thermostat.  It uses various
algorithms to try to keep the temperature steady.  Its input is a
thermocouple, and its output attaches to a solid-state (or mechanical)
relay, which turns the heating element on and off.
I got mine on eBay, cheap.  All I was looking for was a digital =
temperature
readout for my thermocouple, but at the price I saw, I went for the PID. =
 Of
course, that necessitated that I buy a solid-state relay, wire, =
connectors
and a couple of terminal blocks, and resulted in my dining room table
becoming a mad scientist's lair for a couple of weeks while I played =
with my
Dremel tool and soldering iron, but that was par for the course.  While =
I
had the popper apart, I experimented with different heating elements and
beancups, which was also fun.

30) From: Michael Rasmussen
David B. Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
so a PID is part of what you need.
It is a switch, and you need a bunch of other stuff wired together to have a
complete control circuit for the popper.
If I'm understanding:
An alternative to a PID would be a variac controlling power to the heater coil
with a human being watching a thermometer and varying the variac power to change
the coil (and flowing air) temp.  In this case the watchful eye of the person and
the tweaking of the variac substitute for the PID.
-- 
   Michael Rasmussen, Portland, Ore, USA
  Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
       http://www.patch.com/words/

31) From: Eddie Dove
Justin,
I am not very adept in the understanding of electronics (Id10t), but that
was a great, lucid explanation and I understood all of it for the first
time!  Thank you and my compliments!
Eddie
On 11/30/06, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>

32) From: john nanavati
On 11/30/06, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
bread
<Snip>
that's my machine. it still works - although, i haven't used it for a while=
.
i understand that the machine is set to bake at 350. but if i were to "take
control" of the element - i.e. disconnect the machine's thermostat - isn't
it conceivable that keeping the element on longer would raise the temp
beyond 350?
i really don't know anything about the heating elements or electronics, for
that matter ;- ) so, i guess that the element may only have "so much" power=
.
i just saw it sitting there one day as i reached for my popper and thought
.... "hmmmm. there's something with a paddle, heating element, and cooling
fan, AND could hold 1/2+lb .... hmmmmm"
i don't know. it's all theory until someone looses an eye ;- )
btw, if i'm just dreaming, please let me know. i'd hate to ruin a good brea=
d
machine just to find out that i'm wrong
happy day.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

33) From: Brian Kamnetz
That's a very accessible explanation, Justing. Thanks.
Brian
On 11/30/06, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>

34) From: Brian Kamnetz
Oops, typo. Sorry, Justin.
Brian
On 11/30/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>

35) From: raymanowen
With a functional bread machine- "my machine... still works - although, i
haven't used it for a while", I first recommend you get some whole kernel
hard red winter wheat and make use of your blade grinder. Grind some fine-
not flour and substitute it for about 25% of the flour in a normal recipe.
I think the hard red winter wheat has a lot of gluten in it and makes for a
nice textured loaf.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

36) From: Justin Schwarz
This has been a great thread.  I figured out how to disable my bi- 
metallic switch, got a precise description of a PID, and a great  
pointer for bread.  I do make bread quite frequently in my breadmaker.
I had previously set aside popper roasting because the bi-metallic  
switch just seemed to kick in at the worst possible time.  I now have  
hope for my popper!
Justin
On Nov 30, 2006, at 7:50 PM, raymanowen wrote:
<Snip>

37) From: Justin Marquez
On 11/30/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
No sweat, Brian.  You'd probably be amazed at how many times I have to
go back and correct the spelling of my name when I type it myself.
Slight dyslexia and fat fingers.  What else can I say...? ("So... how
long have you been lysdexic?")
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

38) From: raymanowen
[dyslexia]- Oh, my Dog, not that- - -
newoyar


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