HomeRoast Digest


Topic: fear of melt down (4 msgs / 116 lines)
1) From: Nils Kenaston
I am newbie; backing full speed into roasting.  I found that Sweet  
Maria's has the cheapest price on Cafclean.  To justify the shipping,  
I ordered a pound of green beans as well.  I then lucked into a $5  
West Bend 1200 Watt Popper.  I had about 50% success with my first  
pound: it took a few efforts to realize that if I slowed the swirling  
beans with the handle of a wooden spoon they got hot enough to reach  
the 2nd crack.  The successful 50% was delicious enough to hook me.   
Being a bit mod happy, having just PIDed my Silvia, I decided to  
follow the popper conversion described on the Engadget website.  It  
is a little scary but I own a fire extinguisher.  I am not too  
worried about burning down my apartment (bldg?!) but at this point  
melting down the popper would be bad enough.  I have five pounds of  
green beans in transit and I can't buy an IR2 for a while  - at least  
until my wife becomes convinced that roasting at home is a necessity  
( at the moment she thinks I am suffering from caffeine induced  
obsessive compulsive disorder).  I don't want to put any more money  
into a corn popper when clearly any more money should go towards an IR2.
The question is - having by-passed the thermal fuse and shut off  
switch, is the popper destined to melt despite vigilance and  
carefully monitoring the bean temp with a thermometer?  Is the fan  
going full blast enough to keep it cool?  The popper is very plastic  
and in testing the wiring I ran the heating coil for a few seconds  
without the fan; it was enough time to generate a funny smell.  I am  
tempted to re-disassemble the popper and put the fuse and thermal  
switch back in line.  (I also left the 2nd heating coil disconnected  
figuring I really didn't need the extra heat and that it's real  
function was as a voltage drop to run the fan, now running off a  
transformer).  Is the Engadget modification completely insane, or can  
I proceed cautiously with some hope of success?
PS Why can't I install a dimmer in place of an on off switch to run  
the heating coil?  Would it have to be a 1k dimmer?
Thank you,
Nils

2) From: Andy Thomas
----- Original Message ----
From: Nils Kenaston nilskenaston=
t
    ... if I slowed the swirling  
    beans with the handle of=
 a wooden spoon they got hot enough to reach  
    the 2nd crack.  
=
You can accomplish the same thing -- slowing the beans/hotter roast -- by s=
tarting with more beans.
    ...until my wife becomes convinced tha=
t roasting at home is a necessity  
    ( at the moment she thinks I am s=
uffering from caffeine induced  
    obsessive compulsive disorder). ...=
After seven years, my wife still doesn't get it.
Cheers,
An=
dy=
Finding fabulous fares is fun.  
Let Yahoo! Fa=
reChase search your favorite travel sites to find flight and hotel bargains=
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
First Welcome to the List, enjoy the Journey!
More below:
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Sounds normal:-)
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I disagree. A modified AND controlled popper can profile circles around an
IR2.
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If using the upper plastic popcorn popping chamber for roasting, expect
short life and imminent melt down. Various roast chamber replacements from
tin cans, oil lamb tops, Pyrex tubes etc.
 
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You could & yes a dimmer would need to be rated for the heating element
load. Don't try to use a 500w dimmer designed for lights! However, IMO a
variable transformer (aka Variac) is a better way to go. I prefer the type
with voltage boost capability (usually 10 or 20%) which can be used to help
compensate for low ambient temps and enables better profile control in
general. Tom sells a relatively inexpensive 20A continuous duty service
rated model. You can often find decent buys on Ebay for used, make sure you
get 10A or better rating to adequately handle to load in back to back long
roast sessions. 
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.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

4) From: Vicki Smith
I haven't (yet) used a popper, but I suspect miKe is spot on. There are 
all sorts of good reasons to choose an IR2, but superiority over various 
modded home-made roasters is not one of them. There are built into the 
chipset parameters for the IR2 that limit your ability to control the 
roast that HG/DB, HG/BM, and modified/controlled poppers simply don't have.
Vicki
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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