HomeRoast Digest

Topic: 2nd crack in 2 minutes-help! (9 msgs / 183 lines)
1) From:
I have a 1400 w Presto Poplite I am modifying for a friend.  Required mod b=
/c her husband bought the wrong kind (hole in the bottom) instead of the ri=
ght kind (fins on the side) like I told him.  It was perfect condition & $6=
 from salvation army, so I did what I could. I took the correct roast cup a=
nd the metal part that sits on top of the heating element from a fried popp=
er.  FIt perfectly.  Air flow was horrible.  Realized the wrong model draws=
 air from underneath along the OUTSIDE perimiter, runs across the element, =
and forces it through a hole in the top "bun" of the element unit.  That bl=
ew right into the bottow of my cup, then had to go around the cup and throu=
gh the fins.  It needed to go the other way.  I rigged up a chunk of that s=
tuff the element unit is made out of to plug up  the hole on top of the uni=
t.  I cut off the outer edge of the top "bun" up to the element just like m=
y fried element.  I then double stacked a ring of that stuff from my old el=
ement to block the holes on the outside bottom perimeter.  I then cut out a=
s much area as I could in the middle/bottom of the unit.  looked to be abou=
t the same open surface area as before.  because of the way the poplite is =
set up, I couldn't make the holes nice and symetrical like my old one.  I f=
igured it wouldn't matter.  The bottom of the unit has about 8 slits for ai=
r to enter.  I considered drilling a bunch of 3/8 inch holes in the bottom =
and/or sides to allow better intake.  Before I did that, though, I wondered=
 if you all thought the problem was the amount of air going into the unit (=
so I would just drill a bunch of holes), or if you thought the problem was =
the amount of air coming from the fan through the bottom of the heating uni=
t.  I even cut down the amount of green beans to 1/4 of a cup (I can do 2/3=
 of a cup in my popper) still got 2nd crack/smoke in about 2 minutes.  (Wil=
l taste it tonight to see if its anygood.) My friend is not ready to invest=
 in the transformer/etc so we can split the fan & heater so she could turn =
the heater off.  I'm not sure she'll stick to it, so I don;t want to spend =
that kind of time yet either. Especially if she can only do 1/4 cup of bean=
s, about all the popper can spin at first.  Please help, thanks!

2) From: Angelo
  Ah, the myth continues...
I have put in many very good roasts on my Presto (the "Wrong One") 
popper w/o modifications and w/o burning down my house....
All you need to do is to experiment with the popper amount of beans 
for your popper....

3) From: Justin Marquez
I agree, Angelo.  I tested one of the "hole-in-the-bottom" poppers and used
it for a few months. It was one of the Kitchen Gourmet branded ones from
Walgreens.  It roasted 80 grams in about 3 minutes or so.  It did a decent
job when I dropped a couple of 1/2" inert ceramic balls ("catalyst support
media", technically) which helped to diffuse the hot air before jetting into
the bean mass. I never had the flaming chaff problem alluded to in myth and
lore. (In fact, I have MORE flaming chaff issues with the HG/DB than I ever
had with the poppers.) The results tasted great. I would usually find
"divots" from a few of the beans due to the rapid roast, but it didn't seem
to bother the flavor.
Except for the small batch size and difficulty in controlling repeatability
in such a short roast time, I would heartily recommend them. In fact, I have
thought seriously about getting another one (tossed the old one when we
moved into our RV for a year) just to mess with for small batches at the end
of a bag rather than making a grab-bag blend.
If anyone wishes to experiment with one, I recommend the following as a
starting point to help with repeatability:
     1) Weigh the green beans with a 0.1 gr resolution digital scale
     2) Get something (safe) to drop in the bottom to diffuse the jet of hot
     3) Use a stopwatch to time the roast
     4) Although I never went so far with it, a variac or long extension
cord might help slow it down.
The usual warning apply in spades - these things roast so fast that you
cannot be away from the roast for any time at all. You need to give it your
100% attention for those 3 or so minutes.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)
On 7/9/07, Angelo  wrote:

4) From: kevin creason
where do you pick up the ceramic catalyst support media?
Hey, is there a cool name for the divots or little bean meteroids that shoot
off the beans? My driveway is littered with them and I keep thinking that
there has to be a cool name for them. Secondly, slowing down the roasts will
reduce those?
On 7/9/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:
Find me in Google Earth: 29.517567 -95.059033
Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them. - Andrew V. Mason
aych tee tee pee colon slash slash texascreasons dot homedns dot org

5) From: Randall Nortman
On Mon, Jul 09, 2007 at 01:37:15PM -0500, kevin creason wrote:
Dunno about that fancy stuff, but they sound a lot like ceramic pie
weights, which you can find in the gadgets section of a kitchen store
(Bed Bath and Beyond, for example).
I've only ever heard them called divots, and yes, slowing down the
roast will prevent them.  I used to get them all the time in my
unmodified poppers, but now that I've got independant heater and fan
control I never see them anymore.

6) From: Tom Ogren
Hey, is there a cool name for the divots or little bean meteroids that shoot
off the beans? I think "spalls" is a fitting word to describe the flakes &
divots, yes? I mean if "divots" doesn't float your boat. Divots makes me
think of golf and I'm not big into golf, so I like "Spalls". Usually used to
describe byproduct of percussive force (flakes derived from making spear
points/arrowheads, etc...), but can describe chips resulting from thermal
expansion too! Of course I'd hate to start some divisive trend whereby the
"Divots" folks and the "Spalls" folks become locked in some mortal struggle
for linguistic supremecy...Whatever you call 'em, your goal should be to
avoid them if at all possible. Slower roasts WILL help with this problem.
Also bear in mind that. when roasting with an unmodified popper, you must
account for ambient temperature which affects roast times greatly. If it's
hot outside your roast WILL progress noticeably faster.
TO in VA
On 7/9/07, kevin creason  wrote:

7) From: Justin Marquez
I got them from the supply we had at our gas processing plant in West Tx.
:-)  Some advantages to being the process engineer out in the boonies.  We
use them to support a bed of silica gel material in a natural gas dehydrator
process unit. They look like gray un-shiny slightly un-round marbles.  The
afore-mentioned pie weights sound like a reasonable facsimile. Actual
marbles would probably make the hot air flow do what you'd want it to do,
but I would worry about the glass breaking.
At this point, I am back in the big city home office again, so if I decide
to try this experiment again, I'll have to find the pie weights myself.
Actually, the next time I go out to the plant, I'll try to remember to pick
up "a quantity" of the support beads. You only need a couple or three at
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)
On 7/9/07, kevin creason  wrote:

8) From: Justin Marquez
If you *really* want to know....
Surf to www.denstone.com and take the link for denstone support media.  I
think we were using DENSTONE 2000. We have used 1/2", 3/8" and 5/8" sizes.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)
On 7/9/07, kevin creason  wrote:

9) From: Amy Bailey
You could probably use those ceramic ball-shaped "pie wieghts" sold for
cooking empty pie shells... like this:http://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Andersons-108-Ceramic-Weights/dp/B00004S1BT/ref=sr_1_1/002-5527099-0672861?ieF8&s=home-garden&qid84099285&sr=1-1I don't know much about ceramic, but I'm sure they're good at least up to
500 deg F.
           ---Amy (at 5th roast on a popper)
On 7/9/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:

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