Hey everyone, I've been lurking on the list for some time and have picked up some great tips from the chatter. Now, I've got a question of my own. I've been using a Poppery II to roast my beans. After a few failed batches(which were fortunately small, due to the nature of the roaster) I started getting great roasts that tasted far better than any coffee I'd ever had before. After I exhausted the small supply of greens I ordered, I went for the double 8-pack sampler. I really, really liked the Brazil Fazenda Boa Sorte that regrettably disappeared before I could order more. I roasted that particular bean just into the first snaps of second crack, and it tasted fantastic- absolutely no bitterness or burned flavor. I had the same experience with Peru Norte Especial at approximately the same roast level. Due to my busy college schedule, I took a break from roasting for a few weeks. Then, this weekend, I started back up with the aforementioned Brazilian coffee at the same roast level- I think I heard 1 snap of second crack when I stopped the roast and cooled it. However, after letting the beans rest about 18 hours, I ground and brewed a cup's worth in my French Press(is "brewed" the right word?), and was dismayed to find that the coffee had a decidedly burnt flavor. My question is, is this a problem with my roasting equipment, or did I somehow subconsciously change some of the variables involved in the roast? Thanks in advance for any tips and/or pointers you can provide. -Ian
Ian Gowen wrote: <Snip> Look at your beans. Are there some that look burnt on the edges? If the movement isn't right, or even if you roast on an angle such that the beans spend time at the bottom of the popper, they can get burnt in spots. If your batches are not small enough to move freely on their own at the beginning, use a long handled wooden spoon to help them along. I wear two of the "Ove Glove" insulated gloves while roasting. Both weight and volume can affect how the beans move around. That's just another reason I'm loving my Original Poppery setup with two variacs. I can adjust the fan speed separately from the heater (Poppery II runs a 12V fan on diodes in series with a secondary heater coil, the Original runs a 120V heavier motor). I can set mine to move green beans, then reduce voltage when the chaff comes off and they lighten up. Hands-free, except for twisting the voltage knob. ...and I'm running 1/2 pound loads, much more than I could with the Poppery II.
On 7/9/07, Jim Anable wrote: <Snip> Thanks for your reply. I do stir the beans with a wooden spoon at the beginning, until they're dry enough so that the fan circulates them. I might try to find an Original Poppery- your variac setup sounds pretty nice. -Ian
Ian Gowen wrote: <Snip> I like the variac setup, but it is admittedly a bit "overboard." At going ebay prices, you can buy a lot of roasted coffee for the cost of a big variac, a small variac and an original Poppery. If it's a hobby, you can justify it. I also work on tube guitar amps, so the variacs come in handy for TWO hobbies. If you ever open up the Poppery II and an original Poppery at the same time, you'll see that the difference is about the same as comparing a Yugo to a Mercedes. I used the Poppery II for a couple of years. Actually the clone with the power switch. I rewired the units so that the fan always ran when plugged in (along with the secondary voltage dropping coil), and the switch operated the main heating coil. After going through a half-dozen or so, I decided it was time to "upgrade." It wasn't the expense, it was the hassle of doing the re-wire job every time I burnt one out!