HomeRoast Digest


Topic: West Bend Poppery II not reaching 1st crack (5 msgs / 138 lines)
1) From: john
Hi, folks.
I'm a returning list member (not that anybody would remember...I kept
fairly quiet).  I was a home-roaster for a couple of years
(2000-2002), then stopped due to extenuating circumstances.  I'm now
starting again, and relearning the tricks of the trade.
I bought a West Bend Poppery II at a thrift store and made my first
roasting attempt in six years.  At first, it seemed like everything
was as I remembered it, but then "first crack" only consisted of a few
light pops, then nothing.  I kept it going for almost 10 minutes (far
longer than I remember), and it never even finished first crack, let
alone got to second.  The beans were brown, sure, but they were
baked...not roasted.
Now, I'm not very mechanically inclined, nor am I an electric
engineer, so making modifications to the popper is probably something
I won't be doing.  I did have to use a rather lengthy extension cord
when I did this, so I'm wondering if that's the culprit -- or is it
possible that I got myself a dud Poppery?  When I roasted before, I
had the exact same thing, and it worked like a charm.
I'll be trying it again without the extension cord, of course...but I
wanted to get your thoughts as well.  Thanks!  It feels good to be
back in the coffee-roasting groove again.
~john
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2) From: R Nepsund
Poppers have internal thermostats.   With some of them the temp is set too
low for roasting.  You will need to bypass the thermostat or get another
popper.  There are plenty of web sites explaining how to do it.
On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 7:12 AM, john  wrote:
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3) From: Brian Kamnetz
John,
It is possible that the long cord had an impact, but I think the most
pertinent part of your story is that the roast stopped and didn't
progress any further. It sounds to me like your popper's bimetal
thermostat cut off the popper, at a temp right around the beginning of
first crack, which is a common place in the roast for this to happen
in air poppers.
I am not very handy but was able to remove the bimetal thermostat
piece quite easily. I found directions online. The most important
thing to know is that the bimetal piece looks sort of like a metal
fish scale. It is underneath a spring-like piece of metal in the
heater circuit. When the temp gets too high, the bimetal piece bends,
forcing the spring-like piece of metal upward, which breaks the
circuit. You can grab the bimetal piece with a needle-nosed pliers and
pull it out. There are many websites with instructions. Here is one:http://hirosboologoo.blogspot.com/2007/06/modifying-poppery-ii-for-coffee.htmlLook for a picture with the caption "Remove the tiny metal from the
thermostat to disable the thermostat." It shows the small bimetal
piece in the lower left corner of the photo. It was taken from under
the "brass" looking metal, at the left end of that metal.
The bimetal piece is a safety device that is counterproductive in
roasting coffee because it won't allow the popper to stay on long
enough to get to the temps required to get coffee through first crack.
Of course, it goes without saying that you modify any electric
appliance at your own risk.
Even after that piece is out, so that the circuit to the heat element
is always "on", you may have to fiddle around with the amount of
greens you roast. This is a bit counter intuitive, but using less
greens will cause the roast to go more slowly; using more greens will
cause the roast to go faster. Also, where you live can have an
influence; popper roasts seem to go faster at high altitude, and more
slowing around sea level.
Feel free to post further questions on this list. There are many
current or former hot-air-popper roasters on the list.
Brian
On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM, john  wrote:
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4) From: Robert Flanery
I have found that I can often "rescue" a temp slide by placing an old cone
shaped coffee cup I have into the chimney (I have a soup can as a chimney)
to restrict the flow of air around the chamber.  This will slow or stop the
movement of the beans momentarily, but it will give me a quick jump in temps
that can get me past a certain sticking point.  That might help you over the
hump with it as well.  Seems like I often see a drop at the end of first as
the beans change state.
The thermostat bypass is probably going to be your best bet in the long
run.  It will allow you to have wide open temps and then use the fan or tilt
to moderate the rate of speed.  I am sure you already know this having done
it for two years.
On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 1:53 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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5) From: Paul Helbert
John,
I'd swap you for a hot P2 if you'd pay shipping. The suggestions from others
are on target, so this offer is just in case...
-- 
Paul Helbert
Mid Atlantic Home Roaster's Gatheringhttp://paul.helbert.googlepages.com/midatlantichomeroaster'sgatheringHomeroast mailing list
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