HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The Poppery has died, time to move on (26 msgs / 658 lines)
1) From: micah milano
I've been roasting with a Poppery for almost 6 years now. I like 'em dark,
and with an extension and a can stuffed in the top, I could get a pretty
decent roast. The work wasn't that hard, and although things were pretty
inconsistent, I was fine.
Just the other week, my roasts started not tasting so good, and I was having
a hard time getting to the second crack. I wasn't able to french it out, or
even full city+. My lady friend said she didn't like it. I tried roasting
some other stuff, same result, and after a couple of pounds, and the lady
friend buying coffee at the store, I knew the jig was up! I think the
Poppery has finally bit it.
Fine, we are ready to move on, and so are considering an iroast or a nesco.
Everything else seems a bit beyond how much we want to spend, considering we
spent about $5 on this Poppery 5 and a half years ago. I'm concerned about a
few thigns: 1. not being able to get a dark roast; 2. breakage, people seem
to have issues with their units; 3. getting something decent that will last
and make it worth the purchase.
If I had the cash to drop on a nicer unit, I might do it, but I don't. Which
way should I turn if I'm done with the Poppery, but dont want to heatgun and
dogbowl it, and have bad wrists already so can't be stirring for 25 minutes
a roast?
thanks!
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2) From: Sheila Quinn
If you like the Poppery, why not check out some thrift stores and search 
for another one? Just a thought.
Sheila
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3) From: R Nepsund
You can pick up a bread machine from a thrift shop cheap.  Then you
don't have to stir the beans manually when using a HG.
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 7:23 AM, micah milano  wrote:
....
<Snip>
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4) From: Sam49
Walmart sells a 1400W popper that has worked well for some folks - about 
$20.  Strong on heat and fan power so you can roast a good bit for a 
popper.  I've got info on that which I've found on the net and might get 
one when my Melitta Aromaroast dies.  I'll send this to you by pmail.
I do some HG bowl roasting easily getting twice as many beans done per 
batch and it doesn't take 25 minutes, more like 12-14, but still might 
be too much for your wrists. 
I've also seen bread machines offered on my local freecycle list.  I 
find holding the heat gun more trouble than the stirring.  It does 
produce good results though.
Sam
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5) From: micah milano
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM, Sheila Quinn wrote:
<Snip>
I'm ready to move on from the Poppery. I'd like to not have to deal with the
calibration, inconsistency of a new Poppery and i'm ready to try the 'next
level' of roasting. That is if there is any difference with the iroast or
nesco, except in price?
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6) From: raymanowen
You like which Poppery?
The West Bend original Poppery (with switch?) is probably the more robust
machine. I will echo the comments of others- that you find another of the
poppers in thrift store. When you find one, you're half way home. You need
to possess two good poppers.
I know, you'll find one and say "Eureka! I am whole once again." Not so
fast. The first popper pooped, now you're dead in the water. You need at
least two that run, so that no machine failure will stop you again. When you
commit machine prostitution, do it right...
Cheers, Mabuhay, iechyd da -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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7) From: Joseph Robertson
Good advice Ray,
JoeR
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM,  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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8) From: Yakster
+1 on the redundant poppers.
I have 2, backups to the Behmor, but I'd also roast in the second
while cooling the first.
Heat's the real death of poppers, I'd stick my shop vac wand through a
large plastic lid and into the popper to suck out the hot air after a
roast, kinda like running your heat gun on cool after using it to
purge the therms after use.
-Chris
On 9/30/09, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Paul Jolly
Hmmm...don't know what "finally bit it" might mean.  Do you hear varying =
sounds from the fan?  Or just not enough heat to roast?  There are two =
simple mods that involves disabling the bimetallic thermostat & wiring the =
heating element through the on/off switch.  I did both on my P1 years ago=
 and it still works beautifully.  I especially like being able to manuall=
y control the heating element with the switch.  The mods don't cost a thi=
ng.  You could try them instead of investing in a new machine.  Good lu=
ck either way!
paul
Message: 1
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 10:23:19 -0400
From: micah milano 
To: Homeroast
Subject: [Homeroast] The Poppery has died, time to move on
Message-ID:
    <70fda320909300723n62e373a1wdb483c9ffd9798a5>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
I've been roasting with a Poppery for almost 6 years now. I like 'em dark,
and with an extension and a can stuffed in the top, I could get a pretty
decent roast. The work wasn't that hard, and although things were pretty
inconsistent, I was fine.
Just the other week, my roasts started not tasting so good, and I was having
a hard time getting to the second crack. I wasn't able to french it out, or
even full city+. My lady friend said she didn't like it. I tried roasting
some other stuff, same result, and after a couple of pounds, and the lady
friend buying coffee at the store, I knew the jig was up! I think the
Poppery has finally bit it.
Fine, we are ready to move on, and so are considering an iroast or a nesco.
Everything else seems a bit beyond how much we want to spend, considering we
spent about $5 on this Poppery 5 and a half years ago. I'm concerned about a
few thigns: 1. not being able to get a dark roast; 2. breakage, people seem
to have issues with their units; 3. getting something decent that will last
and make it worth the purchase.
If I had the cash to drop on a nicer unit, I might do it, but I don't. Which
way should I turn if I'm done with the Poppery, but dont want to heatgun and
dogbowl it, and have bad wrists already so can't be stirring for 25 minutes
a roast?
thanks!
      =
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10) From: Barry Luterman
To move up go Behmor. Only a few dollors more and head and shoulders better
than ithe iroast and nesco
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM, micah milano  wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: micah milano
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Yakster  wrote:
<Snip>
It seems like everyone is saying, without actually saying it, that its not
worth getting the iroast or the nesco, you might as well just get another
Poppery. Or am I misreading this and people are just going off on a Poppery
tangent and there actually are clear benefits to using an iroast or nesco to
those of using a Poppery? If there aren't any, then yeah I'm not going to
waste the money, but I'm starting to wonder if anyone actually has these, it
seems like folks here fall into a weird space where they are homeroasters,
so they gotta have the janky setup of a poppery with a hose vent, wires
hanging off of it and thermostats attached with duct tape, but they also
have to have the best tech that is out there that doesn't cost $4 grand, so
you have a Behemor too. But nobody goes for that Iroast or Nesco
middleground.
or am I reading too much into the responses? even though I've said I'm done
with the Poppery roasting, everyone seems to want to try and talk me into
sticking with the Poppery, which is curious.
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12) From: Mike Sieweke
On Sep 30, 2009, at 3:11 PM, micah milano wrote:
<Snip>
The i-Roast won't give you consistency.  I used mine for 3 years and the
same level of roast could take 7 minutes one time and 9 minutes the  
next,
with the same weight of beans all from the same bag.  The chaff drives
the roast.  OTOH, decaf beans are pretty consistent because they have
almost no chaff.
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13) From: micah milano
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Yakster  wrote:
<Snip>
It seems like everyone is saying, without actually saying it, that its not
worth getting the iroast or the nesco, you might as well just get another
Poppery. Or am I misreading this and people are just going off on a Poppery
tangent and there actually are clear benefits to using an iroast or nesco to
those of using a Poppery? If there aren't any, then yeah I'm not going to
waste the money, but I'm starting to wonder if anyone actually has these, it
seems like folks here fall into a weird space where they are homeroasters,
so they gotta have the janky setup of a poppery with a hose vent, wires
hanging off of it and thermostats attached with duct tape, but they also
have to have the best tech that is out there that doesn't cost $4 grand, so
you have a Behemor too. But nobody goes for that Iroast or Nesco
middleground.
or am I reading too much into the responses? even though I've said I'm done
with the Poppery roasting, everyone seems to want to try and talk me into
sticking with the Poppery, which is curious.
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14) From: micah milano
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 12:49 AM, micah milano  wrote:
<Snip>
It seems like everyone is saying, without actually saying it, that its not
worth getting the iroast or the nesco, you might as well just get another
Poppery. Or am I misreading this and people are just going off on a Poppery
tangent and there actually are clear benefits to using an iroast or nesco to
those of using a Poppery? If there aren't any, then yeah I'm not going to
waste the money, but I'm starting to wonder if anyone actually has these, it
seems like folks here fall into a weird space where they are homeroasters,
so they gotta have the janky setup of a poppery with a hose vent, wires
hanging off of it and thermostats attached with duct tape, but they also
have to have the best tech that is out there that doesn't cost $4 grand, so
you have a Behemor too. But nobody goes for that Iroast or Nesco
middleground.
or am I reading too much into the responses? even though I've said I'm done
with the Poppery roasting, everyone seems to want to try and talk me into
sticking with the Poppery, which is curious.
ps. sorry for any double posts, having trobule sending to the list!
<Snip>
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15) From: Michael Dhabolt
Nicah,
Sounds like you've decided to move to another platform.  If you
reconsider you will probably find that the internal thermostat on the
Poppery (if it is an original and not the poppery 2) needs to be
readjusted (or wired around / taken out of the circuit).  This is a
fairly straight forward evolution and there are pictorial instructions
in several locations on the web, including a thread on
homeroasters.org.
Mike (just plain)
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
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16) From: Jason Riedy
And micah milano writes:
<Snip>
Another issue could be the voltage being delivered to the outlet
you're using.  If something new was installed on the same circuit,
that might be a culprit.  Or if you're getting less voltage into it
from the power company, or an electrical problem...
Switching outlets sometimes works.  At my current location, I'm
stuck, so I'm back to recycling hot air with a hood (just a box I
prop over the roaster).
Jason
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17) From: Jim Couch
Most of the problems folks have with iRoast2s are in the It gets 'em too
dark. I do wish I had a Behmor now after using my iRoast for a coupla years
but it's due to the batch size, rather than any problems I have with my
iRoast.
Also, I couldn't find a Poppery so I wound up getting a Kitchen Gourmet
(think it's a store brand) from Walgreens and used the same trick of culltin
the ends out of a tin can. Worked amazingly well but wound up "using it up"
'course at 10 bucks a pop you could buy a few for a lot less than a Behmor
or an iRoast would cost ya.......
Jim
On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:23 AM, micah milano  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
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Kidney stones may be more painful than childbirth, but, few 12 year old
stones try to browbeat you for the "right" cell phone and calling plan.
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House
Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery?
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by
reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to
pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
Even if the cat has kittens in the oven we ain't gonna be a callin 'em
biscuits are we?
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18) From: Yakster
I can't comment much on the iRoast or Nesco.  I did play with the iRoast a
little bit at Sweet Maria's, but not enough to give guidance.  It was pretty
much set it and forget it and change the charge (weight of beans loaded) to
affect the roast.
When I was roasting with poppers, I had two large, nested stock pots I
used.  I'd put the popper in the bottom of the largest stockpot to block the
wind (roasting under the garage door at the time, rain or shine) and to
speed up the initial ramp, I'd put the slightly smaller stock pot over it to
contain the heat.  I had a thermocouple stuck down the throat of the popper
and a glass hurricane lamp for a chimney with a screen to catch the chaff.
At a certain temp, I'd whip off the top pot to slow the roast.  If I wanted
to slow it even further I'd kick on the shop vac to increase the voltage
drop (I used a borrowed variac a time or two without split wiring the
poppers).
I got pretty good control out of this, but I have a feeling that this is
very dependant on your own setup.
Now I'm tweaking profiles and charge on the Behmor with a thermocouple stuck
in the back giving me ET temps, but no BT temps.  My main reason for
switching was I wanted to roast larger then 4 - 5 oz batches and I'm
roasting 12 - 13 oz batch sizes (16 oz decaf) now with the Behmor.  The
iRoast and Nesco just aren't much of an upgarde here, roasting 4 - 6 oz if I
read the Sweet Maria's tip sheets right.
If your happy with the batch size, I'd be tempted to stick with the
poppers.  If not, I'd consider, Behmor, Gene Cafe, HotTop, or maybe even the
Stir Crazy / Turbo Oven or Heat Gun / Dog Bowl or Heat Gun / Bread Machine
methods that would be a step up in batch size and give you control of your
roasting profile.
-Chris
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 7:26 AM, Jason Riedy  wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: Mike Chester
First, a disclaimer - I have never roasted with a Popery, Nesco, or Behmor, 
so I can't speak with experience about them, but I have read a lot here and 
elsewhere about other's experiences.  I started roasting with a I-Roast 2 
and after a short while moved up to a Hottop.  IMO, the IR-2 is a capable, 
but limited roaster.  It would give you better profile control than an 
un-modded popper, but not a lot.  The profiling system that the IR-2 uses is 
quite primitive and works only by controlling the fan speed.  If you have 
any electrical skills, you would be further ahead to split wire the popery 
and add variable heater and fan control.  If you don't feel comfortable 
doing this type of work or would prefer an off-the-shelf option, I would 
spend a bit more and go for the Behmor, rather than the IR-2.  The Behmor is 
a much more capable roaster.  It is physically stronger and will last a lot 
longer.  You have the option of roasting larger or smaller batches with it 
where the IR-2 pretty much is limited to 150 gram batches.  The profile 
system is much better than the IR-2, and is much more consistent.  If 
service is needed, their customer service system is top rated.  It is also 
much quieter and it has a smoke suppression system.  Do to possible 
liability issues, they recommend against dark roasting in the Behmor, but a 
lot of people have reported that they do fine with dark roasts.
In short - If you like the roasts you got from the popery, the IR-2 will 
give you similar results, but if you want more flexibility, and different 
profiles, I would go for the Behmor.  I really don't know enough about the 
Nesco to comment on it.
I hope that this is helpful.
Mike Chester
<Snip>
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20) From: Allon Stern
On Oct 1, 2009, at 1:19 PM, Mike Chester wrote:
<Snip>
I think you're pretty much on-the-mark here. I have never used a  
behmor, but I have used a popper, IR2, Nesco & heat gun.
The nesco gives excellent results, but only on lighter roasts. It  
doesn't do a great job on dark roasts. If you like 'em dark, don't get  
a nesco.
The IR2 does a great job on light through dark; it does give  
repeatable results, but only if you start cold, which means one roast  
a day. If you want to do two roasts in the same day, the second one  
will be faster than the first. The profile control is misleading at  
best. I run my IR2 with an external exhaust fan to control the roast  
as well as to vent the roasting smoke.
-
allon
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21) From: Ira
At 09:49 PM 9/30/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
Back in the early 80s when I started roasting I used a modified 
yellow popcorn popper, second switch so I could control the heat. 
When I started again a couple of years back I started with a NIB 
Nesco I picked up for $65. I replaced it with a Behmor within a few 
months and sold it for the same $65. The Nesco worked, but small 
batches, lots of noise and little control. With the popper I had a 
thermometer suspended in the bean mass and I got very consistent 
roasts. if you didn't have that and you could not control the heater 
on your Poppery, the Nesco will probably be better, but I just found 
it hard to tell when the roast was done.  Personally I have the same 
problem with the Behmor but at least it's quiet enough you can 
clearly hear the cracks. I do wish it had a temperature probe.
Ira
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22) From: Mike Davis
No problems here with the iRoast2.  Tom handles it, so it's a serious 
roaster if the capacity fits your needs (150g. or about 6 oz.).  The 
iRoast2 controls temperature by fan speed and does a good job of that.  
There is very little smoke generated and it works fine under a stove 
vent hood.  By roasting indoors, you have a narrow range of ambient 
temperatures and you can control roasting quite well by using some of 
the roast curves posted on the SM web site and forums and then modifying 
them to fit your own needs and beans.  The iRoast2 has the advantage of 
being able to see the roast very clearly during progress and you hear 1C 
with no problem.  I now control my roasts very well by hearing 1C and 
then visually monitoring the beans to the desired level of roast, then 
manually stopping the roast.  I think those who have problems with the 
iR2 are trying to program the unit so they run the program to 
completion.  Quick and easy cleanup.  If the batch size fits your needs, 
it works beautifully.  I'm adding a Behmore but I'm not selling my 
iRoast2 and expect to continue to use it frequently.
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23) From: Robert Yoder
Thing is, Ira, that a temperature probe doesn't help as much as it might if=
 you also had the ability to control heating input, IMHO.
 =
I'm hoping that Joe Behm can come up with a second (or nth) generation with=
 these capabilities.
 =
Happy Roasting,
 =
robert yoder
 =
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24) From: Ira
At 09:05 PM 10/1/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
But it would be a point of reference to help get the end point of the 
roast more consistent. I always hit cool to end roasts and I still 
feel like I'm guessing a bit more than I'd like.  it was designed to 
be a toaster, but I'm guessing almost none of us actually use it that way.
Ira
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25) From: Jim Couch
Couldn't have said it better myself. While, I would add a Behmor if I could
afford to it has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with the iRoast2
results, I have just got too many friends beggin for "More" and can't keep
up with demand with an iRoast.......
Jim
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:43 PM, Mike Davis  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
Kidney stones may be more painful than childbirth, but, few 12 year old
stones try to browbeat you for the "right" cell phone and calling plan.
"Idiots are so much fun. Thats why every village has or wants one."  Greg
House
Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery?
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by
reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to
pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
Even if the cat has kittens in the oven we ain't gonna be a callin 'em
biscuits are we?
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26) From: David Liguori
My choice for an inexpensive home roaster would be the FreshRoast +8, 
which I don't see in this thread.  They tend to run on the cool side, 
especially if your line voltage is low.  You could put a Variac on it if 
you had trouble reaching your desired roast, though they're expensive, 
heavy and bulky, but I've used it this way.
The original FreshRoast, per the general consensus (and Tom's 
description), was hot.  But it had a way to regulate the air flow and 
hence, the temperature, which the new one does not.  It also had less 
capacity.  If you find one used and cheap I would go with that, though 
they do tend to wear out, and a used one might be well on its way.  Now 
I see that the FreshRoast +8 is out of stock and new models are coming, 
so you'll have to hold off on that.  Maybe the new lower-end 
model--supposedly priced like the +8-- will have the extra bit of heat 
needed.
I've used the original iRoast and didn't like it: too noisy and 
chaff-sensitive.   Also, the level of automation was annoying to me.  
Tweaking mid-roast was difficult.
The Behmor looks good, especially for the price, but I have no 
experience with it.  And, that price is way more than the others 
mentioned, not just "a few dollars".
I also have no experience with the Nesco.  Having agitation beyond what 
the "fluid bed" does seems like a good thing.   But to me--and 
evidently  to you-- not being up to darker roasts would be a deal-breaker.
I now use a Gene, and like it very much.  But, it's way beyond corn 
popper budget.
micah milano wrote:
<Snip>
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