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Topic: Sucky decaf (19 msgs / 495 lines)
1) From: Greg Knepp
Hi Folks,
I've been roasting for about 2.5 years with a Poppery.
For some time now, I've noticed that all of my decaf roasts have an 
unpleasant tangy flavor to them, which overwhelms any other flavors in 
the coffee. It makes all decaf regardless of origin or roasting time 
taste the same; basically bad. If I significantly over-roast them, I can 
get them to taste burnt instead of just bad. :-)
Caffeinated beans come out great at a variety roast levels.
After the first batch, the poppery roasts everything fast - probably 4-5 
minutes to city or city+. I'm thinking maybe this has something to do 
with my results.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Greg
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2) From: Lynne
Hi Greg -
I think that's it (others w/experience w/both decafs and popperies can chime
in). I've also had lots of sucky decafs in the past. I roast stove-top, and
I improved my roasts when I made sure to extend the time. I found it tricky
at first - I was afraid of baking the beans, but it got to a point where it
didn't matter. Can't describe what mine ended up tasting like, (funky &
unpleasant comes to mind).
I remember some people mentioning that they used an extension cord that
helped w/extending the roast. I'm sure others will have suggestions. I aim
for at least 12 minutes for all my roasts (decafs can overroast easier, too)
- 14 is usually better for decaf. I only go as far as the end of first
crack, as I hate dark roasts.
Lynne
On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM, Greg Knepp wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I think the fast roasts are the issue. One way to diagnose fast 
roasts is to grind a small part of the batch and , in good balanced 
light, compare the surface color of the bean to the ground coffee. If 
the interior is noticeably lighter then this fast roast means the 
interior is a but under-roasted, the exterior over roasted. Sadly, if 
you roast darker you get the interior right but the exterior is 
charred and ruins the flavor. One thing you can do is carefully 
scrape off the exterior of each bean with an Xacto blade. Okay, I am 
joking. What you need to to is slow down the roaster. There have been 
a variety of ways to do this - add a super long extension cord. Cycle 
it off and on during the roast. Pry the vents where the hot air comes 
out open a bit more. Roast a little less. Do the decaf roast first 
when the popper is cool. Lots of options, some better than others. 
Might want to modify a second popper for decaf though, so you can 
keep the one you get good regular coffee roasts intact. -Tom
I was going to add this to the decaf section on the forum too because 
its possiblyt a general problem with decafs in poppers
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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4) From: Edward Bourgeois
One thing I've thought happens is the beans have been comprised by the
decaf process and are more vulnerable to high heat. With high heat the
oils are more easily drawn to the surface where oxygen can also
replace the co2. After roasting you can see the oils slowly absorb
back into the beans. This may produce the  tangyness you detect. You
need to try to slow the roast (lower temp.) and treat the beans more
gently. Of course this is tricky with an unmodified popper.
On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 2:48 PM, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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5) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
You are correct, definitely. Decafs are softer and they transfer heat 
more like a soft, low-grown coffee, even if they were originally a 
dense high grown coffee. So if you can master decaf roasting, you can 
also get optimal results from Kauai coffee grown at 50 feet above sea 
level!
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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6) From: Brian Kamnetz
If you have The Poppery, and not a Poppery II, you might consider
modifications that allow you to control the heat. Mike (just plain) is
well-known for his modified Poppery I.
Brian
On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM, Greg Knepp  wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Michael Dhabolt
Greg,
Following up on Brian's implied question "If you have The Poppery, and not a
Poppery II".  You have been using an unmodified machine for long enough that
I expect getting all 'Geeky' about modifications isn't something you are
interested in.  This thread has included several good suggestions.
I believe that following Tom's suggestions will lead you to the conclusion
that you need to slow the roast, there are any number or solutions. I
believe you'll find that the previously mentioned 12 minute target will
solve your problem (I personally shoot for closer to 15 minute overall
time).  Slowing the heat-up rate to below 10 degrees F per minute just prior
to the onset of 1st crack and maintaining a slower rate to End Of Roast will
open up whole new coffee perspectives for you.
loading the machine with less beans will allow more heat to escape and
thereby slow the roast
The commonly recommended use of a long extension cord to add enough
resistance to the circuit and thereby lower the voltage to a level that
lengthens the roast works.  This solution pre-supposes that you make sure
the extension cord isn't of a small enough gauge to allow it to get
physically hot, this could generate extra work for your local fire
department.
Another common method is to power the Poppery through a Variac
(auto-transformer / variable transformer).  Tom used to offer one on the
Sweet Marias site but I don't seem to be able to find it.  If you decide on
this solution, a really simple mod is to 'split wire' the roaster.  It
entails removing the bottom and wiring two separate power cords to the
terminals on the bottom, one for the fan and one for the heater. This allows
running the fan at full speed, plugged directly into a wall receptacle and
lowering the power level (voltage) to the heater by powering the heater
circuit through the variac.
I've tried the patience of list members before by getting too technical and
generating long how-to's on the list so if you need any other suggestions
and/or directions email me direct.  Glad to help.
Mike (just plain)
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8) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Hey Michael - if you do separate the heater from the fan, wouldn't it 
then be feasible to use a high rated dimmer (ones sold as router 
dimmers, 1000 watts)? Those can be had for $25. I understand (I 
think) a dimmer starves the voltage whereas a variac offers pulses of 
power, but since we are talking only about a heat coil, starving it 
seems fine (?)
Tom
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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9) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Thanks for the clarification
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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10) From: Michael Dhabolt
Tom,
I've read reports of folks being successful with this approach.  I
personally haven't tried it, I try to not make recommendations that I
haven't accomplished myself.  Certainly sounds like a do-able thing, and the
difference in cost would dictate it, if it works OK.
Caveat: I would question the ability of a 1000 watt speed control having a
long life span if controlling a 1400ish watt heater circuit, although I see
some of these things (Harbor Freight) advertising as being capable of
dealing with up to a 15 Amp load, 3ish Amps more than a P1 heater circuit.
These things are sold for controlling motors which involves both resistive
and inductive loads, back EMF etc. and the subject is considerably beyond
the focus of this conversation.  I've always had a somewhat less than high
level of confidence in Chinese ratings of equipment power handling
capability and duty cycle ratings.
I've seen folks use these things long term, successfully, for fan speed
control although it doesn't allow speeding the fan up as you can do with a
variac wired to increase voltage.  The load from a P1 fan is in the 100 Watt
range.
Mike (just plain)
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11) From: Edward Bourgeois
With a little patience a nice used 15 or 22amp. US made Staco variac
can be had on ebay for $60-$125.(I've bought several for less than
$100.in great condition) It will last for many years and maintain it's
original value and be very dependable. Just about all the China ones
I've heard roasters get have since met an early death. There will be
no voltage loss as will happen with a dimmer and can be used to
slightly boost if needed. Small ones to drive a fan can be had for
real cheap.
On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 3:11 PM, Michael Dhabolt
 wrote:
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d the
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ee
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igh
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 Watt
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ariascoffee.com
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ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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12) From: Michael Dhabolt
I fully concur with Edwards appraisal of the subject:
On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 12:33 PM, Edward Bourgeois
 wrote:
<Snip>
There have been multiple threads on this list in the past concerning
duty cycle of reputable US built, brand name variacs, I believe miKe
mcKoffee wrote the seminal piece on the subject.  I believe the
consensus has been that non-24-7 use in a
non-heat-dissipation-challenged environment allows safe use of variacs
rated somewhat below the actual current draw.  I've used a variac
rated at 12 Amps for 15 Amp loads for several hours at a time many
times with no discernible heat build up, I've used it for years and it
is still kicking.
Small variacs wired for voltage increase in the fan circuit provides
approx. 138 Volts and substantially increases the green bean load
capability of a P1 (chimney mandatory at this load).
If anyone tries the router speed control course of action, I'd
certainly hope they would post their results.
Mike (just plain)
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13) From: Edward Bourgeois
I tend to
On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Michael Dhabolt
 wrote:
<Snip>
ariascoffee.com
<Snip>
ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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14) From: Edward Bourgeois
I tend to not recommended lighter duty and leave those possibilities
up to the user. The reason I won't mention the long extension cord
option.
On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 6:03 PM, Edward Bourgeois  w=
rote:
<Snip>
mariascoffee.com
<Snip>
fee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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15) From: Michael Dhabolt
Edward,
On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM, Edward Bourgeois  wrote:
<Snip>
probably a good idea.
Mike (just plain)
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16) From: raymanowen
"... This allows running the fan at full speed, plugged directly into a wall
receptacle and
lowering the power level (voltage) to the heater by powering the
heatercircuit through the variac."
Another option:
   - Leave the heater Alone- don't alter the most powerful device in the
   roaster. (Part of Ray's 9-1-1 Smoke and Blue Fire reduction program- could
   even save the domicile...)
Raise the blower voltage/ speed with a full-wave bridge rectifier and
electrolytic capacitor, and decrement that low-power supply with a rheostat,
light dimmer or separate Triac/ diac.
Full power to the higher-speed blower would cool the airstream with about
20# less Iron and Copper and $100 less Wampum.  If this seems obfuscated and
confusing, avoid the potential expense and excitement, just get the Behmor -
sooner rather than later.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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17) From: Rich
RayO, that is the best advice you have given yet this week.
Attempting to roast coffee in a device that is a poorly designed popcorn 
popper is IMHO idiotic.  It is possible to hammer in a nail with a 
wrench but not a good idea either.
raymanowen wrote:
<Snip>
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18) From: miKe mcKoffee
No, I disagree, that was not RayO's best advise. 
A popcorn popper modified allowing independent variable boosted control of
both heater and fan combined with even a simple bimetal thermometer can run
circles around a Behmor when it comes to controlling and profiling a roast.
People have been doing it for over a decade with excellent, controllable,
repeatable results. Hell even automated control, ever hear of Mike's (just
plain) PID'd Uber popcorn popper? 
Slave to the Bean  miKe mcKoffee
www.NorwestCoffee.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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/
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19) From: Edward Bourgeois
I'd also agree with miKe. Control is the key.
On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 8:42 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
un
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t.
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nt
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re.
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ariascoffee.com
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ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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