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Topic: popcorn roaster (6 msgs / 130 lines)
1) From: Ted Kostek
I've begun to suspect that my popcorn roaster might be "stalling" the roast.
This past weekend, I attempted to get a very dark roast of some Budadiri.  I
used 3/4 cup and roasted for 10 mins.  For the first 30-60 sec, I had to
stir the beans, but eventually they started to swirl and mix and jump on
their own.  This is the longest roast I've yet tried (nearly twice as long
as some).  Typically, my roasts have 1/3 - 1/2 cup for about 6.5 min.  I
always hear "many" (25-30) loud cracks/snaps starting about 2.5-3 min and
lasting till about 5 min or so.
While I'm a novice cupper, most of my coffee tastes good, with some
varieties tasting out of this world.
My question is whether it's possible that I'm stalling out after first crack
but before second crack.  I wanted the Budadiri to have a dark, oily
appearance, and I can't see why I wasn't able to achieve that with this
Any thoughts?
Ted Kostek
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2) From: EskWIRED
If you were going to second crack with a smaller amount of beans, there's no
way you are stalling with a larger amount of beans.  The larger volume holds
the air in better, and therefore holds the heat in better.  Additionally, it
slows the fan, which increases the temperature of the air.
Notice, however, that my first work was "if".
Second crack sounds different from first crack.  It consists of higher
pitched, quieter, more frequent sounds.  It is more a crackle than a pop.
Take a well-roasted bean and crush it between your fingers.  You will hear
the same sound made as second crack.
You can ensure a high enough temperature for second crack if you block the
airflow from your popper after first crack.  Us a wet towel or something to
block enough air so that the beans turn over only slowly.
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3) From: steve_w
Quoting EskWIRED :
Isn't this a risky way to use the popper?  I tried roasting some coffee
in a wok once and the good thing was that I got that dark oily appearance, 
unlike my popper roasts, but I was also left with a lot of scorched chaff.
The popper deals with the chaff nicely so I've been thinking of doing a
combo roast, taking the beans through first crack in the popper to shed
most of the chaff and then tossing them in the wok to bring them the rest
of the way.  Has anyone tried this?
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4) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 08:19 9/23/02, Ted Kostek typed:
Yes.  It sounds EXACTLY like what I experienced with my WBI.  Someway, 
somehow, the thermostat "reset" itself to a lower temperature and wound not 
allow me to finish a roast.  I opened it up, unscrewed the thermostat and I 
could produce charcoal if I wished.
Adjust the thermostat.
My thought.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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5) From: Charlie Herlihy
--- steve_w wrote: 
 I haven't tried that, Steve, but I've tried finishing a roast
in a wok that wasn't done as I thought it was, but the roast had
completely stalled and cooled a bit. Something mysterious dies
when that happens and even though you can certainly bring it to
an oily conclusion a woody and baked bean results. So, you'd
better have your wok hot and ready to recieve the still roasting
hot beans from the popper. A lot of hassle just to avoid
scorched chaff, which can be removed by rolling the beans in a
colinder, pouring in front of a fan etc. It would, on the other
hand, save a lot of time stirring the beans to first crack in
the wok :o) Good luck,
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6) From: EskWIRED
What are the risks from this method?  So long as the towel is damp, it will
never exceed 212, which is well below the burning point of cotton. I used to
use the towels I kept for wiping off the grill of my barbecue, which were
kind of greasy.  I'd switch to a different part of the rag when/if I noticed
it smoking.  Now THAT'S risky!
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