welcome to the world of home roasting Robert. I roast with a WB I and a WB II, modified with a 3 way switch to allow = me to cut the main heater off when I want to hold a certain temp. When I = first used a WB II not modified, it would cut off at about 400 degrees, = so I went inside and wired the bi-metal switch shut, with bare wire. it then would roast to charcoal in about 6 min another WBII i have will roast to French in about 8 min. with no mods. = each one is different. some need some tweaking and some do not. Check = the output voltage at the receptacle . Low voltage like 110-114 will = keep it from getting real hot. Mind is constant at 118 and I have no = trouble toasting the beans if I want to. good luck Ron Kyle Anderson SC rnkyle
It's funny what a difference context/perspective makes: my friends all think I've gone off the deep end for tracking down an air popper (WBII) on eBay ("can't you just buy one at Target?"), and buying beans that haven't even been roasted ("duh"), but I must say I feel like quite the shallow-end/greenhorn in this company. [I've only been at this a couple weeks.] Anyhow, after struggling to get my roast (with said WBII) beyond a certain point (like 15 minutes and no 2nd crack), I tracked down a great suggestion in this group's archives about putting the popper in a cardboard box. Now at least I can get to what I believe to be the 2nd crack (and have easier cleanup to boot). But I've also seen suggestions for rewiring the machine. So my (multi-part) question is this: is that necessary? If I can get to the desired roast, but it takes longer than reference times I've seen posted, is that okay? Is there some advantage to roasting faster? Can perfect results be achieved with a stock WBII? Thanks. Robert Kelen PS - Is there an archive somewhere of "recipes" for favorite espresso/cap blends? homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Hey Robert, I've been using a WBII for about 6 months now, no problem with heat. Do you live at a high altitude perhaps? Why a cardboard box? Containing the heat? My only problem is finding an appropriate receptacle to catch the chaff, it usually ends up liberally distributed on my kitchen floor to some extent. - Jason
Jason, I have been using a WBII for many years, and being in Michigan, I have to roast indoors during the winter months. This is the method that I use for collecting chaff: Get a mixing bowl - I use a stainless steel one about 10" in diameter, but guess glass would work, too. Take a couple of sheets of paper towels place them in the bowl so that they pretty much cover most of the inside of the bowl. Moisten the towels liberally. I leave a small puddle of water in the bottom of the bowl. Place the bowl underneath the exit chute of the popper. I prop it up so that it is as close to the chute as possible. Roast your coffee. The chaff will stick to the wet towels. This method catches 99% of the chaff when I roast. Randy
Randy, thanks -- I feel like a total newborn now, even though my friends all think I'm a fanatic. Damp paper seems like a good trick, I'll try it. After 5 years you've never been tempted to part with the cash for a quieter machine with some added conveniences, like an on-off switch or a thermometer? (I don't know about you, but my model just plugs into the wall and starts running, no switch). Some of these new Alpine-Roasters and Home Hearthwares seem pretty affordable.
Welcome Robert, Not to be alarmed, but you have mentioned a few things that indicate you are in bad trouble. "My friends all think I've gone off the deep end...", "tracking down an air popper (WBII) on eBay...", "...I've also seen suggestions for rewiring the machine", "perfect results", to mention a few. So. Since you are already trapped, I guess there is no harm in answering your questions. You can continue to use your popper as-is if you are getting roasts that you like. Some on this list like longer roasts while others prefer to reach their desired roast in a shorter time. It is up to you whether you want to tinker with your roaster to try to make it better. As for perfect roasts, that's what you get NEXT time. There are many suggestions for blending for espresso at Sweetmarias.com. You may have to hunt a bit, but you will find lots of other cool stuff while you are looking. Andy, whose family and friends still think has gone around the bend, after 2 1/2 years of home-roasting --- Robert Kelen wrote: <Snip> Free e-mail! you A service of www.WallaWallaGuide.com Select your own custom email address for FREE! Get you w/No Ads, 6MB, POP & more!http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.everyone.net/selectmail?campaign=taghomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
Jason, I have a Hearthware, and it just collects dust! My mainstay is a WBI! The popcorn poppers make a better roast! If I was going to buy a new machine for less than $200.00, it would be the Roesto (see Tom's offerings). It is a workhorse, and it makes excellent coffee! Les I roast outside and let the chaff fly!
Thanks Randy, Les+Becky. Seems the Rosto (roesto?) is the small made-for-the-purpose roaster of choice? -- may have to go for that since I'm still 4 yrs away from that EE degree... :) I normally end up just sticking the beans in the freezer for a few minutes to cool (bad idea?) also, NOISE! The chaff flume on my WB is made of thin plastic and rattles like a jackhammer. without the flume there's still a considerable degree of noise, but more muted. of course you kind of need that flume or something to direct the chaff, plus I suspect the flume contributes to heat retention so can't do away with it. thx, Jason
Jason, Check out the discarded cans from cooking soup, or green beans etc. and find one that fits the WB. Cut out the other end and now you have a very fine stack! Les