HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Just getting started (9 msgs / 336 lines)
1) From: R.N.Kyle
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

2) From: Robert Kelen
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

3) From: Barkan, Jason
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

4) From: randyr5
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

5) From: Barkan, Jason
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.

6) From: Andrew Thomas
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:
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7) From: Les & Becky
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!

8) From: Barkan, Jason
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

9) From: Les & Becky
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


HomeRoast Digest