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  Reply # 945503 4-Dec-2013 17:04
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I wouldn't feel comfortable using a popcorn maker for safety reasons.

When I roast my beans, it takes around 7 minutes to a medium roast just before 2nd crack (or about that - as I do it by sight). Also, I find it is important to de-gas the beans - I have found about a week for whole beans and 2 days for ground beans but as pointed out, grind to demand.

I also like to select a good quality single origin bean - generally fair trade and minimal defects (this is something I am gradually learning). Depending on the season my current favourites are Guatemalan, Ethiopian, Columbian (my normal choice) and if I can find them pea-berry. I have a reasonably effective hand operated bur grinder and I generally do an espresso fine grind - but just use a glass coffee pot for the brewing part.

Looking at the picture above I can see there is a lot of gas - I find that a little too acidic and a bit hard on the teeth.

Just starting to experiment with green bean coffee at the moment. I would like to save up for a small drum roaster but they can be a bit pricy - one day :)

Since I normally drink coffee with milk and sugar I have found that instant coffee can be surprisingly good (in an odd kind of way) - however, I only discovered this after learning to work out what roast was what by its colour, so now I can buy the instant that actually works for me.




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  Reply # 945512 4-Dec-2013 17:26
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Instant isn't coffee. It's more like a rejected batch of Milo.




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  Reply # 945525 4-Dec-2013 17:51
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Poppers are fun, but tend to roast too fast IME. Most beans want 10-15 minutes, while most poppers will charge to first crack in as little as 4 minutes in summer. Winter for me was the best time for popping as the cold air stretches it out - I managed some decent 8-9 minute efforts this winter.

Heat gun and metal bowl allow bigger batches of 300g+ plus lots more control over speed. Easy to get a nice gentle ramp up to 1C at 12-15 minutes. Less scorching too if you're gentle. Though you do need to stir the whole time obviously. I'd rather 2-3 batches with the heatgun then 8-10 batches in the popper - a lot faster overall.

Cheapest heatgun in NZ - "Cobra" 1500W for $20 at Mitre 10.



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  Reply # 945543 4-Dec-2013 18:30
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I wouldn't feel comfortable using a popcorn maker for safety reasons.
Common sense should prevail; if you dont have a safe environment, dont do it.

There is no way I would use a popper inside the house where it could not easily be disposed of.
To me there is minimal risk in our garage with door open. If things go ape, I would turn the mains off and kick it outside. Also have a hose nearby.

Kind regards,
Alistair.






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  Reply # 945551 4-Dec-2013 18:37
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TwoSeven: Looking at the picture above I can see there is a lot of gas - I find that a little too acidic and a bit hard on the teeth.


Hmmm. what do you call "gas"? Are you talking about the crema?






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  Reply # 945661 4-Dec-2013 20:41
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When plunging (or as the Yanks call it French pressing) there's a lot of CO2 released with fresh beans which roils to surface forming a thick layer of grounds and foam called bloom. Normally dealt to by stirring the plunger with a chopstick or other wooden implement after filling.

With too-fresh beans and espresso the CO2 is very prominent tasting. Crema is emulsified oils and water pressurised with CO2 at high temp, so fresher beans do have more. Beans used immediately have a very offputting taste, normally the sweet spot 3-10 days old - and espresso tends to favour older beans than your plunger. The flavour and hardness of the bean changes drastically as it ages which is why baristas are always futzing with their grinder - to match the properties of the rapidly aging bean.

That long delay before use is why I found the popper roast size annoying - they will happily roast 80-90g of coffee per batch. Ideally you need to roast 3 days out at least, making it difficult to stockpile enough.

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  Reply # 945746 4-Dec-2013 22:44
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My friend uses a box with a colander set into the top with a vacuum to 'suck' the heat out after roasting. Shake and stir the beans as the vacuum runs.



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  Reply # 945827 5-Dec-2013 07:39
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1eStar: My friend uses a box with a colander set into the top with a vacuum to 'suck' the heat out after roasting. Shake and stir the beans as the vacuum runs.

What Ive been doing is pouring them into a S/S bowl and take outside in the cool air spinning it around till they cool. The following batch I pour on top and stir and the previous batch acts as a heatsink.
If possible, keep it simple.

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  Reply # 945839 5-Dec-2013 08:04
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Dusty42. Find yourself a cheap 2nd hand breadmaker on trademe, I use a Breville brand one, but any that has a continuous "dough only" cycle will do, this is a great way to agitate the beans and ensure a smooth / even roast.

Iirc, I paid about $50-60 for my breadmaker, about $40 for an ozito heat gun from bunnings, then took 10-20 mins to build a stand for the heat gun to sit on above the breadmaker. 3+ years later and 100s of roasts and all still going strong.

I generally get my beans from greenbeanhouse, they have vastly improved their range over the past 12-18 months or so and prices are generally good, but I know there are a few other suppliers.

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  Reply # 945904 5-Dec-2013 09:28
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Oh yeah, I've been on the hunt for a cheap breadmaker for a while now. I forget the name of they use for it (Coretto? Corelllo?), but there's lots of info on CoffeeSnobs by the pioneering backyard bodgers. But it's not pretty and they take up a lot of room. What machine do you use?

If I ever get a permanent roasting spot in the garage or something I'd love to get a Behmor - which GreenBeanHouse is selling them for $399. It'll pay for itself by the time you hit the 20th kg

I just get my beans from Havana roasters on Tory St for $18/kg, though they can be a bit variable in quality depending on what sacks of beans they've got open. Keep meaning to order from GBH, what are his shipping charges like?

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  Reply # 945947 5-Dec-2013 10:30
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I cant remember the model number of my breadmaker, Breville somethingorother, there are a few on trademe at the moment.

Postage from Greenbeanhouse is usually $7.50 for up to 4kg parcelpost which I have never had an issue with. Id like a behmor too, 3 years of hauling out the breadmaker, heatgun, fan, setting it all up, 1-2 roasts, then packing it all away again so it doesn't mess up the house, its a pain



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  Reply # 946455 6-Dec-2013 11:05
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Getting more proficient................
First crack sounds timing occur depending on ambient temperature, amount of beans in chamber/hopper, how still the air is around popper. This morning first lot took 8 minutes, second lot about 7 minutes for first crack.
I expected a lot of cracks, which seems to be wrong. Some beans crack, others dont. So you might hear 10-20 cracks from a bunch of 80g beans then the next cracks are the second crack, which is a more muted sound.
The most important thing is to keep an eye on the progress and stop when you think its right.
Tip - use commercially roasted beans to gauge your bean roast colour against, and adjust method accordingly.

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  Reply # 946503 6-Dec-2013 11:55
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That's a nice long roast for a popper. Sounds like you've got one of the good ones.

Only having half a batch crack makes it sounds like you're roasting very unevenly, as it implies half the batch is cooking differently. How much scorching is evident?

Have you a sample roasted deep into 2C yet? It's a real good experiment as a new roaster - go deep into char territory so you can familiarise yourself with the smell progression of the milliard reaction, and just how long your popper takes. Smell tends much more reliable than colour IME.

At 12-13 minutes @ 23*c ambient my Sunbeam was ready to set em on fire.



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  Reply # 946543 6-Dec-2013 12:50
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dusty42: That's a nice long roast for a popper. Sounds like you've got one of the good ones.

Only having half a batch crack makes it sounds like you're roasting very unevenly, as it implies half the batch is cooking differently. How much scorching is evident?

Have you a sample roasted deep into 2C yet? It's a real good experiment as a new roaster - go deep into char territory so you can familiarise yourself with the smell progression of the milliard reaction, and just how long your popper takes. Smell tends much more reliable than colour IME.

At 12-13 minutes @ 23*c ambient my Sunbeam was ready to set em on fire.


Cheers. My first roasts were overdone. The beans were all black but not burnt yet. Compared to commercial roasted beans where some are very dark and some less dark brown, todays appears closer.

Is this correct: undercooked will be a weak flavour, overcooked (but not yet burnt) will be very strong?

First 2 roasts were too strong for my taste using GBH Brazil Morininha Formosa.

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  Reply # 946602 6-Dec-2013 14:19
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From the pictures posted earlier it looked like the temperature and durations were not right. I like to use a lower temperature getting the beans through the drying phase before I go to the next phase - it also allows the bean to pick up heat properly.





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