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Date: 02 Jun 2007 14:34:04
From: Jim
Subject: First try Poppery I, two variacs
I rewired my original Poppery with two power cables by simply lifting
the fan circuit out on a second power cable. The switch operates the
heater. As a side comment, the build quality of the Poppery I is WAY
better than the Poppery II clones I've been using.

First attempt at roasting, fan on smaller variac, heater on 15A variac:

I used a rather large load of green beans - Sweet Maria Monkey Blend
(I'll weight next time), and they still danced and rotated like crazy at
slightly over 130V. As the beans went from yellow to brown and chaff
came off, I lowered fan speed by dropping voltage to about 120. As the
beans hit first roast, I bumped fan up to about 130V. At the end of the
roast, I gave it a good 135V for a couple of minutes for cool down.

The body of the Poppery is still intact, and I used the top with butter
tray until most of the chaff was off, blowing chaff into a mesh strainer.

I started the heater out at about 105V, which I think might've been a
bit low. I'll start a bit hotter next time. Most of the roast time,
heater got 112 or 115V. With a few more attempts, I'll learn where to
start, and how to ramp it up. My next addition will be a thermometer.

The good news is that I was able to get a darker and oilier roast than I
expected, with very little smoke at all. Stock Poppery I on my 122V
line went from first to second roast WAY to fast, and got very smoky,
very quickly. I was able to remedy that on the first attempt.




 
Date: 02 Jun 2007 18:05:14
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: First try Poppery I, two variacs
Jim wrote:
> I rewired my original Poppery with two power cables by simply lifting
> the fan circuit out on a second power cable. The switch operates the
> heater. As a side comment, the build quality of the Poppery I is WAY
> better than the Poppery II clones I've been using.
>
> First attempt at roasting, fan on smaller variac, heater on 15A variac:
>
> I used a rather large load of green beans - Sweet Maria Monkey Blend
> (I'll weight next time), and they still danced and rotated like crazy at
> slightly over 130V. As the beans went from yellow to brown and chaff
> came off, I lowered fan speed by dropping voltage to about 120. As the
> beans hit first roast, I bumped fan up to about 130V. At the end of the
> roast, I gave it a good 135V for a couple of minutes for cool down.
>
> The body of the Poppery is still intact, and I used the top with butter
> tray until most of the chaff was off, blowing chaff into a mesh strainer.
>
> I started the heater out at about 105V, which I think might've been a
> bit low. I'll start a bit hotter next time. Most of the roast time,
> heater got 112 or 115V. With a few more attempts, I'll learn where to
> start, and how to ramp it up. My next addition will be a thermometer.
>
> The good news is that I was able to get a darker and oilier roast than I
> expected, with very little smoke at all. Stock Poppery I on my 122V
> line went from first to second roast WAY to fast, and got very smoky,
> very quickly. I was able to remedy that on the first attempt.

I am given to believe that a variac on the fan is enough to control the
roast and the 2nd variac on the heater is superfluous. The advanced
guys rig up a PID controller and program a profile. I'm interested to
know the size of your bean load. More beans should lead to a hotter
roast since the beans will restrict the air flow.

R "I have a Poppery 1 and all the stuff . . ." TF


  
Date: 02 Jun 2007 16:31:23
From: Jim
Subject: Re: First try Poppery I, two variacs
Moka Java wrote:
> Jim wrote:
>
>> I rewired my original Poppery with two power cables by simply lifting
>> the fan circuit out on a second power cable. The switch operates the
>> heater. As a side comment, the build quality of the Poppery I is WAY
>> better than the Poppery II clones I've been using.
>>
>> First attempt at roasting, fan on smaller variac, heater on 15A variac:
>>
>> I used a rather large load of green beans - Sweet Maria Monkey Blend
>> (I'll weight next time), and they still danced and rotated like crazy
>> at slightly over 130V. As the beans went from yellow to brown and
>> chaff came off, I lowered fan speed by dropping voltage to about 120.
>> As the beans hit first roast, I bumped fan up to about 130V. At the
>> end of the roast, I gave it a good 135V for a couple of minutes for
>> cool down.
>>
>> The body of the Poppery is still intact, and I used the top with
>> butter tray until most of the chaff was off, blowing chaff into a mesh
>> strainer.
>>
>> I started the heater out at about 105V, which I think might've been a
>> bit low. I'll start a bit hotter next time. Most of the roast time,
>> heater got 112 or 115V. With a few more attempts, I'll learn where to
>> start, and how to ramp it up. My next addition will be a thermometer.
>>
>> The good news is that I was able to get a darker and oilier roast than
>> I expected, with very little smoke at all. Stock Poppery I on my 122V
>> line went from first to second roast WAY to fast, and got very smoky,
>> very quickly. I was able to remedy that on the first attempt.
>
>
> I am given to believe that a variac on the fan is enough to control the
> roast and the 2nd variac on the heater is superfluous.

If I only had one variac on the fan, I'm afraid that I'd still be left
with very little control of the range between first and second crack.
I'm guessing I'd have to dial the fan up to 140V as soon as I hit first
crack. That means I'd have to reserve fans speed, which means the bean
load would be much smaller. It might also shorten fan motor life
(although the motor looks like a decent unit that could take it).

I'm afraid the result would be (A) going from green to first roast too
fast, because I'd be reserving some fan speed for the time between first
and second crack, (B) much smaller bean load, and (C) regardless, I'd
still have too short duration between cracks. I might run some beans
with the heater variac at 100% just to test my assumptions.

If my line voltage was about 118V or less, I'd predict better results
with a single variac on the fan. But at my 122+ VAC, I was really
struck with the rapid progression from first to second crack. Followed
by enough smoke to make any Greyhound bus envious! I should mention
that I don't care for a burnt tasting Starbucks style roast, but I love
a darker roast without the burnt taste. That might be the main reason a
single variac wouldn't satisfy me, but might be fine for the next guy.


> The advanced
> guys rig up a PID controller and program a profile.

I'm already scratching my head wondering how I got this deep into
roasting my own beans! This all started because I didn't like the
quality my wife was getting out of a CHEAP non pump maker and a blade
grinder with grocery store Starbucks or similar. I'm not (yet) willing
to go computerized PID. ...but who knows, just a couple of months ago,
I was totally happy using the lightweight Chinese Poppery II clones by
splitting the circuit and rocking the heater switch on and off.

I should also mention my main hobby is tube guitar amplifiers, so a
second variac was a welcomed addition from the start. Two birds with
one stone type of thing...

> I'm interested to
> know the size of your bean load. More beans should lead to a hotter
> roast since the beans will restrict the air flow.

Very true, which is why the second variac makes sense. :^)

When my technique evolves, I'll have more meaningful observations to
post. I'll tell you one thing, though. If I decided not to use the top
with the butter tray to blow the chaff into a strainer, and if was
willing to start at 140V on the fan, I could roast even larger loads
with this setup. Load size is currently limited by beans blowing out
before the chaff does.

>
> R "I have a Poppery 1 and all the stuff . . ." TF


   
Date: 03 Jun 2007 17:08:41
From: Scott Sellers
Subject: Re: First try Poppery I, two variacs
Jim <askme@beforeyousend.com >:
>Moka Java wrote:

[...]
>> The advanced guys rig up a PID controller and program a
>> profile.

>I'm already scratching my head wondering how I got this deep
>into roasting my own beans! This all started because I didn't
>like the quality my wife was getting out of a CHEAP non pump
>maker and a blade grinder with grocery store Starbucks or
>similar. I'm not (yet) willing to go computerized PID. ...but
>who knows, just a couple of months ago, I was totally happy
>using the lightweight Chinese Poppery II clones by splitting the
>circuit and rocking the heater switch on and off.

Total happiness? Maybe you were onto something. :)

Consider:

Heatgun: $10
Stainless bowl: $2.99 (thriftstore)

Consider: powerful small batch roasting, limited only by the
developed skills, observational experience, and human faculties
of the roaster.

On "Pimp My Ride" the other day, they had rigged up a
sophisticated robotic arm to ring a percussionist's triangle. An
achievement in cybernetics, I guess. On human terms, just kinda
lame.

cheers,
Scott S

--
Scott Sellers


    
Date: 03 Jun 2007 10:47:56
From: Jim
Subject: Re: First try Poppery I, two variacs
Scott Sellers wrote:

> Jim <askme@beforeyousend.com>:
>
>>Moka Java wrote:
>
>
> [...]
>
>>>The advanced guys rig up a PID controller and program a
>>>profile.
>
>
>>I'm already scratching my head wondering how I got this deep
>>into roasting my own beans! This all started because I didn't
>>like the quality my wife was getting out of a CHEAP non pump
>>maker and a blade grinder with grocery store Starbucks or
>>similar. I'm not (yet) willing to go computerized PID. ...but
>>who knows, just a couple of months ago, I was totally happy
>>using the lightweight Chinese Poppery II clones by splitting the
>>circuit and rocking the heater switch on and off.
>
>
> Total happiness? Maybe you were onto something. :)
>
> Consider:
>
> Heatgun: $10
> Stainless bowl: $2.99 (thriftstore)
>
> Consider: powerful small batch roasting, limited only by the
> developed skills, observational experience, and human faculties
> of the roaster.

I was about to point out that that method seems like a lot of work, and
unlikely to give uniform results, until you posted:

>
> On "Pimp My Ride" the other day, they had rigged up a
> sophisticated robotic arm to ring a percussionist's triangle. An
> achievement in cybernetics, I guess. On human terms, just kinda
> lame.
>
> cheers,
> Scott S

My wife said I was NUTS when she saw me running both variacs. I wonder
what she'd say if I told her I was building a robotic arm?


     
Date: 03 Jun 2007 17:03:07
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: First try Poppery I, two variacs
I've never roasted with a popper but have experience with the FR+ and
Z&D. The Z&D roast is much too slow. You can't hear 1st crack and 2nd
crack is very faint. The coffee tastes bland and baked. It's not a
coffee roaster, it's a coffee baker. The FR worked better with a soup
can extension on the roast chamber. My attempts to control the FR fan
speed with a variac resulted in 2 fried FRs.

I've had good results with heat gun roasting. It's more like cooking
than science. You're literally in the roast, smoke chaff and all. It's
labor intensive since you're holding the heat gun and stirring through
the entire roast. Some folds have rigged up bread machine motors to do
the stirring for them. Attach the heat gun to a boom microphone stand
and you're hands free.

My attempts to measure the temperature of the heat gun roast were
failures. A TC attached to the bottom of the bowl just measures the
bowl temperature which is higher than the bean temp. early in the roast
and lower at the end of the roast. A TC attached to the spoon was too
sensitive to the blast from the heat gun to be of any use. So with heat
gun roasting you're using sight, sound and smell to monitor the roast.
That said, I can get fairly consistent roasts. Of course, I tend to
roast dry processed beans which are different sizes and roast
inconsistently to begin with.

My biggest problem with heat gun roasting is a neck injury and, more
recently, a shoulder problem. Stirring the roast is fatiguing so I'm
going to put a Poppery system together. I'm told that a soup can or
lantern globe extender will allow half pound roasts.

As an aside, I have several tube guitar amplifiers. What do you do with
the variac. You can email me privately so as not to bore the masses
with OT drivel. rtwatches at yahoo dot com

R "chaff blowin' in the wind" TF

Jim wrote:
> Scott Sellers wrote:
>
>> Jim <askme@beforeyousend.com>:
>>
>>> Moka Java wrote:
>>
>>
>> [...]
>>
>>>> The advanced guys rig up a PID controller and program a
>>>> profile.
>>
>>
>>> I'm already scratching my head wondering how I got this deep
>>> into roasting my own beans! This all started because I didn't
>>> like the quality my wife was getting out of a CHEAP non pump
>>> maker and a blade grinder with grocery store Starbucks or
>>> similar. I'm not (yet) willing to go computerized PID. ...but
>>> who knows, just a couple of months ago, I was totally happy
>>> using the lightweight Chinese Poppery II clones by splitting the
>>> circuit and rocking the heater switch on and off.
>>
>>
>> Total happiness? Maybe you were onto something. :)
>>
>> Consider:
>>
>> Heatgun: $10
>> Stainless bowl: $2.99 (thriftstore)
>>
>> Consider: powerful small batch roasting, limited only by the
>> developed skills, observational experience, and human faculties
>> of the roaster.
>
> I was about to point out that that method seems like a lot of work, and
> unlikely to give uniform results, until you posted:
>
>>
>> On "Pimp My Ride" the other day, they had rigged up a
>> sophisticated robotic arm to ring a percussionist's triangle. An
>> achievement in cybernetics, I guess. On human terms, just kinda
>> lame.
>>
>> cheers,
>> Scott S
>
> My wife said I was NUTS when she saw me running both variacs. I wonder
> what she'd say if I told her I was building a robotic arm?