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can I do darker roasts in a popcorn popper
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2014, 12:51pm
Subject: can I do darker roasts in a popcorn popper
 

I've been roasting my own beans for about a year and a half using a Poppery II hot-air popper.  I've had very few bad experiences, and some absolutely amazing ones... just finishing up some Yemeni Mocha beans that make some of the best espresso I've ever had, bar none.  In general I roast full city to full city +, for two reasons:

  1.  It tastes good.  It's nice to be able to differentiate the huge variety of flavors in an espresso rather than just tasting the (darker) roast.
  2.  My darker roasts taste like sh*t.

When I roast beyond full city +, more than 30 seconds or so into second crack, my coffee tastes burnt.  Very unlike what you'd buy at Starbucks as a very dark roast with complex flavors, just burnt and nasty.  I also don't get that heavenly aroma one gets when grinding darkly roasted (commercial beans)... the color is there but no pungent smell.  Now, I've only tried a few batches, 3 or 4, but with similar result which put me off of trying any more.  Can anybody tell me if maybe the popcorn popper has reached its' limitations and I am wasting my time trying to roast to french or vienna?  Or am I maybe just a victim of bad luck, having picked beans which don't taste good roasted dark.  I don't think this is the case as one of my favorites, Liquid Amber from Sweet Maria's, is noted for being good at darker roasts.

BTW, I prefer my brewed coffee dark roast, or, at least I prefer to have that option.

Thanks for any help.

Dave
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johnboddie
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 207
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2014, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: can I do darker roasts in a popcorn popper
 

Do you have a temperature probe in your popper?

When I started out with a FreshRoast, I put a probe in and began roasting to temperature. I got results that were repeatable, but had to fiddle around with the initial roasts to determine what temperature to use.

I was able to get decent Vienna roasts for SO Brazilian espresso.
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dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2014, 2:41pm
Subject: Re: can I do darker roasts in a popcorn popper
 

johnboddie Said:

Do you have a temperature probe in your popper?

When I started out with a FreshRoast, I put a probe in and began roasting to temperature. I got results that were repeatable, but had to fiddle around with the initial roasts to determine what temperature to use.

I was able to get decent Vienna roasts for SO Brazilian espresso.

Posted March 7, 2014 link

I do not have a temp probe.  I had a look at my local kitchen store, and all of the instant-read digital thermometers were geared towards either meat (only goes up to about 200F) or candy (goes up to around 400F).  I *think* I need a high-temp probe that'll read at least to 450 or 500F, am I mistaken?
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johnboddie
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 207
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2014, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: can I do darker roasts in a popcorn popper
 

I got a probe and digital thermometer at eBay. The probe was about ten inches long with a twenty inch cord connecting it to the thermometer, so you can position it in the midst of the bean mass. The digital thermometer and probe set me back about $35.  Well worth it.

The good thing about roasting to temperature is that you don't need to worry about timing if you are subject to voltage fluctuations.
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