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BeerAdvocate
03-26-2014, 01:19 PM
I want to start roasting my own beans. I have watched videos and read numerous sites, such as Sweat Maria's. It looks like using a popcorn popper is a nice way to get started. Does anyone have any opionions, tips, advice???
Thanks!

gravel
03-26-2014, 04:15 PM
A hot air popcorn popper is an inexpensive way to check if you'll enjoy it! Make sure to select one with the air gents on the side (like an old West Bend Popcorn Pumper or a Poppery 2). Don't use extension cords. Be prepared for a lot of noise, some smoke, and chaff.

Smoke: I roasted in the kitchen with the vents on high. This helped a bit, but didn't remove all the smoke. My wife and kids like the smell, so it's not a big deal to them. Be prepared to fan the smoke detector. :)
Chaff: I placed the popcorn popper chute facing into the sink. Some people use wet paper towels inside the sink to catch the chaff. I wet the sides of the sink and rinsed it down the garbage disposal. Whatever works in your situation.

Other tips:
I roasted only the amount of popcorn it would hold (around a 1/4 cup) at each time and then let the machine cool down a bit.
Have a clean cookie sheet handy. When you are at the end of your roast, you can dump the beans on the sheet and spread them out to speed cooling.

Forgive my shotgun approach. I'm at work and I've been interrupted a few times typing this post.

Chainsaw13
03-26-2014, 07:32 PM
A hot air popcorn popper is an inexpensive way to check if you'll enjoy it! Make sure to select one with the air gents on the side (like an old West Bend Popcorn Pumper or a Poppery 2). Don't use extension cords. Be prepared for a lot of noise, some smoke, and chaff.

Smoke: I roasted in the kitchen with the vents on high. This helped a bit, but didn't remove all the smoke. My wife and kids like the smell, so it's not a big deal to them. Be prepared to fan the smoke detector. :)
Chaff: I placed the popcorn popper chute facing into the sink. Some people use wet paper towels inside the sink to catch the chaff. I wet the sides of the sink and rinsed it down the garbage disposal. Whatever works in your situation.

Other tips:
I roasted only the amount of popcorn it would hold (around a 1/4 cup) at each time and then let the machine cool down a bit.
Have a clean cookie sheet handy. When you are at the end of your roast, you can dump the beans on the sheet and spread them out to speed cooling.

Forgive my shotgun approach. I'm at work and I've been interrupted a few times typing this post.


Geoff hit it pretty much in the head. I used my popper out in the garage, so the smoke wasn't an issue. What was, ambient temp. Couldn't get a decent roast with temps below 40-45. If you roast inside, it shouldn't be a problem.

gravel
03-27-2014, 07:02 PM
I've roasted outside when ambient temps were in the mid 60s and 70s. Higher or lower temps created trouble.

BeerAdvocate
03-28-2014, 11:20 AM
I placed an order for an air crazy and a 10lb sampler from Sweat Maria's. We will see how it goes!

gravel
03-29-2014, 09:56 AM
I placed an order for an air crazy and a 10lb sampler from Sweat Maria's. We will see how it goes!

:tu

forgop
04-08-2014, 11:48 PM
If you drink much coffee at all, I'll give it a couple of months before you're looking to expand your batch sizes. The Behmor 1600 drum roaster allows you to do a pound (if going for a lighter roast anyway), but I will typically do 12 oz batches to FC+ in it.

They retail for $300 but there's a few retailers that will throw in around 8# of beans along with it. I think Roastmasters had the best deal going for buying a new Behmor for them because I think they include another coupon to use later.