Popper Roasting Coffee
My most reliable home-roaster so far has been a Salton popcorn popper I got at Target for less than $20.
While my "real roaster," a Home Innovations Gourmet, went through 3 PC boards, and finally replacement by Hearthware, my Salton popper, my back-up, has never let me down. (As of 4/14/02, I've only done two loads in the replacement Hearthware Gourmet, so a report on the reliability of this unit will have to wait for more roasts under its board.)
People make a variety of mods to their poppers, but this one just has the thermostat tweak, vents opened about 1/32" and obviously, the "extension" tube to keep the beans from flying everywhere.
If there's enough interest, I could start at the beginning, and show step-by-step photos of how to take one of these apart, and "adjust" the thermostat. For now though, I'll simply show the process of using one of these little "fan & heater elements in a tube" for roasting coffee.
First, a simple profile:
Then, we have a shot of 91 grams of Ethiopian Longberry Harrar Horse Special after two minutes on the left, and then at first crack (4-1/2 minutes) on the right.
Finally, it's ready to dump after 6-1/2 minutes. At this point there have been just a few cracks into 2nd. Much as I'd like to have gotten a shot of the actual dump, that'll have to wait til the photographer and roaster aren't the same person. ;-)
At any rate, we end up with a post-roast weight of 75 grams.