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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Popcorn Popper...  
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frankblu
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Joined: 8 Jun 2009
Posts: 22
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Aug 12, 2009, 9:51am
Subject: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

So I've been roasting my own coffee for a few months with the $10 popper from Walgreens with pleasing results.  As a result of the roasting however, the plastic shield and butter tray have melted and deformed to the point that they no longer even fit together.  Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to fix this or replace it without buying a new popper?  Would putting a spare piece of wood or the like over the top of the roasting chamber do the trick?

Any help would be appreciated
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wbaguhn
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wbaguhn
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Posted Wed Aug 12, 2009, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

A few people have put a ceramic flower pot on top to hold in some of the heat.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
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Posted Wed Aug 12, 2009, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

Putting anything on top of the roaster and blocking the opening will defeat the operation of the roaster. It is a fluid bed technology, and depends on the fluid (air) flowing around the beans. Blocking the opening will prevent the flow of the fluid.

Why do you want something to block the opening? I operate my roaster without anything on top of the opening, with good results. If you are concerned about beans flying out of the throat of the roaster, then a hurricane lamp chimney or soup can chimney works great to extend the roasting chamber.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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ronnie_b
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Posted Wed Aug 12, 2009, 4:30pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

I use a glass chimney from Walmart. I don't know what the diameter of your roast chamber is but the chimney is a little over 3 inches which is a couple of hairs wider than my popper. There is a rolled edge at the bottom of the glass that I grind down with a dremel.
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dkoch
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dkoch
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Posted Fri Aug 14, 2009, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

Canned salmon cans work great on my Walgreens poppers, as it's tapered at the bottom.  I extended the height by wrapping a 6 inch sheet of thin aluminum around it -- fastened by nuts/bolts.  I use it on all my poppers.  I slid the top portion of an oven mitt over/around the chimney to allow me to handle the chimney during the roast.
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dana_leighton
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dana_leighton
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Posted Fri Aug 14, 2009, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

dkoch Said:

I slid the top portion of an oven mitt over/around the chimney to allow me to handle the chimney during the roast.

Posted August 14, 2009 link

It's probably overkill, but I bought an Ove Glove to handle the hot chimney material. I like the full finger dexterity it offers. Walgreens has them for $16: http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?id=prod394857

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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dkoch
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dkoch
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Posted Fri Aug 14, 2009, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

Not overkill at all; if it works for you....perfect.  I used to wear a pair of leather gloves, now I just need one glove to stir the beans.
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JRGumby
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Joined: 30 Jul 2009
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Posted Fri Aug 14, 2009, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

Another really good place to find something to stick on the top of your roaster are home improvement stores or interior decoration stores (think Home Depot or Hobby Lobby or the like).  You can usually pick up a mildly hourglass-shaped glass latern or lighting replacement for around 3 dollars.  The curved shape means it sits very well in my roaster, the glass means it won't melt and I can see the beans, and the open top means no air-flow restriction.  Zip-stripping a metal mesh to the top also allows it to catch most chaff.
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sirdydimus
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Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: USA
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun Aug 16, 2009, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

This seems to be a common problem with popcorn roasters. I think it is because coffee beans hold more heat than popcorn and the temperature climbs higher than the machine is actually designed for.  I have this same popper and tossed the plastic lid.  I was using an old soup can I modified with a screen on top. The screen was great when I didnít have a place to roast outside it caught most of the chaff. I have a patio now so I just roll up a piece of tinfoil into a tube and stick it in the roaster, seems to work pretty well.

Sir Dydimus
http://eruditecoffee.blogspot.com
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wbaguhn
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wbaguhn
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 980
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Cory DR
Drip: Vietnamese gadget, AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun Aug 16, 2009, 7:47pm
Subject: Re: Popcorn Popper Mod/Repair Questions
 

sirdydimus Said:

I think it is because coffee beans hold more heat than popcorn and the temperature climbs higher than the machine is actually designed for.

Posted August 16, 2009 link

The manual that came with my popper said quite clearly that it was intended to run a 3 minute popping cycle, then have 10 minutes of cooldown before running again.

I think it's probably just that these are cheap plastic appliances - my mother's air popper, used only as directed, for popcorn, one batch a week had a bubbled, cracked, melted hood within a few dozen uses, too.

Planned obsolescence, anyone?
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