Carlp Senior Member Joined: 19 May 2013 Posts: 2 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 1:54pm Subject: Home roasting - please help
I'm a complete newbie to roasting so thought a question on here would be a good place to start. I'm from the UK and it seems there is no such thing as a roasting machine for home use here? I've seen one in the US on eBay but don't want to import.
Could anyone advise on how to home roast and what equipment I may require.
+1 I started out pan roasting. A great pan roaster is the Whirley Pop. Can roast up to 1 lb or as little as 1/4 lb. This method of roasting is old school which also intregued me. I have since upgraded to other equipment but I got outstanding roasts in the past pan roasting.
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 11:59am Subject: Re: Home roasting - please help
Air poppers in the UK are pretty powerful thanks to the higher voltage, and can do a pretty good job with just a tin can added for a chimney. I bought a display model air popper (missing the butter dish and cover) from Comet in Oxford for 2 GBP in about 2006, which did for me until I left the UK in 2011 (now with my brother).
Are there any high street electrical retailers left now in the UK where you can see the popper before you buy? It's best if you can look inside the roast chamber.
You can, but it depends on the popper. Popcorn only needs to hit about 360F to "pop" whereas coffee you're wanting to hit around 400-415F to get it to 1C. My popper had "saftey measures" to prevent it from getting too hot, which also prevented me from getting a decent roast.
If you're slightly handy or don't have any issue cracking open the popper, there are a couple of really easy modifications that can be done to allow the popper to hit sufficient temperature. There are usually at least one (sometimes two) methods for controlling tempurature on a popper: A thermal switch and a Thermal fuse. The switch is usually nothing more than a bi-metallic strip that opens the circut running the heating coils when it gets a certain tempurature. The thermal fuse is there to kill the heating if it gets over a certain tempurature.
Remove both if you have them.
You can go through a number of other modifications to tweak how the popper performs but making sure it can get to the appropriate tempurature is a must.
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