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Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Air Crazy and...  
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BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 7:25am
Subject: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

I'm new to home roasting. I've done about 20 (3.5oz.) roasts with the West Bend Air Crazy. 1st crack is easy to hear. Once it's through I keep listening for 2nd crack but never seem to hear it.

Depending on the bean, I've roasted anywhere ~11-13 minutes, and visually I seem to be into FC/FC+. Everything has tasted quite nice, but I'm wondering with the popcorn air popper, and the hearing of a 66 year old, if I'm missing 2nd crack? I just don't know how far to push the roast and/or the Air Crazy.

TIA
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Prof
Senior Member
Prof
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 712
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: PV Lusso
Grinder: Pharos 696
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

Welcome.  Let your nose tell you during the roast and in the cup.  

It could be that the air popper doesn't have enough oomph to get to 2C, but perhaps you don't hear it because of maturity issues (or listening to loud rock and roll when you were young... :)  ).

You might partially cover the roast during 1C and see if that forces more heat to stay in the chamber.  

Good luck.

 
LMWDP # 010
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Eman
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jul 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Denver
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 11:28pm
Subject: Re: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

I too had not been able to get to 2nd with the Air Crazy popper, until I modified it.  This model has a thermostat which cuts of the heat (you might hear the fan speed up / slow down slightly when it cycles on and off).  To resolve that I took the advice I found on some other sites where they said to move the thermostat so that it does not cut off the heat. (Of course you need to monitor the popper.)  I now get to 2nd crack at about 7-8 mins, which I feel is a bit quick, but I like the roasts better right at 2nd crack.  I am experimenting with various length extension cords, a 75 foot cord seems too much as it takes 6-8 mins to first and never gets to 2nd.  A 25 ft cord gets to 2nd at about 10-12 mins which seems about right.  This is outdoor roasting at 80 degrees ambient temperature.
Here is how to move the thermostat:
1) Remove 4 screws from the bottom, pull the bottom off slightly
2) Push the power switch out from the inside, it will still be attached to the wires, later you will pop it back into place. You have to push pretty hard, just be patient.
3) Now you can slide out the motor/fan/chamber assembly.  
4) Locate the round, finger tip sized thermostat on the side of the roasting chamber. Use a flat blade screwdriver to pop the thermostat off the chamber. (alternatively you can remove the wires from the thermostat and solder them together, but that is more work)
5) Reassemble the popper letting the thermostat stay toward the bottom of the unit.  
Total time is 5-10 minutes.
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BonsaiDoug
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Canandaigua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Sat Jul 6, 2013, 6:39am
Subject: Re: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

@Eman - thanx for the tip. Yes, I can hear the thermostat kicking in and out. I'll give the mod a shot.
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CapnJimbo
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 20
Location: South Florida
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 9:38am
Subject: Re: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

Eman Said:

Here is how to move the thermostat:
1) Remove 4 screws from the bottom, pull the bottom off slightly
2) Push the power switch out from the inside, it will still be attached to the wires, later you will pop it back into place. You have to push pretty hard, just be patient.
3) Now you can slide out the motor/fan/chamber assembly.  
4) Locate the round, finger tip sized thermostat on the side of the roasting chamber. Use a flat blade screwdriver to pop the thermostat off the chamber. (alternatively you can remove the wires from the thermostat and solder them together, but that is more work)
5) Reassemble the popper letting the thermostat stay toward the bottom of the unit.
Total time is 5-10 minutes.

Posted July 5, 2013 link

Caveat:   The above method is dangerous.    Keep in mind the thermostat is a live, 110 volt circuit.   It is attached to the heating cup for two reasons:  first, that's where the heat is, lol and secondly, to prevent the exposed connectors isolate from touching and shorting out against any other components.

If you simply stuff the assembly down below, the exposed connectors may touch other metal connectors and short out the device.    A shocking experience.    You have two options:

  1.  Do as above, but before you stuff it down and close the machine be sure to wrap it thorougly with electrician's tape to prevent any possible contact or shorting with other metal connectors.

  2.  MUCH better:  cut the wires from either end of thermo, strip the insulation back perhaps a 1/4 inch, and attach them together with a nice insulated plastic wire nut.   Then stuff down as before (so the wires can't touch the hot cup).

Unfortunately, the source of the earlier poster's advice is likely from the same faulty post made elsewhere and often linked.   This advice is bad and must be modified as described here.    Proceed at your own risk..
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OregonCityMan
Senior Member
OregonCityMan
Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 40
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES Semi
Grinder: Ascaso I-2 mini
Roaster: Torrefattore 1KG, DIY 1/2lb
Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 7:22pm
Subject: Re: Air Crazy and 2nd crack...
 

Just remember that E=IR. That's Ohm's Law. Voltage = Current X Resistance. You are messing with the popcorn popper by increasing the resistance with the extension cord. By adding resistance with the cord you are cooling the heating element. Why not add a rheostat in series with the heating element. It would be easier, and you could dial in a known variable. Just like your electric stove at home.
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