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Home Roasting Coffee with photos
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  1. #1
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    Home Roasting Coffee with photos

    Home Roasting Coffee
    Using a Poppery Popcorn Popper


    I guess the question is WHY would someone want to roast their own coffee? Some answers are it is cheaper in the long run, you have more control over what you drink but the overwhelming answer would be a truly better brew than anything you can get in a store.

    If you are a regular coffee drinker, then home roasting will change they way you look at your coffee...guaranteed.

    Let me give an analogy. Let’s say that you are planning a dinner. You decide steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and a salad. So you take off and head down to the local supermarket for supplies. As you fill your cart and check off things on your list, you come to the salad fixings; lettuce, carrots, red pepper and finally tomatoes. You see a large display of tomatoes; you know they're tomatoes because the sign says so, and with the prices being as high as they are, they obviously must be good, right? Well, you know the answer to that one.

    However you know that the tomatoes on this salad will be from your garden...and they cannot compare to any store bought tomato.

    That’s the analogy for home roasted coffee.

    Coffee beans are a crop, no different than corn or potatoes or tomatoes. Most of all coffees are grown on farms of varying sizes, ranging from very large multi thousand acre ranches to small plots of and acre or two. It is a very labor intensive product.

    Coffees also have different flavor characteristics. The beans from the Islands are different than the ones from Latin America. Likewise African beans are different than South American beans. That’s the
    beauty of this hobby, you get to try them all.

    What Should I Roast Today?



    Coffee beans store very well. If you prep for food storage you'll like this part of the deal. Green beans store for about two years at room temperature. You can also vacuum seal them and deep freeze for longer
    if you wish. Now once they are roasted, the shelf life is a matter of days, 7-10 at the most. That is one reason why it's almost impossible for store bought coffee to give you a truly fresh product. Once they are ground, the life is a matter of minutes. So you'll roast for a weeks supply, or less...and grind right before you brew.

    Let’s look at the actual process. I'll share with you what I've learned and used for a while.

    First of all I use a Poppery Popcorn popper. You can find them on EBay for between $50-$75, and much less at a thrift store if you can find one. The original Poppery is the best due to the fact that it has 1500 watts, full metal roasting cup and is modifiable* (I’ll explain this at the very end). You definitely want to avoid lesser wattage and any model that has a screen roasting cup.



    You'll also need a couple large stainless steel mixing bowls, a metal colander, heavy duty power extension cord...like what you'd use for a hedge trimmer, oven mitt, a 1/2 cup measuring cup, glass storage container...like a ball jar or one that has the lid that clasps with spring like clip and you'll also need some beans.

    There are numerous places to buy green beans. Three come to mind that I have done business with and recommend. I am in no way affiliated with these companies, just as a customer.

    www.sweetmarias.com
    www.coffeebeancorral.com
    www.unclebeanz.com

    Keep in mind shipping costs for your beans. Being on the East Coast I tend to use East coast companies as their shipping costs are lower than would be for me from the West Coast.

    A great way to start with a broad selection is a sampler from Sweet Marias

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.gree...shtml#samplers


    The set up is fairly simple. Make sure you have adequate ventilation, as the beans will give off some smoke during the roasting process. I use an outside stairwell as this gives me protection from the wind, kids and dog.

    Don't Let This Smile Fool You....





    1. Starting off I label the jar that I am going to store my beans in before hand.

    2. Find an electrical outlet that has high wattage, like for a clothes washer. You don't want to start your roast and have the breaker pop if someone turns on another electrical appliance. Plug in your cord and run it out to where you are going to roast.

    3. Measure out your beans. With the Poppery, use ½ cup increments. I typically use between 3 and 4 roasts. This gives me about ¾lb and you should measure out roasts in separate cups.




    4. Set your Poppery up with a bowl beneath the spout of the Poppery. This bowl will catch the chaff that comes off the beans when they roast. Beans have a very thin membrane covering them, This is called chaff. As the beans roast they lose their moisture and gradually expand, the chaff will fly out of the Poppery.

    5. Set the other steel bowl off to the side along with the steel colander. These two will be used to cool the beans down after roasting

    6. Your roasting set up will look something like this;




    7. Dump ½ cup of beans into the Poppery and turn it on. Don’t plan on doing anything else while this is running. The difference between a great roast and charcoal is a matter of a minute. So stay on your game here.

    So now that we have beans in the Poppery and the juice on, how do we tell what we have?

    When you first turn on your Poppery, you’ll see the beans start to swirl around. The air will move them around and with the heat applied and you’ll smell them start to cook. The smell is like cooking bread or grass. The beans will go through a number of changes as they cook. First they’ll start turning from light green to a light tan. They are losing moisture at this point. Next the chaff will start coming off the beans. Now, some beans have a lot of chaff and some very little. Don’t worry about the volume or lack thereof with chaff. Next stage is the beans will go from a light tan to a light brown, and their size will increase. You will notice that the roasting cup is filling to about 2/3 full. The next stage is called “First Crack”.

    Here is the same bean before and after roasting





    First Crack is where the bean has eliminated much of its moisture and the outer shell is cracking in the heat. This sounds like popcorn popping. It will be fairly loud and distinct. At this point the beans are at a stage called “City” or “City Roast” This is a light roast and for some beans this will give a fruity flavor.

    Immediately following the First Crack will come a period of no popping sound, the beans will continue to darken. The next step in their evolution is called “Second Crack”.

    Once the beans start the Second Crack, you are at “Full City” or Full City Roast. The beans are at a medium brown and getting darker by the second. Second Crack is also very distinctive as it sounds like “sizzling”. It will sound different than the First Crack. You’ll hear one or two sizzles and then they will build up tempo.

    When I reach Second Crack, I count to Ten, using one thousand one…one thousand two etc, and immediately shut off the heat, remove the top, use your mitt here and dump into the steel bowl. You want to cool as quickly possible.




    This gives me “Full City+” which is my ideal roast. This roast is not a French Roast. You’ll experiment with various roasts until you find out exactly what you like.




    Now one thing I want to share with you. Roasting beans in this manner is an “audible” process and not a “visual” process. Once you reach Second Crack and your “count” you don’t have to see what you’re doing, just listen. I just roasted a perfect lb the other week in the dark with a flashlight.

    Let’s talk about heat for a minute. I said at the top of this page about the Poppery being modifiable. Personally I feel this is a must, however when I first started I didn’t modify my Poppery. It took me about 3 complete roasts until I figured out that it was a better way.

    Here’s why. When your roast is complete, the Poppery is still hot, very hot. Heat on the beans will continue to cook them. The modification allows for quick cooling. This only involves changing one wire from one post to another post. This makes the Popperys fan run as soon as it is turned on. The fan and not the heat. The heat is still applied by turning on the power switch.

    So with the modification, you put the beans in, plug in the machine…it starts blowing the beans like before; when you are set, turn the power switch on, and now they cook as before. When you reach your chosen time at Second Crack, flip the power switch off…the beans will almost immediately stop cooking as the cracks will stop. Leave the beans in and let them continue to cool with the fan on for a minute or two, then dump out.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  2. #2
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    The Modification


    Here is the modification if you want to do this;

    Turn Poppery over and remove the base with a small Phillips screwdriver. Remove the inside cover plate, again with a small Phillips screwdriver.

    Base Plate



    Here is the inside of an unmodified Poppery



    Here is the wire that you are going to disconnect and move



    Here is the modified Poppery



    Reassemble and plug in…you’re good to go.

    I hope this has been informative for you.

    Happy Coffee Roasting and Drinking
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  3. #3
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    Now I don't drink coffee but my wife does so it's something I tend to be interested in. One thing I'm very interested in is obtaining fertile seeds/beans and attempting to grow my own coffee. Do you have any suggestions for such a project?

  4. #4
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    Jmurman,

    Thanks for the Great Thread!

    Fisher

  5. #5
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    Yay! I'm so glad you showed us this neat trick!

    Very nice job - now to find a Poppery.

    garnetgirl

  6. #6
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    excellent post
    "The lesson of history is that tough times often reward the desperate and dangerous, from angry demagogues to anarchists and nationalists, from seething mobs to expansionist empires."

  7. #7
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    Attention Jmurman !

    Thanks for this excellent post ... looking forward to the experience!

    John

  8. #8
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    High five!

    Very well done, indeed!

    (Did I spy the word "Yergacheffe" on the side of that mason jar? That's
    what I like to roast!)

    -Steve in Anaheim Hills

  9. #9
    Thank you Jmurman !

    This thread is going in my favorites.
    It's Later than you Think †

  10. #10
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    Excellent tutorial, jmurman. Thank you for the very informative thread.

    Berta
    The thing about common sense is, it is not so common any more
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

    It is difficult to stand idly by and watch the vacuum of ignorance being filled with lies. ~Raven

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcchrystal View Post
    High five!

    Very well done, indeed!

    (Did I spy the word "Yergacheffe" on the side of that mason jar? That's
    what I like to roast!)

    -Steve in Anaheim Hills
    Yes you did. I love a good Yirgacheffe too...along with 400 other varieties
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  12. #12
    That was great, Jmurman!! Thank you.

    squeeks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Observer999 View Post
    Thanks for this excellent post ... looking forward to the experience!

    John
    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ok?
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmurman View Post
    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ok?
    Thanks !

  15. #15

    TB2K CONTINUALLY AMAZES ME.

    Just last week I received my 10 lb order of green Columbian beans. (cost with shipping included $3.67 per lb.)

    I roasted mine in the oven - 450 degrees, one layer deep in a large cake pan.
    I shook them several times during the roasting of about 15 minutes.

    The beans went through the stages exactly as described above. (The smell of the smoke filled the house, but went away over night with a window open)

    After grinding, the resulting coffee is very good, but not as rich and smooth on the tongue as the Gevalia grind I get through the mail (at a much higher price.)

    I need to learn how to get the rich, full-bodied flavor.

    It was interesting, like making my own jerky. sund-dried tomatoes etc.

  16. #16
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    While I like the smell of coffee, and used to drink it, I can honestly say how glad I am I don't have the dependency on it anymore. No more crashes, no more insulin problems, no more slightly elevated high blood pressure, etc etc. BTW quitting smoking is easier than quitting drinking coffee! IMO. Oh yea, no more stink breath.

    I'll take my Vitamix smoothie over a cup of Joe any ol day.

    But really great diy post!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by my2scentsathome View Post
    Just last week I received my 10 lb order of green Columbian beans. (cost with shipping included $3.67 per lb.)

    I roasted mine in the oven - 450 degrees, one layer deep in a large cake pan.
    I shook them several times during the roasting of about 15 minutes.

    The beans went through the stages exactly as described above. (The smell of the smoke filled the house, but went away over night with a window open)

    After grinding, the resulting coffee is very good, but not as rich and smooth on the tongue as the Gevalia grind I get through the mail (at a much higher price.)

    I need to learn how to get the rich, full-bodied flavor.

    It was interesting, like making my own jerky. sund-dried tomatoes etc.
    Try roasting with a Poppery, you'll get that flavor you want
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by my2scentsathome View Post
    Just last week I received my 10 lb order of green Columbian beans. (cost with shipping included $3.67 per lb.)

    I roasted mine in the oven - 450 degrees, one layer deep in a large cake pan.
    I shook them several times during the roasting of about 15 minutes.

    The beans went through the stages exactly as described above. (The smell of the smoke filled the house, but went away over night with a window open)

    After grinding, the resulting coffee is very good, but not as rich and smooth on the tongue as the Gevalia grind I get through the mail (at a much higher price.)

    I need to learn how to get the rich, full-bodied flavor.

    It was interesting, like making my own jerky. sund-dried tomatoes etc.

    One other thing, and I don't know if you did this or not.

    When coffee is finished roasting, you need to let them de-gas for a while. The beans give off CO2, so a period of rest is definately needed. I usually let mine rest overnight for some before grinding and brewing. Other beans take as much as 2-3 days for all the flavors to develop.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  19. #19
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    Mods, can I get this thread moved to one of the Prep areas?
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  20. #20
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    Jmurman... this thread is a keeper!!


    Loretta V.

  21. #21
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    moved.

    ok, say i've roasted my very first coffee beans...how do i go about grinding them properly? i don't have a grain mill or anything.
    The only rights we have are the ones we're willing to fight for.

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y29...diplomacy2.jpg

    http://www.n3kl.org/sun/images/status.gif

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian for Israel View Post
    moved.

    ok, say i've roasted my very first coffee beans...how do i go about grinding them properly? i don't have a grain mill or anything.

    I would recommend a burr type grinder.

    I have used this model for a few years now

    http://braun.factoryoutletstore.com/...-KMM30-WH.html

    I'm sure you can find them cheaper, but this will do for almost all grinds...with the exception of professionally done espresso.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta Van Riet View Post
    Jmurman... this thread is a keeper!!


    Loretta V.
    Thanks...let me know how you're doing with your roasts, ok?
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  24. #24
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    thank you sir.
    The only rights we have are the ones we're willing to fight for.

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y29...diplomacy2.jpg

    http://www.n3kl.org/sun/images/status.gif

  25. #25
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    Has anyone roasted coffee?

    Just curious if anybody has taken that slide downhill.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmurman View Post
    Has anyone roasted coffee?

    Just curious if anybody has taken that slide downhill.

    I have and I loved it! I did mine on top of the stove in an old, well used wok. It worked ok, but your product is beautiful. Thank you so much for such a great tutorial.


    Now, I gotta find me a poppery.

  27. #27
    Jmurman, I found a Presto Poplite for $2 at a second hand store. Is the modification pretty much the same as for the Westbend? And, why is the modification needed in the first place?

    Guess I should re-read your post. lol
    It's Later than you Think †

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyme View Post
    Jmurman, I found a Presto Poplite for $2 at a second hand store. Is the modification pretty much the same as for the Westbend? And, why is the modification needed in the first place?

    Guess I should re-read your post. lol

    Thyme, I would try it out first. With the cold weather I am having a hard time getting a good second crack. That will change when it starts warming up.

    Get yourself a couple punds of beans and let'er rip.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyme View Post
    Jmurman, I found a Presto Poplite for $2 at a second hand store. Is the modification pretty much the same as for the Westbend? And, why is the modification needed in the first place?

    Guess I should re-read your post. lol
    BTW I just added 9lbs to the larder.

    3lbs Kenyan Gukuyiuni
    3lbs Yemen Ismaili
    3lbs Columbian Palestina

    I'm havibg a cup of Columbian El Choco right now, yummmm
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jmurman View Post
    BTW I just added 9lbs to the larder.

    3lbs Kenyan Gukuyiuni
    3lbs Yemen Ismaili
    3lbs Columbian Palestina

    I'm havibg a cup of Columbian El Choco right now, yummmm

    Yummm Yummm is the word! I really want to do this. lol
    Will post if the little popper works after I order some beans.

    Thanks and enjoy
    It's Later than you Think †

  31. #31
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    With the warming weather, now is a GREAT time to get into roasting your own coffee.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyme View Post
    Yummm Yummm is the word! I really want to do this. lol
    Will post if the little popper works after I order some beans.

    Thanks and enjoy
    Well, did it?
    It's kinda hard to work within the system when it's a septic system.

  33. #33
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    the strange thing is that I got away from home roasting for a few years. Now its time to get back into it. So, Im going to order some beans and see if I can do this again. I do miss fresh roasted coffee.
    Visit My site, Stand Up and Be Free, for the online novel "The Troublemaker".

    For Do It Yourself Gun Customizing, on M1 Garand, Rem 700 and Ruger 10/22 visit Guncrafter,

  34. #34
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    JM, I get my beans from smokinbeans.com on a monthly subscription. Five lb of unroasted Mexican for 26, including shipping. I had intended to try different ones and kinda switch it around on occasion, but like this one so much I've never really felt like messing with something that ain't broke LOL

    Good people to do business with and prompt/dependable.
    It's kinda hard to work within the system when it's a septic system.

  35. #35
    man oh man - is this one moldy oldy zombie posting - interesting ....

    if you're going to store away coffee for the long term you want green beans and the means to roast it correctly .... the popper modification is different - never saw that before ....
    Illini Warrior

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Warrior View Post
    man oh man - is this one moldy oldy zombie posting - interesting ....

    if you're going to store away coffee for the long term you want green beans and the means to roast it correctly .... the popper modification is different - never saw that before ....
    That can be as simple as a cast iron skillet and a spoon/spatula. I use a chicken fryer dedicated to coffee-only and a wire whisk and get a very-acceptable roast of 1 1/2 cups of green beans in about 12 minutes. Lasts me about 5 days if nobody else comes and helps
    It's kinda hard to work within the system when it's a septic system.

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