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View Thread » BUILDING A ROASTER » Fluidbed Roaster
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CR3 Popcorn Roaster (Conspiracy Theory Edition)
Hey Guys,

I've been lurking and learning for the past 3 months. I was originally going to build a drum roaster and do all custom fabrication. (I'm a mechanical engineer with access to a lot of tools/welding gear/CNCs) But decided to start slow. I purhchased a CR3 ( from Matthias (mg512) and he was EXTREMELY helpful in walking me through assembly and troubleshooting. The board worked great, especially given that it can run a 24v DC motor that typically comes with popcorn roasters.

I've attached a couple pictures from my first roasting session. I had the fan turned up a little high and my beans started spraying out of the top of the roast chamber like spent shells off a minigun. The ground was covered in shrapnel. I quickly ripped off a piece of aluminum foil and made a nice chimney that both prevented beans from coming out as well as mind controlling radio waves from going in.

It took me a few tries to get the roasting tuned in, but after about 5 roasting sessions now I've got the beans coming out pretty nicely. I still want to fine tune my process. My goal is to be able to put ethiopian beans in and pull blueberry muffins out. Any tips would be greatly appreciated :)

Just wanted to share my first roast and say thanks for having a great community, I couldn't have gotten this far with out you.


(PS Bonus picture of a roaster in a coffee shop in Hong Kong)
(edit: Having trouble uploading multiple pics so see my first roast here:
KSkip attached the following image:
My only advice would be to do lots of experiments with the goal of tailoring your process to your particular taste. I started out modifying a popcorn roaster that was capable of doing 90 gm at a time which is I found to be a good quantity for experimenting. Having some means of data logging, preferably automatically, is helpful as is the ability to reproduce roasting profiles.

For me, the whole thing was a learning process -- controlling each roast, finding a good base profile, and also figuring out how to asses the criterion -- what I liked; a criterion that changed as I went along. I liked Ethiopian (specifically yirgacheffe) initially, tried lots and lots of single origins and wound up where I started, but with a better understanding of why and of how.

Eventually I made a bigger version of a popcorn popper that can comfortably do 340 gm and I'm approaching 200 batches with it. I does my wife's espresso roasts too.

Enjoy the journey, and be please post pictures and accounts of your trip.
So many beans; so little time....
Oh, awesome! Nice to see that the board has been useful. What kind of popcorn machine is that? Did you dismantle it and use it without the housing it came in?

I was struggling a lot initially with beans popping out as well. For my first few roasts I was standing next to the popcorn machine with a spoon trying to throw beans back in! I gave up on that quickly... Next I had an amazing construction made from the half-melted plastic hood that the popcorn machine came with and a liberal amount of tin foil to patch up the holes.

What I'm now using has been awesome though. A glass chimney for oil lamps, and an aluminium pipe going out through the window:
Glass chimney: eBay Link
Aluminium hose: eBay Link
The glass chimney fit perfectly on top of my roast chamber (the bottom opening goes just inside the top of the chamber), and the aluminium hose I taped (with high-temperature tape) onto the top opening of the glass chimney. I then let the other end of the hose hang out the window - that way all the chaff and smell goes out too. :) Just for some inspiration. I'm sure similar parts are available on US eBay.
mg512 attached the following image:
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