A Third Crack at Home Roasting

I’m determined to be able to produce consistently enjoyable coffee using my home roaster, a West Bend Poppery. I didn’t have great success with my first attempt, but the results were satisfying, because, of course, it was only my first attempt. Round 2 wasn’t all that wonderful either. There had to be something I could do to improve my […]
west bend poppery mods
✍ Written by: Garrett Oden
📅 Published: June 26, 2014
🗃 Filed under: PERSONAL

I’m determined to be able to produce consistently enjoyable coffee using my home roaster, a West Bend Poppery. I didn’t have great success with my first attempt, but the results were satisfying, because, of course, it was only my first attempt. Round 2 wasn’t all that wonderful either. There had to be something I could do to improve my amount of control and consistency.

Enter Mods

There are several resources around the web on modding the West Bend Poppery to dramatically increase control by separating the heater and fan and assigning variable control to each of them independently. So whereas before I simply turned on a switch to power the heater and fan, I now am able to control the amount of power delivered to each of them, thanks to simply adding a dimmer switch and plug to the fan and a router speed controller to the original plug (now connected only to the heater).

west bend poppery mods

The guides I found for doing this were not very clear at all, but I was able to piece together information. Maybe I’ll make my own tutorial in the future.

Roasting with Increased Control

For my first roasts with this new level of control I chose Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages from Sweet Maria’s and gave two 115g batches a shot. Here they are:

First Roast

115g in, 101g out
First Crack: 12:15
Drop: 13:30
Cooling: 5:00

Temperatures
Preheated to 200F
0:30 – 153
1:00 – 172
1:30 – 181
2:00 – 186
2:30 – 193
3:00 – 200
3:30 – 205
4:00 – 216
4:30 – 227
5:00 – 238
5:30 – 250
6:00 – 264
6:30 – 281
7:00 – 300
7:30 – 313
8:00 – 318
8:30 – 325
9:00 – 342
9:30 – 357
10:00 – 374
10:30 – 390
11:00 – 402
11:30 – 415
12:00 – 421
12:30 – 426
13:00 – 430
13:30 – Drop

Results
Bitter citrus slight maple middle, minimal aftertaste, somewhat balanced but not great, on the right track

Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages 1

Second Roast

115g in, 101g out
First Crack: 8:20
Drop: 9:30
Cooling: 5:00

Temperatures
Preheated to 200F
0:30 – 158
1:00 – 182
1:30 – 191
2:00 – 196
2:30 – 201
3:00 – 206
3:30 – 215
4:00 – 239
4:30 – 270
5:00 – 299
5:30 – 328
6:00 – 355
6:30 – 382
7:00 – 398
7:30 – 404
8:00 – 410
8:30 – 411
9:00 – 413
9:30 – 415, Drop

Results
Slight over-acidic front, muddy citrus apple middle, bad aftertaste

Rwanda Karenge Coffee Villages 2

Forward!

Initially I bought a bean sampler from Sweet Maria’s, but now I see that I will learn more from a 5lb bag of a single bean. 1lb just isn’t enough to get to know how a bean works and behaves.

I am optimistic that my skills will be able to be honed by my new ability to control and manipulate fan and heater power. Of course my beans won’t ever match those of Counter Culture’s, but I’m committed to getting as close as I can!

Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden

Coffee Industry Writer

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    That is such a detailed guide about roasting. I knew the various levels of roasting part, but not in so much of detail.