[Homeroast] Sucky decaf

Mark Gilstrap fr.mark at stjamesok.org
Sat Jun 26 12:55:38 CDT 2010

A Variac (autotransformer) varies the ac (voltage).  Dimmers adjust the duty
cycle (% of each cycle of the waveform that is passed - pulsed). 

-----Original Message-----
From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
[mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On Behalf Of Tom &
Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:05 PM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,
available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Sucky decaf

Hey Michael - if you do separate the heater from the fan, wouldn't it 
then be feasible to use a high rated dimmer (ones sold as router 
dimmers, 1000 watts)? Those can be had for $25. I understand (I 
think) a dimmer starves the voltage whereas a variac offers pulses of 
power, but since we are talking only about a heat coil, starving it 
seems fine (?)


>Following up on Brian's implied question "If you have The Poppery, and not
>Poppery II".  You have been using an unmodified machine for long enough
>I expect getting all 'Geeky' about modifications isn't something you are
>interested in.  This thread has included several good suggestions.
>I believe that following Tom's suggestions will lead you to the conclusion
>that you need to slow the roast, there are any number or solutions. I
>believe you'll find that the previously mentioned 12 minute target will
>solve your problem (I personally shoot for closer to 15 minute overall
>time).  Slowing the heat-up rate to below 10 degrees F per minute just
>to the onset of 1st crack and maintaining a slower rate to End Of Roast
>open up whole new coffee perspectives for you.
>loading the machine with less beans will allow more heat to escape and
>thereby slow the roast
>The commonly recommended use of a long extension cord to add enough
>resistance to the circuit and thereby lower the voltage to a level that
>lengthens the roast works.  This solution pre-supposes that you make sure
>the extension cord isn't of a small enough gauge to allow it to get
>physically hot, this could generate extra work for your local fire
>Another common method is to power the Poppery through a Variac
>(auto-transformer / variable transformer).  Tom used to offer one on the
>Sweet Marias site but I don't seem to be able to find it.  If you decide on
>this solution, a really simple mod is to 'split wire' the roaster.  It
>entails removing the bottom and wiring two separate power cords to the
>terminals on the bottom, one for the fan and one for the heater. This
>running the fan at full speed, plugged directly into a wall receptacle and
>lowering the power level (voltage) to the heater by powering the heater
>circuit through the variac.
>I've tried the patience of list members before by getting too technical and
>generating long how-to's on the list so if you need any other suggestions
>and/or directions email me direct.  Glad to help.
>Mike (just plain)
>Homeroast mailing list
>Homeroast at host.sweetmariascoffee.com
>Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) : 


"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com

Homeroast mailing list
Homeroast at host.sweetmariascoffee.com
Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :

More information about the Homeroast mailing list