Monday, July 5, 2010

Coffee Roasting

So I've been roasting coffee on and off for a few years. Below is a picture of my original method using an air-powered popcorn popper. I modified it such that the fan can be controlled independently of the heater. To make things simpler I experimented with different methods of temperature control. The picture below shows the Sparkfun electronics reflow oven controller connected to the popcorn machine. I programmed the reflow oven controller with a profile for roasting beans. It works well and allows for consistent hassle free roasting.

The big drawback of the hot air popper for a coffee roaster is the limit on the amount of beans you can roast at once. I rigged up a larger capacity roaster as seen in the pics below. It is essentially the pan and drive of a bread machine, an exhaust vent to take care of the chaff, a heat gun to provide the heat, a thermocouple and temperature controller to run the show. Results were good; consistent roast; no user intervention required.

1 comment:

J. Whitman said...

Great information you've posted! I think finding out lots of online coffee information is so helpful for roasting the beans and learning nice techniques.

Finding high quality coffee beans online can be just as difficult as finding them in person. So many times you can't taste ahead of time and I'm at a loss for figuring out how to choose which bean is right for me. If anyone knows how to find the best place to buy coffee online, please let me know!