Hazards of roasting coffee in an hot environment.
Hazards of roasting coffee in an hot environment with your popcorn roaster are not that many but a few that will ruin your coffee before you know what has happened to your prized green coffee beans. Pay close attention to the weather, the heat and the humidity and most important of all your drop times. This will ensure that you have coffee that is not an over roasted French roast but a well roasted coffee. Disaster is really only a few seconds away from success. I know, I have done it and I have first hand experience.
Hazard #1 the weather.
Hazard number 1 is the weather, don’t go out and roast coffee with a popcorn roaster if the weather is to cold or to hot. Below 40 degrees it will take a longer to get those coffee beans to the right temp. This will mess with your drop time, you might not even make it to first crack before your little popcorn roaster throws in the towel. The opposite can be said about it being to hot, don’t roast over 95. At 95 plus you can see your beans go from a light city roast to a french roast right before your eyes. The coffee beans will keep on roasting and getting blacker as they cool in the colander and worse yet is what will happen to your popcorn roaster. It will melt in the extreme heat, cause a fire and quite working all together.
Hazard #2 the humidity.
Hazard #2 is the humidity it is very much a benign part of roasting, but when it gets above a certain percent it plays hell on you. My success has been at 50 percent and lower with my popcorn roaster anything higher is time to call it a day. The high humidity will mess with how even your roast is. You will get blond beans coming out and some of the beans will have cupping,that is little flakes of coffee beans breaking away from it self. You will have a ugly looking roast that just looks all wrong. Worse yet, you will get scorching, giving you a sharp bitter taste.
Hazard #3 drop time
Hazard #3 drop time,pay attention to your drop time, time it! if your drop time is getting faster and faster. You are on a run away freight train, do yourself a favor and get off. Unplug your popcorn roaster and call it a day, look at your popcorn roaster, is it super hot? If so, it is burning out and you will need a new one. Don’t plug it back in, because it will melt and you will have another issue that may need the fire dept. Now if your drop time is taking longer and longer, your popcorn roaster just died, give it last rites and put it in the trash bin.
I hope this helped, I have done all these things, but it has been a learning curve that has helped me to become a better coffee roaster. I hope it will help you as well without going to the places that I have gone.