Beginer here


New member
Dec 28, 2007
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Hello folks. I am new to roasting and am starting out with the air popper. Reason one. It''s cheap. 1250 watt popcorn pumper. $2. Reason two. I don't drink a lot of coffee. About four 6 oz. cups a morning. I have already began roasting. And am somewhat pleased with my efforts. Roasted too long on my last batch though. I have a question regarding the "second crack". I have read, that for a dark roast, roast the beans about 20 - 30 seconds into the second crack. I have been able to distinguish between the two different sounds of cracks. But I am not quite sure what is meant by "into the second crack". Does this mean when you first hear the second crack ? Or maybe when you first hear the second crack in massive amounts ? Because, I, from time to time, hear a bean or two crack lightly, like a rice crispy (when milk hits it), but may be 30 seconds or more before there is a massive amount of
cracking. I''m sure everyone has a different opinion. I'd like some of your opinions.


New member
May 13, 2007
Tucson, AZ
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Depending on the bean, just be sure you're really hearing 2nd crack. Sometimes with Ethiopian beans, for example, it's kinda hard to tell whether you're hearing the beginning of 2nd crack or the last few pops of 1st. The difference in sound can be subtle (2nd is a bit more of a subdued/muffled snap rather than a "crack"), so it's challenging. Brazilian beans (most are wet processed), on the other hand, tend to be very easy to distinguish between cracks (and most central/south American beans perhaps taste a bit better if not taken too far into 2nd crack). If you can split-wire your popper (put the fan on one outlet to run at a constant speed-- you need to keep agitation constant), and wire the heating element so you can put it on a Variac, can allow you to control the temp so you can quickly get to 1st crack, then plateau the temp so you can stretch the time (4 min or so) out to 2nd without stalling the roast.

Hope this helps? There's tons of threads over on coffeegeek, and probably some on home-barista as well to help you figure out all the mods to a popper (or not), if you so inclined.

To more specifically answer your question: massive amounts of popping is termed "rolling", which would roughly be mid-way into that crack (whether 1st or 2nd) and not when most people begin timing the end of the roast.