SmokinBeans Senior Member Joined: 10 Jul 2003 Posts: 39 Location: Benicia, CA. Expertise: I live coffee
Grinder: cheap whirly blade thingy Drip: Bodum 3 cup French Press Roaster: Stainless Back to Basics...
Posted Thu Jul 10, 2003, 1:31pm Subject: Whirley Pop Newby
Hi, New member here. Bean roasting about 2 months and LOVE it. Happened to have found a 1-dollar whirley pop at at a thrift store, several months before learning that home coffee roasting was possible, so I am going with that technology for now.
I have learned a lot from Sweet M's site and here about roasting...but my experience seems to not match what I am reading. Specifically roasting seems to go very fast, although taste results have been good (or perhaps i'm not very discriminating?.
My set up:
As per my research here and elsewhere I preheat the WP to 450 degrees F...and am worried that that is too much actually. I shove a digital thermometer through a gap in the free swinging lid with a couple layers of aluminum foil used as a heat shield to protect top of thermometer from heat . Thermometer tip comes to within 1 inch from bottom of pot.
I usually roast either 56 or 112 gms per batch (I enjoy the roasting part so much that the small batches give me excuse to roast every or every other day).
I roast indoors on a gas stove and love the roast smoke that marinates my kitchen and gives my apartment that neighborhood roastery smell (not too much smoke actually...a pathetic old kitchen fan keeps the smoke alarm from freaking out) ...I'm single obviously :D
I use a combination of Flipping beans and cranking/spinning beans while roasting to ensure no beans scorch from one side resting too long in direct contact with pot.
I cool beans after roasting by dumping them in a steel mesh collander and flipping them above a box fan set on high speed...cool to touch with 1 minute and chaff flies all over my porch...yes i do this part outside...lol.
I find that roasting goes very fast...I start hearing cracks within 1.5 minutes and find that I get something that matches descriptions for a Full City Roast within 3-4 minutes, by 4.5 - 5 minutes the beans are smoking hard and are "getting oily and Dark".
Is the fast roast time due to small batch size? Timing seems about the same whether i use 56gm or 112gm batch size. I have read that it is possible to "stall" a roast if heat is too low and don't want to kill innocent beans, thus have been hesitant to pre-heat to less. Is my thermometer to far away from bottom for true temp reading? (am i actually preheating to 500+ degrees!!!) Thoughts any one?
I've done about a half a dozen roasts with a whirly pop so I am far from an expert but I have formed some opinions.
I roast outdoors using the side burner on my gas grill. I find the thermometer reads much lower than the actual temperature. You would expect that since it is probably 3 or 4 inches above the bottom.
It usually takes me about 5-7 minutes to reach 1st crack. 2nd crack starts shortly after that. I think your small batches are speeding things up. I use a cup and a half. I haven't achieved the level of control I would like but I usually get something drinkable.
I've been thinking of lowering the temperature a bit. I would probably do it in relatively small increments. Eg, preheat 25 degrees lower and see how that works. I wouldn't worry too much about stalling the roast. If you can tell things aren't moving along, just crank up the heat.
In interest of extending the fun part of the process, the roasting, i'm gonna try reducing heat. Your times seem more like what i have read as being normal for a whirley pop. I have read that there can be a taste difference between fast or slow(er) roasted beans. To bad I only tolerate about 3 cups of coffee a day, I am intereseted in tasting the whole range of flavors available from various beans. Could take a while.
Coffee used to be a habit, now its a hobby...I guess its become a Hobbit.
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