[Homeroast] Whirley Pop Roasting Advice

John Nordling john.nordling at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 13:19:09 CDT 2014

As I've been reading the discussions about when to start/stop a roast, and
how quickly to progress from first crack to the finish line, I realize that
there are a lot of things I don't consciously pay attention to.  On that
note, I'm trying to be a better roaster, so here's what I do now.  Can you
all suggest things that I can do better/differently to get better coffee?

1)  Weigh 8 oz. beans.
2) Preheat whirly to 350 F (temperature is measured about 1/2" above the
bottom of the popper) over med/med low gas flame - typically no adjustment
to the flame during the course of the roast.
3)  Add beans to popper - typical temperature drop is down to around
4)  I roast entirely by sound, smell and temperature - I don't track time,
but some estimates are given where I have them.  I found that I had to stop
cranking too much to record times and mark where I was leading to burned
beans.  Typically, I hear first crack anywhere from 325 to 350 F, which
often takes 4-5 minutes from when I add the beans to the popper.
5) Typically it's only a matter of a minute or two to get to 360-380, which
is where things smell done and I normally pull the batch. Total roast time
is usually between 8 and 11 minutes.
6) Into the colander and out to the driveway to roll them back and forth
between colanders until they're kind of cool and most of the chaff has
blown off.
7) Dump the beans onto a cookie sheet on a cool (some kind of stone)
countertop to fully drop to RT (in the winter, into a steel bowl planted in
a snowbank)
8) Sometime in the next 12-16 hours, transfer to a sealable jar, but leave
the lid open overnight (may be part of the 12-16 hours).

That's pretty much it.  One of these days, I'll build a cooling box to put
my colander in and connect to my shop vac, but that's a project for this
fall maybe.

I tend to heavily favor Ethiopian beans, though I have some Costa Rican's
that are all right.  I never go to second crack any more.  It always tastes
burnt to me at that point.  On the occasion that I do overshoot, I give the
burnt offerings to a Spaniard friend of mine, who misses that level of
roast - can't find it in the US.

thanks for any advice you can give.


"Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all."   Neutral Milk
Hotel, *In the Aeroplane Over the Sea*

Email:  john.nordling at gmail.com

More information about the Homeroast mailing list