[Homeroast] Roasting over a fire

Brian Kamnetz bkamnetz at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 12:07:01 CDT 2014


Hi Steve,

Thanks for your response. I'm looking for a coffee-roasting gift for a
friend who lives about 3 months of the year in a cabin out in the toolies,
with no electrical service. He does have a gas cook stove and a wood cook
stove, and a wood-burning heat stove. Years ago on the list there was some
discussion of cooking over campfires with androck popcorn poppers, and some
people said they were able to do pretty well that way.

I personally have been roasting for 7 or 8 years with a Master Appliance
751b, 14.5 amp heat gun, roasting in a stainless mixing bowl with a sieve
that fits quite tightly in the bowl. I roast a pound in about 14 minutes,
trying to increase temp 10-20 degrees/minute, though the temp readings
bounce around a lot. I track temp with an electronic thermometer (bought
from Tom) with a thermocouple threaded through the wires of the sieve.

My friend is retired. His profession was in cooking, but his coffee is not
good, to put it kindly.

Brian

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM, Steve Jacobs <steve.jacobs at gmail.com>
wrote:

> It would work, but your results will be inconsistent. I tried the
> whirly-pop method over a gas flame and had  big issues with consistency and
> temperature control. Since the Coleman popper lacks a means of stirring,
> you're going to be REALLY busy shaking the thing so you don't burn half
> while the other half remains undercooked and I don't believe you'll be able
> to do more than a quarter pound at one go.
>
> That said, it's worth a try :D
>
> My coffee roasting methods began with the whirly-pop, first indoors with
> the range hood blower on full blast. After getting chased outdoors by my
> wife, I tried it with the gas burner on our grill with pretty much the same
> result, sans getting grief from my wife.
>
> My next step was a 64 oz. stainless steel dog bowl and a 900W heat gun.
> That worked a lot better, but had issues with losing heat and the random
> bean over the edge. The best I could manage is between a half and three
> quarters of a pound at once and it took 45 minutes to get into second
> crack. Bleh.
>
> I insulated the bowl from below with rock wool and added a thermocouple so
> I could keep an eye on the roasting temperatures. That improved roasting
> times a bit, but was still painfully slow.
>
> Finally, I bought a Behmor and have put one pound a week through it since
> January 2013. I keep it clean by vacuuming and internal wipe downs with
> baking soda and water or some simple green and dusting out the innards with
> a bit of canned air. Since I save about $10-$15 per pound per week by not
> buying roasted beans, the Behmor paid for itself in less than a year.
>
> On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 1:56 PM, Brian Kamnetz <bkamnetz at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I'm interested in roasting over a fire (actually, in a wood stove or wood
> > cook stove). I notice that Coleman has a popcorn popper for use over a
> > fire:
> >
> >
> >
> http://www.farmandfleet.com/products/713677-coleman-popcorn-popper.html?utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase&gclid=CMvsnuSjucECFc1_MgodVEoA2w#.VEP58hb0eLI
> >
> > Has anyone used this popper, or does anyone have suggestions? (I know
> there
> > are a lot of old open-fire poppers on ebay.)
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Brian
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