[Homeroast] Roasting over a fire

John Nordling john.nordling at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 12:42:04 CDT 2014


I use the Whirly-pop method 100% of the time (1-2 lbs/week, 1/2 lb at a
time) on my gas stove.  For temperature, I use a thermometer through the
lid (straight out of Sweet Maria's recommendations page).  Fortunately for
me, my wife doesn't mind the smell, so I haven't been forced out of doors
yet.

I don't claim to be a master or even an expert roaster, but I can
consistently hit the roast and ramp rate I want to (after doing this for
several years), and typically, including preheating my popper, it takes me
less than 15 minutes to do a batch.  It probably doesn't hurt that I'm not
very picky, and will happily drink an under or overroasted batch before
resorting to the free coffee at work (it's priced too high).  My bad
batches are gourmet compared to what I would be drinking otherwise.

The biggest hassle is chaff removal.  For a long time, I just stirred in a
colander and blew on the beans.  Then I upgraded to two colanders and
dumping back and forth (probably best for no electricity).  Now, I have a
sieve that I put on a box fan and blow the chaff away while essentially
quenching the beans.  It's a dramatic improvement over the other methods.

I'm in the process of building up a propane grill drum roaster, but I'm on
hold while I wait for the grill I want to buy to go on clearance.

-John


~~
"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

On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Brian Kamnetz <bkamnetz at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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