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Topic: "whirly pop" question (3 msgs / 107 lines)
1) From: Steven Dover

2) From: Jack the Roaster
Steven's comments (below) are true.  I was a whirly-pop/perfect popper
roaster for many months before getting a HWP.  I roasted in an out
building and used two metal colanders and a fan to cool and remove chaff.
The only notable downside, imo, is that one must remember that these
things weren't built to roast coffee.  They're built for swirling small
kernels of popcorn on a base of oil.  I had probs with the gears on both
devices.  The whirly pop's plastic gears actually separated from the metal
rod to which they'd originally been attached and spun freely leaving 
me using the "vigorously shake the beans" method on more than one
occasion.  And the metal gears of the perfect popper were almost too
inflexible making cranking difficult much of the time and leading to
several jams.  Bean size influences this a lot - I found smaller beans
such as peaberries or Yemen Hirazi-sized beans to be the most challenging
to roast as they were prone to getting caught under the blades.
Please note I've only mentioned the downsides, and this is because I think
Steven did a good job of illustrating the positives.  Frankly, I kinda
miss the closer interaction I had with the process while stovetop
roasting.  And I certainly miss being able to roast the larger quantities
one can manage roasting on a stovetop.
If I had the resources available for stovetop roasting that I had a couple
years ago, I'd definitely do it from time to time.
Jack the Roaster  
On Tue, 6 Mar 2001, Steven Dover wrote:
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3) From: Gary Zimmerman
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Interesting Steve!
I'm a Whirly-Pop user myself.  I love it, partly because of the more 
visceral feel of cranking the beans and manually cooling them.  It's just 
the "right" amount of visceral involvement for me at this point, though I 
really admire folks like Jim Gundlach who gets *really* involved using a 
wok on an open fire!
I do the Whirly-Popping a little differently from you, and am anxious to 
try your method.
I roast a cup volume of beans - don't have a scale.
I wait until the pot preheats to 425, then dump in the beans.
I don't usually make any further flame adjustments unless my times are 
really "unreasonable" (out of my ordinary).
I don't really "use" the thermometer as much as I should - just use it to 
know when to toss in the beans, and to anticipate first crack (for me 
happens between 325 and 330).  I usually don't lift the lid prior to first 
crack, to keep the heat in, but thereafter  open it frequently to help vent 
the smoke away from the beans.
The timing is generally about 6-7 minutes to first crack, then 8-10 for 
second.  I usually stop just about 30 seconds to one minute into second crack.
For cooling I run outside with the beans and toss them between a wire mesh 
collander and a metal strainer for a few minutes.
Happy with the process and the results so far, but I know it can always be 
improved.
-- garyZ
Whirly-drip(paper)-black
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