HomeRoast Digest


Topic: heat gun dog bowl method (15 msgs / 477 lines)
1) From: Zara Haimo
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
A few days ago someone asked about the detailed technique for dog bowl =
roasting and similar questions came up at the recent Bay area gathering =
- I wish I'd thought to bring my gear with me so others could try =
roasting in a dog bowl.  This approach is more Zen-like than process =
control oriented, but I have had no trouble getting very repeatable =
results because it's so easy to see/hear/smell what's happening - the =
heat gun itself makes very little noise and the beans are right in front =
of you the whole time.
I did take some notes while I was roasting yesterday and here's what I =
use and how I do it:
All the equipment I use including a storage box cost me about $35 new.
I use a stainless steel dog bowl that is about 8 inches across the top, =
5.5 inches on the bottom, and 3 inches high.  The bowl has a flat =
bottom, the side slopes slightly out and is a single thickness with a =
slight lip at the top.  It is very stable and I've had no problems with =
it tipping or spilling beans.
I bought a wire mesh strainer that is also about 8 inches across and =
about 3 inches deep - it fits very nicely into the dog bowl.  It has a =
handle made of a long loop of wire covered by a rubber grip so it never =
gets too hot to handle and I can simply lift it out of the bowl at the =
end of the roast to dump the beans.
I use a long (12 inch handle) wooden spoon to stir the beans.  I don't =
need an oven mitt or any protection because my hands never get near =
anything hot.
My heat gun is a 1200 watt Wagner model 0503145 - nothing special, no =
heat or fan speed controls, just an on/off button.
I store everything in a Rubbermaid 2.4 gallon plastic container =
approximately 9x16x5 inches.
For cooling, I use a heavy cast iron pan which acts as a good heat sink.
My usual roast size is a cup of beans, but I have done as much as 2 cups =
at once.  I feel I have more control over the roast with the smaller =
batch size as it's harder for me to keep all the beans roasting evenly =
with the larger batch.  A bigger bowl and/or a higher powered heat gun =
may work better for larger batches, but I've never experimented with =
these.
To roast, I put a cup of beans into the wire mesh strainer, put the =
strainer in the dog bowl, and turn on the heat gun.  The layer of beans =
is about an inch thick when I start.  I stir the beans both in a circle =
and with a kind of folding motion to make sure they heat evenly.  At =
this stage of the roast, I hold the gun about 1-2 inches from the bean =
mass (or just below the lip of the bowl) and generally don't move it =
around at all.  Chaff starts flying off the beans almost immediately - =
since I roast outside, this is not a problem.
Once 1st crack gets going (the first pop is usually about 6-7 minutes =
into the roast), I pull the gun back a little further to 3-4 inches from =
the beans to slow the roast a bit.  Since the beans almost double in =
size with 1st crack, the gun will be an inch or so above the dog bowl at =
this point.  I continue stirring with the wooden spoon using the same =
circular and folding movements.  Some beans pop so vigorously during 1st =
crack, that they jump out of the bowl - it helps to have asbestos =
fingers to pick up the escapees and put them back in.  Even more chaff =
comes off at this stage, but by the time the roast approaches 2nd crack, =
most of the chaff is gone.
Because it's so easy to see the color of the beans, hear the cracks, =
smell the roast, and see the smoke, I have no trouble deciding when to =
stop.  Most roasts take about 12-13 minutes total.  When I get to the =
level of roast I want, I turn off the heat gun and set it down where it =
won't burn anything, then dump the beans into the cast iron pot and stir =
them around a bit to help them cool.  They are usually comfortable to =
touch within a couple of minutes.   Any remaining bits of chaff seem to =
stick to seasoning in the cast iron pan.

2) From: Pecan Jim Gundlach
Zara,
    I think your approach is a model of how someone can get into home  
roasting for a very reasonable start-up cost.   Do you have a way to  
put up a web page showing how you did it?
     Jim Gundlach
On Jun 29, 2005, at 5:31 PM, Zara Haimo wrote:
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3) From: Mingles
I use a large collander (not strainer) to roast in about 9" wide, 6" deep=
 
and semi spherical in shape. I place it in a garden clay pot to insulate it=
 
from the wind somewhat when roasting outside (ireland is windy and not that=
 
warm). I lean my heatgun on the side of the collander so that it doesn't 
strain my arm from holding, and have both my elbows on my knees for support=
. 
I find that the faster you stir the more even a roast you get.
On 6/30/05, Pecan Jim Gundlach  wrote: 
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4) From: Justin Marquez
On 6/29/05, Zara Haimo  wrote:
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Zara - Your description sounds almost exactly like my HG/DB roasting
experience.  Isn't it fun!
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.com

5) From: Dona & Terry McVay
Very good description!  May I add that to take the strain out of holding up 
the heat gun I've made a temporary, in-elegant rig.
I roast in my garage, under a beam, and ended up putting two nails on the 
side of the beam, about four feet apart, then
with a heavy enough string  to hold it, tied one end to the heatgun, ran 
the string up to the first nail, over to the second, and
down to a plastic bucket (to balance the weight).  Now the gun is suspended 
from a nail, tied off at the right angle, and with
little effort it can be raised and lowered to affect the roast.
Aloha,
Terry
At 12:31 PM 6/29/2005, you wrote:
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6) From: Zara Haimo
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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deep and semi spherical in shape. I place it in a garden clay pot to =
insulate it from the wind somewhat when roasting outside (ireland is =
windy and not that warm). I lean my heatgun on the side of the collander =
so that it doesn't strain my arm from holding, and have both my elbows =
on my knees for support. I find that the faster you stir the more even a =
roast you get. 
I've made the assumption that the stainless dog bowl contains and =
reflects the heat from the heat gun back up on the beans and that plus =
constant stirring helps give an even roast.  Do you just set your =
colander directly in the clay pot?  

7) From: Zara Haimo
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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roasting for a very reasonable start-up cost.   Do you have a way to put =
up a web page showing how you did it?
I'm not the one who came up with this method - when I first read about =
it on the list I thought it was a joke.  I finally tried it in =
desperation when my Hearthware roaster died and couldn't be repaired =
just when I ran out of roasted beans.  I needed a new roasting method =
fast - it took me 15 minutes to buy everything and I was roasting the =
same afternoon.  The results were so good, I was stunned.  I had thought =
of the dog bowl method as an adequate short term emergency solution =
until I could buy a new roaster, but it clearly is a serious roasting =
method in its own right.  The price is right, even a beginner can get =
good results, and no special tinkering is required.
I'm going to see if one of my kids can take some decent photos next time =
I roast (my hands will be otherwise occupied).  

8) From: Will
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That's exactly how I felt about the Whirley-Pop. I was hoping to make 
it work for a few roasts while I located a real "roaster".
Never went back to air.
Will=
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Arial  I finally tried it
in desperation when my Hearthware roaster died and couldn't be
repaired just when I ran out of roasted beans.  I needed a new
roasting method fast - it took me 15 minutes to buy everything and I
was roasting the same afternoon.  The results were so good, I was
stunned.  I had thought of the dog bowl method as an adequate short
term emergency solution until I could buy a new roaster, but it
clearly is a serious roasting method in its own right.  The price is
right, even a beginner can get good results, and no special tinkering
is required.
That's exactly how I felt about the Whirley-Pop. I was hoping to make
it work for a few roasts while I located a real "roaster". 
Never went back to air. 
Will=
--Apple-Mail-2-110778311--

9) From: HeatGunRoast heatgunroast
A nice and efficient description! Some pieces I'll add: 
First, I've tried all manner of collendars and strainers and noticed no 
improvement at all over the straight dogbow. If anything, the stirring was=
 
not quite as easy. 
Second, it sounds like you are using a 64 oz DB. This is the bowl folks 
would want to start out with. IMO, this size maxes out at around a 9 oz 
roast. In recent months I've been increasing my batch size; now typically=
 
14-16 oz. The actual quality of the roasts is close, but the advantage may=
 
go to the larger roast size--possibly due to the added 3 or so minutes of=
 
duration (9 minutes to 12-13). For these larger roasts I use a 96 oz bowl.=
 
And I still use, on occasion, my 32 oz bowl for a 3-5 oz roast when I decid=
e 
that a roast is lacking some character I'd like to try. It's nice to have=
 
these 3 options.
Third, I HG/DB roast over my BBQ grill. Especially during the later stages=
 
of the roast, once the beans are close to optimal temp, I find that the 
undersource of heat allows greater control. I ease off with the HG, stir 
slower, and feel assured of a more even ramp into 2nd.
On 6/29/05, Zara Haimo  wrote:
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10) From: Christopher Swingley
Greetings!
* HeatGunRoast heatgunroast  [2005-Jun-30 10:47 
* AKDT]:
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More great dog bowl roasting info.  I also dog bowl roast in the summer 
(too cold outside in the winter) and have one other piece of information 
to add.
I have a few "fire bricks", which are designed to sit inside a wood 
burning stove.  They can handle, and retain heat very well.  I put my 
dog bowl on top of a pair of these bricks, with four bricks on their 
edge serving as walls around the hot zone.  I find this helps retain a 
lot of the heat I'm pouring into the bowl and I get faster results.  
Plus I'm not so worried about catching anything on fire because the 
bricks are keeping the majority of the heat away from the shipping crate 
I roast on.
Fire bricks are really cheap, probably less that a buck a piece, 
although I don't remember how much I paid.
Chris
-- 
Christopher S. Swingley          email: cswingle
Intl. Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks   www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/

11) From: Mingles
It's not so much containing or reflecting the heat at all, as you've a 
relatively fast moving stream of air which you're not going to try to 
contain or capture.
 I find the deepness of the collander means that the beans are less likely=
 
to lose heat from gusts of wind overhead. I set the collander in the clay=
 
pot directly and its a tight fit without modification. It means that it's=
 
protected from the wind (the collander has holes on the side and bottom) as=
 
well as adding weight to the collander and so is less likely to tip over 
from stirring virigously. 
 On 6/30/05, Zara Haimo  wrote: 
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12) From: Mingles
Just to add, the clay pot weighs about 6-7 pounds and is at a nice ~130F 
after the roast so it probably does insulate and make the transition of 
temperatures more smooth, but its main purpose was to add weight and 
protection from wind to the collander. I find dog bowls far too shallow -=
 
I'd probably send more than a few beans flying, but I rarely lose more than=
 
a single bean during the roast itself with my method. It's the cooling with=
 
two mesh strainers part where I lose my beans!
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13) From: zigzagmolly
Funny, how each of us tweaked things just a bit.  I learned from
Martin, but I match a mesh colander like Zara uses with Martin's 3
sizes of dogbowls.  I can roast 1.5 lbs green beans in my 96 oz bowl
and colander.  I use the middle size for roasts of less than a pound. 
I use the BBQ side burner, but turn it off at first crack, so I can
better control the roast with my HG.  Since I have a slider temp
control, I use that or just move the gun further from the bowl.  I use
a silicone spatula to stir, first with my left hand and then half way
through with my right. I stir constantly throughout the roast. I'm
going to try a double roast tonight, just because.
Take care,
Nancy

14) From: Sue
This is my favorite method also. I started using the HG/DB last summer. I=
 
just don't have anywhere to do it in the winter! I use a dog bowl that is=
 
shaped like this /\/\, which I really like. It has that outer layer 
that, while it gets pretty darn warm, I can still grab it without needing t=
o 
get pot holders out! I think it is a 64 ounce, but I'm not sure. I use 12-1=
6 
ounces of greens and stir with a wooden spoon. I really can't imagine 
getting a more even roast than what I'm getting. Much better overall flavor=
 
than I could get with my FR+8, and much larger batches as well! My typical=
 
roast will reach 1st crack at about 8 minutes and complete the roast, if 
going into 2nd, at 12 or maybe 13 minutes. When the roast is complete, I 
pour it into a colander that I have sitting on top of a small fan. It cools=
 
in just a couple of minutes! As I mentioned earlier, I have taught my son=
 
how to roast. He is really enjoying it and picked up the technique 
immediately! 
 Sue
 
 On 6/30/05, Zara Haimo  wrote: 
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15) From: Michael Wade
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Zara, got it, thanks!  What a nice description.  I can almost smell it.  =
I'm definitely going to try it.
True to my Y chromosome, however I'm also having visions of grafting the =
chaff collector from my old Precision onto the roast chamber of my =
iRoast2.  I guess there's a little of Dr. Frankenstein in all of us (or =
at least half of us).
Michael Wade
  Repost from last June:


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