I usually roast outside, but it's rainy today, so I decided to try indoors again. I've done this in the bathroom with the exhaust fan going, and the bathroom stinks for a week afterware. I don't have a kitchen exhaust, I'm very sorry to say. So this time I tried it in the fireplace. I don't use the plastic popper lid, but use a tin can chimney instead. I made sure the chimney damper was open and that the can was pointing more or less at the chimney opening. I couldn't see the beans this way, but I have a good temperature probe setup, and I haven't found color to be very reliable anyway, so I roast by temperature and sound primarily. I also recently added a variac to boost the fan, so I don't need to stir even with a 150g batch (in my Poppery I). Anyway, it worked very well. I got a nice draft up the chimney, and only faint whiffs of smoke came into the house, which is perfect because I was able to smell the coffee entering different stages. I should say, though, that both of these coffees were roasted shy of second crack -- one to FC and another to C+ (ish), so maybe a darker roast would produce more smoke. The chaff mostly blew up and then right back down onto the bed of the fireplace. When I was finished, I rattled the damper pretty hard and a little bit more came down. This is very easy to sweep/vacuum up. Which leads to a question -- I'm guessing that there's probably some chaff still stuck to the chimney. Should I be concerned about this being a hazard if I were to actually use the fireplace for its intended purpose? Frankly, I hardly ever use it for fires, which is probably worse because if I do a lot of roasts without actually lighting a fire, a lot amount of chaff might have built up. Any thoughts/experience?
Chimney sweep ... not that expensive and peace of mind. Eddie -- Docendo Discimus Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 5/12/07, Randall Nortman wrote:">http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 5/12/07, Randall Nortman wrote: <Snip>
On Sat, May 12, 2007 at 10:38:24AM -0500, Eddie Dove wrote: <Snip> That ran me about $120 last time I did it, if I remember correctly. That's a steep bill to pay every time I want to light a fire. Or were you talking about doing it myself, rather than hiring a chimney sweep? Maybe there's some cheap device I could use? I would be happy, actually, never to light a fire again, except I'd need to clean it out once before I sold the place. Wouldn't want the new owner suing me over it.
You can buy ... at least I've seen them before ... Chimney brushes at your favorite hardware store. Cover the fireplace before you start sweeping. This should knock down all of the chaff and before you move out, you could pay the $120 for a professional cleaning. Disclaimer: Its all on you! Eddie On 5/12/07, Randall Nortman wrote: <Snip>
i dont think the chaff will pose a terrible problem unless the chimney is packed full of it. when you burn a fire sparks make it up and out the chimney anyways, and i can't see chaff lasting for more than a few seconds once it does ignite anyways.. People burn leaves in their fireplaces sometimes or in the yard, and those drift around and carry sparks... seriously I dont think you will have any problems with a little bit of chaff in there. If you don't use that fireplace often as you said, I bet you have more debris in it from the spiders and cobwebs that eventually made their way into it. aaron
I used to roast in the fireplace in the old home and really liked it. Especially when raining/cold. Even roasted in the fireplace with the SC/TO roaster. Vented beautifully (and no chaff going up the chimney). Chaff shouldn't be a problem. Never caused any problems for me, and I would burn fires in the fireplace, too. I think the creosote buildup from wood fires is more the issue with combustion than chaff would be. The recommendations I've seen have said that any fireplace that's used 4+ times a year should be cleaned. If you want to tackle it yourself, good instructions are here: http://id.essortment.com/fireplacehowto_rkdk.htmThey make fireplace cleaning logs, now. Don't know how effective they are though. -- Brent My coffee is better than it tastes On 5/12/07, Randall Nortman wrote: <Snip>
If the chmney is been used very little, you can burn the chaff out by making a quick and hot newspaper fire when it is raining. Any sparks that go out will not catch anyting on fire. A little chaf will produce no where near the heat a cresote fire would. I've been heating with wood for close to thirty years now. Pecan Jim <Snip>
Aaron is right on. Unless your chimney is loaded with sticky creosote, the chaff with be no problem. It will ignite the first time to light a wood fire and be gone I under seconds. I regularly roast in the fireplace in the winter to avoid really cold air at my regular roasting station out in the garage. It is easier than sticking the popper in a box and trying to keep the air intakes clean. The draft takes up "most" of the smoke/smell/aroma and only a little chaff leaves the fireplace. I have even roasted while I had a small fire going. The draft is really improved and the chaff just "poofs" away (reminds me of fireflies) as it hits the fire. The problem is that to get close enough to the fireplace to exhaust the chaff, the air is then overheated and the roast goes too fast! Kirk From: Aaron Reply-To: homeroast Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 12:27:19 -0400 To: homeroast Subject: Re: +Popper roasting in the fireplace -- very clean! i dont think the chaff will pose a terrible problem unless the chimney is packed full of it. when you burn a fire sparks make it up and out the chimney anyways, and i can't see chaff lasting for more than a few seconds once it does ignite anyways.. People burn leaves in their fireplaces sometimes or in the yard, and those drift around and carry sparks... seriously I dont think you will have any problems with a little bit of chaff in there. If you don't use that fireplace often as you said, I bet you have more debris in it from the spiders and cobwebs that eventually made their way into it.