HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Popper roasting in the fireplace -- very clean! (8 msgs / 179 lines)
1) From: Randall Nortman
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?

2) From: Eddie Dove
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:
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3) From: Randall Nortman
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.

4) From: Eddie Dove
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:
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5) From: Aaron
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

6) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
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:
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7) From: PecanJim
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
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8) From: JanoMac
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.


HomeRoast Digest