The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Home roaster modifications, homemade roasters

Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby bigbells » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:57 am

That is one nice-looking roast, Grant. Now I've got Whirley-Pop envy. What is your back porch heat source?
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby caffeinated » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:44 am

I have a Weber Genesis E-330 propane grill with a 12,000 BTU side burner. It's at the perfect height for this operation. And my porch has a nice overhang which allows me to grill in almost any weather.
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby BluffCityRoaster » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:40 pm

caffeinated wrote:I have a Weber Genesis E-330 propane grill with a 12,000 BTU side burner. It's at the perfect height for this operation. And my porch has a nice overhang which allows me to grill in almost any weather.

I have a similar setup...I use an Air Crazy for small batches and Theatre 2 (old version of Whirly Pop) for big batches. The WP is a much more even roast and I really enjoy the process.
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby TheSaul » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:36 pm

I am looking into to buying a Whirley Pop and a camp-style propane stove. I recently tried using the Air-Popper method and did not like it at all. The thing was really loud and blew that chaff stuff everywhere and I only was able to roast enough for one day. Do that everyday? No thanks! For those who have had experience with the Whirley Pop method, what are the Pros and Cons?

Thanks!
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby BluffCityRoaster » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:28 pm

TheSaul wrote:I am looking into to buying a Whirley Pop and a camp-style propane stove. I recently tried using the Air-Popper method and did not like it at all. The thing was really loud and blew that chaff stuff everywhere and I only was able to roast enough for one day. Do that everyday? No thanks! For those who have had experience with the Whirley Pop method, what are the Pros and Cons?

Thanks!

Pro: large batches- I typically keep it to 12ozs but 16is possible I suppose; even roasts, though I just roasted 12oz of an espresso blend and it could've been more even. This was my first blend and there were different bean sizes which could've been the culprit. The most even roast with the WP seems to be in the 8oz range to me. Cost. Control-any roast level is possible and varying times and profiles is a simple and rewarding endeavor.

Cons: I suppose finding a way to roat outdoors could be a negative, but you could just buy a grill with side burner and now you have a roaster and grill! If roasting outdoors isn't possible, the smoke is definately a negative and a trial that I will never repeat. The rod entering the side gear on mine comes loose during roasting and I have to push it back tighter.
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby rebthor » Thu May 02, 2013 11:37 am

Negatives are definitely smoke and you will probably mess up a few times until you get the hang of it. I jammed and probably broke my hand crank Hario with under-roasted beans. It's also easy to scorch the beans. I find that I get the best results doing what others have said, turning clockwise for a bit and then counterclockwise for a bit. I'll also occasionally agitate the pan to redistribute the beans.

It's also a bit of a pain to cool the roast. I've been using the colander + spoon on the porch method but I think I'd be better served setting up some sort of forced air system.

Positives is that you have a lot of control over the roast from start to finish and that after those few mess ups, it's really easy just to go by sight, sound and smell. I have a thermometer in my pan now but honestly I think it was easier when I didn't. As others mentioned, it's really easy to do large batches too. I think 1# would be doable if you were careful, but 3/4# is easily doable. I find that I usually do about 1/2# because that's about how much I go through in a week and it's easier to roast 1/2# twice than #3/4 and then 1/4#.

I don't have experience any of the consumer machines, but as compared to using the air popper, this is far faster and easier to control in my opinion.
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Re: The Whirley Pop survey/sounding board

Postby Bentonkb » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:45 pm

I roasted more than 60 pounds of coffee in my aluminum Whirly Pop before I retired it. The hole in the lid for the stirring shaft wore out so that the shaft wobbled and I was afraid the gears would skip. Now I use a stainless steel model that has metal gears and a very thick bottom.
Recently I have bumped up my batch size from 260 grams to 360 grams. It suits our drinking habits just fine and seems well within the capacity of the roaster. The Sweet Marias instructions seem geared toward someone who likes very bright, light roasts. If that's your thing then stick to the recommended small batches and be sure to preheat to a high temperature. We like less acidic roasts, so lower preheats and bigger batches (up to 600 grams) work well.
The smoke is a problem, of course, so I use a propane camp stove in a detached workshop. I love the way the roasting aroma clings to my clothes when I'm walking back to the house after a late night roasting session. It makes me fall asleep looking forward to my morning cup.
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