WHIRLEY POP COFFEE BEAN ROASTER Roasting Coffee on the Stove-Top
To roast your coffee at home, you need a coffee bean roaster, of course....
For starters, roasting coffee can be done on the stove-top. And the best method for this is probably the Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper.
See a video of roasting coffee beans on the stovetop at home with the Whirley Popcorn Popper - here:
Coffee Roasting Video - Roasting coffee beans with the Whirley-Pop stovetop popcorn popper. Heat the pot, add the beans, keep cranking, watch the Popping and Snapping, remove and cool the beans.
The Whirley Pop actually is a stovetop popcorn popper, but it makes a wonderful job also for roasting coffee.
It's a lightweight stainless steel pot with hinged lids that can flip open (on one side the lid is clipped to the pot). You place it on the stove-top or an electric burner.
The Whirley-Pop - it's a popcorn maker but can be used also as a coffee bean roaster to roast coffee at home.
The Popper has a wooden handle to crank and agitate the popcorn (well, the beans) to move them around and prevent them from being scorched.
You have to keep cranking the handle all the way through the roast, so unlike an electric popcorn-popper or a dedicated roasting machine, the Whirley Popcorn Popper has to be adjusted and operated manually.
It takes some skills to get used to it and produce a good roast, but with some experimenting you'll get it.
This coffee bean roaster allows you to adjust the heat and the roasting time as much as you want. You can experiment with various temperature and roasting-time adjustments.
This Thermometer can be used to measure the heat of the Whirley Pop, showing up to 550F. Don't let the temp drop below 300, but don't let it rise higher than 400F.
You'll also have to cool the beans manually. The Whirley Popper produces a lot of smoke, especially if you remove the beans indoor, so keep the room well ventilated.
Remember, the more beans you add in one batch, and the longer your roast, the more smoke there will be.
For roasting with the Whirley popper, I highly recommend installing a thermometer. I personally am using one with a stem that shows up to 550F. It is easily attached; I stick the stem into the tiny hole on the top at the edge near the hinge of the lid, and let it hang there and show the temp throughout the roast. I bought it in a restaurant equipment store for about $3.00.
You can see here how I inserted the stem of the thermometer into the hole on the left side near the hinge of the lid on top of the Whirley Pop
Don't ever expect the manufacturer to include coffee bean roasting instructions with your Whirley Pop, as it is primarily designed for making popcorn. For the same reason, your Popper is unlikely to be covered by any warranty for anything resulting from roasting coffee beans.
The "coffee bean roaster" can take about 1/2 or 3/4 lb per batch, and roasting time may take about 15 minutes a batch altogether.
Whirley Pop Coffee Bean Roaster - Instructions
Here are basic instructions for roasting with the Whirley Pop "coffee bean roaster":
Turn on the gas (or electric burner) on a low flame, not very low, though. Wait 'till the temp rises to about 400F.
Add your fresh raw green coffee beans. The temp will instantly drop. Adjust the heat, make sure it remains at least above 300F, preferably closer to 400F (but not higher) throughout the roast.
Start cranking the handle in steady slow motion (not too slow, though). Keep cranking all the time.
At about 6 minutes you should hear to "First Crack," much similar to the loud "pop" of popcorn. Pay attention to vision and smell to. The beans will gradually transform from green to yellowish to brown colors. The grassy small will change to a smell of the roast.
The hinged lid flips open on one side. Inside, at the bottom, is the agitator that moves the beans evenly around when the handle is cranked.
Keep cranking, but don't let the roasting proceed too rapid or exceedingly slow. If it seems to progress too hastily, reduce the heat a bit, but again, don't let the temperature fall too low.
At about 8-9 minutes, you should start hearing the "snapping," a rapid crackling, thus the Second Crack. You are now at Full City stage. You may already remove the beans if you don't want to go into a slightly darker roast.
Keep cranking at steady pace, but be very careful from now on, as the roast will continue much faster and the beans will keep getting darker. More chaff will fall off the beans, and smoke will dramatically increase.
Open the lid a tiny bit to peak inside. If you have good lighting, you should be able to observe the color of the beans. Do this every 30 seconds or so, to make sure the roast goes as expected and the beans don't get over-roasted. Don't open the lid too much as to not allow the smoke to escape.
When you're satisfied with the roasting level, remove the beans immediately. If you are in doubt, err on the safe side and remove; you can return them if you want to let them darken a bit more. Preferably, take out the closed pot and empty outside to avoid the smoke filling the room. This will also help cool the beans faster. If you do it inside, makes sure the room is sufficiently ventilated, as you'll get a lot of smoke.
The beans keep roasting even after removing them from the heat source, so cool them as fast as you can. Pour the beans into a metal colander and shake and stir. Agitate the beans with a spoon to hasten the cooling. Another reason for doing this outside is because you'll get a lot of chaff flying around when cooling the beans.
When the beans have cooled enough, they are ready to rest. Store them in an air-tight glass jar, but don't seal tightly yet. Let the CO2 vent off for about 4 to 12 hours. Then you can seal the jar tightly. Store it in a dark place, away from heat, light and moisture. Store at room temperature. It will remain fresh for about a week.
With some experience, you'll get fairly good results from the Whirley Popper. This coffee beans roaster may be the best method for toasting on the stove-top, as it allows closing the pot and yet crank it to move the beans around. Still, it is not the same as a dedicated home roasting machine, so soon you may want to upgrade to a machine that is dedicated to roasting coffee.