Jason Panella, on 24 October 2009 - 12:57 AM, said:
One thing worth trying is this: adjust the roast level and see what comes of it. Don't be afraid of going light roast (or close to burnt). Test the ends of the spectrum. EVERY batch of beans will have different nuances that come out at different roast levels, and you'll have to pick the ones you like best. Americans are used to hearing that 'dark' = 'bold' (whatever that means), but some of my favorite micro-lot brews come from light or medium roasts.
Today's batch took longer -- nearly 15 minutes! But I like the look of the beans right now, and they'll only get darker. They're a bit more uniform, although my main source, Kenneth Davids' "Home Coffee Roasting," says the beans roasted in a Whirly-Pop should be expected to be less uniform than those brewed using other roaster methods.
Part of the trick is internal temperature. Davids says a candy thermometer should be installed in the Whirly-Pop to guage temperature, and points to an online retailer that sells them pre-equipped with the thermometer. They're easy to install in units not already equipped, as mine is, although he hasn't met me and doesn't realize that the "easiest" of tasks involving drills and screws can be monumental for me. I'm mechanically challenged that way. So I wait a few minutes for the unit to preheat, then dump in the beans. I'm still experimenting with "low heat," which Davids recommends, versus medium to upper heat, which is what I had to revert to today to get the beans cracking after several minutes on low heat.
Rich Kennedy, on 24 October 2009 - 02:48 AM, said:
By Whirly-Pop, do you mean an automated whirl, self heating? Or one of those aluminum kettles on a stove with a crank? If the latter, beans in a bare kettle, or lightly lubricated surface?
It's an aluminum kettle popper, bare, no lubrication, with a crank that I turn manually while the beans roast.
Edited by Christian, 11 January 2010 - 10:58 AM.