StovePop VKP stainless steel popper

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by Tampajose »

I have good results with my stovetop roaster, not even one burnt bean :D I use a lodge cast iron griddle as a diffuser. Takes about 25 minutes of steady turning as the diffuser does slow things down. not having good results without the diffuser. I am using a high BTU kitchen range and upgraded to a prem overhead ventilator. Am I weird or what? no desire to upgrade to another roaster. Anyone else out there liking the popper roasting? its heavy duty steel with a cable type agitator drive. Bought it at Sweet Marias. Thank you.

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#2: Post by mckolit »

I used one for a bit. I tried using a power drill to power it but never worked out for me. Never roasted inside though. Way too much smoke. I used the side burner on my bbq grill. Not high powered at all so never had to use a diffuser or anything. I controlled heat just by lifting the popper off the grill for a few seconds.

Tampajose (original poster)

#3: Post by Tampajose (original poster) »

The StovePop is alot easier to turn than the less expensive aluminum poppers. No gears between the handle and the agitator, it uses a flexible cable routed from handle to agitator drive. sure, it can be tedious? but I am a patient man :D thanks for your post.

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#4: Post by mckolit »

Definitely hands on. And after roasting I'd cool by using strainers. I'd drop the beans from one strainer to the other which was great for clearing the chaff.
With the gearless drive, I think I would've had success with the hand drill power as the gears would wear down.


#5: Post by upoverandbrew »

Yup, I use one for roasting as well, and have enjoyed it. I've had mine for about three years, after replacing an aluminum Whirly Pop that made it about a year before I ran into gear issues. It's very manual, but I like the results I get for the cost and the capacity, for sure. What I've learned in that time includes:

1) Having a good temperature sense can help with consistency, and (with using sight/sound/smell as guides) has helped my roasts. When I ordered mine from Sweet Maria's, I also got a thermometer with it, and drilled a hole in the lid to fit. Now I know what the inside air temp is (at least at where the probe is), and use that as a guide to control the heat level. I typically get somewhat consistent temperatures for when I hit first crack, so between that and the start temp, I feel like I have a handle on a consistent routine, and have been enjoying the results.

2) I tend to get more even results with 12 oz of green beans than I do with a full pound, but both will roast just fine. Admittedly, I'm not expecting perfection with this, so that doesn't bother me a ton, so long as the results are enjoyable. That said, this capacity is what makes the jump to the $300-600 roaster class a bit unlikely for me -- I don't know of one that currently matches this capacity in that range.

3) The best thing I've done for chaff control and bean cooling was get a bean cooler, though I used some combination of strainers/sheet pans/frigid outside temperatures (when applicable) for years until I finally got one. I ended up getting one, but there's also a bunch of DIY versions that can work well as well -- though I'll note that I tried one for a bit, and the vaccum in question still smells like roasted coffee every time we use it.

Will I someday switch to something different? Possibly (the idea of something like the Allio Bullet is enticing now that I have the potential space for it, if not the wallet capacity), but as I mentioned above, the capacity this gets is fine for my needs, and going lower would feel like a downgrade. If my VKP happened to break tomorrow, I'd either try to fix it, or just get another one.
LMWDP #699

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#6: Post by mckolit »

For $300 - $600 a behmor is in your range. They can easily do 12 ounce batches.

Tampajose (original poster)

#7: Post by Tampajose (original poster) »

I roast one pound batches, takes quite awhile, 25" but worth it. no burnt beans at all with the diffuser. I like tradition and this is pretty close to old school roasting. compared to the top roasters in town I think I have good results.....this is Just Boise though :wink: