[Homeroast] Pre-heating empty roaster vs. roaster loaded with beans - Behmor related - an honest question

Yakster yakster at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 12:00:33 CST 2010

So, I use the terms pre-heat and pre-roast, pre-heat when you're not using
beans and pre-roast when you have beans.

Pre-heat:  I see this as a way of emulating the drop in temperature that
other drum roasters use (like hottop and pro roasters).  They don't load
beans into a cold roaster, they have the roaster at a certain temp and drop
in the beans.  I also see this as a way of smoothing out the seasonal
variations of roasting year-round in a garage so that my roasts in July are
not so different from my January roasts.  I'm sold on this method now.  I
pre-heat for 1 - 2 minutes (after 2 minutes, you risk tripping the safety
feature) and drop in at about 200 F.

Pre-roast:  This is a way of extending the roast time and the only way to
make the first leg of a profile longer.  You can use this if you're roasting
larger batches and need more time to first crack, or you can use this to
fine-tune the P2 temp drop of the second leg.  I used to do this, but now
I've dropped my bean load down to 300 g so that my time to first is much
shorter and I don't need this anymore.  I think it's brought out more punch
(acidity, flavor) and reduced flatness you can get in a longer roast.

My process these days is to cull the beans, do a pre-heat with my old-style
chaff tray in, then with Ove Gloves on pull out the chaff tray with one hand
and shove in the loaded drum with the other, shut the door and go.  I've
been doing mostly P1 roasts these days and modulating the temperature with
the door when I hit first crack to simulate sort of a P2 profile, to slow
the cracks down and extend the roast development time.  When I finish the
roast, I'll cool usually with the door open and when the roaster is cool
enough I'll stop the Behmor and pull the drum and dump the beans into my
bean cooler which is a stainless steel steaming pan with holes in the bottom
inside a plastic storage container attached to my shop vac to pull cool air
through the beans.  I shut the door of the Behmor and restart the cool
cycle. The Behmor is good at cooling the beans down to a couple hundred
degrees, but beyond that it takes a while to get to room temp, so I let the
Behmor start the job and then I quickly finish it.  Again, wear the Ove
Gloves to prevent burns.

Since I've lowered my bean mass to 300 g (10.5 oz) and started using the
external bean cooler, I've really been happier with my roasts.  I've been
buying more quality beans at Sweet Marias for the Chemex and espresso.


On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 9:39 AM, Ira <ira at extrasensory.com> wrote:

> At 08:31 AM 12/2/2010, you wrote:
>> Might be something to play around with the behmor, see if you can run a
>> full roast, minus the cool down, NOT get burned, load it and go...i'm just
>> thinking out loud now.Play around, see what happens.
> The Behmor has a safety feature that makes sure you can't start a roast
> when the interior temperature is above some number.  I don't remember what
> it is, but I've hit it with an accidental 2.5 minute pre-heat. Either you
> wait till it cools enough or run for an ice cube to cool down the sensor.
> Ira
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