[Homeroast] Behmor frustrations

Hank Perkins hankperkins at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 05:10:14 CDT 2010


Sorry. Work has been crazy. I am on the road today and will not be back home for a while. On my return I will clean the inside of the toaster and get it shiny. My specific issues are an inability to achieve a good dark roast. I have never gotten a good oily beans out of my Behmor.  I also have suffered from my roasts being uneven. We are not talking about a few unroasted beans here. IMHO one of the big problems I have with the Behmor now is drum speed.  My experience the only profiles that are useable are p1 and p3. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 20, 2010, at 4:42 PM, Yakster <yakster at gmail.com> wrote:

> Sorry I haven't been able to reply before today, it's been pretty busy
> lately.
> 
> Hank, I never quite got what your looking for in the roast or what you feel
> your missing.  Do you enjoy bright, fruity espresso or more mellow,
> chocolaty flavors?  You mentioned that you'd gotten a 14 oz roast into
> second crack for upwards of 1:10 or something to that effect, to me that
> seems pretty dark and I would expect this coffee to be dominated by roast
> flavors as opposed to the unique flavors of the particular bean.  Maybe I
> misunderstood.  Except for Liquid Amber and other blends that Tom would
> suggest a darker roast on, I almost always try and stop either just short of
> second crack or a few seconds in.  With the Behold, you're going to coast
> and the beans will continue to roast after you hit cool.
> 
> As others have stated, one of the easiest ways to adjust the performance of
> your roaster is to adjust your bean mass size. I used to roast 10 oz batches
> or 13 oz batches in the Behmor on the 1 pound setting.  Lately I've been
> pushing it closer to a full pound, but if your having trouble getting to
> where you want to be in a reasonable time, lowering the batch size is a
> great suggestion.  Also, get rid of any plug strips and extension cords and
> try and plug directly into an outlet close to the breaker box.  For me, I
> plug into the 120 V outlet behind my washer/dryer in the garage and ran a
> short, very heavy gauge extension cord to my bench.  it would be better
> without the cord, though.
> 
> Other tricks I have heard is making sure that the inside of the Behmor and
> the Chaff tray are clean and shiny.  Not only can a build-up on the side
> where the thermocouple prevent proper readings, but a shiny metal surface
> will reflect more heat back to the beans. I've even heard of some folks
> lining the front of the chaff tray with a sheet of aluminum foil either 1/3
> of the way up or all the way up to prevent heat loss through the door and
> also reflect back more heat into the beans.  Be careful with aluminum foil,
> I tried this and sucked it up into my shop vac when I tried to clean up the
> chaff.  Also, it can make slowing the roast during first crack more
> difficult, instead of opening the door, you may have to pull the chaff tray
> partially out to affect the cooling.  This is a trick I only tried once.  I
> keep my Behmor pretty clean with Simple Green, but I think I'll try and
> shine it up some more.  There's also been mention of Behmor bent metal mod.
> I got the directions for this by contacting Behmor Tech Support and they
> provided me the instructions.  When I went in to perform the mod, I found
> out it had already been done because I had purchased the Behmor as a refurb
> from Alchemist John.  This is probably worth checking into, though, and I
> would recommend contacting Behmor for the instructions for this procedure
> which can be undone if you choose.  One other thing you may want to check is
> to make sure that your afterburner is working.  If you turn down the lights
> and start the cool cycle (no need to be roasting for this test) you should
> see an orange glow come from the ceiling of the Behmor roasting chamber.  If
> you don't the afterburner may need to be repaired or replaced.  I've had the
> wire break due to nicks where the insulation was stripped off and have fixed
> this by re-crimping into the circle lug.  I've also replaced the afterburner
> as well.  If you have a problem, contact Behmor technical support and they
> can give you more information.
> 
> Regarding pre-heating (what I call running the Behmor without beans) versus
> pre-roasting (what I call running the Behmor with beans for up to two
> minutes then restarting), I used to pre-roast for two minutes to try and
> accomplish two things, push out the time when the afterburner kicks in and
> increases the airflow by two minutes to increase the heat ramp and extend
> the amount of roast time.  I've actually stopped pre-roasting in favor of
> pre-heating.  Since I roast in the garage with California weather (not
> extreme, but we have seasonal changes) pre-heating the Behmor with my Chaff
> tray for a minute helps me even out my profile differences between summer
> and winter and also gives me a drop-in temp of about 200 degrees.  Get a
> pair of safety gloves like Ove Gloves to protect your hands.
> 
> Beyond these suggestions, there's more extreme mods and techniques for the
> extreme roaster such as replacing the motor with a faster one, de-coupling
> the heating elements form the control board and running fully manual, and
> feeding your Behmor or at least your heating elements from a variac to
> ensure that you have enough voltage for the heat.  I haven't gone down this
> path and I'm not sure that I will any time soon, but I enjoy hearing about
> these extreme adventures in roasting from others.  I'm pretty happy with the
> results that I get day in and day out from y Behmor.
> 
> -Chris
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