[Homeroast] Behmor frustrations

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com
Thu Oct 21 14:17:39 CDT 2010


By the way, I use batch size a lot to determine roast times on my 
Probat sampe roaster, so it's not just with the Behmor that the batch 
variable is sometimes the easiest to change, and get a good result. 
-Tom

>I agree 100% on the batch size making a huge difference and actually
>find that's the easiest way to get the roast I want.
>Just ran my first batch of a Yirg WP and found the roast went a bit
>further than I want. I will add about .30 or .40 ounces to the next
>batch.
>I don't like doing things like opening the door to slow a roast.
>Outside temperatures, wind, humidity, etc. can vary so much as to
>really goof things up, IMO.
>Once I have found the profile and adjusted time with +/- option,
>varying the load weight seems the best option, FOR ME.
>
>One other thing I'll add to this discussion of the Behmor and trying
>to get the clarity of a roast to match what a professional, like miKe,
>with a fancy machine can get: we are always our worst critic. If you
>happen to be near a shop that does great roasts of high quality beans,
>and they can do certain beans better than anything you can duplicate
>at home, it might be best to let the pro be your source for that
>particular bean.
>There are plenty of beans a practiced home roaster can do such a fine
>job with; enjoy those at home and AMAZE your friends!
>
>cheers,
>
>Scott
>
>On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 12:52 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
><sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> wrote:
>>  Catching up on emails here, and didn't weigh in on this thread. Luckily,
>>  Chris is there with basically everything I would say! I think he covered all
>>  points. Definitely sounds like darker roast levels we are talking about
>>  here, plus adding in the "coast" factor in Behmor cooling, that is dark.
>>  Coffee choice matters too. I think acidity level and whether a coffee is
>>  "clean:" or more rustic and earthy are probably the key defining factors in
>>  taste. Have someone taste a Sumatra wet-hulled coffee next to a Guatemala
>>  like La Soledad, and you will learn a lot about taste very quickly. Batch
>>  size in the Behmors makes a huge difference with roast times and profile.
>>  Even 20 grams difference in batch is quite noticeable.  -T
>>
>>>  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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>>
>>  --
>>  -Tom
>>
>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>  "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
>>  Roasting
>>               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
>>             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
>>
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  Homeroast mailing list
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>> 
>>http://host.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>  Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :
>>  http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
>>
>
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-- 
-Tom

____________________________________________________________________________
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
____________________________________________________________________________
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com



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