[Homeroast] Behmor 1600 questions

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com
Tue Dec 20 12:39:06 CST 2011

>>  Also, as part of my roasting process. I am trying to extend the 
>>time between first and second crack as long as possible. Based on 
>>information I've read before, I usually keep the door open a crack 
>>once i go into first crack. But sometimes I'm not really sure when 
>>first crack starts. Is the first faint crack that I hear or is the 
>>first real snap. Any thoughts?
>I've had that problem sometimes with beans, especially decaf beans. 
>Smell is a great clue, and color (again, not for decaf beans) can 
>help also. Tom's pictorial guide to stages of a roast will at least 
>get you in the ballpark, but I as often as not go by when the green, 
>grassy smell is leaving the beans. There's a time when that smell is 
>gone, but before you start to smell something more akin to smoke 
>(you'll also see smoke start to come out of the afterburner). When 
>the smoky smell just starts, second crack isn't too far away (ymmv, 
>though). I'll also sometimes let a couple of beans sit in the tray 
>of the heat shield/chaff collector. Those tend to roast more quickly 
>than the ones in the drum, so they can be your canaries.
>The Behmor is a great roaster, but sometimes you're using your Jedi 
>powers to get a good roast out of it. It's not a science (too many 
>variables), and I've made my peace with that in return for the large 
>roasting capacity.

That's right - we haven't really discussed the appropriate use of The 
Force to roast in a Behmor! Well, definitely visibility of the coffee 
is not a strong suit of the Behmor, and with decaf it is especially 
tricky. I find that being able to hear the cracks really depends on 
the environment too- ambient noise and such. And some coffees just 
have better audible cracks than others. Then again, dried-out old 
coffee tends to crack very loudly, so maybe a loud crack sound is not 
always a good thing. There was an old patent for an air roaster that 
actually had a microphone in the roast chamber! It seemed like a 
ridiculous feature, but one starts to wonder if it is feasible at 
all. (???)
Sweet Maria's Coffee  -  Oakland, California  -  http://www.sweetmarias.com

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