[Homeroast] My new Behmor

Yakster yakster at gmail.com
Thu May 5 13:20:26 CDT 2011

I like to emphasize the fruity acids in my roasts and for that I find that
batch size does matter.  I recently scaled back to roasting 250 G batches
(8.8 oz) after comparing a 300 g Ethiopia Jimma with a 250 G Ethiopia Jimma
roast and finding I much preferred the 250 G roast.  I roast on a 1# P1
profile at this load size.  When I roast decaf, I find that I can roast a
much larger batch, up to 1#, but as I'm usually roasting decaf for others
and at a darker roast, I haven't really dialed in the roast much.  Roasts
for espresso could also take a larger load.

I've been pre-heating my Behmor with just the Chaff tray in until my
thermocouple near the heater reads 200 F.  I'll then stop the roaster, don
the Ove Goves for safety and quickly pull the chaff tray and put in the drum
with the greens in and start a P1 roast.  I could probably take it a little
higher, but there's a temperature limit in the Behmor that when you pass it
won't allow you to start the roaster if the temperature is too high.  I feel
that pre-heating the roaster along with a small batch size shortens the
drying time and improves the roast.

I used to play with calculating the P2 power drop to coincide with first
crack, but now I door surf the roast.  When first crack really starts (not
just a few outliers), I'll crack the door about an inch to keep first from
getting away from me.  I watch the temperature readout on RoasterThing and I
can simulate what I observed with a P2 roast by opening the door more, but
mainly you want to listen to the cracks and keep first crack going, but not
going too fast.  I usually stop my roasts at City Plus or sometimes Full
City for an espresso roast.

Another tweak I use is that I hit cool and allow the Behmor to take the
beans down in temp, sometimes with the door open to aid the cooling (the
Behmor is good at the initial cooling) but after a couple minutes I'll stop
the cool cycle briefly to dump the beans in my external cooler and restart
the cool cycle to cool down the roaster.  The Behmor has a hard time cooling
the beans down to room temp in four minutes because of the residual heat in
the roaster so I cool my beans in a metal steaming basket insert that is in
a storage cylinder connected to a shop vac to draw air down through the
beans.  It also allows me to stir the beans by hand which helps to loosen
and eliminate much of the chaff.

By going with a smaller batch size, the roast is finished more quickly (less
then 15 minutes) which allows me to roast more then one origin a week and
have a variety of coffee.


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