[Homeroast] Behmor 1600-Plus

Mike Davis mldavis2 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 19 13:14:18 CDT 2014

In answer to Luigi's post, I went from an iRoast2 to a Behmor 1600 and 
just yesterday installed the new panel to upgrade that one year old 
roaster to a 1600-Plus.  My comments on the conversion are posted in the 
Sweet Maria's forum under the Behmor section if anyone is interested in 
how that went.

My iRoast2 served me well for about five years, and then I sold it to a 
friend who wanted to start home roasting and I chose the Behmor as a 
replacement.  The new 1600-Plus panel adds temperature readings, drum 
speed control, and heating element control during the roast.  It does 
NOT change or increase roasting times from the regular 1600 model.  The 
high speed drum setting keeps the beans higher in the back of the cage, 
in closer proximity to the heating elements, and should effectively 
increase the amount of heat exposure and shorten roast times a bit.   
There have been many posts regarding the Behmor timing options so I 
won't dig those back out for discussion.  Here's my view after using the 
1600 for a year:

Although Behmor calls the roaster a 1 lb. roaster, it is also designed 
(I presume for safety purposes) to keep 1# roasts from going all the way 
to Vienna stage or beyond.  So if you are roasting a "normal" City or 
City++ range, it will roast 1# very nicely.  What most dark roasters do 
(I don't roast my beans that far, normally) is to run a pre-heat cycle 
of about 1:45 before starting the normal roast setting.  Then they will 
use the 1# setting but use perhaps 3/4#  or even 7/8# of beans, since it 
is the bean mass that absorbs the heat and slows the roast a bit.  You 
can roast 3/4# of beans to the point of ignition if you push them to the 
end with maximum time settings, so dark roasts are only an issue if you 
are trying to push a full 1# beyond City++.  If you roast 3/4# at a time 
and you'll have no problem whatsoever, and if you are coming from the 
SR500, I suspect you aren't roasting large batches.

Behmor cautions that you can't just set the roaster and let it run the 
cycle.  On the new 1600-Plus model, the timer will begin blinking at 75% 
completion of the roast cycle time and you must press "Start" within 30 
seconds to resume the roast cycle or the roaster will stop and begin 
cooling.  This is an added "safety feature" to keep you from walking 
away and forgetting it that may seem a bit annoying, but shouldn't be a 
problem for anyone if you stop and think about it.  I roast a lot of 
1/2# batches on a 1# P3 C setting and always manually stop the roast 
when it reaches my desired end point to prevent over-roasting.

I did find that you must rely less on the visual appearance of the roast 
and more on the cracks (easy to hear with the quite Behmor) and the time 
from the beginning of first crack (1C), so it takes a bit of adjustment 
to using an air roaster.

Feel free to e-mail me directly if you have specific questions.

Mike Davis

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