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My Behmor Experiences Over Past Year
erikg
I’ve been asked by a few home roasters to share my Behmor roast experiences, so here it goes…

I started home roasting a year ago using a Behmor. There is a lot of great information out there already to get the most of out the Behmor, so what I share below won’t be any new revelation. With over 200 roasts under my belt, I feel I have a pretty good handle on getting consistently good roasts that rarely disappoint in the cup. That doesn’t stop me from continuing to make adjustments to refine my technique. I have not made any mods (sorry Ciel) so I use a lot of workarounds along with my senses to achieve great roasted coffee.

I roast in my attached garage and have a gas furnace with plenty of btu’s to get the room temperature up to 70F during the cold winter months here in Chicago. I start by raising the front end of the Behmor with a 2x4 and load in 200-225 grams of green coffee using the P1 1lb setting so that I don’t run out of time at the end. The 2x4 shifts the bean load closer to the quartz heating elements to help the beans get to the drying stage temps quicker. I remove the 2x4 before the beans turn yellow, then after yellow put the 2x4 back into place and remove it again at the first snaps of FC.

After FC commences, I do the open door trick several times usually for 15-30 secs to try and stretch out the roast. I typically get to about 2 ½ mins after the start of FC and then hit the cool button. After another 30 secs I open the door all the way and place a big box fan in front of the open door and put the fan on the highest setting to help cool the beans down quicker. Otherwise the beans would continue to roast for a couple more minutes.

I usually target a City or City + roast depending on the bean and what SM recommends. I don’t like the taste beyond Full City. I drink brewed coffee and don’t roast for espresso.
RevRoaster
I love the 2x4 trick! I'll have to try that. I've had issues on P2 with some an uneven roasting at 1/2# and full pound, and wonder if that may help with there too. Out of curiosity though, how do you prevent a shower of chaff when you put the fan in front?

Any idea how many amps you're running off too? Until I had a dedicated 20amp circuit for roasting, the breaker would pop if I had my cuisinart brewer and anything else on at the same time. My wife would love to have me move my roaster elsewhere, but I'm curious what the recommend amperage is for the Behmor.
erikg
RevRoaster, I haven't had a lot of luck with accurately timing the power drop in the 2nd leg at the onset of 1C using P2 so I exclusively use P1 for all beans except P3 for Sumatrans, Brazilians and the occasional Decaf beans.

In my garage the Behmor is hooked up to a 15 amp circuit. The only other device using that same circuit is a small chest freezer which is always on. I have never had the breaker pop.

I enjoy the chaff shower as it really adds to the garage decor...j/k I don't avoid it but just vacuum it up after each roast which is fairly quick to do.

Let me know if the 2x4 trick helps...
MassWineGuy
I'm definitely trying a 2x4. I was having difficulty sometimes even reaching first crack. Last week I thoroughly cleaned the roasting chamber with the green stuff undiluted. Nearly spotless. Much better results. Plus, I'm now lining the bottom and the chaff tray with foil.
RevRoaster
Tried your trick to prop it up...and man! what a difference! After poppin the breaker every time I roasted, we were blessed to have a sympathetic electrician in our community help get a dedicated 20amp circuit set up for the roaster. Well...it was going to be a general use circuit...past tense Grin

The prop trick definitely helped even out the roast. Thanks for the tip!

@MassWineGuy I've had the same thought, but hesitate to because of the temp sensor and the reflector factor. We used foil to make "reflector ovens" when I camped as a kid, so I'm imagining a similar effect here. let us know how it goes, may copy it too!
sonnyhad
I've been using the Behmor1600 ever since they first came out, before that it was an alpen roast, popcorn popper and fresh roast so its been a number of years well over 15 I think, been pretty much on my own for most of it, and have had some great roasts, some pretty good ones and some not so pretty good ones. Seems like when the Behmor first came out people were very happy with it. Not so much any more, whats everyone using now for their own roasting? Is there something thats more consistant and predictable? For a 1lb roaster?
John Despres
Well, sonnyhad, I think this answers my PM question.

I think consistency is the art pf the operator, not the appliance. I've had great luck with a Fresh Roast 8, a Gene Cafe and now I'm learning the Quest M3.

I don't know of any 1 pound home machines, really, besides the Behmor.

JD
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
MichaelRpdx

Quote

MassWineGuy wrote:

I'm definitely trying a 2x4. I was having difficulty sometimes even reaching first crack. Last week I thoroughly cleaned the roasting chamber with the green stuff undiluted. Nearly spotless. Much better results. Plus, I'm now lining the bottom and the chaff tray with foil.

Have you cleaned the right side fan? My Behmor, a first version model in use since 2008 (? maybe 2007) was getting slower and slower. A cleaning of the fan has restored its performance.
hoosier21
I've had my Behmor for a year and am very pleased with it! A couple weeks ago the clasp on the roasting cylinder broke off. I sent Behmor a note to see where I could get a new one. They responded by saying a new will be in the mail Monday morning, no charge. That is excellent customer service. If the need for another roaster comes up, I'll be buying another Behmor. The roasts come out great, I have no trouble getting full city to a french roast.
allenb
It's good to hear that Behmor is giving great customer service.

I've had mine since Christmas 2012 and have used it quite a bit with no issues. I need to open it up and do a thorough cleaning.

I've had the opportunity to do many comparisons in roast quality between my fluidbed, gas fired drum roaster and the Behmor and with most coffees the Behmor is able to produce comparable and sometimes superior results.

It's fun to run each coffee I buy through all three of my roasters to see if one of them has an edge over the other two for that particular bean. I notice nuanced differences but never big ones.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
MichaelRpdx

Quote

allenb wrote:
I've had the opportunity to do many comparisons in roast quality between my fluidbed, gas fired drum roaster and the Behmor and with most coffees the Behmor is able to produce comparable and sometimes superior results.

Which Behmor profiles do you use? Full or reduced weight loadings?
Portland, Oregon roasting with Popper to start; Behmor 2007 - 2013; Hottop 2014 - now,
What to do with TC4 parts now that I have Hottop 2k+ ??
allenb
After much experimentation with the "P" settings I found my best results using P1, program A and weight setting at 1 lb. I do the tilt back method using a 2" block up till first snips of first crack then remove for rest of roast. I also crack the door an inch or so after around 20 seconds into 1C for around 30 seconds, and once again after 1 1/2 minutes of 1C to extend 1C for at least 2 1/2 to 3 minutes till end of roast.

I typically do 8 oz batches but have good results doing 4 and 6 oz batches as well using the same techniques. Obviously the smaller loads go a little quicker but seem to come out equally well and sometimes cup better. I've tried larger than 8 oz batches but did not like the outcome.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
IMAWriter
Just wondering if "propping up" the front of the roaster might put a little extra strain on the motor?

FWIW I've got nearly 500 roasts on my 1600.
I assume you folks have heard there is a Behmor 1600 "Plus" on the horizon?
The cool part is the control board will be available separately as well for those who already have a 1600. It will make the older 1600 like the new one!
Rob J
MassWineGuy
Lately I've taken to preheating my beans in the microwave for about 90 seconds or so on high. This gets them warm and humid, and I really believe it helps.

You all know that Behmor has developed an upgraded circuit board that will enable you to control the fan speed and temperature, as well as time, right? It should sell for around $75 and be available in a few weeks.
Foxes
I've been using a Behmor since 2008. I also roast on P1 one pound and put in slightly less than a pound of beans. It roasts reasonably dark beans. I don't have to add time beyond the preset one, usually. I roast outdoors when I can. It is usually 70 degrees. I live in Central Florida. Warm and humid is the norm! I have no idea what else (if anything) is on the circuit. It is on a wall outside a workshop. I've never popped a breaker. If weather bad, I run it in the guest bath with doors closed and a window open. I love my roaster. I do not monitor my roasts. Just do one setting. I turn off roaster to let it cool between consecutive roasts. I roast one to three pounds (up to three consecutive roasts) at a time. I'll have to try to green stuff to clean it. Interesting about the new circuit board.
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