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Coffee Roasting Methods Discussion

I have done a few roasts with a hot air popcorn popper with decent results - until it quit working. I have been thinking of purchasing the Behmor 1600+ from amazon. It currently sells for $368. I was thinking of getting the 4 year Protection Plan for $40. Thoughts?
 
There's not much in that price range that will compete with it.

They do have their shortcomings but for the money they provide decent results
 
I have the regular Behmor 1600 which is still going strong. I have read reports of some people having issues with later production models. The 1600+ offers more control and and I think it overcomes some of the issues with those later 1600 models in that at worse case you can manually control the roast, meaning you have control when to increase the heat or stop the roast regardless of what any environmental sensor might say.

I generally opt out of any long term protection plan but I do think there is a higher probably of a roaster failure than say a new flat screen TV, so the protection may be worthwhile. However it is 10% of the purchase price and if parts are available such as the drum, heating element, control panel, then you may want to take your chances...
 
I generally opt out of any long term protection plan but I do think there is a higher probably of a roaster failure than say a new flat screen TV, so the protection may be worthwhile. However it is 10% of the purchase price and if parts are available such as the drum, heating element, control panel, then you may want to take your chances...
I always opt out of long term protection plans, but in this case, I think it might be a good idea. If anything needs repairing/replacing in 4 years, they will pay to have it shipped both ways and will pay for the repair or replacement of the part. Not sure how much some of these parts are, but I would think that having to replace even one part would probably pay for the cost of the plan.
 

Chef Glenn

Contributor
I always opt out of long term protection plans, but in this case, I think it might be a good idea. If anything needs repairing/replacing in 4 years, they will pay to have it shipped both ways and will pay for the repair or replacement of the part. Not sure how much some of these parts are, but I would think that having to replace even one part would probably pay for the cost of the plan.
Morning Fellow Coffee People,

I still use my old Behmor occasionally, works ok for sample roasting. I get 6oz samples from my coffee importer and set the Behmor on 8oz roast and just monitor it, stopping the roast when I need to. In fact some folks just figure on extra amount since the older Behmors tend to roast lighter than one wishes. I have a 1# Sono for roasting personal consumption and do my "roasting for others" in a 6# R K Drum each batch yields approx. 8ea 10oz bags.

Glenn
 
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Today I roasted 14oz of Vietnamese robusta beans (cost less than $8 per kg in Vietnam, a friend brought me) and this coffee is just great!
 
I could roast into 2nd crack with my Behmor 1600 but never do so on purpose. I usually target "Full City" and sometimes try to push it close and if I start to hear a few beans go snap then immediately hit the cool down button. As you may know it is difficult/tricky to stop the roast at some exact point with a Behmor since it dumps heat more slowly than roasters which eject the beans for cool down.

I have found that the Behmor is capable of reaching well into 2nd crack by running with a lighter load of coffee and preheating the roaster. Meaning instead of loading 16 oz, use only 15.2 or 15.5 ounces depending on other conditions.
 
I have found that the Behmor is capable of reaching well into 2nd crack by running with a lighter load of coffee and preheating the roaster.
I was asking because I am considering purchasing one and I like the darker roasts but have been told that Behmor does not recommend their roaster for darker roasts.
 
The problem with the Behmor is that you must "anticipate" the end of your roast as the cool down happens within the roasting chamber and takes considerably longer than if the beans were out in the open.

Once you get used to how it operates you should be able to take roasts darker then they "recommend"

I think that once you start roasting your own beans, you will move away from dark roasted coffee and enter the world of subtle flavor nuances that lighter roasts provide.

I roast my espresso blends to dark levels but this is a dedicated blend for espresso which consists of robusta Brazilian, central African (Burundi), and southern Mexico coffees. Espresso is different than a dark roasted single origin as I am after "the taste" of European espresso, not just dark roasted coffee. I should say that I only roast espresso in my commercial roaster, never in my Hottop or Behmor, though the Hottop is better suited for roasting dark as you can dump the beans from the roasting chamber onto a cooling tray and if you have not roasted TOO dark, so you don't get a flash-over fire from the hot beans when they hit the air.

If you want to roast espresso in a Behmor, I would suggest that you purchase an espresso blend of green coffee from a reputable supplier and work with that rather than trying to take all roasts past city +

A few weeks ago on a coffee forum a user posted this photo of what happened. Not sure how (more than likely user inattention) but this shows what can happen when things go south in a home coffee roaster. Commercial roasters are built to withstand a fire without sustaining damage.


.
 
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Chef Glenn

Contributor
The problem with the Behmor is that you must "anticipate" the end of your roast as the cool down happens within the roasting chamber and takes considerably longer than if the beans were out in the open.

Once you get used to how it operates you should be able to take roasts darker then they "recommend"

I think that once you start roasting your own beans, you will move away from dark roasted coffee and enter the world of subtitle flavor nuances that lighter roasts provide.

I roast my espresso blends to dark levels but this is a dedicated blend for espresso which consists of robusta Brazilian, central African (Brundi), and southern Mexico coffees. Espresso is different than a dark roasted single origin as I am after "the taste" of European espresso, not just dark roasted coffee. I should say that I only roast espresso in my commercial roaster, never in my Hottop or Behmor, though the Hottop is better suited for roasting dark as you can dump the beans from the roasting chamber onto a cooling tray and if you have not roasted TOO dark, so you don't get a flash-over fire from the hot beans when they hit the air.

If you want to roast espresso in a Behmor, I would suggest that you purchase an espresso blend of green coffee from a reputable supplier and work with that rather than trying to take all roasts past city +

A few weeks ago on a coffee forum a user posted this photo of what happened. Not sure how (more than likely user inattention) but this shows what can happen when things go south in a home coffee roaster. Commercial roasters are built to withstand a fire without sustaining damage.


.
WOW! A picture is definitely worth a thousand words in THIS case. I must remember to remain close no notter which roaster I'm using.
I find if I accidently come close to "pooching" a roast, (read, take it too dark) I can often minimize the damage by opening door of Behmor, aiming a small fan right at it as it is in cool down stage, really accelerates the cooling time.
Obviously can't "bring back" over roasted beans, but sure helps if they are on the edge. Really cools em down quicker.

Happy roasting!
 
I find if I accidently come close to "pooching" a roast, (read, take it too dark) I can often minimize the damage by opening door of Behmor, aiming a small fan right at it as it is in cool down stage, really accelerates the cooling time.
I have a pair of forge/welding gauntlets.

I just reach in and take the screaming hot basket out and place it over a floor fan to cool.

I would not recommend this to a new Behmor user, or to anyone...... just forget I mentioned this :hand:
 
I think that once you start roasting your own beans, you will move away from dark roasted coffee and enter the world of subtle flavor nuances that lighter roasts provide.
So, I had a feeling that someone would go there and I appreciate your insight. Do you think that this is the experience many coffee lovers have when they start roasting?
 
I find that most dark roasted coffees taste the same. There are a few exceptions like the chocolate that blooms in a good Brazilian once it hits city + but for the most part, one overly dark roasted bean taste almost like all the rest to me.

With that experience I find there is little point in purchasing a natural processed Ethiopian at a premium price when I can get a cheap commercial Brazilian or Colombian for half to one quarter the price and end up with the same flavor in my cup.

To me, the point of home roasting is the wonderful difference in taste between all of the coffees out there.

Most people think all coffee taste the same as all they have experienced is grocery store, fast-food/convenience store, or restaurant coffee, most of which is very old and lost most of its flavor long before your cup was brewed.

Most commercial coffee is roasted and blended so that it taste the same, week after week, year after year. Sort of like a Big Mac. You can go to any McDonald's, order a Big Mac, and it will taste the same as every other one around the globe. Commercial coffee runs on this same philosophy. They want you to come back to the store and grab their brand off the shelf every time you shop because you know what it will taste like.

The flavor of coffee is one of the few that have never been duplicated successfully/commercially in an artificial additive. When you get "coffee flavored" anything, look at the ingredients list, coffee will be one of them, not artificial coffee flavor as that does not exist and those that do, are not very coffee like at all.

There are 1,500 +/- different flavor notes in coffee.

https://www.quora.com/Where-do-coffee-beans-get-their-flavor-notes
 
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@LabGuy if you really like coffee and have the space to roast and a little spare time every few weeks then I feel confident that you will find it a positive experience. You can do your own math as to how long it will take for a given roaster to "pay for itself" and break even on the purchase, but beyond the bare economics you get to experiment with different origins and different roast levels while enjoying freshly roasted beans which can be difficult to find. So you may be able to justify it on both an purely economic level as well as the "priceless" experiential level.

Behmor roasting is pretty easy in that I can start a roast and walk away for 12-14 minutes and go do something else without paying attention to it; like unloading the dishwasher, putting away the clothes, starting laundry, etc. Any short but mindless task that does not distract too much from the roasting process. I have had one small chaff fire in mine due to inattention but it did not get out of hand. Beside the fire hazard it is essential to be next to the roaster as it enters 1st crack in order for you to target the final roast level.
 

Chef Glenn

Contributor
Absolutely!! What HE said! Get that basket OUT of there while being very very careful, it's HOT!

Talk about cooling coffee beans quickly, my RK Drum cooler just went electrically "wacky", lots of short circuit like flashes and not operating vane, can't do any 6# roasts till fixed. Will have to do smaller amounts and dig out the old floor fan/ wooden screened tray to use in meantime.
 

Chef Glenn

Contributor
I have a pair of forge/welding gauntlets.

I just reach in and take the screaming hot basket out and place it over a floor fan to cool.

I would not recommend this to a new Behmor user, or to anyone...... just forget I mentioned this :hand:
I find that most dark roasted coffees taste the same. There are a few exceptions like the chocolate that blooms in a good Brazilian once it hits city + but for the most part, one overly dark roasted bean taste almost like all the rest to me.

With that experience I find there is little point in purchasing a natural processed Ethiopian at a premium price when I can get a cheap commercial Brazilian or Colombian for half to one quarter the price and end up with the same flavor in my cup.

To me, the point of home roasting is the wonderful difference in taste between all of the coffees out there.

Most people think all coffee taste the same as all they have experienced is grocery store, fast-food/convenience store, or restaurant coffee, most of which is very old and lost most of its flavor long before your cup was brewed.

Most commercial coffee is roasted and blended so that it taste the same, week after week, year after year. Sort of like a Big Mac. You can go to any McDonald's, order a Big Mac, and it will taste the same as every other one around the globe. Commercial coffee runs on this same philosophy. They want you to come back to the store and grab their brand off the shelf every time you shop because you know what it will taste like.

The flavor of coffee is one of the few that have never been duplicated successfully/commercially in an artificial additive. When you get "coffee flavored" anything, look at the ingredients list, coffee will be one of them, not artificial coffee flavor as that does not exist and those that do, are not very coffee like at all.

There are 1,500 +/- different flavor notes in coffee.

https://www.quora.com/Where-do-coffee-beans-get-their-flavor-notes
 
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