HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Why I'd rather not roast 1/2 lb. at a 1 lb. setting (2 msgs / 102 lines)
1) From: Sandy Andina
On May 19, 2008, at 11:07 AM, webviking6 wrote:
<Snip>
Well, today I DID have my first coffee fire (I assume it was a fire  
though I did not see flames).  Until recently, I had been content to  
roast 1 lb. (or very slightly smaller) batches at the 1 lb. setting  
and pick a profile for bean type, adding time as needed.  The roasts  
tended to be on the light side, but definitely all the way through  
first crack and good-tasting (per the "bean munch"). Occasionally  
(mostly when roasting for espresso or beans recommended "FC+" and  
darker) I needed to repeat the roast and hit Cool  partway through  
when I was satisfied with color and aroma.  But then I got to reading  
all the latest Behmor posts--especially the "P2 is your friend"  
thread, and figures I would go with the majority here and roast  
batches no larger than 1/2 lb., and use the 1 lb. setting.
I should have taken last month as a warning---I was doing the dishes  
(yeah, I know), smelled smoke and hit Cool on a batch of the last of  
my Jacu Bird Coffee. Ended up with French roast--salvageable as a mix- 
in for my husband's FC Sumatra (and he complimented me), but a very  
inefficient use of such a costly bean.  Today, after a very hectic  
weekend (travel to & from Detroit, moving my father-in-law in here  
from NYC, performing Sat., and Gordy's graduation yesterday), I had a  
few moments to breathe while my housekeeper took Dad to the bank. It  
was time to roast some more espresso, so I grabbed the bag of Monkey,  
weighed it and found it had 420gm in it. Was going to roast the whole  
thing but decided to divide it and do two 210gm batches on 1 lb. P2 -- 
the screen read "20:00."  Hit Start, and ran to the bathroom, where I  
got stuck trying to stop the toilet tank from running on after I  
flushed.
All of a sudden Gordy knocked on the closed bathroom door and said,  
"Uh, Mom, something's wrong with your coffee--there's smoke all over  
the kitchen!"  I told him to hit Cool immediately. He replied, "Tried,  
but the readout says Err 3--I unplugged it." Ran into the kitchen and  
opened the windows and screen door, hit the fans, and watched smoke  
pour out the vents of the Behmor. Smoke had begun to fill the  
downstairs--we grabbed the marble board the Behmor sat on and hauled  
it out to the metal table on the deck, where I opened the roaster door  
and ran back inside to de-smoke the house.  (I was gratified to learn  
that the upstairs smoke detector works beautifully, despite my having  
forgotten to change the battery when we switched to Daylight Saving  
Time).  Opened every window with a screen on it that wasn't painted  
shut, and opened a few others just enough to let the smoke out without  
the cats escaping.  Turned on all the A/Cs and ceiling fans except the  
one in Dad's room (which we deliberately kept shut to keep the smoke  
out. Once the smoke ceased to be visible, used up half a can of Lysol  
spray and hit the upholstery and drapes with Febreze.  Went back out  
to the deck (it looked like rain and I didn't want to lose the Behmor  
for sure), confirmed the Behmor was cool, and dumped out the beans  
(half on to a bald patch of soil in the gangway where nothing grows,  
the other half into the gas grill for use as charcoal pellets.  The  
smoke smell had gone from acrid to irritating back to a mild hint of  
campfire/BBQ and finally faint traces of having roasted coffee beans.   
Put a pot of cinnamon, allspice and orange peel on the stove to simmer.
Dad and my housekeeper came back in and nobody said a thing about the  
smell.  (Gordy had kept the door to his room closed, and he's a smoker  
anyway, so he just retreated back in and took a nap. Cleaned out the  
Behmor, chaff collector and drum, plugged it in, and hit Light.  The  
light went on. Whew!
Will never leave the room during a roast again--and will not futz with  
roast settings.  Will roast a pound at 1 lb. and 1/2 lb. at 1/2 lb.   
Would rather repeat a roast than repeat this experience.
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2) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
The '1/2 Lb at 1 Lb' on the Behmor is definitely dicey ... you need 
to monitor it like a hawk. I also found that, if you roast on a 
Behmor in a dark room you get quite a fireworks show from the bit of 
chaff that smolders. In other words, turn up the lights all the way 
and you'll never have a fire!
uh, not...
Glad to hear you didn't get a real fire going because even 1/2 Lb of 
coffee can create a LOT of smoke ... not the kind people so casually 
forgive you for either...
Tom
<Snip>
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com
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