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Topic: Looong first-crack times on the Behmor (12 msgs / 361 lines)
1) From: Lindsay Murphy
About three weeks ago, I took the plunge and upgraded from my Poppery
rig to a Behmor.  Since then I've been playing with it, trying to get
the feel for how it roasts and how to get the best out of the machine.
I cannot for the life of me figure out why it takes the Behmor 15
minutes or more to hit first crack, and why all my roasts are either
coming out baked or fried.
As an example, this afternoon I roasted two half-pound batches of
Guatemala Finca La Florencia.  The first batch was run on 1 lb, P2, with
time manually maxed out (22:30) pre-start.  The coffee never hit first
crack; it finally began crackling 45 seconds before the end of the roast
(21:45 elapsed), which when I removed the drum turned out to be second
crack (beans were very dark and oily, with circular chips missing from
the upper surfaces).  The second batch was run on 1 lb, P1, program A,
and first crack didn't begin till 5 minutes were left on the roast
(13:00 elapsed).  I hit Cool with 30 seconds left and came up with a C+
shading into FC.  Previous attempts to roast the same coffee, using 1/2
lb on the 1/2 lb P1 and P2 settings, produced an undrinkable baked mess.
I'm coming from a machine that couldn't hit first any slower than 3:30
and went to FC+ in 6:00 flat - are these types of roast times normal?
Moreover, is it normal to have to "overclock" the Behmor (i.e. program
the machine for more coffee than you're actually roasting) to get a
decent result?
Thanks in advance for your input!
--
Lindsay Murphy
murphyl
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2) From: Gary Foster
I generally get to 1st crack anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes on a 12 oz  
load of beans depending on what I'm roasting.  I did my first full  
pound last weekend and it took 13 minutes or so to get to 1st crack  
and hit 2nd at just shy of 16 mins if I remember correctly (I'm at  
work and can't check my notes).  If I'm doing 8 oz, I invariably hit  
1c very close to 10 mins no matter what I'm roasting using P1.
Using P3 with softer beans the times go up a few mins.  I generally  
stick with P1 and P2 for most things, although I have a few different  
beans I use P3 for.  I've had terrible luck with P4 and P5.
On Tom's french roast blend, I get a really nice Vienna roast on P1 in  
14:45 (into rolling 2nd) for 12 oz.  This is dead on consistent for me  
for at least the last 10 lbs of the FR blend that I've roasted.
On P2, I set it for 20 minutes so the power chop hits at 12 mins or so  
(right at 1st crack) and then manually shut it off at 15:30 give or  
take a few seconds when I get a rolling 2nd crack.
This is my 2nd Behmor, since the first one suffered from the 1st run  
production motor problems.  This one roasts noticeably faster than the  
older one.
-- Gary F.
On Jul 22, 2008, at 2:19 PM, Lindsay Murphy wrote:
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3) From: Rich
I have been using the Behmor for about 60 pounds of beans and usually 
roast on P-1 1lb time to max after start and load 1lb of beans  they 
will reliably make light Vienna if I let it go to completion.  The FC 
roast time is about 19:00 total with the start of 1st crack at 5:30 
remaining.  I weigh the beans with a scale to 3 decimal places.
The other one that works is P-3 1lb time to max after start with 1lb beans.
P-2 will only work if you fiddle with the weight of beans and the times. 
  You will ruin a lot of beans.  IMHO P-2 has minimal value and P-4 and 
P-5 are for special cases.
If you can not duplicate the P-1 results you just might be having line 
voltage problems.
Rich
Lindsay Murphy wrote:
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4) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Rich has all the pertinent advice - switch to P-1. But longer first 
cracks are good. On the Probat, we lay off the heat at 380f to get a 
slower, more controlled first crack, which starts around 405 f. Of 
course, you don't want to bake the coffee... but I just wanted to 
point out that, going from a popper to a behmor, some things might 
seem wrong that aren't ... just different.
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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5) From: Edward Bourgeois
Tom On the probat when your cutting heat at 380f bean temp. is your ET
dropping at all or are you just slowing the momentum of heat build up
in the drum?
been curious about that,
Ed B.
On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 7:46 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
 wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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6) From: Alchemist John
I wanted to share something an pattern I have seen on my Behmor.  It 
falls into line with some of the longer roast times I have seen 
described here.  Various reasons have been attributed to it and low 
voltage has been the number one suggestion.  What I have discovered 
is that low voltage is NOT the reason (on mine and 1/2 others I have 
been testing) for some longer roast times.  Why do I say 
that?  Because I can see the elements cycle on and off on P1, i.e. 
there is plenty of power and the system is turning off the elements 
to maintain the programmed profiles.  Should they be 18-22 mins to 
1st "as programmed" - no.  Hence what I think I have discovered.  My 
roasts started going longer and longer and it was kept 
spotless.  Voltage is pegged right at 120 V.  So what is up?  I roast 
in my shop and it is HOT.  The Behmor was specifically designed to be 
an indoor roaster I am noticing more 'slow' or 'cold' or 'long' 
roasts and roasters as the summer progresses.  What I am surmising is 
happening is that the TC is on the wall of the roast chamber, inside 
the right side where a draw fan keeps the air moving, pulling 'cool' 
air in, cooling the TC, etc.  With it being HOT outside, the area 
isn't cooling quite the same, the TC is staying 'hot' so it thinks 
the chamber is 'hot' so it cycles the elements.
Try taking off your right hand panel (six black screws) and see if 
suddenly with a better air flow, it roasts more like you expect (no 
it should not void the warranty to remove the panel).  Are you 
roasting in door or out?  How hot?
Let us know.  With my right panel off, it roasts just like it did in 
cooler weather.  Counter intuitive I know.
At 14:19 7/22/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
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7) From: Lindsay Murphy
Interesting idea.  I'm pretty sure it's not my voltage either, since the
Behmor is on a circuit I just rewired this past spring and it came up a
clean 120v on the multimeter.  Like you, I've seen the elements cycle on
and off on the P1 setting, and the cycling was exponentially worse on
P2, to the point where the elements shut off entirely for a good 3-4
minutes in the middle of the roast.  I didn't mention it earlier because
I thought that, too, was normal behavior.  Shows how much I know about
this machine... >_<
I'm roasting in my kitchen.  The thermostat on the wall in the foyer
says 73, but the kitchen's probably more like 76-77 right now (I have
the windows open for ventilation and it's quite warm outside).  I'll try
removing that panel on my next batch and see what happens.
--
Lindsay Murphy
murphyl
On Tue, 2008-07-22 at 17:52 -0700, Alchemist John wrote:
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8) From: Benjamin VerHage
I think it's been posted before, but keeping the thermocouple area clean is very important too. If there's any buildup on that area it can produce high temperature readings which causes low heat in the roaster. The manual update online details this as well, but for quick reference the thermocouple is located behind the 3 vertical screws on the inside of the roaster. Just keep that part nice and clean.
--- On Tue, 7/22/08, Lindsay Murphy  wrote:
From: Lindsay Murphy 
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Looong first-crack times on the Behmor
To: homeroast
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 6:07 PM
Interesting idea.  I'm pretty sure it's not my voltage either, since the
Behmor is on a circuit I just rewired this past spring and it came up a
clean 120v on the multimeter.  Like you, I've seen the elements cycle on
and off on the P1 setting, and the cycling was exponentially worse on
P2, to the point where the elements shut off entirely for a good 3-4
minutes in the middle of the roast.  I didn't mention it earlier because
I thought that, too, was normal behavior.  Shows how much I know about
this machine... >_<
I'm roasting in my kitchen.  The thermostat on the wall in the foyer
says 73, but the kitchen's probably more like 76-77 right now (I have
the windows open for ventilation and it's quite warm outside).  I'll
try
removing that panel on my next batch and see what happens.
--
Lindsay Murphy
murphyl
On Tue, 2008-07-22 at 17:52 -0700, Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>
 My 
<Snip>
'long' 
<Snip>
'cool' 
<Snip>
thinks 
<Snip>
get
<Snip>
with
<Snip>
roast
<Snip>
C+
<Snip>
1/2
<Snip>
mess.
<Snip>
than 3:30
<Snip>
(i.e. program
<Snip>
a
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9) From: Alchemist John
Yeah, normally we think "cold weather - slower roast" but sort of the 
inverse here.  True for an air roaster, or a non-insulated drum 
roaster, but the Behmor is definitively more sophisticated or maybe 
not quite as straight forward as one might assume given it's appearance.
At 18:07 7/22/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Hand Grinding, Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/Homeroast mailing list
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10) From: Rick Copple
Lindsay Murphy wrote:
<Snip>
I've been using my Behmor since March, I guess it was? A few months now. 
Usually first crack hits shortly after 5 minutes is left on the timer, 
so I think that is fairly normal.
It might help to know that according to the instructions, these preset 
settings (P1, 1, A), (P2, 2, B), (P3, 3, C), (P4, 4, D--), and (P5, 5, 
D++) are supposed to get the coffee to around a FC under their standard 
voltage/current listed in there for each 1/2# or 1#. The different 
settings are for different types of beans. So if you take a high-grown 
bean at P1, 1, A, and it doesn't reach FC or very close to it, there 
could be a line voltage problem, or something else like the right panel 
inside between the three screws needs cleaning. Or some other related 
problem. But if it gets there, it is operating as designed.
Often I'm shooting for C+ and FC, and have discovered that I usually 
have to end the roast at least 30 seconds before it cuts off 
automatically. However, I roasted one of my new CR beans that should 
have been on P1 on P3, and had to add time to get it past first crack, 
which was fine I was shooting for a city roast anyway.
And to date, I've not found any batches to taste baked. I've even used 
the P4 and P5 settings for the Konas with good results.
But P2 is tricker. I've had it do the same thing to me, skipping first 
crack. And I think that happens because the drop occurs before first 
crack and the heat isn't there to make it pronounced, so it slips under 
the radar and you don't realize it until second crack has started, and 
you end up with FC+, or Vienna. Which unfortunately the bean I was 
roasting when that happened wasn't ideal for Vienna, so tasted very much 
like Char$ except with still some flavor in it.
-- 
Rick Copplehttp://www.rlcopple.com/Homeroast mailing list
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11) From: Vicki Smith
Humm, sounds like you all need to move to Central Alberta. It will get 
down into the mid 40s here tonight and the heat may come on before morning.
vicki
Lindsay Murphy wrote:
  > I'm roasting in my kitchen.  The thermostat on the wall in the foyer
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12) From: Rich
You just might be onto something.  I run the roaster in a climate 
controlled environment at about 70 degrees.   The only variable is the 
humidity and it is between 35 in the winter to 55 in the summer.  the 
Behmor is as predictable as clockwork.
Alchemist John wrote:
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