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Topic: Timing a Behmor Roast (15 msgs / 427 lines)
1) From: Jon Rosen
I recently purchased a Behmor roaster and I can finally roast a week's  
worth of coffee instead a day's worth. My only problem is getting the  
roast just right. Between the drum and the chaff collector, I don't  
think it's possible to judge a roast visually. I've started roasting  
on P3, which seems to give me a little more time between 1st and 2nd  
cracks, but I might give P5 a try. I'm using the guidelines in the  
manual for the time between hearing the 1st crack and when the 2nd  
will start. That's not exact, of course, and I'm not sure if I'm  
catching the first crack of the 1st crack either. I would appreciate  
some guidance in getting consistent City or City+ roasts with the  
Behmor. I'm hoping that someone with more Behmor experience will have  
some good answers.
Thanks,
Jon
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2) From: kevin creason
BehmorThing, google it. The developer is on this list.
On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 10:48 PM, Jon Rosen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
/* Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you
with experience. */
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3) From: Benjamin VerHage
Hi Jon. Welcome to the Behmor club. I did this mod to my Behmor and it's helped a lot in being able to see the roast. It isn't perfect, but it's a definite improvement:http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/2008/01/window-to-roast-behmor-modification.htmlI suggest drawing your proposed window on the chaff collector (I used a sharpie), put it into the machine and see if that's where you want it. His measurements were a bit off for me. A dremel with a cutoff wheel worked great to make the cut.
I mainly roast to a C+ level and almost all my roasts are with 8oz of beans on P1. First, I record the time when 1st begins. Make sure it's not a rogue bean like one that may have fallen through the drum. I then add 1:45 on to that time (I believe for 8oz the manual says the time between 1st and 2nd is 2:20-2:40). That is my "proposed" stop time. I then monitor the progression of 1st crack and adjust that stopping time based on the roast smell and what I can visually see of the beans.
When I first started with the Behmor I was obsessed on the numbers...the exact time when 1st starts - is it the first snap or when there are a progression of snaps? The time between 1st and 2nd, etc. The truth is, you can drive yourself nuts. I paid so much attention to that stuff I kind of lost sight of the big picture. I've leanred to just go with the average and pay more attention to what I've learned over 75 roasts or so. It's become more of a feeling/senses/experience thing than a numbers thing and my roasting has definitely improved.
For instance, last night I roasted a Columbia (my last 8oz of one of the 4-star lots). I ended the roast 3:00 after 1st started and ended up with a good-looking, C+ roast. Definitely not done to the numbers, but it ended up right where I wanted it. Who knew?
Good luck!
Ben
From: Jon Rosen 
To: homeroast
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:48:29 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] Timing a Behmor Roast
I recently purchased a Behmor roaster and I can finally roast a week's worth of coffee instead a day's worth. My only problem is getting the roast just right. Between the drum and the chaff collector, I don't think it's possible to judge a roast visually. I've started roasting on P3, which seems to give me a little more time between 1st and 2nd cracks, but I might give P5 a try. I'm using the guidelines in the manual for the time between hearing the 1st crack and when the 2nd will start. That's not exact, of course, and I'm not sure if I'm catching the first crack of the 1st crack either. I would appreciate some guidance in getting consistent City or City+ roasts with the Behmor. I'm hoping that someone with more Behmor experience will have some good answers.
Thanks,
Jon
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4) From: Bonnie Polkinghorn
Jon,
One way to get a baseline is to take 1/2 lb of greens, and roast them on
the 1lb P1 setting.  Note when you hear the very first crack, when 1c really
starts, when 1c ends, when 2 c begins.
This is a good starting point, and a way to get a handle on the times
between the start of 1c and the start of 2c at 100% power.  You can then
estimate when 1C would start on the other profiles.
For P2, it has been discussed that most folks want 1C to start when the
power level drops from 100% to 70%, which is 60% of the total time.  So, if
it took your coffee 10 minutes on P1 to get  to 1c, just divide 10 /.6 =
16:40, which would be your starting time on P2.
All Behmor's are different, I think, so the times for me will be different
for you.
Lately, on P2, I have been timing from the start of 1C to the end of the
roast, so if I want C+, I may time 3.5 minutes after 1c begins.  If I want
FC or FC+, I may time 4 minutes.  This is for 1/2 lb of beans and a slower
Behmor.  Prior to this, I tried to hear the end of 1C and time after that,
but I was sometimes missing it.
Like Kevin said, use the BehmorThing program, so you can easily compare your
roasts.
Good luck!
Bonnie P.
On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 8:48 PM, Jon Rosen  wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: Benjamin VerHage
Hi Jon. Welcome to the Behmor club. I did this mod to my Behmor and it's helped a lot in being able to see the roast. It isn't perfect, but it's a definite improvement:http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/2008/01/window-to-roast-behmor-modification.htmlI suggest drawing your proposed window on the chaff collector (I used a sharpie), put it into the machine and see if that's where you want it. His measurements were a bit off for me. A dremel with a cutoff wheel worked great to make the cut.
I mainly roast to a C+ level and almost all my roasts are with 8oz of beans on P1. First, I record the time when 1st begins. Make sure it's not a rogue bean like one that may have fallen through the drum. I then add 1:45 on to that time (I believe for 8oz the manual says the time between 1st and 2nd is 2:20-2:40). That is my "proposed" stop time. I then monitor the progression of 1st crack and adjust that stopping time based on the roast smell and what I can visually see of the beans.
When I first started with the Behmor I was obsessed on the numbers...the exact time when 1st starts - is it the first snap or when there are a progression of snaps? The time between 1st and 2nd, etc. The truth is, you can drive yourself nuts. I paid so much attention to that stuff I kind of lost sight of the big picture. I've leanred to just go with the average and pay more attention to what I've learned over 75 roasts or so. It's become more of a feeling/senses/experience thing than a numbers thing and my roasting has definitely improved.
For instance, last night I roasted a Columbia (my last 8oz of one of the 4-star lots). I ended the roast 3:00 after 1st started and ended up with a good-looking, C+ roast. Definitely not done to the numbers, but it ended up right where I wanted it. Who knew?
Good luck!
Ben
From: Jon Rosen 
To: homeroast
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 8:48:29 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] Timing a Behmor Roast
I recently purchased a Behmor roaster and I can finally roast a week's worth of coffee instead a day's worth. My only problem is getting the roast just right. Between the drum and the chaff collector, I don't think it's possible to judge a roast visually. I've started roasting on P3, which seems to give me a little more time between 1st and 2nd cracks, but I might give P5 a try. I'm using the guidelines in the manual for the time between hearing the 1st crack and when the 2nd will start. That's not exact, of course, and I'm not sure if I'm catching the first crack of the 1st crack either. I would appreciate some guidance in getting consistent City or City+ roasts with the Behmor. I'm hoping that someone with more Behmor experience will have some good answers.
Thanks,
Jon
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6) From:
Hi, 
I generally have to judge the roast by sound. After one and a half years of Behmor use, I am by no means a master. 
Generally, for a city plus, as soon as first crack starts to taper down I will hit cool...so that it coasts to a little past the end of first crack. I use the 'popcorn' rule...when there is more than a few seconds in between snaps of first crack...i will hit cool. I find that first crack generally goes two to two and a half minutes or so for a pound. Sometimes I end up with a full city.
For city...i find this to be more tricky. I general go a minute and a half (for one pound) into first crack and hit cool, which then coasts towards the end of first crack.
Quite frankly I am never quite sure if I am doing the right thing.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone

7) From: Jon Rosen
The Behmor cools very effectively. How long do you think it will coast  
before a bean stops roasting once you hit the cool button.
Jon
On Mar 11, 2009, at 3:34 PM,   wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Brad Baker
My roasts in the Behmor are done first by time, to get an estimate
about when first crack will start, and then by sound and smell (and
maybe smoke if excessive :).  Smell gives a confirmation about the
roast progress but sound is the primary indicator for me.  1C will
last a couple of minutes or more, then I listen for 2C and decide how
far I want to take it in.  I roast 1lb batches usually on P3.
The initial timer alarm is set for 15 minutes for 1lb batches, 12
minutes for 1lb of decaf.  When the timer goes off I sit and stare
into that glass door and monitor the roast closely.  When first crack
ends my finger is on the cool button waiting for just the right
moment.
It works for us.
-- 
---  b r a d  b a k e r  ---\\
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9) From:
I'd say about 20 seconds or so. Sometimes less. Does that sound about right to you?
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo phone

10) From: Seth Grandeau
I've hit cool during a rolling 2nd crack and I'd say it went on for another
20-25 seconds.
On 3/12/09, decrisce.md  wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: David Rossell
Likewise.  
If I botch the roast and let it get into a true second crack, I'll remove the
chaff tray, which cuts the cooling time dramatically.  
Most of the time I'm roasting on P3 and open the door for 2 or 3 10-second
periods to help keep the roast from flying right from first into second
crack.  I usually roast .75 lbs of beans at a time, and that much bean mass
seems to build up a heat momentum of its own.  (I'm sure there's some sort of
thermodynamic term for that . . .)
David

12) From: Rich
It depends on the weight of coffee.  For 1lb I see a continued cracking 
out to 40 to 45 seconds.  Again using 1lb start weight I start COOL when 
I am 1 1/2 minutes after 1st crack for a City, City+ roast.  That is 
timed from the absolute 1st crack of 1st.
decrisce.md wrote:
<Snip>
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13) From: MikeG
If you are roasting in the garage cessation of 2c comes much quicker
if you open the door and pull the chaff screen.  Would mean an
infusion of smoke in the home if you are indoors though.
I had to do this last week when I roasted some Yemen Mattari and some
Panama Peaberry Boquete.  For whatever reason neither of them gave
more than a hint of 1c or 2c.   Making sure I went long enough meant I
was on the edge of going too long - I don't normally rely on smoke
smell or color to end a roast so I was kind of out of my game on those
batches.
Those two are normally quite reliable in producing audible cracks.  We
had a huge storm coming in from the South that day, I wonder if it was
barometric change that changed the audible crack characteristics of
those beans?
On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 5:32 AM, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
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14) From: Seth Grandeau
I tried posting this earlier, but it kept bouncing back.  I apologize in
advance if this is appearing for a 2nd or 3rd time.
For City/City+ roasts, I've been playing around with P5.  I generally roast
8 oz and I use the 1 lb settings, so I have full control over roasting
time.  I set the timer to 2:00 before hitting start, then bump it back up to
the max after start.  This gives me a P1 "like" profile, but with 95% power
at the end.  This has three advantages:
   1. Longer roast time, which as miKe pointed out is better for lighter
   roasts
   2. @95% power, the Behmor cycles on and off faster than it does at 100%
   power, meaning a more stable temperature
   3. I get a clear break between 1st crack and 2nd crack this way, which I
   often do not get with P1
I've been using this process for the fruity Ethiopians, where I really want
to keep the roast light and I've been VERY happy with the results.
-Seth
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15) From: webviking6
I think the best advice anyone can give to the new owner of a Behmor is 
to play with it until you figure out how to get the kind of roast you 
like.  Personally, I like the P2 profile.  I roast a lb at a time on P2 
for 18 minutes to get to about City + and 20 minutes to just get into 
2nd crack.  I also like blending a City + roast and a Full City roast to 
get a wider spectrum of flavor.  But that's just me.
Ultimately you have to experiment to find out what you like best.  I 
went through the same process, at first I was roasting far too light, 
and then I over-compensated and roasted far too dark filling my whole 
house with some of the most acrid, nasty smoke you can imagine.  I 
thought I broke my brand new Behmor on that one, because I pushed the 
roast too far.  Two seconds after it hit the cool cycle, and Err 5 
popped up on the display, the machine shut off, and smoke came pouring 
out.  Coffee Fire!  Fortunately, I left the door shut long enough for 
the beans to stop smoldering, aired out the house, vacuumed out the 
machine, unplugged it for a few hours and found that it still worked.
I also agree with the difficulty in judging the roast visually in a 
Behmor, but eventually you'll get used to judging it pretty well by 
sound and smell.  I roast a pound probably twice a week on average, and 
I am able to get completely consistent results roast after roast with 
very little effort.
Behmors are great machines.
Jon Rosen wrote:
<Snip>
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