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Topic: I did it all rong.... (4 msgs / 86 lines)
1) From: Bob Hazen
...but it came out just right.
Being one of the early adopters, I've been using my Behmor for a long time.  Typically I roast a half-pound load on P2 or P1.  The times I've roasted a full pound, it's been with P1 to keep the roast duration within "reasonable limits."  Last night I got the idea to roast a full pound of Sulawesi on P2.  Usually a 1/2 pound of this bean on 1lb P2 A comes out just right.  The power drop comes right at 1st crack.  So, I figured with a pound I should go as long as possible and I set the roaster to 1lb P2 C.  This is where my grand plan went astray.  The power drop should have occurred at about 13 min into the roast.  However, first crack didn't start until 14:21 and then very weakly.  Here come the baked beans, I thought.  I didn't hear much of 1st and never did declare the end of 1st.  So I let it go until 21:27 when it banged into 2nd with gusto.  I rapidly hit cool and opened the door.  2nd continued until 23:23 - another 2 minutes!  OK, French Roasted baked beans.  I figured I had blown this roast big time.
This morning I learned that I had one of the best roasts ever.  I'd guess it came to FC+, certainly not Vienna or French.  The body was thick, flavors complex and assertive.  And this was with only 8 hours rest.  Totally different than I expected.
The Famous RayO-ism applies here:  I was rong.
Bob
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2) From: Mike Koenig
I've been dropping the heat some time before 1st crack on my HotTop for a
while as well.  At first,  I was going a bit too far, and baking my beans
pretty severely (tasted like wood), so I avoided doing this for a long time,
and would drop heat at the first sign of 1st crack.  This was giving me
about 2-3 minutes from 1st crack to end of roast, and some of my beans were
not roasting evenly, and my espressos were a bit harsh.  After I while, I
managed to learn the sights, sounds and smells of the point about a minute
before 1st comes, where I drop the heat,  which gives me about 4-5 minutes
to end of roast (or shorter if I want to and turn the heat up again).
Unfortunately, there is no good way to explain where this point is, and it
takes some experience to find it.
My roasts (especially for espresso) have improved dramatically once I
started doing this..
--mike
On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 12:18 AM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
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3) From: Yakster
When I was doing mostly P2 roasts on the Behmor (Temp Drop for second leg),
I liked to have the temp drop occur 30 seconds prior to first crack to slow
the momentum... more then that and I risked stalling the roast.  Lately I've
been using P3 and P4 profiles for espresso roasts which gradually step up
the power in increasing segments which makes for great espresso but you can
still have issues with first crack trying to rush into second crack or not
getting that much time between first and second.
I still need to do more comparative roasting, but I'm starting to worry less
about having roasts that are longer then what some would consider ideal for
a hypothetical roast profile on the Behmor because the results are tasting
good.
-Chris
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4) From: Bob Hazen
Thanks for the response.  I recall when I learned to use (abuse?) P2 to time 
the power drop.  I say "abuse" because I run 1/2 lb loads on 1 lb settings. 
This resulted in a significant stretch of the gap between 1st and 2nd.  My 
roasts improved considerably as I abandoned P1 and generally went to P2 and 
the associated gap stretch.  I have been concerned with baking the beans by 
failing to keep the temperature up as I hit 1st.  Of course, until the last 
roast I had no experience with baking beans, just tribal knowledge.  I will 
have to spend more time fooling with an earlier power drop.  It's sure 
tempting to buy a HotTop or Gene Cafe to gain better control of the 
temperatures.  It's a slippery slope; this Luge of Coffee Roasting.
BTW, I'm drinking Thursday's Sulawesi as I write.  It's just getting better 
with rest.
Bob
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