HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Behmor frustrations (31 msgs / 788 lines)
1) From: Hank Perkins
OK, using drip the Behmor got the job done.  Since we got our new espresso setup (Rocket Giotto and Mazzer Mini Electronic) I have become less and less satisfied with my roasts. We rest the coffees a minimum of 5 days, we have the machine grinder set up right, Etc.  The beans have been taken care of but the are a little old 12-15 months. Today I received a new, smaller order of beans.  I have about 5 pounds or dreg beans remaining. Some of which I want to use to refine my roasting. I suspect I need a better roasting location. I suspect that the plug is under powered. I have already talked to my electrician about this one.  I had considered ordering a commercial roaster but that is just cost prohibitive at this point.  
My roasting needs help. How do I learn to improve my roasting?  Are there any good mods I need to investigate?  Is there a way to manually control the heat, rotation speed and fans?
THANKS!!!!
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2) From: Rich
The heat input is fixed and determined by the applied voltage.  You can 
vary the ramp however by increasing or decreasing the weight of beans in 
any given roast for a fixed heat input.  The chamber shuts off the heat 
at 480 or so.  At a fixed heat input a larger weight of beans will take 
longer to roast.
On 10/18/2010 09:15 PM, Hank Perkins wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Yakster
What is your typical batch size and profile?
What are you looking for in espresso?
-Chris
Pecked out on my mobile phone.
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4) From: John A C Despres
Hi, Hank. In what ways are you dissatisfied with your roasts?
John
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5) From: Hank Perkins
I have gotten beans into the second crack for upwards of a 1:10.  I
normally roast just under a pound, 14 oz.  the results are very
inconsistent  One day I get to the second crack the next day I don't.
The only profile I have had any success with is P3.  I have tried P4
and P5 and had terrible results with the beans turning out way under
roasted.  With P1 and more so with P2 I have also had trouble getting
the beans into the second crack.  If I try to roast at at level below
the second crack the beans turn out grassy.
When I was only roasting for drip it was P3 B with requiring a full
run to a full run with 4 pluses to add time.  Almost always I roast as
much as I can.
Now I can still get this level of roast but the boldness is lacking.
At 5 days the coffee is quite good.  Much better than what is
available locally but after my visit tot he Drowsy Poet in Pensacola I
know just how good the coffee can be and I want to get my self closer
to that mark.
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 5:35 AM, John A C Despres  wrote:
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6) From: David Rossell
I usually roast 12 oz. on the 1 lb. P3B setting (20 minutes) and have no problem getting into second crack.  I usually have one minute between the end of first crack and the start of second.
David

7) From: Michael Wascher
I've been roasting 12 oz on P1B. Usually reach 1st in 14-16 minutes with
second following 1-1.5 minutes later but occasionally I get 1st rolling into
2nd.
I usually preheat for 2 minutes, that assures more consistent results.
Roasts were extending longer, I gave the machine a good cleaning -- little
accumulation found when I removed the end & aft covers however simple green
removed a lot of crud from the interior including the right side over the
temp sensor. I'll be using the simple green more often.
I have noticed that I don't get the brightness that I get out of a popper,
but I expected that from a drum roaster.
--MikeW
*"He who hesitates is a damned fool." *
* -Mae West*
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM, David Rossell
wrote:
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8) From: kevin creason
Do you keep the inside windexed and shiny? when it gets dark and coated
inside the temp sensor (between the three screws on the right side) isn't
accurate.
I windex mine out every two or three roasts and then run the cleaning cycle
roast after that.
There's a mod you can do where you take the side off and bend one of the
flaps of metal inside a little bit.
This allows it to move more air and as result run a little hotter which may
help your consistency, but it is at your risk and YMMV.
I think there are pics over on CG.
-Kevin
/* I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not kn=
ow
what can't be done.  -- Henry Ford  */
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:43 AM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
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ariascoffee.com
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ariascoffee.com
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9) From: Greg Hollrigel
Hank:
Not being an electrical type, I'm guessing you're not getting enough juice
into the roaster.  I use the same profile and easily get into 2nd crack like
others have noted.  This is especially easy with P1 on the 1lb setting.  I'm
guessing that since you are having trouble even on the P1 profile, the
Behmor is not heating up enough.
Given that, my favorite profile these days is P3 B 1lb for 20:00 using about
12-13 oz of greens.  I do a 90 second preheat on P1 as well.  The preheat
definitely improved my consistency in getting where I wanted in the roast.
You may give that a try.  It basically is starting the roast on P1 for 90
seconds, then pressing stop.  Then pick the roast profile you want (e.g., P3
B 1lb).
Good luck.  I have to say it is possible to get great roasts on the Behmor.
I've been on a good streak lately, except for 1 batch of Brazil that I
underroasted b/c I couldn't see the timer in the sunlight.
Greg
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10) From: Hank Perkins
Never done the windex thing.  I do the periodic cleaning runs.  I will
try the preheat.  When you preheat do you load with beans?
I will also clean and try to find the metal bend mod.
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:34 AM, Greg Hollrigel  wrot=
e:
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., P3
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mor.
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ariascoffee.com
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11) From: kevin creason
The cleaning is very very very important on the behmor! I think that is
probably the likely culprit to declining quality with the b16k.
Try to get all the dark residue off the sides, bottom, top. Spray windex in
and let it set and then start scrubbing to make the metal shiny and
reflective instead of heat-absorptive.
You may not need to do any mods to it.
-Kevin
/* I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not kn=
ow
what can't be done.  -- Henry Ford  */
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 10:57 AM, Hank Perkins wrote:
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at
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ariascoffee.com
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ariascoffee.com
<Snip>
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12) From: Greg Hollrigel
Hank:
Yes, I load the 12 oz of green beans just like for a normal roast, and only
roast for 90 seconds on P1.  Then, I press stop and enter the roast profile
I want.  As an aside, I'm a big fan of opening the door during first crack,
and periodically after, to keep the beans from speeding into 2nd crack.
Kevin's comment on the cleaning is good, too.  I definitely noticed a
slowing of roasts when it got a little gunky (that's a word, right?).  I use
Simple Green however.
Good luck.
Greg
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:57 AM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
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13) From: Ira
At 08:57 AM 10/19/2010, you wrote:
<Snip>
IMHO, the fact that there is such a mod and it significantly change 
the way the roaster works would tend to indicate to me that how your 
Behmor works might have little bearing on how mine works and your 
trying to use my experience to learn from might end up not being so useful.
Of course I could be completely wrong.
On my Behmor bending that piece of metal took it from occasionally 
not being able to reach first crack with 1 pound of beans to being 
able to consistently being able to reach second with 1 pound.
And my occasional acquisition of well roasted coffee makes me realize 
that either I've a long way to go or the Behmor in it's default 
configuration is not capable of the quality of roast that someone who 
knows what they're doing can do with a serious roaster.
Ira
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14) From: ricky carter
My recent experience in matching my absolute best  roast of Jimma against
Compass Coffee's roast of the same bean confirms the second point for me.
T'aint no way a Behmor is gonna getcha there.
as MiKe said, "they is what they is"
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:18 PM, Ira  wrote:
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15) From: Rich
I would sure hope that a $8,000+ commercial/prosumer coffee roaster 
would blow the doors off of a $300.00 consumer appliance.  I suspect 
that here are many places where the existing zoning ordnances would even 
prohibit the installation of such a prosumer roaster, or make it a very 
expensive job.
That being said I do not understand everyones problem with sufficient 
roasting with the behmor.  I can set 1.25lb of beans on fire with P-1. 
There is a heat capacity test on the Behmor site, might be a real good 
place to start.
On 10/19/2010 01:18 PM, Ira wrote:
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16) From: Michael Wascher
I do not put beans in for preheat.
I leave the drum & chaff tray out too.
My goal is to get the roaster up to a stable steady state before actually
applying heat to the beans. This gives a more consistent roast. I roast in
the garage & live in a 4-season climate -- I was getting lousy results in
cold weather before this.
--MikeW
*"He who hesitates is a damned fool." *
* -Mae West*
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 11:57 AM, Hank Perkins wrote:
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17) From: miKe mcKoffee
Correcto mundo. Any form of cooking "pre"-heat means before. As in pre-heat
(empty) oven for baking or grill for grilling or smoker for smokiing OR
roaster for roasting...
miKe
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18) From: Yakster
Sorry I haven't been able to reply before today, it's been pretty busy
lately.
Hank, I never quite got what your looking for in the roast or what you feel
your missing.  Do you enjoy bright, fruity espresso or more mellow,
chocolaty flavors?  You mentioned that you'd gotten a 14 oz roast into
second crack for upwards of 1:10 or something to that effect, to me that
seems pretty dark and I would expect this coffee to be dominated by roast
flavors as opposed to the unique flavors of the particular bean.  Maybe I
misunderstood.  Except for Liquid Amber and other blends that Tom would
suggest a darker roast on, I almost always try and stop either just short of
second crack or a few seconds in.  With the Behold, you're going to coast
and the beans will continue to roast after you hit cool.
As others have stated, one of the easiest ways to adjust the performance of
your roaster is to adjust your bean mass size. I used to roast 10 oz batches
or 13 oz batches in the Behmor on the 1 pound setting.  Lately I've been
pushing it closer to a full pound, but if your having trouble getting to
where you want to be in a reasonable time, lowering the batch size is a
great suggestion.  Also, get rid of any plug strips and extension cords and
try and plug directly into an outlet close to the breaker box.  For me, I
plug into the 120 V outlet behind my washer/dryer in the garage and ran a
short, very heavy gauge extension cord to my bench.  it would be better
without the cord, though.
Other tricks I have heard is making sure that the inside of the Behmor and
the Chaff tray are clean and shiny.  Not only can a build-up on the side
where the thermocouple prevent proper readings, but a shiny metal surface
will reflect more heat back to the beans. I've even heard of some folks
lining the front of the chaff tray with a sheet of aluminum foil either 1/3
of the way up or all the way up to prevent heat loss through the door and
also reflect back more heat into the beans.  Be careful with aluminum foil,
I tried this and sucked it up into my shop vac when I tried to clean up the
chaff.  Also, it can make slowing the roast during first crack more
difficult, instead of opening the door, you may have to pull the chaff tray
partially out to affect the cooling.  This is a trick I only tried once.  I
keep my Behmor pretty clean with Simple Green, but I think I'll try and
shine it up some more.  There's also been mention of Behmor bent metal mod.
I got the directions for this by contacting Behmor Tech Support and they
provided me the instructions.  When I went in to perform the mod, I found
out it had already been done because I had purchased the Behmor as a refurb
from Alchemist John.  This is probably worth checking into, though, and I
would recommend contacting Behmor for the instructions for this procedure
which can be undone if you choose.  One other thing you may want to check is
to make sure that your afterburner is working.  If you turn down the lights
and start the cool cycle (no need to be roasting for this test) you should
see an orange glow come from the ceiling of the Behmor roasting chamber.  If
you don't the afterburner may need to be repaired or replaced.  I've had the
wire break due to nicks where the insulation was stripped off and have fixed
this by re-crimping into the circle lug.  I've also replaced the afterburner
as well.  If you have a problem, contact Behmor technical support and they
can give you more information.
Regarding pre-heating (what I call running the Behmor without beans) versus
pre-roasting (what I call running the Behmor with beans for up to two
minutes then restarting), I used to pre-roast for two minutes to try and
accomplish two things, push out the time when the afterburner kicks in and
increases the airflow by two minutes to increase the heat ramp and extend
the amount of roast time.  I've actually stopped pre-roasting in favor of
pre-heating.  Since I roast in the garage with California weather (not
extreme, but we have seasonal changes) pre-heating the Behmor with my Chaff
tray for a minute helps me even out my profile differences between summer
and winter and also gives me a drop-in temp of about 200 degrees.  Get a
pair of safety gloves like Ove Gloves to protect your hands.
Beyond these suggestions, there's more extreme mods and techniques for the
extreme roaster such as replacing the motor with a faster one, de-coupling
the heating elements form the control board and running fully manual, and
feeding your Behmor or at least your heating elements from a variac to
ensure that you have enough voltage for the heat.  I haven't gone down this
path and I'm not sure that I will any time soon, but I enjoy hearing about
these extreme adventures in roasting from others.  I'm pretty happy with the
results that I get day in and day out from y Behmor.
-Chris
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19) From: Robert Yoder
Hi Chris,
 
I noted your comment"One other thing you may want to check is
to make sure that your afterburner is working".  What's your take on the
the effect on a roast?
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder
 
<Snip>
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20) From: Hank Perkins
Sorry. Work has been crazy. I am on the road today and will not be back home for a while. On my return I will clean the inside of the toaster and get it shiny. My specific issues are an inability to achieve a good dark roast. I have never gotten a good oily beans out of my Behmor.  I also have suffered from my roasts being uneven. We are not talking about a few unroasted beans here. IMHO one of the big problems I have with the Behmor now is drum speed.  My experience the only profiles that are useable are p1 and p3. 
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 20, 2010, at 4:42 PM, Yakster  wrote:
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21) From: Yakster
Robert Yoder said:
I noted your comment"One other thing you may want to check is to make sure
<Snip>
It's interesting, the afterburner kicks on at the same time as the fans to
help with smoke suppression.  The afterburner itself generates heat at the
top of the Behmor and I've always noticed that when it kicks on, the temp in
the Behmor will spike and then level off.  This occurs after the ramp up to
temp during the drying phase and I think the temperature initially increases
because of the increased airflow but then it results in cooler operation.
I've heard of some people who've removed the afterburner when they roast in
an area where smoke isn't a concern, but I'm not quite sure what this does.
It probably results in more of the current flowing to the heating elements
near the beans and less smoke burning heat at the top of the oven which may
be good for roast profiles.  I was actually running the Behmor without the
Afterburner for a while because it had broken and I didn't know it and back
then I think that I remember after I fixed it that it cut down the time to
first crack so it's something I'd check.  Others may have a more informed
opinion on this.
Hank Perkins Said:
 My specific issues are an inability to achieve a good dark roast. I have
<Snip>
Ah, I tend to stay away from dark, oily beans so this is venturing outside
my experience, but I do know that it can take a few days for the oils to
come out after roasting, depending on the roast method.  If your going for
dark and oily, P1 or P3 is a good bet.  I think lowering your batch size
will also help with getting the beans to roast this dark as well as the
unevenness your experiencing.  I found that when I lowered the batch size to
10 - 12 oz and charted my P1 roasts on BehmorThing the first time through to
find out when first crack would occur, I could target the temp drop on P2
pretty well to occur at or at about 30 seconds prior to first crack to
extend the roast development between first and second for a good roast.
Sometimes it took a bit of pre-roast time where I'd start the Behmor for up
to two minutes with the beans in there and then restart with my P2 profile
so that the 2nd leg temp drop would occur close to first crack.  Lately,
though, I've been just using P1, P3 and P4 and opening the door to control
the temps when first crack hits.
Good luck and happy roasting!
-Chris
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22) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Catching up on emails here, and didn't weigh in on this thread. 
Luckily, Chris is there with basically everything I would say! I 
think he covered all points. Definitely sounds like darker roast 
levels we are talking about here, plus adding in the "coast" factor 
in Behmor cooling, that is dark. Coffee choice matters too. I think 
acidity level and whether a coffee is "clean:" or more rustic and 
earthy are probably the key defining factors in taste. Have someone 
taste a Sumatra wet-hulled coffee next to a Guatemala like La 
Soledad, and you will learn a lot about taste very quickly. Batch 
size in the Behmors makes a huge difference with roast times and 
profile. Even 20 grams difference in batch is quite noticeable.  -T
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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23) From: Scott Miller
I agree 100% on the batch size making a huge difference and actually
find that's the easiest way to get the roast I want.
Just ran my first batch of a Yirg WP and found the roast went a bit
further than I want. I will add about .30 or .40 ounces to the next
batch.
I don't like doing things like opening the door to slow a roast.
Outside temperatures, wind, humidity, etc. can vary so much as to
really goof things up, IMO.
Once I have found the profile and adjusted time with +/- option,
varying the load weight seems the best option, FOR ME.
One other thing I'll add to this discussion of the Behmor and trying
to get the clarity of a roast to match what a professional, like miKe,
with a fancy machine can get: we are always our worst critic. If you
happen to be near a shop that does great roasts of high quality beans,
and they can do certain beans better than anything you can duplicate
at home, it might be best to let the pro be your source for that
particular bean.
There are plenty of beans a practiced home roaster can do such a fine
job with; enjoy those at home and AMAZE your friends!
cheers,
Scott
On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 12:52 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
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24) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
By the way, I use batch size a lot to determine roast times on my 
Probat sampe roaster, so it's not just with the Behmor that the batch 
variable is sometimes the easiest to change, and get a good result. 
-Tom
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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25) From: Rich
You will have to monitor every roast.  The time of initial first crack 
will vary slightly even if you maintain identical initial temperatures 
of beans and roaster, constant wall plug voltage, same weight of 
identical beans, phase of the moon, and obviously the identical roaster 
settings.  These variations can be as large as 45-60 seconds.  All of 
this to get an identical roast level.
Do not forget, green coffee is an agricultural crop.
On 10/21/2010 01:57 PM, Scott Miller wrote:
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26) From: Robert Yoder
Thanks for your reply, Chris,
 
Until recently, I had been staying with P2 (half-pound setting) for my 1/5 to 1/4 pound roasts.  It was also true that I hardly ever noticed any particular roast odor in my kitchen (which has a pretty strong rangehood, under which I place the Behmor to roast).
 
Roasts seemed too fast, and in an attempt to slow them down I started using the slower profiles (P4 and P5 (one-pound setting).  I also began a partial door-opening routine at first first crack. I began to have 12 to 13 minute roasts (hooray) and noticed depths of flavors and aromas never before achieved.  I thought:  at last, I've begun to get somewhere!  UNFORTUNATELY, at about the same time the Behmor afterburner quit working, so what we have here is an utterly confounded experiment: Profile, afterburner function and percent time door open after first crack.  Yet another glitch:  I mounted a thermocouple, but it was bad, so that info was not available.
 
Now I will replace the afterburner, replace the bad thermocouple, and start all over again.
 
(sigh)
 
What an interesting ride!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert
 
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27) From: Yakster
Hank,
I'm glad you started this topic, it kicked off a review of my complacent
roasting habits and starting today I'm moving towards smaller (10 oz)
batches.
I know that this will mean more roasts, but this will also allow me to roast
more different beans and increase variety.
Just roasted 10 oz of the Colombia Peaberry Los Caracoles del Sur which hit
first crack after eleven and a half minutes and I hit cool at about 14
minutes elapsed time.  I'm looking forward to tasting this bean in a couple
of days.http://twitpic.com/30hgsh-Chris
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28) From: Robert Yoder
Good morning, Chris,
 
What Behmor settings did you use?
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert
 
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29) From: Hank Perkins
I look forward to getting back to town and cleaning the Behmor and trying some different amounts of beans. Lots of good ideas here. 
 If I can't get it where I want it will get frankenstined. I will turn it into a fully manual machine. I have read here or another coffee forum about someone else doing this. Timer, a couple of good thermometers, some switches, and possibly change the gear to turn the drum faster and I think I could get where I would like it to be but who knows. 
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 24, 2010, at 2:09 PM, Robert Yoder  wrote:
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30) From: Yakster
Hank,
I used A 1# P1 B profile for 10 oz of Colombia Peaberry, cleaned out the
Behmor (and took of the right side panel to clean the chaff and lint from
the boards and fan) then roasted 10 oz of Amaro Gayo on a 1# P1 A.  I opened
the door during first crack to control the temps.
I decided to go with P1 instead of P3 to maximize the fruits, berries, and
acids.
I may try a P3 with 10 oz of Guatemala or Costa Rica later this afternoon.
-Chris
Profile chart links below.http://s661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/yakster/?action=view¤t10-10-24_Eth_Amaro_Gayo.jpg">http://s661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/yakster/?action=view¤t10-10-24_Col_PB_Caracoles.jpghttp://s661.photobucket.com/albums/uu332/yakster/?action=view¤t10-10-24_Eth_Amaro_Gayo.jpg
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31) From: Hank Perkins
No doubt first thing I gotta do is clean this sucker and get it on a dedicated circuit. Then I will see where I am. But for now, Peregime Espresso here in DC will spoil me. 
Thanks,
Hank 
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 24, 2010, at 2:42 PM, Yakster  wrote:
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