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Topic: Not sure how to fix this (9 msgs / 187 lines)
1) From: Scot Murphy
I've brewed three roasts so far (I have two more resting right now) from my Behmor, and...I'm very disappointed. In the first place, I'm not getting first crack until 11 to 13 minutes in, even on the hottest setting. Second, it goes almost directly from first to second crack. Thus I am getting brews that are very weak, somewhat thin, and which require a large amount ground to get any flavor. 
I'm guessing that the problem is in the wiring of the house. It's very old and doesn't have really robust wiring to begin with. For instance, I can't run my toaster and my microwave at the same time without tripping a breaker. Very often--and I mean, VERY often--when I tried roasting on the back porch with my SC/TO, when they finally got up to roasting temp they'd trip a breaker if anything else on the same circuit was on at all. Right now I have the Behmor upstairs by a window, though it doesn't smoke up enough that I need to open it, and it's plugged into a long, heavy-duty extension cord that leads to a 3-prong outlet. There's a lot of stuff in between that I don't want to move--it'd be a major effort for me to move the shelves and whatnot just to get closer to the outlet--but that's the only solution I can think of. Besides that, when I first tried it in the living room where it was plugged directly into the outlet, I still had about an 11-minute wait until first crack. That's just crazy.
Is it possible I have a defective Behmor? Is there anything I can do to get it to hit first crack in, say, five minutes?
Scot "as long as I get to keep the bitterness, I'm okay" Murphy
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2) From: Joseph Robertson
Scott,
as with any bench test rule, make one change at a time and write every thing
down.
If I had the house and wiring set up you describe I would take my Behmor to
someone's house. In other words, a friend who has a house with somewhat
current wiring. Set up the Behmor as near to the main wiring panel as
possible. NO extension cords this time.
Run a test roast and if your friend has a test meter check the voltage to
the Behmor before you roast. Compare results. Then make one change at home
at a time. Check results. I would do all of this and them some before I
blamed the roaster. I know your not blaming the roaster at this point but as
you have laid out for us you have a number of unknowns going on at your
house. If you can get your hands on a meter check the voltage to your Behmor
at home first thing.
Happy Roasting,
Joe
On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM, Scot Murphy wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Joseph Robertson
Sasquatch Coffee Roasters
Craft Coffee Roasting by Designhttp://www.jolindas.com(360)521-3104     PO Box 451 Stevenson,Washington 98648 USA
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3) From: Hank Perkins
Get the Behmor as close to the fuse box as possible.  Reduce the batch
size to 11oz or less.  Preheat the Behmor on the highest setting for
2:00 before putting in the beans.  Make sure the "cold" bean temp is
above 70 degrees before you put them in the basket.  Per the
instructions, the Behmor is NOT to be run via an extension cord.  If
you have a multimeter you can use it to check the voltage.  If you
voltage is below 116 VAC then you have a problem.  My voltage would
drop to 119 while roasting.  I roast 15 feet from the fuse box and my
voltage was 122VAC with nothing running.
Good Luck.
On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM, Scot Murphy  wrote:
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4) From: Rich
An 11-13 min time to the first crack of 1st is about normal.
On 01/29/2011 01:12 PM, Scot Murphy wrote:
<Snip>
 That's just crazy.
<Snip>
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5) From: Greg Hollrigel
I was going to say the same thing.  Scot, you also did not mention what
profile and bean weight you used.
For example, I just did a roast of 12 oz of Sulawesi.  My Behmor was set at
1lb, P4, B (20 minute roast length).  I'm in my garage with an outlet right
next to the fuse box and no extension cord.  It's about 65-70 degrees
today.  I preheated the beans on 1lb, P1, A for 90 seconds.  I hit 1st crack
15:29, and second about 19:10.  These are very normal numbers with my setup
on P3 and P4.  P1, I can usually get to first crack within 13 minutes.
If using P1, P3, and P4, the only way I have found to prevent running into
2nd crack is to open the door as or just after 1st crack gets going.  I play
around with how I do it, but my current system is fully open for about 30
seconds, then close it so it's open about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch until the
roast ends.  It's been working extremely well.
If you look on these archives, coffeegeek.com and home-barista.com forums,
you'll see lots of tips for extending the time between 1st and 2nd.
I would also question the extension cord since Behmor says not to use it,
but I wouldn't be alarmed with your time until 1st crack.
Keep at it.
Greg
On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM, Rich  wrote:
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6) From: Kris McN
Hey Scot,
Welcome back to the list!  I can't imagine a situation in which getting to
1st in 5 minutes in the Behmor would be a good thing.  I've had half pound
batches of some beans reach 1st in 8 or 9 minutes, but ~10-11 is about
average.  Now, stretching the time between 1st and 2nd is a challenge in the
B; one of my biggest issues with it.  Many of us have developed a technique
of opening the door a bit at key points, to both slow down the progression
to/thru 1st and on the road to 2nd.
I used my Behmor plugged directly into an outlet, and also on a heavy duty
extension cord and noticed no difference in performance, FWIW.
Best,
Kris McN
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7) From: michael brown
Echoing what a few others have said, have you played with different profiles?  I think the key here is going to be your time and temp between 1st and 2nd crack to get the desired taste.Also agreeing that your first crack should be anywhere from 9-12min.When i used to even open the door to give me more time between 1C and 2C.Also how much are you roasting?  You didn't mentioned if you've tried less coffee to get a quicker 1C. But again, if you are running it so hot that you are cruising straight from 1C to 2C, play with the amount of coffee and profiles would be my suggestion.
Michael Bb'ham, AL
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8) From: Yakster
I agree, for load sizes of 10 + oz, this is typical.
I used to use a carefully planned P2
Roast using BehmorThing, but now I crack and open the door while monitoring
temps to keep first crack under control.
-Chris
Pecked out on my mobile phone.
On Jan 29, 2011 12:02 PM, "Rich"  wrote:
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9) From: Lynne Biziewski
Going to add to the comments here - I don't roast in a Behmor, as you know
(stove top as usual), but I always aim for about 12 minutes for first crack.
Less time gives me (when it happens) a bitter roast.
The rest of advice here seems spot on, esp. Joseph's suggestion of dealing
with one factor at a time - only thing I can comment on from my experience
is the time to first crack. In fact, I extended it in my last roast, as I've
been having a time of it adjusting to the old stove in the new apt., and my
roast came out better (not as good as usual, but better than the swill I had
to actually throw out, lol, that made Folgers seem *good* in comparison!!)
Keep roasting & keep asking!!
Lynne
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