HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Drum Roaster Question (16 msgs / 641 lines)
1) From: Matthew D. Kaufman
Hi guys n' gals!
I've been lurking for quite a while and been home roasting for a bit over a
year on a FreshRoast SR500.  I absolutely love being able to roast my own
coffee - fresh taste, much higher quality than even expensive stuff from the
grocery store, and making our place smell like roasted coffee is just
amazing.  I'm getting to a point where I want to be able to make a bit
bigger batch size, and have a more uniform roast.  One thing I've noticed
about the FreshRoast is that my roasts are rarely uniform throughout; some
beans are noticeably lighter and darker, even in the same batch.  I roast in
my kitchen at a pretty average temperature (room temp anywhere from 70 to
75) - I think it's just a function of air roasting being an imperfect
medium.  I'm looking at drum roasters, and had some questions for the folks
on the list.
I like a good City Roast (maybe a tad darker), and I don't think that any
drum roasters have issues with that.  However, we recently bought an
espresso machine, so I'd also like a machine that can handle an
Espresso/Italian Roast.  In reading about the Behmor 1600, it sounds like it
is not a good model to get if you want darker roasts due to smoke and fire
hazard.  I was hoping that wouldn't be the case given the attractive price
point for the Behmor over other drum roasters, but there seems to be
consensus on the reputable sites I check (Sweet Maria's, The Coffee
Project), so who am I to question that.
Do you guys have any suggestions on a reasonably priced drum roasters that
could handle what I'm looking for?  Batch size isn't super important - I'd
be happy with a half-pound at a time (though more is better, I care more
about the roast quality than a gigantic batch size).  Any advice would be
appreciated!
Thanks,
--Matt
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2) From: coffehound
Hi Matthew-
I'm sure you'll get a few Behmor replies.
However, you may want to consider a Hottop. Half pound batch size, programmable repeatability, stored programs, and a very even roast.  Top it all off with excellent customer service and a machine you can easily fix if you need to. I've had mine for over three years and it's going strong. City plus to light vienna all works just fine. 
It does generate a fair amount of smoke which could chase you out of the kitchen unless you have an excellent hood. I built a smoke hood and roast in the basement. 
Of course it costs more than a Behmore...
Difficult decisions.
Demian
Portland, OR

3) From: Barry Luterman
Talking about home drum roasters; they fall into 3 catagories. Good, better
and best. Good-- Behmor price lowest does a good job and can be used
without vetilation if nobody in the house has resipatory problems.
Better- Hot top even roasts. operator control full range of roasts. needs
ventilation and more expensive.
\Best-- Quest. Built well reliable (repeatable roasts) easy repair. still
mor expensive.
I have owned all 3 roasters. I still have a Behmor and Quest. Love the
Quest the behmor stays in the closet for back-up. So far have not needed it.
My advise is if venting and money are not problems go Quest.
On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM,  wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Dave McCracken
On Sunday, February 12, 2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
I currently have and use the Gene Cafe.  It's more expensive than the Behmor 
but less than the HotTop.  It doesn't have fancy programmable controls but its 
simple time and temperature controls are super easy to use.  It has 
consistently produced a good even roast at a wide variety of ambient 
temperatures (I roast in the barn).  The glass drum makes it super simple to 
use visual cues to guage roast level (like I do).  It's also quiet enough to 
hear both first and second crack clearly.
I would not recommend using any half pound or higher roaster in your kitchen 
unless you have major venting.  The smoke from that much coffee isn't pleasant 
indoors.
Dave McCracken
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5) From: peter
Well, I've had my Behmor for almost 3years and have done more than 300  
pounds in it.  I usually roast in 12-14 ounce batches.  It is not completely  
smoke free,  but compared to when I used to oven roast it is really pretty  
good in that respect.  I am able to duplicate roast after roast with  
uniformity.  I don't do the open close door to extend the roast between 1st  
and 2nd crack, but I generally have close to 3 or even 4 minutes between  
them.  Plus you could purchase close to 4 behmors for one quest.  I don't  
have lots of time and can do other things in the kitchen while roasting in  
the behmor, but each roaster has its plusses and minuses.
Peter
Sent from my Motorola Smartphone on the Now Network from Sprint!

6) From: Ira
At 09:14 PM 2/12/2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
I'd say give that, you'd likely be unhappy with a Behmor.
Ira
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7) From: davidjohnrossell
Agreed. I love my Behmor, but consistency is not its strong suit. For me  
being able to roast .75 pounds is critical.
David
On , Ira  wrote:
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8) From: Michael Baladi
Maybe it's just me..... but I think the behmor (in it's from the store configuration) only struggles to darker roasts at 3/4 of a pound and up. If batch size isn't the most important thing in the world then he could easily roast smaller batches for his dark roasts and larger batches for his city roasts with the behmor. I've had the behmor and the gene cafe. I think both have their quirks but are both very capable roasters. Given that you'd like to do a variety of roasts, I'd say target 3/4 to 1 pound for lighter roasts and 1/2 pound for darker roasts. Use the tricks Tom posts about (ie: select 1 pound settings at a 1/2 pound). Don't walk away from the roaster and I doubt you'll have any fire issues. Just my opinion......
How's that for a first time post to this list! :-) Cheers.
At 09:14 PM 2/12/2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
I'd say give that, you'd likely be unhappy with a Behmor.
Ira
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9) From: Brad Byford
Just have  to pipe in on behalf of the Behmor side of the fence. From my
experience the Behmor does fine to Vienna stage if you go light on the grams
going in. I consistently use 11 oz on a 1lb setting only because that's the
amount that fits in a bosch valve half pound foil bag after roasting. I get
those in bulk from Sweet Maria's. The only problems I've had with fire
involved opening the door to drop the temp (in attempts to extend the time
between 1st and 2nd crack). I've only had problems with coffees with heavy
chaff, and the fire always smolders out when I shut the door. The lighter
chaff coffees don't pose much of a problem usually. I've never had a fire
without opening the door. I keep a little fire extinguisher near me at all
times just in case. I had to use it once on a popcorn roasting. I miss that
popper. It was hotter than it should have been, but it did the job quickly.
I think it was a Rival. 18.99 at the mart of Walton. The Behmor will only
give you problems going into 2nd though if you have too much coffee in the
drum (more than 12 oz) or you choose a lower weight setting. And fire is
almost never an issue if you leave the door closed. I haven't had a Gene, a
Hottop, or a Quest, but I understand you can really tweak your time and temp
settings on a Gene. Not so with a Behmor. You have to work with the pre-sets
it gives you, or void the warranty, and get a board from Ira at
"Roasterthing" and wire your Behmor to be controllable from a Windows
interface. When my Behmor starts failing in a few years, I'll be doing some
modifications to it to make it more tweak-able.
Hope this helps.
Brad

10) From: Sandy Andina
I've been using a Behmor since it came out, and agree that it does best with batches of half a pound (maybe up to 12 oz. in a pinch) or smaller. Yes, it does put out smoke--ever since I upgraded my smoke detectors I must roast with the window screens open and the ceiling fan going, even in the dead of winter--but less than even the little i-Roast and i-Roast 2 and MUCH less than the Stir-Crazy/Turbo Oven combo I use for one-pound batches outside in summer.  (BTW, if you insist on roasting outdoors, don't get a Behmor, since it's designed to be used indoors).  
You mentioned you need to reach "espresso/Italian roast" level now that you bought an espresso machine.  If you can vent heavily, there are tweaks you can do while roasting in the Behmor to get well into second crack without charring the beans. I find that matching profiles to bean texture, choosing a 1 lb. setting for an 8 to 10-oz batch and manipulating the "+" and cooling buttons I can get a dark roast without hitting the dreaded "third crack." BUT, where is it written that espresso must be a dark roast?  My local roaster, Metropolis, roasts its famous Red Line Blend to a medium level, not-quite-full-city (ditto re Caffe d'Arte's Firenze blend), in the Lombard/Tuscan style; and Intelligentsia's Black Cat and Kid O espressos aren't much darker.  I've roasted Metropolis' Green Line and SM's Liquid Amber and Monkey Blends only a few seconds into second crack before starting to cool (and Donkey Blend only a tad longer). Unless you are wedded to a dark, smoky Neapolitan/Sicilian style cup, you'll find the lighter espresso roasts will produce a more complex shot--caramel, different kinds of chocolate, even anisette notes. I used to prefer Torrefazione Italia's Sicilian roast and even Medaglia d'Oro or Cafe Bustelo; now that I've gotten used to lighter espressos I don't even like New Orleans chicory coffee black.  
Remember:  "espresso" is a brewing process, a blend, or the finished product in your cup--NOT a roast!!!
On Feb 12, 2012, at 11:14 PM, Matthew D. Kaufman wrote:
<Snip>
Peace & song, 
Sandy 
www.sandyandina.com
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11) From: Dave Huddle
Behmor works for me.    I can get as dark as I want easily with 8oz.
of beans, using 1/2 lb. setting.    No fires.    Be sure to keep it
clean according to instructions.
I do have a good vent system - we installed a vent hood in the
roasting room during a remodeling of the house a few years back.
Worth the money.
Dave
On 2/13/12, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
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12) From: Michael Baladi
I roast in a room with a window fan, but the roaster right up to it. Works well enough. Did that with the Gene Cafe too.
From: homeroast-bounces [homeroast-bounces] On Behalf Of Dave Huddle [137trimethyl26dioxopurine]
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 4:35 PM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,      available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.htmlSubject: Re: [Homeroast] Drum Roaster Question
Behmor works for me.    I can get as dark as I want easily with 8oz.
of beans, using 1/2 lb. setting.    No fires.    Be sure to keep it
clean according to instructions.
I do have a good vent system - we installed a vent hood in the
roasting room during a remodeling of the house a few years back.
Worth the money.
Dave
On 2/13/12, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
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13) From: phil.palmintere
Oh... I normally roast a half pound at a time as well with my Gene Cafe.  Actually I usually measure out 230 grams (approx a half pound), although the directions say you can roast 300
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

14) From: Jim De Hoog
Matthew,
 
Have you considered building your own drum roaster using a gas grill?  Th=
ere are several examples out on the page, I built the ice bucket roast. =
  I can roast from 1/2 to 2 lbs. at a time.  
 
Jim "Ice Bucket Roaster"  =
From: Matthew D. Kaufman 
To: homeroast =
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:14 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] Drum Roaster Question
Hi guys n' gals!
I've been lurking for quite a while and been home roasting for a bit over a
year on a FreshRoast SR500.  I absolutely love being able to roast my own
coffee - fresh taste, much higher quality than even expensive stuff from the
grocery store, and making our place smell like roasted coffee is just
amazing.  I'm getting to a point where I want to be able to make a bit
bigger batch size, and have a more uniform roast.  One thing I've noticed
about the FreshRoast is that my roasts are rarely uniform throughout; some
beans are noticeably lighter and darker, even in the same batch.  I roast=
 in
my kitchen at a pretty average temperature (room temp anywhere from 70 to
75) - I think it's just a function of air roasting being an imperfect
medium.  I'm looking at drum roasters, and had some questions for the fol=
ks
on the list.
I like a good City Roast (maybe a tad darker), and I don't think that any
drum roasters have issues with that.  However, we recently bought an
espresso machine, so I'd also like a machine that can handle an
Espresso/Italian Roast.  In reading about the Behmor 1600, it sounds like=
 it
is not a good model to get if you want darker roasts due to smoke and fire
hazard.  I was hoping that wouldn't be the case given the attractive price
point for the Behmor over other drum roasters, but there seems to be
consensus on the reputable sites I check (Sweet Maria's, The Coffee
Project), so who am I to question that.
Do you guys have any suggestions on a reasonably priced drum roasters that
could handle what I'm looking for?  Batch size isn't super important - I'd
be happy with a half-pound at a time (though more is better, I care more
about the roast quality than a gigantic batch size).  Any advice would be
appreciated!
Thanks,
--Matt
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetma=riascoffee.com
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15) From: peter zulkowski
Hi Jim,
 Please send a link to how you made, or a picture of, your ice bucket
roaster.
 I am gathering parts (seems like that's all I ever do) to make a SS drum
roaster, which I hope will roast over a pound.
So far I have the shaft and the gas grill, some ss for vanes. and lots of
thermocouples!
Also, have several possibilities for a motor to turn the drum.
The shaft is fitted to the grill with bronze bearings, ready to mount.
My drum is an Amazon counter top compost bucket, but I think it needs to be
bigger. I guess I would like to do 2 - 3 pounds, but will be happy with 1
1/2 - 2 pounds. How big is your roasting chamber?
Thanks for sharing,
PeterZ ... not in LHC Arizona any more ...
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM, Jim De Hoog  wrote:
<Snip>
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16) From: Dhananjaya
FWIW, maybe I'm a heretic, but all I do is espresso and 99% of my roasts are
city+ - ocassionally I venture into full city -, and pretty much avoid
second crack. I'm using a Quest which I absolutely love.
DJ
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 21:14:44 -0800
From: "Matthew D. Kaufman" 
To: 
Subject: [Homeroast] Drum Roaster Question
Message-ID: <000c01ccea0e$673fd4e0$35bf7ea0$@gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
Hi guys n' gals!
I've been lurking for quite a while and been home roasting for a bit over a
year on a FreshRoast SR500.  I absolutely love being able to roast my own
coffee - fresh taste, much higher quality than even expensive stuff from the
grocery store, and making our place smell like roasted coffee is just
amazing.  I'm getting to a point where I want to be able to make a bit
bigger batch size, and have a more uniform roast.  One thing I've noticed
about the FreshRoast is that my roasts are rarely uniform throughout; some
beans are noticeably lighter and darker, even in the same batch.  I roast in
my kitchen at a pretty average temperature (room temp anywhere from 70 to
75) - I think it's just a function of air roasting being an imperfect
medium.  I'm looking at drum roasters, and had some questions for the folks
on the list.
I like a good City Roast (maybe a tad darker), and I don't think that any
drum roasters have issues with that.  However, we recently bought an
espresso machine, so I'd also like a machine that can handle an
Espresso/Italian Roast.  In reading about the Behmor 1600, it sounds like it
is not a good model to get if you want darker roasts due to smoke and fire
hazard.  I was hoping that wouldn't be the case given the attractive price
point for the Behmor over other drum roasters, but there seems to be
consensus on the reputable sites I check (Sweet Maria's, The Coffee
Project), so who am I to question that.
Do you guys have any suggestions on a reasonably priced drum roasters that
could handle what I'm looking for?  Batch size isn't super important - I'd
be happy with a half-pound at a time (though more is better, I care more
about the roast quality than a gigantic batch size).  Any advice would be
appreciated!
Thanks,
--Matt
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.comSweet Maria's Forum
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