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Topic: behmor fire (20 msgs / 579 lines)
1) From: j3r
http://www.flickr.com/photos/svladcjelli/7059367829/So I was slicing mushrooms nearby and my friend says "hmm, there is lots 
of smoke coming from the roaster". I run over and sure enough it is 
billowing smoke. Turn it on cooling cycle, but that is not helping - I 
can see flames inside. Open the door and of course that makes it into a 
raging inferno. Scramble to find fire extinguisher (ironically it is 
behind 4 cans of butane - hmmm). Extinguish fire and toss basket outside 
where it proceeds to fill my backyard with amazingly thick smoke (do 
they use coffee beans inside smoke grenades?). Extinguish that with some 
water.
That night I swept it out, cleaned it with simply green and what do you 
know, it still works :)
Just thought I would throw it out there that this thing is really 
dangerous if you don't follow their info and don't keep a close eye on 
it. I was roasting 1lb of Sidamo (I mourn its death) on P1 with an extra 
minute tacked on.
Jeremy
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2) From: David Morrow
Jeremy,
Thanks for the reminder not to leave the Behmor unattended.  I have had one
or two small glowing chaff fires, but they quickly went out when I shut the
system down.  As you have probably figured out by now, your mistake was to
hit cool instead of off.  Here is what the manual says about fire:
In Case of Fire: Never open the chamber door.
It goes on to say that the machine should shut down automatically.  When
that happens, unplug it and move it outside when it is same to do so.  You
might want to talk to their tech support person about why the machine didn't
shut down and what you should do to make sure it has not been damaged.  From
what I hear, they are usually very helpful.

3) From: j3r
On 12-04-09 03:14 PM, David Morrow wrote:
<Snip>
Indeed. I panicked. The amount of smoke was prodigious. The machine did 
in fact shut down once the fire started in earnest, when the door was 
opened.
I know not to open the door and said as much to my friend, but I have a 
bad habit of opening the door a crack when I need a quick cooling cycle, 
and I think this is what prompted me to do so.
I definitely learned from this, I was more worried about the Behmor and 
damaging it, which was why I wanted to extinguish the flames ASAP. I 
know now to just close it up, put it outside if possible and explain to 
the neighbours that I was experimenting with smoke machines for my 
upcoming rock spectacle.
Jeremy
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4) From: Colin Wen
Probably the smoke came from the insufficient oxygen during the
burning chaff (or bean).
The reason people should not open the door is to reduce the oxygen for fire.
I assume the flame come from you opening the door, otherwise it would
just be a huge amount of smoke.
I did not have Behmor, but my roaster produce some small burning chaff
every now and then.
That is why I always roast outside of the house (backyard).
Its good to hear Jeremy's ending is good, at least no one get hurt
(same as Behmor).
Probably the manufacturer of Behmor should consider a better way to
separate the chaff in next model.
Cheers
Colin
On 10 April 2012 08:22, j3r  wrote:
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5) From: Bob Holland
Jeremy, WELCOME to the 3rd Crack Club!
 Now the fun part, cleaning that puppy up!  After my "event" somebody on the
list recommended Dawn Power Dissolver. I found it worked better than Simple
Green, 409, or even Easy Off Oven Cleaner (not recommended). The Dawn was
kinda hard to find but ultimately found it at Wally World.  Contact Behmor
Tech support for the tests they use to make sure your machine is not
damaged.
Bob
Dexter, Oregon
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6) From: Bill Zambon
I've had my Behmor for about three years and had a fire- once.
It was completely due to my ineptitude- I forgot the time and came outside
on the porch to find smoke billowing and the machine actually shut down. I
thought I had burned the thing up, and after I regretfully threw away the
charcoal remains of what had been a pound of beautiful Costa Rican
greens.... I cleaned out the machine with Simple Green, and hoping against
hope, I pushed "start" and found that the thing still worked. That was two
years ago, and it has worked fine since then.
I am still unwilling to babysit the Behmor through the entire roast, but
now set an alarm to go off four minutes before the roasting part of the
cycle ends. I've found that this is adequate, and gets me into close
proximity to the Behmor well before any dangerous situation might develop.
And I always roast out of doors, away from anything that might catch
fire.... just in case.
But the Behmor is a rugged piece of equipment.
Bill Zambon
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7) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Oh - such a painful picture to look at - we had one here when I was 
distracted, and we just picked it up and ran outside, dumped the 
coffee in the gutter and that was that. Not fun. And as others say, 
the cleanup is not fun either! It took a few roasts to get rid of the 
pungent smoke smell. But it worked...
Tom
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
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8) From: Seth Grandeau
The "low profile chaff collector" is supposed to do a better job of
trapping the chaff and shielding it from the heat.  I've only been using it
for a few roasts, so not enough data to report.  I do find the roasts take
longer and it's harder to hear the cracks, for some reason, compared to the
old chaff collector.
On Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM, Colin Wen  wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Sandy Andina
The manufacturer warns against using the Behmor outdoors.  I don't necessarily "babysit" my Behmor because I'm usually in the kitchen anyway--I can always find something to do for the relatively short time it takes to roast.
Sent from my iPad
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
On Apr 10, 2012, at 2:24 PM, Bill Zambon  wrote:
<Snip>
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10) From: j3r
On 12-04-10 02:46 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:
<Snip>
Hehe thanks for the kind words folks :) As you can see, the cleanup is 
donehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/svladcjelli/7065184849/and the old 
Behmor is still kickin'. I did a few cleaning cycles and one roast of an 
old bean to re-season it since I stripped it down with simply green.
I must say I am impressed with the quality of the Behmor, it weathered 
my stupidity with nary a problem.
Jeremy
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11) From: Bill Zambon
Sandra wrote:
*The manufacturer warns against using the Behmor outdoors.*
+++++
Sandra-
I know. I know. Sadly I know... that the manufacturer warns against using
the Behmor outdoors.
But I take many of my roasts into second crack when the smoke can overwhelm
the smoke mitigation capacity of the Behmor.
Not something I'd like to do indoors!
However, though I roast outdoors, I always roast in a sheltered area with a
roof- away from rain or snow (if I have one criticism of the Behmor, it is
that it may not be properly grounded; when I first began roasting with it,
I did receive some tingling shocks from it if I picked it up in an area
with any moisture on the unit.. while still plugged in). Since that time,
I've made sure to roast in the aforementioned sheltered area. Further, I
don't roast if it is raining or snowing.... and I ALWAYS unplug the unit
immediately following the cooling cycle... BEFORE I try to pick it up and
move it. With those precautions, I've not noticed any further problems.
One oddity that I've noticed that I cannot explain, but seems to repeat
itself.....
Roasting times seem longer during warm weather than during cold weather. It
might simply be my imagination, but I doubt it. I find myself hitting the
cool cycle sooner during the winter than during the summer. It might be the
case that the thermostat controlling the heat cycle is tricked into
overdrive by cold weather.... I don't know.
But I rarely use the timed cycles anyway, except as a general guide. I hit
the cool cycle when the beans are cracking like I want.. and when the smoke
seems the right consistency and smells right..... something that comes with
roasting experience, I guess... hard to explain.
-- 
*"Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far
to see the campfires of gentle people." *
Garrison Keillor
William R. Zambon
(734) 272-7062  cell
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12) From: Ira
At 11:41 AM 4/11/2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
So basically the manufacturer warns that using the Behmor for it's 
intended purpose could be harmful to your life and property.  It's a 
coffee roaster for gosh sakes, there is nothing safe about that process.
Ira
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13) From: Colin Wen
mn...I did not know the manufacturer against roast with Behmor outdoor.
Good to learn.
But I def will roast in garage or shade, the smoke will activate the
fire alarm for sure.
Colin
On 12 April 2012 04:41, Bill Zambon  wrote:
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14) From: Jim Gundlach
Oh yes, if the insurance industry had existed back when humans created the ability to build camp fires and cook food, they would have been banned and the development of human culture would have been stuck way way way back there.
    pecan jim 
On Apr 11, 2012, at 1:59 PM, Ira wrote:
<Snip>
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15) From: Lalpern2
On April 11,2012 at  2:41 PM, Bill wrote:
 
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It
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Being of the engineering persuasion, and C/O (and maybe A/R), I've always  
kept extensive notes on every roast I've ever done including the six  
hundred or so using my Behmor.  I always record the ambient  temperature and have 
noticed the shorter times to first  crack when the temperature is lower.  In 
fact, I always estimate the  expected time to first crack based on previous 
roasts and the current  temperature.
 
I'm guessing that this is due to the longer on time of the heating elements 
 to satisfy the thermostat at colder temperatures.  Since much of the heat  
energy transferred to the beans is radiant, this shortens the time to first 
 crack (and total roast time) for the same beans and roast profile.
 
Maybe someone with technical expertise in the Behmor (Alchemist?)  would 
weigh in on this phenomena.
 
Speaking of the Behmor,  does anyone else find they need to  frequently 
repair or replace the afterburner?
I've had to fix mine five times so far, with the nichrome wire opening up  
right at the lug.
 
Still like the roaster though, and the roasts it produces.  Almost  never 
use my IR1 anymore.
 
Len
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16) From: John Nanci
That right there nails it on the head.
At 02:58 PM 4/11/2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
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17) From: John Nanci
Say his name an he appears :)
Your observation is 100% correct.  The roasts do generally take 
longer in hot weather.  The reason is because in cool whether, cool 
air is drawn into the side panel area where the thermistor is 
located, so is 'cooled'.  This makes the system think that the roast 
chamber is cooler, so it keeps the elements on more.  Conversely, in 
hot whether, heat is not dissipated as fast from the thermistor, so 
they system interprets this as the chamber being hotter, so it cycles 
it more to keep it 'in spec'.
Clearer?
I will also note that the newer models with the additional cooling 
fan on the side panel are much less prone to this as they are keeping 
the air in the side chamber exchanged more, so you see less variances 
with weather.
Alchemist John
At 11:11 AM 4/12/2012, you wrote:
<Snip>
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18) From: Martin Maney
On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:24:27AM -0700, John Nanci wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
Just as a confirmation of what I've observed recently.  Unfortunately,
I found the thermostatting entirely beneficial for the first four
months, when the ambient was around 60F.  Since it's warmed up
outside, the room has been nearer 70F, and I find that the
thermostatting starts sooner and is probably hitting a slightly lower
duty cycle, with the result that where I used to reach the doorway of
second crack with time left, I'm now at least sometimes running out of
time before I hear a single snap of second (though the cycling does
help stretch things out, which is why I used to like it just fine, so
there are a smattering of late pops of first, and it's not always clear
which category an isolated noise belongs to).
<Snip>
It's not enough, clearly, since this is one of those later production
articles.  I have had some passing thoughts about opening up the
perforations in the cover more to give that fan a freer draw... or
maybe even cut it open and mount a guard with a cleanable filter to get
both a freer draw and less dust sucked into the machine.  But now I'm
wondering if it might be more to the point to add a bit of series
resistance to the sensor to compensate for the ambient - get back to
the operating conditions that I found so conducive to happy roasting.
My main concern is that once I start modding the thing I doubt it will
stop until it's gotten a whole new brain.  The more you do, the more
you want to do more...
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19) From: John Nanci
Opening it the side further will do nothing to =
allow more air - the fan is doing that (and I =
speak from the experience of trying it).
Just for completeness, have you contacted Behmor =
about troubleshooting it.  The newer models I've =
roasted with are entirely strong into 2nd with =
time to spare.  As a token check - have you checked your voltage?
John
At 08:49 AM 4/14/2012, you wrote:
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20) From: Martin Maney
On Sat, Apr 14, 2012 at 01:46:20PM -0700, John Nanci wrote:
<Snip>
The rather sparse array of small holes stamped into the side are a
pretty good restriction for the fan's intake.  Don't know how much of
an effect it might have, as I said it was just a thought that's floated
by a few times while waiting, watching and smelling it shuffle along
towards first crack.  :-)
<Snip>
Voltage is usually on the high side: 124-125, dropping into the
120s-121s when both the heater and afterburner are on.  Haven't talked
to Behmor yet as I'm still sorting out what's actually going on.  I've
only had, IIRC, two roasts that ran until the timer stopped 'em, and
other roasts that, if they're taking a bit longer than back in
December, don't seem to be suffering for it.
I don't consume quite a pound of greens each week, so the data
accumulates rather slowly, even doing lb roast batches.  :-/
-- =
The most common implementation of SMTP is contained in sendmail.
This program is included free in most UNIX software distributions,
but you get less than you pay for.  -- Cheswick, Bellovin & Rubin
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