Behmor - Optimizing 1/4 Pound Roasts

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by DavidZ »

After 2 months of studying and roasting weekly, I'm finally getting great 1/4 pound roasts from my Behmor. Early on, I began to realize that the Behmor's preprogrammed profiles for 1/4 pound roasts are way off. I suspected that I was getting to first crack too fast. As I was preparing an experiment to start my next roast at 75% power, I stumbled upon a great post on this discussion board by JimF titled "Designing roast curves for the Behmor 1600 Plus." In that post he outlined an awesome procedure for roasting 1/4 pound batches on the Behmor. Here's the procedure with some minor modifications.

1. Load the drum with beans. Insert the chaff tray but keep the drum out. Preheat to 200 degrees by pressing 1/4, Start. Quickly remove the chaff tray, insert the loaded drum, and replace the chaff tray.
2. For 1/4 lb of beans, press 1/2, P3, C, Start, P4. This places the machine at 75% power in manual mode.
3. At 9:00 on the countdown timer (5:00 into the roast), press P5 (this offsets the affect of the afterburner, which comes on at 5:00 with these settings)
4. At 8:15 on the countdown timer (after 45 seconds), press P4
5. At first crack, press P3
6. At 14:00 * 0.25 = 3:30, press Start to prevent the Behmor from helpfully shutting off and ruining your beans!
7. Press Stop when the roast is at the desired point. Wearing gloves, quickly remove the chaff tray, remove the drum, and press 1/2, Cool to start the cooling cycle. Immediately begin the cooling procedure. Cool beans in as close to 4 minutes as possible.

WOW! I'm getting great roasts! I suggest you try this procedure yourself. If you do, let me know what you think.

So far, I've only roasted beans that Behmor recommends for preprogrammed profile P1 or P2, which includes all centrals, Peruvian and Colombians, using this procedure. Now that I understand the strategies for getting around the the Behmor's built in obstacles, I've mapped out a plan for tackling other coffee beans (i.e., beans that Behmor recommends for preprogrammed profiles P3 to P5), but haven't tried them out yet.

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DavidZ (original poster)

#2: Post by DavidZ (original poster) »

I should also mention that my kitchen outlet puts out about 120.5 V fairly consistently. With the Behmor plugged in at full power, it drops to 116.5 to 117.0 V. I'm using a Kill A Watt P4400 to monitor my electricity line.

Right now I get to first crack between 7:30 to 8:00 with Central American, Peruvian and Colombian coffees (Behmor recommends preprogrammed profile P1 for these coffees) If your line is weaker than mine, you may need to get something like a Variac to reproduce my results.


#3: Post by bach »

Thanks for sharing, I'll try this out in my Behmor. Let me know if you make any progress on some African coffees - still trying to find the best way to roast those!

DavidZ (original poster)

#4: Post by DavidZ (original poster) » replying to bach »

I'm working on it, Stefan.

When I bought the Behmor, Roastmasers included 8 pounds of green beans, mostly P1 coffees (Central American, Peruvian and Colombian). There were a couple of others including Brazil and Burundi, for which Behmor recommends preprogrammed P3 profile. When I first started roasting, I used the Behmor preprogrammed profiles. The Burundi came out very good using the preprogrammed P3 profile. The P1s were fair. That tells me that the preprogrammed P3 profile is not as far off as the preprogrammed P1 profile for 1/4 pound batches.

The Burundi came to first at about 6:45. That's a little earlier than I would like. Unfortunately, the Behmor doesn't have an easy way to fine tune the roast profile. I've got a few experiments I'm going to try. I'll let you know what I come up with. In the meantime, I suggest you try roasting 1/4 pound of your African coffee using the preprogrammed P3 profile and let me know what you think and when you hit first crack. Make sure to (1) preheat to 200 degrees, (2) at first crack, switch to P3 manual (50% power), and (3) cool the beans in as close to 4 minutes as possible. Also, do you know what your voltage readings are with the Behmor on and off?


#5: Post by Mbb »

Just adjust roast quantity to get desired time to 1C.

And stick with that quantity. There are built in variables you are fighting that you cant control.....the can. Its a main variable to tweak. Every roaster has a quantity it likes best. Dont fight it.

DavidZ (original poster)

#6: Post by DavidZ (original poster) »

Yes, batch size is on my list of experimental variables. However, I want to try to get as close as possible with the Behmor's profile settings and then fine tune with batch size.

DavidZ (original poster)

#7: Post by DavidZ (original poster) »

Has anyone else tried this Behmor roast profile/protocol yet? If so, I'd be interested in hearing about your results. I'm having great success with it.

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#8: Post by babalu120483 »

Tonight I ran the protocol mentioned on a Guatemala Finca Santa Sofia washed. 115 grams with a 15% loss. To me it looks like a City +

I will let you know in about a week how its tasting.

DavidZ (original poster)

#9: Post by DavidZ (original poster) » replying to babalu120483 »

Nice! A few questions for my curiosity:

- How far into the roast did you hit 1C?
- Do you know what your line voltage is? If so, what are you getting?
- How close was your bean cooling time to 4 minutes?



#10: Post by babalu120483 » replying to DavidZ »

- 1C was at 10:30 with a B temp of 237
- I will check tomorrow when I run another batch but the first time I ran the behmor my voltage was pretty stable
- Unfortunately I did not follow this step and left it inside with the door open.

Tomorrow I will follow the protocol to a T and will report back.