Frustration with Brazil Salmo

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

#1: Post by pressorespresso »

I've been roasting with a Behmor for more than three years, without many problems--until now. I purchased a sack of Brazil Salmo Plus Natural NY 2/3 SCR 16+ 2021 from Genuine Origin and it's been nothing but heartbreak and heartburn for the last three roasts (3/4 lb x 4 roasts per session).

The first session, I barely heard the first crack (a recurring theme) and ended up with burned beans. Second session I stopped after hearing some indications of a first crack and it turned out I was was woefully too early: undrinkable sourness. Today I tried again and it looks like I didn't let the roast go on long enough. I hear a few pops, let it go for another two minutes: too light. And I'm adding a couple of minutes at the end the Behmor's "time increment," so I'm definitely roasting for longer than I do for other beans. The problem is that I hear what definitely sounds like a few beans going through first crack, I let it roast a while longer, then see it was badly over- or under-roasted.

Any suggestions? I suppose I'll get the hang of this bean through sheer repetition, but I'd like to succeed earlier than later.


#2: Post by tglodjo »

I have a box of those as well. Definitely soft on the crack-it's so hard to hear. I'm roasting on an Artisan 3-e and have been using temp and sight to get a solid medium roast. When you hit the sweet spot, it's great. Not complex, but smooth and balanced. The Behmor might make it difficult to dial in though. The minimal and low volume first crack has been frustrating.

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#3: Post by pressorespresso (original poster) »

Thanks for the confirmation. Maybe it's finally time for a roaster upgrade. I even checked my quartz bulbs, wondering if maybe one of 'em was out.

Meanwhile, I'll just wing it and not "whinge" it.

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#4: Post by hankua »

On a roaster with a bean probe, one can use a pre-set first crack temperature to begin the roast development stage; not the case with the Behmor. Since there was one roast that went Vienna, two options might be to reduce overall time or load a full pound and run the same profile. Are you able to hear second crack with the Behmor? That's a known point to work from.

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#5: Post by Brewzologist »

You might want to review this recent thread by another Behmor user having challenges with naturals: Behmor roasting problems after 1 year

If you aren't using manual mode on the Behmor, I suggest you do in general, and definitely for naturals. You often hear on HB that naturals develop faster during a roast than washed coffees. So one approach with them is to go a bit lower and slower, but not too much. Have a look at that thread where I provided a link to how I used to roast on the Behmor and see if you can change the temperature into first crack (P3/P2 so many seconds before first crack) so you don't under/over develop or run too long. Perhaps you and the OP in the thread above can figure out a sweet spot for roasting naturals on the Behmor and share with the community! :)

EDIT: Here's a direct link to my old approach. Note the change to P3 at 10:30 elapsed time. You might do something like this and experiment in changing to P3 30-60 seconds before first crack usually starts with naturals so they don't run away and burn, or stall and be too light: Getting Started with Roasting


#6: Post by Rickpatbrown »

Can you smell pretty well?
When I was roasting on my Coretta junkyard roaster, I noticed a distinct smell that came just before 1stC. It would burn my nose a little, like it was acidic vapor. It was very consistent for all the beans and came about 2-5°F before 1stC.

I dont notice it anymore, because the Huky ventilate so much. You might be able to use this as a guide.
Try a different coffee and see if you can smell the onset of 1stC.

Obviously, temp probes are a great way to go.

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#7: Post by mkane »

I too bought 65lbs of those same beans and finally, I'm down to a pound.

I've never been so frustrated. Blowouts, scorching, tipping, flicks. I tried everything.

And almost impossible to hear 1C. Came close to saving propane and just tossing the beans.

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#8: Post by pressorespresso (original poster) »

Thanks again for all of your helpful tips and answers. Since I became comfortable with how my Behmor works, I've never had problems other than me getting distracted and having the machine give me the "Error 2" code for overheating. My roasts aren't usually great or very repeatable, but they're serviceable at least. The coffee is "good," espressos can occasionally be "very good." But these Brazil Natural beans make me feel like I'm rolling the dice, blind. My latest roast came out okay, and I broached the topic of getting a "better" roaster with my wife, but we decided to just use the Behmor until it dies (and it just keeps going, which kind of surprises me).

I roast outside, so I don't think I would notice a subtle acidic smell. I generally avoid the smell of roasting smoke, as I don't like it.

I always roast in manual mode at the 1lb setting, with a preheat to 250F prior to roasting the beans. I roast about 3/4 pound per session, fast drum speed. I don't cool beans in the machine, instead pulling out the beans and cooling with a Makita battery-powered leaf blower (wearing gloves). After reading the thread Brewzologist suggested, I think I'll reduce the weight to 1/2 lb.

mkane's experience jibes with mine, and I won't be buying those beans again. I assume Genuine Origin has other beans that would suit me, but I think I'll go back to tried-and-true Theta Ridge next time. Guatemalan Huehuetenango is more my speed.

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#9: Post by Brewzologist »

The Behmor is well built. You may have to wait a long time before it dies. I used and upgraded mine for over 6 years and sold it to someone still using it.

Not that your wife will like me saying this, but upgrading from the Behmor really advanced my roasting. So when you're ready, post questions on this forum. 8)

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#10: Post by pressorespresso (original poster) »

Yeah, you're right. She's not going to like hearing that one bit. But, hey, I can show her it's in writing on the internet!