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Thread: Fluid Bed vs Oven ( behmor) pros & cons

  1. #1
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    Fluid Bed vs Oven ( behmor) pros & cons

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Can you seasoned roasters out there provide feedback on Fluid Bed roasting approx 1 kg and an Over type roaster . Which is more even ?

    Thanks

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Even?

    Colour evenness the fluid bed is usually better
    ...but taste...
    drum wins every time. More body and more flavour depth in the result, fluid bed roasts are nearly always "soft".
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    Any clue as to why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Any clue as to why?
    Yes- convection only roasts are not the same as roasts which incorporate a proportion of conduction.

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Yes- convection only roasts are not the same as roasts which incorporate a proportion of conduction.
    This may be the "how", but like Mr.Jack, I am interested in "why" a convection roast is different.
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    I'm assuming it's related to moisture content, but was curious if anyone knew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Yes- convection only roasts are not the same as roasts which incorporate a proportion of conduction.
    It's not really clear to me why conduction would be inherently different. The inside of a bean is influenced only by the bean surface conditions - assuming they were the same, the mode of heat transfer is not relevant.

    So, what I would love to know is what is the difference in bean surface condition (between drum and fluid bed roaster)? Perhaps it is simply a matter of changing the operating conditions in a fluid bed roaster?

    Perhaps "evenness" itself is the problem...

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    I would imagine that air velocity has a lot to do with it. In a fluid bed roaster the air is moving a hell of a lot faster which would lead to a far faster drying phase as the moisture is literally stripped out of the beans far more efficiently than it would be in a conventional drum roaster. Kitchen ovens demonstrate this as recipes always call for shorter baking or roasting times in fan forced ovens. And... a quicker drying phase, shorter roasting time and, most likely, lower moisture content will ultimately result in roast (and flavour) profiles quite different to those from drum roasters.
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    Hi Andy. Can you clarify "soft"? I am interested in the Behmor , but I am going through the "create my own home made roaster" phase

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    " Perhaps "evenness" itself is the problem..."

    " And... a quicker drying phase, shorter roasting time and, most likely, lower moisture content will ultimately result in roast (and flavour) profiles quite different to those from drum roasters "

    I once stretched out a roast to over 20 minutes in one of my Frankenpoppers, with a slow ramp up, much as Matt and Mal do in their corretto's. As I recall, it was very even, but it was the worst result I had from that bean.
    My palate lacks the ability to describe it better, but flat, lifeless, bland, are all terms that spring to mind. I needed no further convincing that hot air roasts need to be kept shorter than most other methods.

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    Never used a "longer" profile with any of my Poppers, for the very reasons you discovered "deegee"...
    Found that the optimum roast duration was between 10-11 minutes for 95% of all the beans I tried.
    There's a lot of sense in what "Vinitasse" outlined above, in my opinion...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    I would imagine that air velocity has a lot to do with it. In a fluid bed roaster the air is moving a hell of a lot faster which would lead to a far faster drying phase as the moisture is literally stripped out of the beans far more efficiently than it would be in a conventional drum roaster. Kitchen ovens demonstrate this as recipes always call for shorter baking or roasting times in fan forced ovens. And... a quicker drying phase, shorter roasting time and, most likely, lower moisture content will ultimately result in roast (and flavour) profiles quite different to those from drum roasters.
    This is pretty much in line with what I suspect. In theory, it would be possible to compensate by control of humidity and temperature...

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    My experience with convection roasters leads me to agree with Andy. They produce a softer flavour, though I sometimes countered this with blending in some dark roasted Ethiopian beans.

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    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    I really wished I had read this thread before I dropped 1600 dollars on a 120g roaster. I thought they were supposed to be superior roasters from what I was told elsewhere. The flavours are "softer". Damn!

    Would adding robusta beans help this problem of muted flavours Andy?

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    from what I was told elsewhere
    Well, that's the problem right there.
    CoffeeSnobs community is all you really need


    1600 dollars on a 120g roaster
    A popper is $5 in a second hand store, around $20 brand new yet glorified poppers reach well over $2000. Someone builds them and someone buys them.

    You can get a very even and pretty looking roast on any fluid-air roaster but typically the same bean roasted in a drum/oven with a mixture of hot air and radiant/convection heat will always have better body and the potential of better flavour development.

    There will be nothing wrong with your new roaster except the small volume might eventually drive you nuts.
    I suggest use it, and enjoy it till it does.

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    The somewhere else was Matt Perger. On Barista Hustle he absolutely berates and crucifies drum roasters. Saying that whoever invented them deserves pain! He said that he can't wait to see more commercial roasters using the fluidised air bed roasters. I guess I shouldn't have trusted in one persons opinion even that one person is Matt Perger. https://youtu.be/2lPGf1gM9nA?t=1210

    So Andy my question about Robusta. Will that at least improve body. Since I am now stuck with my new roaster, RIP my old Behmor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineGrind View Post
    The somewhere else was Matt Perger. On Barista Hustle he absolutely berates and crucifies drum roasters. Saying that whoever invented them deserves pain! He said that he can't wait to see more commercial roasters using the fluidised air bed roasters. I guess I shouldn't have trusted in one persons opinion even that one person is Matt Perger. https://youtu.be/2lPGf1gM9nA?t=1210
    I know Matt is knowledgeable but listening to that, it sounds like he doesn't know how a drum roaster works. That's the worst analogy for a drum roaster I've ever heard. Tumble Dryer? It's more descriptive of my Coretto. Who mixes greens of different densities and moisture content in a professional capacity, and expects an even roast with the same the same outcomes for the beans?
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    Isn't it a good thing that Matt Perger is not the only person in the world who knows something about coffee- and that we're not all lemmings?
    ntm.jpg
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    Does anyone even read Barista Hustle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    Does anyone even read Barista Hustle?
    i do, and i also subscribe to their learning platform. everything matt's written has led me to better tasting coffee. also, many cafes and roasteries also use his systematic method of dialing in new espresso coffees, and his coffee compasses for training palates. so while i won't be surprised if this insular-at-times community ignores BH, there's no denying that he's made a huge impact on the industry.
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    I recently joined their mailing list and Facebook group but I am too tight to pay for the subscription. I have been listening to some good podcasts and Matt featured in a few.

    Not enough of an experienced roaster to comment on this topic but he does seem to be asking some interesting questions and doing some cool experiments in the coffee space

    The only negative thing I can see from his work is some people taking the results as good or bad. Like extraction maximisation just for the sake of science without actually looking at taste in the cup. But I think Matt is pushing the limits in coffee and his aim seems to be to produce better Barista's which isn't a bad thing.
    Last edited by roosterben; 18th September 2019 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Finishing the post

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    everything matt's written
    Sounds like you're a disciple mate...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Sounds like you're a disciple mate...

    Mal.
    proof's in the cup.

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    Wow this thread makes some interesting assumptions.

    I thought all these myths had been well and truly put to bed by Anne Cooper and Rob Hoos work. They have gathered some really solid real world empirical data. Basically when roasts are closely matched across 3 very different machines by people who know how, even "industry pros" cant do better than chance at picking them apart and even if they can they cant tell you which machine it was roasted on.

    A fluid bed capable of very accurate profiling such as this new 120g roaster should have no problems matching your favourite roast, its just a matter of working out how?

    Anecdotally, always found the biggest factor at play in "body" comes from the cultivar, terroir and processing method. Followed by how long first crack can be stretched out for without baking / stalling always seems to boost espresso viscosity.

    Here is link to article https://www.roastmagazine.com/articl...oastingSystem/
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    The problem with stuff like this is that people read one article, view it in isolation but take it as gospel and apply it to everything. I havenít read that particular BH article and Iím not going to bother, but having read plenty of other work by Perger I can be pretty sure that what heíll be getting at is that thereís a large number (if not the majority) of roasters out there using drum roasters poorly. The aim of BH and Perger is not to tell people that already know what theyíre doing how to do it better, itís to raise the floor. As they say, a rising tide floats all boats. So while most air/fluid bed roasters donít have quite the same ability to highlight some of the best attributes of high quality coffee they can more easily deliver consistently acceptable results. However at the end of the day you will only ever get out what you put in.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    proof's in the cup.
    I guess quite a few of us can say that...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineGrind View Post
    The somewhere else was Matt Perger. On Barista Hustle he absolutely berates and crucifies drum roasters. Saying that whoever invented them deserves pain! He said that he can't wait to see more commercial roasters using the fluidised air bed roasters. I guess I shouldn't have trusted in one persons opinion even that one person is Matt Perger. https://youtu.be/2lPGf1gM9nA?t=1210

    So Andy my question about Robusta. Will that at least improve body. Since I am now stuck with my new roaster, RIP my old Behmor.
    G'day FineGrind

    This is rare, however I disagree with both Andy and Matt P (and totally agree with the "Roast mag" review mentioned above).

    W Perth had a fluid (air) bed roaster from 1975 until a year or so ago. It was always my benchmark for a good roaster. The flavour of light and medium roasts was outstanding - I now suspect because the original owner preferred them so he optimised his setup for them.

    Over the years I noticed every newbie went through three months or so of hell (as did I in 1979) until they learnt its quirks. Then it consistently generated outstanding roasts.

    One of the earliest trainees from the original roaster has been using a Dietrich drum roaster for the last 6 or 7 years. Using the same beans at the same time I could not pick any difference at all - and that is for over 5 years of overlap. The penny should have dropped then...

    So, upon reflection, I reckon the roaster's "profile" and skill level is more relevant than the technology as long as it is a good quality machine.

    I actually have a Behmor 1600+ (thanks to Andy / bean bay) and I can get close to either of those other two roasters in the cuppa using the same beans. The 1600+ is clearly a good machine. The remaining difference may be more to my (lack of) skill level and lack of practice more than the actual technology.

    Just my 2 cent worth.

    TampIt
    PS: The W Pth air bed roaster usually produced more and better flavour - no "softness" - than any other roaster I used in the "80's... and by a wide margin.

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    I had no idea what a fluid bed roaster was so I googled it and found this some may find interesting
    https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/b...ath-less-taken
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day FineGrind

    This is rare, however I disagree with both Andy and Matt P (and totally agree with the "Roast mag" review mentioned above).

    W Perth had a fluid (air) bed roaster from 1975 until a year or so ago. It was always my benchmark for a good roaster. The flavour of light and medium roasts was outstanding - I now suspect because the original owner preferred them so he optimised his setup for them.

    Over the years I noticed every newbie went through three months or so of hell (as did I in 1979) until they learnt its quirks. Then it consistently generated outstanding roasts.

    One of the earliest trainees from the original roaster has been using a Dietrich drum roaster for the last 6 or 7 years. Using the same beans at the same time I could not pick any difference at all - and that is for over 5 years of overlap. The penny should have dropped then...

    So, upon reflection, I reckon the roaster's "profile" and skill level is more relevant than the technology as long as it is a good quality machine.

    I actually have a Behmor 1600+ (thanks to Andy / bean bay) and I can get close to either of those other two roasters in the cuppa using the same beans. The 1600+ is clearly a good machine. The remaining difference may be more to my (lack of) skill level and lack of practice more than the actual technology.

    Just my 2 cent worth.

    TampIt
    PS: The W Pth air bed roaster usually produced more and better flavour - no "softness" - than any other roaster I used in the "80's... and by a wide margin.
    Of course it doesnít matter what you use if you put crap coffee in it.
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  30. #30
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    Hi all, on the basis of this thread I have added extra insulation to my home built roaster to increase conduction. I am just wondering how much conduction is good? I use a homebuilt roaster which is basically a bigger Coretto. Inner is a stainless steamer, (perforated inner liner with an outer liner which I have insulated) surrounded by a 30mm larger stainless pot with heavy base, again well insulated. Should I being adding mass to the base of the perforated inner liner to aid conduction? Or is it adequate?

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    It will matter not one whit.

    If the stuff above about conduction being superior were true, to get the effect you would need to get the steel temperature above the air temperature. If your heat supply is hot air this can't happen without violating the first law of thermodynamics.

    If the stuff above is based on misunderstanding what is going on in a coffee roaster it's a moot point as the steel temperature isn't important.

    Good insulation is worth doing to reduce heat loss to ambient anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Of course it doesnít matter what you use if you put crap coffee in it.
    G'day LeroyC

    Too true - that is exactly why I take great care in selecting top quality beans for my daily cuppa - whether roasted by an expert (preferably) or green (unpack the 1600+ again... sigh).

    FYI, from 1975 W Pth imported directly from the (organic - not that they were certified) farmers while most others in Oz got rubbish beans which stank of herbi / pesti / fungi-cides and tried to get decent coffee from them. That is also why I used to take a few kilos of W Pth beans to Sydney for coffee aficionados there on every trip (20+ trips per year from 1980 until 2006). Even on my last Sydney trip, you could smell the "unwanted extras" by just walking past the door of their main roasters. Melbourne - not such poor beans in those days and by 2000 they must have been using the same "direct from farm" approach there.

    Enjoy your cuppa - whatever your taste buds prefer.

    TampIt

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    338
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    Thanks Lyrebird. Just did 4 roasts back to back and the insulation definitely has changed the characteristics for the better. If nothing else lowers my running cost on the heat gun! The metal gets hot (though clearly not more than the air) anyway, just due to low mass doesn't stay that way

  34. #34
    338
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Even on my last Sydney trip, you could smell the "unwanted extras" by just walking past the door of their main roasters. ...

    TampIt
    Tampit, love your posts but glad you don't generalise! You just slammed every roaster in a city of 4.5 million people. To be frank the traffic is so abysmal in Sydney I couldn't get to 20% of the main roasters in Sydney in a day
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Even?

    Colour evenness the fluid bed is usually better
    ...but taste...
    drum wins every time. More body and more flavour depth in the result, fluid bed roasts are nearly always "soft".
    I'll qualify this by stating that I never feel really in control roasting like I do using a Lever for extraction, (hoping this will change with time).
    The first roaster I bought was a FZ-RR 700 baby roaster, no fan, no air flow just pure conduction via a solid copper drum.
    (You have to roast via a timer and your sense of smell).
    This little baby always produced great roasts, (consistently the best Yemen I have ever tasted).
    At the time I was drinking only French Press long blacks, never had an Espresso Machine.

    For the last 3 years I've swopped to Espresso only based Long Blacks and I do about 8 roasts back to back a month on a Hottop, (all kinds of beans).
    I'm assuming the Hottop lets you mix conduction and convection, via variable electric element power and a variable speed fan.
    (All my standard programs so far have been some mix of both to achieve desired profiles).
    I have achieved plenty of good even roasts, but never as intense or better tasting roasts than with pure conduction in that baby roaster.
    (Especially with Yemen).

    Next month I will try roasting in the Hottop with minimal fan to see if I can get closer to that baby roaster "taste".

    Will report back.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Tampit, love your posts but glad you don't generalise! You just slammed every roaster in a city of 4.5 million people. To be frank the traffic is so abysmal in Sydney I couldn't get to 20% of the main roasters in Sydney in a day
    G'day 338

    I admit there probably was at least one good roaster among the 2 million souls in the Sydney area way back then - however I had nearly 100 clients scattered pretty widely in the greater Sydney area (i.e. from the 'gong to Newcastle) and none of them managed to find it. As most of them had interstate offices, several actually got their beans from their Melbourne office - where there were also a lot of cafes serving great coffee (and food - don't get me started) at the time. The number of interstate companies my own "Pty Ltd" serviced was why I did such a large number of trips to all the capitals every year (1989 to 2006). Even the locals at Darwin and Adelaide (and even Strathalbyn!) had found better coffee than the Sydney guys managed to locate. FYI, I only ever took beans to the other capitals to satisfy the locals that their stuff was "different but OK".

    BTW - I was born over there, so I am actually talking about my original home state of NSW. Half my own family and ex-neighbours used to get my father (then later me) to bring freshly roasted coffee over to them as early as 1964 (? certainly by 1966) when Robert Tims used to roast their New Guinea literally half a block from my folk's place in Vic Park (corner Geddes and Washington St). I can still remember my dad having to visit our Italian ex-neighbours in Warrawong "coffee in hand" and being treated like a messenger from God. They were the family who first introduced us to Carmencita coffee (aka stainless moka pot) in the late 1950's. I remember they previously bought their coffee beans from a guy near Sunderland until dad first came back with the RT New Guinea (back when it was worth drinking). Then W Pth started up in 1975... and the standard went up again over here.

    The sad thing is that Zeitgeist in Byron Bay ('81 trip?) is the only "better than OK" coffee I have had in NSW to date amidst a whole pile of chemically nuked also rans - and I am really sensitive to chemical crap in my cuppa. YMMV and that is fine.


    TampIt
    PS: The traffic in Sydney - Yep, shocking. It took from 2pm to 3:45pm to go from Toongabbie to Ryde sometime around 1994 on a normal day - and that is not even with peak hour traffic flows. These days you could probably add another hour. I could do my IT work after hours, so "midnight to dawn shifts" were my norm in Melbourne or Sydney if travel was involved. In Denver using the interstate & main roads about the same time & distance would take 15 minutes, Perth (and Brissie and Adelaide) would take about 30 minutes. My travel time around their Sydney branches often cost my clients dearly. Now I am retired, that is something I do not miss.
    Last edited by TampIt; 29th September 2019 at 02:03 PM.
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    Sorry to hear Tampit you or your clients never had a good coffee in Sydney.

    Snowytec look forward to hearing your thoughts. I think like many things in coffee, this convection versus conduction debate might be an artisan way of achieving a result versus a scientific way. The artisans have a proven way of doing things which ticks all the boxes, other ways which should be logically similar might be missing one box, but no one has identified what that is. Happy to have a foot in both camps and keep my lucky rabbits foot in my left pocket while roasting till proven unnecessary
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    Hello Group , my first post / response to this group. This subject caught my eye immediately and the comment of " soft " should be revised to be " even " roasting . Many people equate the differencbutes in the roast as the drum has more " body " well that body is the mixing of old burnt oils and the chaff infusing flavors into the coffee an not the coffee itself. Of course I am very biedased as I build Fluidbed roasters. The chaff gets blown to the wind immediately after leaving the bean and does not get a chance to influence the bean flavor with Bitterness or burnt flavors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roastedright View Post
    Hello Group , my first post / response to this group. This subject caught my eye immediately and the comment of " soft " should be revised to be " even " roasting . Many people equate the differencbutes in the roast as the drum has more " body " well that body is the mixing of old burnt oils and the chaff infusing flavors into the coffee an not the coffee itself. Of course I am very biedased as I build Fluidbed roasters. The chaff gets blown to the wind immediately after leaving the bean and does not get a chance to influence the bean flavor with Bitterness or burnt flavors.
    Rubbish, the speed of chaff removal has nothing to do with burnt flavours "infusing the bean".

    It just as easy if not more to internaly scorch the bean with an air roaster from too high air temps.

    Even if chaff infusion were true, a drum with proper airflow has no difference in chaff removal.
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  40. #40
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    How much conduction is actually occurring?

    drums are frequently SS which itself a poor conductor, transient contact and dissimilar surface features.

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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by PGH View Post
    How much conduction is actually occurring?

    drums are frequently SS which itself a poor conductor...
    Except for all of the cast iron and high carbon steel ones.
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