Behmor, El Salvador Finca Apaneca advice?
Hi new to roasting, other than a brief brush with a popcorn machine. Just got a behmor plus, and have found it hard to get consistent advice, I guess because it's up to you to get the feel of roasting. Anyway decided to stick to manual mode as I figured I'll be heading that way eventually so may as well start now and adjust according to results. I guess would be good to get any feedback on my technique, anything i should/shouldn't be doing and advice on roasting this bean. So here is my method:
I'm doing 200g charge for now, which gives me 12mins countdown.
Straight into p5 - 100% burners with normal drum speed as I figure I want to get heat into middle of the bean.
After 4 mins I speed up the drum to double, I guess to develop more acidic/bright flavours?
I seem to be getting FC around 4mins after that, so 8mins has surpassed by that point.
At FC i press C for Rosetta Stone, I press p1 to cut the burners for 30seconds, then i go to p3 for remainder of roast, which I think gets me just on the verge of 2nd crack. I then open the door and blow a fan in while catching chaff with a mini-vac.
Sorry I don't have a picture but I'll upload it later, but pretty happy with roast, probably on the light side for espresso but I'd prefer that for SO's anyway. I have to admit I haven't tried them yet but they smell fantastic. My last batch I did was with drum at high speed for the whole roast and I think I hit cool too early and under roasted them so it came out lacking a bit of body and character but sweetness was good and good acidity.
Anyway would be good to get your thoughts, thanks in advance!
ok, my biased $0.02 advice.
KISS, don't bother mucking around with drum speeds for now, one less variable to worry about.
Do my tray mod and that will stop most of the chaff flying around http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...od-3-tray.html Alternatively, cool you beans out of the unit. Being able to stop development pretty much instantly rather than waiting for the roaster to cool down made a huge improvement in my roasts.
And install a bean temp probe. So much better than roasting blind.
Why start out with such a complex routine/profile?
The beauty of the Behmor is that it will give you great results using any of its standard profiles. Just adjust the charge weight to fine tune the outcomes...
Worry about all the finessing tools once you have identified what you like best from particular beans. Even then, KISS is still best. Seek out some of Andy's posts about this and you will find similar recommendations...
Well, when it comes down to it there's plenty of ways to tackle it and there's no right or wrong. My personal opinion is that what you're doing is pretty much the opposite of what I'd recommend when learning the ropes on the Behmor. An El Salvadoran coffee should work well using Andy's recommended approach (assuming you're using the 220v version):
Originally Posted by Wynton87
• Pre-heat (Behmor say 1:45min, but 2:30min will be better)
• 200g batch
• Settings - 200, P1 auto all the way to first crack
• At first crack hit P2 and C
• Either let it go to the end for a slightly darker result OR stop about 40-60sec after the end of rolling first crack
I would do this a couple of times and when you've got a good idea of when first crack is likely to occur you could add a bit more influence by hitting P5 and D about 30-60sec before first crack. Then do the same P2 & C 'rosetta stone' at first crack. You can go back to normal drum speed once rolling first crack is well under way too.
Like you I was keen to use manual features on the Behmor ASAP when I got it. So after learning the ropes I started getting really involved and changing settings constantly through the roast. The more experienced I became the more I realised that this is unnecessary. At best it doesn't achieve anything, but I was actually finding it was detrimental to the results at times. So I have reverted to using the auto profiles as much as possible and I don't usually go into manual mode until about 3/4 of the way through the roast. The key is to know your coffee and learn what auto setting and batch size will work best. I cool outside the roaster in a DIY bean cooler, but any sort of assisted cooling like what you're doing will be better than letting the roaster cool down on its own.
Hope this helps a little. Whatever you do I'm sure you'll have fun and enjoy the results, it's a great little machine.
Thanks heaps MrFreddoFrog, Dimal and LeroyC. Looks like I'm over complicating things a bit. Another question I have is what's the difference between p1 preset (auto) and p5 in manual mode, aren't they both 100% power? Also can someone explain a bit about slowing down roast between first crack and second crack, Iv read this is desirable but how and why?
There is no difference between P1 preset and P5 - both 100% power as you say. If you are asking about 'stretching' the time between first crack and second crack there are exhaustive articles elsewhere (eg sweetmarias.com) about what this may do to the flavour profile of certain beans. If you are asking why most roasters power down after first crack then one key reason is that things happen pretty quickly here and, depending on where you are trying to get your beans to, full power just does not allow you the control needed. Also beans post first crack are exothermic (giving off heat) so you need to reduce temp to compensate.
Originally Posted by Wynton87
It's coming up to 12 mths for me with the Behmor 1600+ and I too keep it simple. We only drink single origin espresso so I am usually aiming for a end result of a good dark roast (CS9, Full City +). This is how I get there:
 [START] (400 grams every 6 days or so is right for us)
[C] [P3] 30 seconds into first crack (I like to get a rolling crack going before cutting power as I think it adds to evenness in the roast)
[LIGHT] Then I watch closely. The C preset time for 400grams is 3m10s and is usually fairly close to what I need at this temp, depending on the bean type, of course. I may hit [COOL] with some seconds remaining, I may let it go to COOL automatically. Occasionally, I may hit [+] and add 15 or 30 seconds if needed.
I always cool using the machine's cycle and am usually listening to second crack in the process (coasting). It surprises me a little that others aren't cooling like this as I have never gone too far when cooling this way. Less messy too!
So that is my fall back method and zero failures in 12 mths. By the way, if I was making or drinking coffee differently to what I do (espresso machine, never milk), I would be roasting differently. Roasting is one's personal preference between the balance of roast characters and origin characters - no one right way to roast.
Forgot to add that I always pre-heat 1m45s as I think this greatly reduces the effect of different ambient temperatures in the garage. Cheers.
P1 auto and P5 manual are NOT the same. P1 auto is not 100% heat all the way. P5 manual is good to use, but only at certain times and only for a short time. P1 auto is a much better choice while you learn.