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Thread: Behmor cleaning and smoke problems

  1. #1
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    Behmor cleaning and smoke problems

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Recently bought an ex-demo/ refurb Behmor
    While the first 2 batches were fun to roast (200g and 150g), the 3,4,5 batch not so much, batch 3,4 were roasted in 100g size and both triggered the smoke alarm even though there weren't lots of chaff.

    Tried to roast again today, 180g of Brazil Yellow Bourbon Especial 200g> start, very smoky before FC (5 min remaining), have to stop as I am afraid of it will trigger the smoke alarm again, lots of chaff compare to previous roast and one chaff stuck between the light bulb and the glass, and it is warm-to-hot when I touch the glass panel when the light is on I am not sure if it everything is normal

    Anxious about roasting with it right now as I've seen some post about Behmor on fire, planned to roast out door but it's wooden floor outside...

    I use the brush and vacuum every time after roast, there are some "burning stain" on the fence that protect the element and on the right back corner.

    I wonder if these two cleaner can substitute Simple Green

    1. Dettol Antibacterial Disinfectant Wipes 180 Pack Benzalkonium Chloride 0.47% w/w (0.3% w/w at use by date)

    2. Organic Choice Multi-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients: Water, Coconut based non-ionic surfactants, Sugar/corn based alcohol, Citric acid, Organic Backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) essential oil, Organic Cymbopogon flexuosus (lemon grass) essential oil, Organic Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Fragrance.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Personally, I would never roast inside with anything. I've always thought that home coffee roasting is best done on a verandah or in a shed so any chaff could just be spread on the garden and you don't have to worry about smoke alarms.

    As for cleaning, the manual recommends Simple Green and you can find it in Bunnings (for $6.50 a bottle, which will last for years). Simple Green was originally developed for commercial coffee roasters and it does a great job.

    Detol flavoured beans would be nasty and the second cleaner you mentioned might be okay but I expect "fragrance" wouldn't be too good.

    Whatever cleaner you use needs to non abrasive (ie: don't use Jiff like you might on a stainless kitchen sink)

    Others that use the Behmor more often than me might chime-in with their cleaning tips too.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Been roasting in the kitchen with the Behmor for years without dramas. I put it on a thick wooden tray on top of the hotplates and any excess smoke is sucked up the range hood.

    The machine lives in the cupboard directly under the hotplates so it's convenient to lift in and out.

    Cafetto cleaner is good. Dissolve it in warm water and wipe it on with a sponge. Occasionally I soak the drum and chaff collecter in the sink with warm water and caffeto.

    There's no smoke alarm in the kitchen of course. But there is in the corridor behind it...and if I inadvertently leave the door to that area open the slarm will go off despite no visible smoke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Personally, I would never roast inside with anything. I've always thought that home coffee roasting is best done on a verandah or in a shed so any chaff could just be spread on the garden and you don't have to worry about smoke alarms.

    As for cleaning, the manual recommends Simple Green and you can find it in Bunnings (for $6.50 a bottle, which will last for years). Simple Green was originally developed for commercial coffee roasters and it does a great job.

    Detol flavoured beans would be nasty and the second cleaner you mentioned might be okay but I expect "fragrance" wouldn't be too good.

    Whatever cleaner you use needs to non abrasive (ie: don't use Jiff like you might on a stainless kitchen sink)

    Others that use the Behmor more often than me might chime-in with their cleaning tips too.
    Will buy the simple green, and roast it outdoor next time, should I open the glass door while roasting in case it will catch on fire because of the chaff?
    I wonder if roasting just into FC/ before SC will still possibly causing fire or just those passes SC will potentially cause fire?
    Will roast out door next time but will need to use extension cord, is extension power board or a 3 metre extension cord safe to use for the behmor?

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Been roasting in the kitchen with the Behmor for years without dramas. I put it on a thick wooden tray on top of the hotplates and any excess smoke is sucked up the range hood.

    The machine lives in the cupboard directly under the hotplates so it's convenient to lift in and out.

    Cafetto cleaner is good. Dissolve it in warm water and wipe it on with a sponge. Occasionally I soak the drum and chaff collecter in the sink with warm water and caffeto.

    There's no smoke alarm in the kitchen of course. But there is in the corridor behind it...and if I inadvertently leave the door to that area open the slarm will go off despite no visible smoke.
    I roast in the kitchen as well, the first batch didn't set off the alarm even when it was 200g Peru roasted with all doors/ windows closed, plus didn't turn on the range hood. But with 100g the alarm goes off before FC even all doors opened/ range hood turned on......
    Have you ever saw flames in the behmor while roasting? I suspect I saw it but not sure about it..
    Last edited by jasmineeeee; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    You should NOT open the glass door during roasting. That's what the instructions say and with good reason.
    While I don't believe there's a fire risk if the machine is clean and operating properly, the risk of chaff catching fire does increase with an open door. Not to mention the mess as chaff is blown out all over the place instead of being contained in the machine.

  6. #6
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    You should avoid using an extension cord (as emphasised in the instructions) as voltage drop can play havoc with the effectiveness of the roaster. If you cannot avoid using an extension cord, it would be best to get an extension cord made up to the minimum length required and using the heaviest gauge cable that you can find. 15 amp cable as used for caravan extension cords would be a good starting point.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Personally, I would never roast inside with anything. I've always thought that home coffee roasting is best done on a verandah or in a shed so any chaff could just be spread on the garden and you don't have to worry about smoke alarms.

    As for cleaning, the manual recommends Simple Green and you can find it in Bunnings (for $6.50 a bottle, which will last for years). Simple Green was originally developed for commercial coffee roasters and it does a great job.

    Detol flavoured beans would be nasty and the second cleaner you mentioned might be okay but I expect "fragrance" wouldn't be too good.

    Whatever cleaner you use needs to non abrasive (ie: don't use Jiff like you might on a stainless kitchen sink)

    Others that use the Behmor more often than me might chime-in with their cleaning tips too.
    Don't forget to do the odd burn off - ie a short roast with no beans to burn off any unwanted build up on the elements (you will be able to find the steps in the manual).
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  8. #8
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Some appliances come with a warning not to use extension cords, but the warning is more apt as a legal disclaimer. The advice is more valid in countries with unstable electricity supply voltages.

    In the USA voltage supply is a nominal 120, so voltage drop can be an issue.

    The lower the voltage, the higher the potential drop.

    Here in Australia nominal voltage is 230 and drop is not an issue in domestic situations with small extension cords.
    In fact, because of the boom in rooftop solar, votages can and do spike much higher, around 250+ volts at my place.

    For example, at peak solar panel output at 1.33 pm yesterday, where I live the grid voltage also peaked, at 253 volts. That's way above the nominal supply.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I also roast under the rangehood. Closing all doors and windows seems to help draw most of the smokey or "coffee roasting scented air" out. Even though I hover over the roaster, I still keep a fire blanket near by just in case.

    Ditto about never opening the door if you notice any chaff smoldering or it may catch alight once the fresh air hits it.

    Beans that produce lots of chaff are more susceptible to catching alight. Doing 400g roasts with these can be tricky. Before opening the door at any time, switch off the internal light and check that there is no sign of the chaff edges smoldering.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:15 PM. Reason: added comment.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    You should NOT open the glass door during roasting. That's what the instructions say and with good reason.
    While I don't believe there's a fire risk if the machine is clean and operating properly, the risk of chaff catching fire does increase with an open door. Not to mention the mess as chaff is blown out all over the place instead of being contained in the machine.
    Will be roasting outdoor next time, so mess is not going to be a problem, just thought I should open the glass door if certain bean is too chaffy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Otago View Post
    You should avoid using an extension cord (as emphasised in the instructions) as voltage drop can play havoc with the effectiveness of the roaster. If you cannot avoid using an extension cord, it would be best to get an extension cord made up to the minimum length required and using the heaviest gauge cable that you can find. 15 amp cable as used for caravan extension cords would be a good starting point.
    Went to Bunnings today and only found 10 amp even when stated for heavy duty (was in rush, though I saw 15 amp cable on their online store), bought the 10amp 3M cable, is it ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Don't forget to do the odd burn off - ie a short roast with no beans to burn off any unwanted build up on the elements (you will be able to find the steps in the manual).
    Is it normal to have chaff that are smaller in size that stuck in between where the metals are connected?

    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    I also roast under the rangehood. Closing all doors and windows seems to help draw most of the smokey or "coffee roasting scented air" out. Even though I hover over the roaster, I still keep a fire blanket near by just in case.
    Ditto about never opening the door if you notice any chaff smoldering or it may catch alight once the fresh air hits it.

    Beans that produce lots of chaff are more susceptible to catching alight. Doing 400g roasts with these can be tricky. Before opening the door at any time, switch off the internal light and check that there is no sign of the chaff edges smoldering.
    I too bought the fire blanket today, just in case, is 1M x 1M large enough?
    I was actually doing 100-200g, but still kinda worry certain types of bean produce too many chaff that may cause flame or even fire....

    Have you roasted the Brazil yellow bourbon especial, do you think it is too chaffy for the Behmor?

    Is there any bean bay's bean that you guys think they are too chaffy and might not be a good idea to roast them in the Behmor?
    For those that roast in door, do you turn off the fire alarm when roasting?

  11. #11
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasmineeeee View Post
    s it normal to have chaff that are smaller in size that stuck in between where the metals are connected?
    There seems to be the odd bit of chaff that can get into the small gaps between the sides and floor of the Behmor. I normally vacuum the inside after each roast and use a brush to dislodge as much of the trapped chaff as possible into the vacuum nozzle.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasmineeeee View Post
    I too bought the fire blanket today, just in case, is 1M x 1M large enough?
    As long as it fully covers the roaster it should help if the worst happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasmineeeee View Post
    I was actually doing 100-200g, but still kinda worry certain types of bean produce too many chaff that may cause flame or even fire....

    Have you roasted the Brazil yellow bourbon especial, do you think it is too chaffy for the Behmor?
    Starting with smaller batches as you are will give an insight into how the bean roasts and how much chaff is produced.

    I have roasted 400g batches of the Brazil yellow bourbon especial and it seems to produce a fair bit of chaff. Never had a fire but when chaff collects at the front of the chaff tray, it can start to smolder. I've not had to stop a roast but you do need to turn off the internal light and check for any sign of the chaff edges smoldering before you open the door after cooling finishes.
    If you're not confident then stick with 200g batches of this bean. BeanBay descriptions usually indicate if a bean produces lots of chaff when roasted.

    Behmor states this as safe roasting practices - http://www.behmor.com/docs/important...-practices.pdf

    https://behmor.com/support/updates_manuals/

  12. #12
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    A fire needs three things. Heat, Fuel and Oxygen.
    So long as the door remains closed, you starve it of Oxygen, and therefore the worst you should get is a smoulder.
    Once you open the door you complete the triangle and can get a fire.
    A fire-mat works by starving a fire of Oxygen.
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  13. #13
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    G'day "jasmineeeee"...

    My experience with using a Behmor over a reasonable length of time, never realised the danger of any kind of fire starting up, so long as the the User Safety Instructions are followed.
    This was the case with batches approaching 400g time after time, using beans from all over the world and including a range of dry processed beans from East Africa which are notorious for generating copious volumes of chaff.

    As "CafeLotta" pointed out above, keeping a vacuum cleaner handy to remove all visible chaff from the interior of the Behmor, between roasts, goes a long way to preventing any kind of build-up of chaff that may present a fire risk. In fact, I kept an older 'spare' vacuum cleaner handy just for that purpose. The interior can be kept in 'as new' condition too, if you follow the basic cleaning regime outlined in the User Manual using Simple Green organic cleaner which can be obtained from Bunnings in most places.

    In short, don't be frightened when using your Behmor, rather, just follow the simple instructions in the manual and advice from experienced users here on CS and enjoy the wonderful results at the end.

    All the best,
    Mal.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Jasmaneeee, 10 amps is the domestic standard. 15 amp plugs need a special circuit wired by an electrician back to the fuse/breaker box and definitely overkill for the Behmor which pulls about 6 amps. Put into context...a portable fan heater which may be run all day in winter pulls 10 amps.
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  15. #15
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    Hey Jas.
    Good on you for being proactive and cautious with your new toy. How are you going with it?
    I've had my 1600+ for about 5 month's now, I roast in my garage and use a fan with the door open to cool it quicker. Just personal preference.

  16. #16
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    My first roast with the Behmor the roast caught fire, but the shutdown function meant it was just a lot of smoke and scorch marks, nothing major. The machine still works fine. It is important to keep an eye on the machine, but I don’t see it as a huge fire risk - smoke control is a bigger issue for me, as it can set off the smoke detectors.

    In regards to the fire blanket, it is great to have this - I think every kitchen should have one. It is a good idea to take it out and put it over the roaster so you are familiar with it if you do have a fire. Hold it so that the corners cover your hands (it is natural to grab it with our fingers over the top, which can expose them to the fire when you cover it). If you do have a fire, leave the blanket in place until everything cools down - if you lift it up to check on it, the added air can restart the fire.

    Also, if you do have a fire (roaster related or otherwise!) it is a good idea to get the Fire Brigade out to check it even if you think the fire is under control or out (particularly if it is under a rangehood, as fire can spread up the rangehood into the roof). They will also be able to do any required paperwork for insurance, which may pay for repainting of smoke damaged rooms as well as more obvious damage.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    If you are getting lots of smoke, perhaps your afterburner element has broken. It is just a thin wire that can fracture if you slam the door or if the roaster got some knocks by the parcel throwers, I mean gentle handlers. Easy to check and cheap and easy to replace.

    I just vacumn all chaff from inside and the chaff tray after each roast (bought a new dyson long reach brush i keep with my beans box and only use on the roaster so it remains new/clean) and do the wipe with simple green. I did use some essential oil thieves cleaner on stubborn bits and with a non scratch scourer which was very effective at removing the really old "stains" (i got my roaster used).

    Cheers

  18. #18
    Senior Member Divey's Avatar
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    How do you check to see if the afterburner wire is not broken?

  19. #19
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Start a roast then press cool after a few seconds. Turn off all light and you should see the afterburner glowing red (and feel heat if you put your hand near it). The afterburner is in the protruding square bump on the ceiling of the roast chamber with the holes on it.

    Cheers
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