Video: Using the Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster

Here are two great videos by Jon demonstrating the use of the Behmor 1600 Plus Roaster, one of the most popular drum style roasters available.

Using the main features of the Behmor:

Here is Jon demonstrating using the Advanced Features of the Behmor 1600 Plus

Key Features

  • Largest batch size of any home coffee roaster
  • Great re-burner for semi-smokeless roasting (until you hit a dark roast)
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Inbound cool mode for easy start to finish roasting
  • A variety of time settings
  • 5 different heat settings (plus an additional 5 with the new plus model)
  • Ability to adjust roast time during the roast (on the fly)
  • RoHS Compliant
  • A very quiet roaster – most can hear the cracks very easily
  • Thermostatically controlled quartz roasting elements
  • Electrical specs: 1630 watts 15 amps 120 volts (very high draw device)
  • Dimensions Length: 17.5 Height: 10.5 Depth: 12.5

Creativity and Consistency: How Basic Roasting Notes Can Make Every Cup Memorable

home coffee roasting primers from BCT

Keeping a Coffee Roasting Journal

What an amazing experience to sip that perfect cup of coffee made from top-quality beans roasted just the way you like them! But now and again, we experience a new batch of beans that just did not develop as we had expected, and we find ourselves wondering what went wrong.

The inspiration we receive from finding unique exceptional coffees is a big part of our home-roasting hobbies, but it also presents some challenges. Not all green coffee beans are alike! Each variety requires slightly different roasting to achieve its best potential.

Even if you roast the same beans every time, you may still find some inconsistencies. Often, these can be traced to small and easily overlooked variations in the roasting process.

Either way, a basic roasting journal can help you dial in your processes and create the profiles you desire every time. We know, we know… it sounds like homework! But if you keep it simple and savor the sampling, you will begin to find a lot of fun in keeping records of your home coffee roasting journey. No need to be fancy – a tiny notebook stored with your home roaster should work fine.

taste testing many coffees
The best way to find out what coffees you like is to
roast and taste many varieties!

There are 4 factors that you should include in your roasting records:

Bean Info: Note the name, region, farm, variety, etc. Complete information about green beans can help you to know which varieties and regions produce beans that tend toward your preferences. It will also help you to decide on replacement beans if your favorites become unavailable. At Burman Coffee Traders, we make it easy to get this information – on each bag of green beans, labels include country, region and farm, processing method, and some include cultivar (those that do not are estate-wide blends).

Time: Timing is everything! And roasting great coffee takes time. But how much time? That depends on the bean, the equipment, and the desired roast point and flavor profile. By carefully observing the time it takes to begin yellowing the beans, time to first and second cracks, and total roast time (total roast time is probably easiest to track when beginning journaling), and doing so on your equipment, you will be able to more consistently hit those preferred flavor profiles. Careful attention to roasting times is also the best way to avoid the guessing game which can be nerve-wracking when determining roast level by sight alone!

Temperature: Roasting temperature is directly related to the amount of time a batch takes to roast. But the intensity of heat can also substantially impact the chemical reactions that take place in the beans during roasting, resulting in unintended variations. Again, the equipment you are using will make a difference. For some roasters, recording temperatures will mean noting simply whether high, medium, or low setting was used. On more sophisticated roasters, you will be able to record specific temperature readings from each step of the roast. Be as accurate as your equipment allows.

Tasting notes: How will you know if your process resulted in the flavors you desire? A cupping, of course! Recruit your friends and family to assist you in identifying the taste characteristics of the body, aroma and flavors. (Check out our tips on tasting notes: Taste Qualities of Good Coffee). Take detailed notes. Everyone’s palate is different and there are no wrong answers! Once you have collected sensory data, you will be more ready to make the right adjustments to bean type, time and temperature.

These factors are only the most basic. The complexities of coffee present countless elements that may be evaluated, including roast evenness (are some beans scorched on one side or splotchy?), overall consistency (are all beans the same shade?), presence of chaff, and undesirable defects such as chipping or breaking beans, pest damage, etc. Feel free to totally geek out in pursuit of that perfect cup, or just keep it simple and breathe easy feeling reassured that you are getting your best roasting results every time.

The most valuable benefit of a roasting journal is the realization that consistency and creativity can go hand in hand for the skilled home roaster. With the learning that comes from roasting notes, you can gradually perfect your roasting skills and become a master of the liquid arts!

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Coffee Bean Processing Methods

A look at Coffee Bean Processing Methods

A question we get here at Burman Coffee a lot is: What’s the difference in processing methods? How does it effect the flavor of the beans? We’ll give a brief overview of the processing methods here, but checkout our article on a more in-depth discussion on green coffee beans and the different processes.

Natural or Dry Process: 

This is the traditional way of preparing coffee beans for market and is the preferred method for many origins. Ripe cherries are spread on the ground in the sun.  When the fruit is dry, it’s pounded and winnowed to separate the beans away from the dried fruit and hulls. Then they’re then graded, weighed and bagged.  Natural beans generally are varied in color and shape. Machinery is commonly used to hull, separate and clean the dried beans.  Natural coffees exhibit heavier body and flavor profiles with deeper-toned and more varied fruit, chocolate, spice and savory notes than the same beans prepared by the washed method.  Natural coffees tend to have more chaff when roasting.

Washed or Wet Processing

Washed processing has 2 stages.  The first “wet milling” stage starts with several washing and brushing cycles to separate the sweet pulp completely from the hull encasing coffee beans known as ‘parchment’.  Next, the cleaned parchment soaks in concrete pools for several hours.  They are then dried.

In the second “dry milling” stage, the beans pass through a series of machines. They’re hulled and de-chaffed, graded by high-speed sorters to regularize size, color and/or density.  The extremely consistent size, shape, color and flavor of beans processed by the washed method facilitates larger batch sizes and longer, darker roasting. In the cup, washed coffees exhibit bright, clean flavor and aroma, with notes of fruit, citrus, floral and spice. Washed coffees have light to medium-heavy body, and provide a blend’s crisp, vital first impression.

Semi-dry or Semi-Washed Processing

A hybrid process used in Indonesia, Brazil and other origins with abundant water. It is used to improve the flavor and physical consistency of Natural coffees and is used mainly for Specialty-grade beans due to its higher expense. The process begins with removal of the outer cherry using wet pulping machines. The beans, still coated with sweet pulp, are ‘rested’ – cured for up to a day to develop the characteristic ‘Natural’ flavor profile. The pulp is again rinsed and the parchment coffee, still with traces of pulp, is fully sun-dried. Grading, weighing and bagging are accomplished in mechanized dry mills similar to those used in wet processing. By gently removing most of the fruit before drying, controlling the amount of pulp contact during drying, then using mechanized dry milling – coffee flavor and physical consistency is greatly improved.  The beans retain the same flavor and body as Natural process coffees.