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Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
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garyhow
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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2010, 8:52pm
Subject: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Ok, I figured the title of this post would get a few people looking. So, the problem is this: Before I became a home roaster I would purchase 3 pound bags of French Roast coffee from either Sams or Costco (no rock throwing please). The coffee brewed up a cup that I actually enjoyed, except for the fact that it grew more stale as each day passed.

Anyway, now I home roast and the coffee is good. But, when I roast coffee in the Behmor well into the second crack, but never to the end, I don't get the Flavor of the Sams/Costco dark roasted beans. What I get isn't very good and I can't really describe the flavor because of my lack of experience. Maybe its a burned or charcoal taste, but not very good.

I've tried roasting at a couple of settings, P2 and P3. I don't do it a lot because it seems like I'll just be wasteing coffee until I learn more about what to expect with the Behmor. Also, I try hard beans for this type of roast, or I review SM profile recommendations...

Any Thoughts?
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MisterW
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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2010, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Gary, therein lies the rub. If you roast too fast, the outside of the bean can get burnt before the inside is fully roasted. One of the "secrets" of roasting is to try and stretch the time between first and second cracks, to give the inside time to catch up. That's where the deep and complex flavors develop. And that's why everyone is going into conniptions trying to time their roasts to the preprogrammed profiles in the Behmor. Try to stretch that interval to 2-4 minutes and see if that improves your results.
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garyhow
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Posted Sun Jan 31, 2010, 9:53pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Thanks MisterW,

I'll keep that in mind... Any recommendations on profiles and bean types that you've had success with in getting that dark roast with a good flavor?
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pallen
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pallen
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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2010, 9:46am
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

garyhow Said:

Thanks MisterW,

I'll keep that in mind... Any recommendations on profiles and bean types that you've had success with in getting that dark roast with a good flavor?

Posted January 31, 2010 link

Another factor is the beans. If you bought a blend, you may never reproduce it. Some of the Costcos that roast in house will actually sell their greens. I bought some from them a while back, but was not impressed with the quality. If your store roasts in-house that could very well be the freshest coffee in town.
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ljguitar
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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2010, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

garyhow Said:

... Any recommendations on profiles and bean types that you've had success with in getting that dark roast with a good flavor?

Posted January 31, 2010 link

Hi gary...
P3 and P4 (and P5) are graduated or ramped up more gradually. I like my espresso roasts with 13.3oz (377gm) of beans on P4-D-1# (I lie to the roaster and tell it that there are a full pound of beans). This gives me a more gentle roast ramping up into 1st crack so it doesn't barge right into 2nd crack.

To assist me, about 10 seconds into a solid 1st crack I open the door all the way and let it sit open for 30-40 seconds which brings it to the end of 1st crack (I close the door when 1st crack begins winding down). This usually allows a space of 30sec to a minute and a half between the end of 1st and beginning of 2nd crack...depending on the bean.

For me, P3 is too gradual and takes too long to reach 1st Crack and P5 requires me to roast small batches even when I lie to the roaster about how much I'm roasting.

So the P4-D-1# is great for my espresso whereas the P1-B-1# with the same 13.3oz is where I roast my single origin beans.


These settings were arrived at by starting with 8 oz batches (telling the roaster they were a pound) and then gradually working my way up to 10, 12 and finally 13.3 oz...why 13.3oz? It's because that gives me exactly 6 batches from 5 pounds of green beans, and 12 batches from 10 pounds, plus 13.3oz roasts fill a quart mason jar.



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germantownrob
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Posted Mon Feb 1, 2010, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Sweet  Maria's has a French Roast Blend that uses beans that can handle going so dark. I have been roasting it for a few years for my sister in law and I have done them with the Behmor successfully many times. I was really surprised how they tasted at french roast, it works (if  you like that).

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.other.blends.php
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Pressino
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Posted Sun Feb 7, 2010, 11:21pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

garyhow Said:

Anyway, now I home roast and the coffee is good. But, when I roast coffee in the Behmor well into the second crack, but never to the end, I don't get the Flavor of the Sams/Costco dark roasted beans. What I get isn't very good...
Any Thoughts?

Posted January 31, 2010 link

Try a lighter roast...the Behmor probably isn't letting you get too far into 2nd Crack, or you may be using a profile (P1/P2) that heats so fast that 1stC rushes into 2ndC, and you can't really tell where you are. You can trick it by loading 10-12oz and telling it 1lb, and using P3/P4, which allow a more gradual ramp up so that 1stC and 2ndC are more clearly separated. P5 is even more gradual and has the advantage that each of the legs is equal (33% of total time). This allows for easy of the +/- buttons to expand or contract the legs.

The two big problems in roasting are: 1) stalling at a given temp (failing to get into 1stC or to progress properly from 1st to 2ndC (this cooks the beans rather than roasts them); and 2) going too fast from 1st to 2ndC and not allowing the beans to go through the wonderful chemical changes that take a certain amount of time for the beans to "taste right" when you make coffee from them.

As regards the flavor of Sams/Costco (or anyone's) dark roasted beans, it's a matter of taste. I liked dark oily French/Italian roasts when I was in college, just as I liked Big Macs and Gallo Heart Burgundy. Since then I've learned to appreciate a well-grilled Rib-Eye steak and a nice Cabernet.

The dark Italian/French roasted coffees overwhelm the subtle varietal taste of even the best coffees (to the point that in the cup these can be hard to distinguish from mediocre beans roasted to the same point. That's why Sams/Costco roasts their beans to this degree...

If you want to actually taste the varietal flavors of coffee, you really can't roast them very far through 2ndC. Drip brewed and French Press coffees may genefrally taste "better" with very dark roasts, but if you have good beans (SO or even good blends), City to Full City+, or at most Vienna will allow you to appreciate what is really there, and home roasting is the only way to realize that potential. Keep working on it.
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garyhow
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Posted Mon Feb 8, 2010, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Pressino Said:

Try a lighter roast...the Behmor probably isn't letting you get too far into 2nd Crack, or you may be using a profile (P1/P2) that heats so fast that 1stC rushes into 2ndC, and you can't really tell where you are. You can trick it by loading 10-12oz and telling it 1lb, and using P3/P4, which allow a more gradual ramp up so that 1stC and 2ndC are more clearly separated. P5 is even more gradual and has the advantage that each of the legs is equal (33% of total time). This allows for easy of the +/- buttons to expand or contract the legs.

The two big problems in roasting are: 1) stalling at a given temp (failing to get into 1stC or to progress properly from 1st to 2ndC (this cooks the beans rather than roasts them); and 2) going too fast from 1st to 2ndC and not allowing the beans to go through the wonderful chemical changes that take a certain amount of time for the beans to "taste right" when you make coffee from them.

As regards the flavor of Sams/Costco (or anyone's) dark roasted beans, it's a matter of taste. I liked dark oily French/Italian roasts when I was in college, just as I liked Big Macs and Gallo Heart Burgundy. Since then I've learned to appreciate a well-grilled Rib-Eye steak and a nice Cabernet.

The dark Italian/French roasted coffees overwhelm the subtle varietal taste of even the best coffees (to the point that in the cup these can be hard to distinguish from mediocre beans roasted to the same point. That's why Sams/Costco roasts their beans to this degree...

If you want to actually taste the varietal flavors of coffee, you really can't roast them very far through 2ndC. Drip brewed and French Press coffees may genefrally taste "better" with very dark roasts, but if you have good beans (SO or even good blends), City to Full City+, or at most Vienna will allow you to appreciate what is really there, and home roasting is the only way to realize that potential. Keep working on it.

Posted February 7, 2010 link


I understand. I've been through the wine phase, the fine meal stage, the perfect cars stage. I love cooking, driving fine cars which in my life has included Saabs, Mercedes, Porsche and BMW's (compliments of my employment in IT at NASA, Schenkers, Prime Computer(now defunct), etc.... Now I own my own companies and enjoy the life of an artist and I enjoy coffee. I enjoy it from city+ all the way to French Roast.. But, I'm yet to put the effort into learning the in and out of proper roasting with the Behmor to obtain the French Roast end of the process.

I was just looking for general profile guidance on how to obtain a good french roast.

Thanks for your help and input!
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cjjimmy
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Posted Tue Feb 9, 2010, 9:20pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

I think i know what your getting,,The Behmor just doesnt give you that dripping with oil roast your looking for,also the costco roast could be from beans that have been sitting around for quite awhile also,do you know how old the costco beans are?Excessive roast oil can be a sign of rancidity. The Behmor goes well, well into 2nd crack,which is all i need to know i'm getting a darker roast.Also it has to do with the speed and heat of roast,it seems , a complete runaway roast in the Behmor would probably get you the dark roast your looking for ,but by that time the roaster would probably be on fire also.Fast high heat roast brings out those oils, the slow roast with the Behmor  doesnt produce those artifacts like other roasters do i.e. Caffe Roasto,  or a I roast type of roaster.
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scrutinizer
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Posted Fri Feb 12, 2010, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: Behmor Dark roast vs Costco
 

Gary,

I don't normally roast that far but will try to offer some practical suggestions that you could try.  I agree w/ others who have recommended getting beans that take a dark roast (e.g., sumatran would be good).  It appears to me that the Behmor roasts fairly quickly once it gets 2nd crack going so its possible you may be going too far into it.  I recall getting a fairly oily dark roast at about 35 seconds into 2nd crack when I did some initial test roasts and these days I normally  stop just before, at, or not much more than 5 seconds after 2nd crack.  At 5 seconds after 2nd crack I get just a touch of oil droplets after a few days rest(FC++?).  So, I would guess that you might consider starting your experimentation at stopping the roast 25 to 30 seconds after 2nd crack takes off and adjust accordingly depending on taste.  

On my roaster, and in my environment (power, beans start at room temp, roasting indoors, old chaff tray etc) I have seen good results using P2 A 1lb settings and adjusting the bean load to get first crack well underway before the power drops after 10:50 time elapses.  Lately, I've been targeting getting first crack to start between 9:30 and 10 minutes elapsed just to provide some assurance that I'm not going to stall the roast when the power drops (normally first crack takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes to complete when I roast).  The bean load needed to achieve this with the above settings under my roasting conditions varies from 7.5 to 9 oz.  Most of the beans I've been roasting (brazil, eithiopian, central american) worked well with 9 oz batches, but when I added sumatran recently (got a new batch of beans) I found it took longer to heat up so I had to reduce the load to 7.5 oz and add a 1:20 minute pre-heat (start the roast as you normally would then hit the "off" button, then 1lb P2 A start to get the roast going again)...this gives the roast a "jump start" on the initial heat up of the unit and beans.  

Thus, for a full batch of Sumatran, I would recommend trying 7.5 oz w/ a 1:20 warm up with an expectation that first crack would start around 10 min elapsed (if you want more assurance that you will hit it, then reduce to 7.0 oz).  If you are using smaller, less dense, beans then the warm up would not be needed and start with 8 oz.  If first crack starts going strong before 10 minutes you may want to crack the door occaisionally for a few seconds (?) to keep it from going to fast but that might be optional.  If first starts at 10, then it stops around 11:30 or 12 and 2nd crack begins around 14:30 or 15 minutes elapsed.  Take it for 30 to 35 seconds into 2nd crack and see how you like...then adjust accordingly.  If you do try this approach, I would be interested in hearing if it works (seems like there is a fair amount of variability based on the conditions of the roasting environment (power, temps, etc).  Because 2nd crack goes fast on this roaster (particularly if 2nd crack is going during 100% heating), I think there is a fine line between a french roast and "charred remains" so it might be wise to come at it iteratively from shorter to longer roast times past 2nd crack to find the sweet spot.  If not already doing, you could also try more rapid cooling by putting a fan in front of the unit and opening the front door for 5 or so minutes during the cooling period once the cracks subside (to avoid fire).  Opening the door, of course, could potentially spread fire if you are not careful so do this at your own risk (I have not had problems but I don't roast that far into 2C).   Good luck.

Pat
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