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Experienced roaster looking for new machine
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atalanta
Senior Member
atalanta
Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Historic Philadelphia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
Grinder: Braun burr grinder
Drip: Capresso Grind & Brew,...
Roaster: Fresh Roast
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:11am
Subject: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

I've been roasting since pre 2000 so have a little experience in the craft. I started with a Fresh Roast (pre plus so it was many many moons ago) which FINALY gave up the ghost about a year ago. It had been acting badly and not being consistent enough for a couple years, but I could still fuss with it to get a decent roast. I was given a Fresh Roast +8 for Christmas one year (pre 2010 since I think they were discontinued that year) and recently took it out of the box to take over roasting. Less than a year later, it's not playing nice so I'm looking at a new roaster just in case I can't fix it.

What the new roaster is doing: I put in the beans and turn the timer most of the way. I walked away and when I came back, the beans hadn't been roasted. I let it cool for a couple hours, put in fresh beans and tried again. Same thing. I heard the blower kick on like it always does, and the beans on the bottom weren't burnt so I'm guessing it's the heating element that is quitting on me.

I tend to roast decaf since my BF and co-workers can't take caffeine. I will roast "leaded" for myself and other people on occasion. I also tend to serial roast about a pound or so at a time. I used to do it back-to back, but with the new roaster I would let it cool about an hour between batches.

I am looking at the FR500 since I've liked their roasters in the past. But reading about the Behmor makes me wonder about that one too. I would love a small commercial roaster (but I'd also love a new Macbook Pro which is about the same price LOL). I thought about building my own, but have too many UFOs around the house (UFO = unfinished object). The Behmor is on the upper end of my price range, but if it will give me many many years of good service, then it will be worth the price. I have also (OMG) considered the corn popper route - I skipped that step in the learning process but I've not roasted in a long time and am almost desperate enough to run to Wallyworld and get one. I'd consider a Nesco, but I've not read enough favorable reviews to make it beat out the FR500.

(and of all the things I've found on Craig's List, coffee roaster is amazingly absent)

Thanks, all!
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jkoll42
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2010
Posts: 465
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: VBM DD V3, Gaggia Baby Class
Grinder: Cimbali Max Hybrid, Bunn...
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex
Roaster: Honey Badger 1K, HG/BM
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:19am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

So what is you actual budget and what capacity per batch are you looking for?
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

you sound like you would be happy with a behmor.  it can roast up to 1lb(but usually because of voltage differences you may need to play with the settings a bit and preheat to be able to do the full pound) at a time.   if youre doing decaf  most of the time, you might have a tough time doing a full pound as i hear it takes more time to get the decaf roasted.

no roasters should be a set it and come back to it when it's done kind of thing.  you should always keep an eye on it.  

i've found my behmor to be very consistent and even with the few profiles that i use, i find it much more versatile than i did with the manual popper roasting i was doing.

if manual controls are a MUST, you may want to consider something like the Gene cafe roaster which is the next in line as far as price(big jump, though.  i think 500).  the gene, though, has a lesser capacity.
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atalanta
Senior Member
atalanta
Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Historic Philadelphia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
Grinder: Braun burr grinder
Drip: Capresso Grind & Brew,...
Roaster: Fresh Roast
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:42am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

Actual budget is about $200, I know the Behmor is $300. I've started haunting the For Sale section here in case someone has something available.

Roast capacity - I've been doing 4oz batches for years. I would like to be able to do 8oz or 1lb, but that's not as determining a factor as durability.

And I should probably invest in a Variac at some point too.
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:48am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

Like many other Behmor owners, I really do like my roaster.  I didn't have the success with the 1-pound batches that I desired, but with a 10-11 oz batch I am really pleased with the flavor of my beans.  I would not think that you would want to go to poppers, but you CAN get decent roasts with them if you are vigilant and fast.
Your budget is about $200?  Ok... have you considered a refurbished Behmor for $199?  This may be the answer for you.  Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

 
Bill
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atalanta
Senior Member
atalanta
Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Historic Philadelphia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
Grinder: Braun burr grinder
Drip: Capresso Grind & Brew,...
Roaster: Fresh Roast
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 10:54am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

wsikes Said:

Like many other Behmor owners, I really do like my roaster.  I didn't have the success with the 1-pound batches that I desired, but with a 10-11 oz batch I am really pleased with the flavor of my beans.  I would not think that you would want to go to poppers, but you CAN get decent roasts with them if you are vigilant and fast.
Your budget is about $200?  Ok... have you considered a refurbished Behmor for $199?  This may be the answer for you.  Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Posted April 19, 2012 link


I am actually hoping to find a used or refurbished Behmor, that would certainly fit the bill. Any suggestions (other than the classifieds here and eBay) as to where I can look?

Thanks!
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:05am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

atalanta Said:

I am actually hoping to find a used or refurbished Behmor, that would certainly fit the bill. Any suggestions (other than the classifieds here and eBay) as to where I can look?

Thanks!

Posted April 19, 2012 link

i think this is the only place ive seen with refurb behmor roasters.   Click Here (shop.chocolatealchemy.com)

theyre currently out of stock but you may want to contact them and inquire about getting on the waiting list.  

also keep an eye out on the buy/sell forum here on coffeegeek.  i see them coming up every once in a while.  


if you can...i'd see if you can scrounge up 100 more.  i think it's worth it.  you get a nice shiny machine with a full warranty and you can get free green beans from a lot of the retailers out there.  i personally got mine from  roastmasters.com .  it came with 8lbs of greens and a coupon for 10 bucks off a 25 dollar greens order.  those extras make up for the extra hundred for me.    

also i believe most retailers are sold out right now but expect more in stock towards the end of the month.
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:26am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

The Good News:
It appears that we may have helped you decide on a roaster... maybe...

The Bad News:
Behmors (both new and refurb) are scarcer than hen's teeth right now.

Oh well... we tried.

 
Bill
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atalanta
Senior Member
atalanta
Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Historic Philadelphia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia
Grinder: Braun burr grinder
Drip: Capresso Grind & Brew,...
Roaster: Fresh Roast
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 11:49am
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

wsikes Said:

The Good News:
It appears that we may have helped you decide on a roaster... maybe...

The Bad News:
Behmors (both new and refurb) are scarcer than hen's teeth right now.

Oh well... we tried.

Posted April 19, 2012 link

LOL

Yes, I've decided on a roaster. Thank you all for your push (I just needed a nudge to do it). When my tax return comes in, I'll go on a waiting list. BF will be very happy, he'd rather drink my roasts than store bought. A lot of times posts like this I have mostly made up my mind, just need someone else to confirm it.
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Thu Apr 19, 2012, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Experienced roaster looking for new machine
 

keep in mind that they may charge shipping for the refurb machine.  i see on their site, their normal shipping price for a roaster starts at 30 dollars.  many/most of the new roasters from the bigger vendors offer free shipping.
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