raytracer Senior Member Joined: 15 Feb 2009 Posts: 14 Location: US FL Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed May 8, 2013, 5:33pm Subject: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
Hi - I have enjoyed the behmor for going on 4 years now. I had a fire in mine not long after I received it - user error. Behmor went above and beyond helping me bring it back to life and it has limped along ever since. Now it will not get through the first 5 minutes of a roast before shutting off and not turning back on.
My question is, should I buy another or should I try something else, like maybe a Gene cafe? I had been happy with the behmor and the price is nice but wondering if now would be a good time to try something different?
I typically roast a pound a week and don't have any concerns about smoke.
Posted Wed May 8, 2013, 7:36pm Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
You like the Behmor, you like the roast it produces, and you are evidently accustomed to its operation to produce the coffee you like. The Genecafe will not be a step up. There is the Hottop at a much higher price, and the "B" offers full control, but the investment is only with it if it can produce a coffee you like more. Contact me offlist and I would be glad to roast a batch of your coffee for you so you can find out... if you so desire.
DISCLAIMER: Hottop is a client of mine, but I do not sell them nor benefit financially from their sales.
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 5:59am Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
I just had a problem with my two year old Behmor (though there was never any fire in it). It would randomly turn off during roasts (display would go blank). I could turn it right back on but obviously couldn't resume the roast since the roaster had to cool down first.
Behmor tech service was great and they sent me a new PC board for $28 including shipping. You can run it by them, but that may be all you need.
PS: This may be stating the obvious but I'd mark the old board in some way so that you have no chance switching them by mistake. As dumb as it sounds, I may have done so making the troubleshooting / repair rather confusing.
boar_d_laze Senior Member Joined: 21 Nov 2006 Posts: 188 Location: Monrovia, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: La Cimbali DT/1 Jr. Casa Grinder: La Cimbali Max Hybrid; and... Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker Drip: Chemex + Kone Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 7:41pm Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
Depends what you want to do. If your ambitions have gone beyond the Behmor, and you can afford something different and better, buy something different and better. At $300, the Behmor is a helluva deal, but it's hardly the last word in sophistication and user control.
Assuming they meet your quantity needs, the obvious next steps are the HotTop B or P (250g); then a HotTop B modded with after market electronic probes and/or some sort of computer interface (still 250g); then either a Quest M3 (200g but can batch roast) or Huky 500 (500g and can batch roast) similarly equipped; and after that, you get into big machines and bigger bucks.
Posted Sun May 26, 2013, 7:03am Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
New board is only $30. I would but one and a motor for future replacement. Even though I now have a commercial roaster I still wan't to use my Behmor. Bottom line the cost of it for what it does is a great deal and will always be the best IMO. All appliances eventually need parts these ones are very cheap!
Posted Mon May 27, 2013, 4:33am Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
Behmors are not that hard to rebuild. I own 2 Behmors 1 3yrs old and another under a year. Have recently rebuilt the 3 yr old and updated the other with new elements and Transformer. it's not that difficult to rebuild a behmor with Great tech support and a little common sense. At $300 a pop for the ability to roast up to a lb at a time there isn't any other options out there at this price point, even if you build your own. Sure it would be nice to have a little more control over the roast but it's hard to justify spending at least 3 times as much for something that offers more control but only can roast 250g max. You can roast around 200 lb of beans with the behmor before needing to replace the elements. I've asked people before about the hottops and no one seems to know how many lbs you can roast before the element needs changed. I was waiting for the bigger hottop to arive but from the price point speculation (over $3g), looks like I will just keep rebuilding my behmors.
Posted Wed May 29, 2013, 3:39pm Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
After my second Gene died, I evaluated most the same options and ended up going with a BBQ roaster from http://www.coffeeroastersclub.com/ . I bought a new grill from Lowes, and a 5 lb stainless steel drum as well as a cooling/dechaffing machine from coffee roaster club. Had a little setup to handle but the roaster has worked flawlessly for 2.5 years. The whole setup was around $1000 but worth every penny.
I can roast 2 or 3 pounds in about 30-45 minutes including setup and cleanup. My results have been much better with the BBQ than the Gene. The biggest difference is the consistency of the roast across each batch. My Gene did a good job, but I seemed to get a variety of roast levels in each batch.
Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 7:12am Subject: Re: Behmor finally died - get another or try something different?
I think you'll probably be annoyed by the slow cooling and the smaller capacity of the Gene-Cafe. I'm running into the limits of mine, and I've been considering _up_grading to a Behmor, but it's hard to beat the chaff separation and smoke extraction via a dryer vent that the Gene-Cafe offers. This allows me to roast in the (shared) basement comfortably in the depths of a NE winter, something I don't think I could consider with a Behmor or Hottop. Plus I like the hands on control of the GC.
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