cs137 Senior Member Joined: 27 May 2006 Posts: 52 Location: AK Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013, 7:33am Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
Thanks for the response! Quick question though - because I'll be roasting for Aeropress or espresso, I imagine I'll want to go well past FC? How would the SR500 work if I pushed the roast closer to SC?
Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013, 7:55am Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
This past winter I was doing 4 back to back roasts near a half open window on an SR500. The smoke was minimal- going just past first crack (1/4 lb. roasts). I always liked the lingering smell. Apparently the SR500 wasn't meant for back to back roasts with a cooling cycle between though, as it only held up for 3 years that way. I'll soon be joining the ranks of Behmor owners.
BTW could someone tell me how long between roasts is recommended on the Behmor?
Ron, the recommended wait between roasts is also an hour in the Behmor. I have a sense that the cooling is required for the electronics on the right side of the roaster ...that takes longer to cool.
In the Behmor the afterburner seems capable of handling the smoke ...until... you go to 'cool' whereupon the fan speeds up and smoke comes out around the door-seal. But that lasts only a minute or two.
Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013, 8:41am Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
Jerry- Thanks, I'm guessing my SC/TO will still be seeing some use, but I think I'll have better control of the roast once I get to know the Behmor. Roasting indoors this coming winter is a must!
Chris- The Freshroast has it's good and bad. I always used an oven mitt and bounced it on my knee on high heat and high fan for the first two minutes to agitate the beans. Then CAREFULLY set it back on the table. It is top heavy! I replaced the bean chamber once and part of the chaff collector twice. I lowered to med. heat for Min. 3-6, stayed on high fan (high fan= low heat, lowering the fan increases the temp in the chamber). At 6 min. I turned off and back on to full heat. This avoided repeatedly hitting the up button for more time. My roasts generally finished in approx. 9 min. just past first crack. I did do darker roasts on occasion, no problem- a bit more smoke for sure but not really a big deal.
If the SR500 did larger roasts would be seriously considering another one (but then my first one might not have gone out). I considered at times devising clips to hold the whole assy. together while roasting, But then removing them at the end might be even more precarious than not having them anyways. Like I said with the Freshroast you have to take the good with the bad.
DavecUK Senior Member Joined: 21 Sep 2005 Posts: 1,383 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 2:53am Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
I'm looking at buying either the SR500 or the Behmor 1600. I can get either of them for ~$125, so price is not an issue. I'm mostly concerned about the smoke from both of these machines. I live in a small apartment in Boston with virtually no ventilation, except one small window. I can use a fan to blow the smoke out this window, but I don't know how effective this will be? I also don't know how much smoke these machines actually produce. Is it possible to roast with either of these machines with no ventilation (or very little ventilation) without setting off a smoke alarm? In the cold winter months, I would prefer not to open my windows for long periods of time.!
cs137 Senior Member Joined: 27 May 2006 Posts: 52 Location: AK Expertise: Just starting
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 3:40pm Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
Davec, that's why I made the thread - because I have no idea how much smoke these machines produce.
I've had trouble getting a clear answer (but I do appreciate all the help), but it sounds like even if I roast with the Behmor next to an open window (and a fan blowing the smoke outside) there will still be too much smoke? Thanks!
Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013, 4:33pm Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
You have to take into account that the larger the roasts the more smoke you'll have. The 1/4 lb roasts I did on my SR500 worked fine next to a half open window. The Behmor has the smoke suppression so a 1/4 lb roast would have even less. How much is too much is kind of hard to judge for someone else. I guess it would be safe to say the Behmor would give less smoke for a given roast- and allow a larger roast in comparison. Like I said though the SR500 was fine for me smoke wise, just not batch size wise.
It seems you need to take some other things into consideration. Compare the features and the ease of use of each. If you can get either for ~$125 (where??) the Behmor might be the way to go- unless your space is at a premium, in which case the SR500 would be easier to tuck away when not in use, but does have it's idiosyncrasies.
Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013, 1:31pm Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
When we moved into our new place, it took a while to figure out the airflow patterns. The first time I roasted, it set off the smoke alarm two rooms away, but not the one in the next room.
Burn a stick on incense where you're going to roast. See where in the house you can smell the incense, as that will be where the smoke goes. The make the tweaks you think you need (open/closed windows, fan on/off, blowing in/out, etc.) and, after waiting for the air to clear, burn another stick. See if the smoke goes where you think it should.
Got a FR8+ and the Behmor. After having figured out the airflow, I don't have problems with either.
In answer to one of your other questions, espresso is an extraction method, not a roast level. So beans roasted for espresso can range from City to Charcoal. Find where the bean tastes best and roast to that level. Your not roasting for anybody's eyes, but for their tastebuds, after all.
Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013, 1:59pm Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
I'll speak from my experience on this topic.
I own a Gene Cafe and a Behmor 1600. I now live in a condo apartment in a fairly old building but with drywall inside. There is no real cross-ventilation, and one long side of my apartment has windows that face east. I generally roast 10oz to the beginning of second crack, which produces a fair amount of visible smoke with the Gene but not the Behmor unless I go farther into 2d crack (WARRANTY VIOLATION!! DANGER DANGER!! :-) )
When I don't vent, I will set the smoke detector off (less likely with the Behmor) unless I keep it isolated in a room away from it with the door shut. I also use a fan to vent out the window, similar to what was described above, so that it sucks the air out of the room. If I don't vent, then the smell will linger into the third day, and my neighbors have been known to complain. When I do vent, then the smell lingers until the morning but dissipates after that. I wind up roasting in a bedroom on a table next to the window, as my kitchen has no windows.
So I recommend a window fan vent, and you should be able to manage the roast without alarms if you can get enough exhaust and keep it away from the detector. If the smoke detector is in the same room (e.g., kitchen) disconnect it if you can for a few minutes. (I realize your apt building may not make it easy to disconnect the detector.) I recommend continuing the fan for 20 or 30 minutes after the roasting is done, the longer you vent the less the smell lingers.
Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013, 2:00pm Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
In answer to one of your other questions, espresso is an extraction method, not a roast level. So beans roasted for espresso can range from City to Charcoal. Find where the bean tastes best and roast to that level.
Posted Thu Jul 18, 2013, 6:43am Subject: Re: will my smoke alarm go off?
In my last apartment, using a popcorn popper on a 3 oz batch produced enough smoke under a range hood to set the alarms off when roasting to FC/FC+ unless I kept all the doors to my kitchen shut until at least 30 minutes after roasting. My solution was to get the Gene-Cafe roaster, which has a chaff separator on the exhaust that can connect to 3" dryer hose that I hung out the window. I also use this in the basement of my new apartment, which pretty much prevents all build up of smoke and smell when doing back to back 8 oz batches.
Obviously this is a more pricey option, and has a small drawback on the cooling speed, but it is relatively compact and easy to set up, and is extremely effective at dumping the smell and smoke outside.
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