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Behmor 1600 longevity
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Behmor 1600...  
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fookoonetwork
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fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 12:32pm
Subject: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

I have begun to use my third 1600.  The first one lasted about 26 months and had technical problems with the quartz heating elements that were simply a bear to change out.  The second one lasted about 28 months with its problem being the increasing time it took for roasting 1 lb of green beans, even with the 2 minute pre-heat, compared to when the machine was new.  Yet, it is dramatically better than the i-Roast, you name the version, of which I have gone through enough of them with their longevity being approximately 1 year with its most severe limitation being the roasting weight for which  I routinely used 140 grams.

The second Behmor as well as the third Behmor have the same awful new chaff tray with its multiple fins which is a royal pain in the neck to clean out, even with a Shop-Vac.  It turns out to be similar in terms of mess to clean up as the original chaff tray, but more time consuming.  I can`t imagine how much time it would take using the enclosed brush that has gotten smaller, width-wise.  So, fortunately, I still have the chaff tray that came with the first unit.  I have no idea why Behmor didn`t go back to the original chaff tray.  Behmor has also changed the locking mechanism for the basket which in its original incarnation had too many weld break downs with the latch.  Now it is strictly friction and hopefully the weld holds up.  The old burn-in time used to be 1/2 lb with P1, the new time is 1/4 lb at P1  The new instructions state to carefully spray some parts of the interior with something like Simple Green.  The only thing that I would spray would be the inside of the door.  The other parts are best cleaned by spraying a diluted Simple Green onto a cloth and wiping.  You do not want to spray the heating elements by mistake.  The other problem with the 1600 is the inaccessible rear behind the heating elements.  It will eventually accumulate roasted coffee residue, cutting down on the reflectivity of the once shiny area and increase roasting time.  These are very small problems compared to the i-Roast.  At its price point and ability to roast up to 1 lb of green bean, the 1600 has no competition.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

You sound like you have a good idea of what's what on the roaster, but did you follow the cleaning instructions exactly?
I never spray Simple Green directly on anything but a damp paper towel or scrubby.
I have over 400 roasts on my 1600, and I notice no change in roasts times.
Perhaps you might check the voltage out your plug you use with your 1600.
120 is the magic #, though folks with 188 at the start seem to be doing just fine. I can get a bit more beans per roast with my 121 voltage.

I clean my heating elements gently ever other roast, and especially the area around the sensor, which is indicated in the manual.

As far as the chaff tray, a few shakes, and all comes out. Just remember to depress the long "lever" and rotate the fold down portion to it's open position.
I like this one better than the original as it allows a better look at the roast as it is progressing.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.



Edit for typo
EDIT again...sorry, meant to say that you open and close the back lever to get out the chaff. It takes me less than 10 seconds to clear it out of the chaff tray.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

The OP brought up an interesting point:  How indeed do you clean the mirror behind the heating elements?  Maybe the answer is:  You do a dry burn every 5 roasts and thereby vaporize off the coffee oils.  They will condense elsewhere, accessible with Simple Green and a paper-towell.  I notice that the inside of the door (coolest area) has a visible coating of oils after a dry burn.

But Rob, you claim to clean the burners 'as indicated in the manual'.  It's not in my manual.  It suggests that I clean 'within the red rectangle' on the right side adjacent to the rods, where the thermocouple resides.  How might you clean the heating elements?

For cleaning the chaff-tray, I have a small vacuum-cleaner with a small hose and a small nozzle that has good suction and removes most of the chaff from the tray.  And, sometimes, I put the chaff-tray and the drum in the dishwasher where it gets a good cleaning.

I have had my roaster for over 2 years.  If it lasts 3 years I will have run more that 200 10-oz roasts through it (125 lbs).  If my roaster cost $400 +/- then the equipment cost to roast would be in the order of $3.75/lb (as roasted).  OTOH, if it lasts 5 years it will be more like $2/lb.  Nothing lasts forever.  Somehow, equipment replacement must be factored into the cost of roasting, and this is how it happens.

The OP made another good point:  It is the best value you can get in a roaster.  This becomes most obvious for those who roast for espresso, where it is common to spend $1000 for the espresso machine and $500 for an adequate grinder.

 
Jerry
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 2:50pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

Sorry for being unclear. I clean entire roaster, but focus on the area around the sensor. I clean the element bars by spraying a thin (3mm thick) Scotch scrubby with a diluted Simple Green. With a little elbow grease, you can get every square inch of both elements. I dry them off before doing another dry burn.
I only have to do this about every 3 cleanings.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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GVDub
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Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 3:35pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

Got one of the original shipment Behmors, which I now use with the new chaff tray. Average 3 roasts a week for, what is it now, five and a half years? average roast is probably 12 oz. so that's over 500 lbs of coffee roasted. I've replaced the motor, the squirrel cage fan, and the elements (my fault on that one) added the new side panel with fan. I've followed the cleaning instructions fairly religiously, and my roast times are still the same as when I got it. I figure for the use I've put it to, it's more than paid for itself.
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fookoonetwork
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fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 8:29pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

I have followed the cleaning instructions religiously, with a burn after every 5th roast.  I also Simple Green after each roast.  There is not much more that I can do.  The newer chaff tray is a pain in the neck to clean.  Yes, I do have a Shop-Vac.  But the newer chaff tray is just as messy as the original one, meaning that chaff gets underneath it.  The best thing to do with the chaff is to dump it outside in the yard or garden.  A few uses of the newer chaff tray got me back to using the original.  Of course, the newer one is usable, but it is slightly more hassle to use than the original tray and my comments about it were not contradicted by the Behmor tech support.  Behmor needs to figure out some easy way to get to the surface that is directly behind the heating elements.  A burn will not get rid of that residue from roasting.
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fookoonetwork
Senior Member
fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jul 8, 2013, 8:39pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

IMAWriter Said:

You sound like you have a good idea of what's what on the roaster, but did you follow the cleaning instructions exactly?
I never spray Simple Green directly on anything but a damp paper towel or scrubby.
I have over 400 roasts on my 1600, and I notice no change in roasts times.
Perhaps you might check the voltage out your plug you use with your 1600.
120 is the magic #, though folks with 188 at the start seem to be doing just fine. I can get a bit more beans per roast with my 121 voltage.

I clean my heating elements gently ever other roast, and especially the area around the sensor, which is indicated in the manual.

As far as the chaff tray, a few shakes, and all comes out. Just remember to depress the long "lever" and rotate the fold down portion to it's open position.
I like this one better than the original as it allows a better look at the roast as it is progressing.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.



Edit for typo
EDIT again...sorry, meant to say that you open and close the back lever to get out the chaff. It takes me less than 10 seconds to clear it out of the chaff tray.

Posted July 8, 2013 link

I did check the voltage and it was the same as your reading.  So you just vacuum up the chaff?  It would be better to toss it out on top of some dirt in your yard, next to some plant.  And what do you do to clean the quartz heating elements.  You cannot spray them and just brushing them may not be thorough enough.  The more important question is how do you clean the shiny area behind those quartz elements.  That is not going to be a 30 second procedure because of the restricted access, unlike the original 1600.
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fookoonetwork
Senior Member
fookoonetwork
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 229
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90
Grinder: Pasquini Moka 90, Anfim...
Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer
Drip: none
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 10, 2013, 11:38am
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

One last observation/comment.  It would be a lot better to have the basket with a smaller grid openings.  Some green beans that aren`t too big to begin with inevitably get stuck inside the gird/mesh and have to literally be pounded into the basket to get rid of them.  I still remember the first basket in which the grid openings were too large and then having to buy one with smaller mesh openings.
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 796
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 10, 2013, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

Actually, I like the current small grid size.

Before roasting, I put in the beans and shake them back and forth over the kitchen sink.  I lose the odd half-bean and ...is it my imagination... that I lose the odd pebble.

Now, a pebble 'in my grinder' has been an expensive experience, once or twice.  I can usually see the larger ones and pick them out, but the small ones do as much damage.

 
Jerry
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kboom1
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kboom1
Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 310
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex2HX,Alex Duetto,Rancilio...
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Posted Wed Jul 10, 2013, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: Behmor 1600 longevity
 

Behmor has started to make their drums from a different type of metal earlier this year. last year I went though 4 replacement drums that kept falling apart. I received a new one in may made with the new metal and seems a lot sturdier so far. Guess they had too many complaints about the drums falling apart. as far as the heating elements go, I have changed them once in both of my roasters in the last 3 years. definitly helps shorten the roast times cleaning the panel behind the elements but I would only do it if you are pulling the elements out first.
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