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Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
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JWK
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Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014, 1:44pm
Subject: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

I just got a kill-a-watt meter and discovered why I was getting baked beans.  The voltage was dropping down to 107v during peak power draw.  I moved the Behmor into the laundry room where there is an outlet that is only two feet from the circuit box and ran a .25 lb. roasting cycle.  The voltage at the outlet was 120 without a load, dropped to 118 for a few minutes at the beginning of the roasting cycle, then dropped down to 115 and stayed there during the full power cycle.  During cooling it went up to about 117, and I found it interesting that the roaster was still drawing about 5 amps at the beginning of the cooling cycle.  Might be some smoke reduction thing going on.  It dropped down to about a .4 amp draw during the second half of the cooling cycle and the voltage went right back up to 120.

Will a voltage drop down to 115v at full power be enough to roast a half pound of beans without baking them?  I still have around 8 lbs. of beans and I don't want to bother with the Behmor if I'm not going to get much better than what I've roasted so far.

And yes, this was 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon, so I might do better in the morning during the week or at night.  I'm not sure when the voltage comes up at night - anyone know?

Pretty discouraging.  I really thought I would get pretty decent no-hassle roasting out of my Behmor.  Never knew the wiring in my house was so inadequate.  Not the Behmor's fault, of course.
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kboom1
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Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

That's a bummer. 115v is still a little low. Try your outlet either in early morning or late at night. It's also a good idea if you are getting low voltage to go around your house  unplug some stuff and try it again. If you have other outlets pigtailed or dasy chained to the outlet youre using it will cause a power draw. 115v is low and I think 117v-119v is the lowest acceptable voltage to roast 1/2lb within a decent time. The power draw durring cooling is prob the afterburner. The afterburner will run aprox.2min after starting cool down and is why I wait 2 min before opening my door to cool faster. being you droped from 120v to 115v there might be another appliance plugged in on the same line also drawing power at the same time.
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JojoS
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Posted Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:11am
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

A Variac with the appropriate capacity is the usual solution for problems like this. Lucky for me I don't have such problems since I am in a 220v region with a 220-240v Behmor version.
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JWK
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Posted Mon Jan 6, 2014, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

I've had some success this morning.  I roasted half a pound at 7:30am.  I set it on 1lb. so I would have plenty of time and watched everything on the kill-a-watt as I went along.  The wall voltage never dipped below 117 and stayed at 118 most of the time after the afterburner kicked in.  For the first part of the roast it pretty much stayed between 119 and 120.

I thought I detected some faint pops around the 9:00 mark, but things suddenly started popping at the 7:40 mark.  I let it go for exactly 2 minutes and hit cool at 5:40.  Then I did my usual cooling with the door open after a minute or so and the shop vac stuck in there.

The beans looked really good.  I'm not going to try to pretend I know where exactly this roast is, but it is definitely more than city and less than vienna.  I did the other half of the pound of Panama an hour later.  I got the exact same results, only this time I hit the cool button at the 6:00 minute mark.  I couldn't really tell any difference in color.  I did it mostly because of the over roasted smell (to me) I got after the 6:00 mark during the first batch.

This gives me a little over 10 minutes to a rolling 1c and not more than 12 minutes for the entire roast.  I think I might not get baked beans this time.  I will give this roast a try on the Wednesday morning.  Wish me luck.


JojoS Said:

A Variac with the appropriate capacity is the usual solution for problems like this. Lucky for me I don't have such problems since I am in a 220v region with a 220-240v Behmor version.

Posted January 6, 2014 link

Yes, but I would not feel comfortable with anything that could handle less than 20 amps.  Those are pretty expensive variacs.  We should be moved to a new house within the year, and if this roasting thing works out I'll do what kboom did and put in a dedicated line with some ridiculously heavy gauge wire.
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kboom1
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Posted Mon Jan 6, 2014, 10:58am
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

JWK Said:

Yes, but I would not feel comfortable with anything that could handle less than 20 amps.  Those are pretty expensive variacs.  We should be moved to a new house within the year, and if this roasting thing works out I'll do what kboom did and put in a dedicated line with some ridiculously heavy gauge wire.

Posted January 6, 2014 link

That was my reason for running a dedicated line. The choice of buying a  pricy variac or a dedicated line for $60 or so was no comparison. There are some cheaper Chinese variacs around but were still over $100 . The reason for running the heavier line was I run 2 behmors back to back at the same time (one roasting one cooling) . using a 20a breaker with 10/g wire instead of 12guage wire to a 15a duplex outlet.  power will fux in waves , thicker wire helps reduce power flux and in turn gives me a more even roast. I'm glad to see you found some decent voltage and I'm sure the results will show in your cup.
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nyc_crema
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Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

I am considering home roasting and will likely run a new one to the roaster.  Reading this thread reinforced that decision.  

So I ask: why does the voltage drop affect the roast?
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Buckley
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Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

nyc_crema Said:

So I ask: why does the voltage drop affect the roast?

Posted January 12, 2014 link

Less power to the heating element, therefore lower temperature (difficulty in achieving selected temperature), therefore 'baked beans'.  Look up 'baked coffee beans' if necessary.
B
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TorontoRoaster
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Posted Sat Feb 1, 2014, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

Hmmm, so now I feel like an idiot. I've been roasting beans for over 2 years now using my Behmor 1600 and always wondered why my beans just didn't seem to be any better (often worse) than store bought beans. I've only been able to roast 11-1/4 ounces maximum in order to get the first crack and the second crack, but I have been able to get them so I figure I can't be getting 'baked beans' or can I?

I just tested the outlet I use with a Kill-a-Watt and now I am at 109V without the Behmor running but 106-1-107V with it running. I remember that I used to be able to get 114V and that was apparently too low. In fact all my outets produce this voltage, nothing higher.

I don't have any more spaces left in my electrical panel so I guess I am going to have to buy a variac?
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TorontoRoaster
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Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

So, my question is, can I just compensate for the lower voltage by roasting a smaller batch or does the lower voltage have something to do with reaching a high enough heat to roast the beans, no matter the batch size.

After googling for an hour and reading this website I still can't figure out what the answer is.
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Prof
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Prof
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Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 3:58pm
Subject: Re: Behmor:  How much voltage drop before you get problems?
 

TorontoRoaster Said:

So, my question is, can I just compensate for the lower voltage by roasting a smaller batch or does the lower voltage have something to do with reaching a high enough heat to roast the beans, no matter the batch size.

After googling for an hour and reading this website I still can't figure out what the answer is.

Posted February 2, 2014 link

Try a P1 roast set at 1# for a 1/2# of beans.  Before starting, press the + button until the time maxes out.

That will give you enough time to finish the roast.  After a couple of days try the beans and make your decision(s).

 
LMWDP # 010
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