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Time life of a roaster
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nyc_crema
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nyc_crema
Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,619
Location: New York City
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Espresso: Alexia (2010), Silvia (2004)
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Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 3:25pm
Subject: Time life of a roaster
 

I'm looking to roast now that I've moved out of an apartment into a house.  I'm more or less interested in the Behmore 1600. I read on Sweet Maria that they often last two years!  How true is this?  I plan to roast 1-2 times per week solely for espresso.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Jan 12, 2014, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

It all depends on how you treat your roaster. If you were to purchase a Behmor and keep it clean. Clean I mean stick to the manual by cleaning the internals every 1-5 roasts as well as occasionally make sure the control board, fans and smoke suppression system don't collect too much dust or chaff this roaster will easily outlast 2 years.  That being said when the time comes where your board or heaters go they are really easy and cheap to replace. Behmor is good when it comes to replacement parts and help. For the price nothing beats it in the home roaster world.  If your looking for a roaster with a longer life span without parts replacement I would look into a small commercial roaster.

Also no back to back roasting will extend the life of the machine. I learned it the hard way. :P
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

Many peoples have 2yo Behmors. 1-5 roasts a weeks, good maintenance cleaning, and no back to back roasts and should be fine for two years with maybe an after burner or two replaced. Mine lasted 6months with two after burner replacements and then it went to get a new motor, upon returning it could no longer do 1/2lb in under 16min. I roasted 2-5lbs a week with lots of back to back roasts with only a decent cleaning every 5 roasts, I roasted a lot of beans in six months of abuse.

While the Behmor was away for a month getting fixed I picked up a reconditioned HotTop B. I roasted over the next 3 years and close to 1000lbs of beans through it with a heating element swap, a new front plate for the drum, and two face plate replacements that they always gave to me in overnight shipment. I now have a commercial Diedrich roaster and the HotTop just sits there perfectly functional in case the Diedrich ever needs a major repair.

How many Behmors would I have to buy to get three years or 1000lbs through? If you take a look at HTusa every part for the machine can be purchased down to the terrible screws ( I guess I spent $4-5 on screws over 3 years). Thermo couple probes are easily added to a HT to help perfect profiles. However there is a much larger start up cost for a HT. Behmor is a good machine to find out if you have the passion to take roasting further.
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MikeReilly
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 307
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:17am
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

I have a Behmor from the first production run.  I bought it second hand from another forum member.  It had been used for quite some time when I got it and I've used it fairly heavily (3-5 roasts/week).  I clean it every 5 roasts as per the manual (when I remember).  I've replaced the motor once (Behmor tech support is GREAT!).  I'm hoping it lasts another 2 years at least.
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
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Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
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Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

If you have a garage a BBQ drum roaster will last almost forever.  My RK Drum setup is 9 years old and runs as good as the first day I put it together.  Roasts back to back and up to 4lbs (I stick to 2lbs or less).  Mininal clean-up (blow or vacuum out grill) and all smoke and chaff stays outside.

 
Tim Eggers
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nyc_crema
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nyc_crema
Joined: 13 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,619
Location: New York City
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Espresso: Alexia (2010), Silvia (2004)
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Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:12pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

TimEggers Said:

If you have a garage a BBQ drum roaster will last almost forever.  My RK Drum setup is 9 years old and runs as good as the first day I put it together.  Roasts back to back and up to 4lbs (I stick to 2lbs or less).  Mininal clean-up (blow or vacuum out grill) and all smoke and chaff stays outside.

Posted January 13, 2014 link

This sounds interesting!  How does the coffee compare to a Behmor or Hottop (skill level being equal)?  I'm hoping to stop buying expensive pro roasted coffee 95% of the time.  Will save me $600 per year!
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

I don't have hands on with the Hottop but I can tell you the Behmor requires little to no skill level. As long as you have a beginners knowledge of how coffee roasts it's pretty easy from the get go.  Just fill, push and watch.  The Hottop on the other hand is completely customizable. It's even got preset profiling and auto roasting to get you started.  The Behmor served me well. It produced great coffee and was amazing for the price but I have no doubt that the Hottop could produce better tasting coffee.  I've since moved to a commercial fluid bed.


As Tim was saying also.. There's the BBQ roaster option.  It's a bigger learning curve but you can get yourself setup for large scale roasting for under $1,000.
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Whitcoatsyndrom
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 178
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 7:26pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

Sorry to get off topic, as your question pertains to the Behmor specifically...but:

If you're new to roasting and don't want to invest much there are multiple options.  As outlined, a BBQ drum is certainly one way to go and allows you larger roasts without some of the maintenance upkeep.  You lose the customizable approach to roast profiles and such but gain some serious know-how when it comes to how beans roast (it really requires you to do some reading on how to roast coffee...which is part of the hobby IMO); but that might not be your thing.  I have a similar story to you and recently got into roasting.  After burning through a popper and wanting larger roast abilities, I looked into other options.  I arrived at the heat-gun dog-bowl method in which you use a shop-style heat gun (capable of 900+ degrees F) for about 15 to 50 bucks to roast beans that you stir in a metal bowl (hence dog-bowl).  After getting tired of stirring I found that people were taking bread-machines (they have the little paddle in the bottom that "kneads" the dough via stirring) to do the stirring while you just hold the heat gun.  I picked up a used craigslist bread maker for 10 bucks and a harbor freight heat gun for about $15 with adjustable heat settings.  I can roast 1 lb at a time with this setup.  The beauty of the heat gun method is that you control the roast by altering the heat of the gun and the distance it is from the beans.  Need to widen the gap between first and second crack?  Just pull the gun away a little.  Want to speed up the roast?  Hold it closer/make it hotter.  The level of control is fantastic, but its only a plus if you don't enjoy the "set it and forget it" characteristics of the Behmor (its a personality thing).  If you want to produce the exact same roast profile time after time, it's probably not going to be the best.  That being said, it's not difficult and you can get pretty close if you log what you did during the roast.  I get tremendously even roasts with this method, can do larger volumes, I'm learning a ton, and its so so cheap.  Soon I'll be fitting a k-type thermocouple to the roasting chamber so I can monitor temp, so modifications are endless.  Do a google search on heatgun dogbowl method or heatgun breadmaker method and you'll find a lot of info.  

For what its worth, if I could afford a hottop I would buy one ;-)

Enjoy your roasting!
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thepilgrimsdream
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 50
Location: Philly
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 21, 2014, 8:03pm
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

I use my friends Belmor 1600. I'm considering purchasing the hottop. I really want to start a small side home business, but I feel like I'd need something a step up from the hottop considering the batch sizes and not being sure of the lifespan and repairs factored in. I can't afford the Diedrich, but hopefully someday.

Are you possibly connected to Chestnut Hill Coffee Rob? I see you're a Philly guy and chestnut hill is on Germantown ave. I live in bucks county but play guitar for a gospel artist in Germantown. Chef Kens is a great little soul food place there if you haven't been. Maybe I can stop by and buy a bag of beans from you sometime
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TimEggers
Moderator
TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Time life of a roaster
 

Burner0000 Said:

As Tim was saying also.. There's the BBQ roaster option.  It's a bigger learning curve but you can get yourself setup for large scale roasting for under $1,000.

Posted January 13, 2014 link

Its actually pretty simple, I preheat the grill on HIGH, load drum with beans, depending on amount roasting adjust burners to maintain a specific thermometer reading, then dump and cool beans when done.

If you're going to get the best out of any roaster you'll need to be hands on, but that is part of the fun too.

 
Tim Eggers
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