Question regarding coffee roasting times and level

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Jun 15, 2022
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South San Francisco CA
OK, so I have a used Behmor 1600Plus and have a few roasts under my belt. I am really enjoying it and my wife is enjoying the coffee I am making as well. So, that helps with the hobby and me keeping it going. A little background on my roasting habits. I usually load about a half pound in the drum, preheat the unit to about 200 and stop and put the drum in. My starting temps then vary but have been around 180 or so depending on how quickly I can get the drum loaded. Start the machine at P1, immediately move to P5 and try and stay around 280 to 290 as my highest temp. I have been taking most of my roasts thru FC and trying to stop before SC simply because my wife likes a lighter roasts. I have hit SC a few times and while she isn't thrilled I tend to like it a bit more.

OK, so now here is the question: She just ordered another group of beans and one of the reviews is that the roaster stayed at P3 for most of the roast until she got to FC. Once at FC, the roaster went to P4 thru FC. I have never thought about maybe toning down the heat and work the time a bit more. So, has anybody done something similar where you keep the heat a bit lower and roast it longer? Kinda like low and slow smoking meats in a way. Any input would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance
There seems to be many different "formulas" and opinions on them for roasting on the Behmor.

The key though is roasting the beans not baking them. Conceptually, low and slow could give a baked bean rather than roasted.

What I usually do is start hot, preheat, and manual p5, letting the roaster climb to 300+ but not to shutoff (~330, I think). Then I will modulate temp by going back and forth between p4 and p5 to try keep the temp up there.

Temp drops when afterburner kicks in so I try to time being on p5 to build heat for that without going into shutdown before it kicks in.

I try to keep the heat up there and anticipate start of first crack, approximate time of which varies by bean and load (I usually do 1/2lb too).

Once around first crack time is when the real fun starts. To me that's the balancing act of keeping enough heat to not stall out but not too much as to go through too quickly and end up with underdeveloped coffee. I prefer lighter roasts but I'd rather err toward City+ or even Full City rather than a grassy flavor.

If you want to try something that I think is the generality of ideal roast, it's 40-45% time drying (green through yellow), 35-40% browning (from light yellow/tan up to 1st crack), and 20% development (1st crack through end of roast). Based on the bean and the load, manage your temps to accomplish that % division of 100% total time (typ >10 and <15min for me).
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