Do any of you have any recommendations for a home roaster?  Have any of you had any good results with the Behmor 1600 or the HotTop Drum Roaster? 

Views: 1031

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Love my Gene Cafe. 300 roasts in and still going strong. Kind of a small batch size (although it says 8oz, it roasts much better coffee at 5-6oz) but, I have roasted some great coffee on this thing. I debated between this one and the other two you mentioned, and chose the Gene simply because it was the best I could afford. The hot top seems pretty darn cool if you ask me, just a bit pricey.
Behmor works just fine unless you want to roast the very darkest roasts. roaster shipping and 8lbs. of beans for $299 cant be beat.
Thanks for the feedback Kevin and Harold.
I will say one advantage that the HotTop has over the Behmor is the ability to roast up to one pound of coffee at a time. It will roast in increments of 1/4lb, 1/2lb, or 1lb.

Also, the HotTop has a cooling tray, whereas the Behmor must cool down in the barrel. This can be problematic as the coffee will continue to roast for the next two minutes during the "cool down" phase on the Behmor. The cooling tray on the HotTop means that when you drop the beans, that is their roast profile.

There is some really good info about this at sweetmarias.com or on the home roasting forum at Home-Barista.com.
I love my RK Drum. It is a perforated drum that is attached to a BBQ grill like a rotisserie rod. I can really manipulate the roast - adjusting the heat through out the roast not to mention the ability to roast over flames. Not much more than the average home roaster. RK Drums come in 4,8 10 lb drums and you can use most grills. http://www.rkdrums.com/index.htm
As I've learned to work with the kinks of the Behmor it's producing some nice roasts. Yea, you can't go too dark, so no espresso roasts. At first everything was coming out acidic, but pre-heating seems to have helped out with that. Switching to cooling in time to slide into a good roasts takes some practice too. A thermocouple has helped too, since the Behmor has no built in thermometer.

The only other thing with it is the cycling that comes with electric roasters. But you'll get that with any electric home roaster. Supposedly you can fix it with a variac, but I'm working toward a gas roaster instead.
I also have a Gene Cafe and have loved it for 3 years. It roasts very evenly, has somewhat decent control over profiling, and is a great value compared to prices of other home roasters out there. It's also aesthetically pretty with its off-axis rotation when it turns the drum. Because of certain design aspects, for me it's harder to hear the cracks (especially 1st), but that's not a huge issue. The biggest problem for me seems to be the inability to truly preheat the drum before dropping a batch and the lack of an external cooling tray, but other users have said that the regular cooling cycle doesn't result in any significant taste differences over doing a manual stop and an external cool.
correction the Behmor can roast up to a full pound, the hottop can only do a 1/2# at a time. the hottop can do back 2 back roasts though as where the behmor needs some time to cool.

The Behmor has WAY more bang for the buck althought the hottop B offers a little more control over the roast.

and yes, the Behmor WILL do espresso roasts. several behmor owners roast for espresso.

Cheers

Lorenzo Perkins said:
I will say one advantage that the HotTop has over the Behmor is the ability to roast up to one pound of coffee at a time. It will roast in increments of 1/4lb, 1/2lb, or 1lb.

Also, the HotTop has a cooling tray, whereas the Behmor must cool down in the barrel. This can be problematic as the coffee will continue to roast for the next two minutes during the "cool down" phase on the Behmor. The cooling tray on the HotTop means that when you drop the beans, that is their roast profile.

There is some really good info about this at sweetmarias.com or on the home roasting forum at Home-Barista.com.
correction, the Hottop does require a cool down time between roasts. We've been using ours for sample roasting. I really wouldn't put more than 1/2 lb at a time.
Sorry guys . . . sometimes I read too much stuff and it all gets mixed up in my crazy brain!
I am a bit confused after reading these posts. I also am interested in purchasing a home roasting machine but am strickly an espresso drinker. Is there a machine out there for under $500 that can adequately roast an espresso profile? I have been close to going with the Behmor 1600 but have hesitated because of it's reported inability to roast darker roasts.
I agree in some respects the Behmor is more bang for the buck than the HotTop. In the respect of being able to do larger batches, period. If you place repeatablilty, controllability, programabilty and quality of the roast over quantity the HotTop does in fact offer much more bang for the buck. While the Behmor as a few preset profiles, and you can modify them adding or subtracting time before starting which changes each stage or add or substract time during which changes only the last stage, you can't modify the profile or take control on the fly. Besides in drum cooling weakness, the Behmor has an anemically slow drum rotation of only ~6rpm. In comparison the HotTop ~30rpm and USRC 3k ~60rpm. Some have modified replacing with faster drum motor which greatly improves performance.

It's easy to turn beans brown, it's a lifetime Journey learning to make beans sing. If you can't control the roast results are a crap shoot. The HotTop is the best off the shelf home roaster currently offered in the US. IMO of course. Which is based on a decade home roasting with SS skillet, dedicated 14 gauge WOK, heatgun, oven, P1, split wired dual variable voltage boosted Caffe Rosto (primary method about 6 years), Fresh Roast (gave it away), I-Roar(Roast), Behmor and CCR HotTop. (And the last going on three years roasting a few tons of greens in my USRC 3k with PLC profile control.)

I don't have personal experience with Gene or Nesco so can't comment on them.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2019   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service