The new Behmor Plus upgrade panel gives you the ability to change drum speed during the roast, and create your own profiles on the fly.
We knew what to expect from this since we are familiar with the roaster’s preset profiles. The only thing that drew a question mark over our heads, was the drum speed control. The user can toggle the drum from 8 rpm to 16 rpm at anytime during the roast . (See updated note below though – this is changed with new gen models).
This is a unique feature in a drum roaster and we had nothing to compare it to, so we figured a little experiment was in order.
Note in 2020: (This is an older article describing the silver-faced Behmor 1600 upgraded to the 1600 Plus. But the drum speed discussion here applies to all models since then including the Behmor 2000AB Plus!
The difference is the RPM range. The later models are rotating faster as it was found that 8 RPM was just slow by any standard. Now the selection between low and high speed drum rotation in a Behmor is 16 RPM versus 32 RPM (rotations per minute).
A faster drum in a Behmor means that the coffee gets pulled farther up the back of the drum during rotation which exposes the bean mass to more heat from the the upper heat element in the back of the roaster. This actually shortens roast time which might be a good thing for folks dealing with roasters that aren’t getting hot enough in the time the Behmor 1600 allows.
Behmor Coffee Roaster Drum Speed results:
One taster was interested in what a roast at a medium drum speed would taste like. We think this could be possible by toggling the speeds during the roast…not sure if that woud wear down the motor though.
We roasted 2 half pound batches of Ethiopia Sidama Dereje Station to a city roast level using the slow and fast speeds. The slow drum batch went into the cooling cycle after 11 minutes and 15 seconds. The fast drum batch started cooling at 10 minutes and 45 seconds. After 2 days, we compared the grind color and some folks here in the office gave their feedback on how the brewed coffee tasted.
The general consensus around here was that the batch from the slow drum was sweeter and more developed… but a bit flat in terms of flavor and brightness.
The fast drum batch had lively notes, was more complex and had more perceived acidity. We were glad that this setting made a difference in the cup. I adds another level of control to the new Behmor Plus features. Here is our video about Behmor Coffee Roaster Drum Speed: