Ask the Alchemist #116

How important is it that my cocoa beans pop when I roast them? Sometimes I only get a couple pops but the chocolate seems fine. I don’t have a great answer for this. Well, I have answers, but they are not definitive. Overall, I have an unsubstantiated preference for beans and roasts that pop and […]

Ask the Alchemist #111

I roasted 2.5 lbs. of the 2012 Peru beans in the Behmor. I used the 1 lb. P2 settings for 16 minutes and hit start. At 15 minutes I did not have any popping yet, so I added another minute. Still no pops at 16 minutes. As I approached minute 17 mark, still no pops. […]

Ask the Alchemist #109

You said you should roast criollo delicately but you also say in some of your reviews for criollo beans that they should be roasted fully. Isn’t that a contradiction? Thanks for the question. That is a great follow up to last week’s question. To answer your question, no, it’s not a contradiction. You knew I […]

Ask the Alchemist #108

How do I measure the temperature in the Behmor and match them to your temperature recommendations? You don’t. Caution, rambling Alchemist lecture ahead. There is no good, reliable, repeatable and consistent way to roast by any temperature measurement you can get from the Behmor. Over the years I have tried to tease out useful temperature […]

Ask the Alchemist #102

I am confused by your suggested start temperatures of 350-400F. This is almost the temperature range one would charge a batch of coffee! If I read roasting temperature suggestions here, are they referring to environmental temperatures (ET) or bean temperatures (BT), so indicating air temperature above the beans or approximation of the product temperature? For […]

Ask the Alchemist #82

From reading your forum and my own experience, your write up on how to tweak the Behmor programming is still confusing. Could you at least add Behmor instructions to each bean. And suggest how far over or under you can go and what it will do to the flavor. I know it should all be […]



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