The new Behmor Plus upgrade panel gives you the ability to create your own roast 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. 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.
A faster drum in a Behmor means that the coffee gets pulled farther up the back of the drum during roation 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.
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. The fast drum batch had lively notes, was more complex and had more percieved 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.