I’ve been roasting coffee for over two years now, and would like to share my set up with you. It all centers around the Behmor 1600 electric drum roaster. While the manufacturer says it is capable of up to a pound, I would recommend staying under a half-pound to avoid baking the coffee. The pre-set roasting profiles range from full power; a variety of incrementing power percentages; one starts high, drops low, and increases near the end. The built-in smoke suppression is a wonderful feature on colder days when you may not want a window open. Possibly the best addition was the thermocouple I purchased separately along with an insulated probe. Snaking it into the roasting chamber has actually allowed for temperature tracking near the exhaust vent.
Of course, a gram scale is important for any home barista or roaster. Being able to track the weight loss from each batch has been a great help to track differences in coffees. Tracking has been the other goal of my setup. Every batch is tracked in 30 second increments on spreadsheets, broken down to origin countries and farm. Noting the quality and flavors of each roast as well has been a huge help. I also track the weight loss, times and temperatures of 1st and 2nd crack, and Behmor settings. This allows me to pull up the previous successful roasts for an origin/varietal as a starting point when returning to an origin after several months.
Even without its own built in thermostat, and that you must use the pre-set roast profiles, the Behmor has been a pretty good roaster. Over time, you learn the right volume to work with and a way to work with the profiles. Many people fib to the roaster, saying they’re roasting a larger batch than they are. If you do this, keep an eye on your roasts, and take the time to learn what you’re doing, and you’ll be fine.