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Homeroasters.org » ALL ABOUT ROASTERS » Quest M3 Roaster
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Comparing the Quest M3, Hottop, and Gene Cafe Roasters
ciel-007
ginny wrote:

... I get the most control in my Quest. I use the Hot Top (newest B model) and Quest 3 evenly in terms of use but when I really am into a day of roasting and not just gotta get some roasted because I am out I use the Quest 3...



The Quest M3 is being mentioned with increasing frequency here at HRO, yet few technical details, or specific roasting experiences, are shared about this amazing looking machine. Among the HRO members that come to mind, I believe that Ginny and John have been roasting with Quest M3 roasters for several months now.

John, you are a long time Gene Cafe user. Since the Quest M3 and the GC are so very different, I would like to hear how you went about mastering those differences, and what impacts the new roasting style may have had on your brewing results.

Ginny, you have been a long time Hottop user. Since the Quest M3 and the Hottop share quite a few similarities, I would like to hear what specific things you have discovered about the Quest M3 that you prefer (or possibly dislike) in comparison to the Hottop, and how that may have impacted the flavor of you "Cremas".

There are probably quite a few more Quest M3 users here at HRO. I would like to hear about your roasting experiences as well. More specifically, how the Quest M3 compares with your previous roaster, and what you like (and possibly dislike about the Quest M3). This personal and technical feedback would be most helpful for other HRO members (including me), who have been contemplating the Quest M3. I thank you in advance for sharing you roasting experiences and overall Quest M3 assessments, Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK�NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
smico
Good topic Ciel. I will enjoy reading the experiences.
Hottop B2 + HTC, Cremina 83, OE Pharos, Brewtus IIIR, Baratza Vario
 
ginny
Hi Guys:

I will jump into this conversation this week with my personal thoughts on the Quest 3.

I will say I love this roaster. Love the control, the look and feel, the ability to back to back and to do small, say 150 gram roasts without any issue and the same great results.

I did find this ages ago and wanted to post id before I forget it came from members on HB:

http://www.ultram...tSheet.pdf

great little cheat sheet for roasting on out wonder roaster the Quest 3.

I also love my Hot Tops current being the KN-8828B-2K that I purchased this year. This Hot Top is my 4th machine the very first being the Original KN-8828.more later,

ginny

rockon
 
John Despres
I'll give it some thought and post after a bit.

First off, though, the Gene Cafe cannot be compared to the Quest M3. The similarity stops at they are roasters and both plug in.

J
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
SmokNmirz
That "Cheat Sheet" is a pretty good guide. I am very new to roasting and only have maybe 35 roasts so take what I have observed with a grain of salt!

I use a 200g load of beans and have found by experimentation that the "Cheat Sheet" is pretty darn accurate.

I use the Thermocouple Probes sold by EricS from the HB Forum. Those in conjunction with the Amprobe make for monitoring temperatures very easy.

In all honesty the electronic stuff helps but the eyes and the nose and a timer are really what lets you know about the roast.

Cooling the beans after you dump the roast to stop them from continuing to cook is pretty important. I would suggest a separate cooling tray to stop the roast quickly so what you see when you dump the beans stays in that condition.
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
http://mini4fun.info/Quest/Quest_M3_Mods.html
ginny
In all honesty the electronic stuff helps but the eyes and the nose and a timer are really what lets you know about the roast.



amen

there are a few more with Quest 3's now so perhaps we can get a conversation rolling...

thanks for the input.

-g
 
Bob at the Beach
I have had a Quest M3 Roaster for about 2 weeks now. My previous machines were a colander in the oven and a frying pan on the stove top. I have been waiting for a machine that was totally manual, fully user serviceable, and seemed like a shrunk down version of a big coffee roaster. This machine seemed to fit the bill.

I have only done 7 - 150 gram charges of bean so far. I have stopped while I removed the drum that I am blackening to absorb heat faster (IE roast at a lower wattage level). I am a mechanically and electrically inclined tinkerer and although the machine does not NEED this drum modification, I thought it made a lot of sense when I read about others doing it. It is a lengthy process if you do it right.

My first 2 efforts were not drinkable. Followed a lot of other user's directions and ended up over roasted the beans. Between a number of design changes since this machine was first put into the market (including drum wall thickness) and the difference between 220v machines and 110v machines, my head was spun around. I am now marching to my own beat. Have not done enough roasts to ensure my last two are repeatable yet.

Of the final 5 roasts of Ethiopian beans, three were good and the final 2 were excellent (my in-house taster agrees).

The unit passes the WAF test and the machine lives on a kitchen counter when not roasting. When roasting it sits under the microwave's exhaust fan which is vented outside. Because I do not roast past city to city+ I have never had any smoke and the odor that does wend its way throughout the house is rather pleasant.

Chaff collection is amazing and when I disassembled the front and the back of the machine after the 7 roasts it was basically pristine except for the chaff fan which needed a little q-tipping to loosen some chaff that wanted to hang on.

In addition to the drum modification I am now finishing, I have added two thermocouples hooked to a Fluke thermometer. I measure BT and MET.
Quest M3 Roaster, Technivorm KB741, Clever Dripper, Baratza Virusoso, Nespresso Machine, Chemex 30 oz
 
John Despres
My successes have been dumb luck... I have yet to ruin a batch of coffee, but the intricacies of this roaster astound me and so far, I haven't wrapped my brain around the drum with the two controls: fan and heat.

I'll get it soon enough, though.

I hope.

JD
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
SmokNmirz
John Despres wrote:

My successes have been dumb luck... I have yet to ruin a batch of coffee, but the intricacies of this roaster astound me and so far, I haven't wrapped my brain around the drum with the two controls: fan and heat.

I'll get it soon enough, though.

I hope.

JD


John, are you talking about the Quest M3? I have noticed that the temps that the probes/dial thermometer register compared to the electronic thermocouple probes are pretty close when using the thermocouple BT probe under the Trier and the Dial thermometer to the right of the Trier.

The control that this little roaster has is pretty good but I am still learning and the thing that puzzles me the most is the fan. Full fan speed expels chaff fairly well, but using the fan on other than low settings is still a mystery to me.

Any ideas?

Stephen
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
http://mini4fun.info/Quest/Quest_M3_Mods.html
John Despres
Stephen,

Your set-up sounds just like mine. One day I mean to find two temp probes and install the both, one for bean temp and the other for drum temp.

So far, I'm more or less sticking to Tom's cheat sheet on using the roaster. I think I read somewhere increasing fan speed will reduce the drum temp and slow the roast. Therefore I began increasing fan speed to full 0:30 into first crack to slow the roast. It seems to work as the rate of rise in the beans does indeed slow down.

Now I need to learn how to more effectively apply this to specific beans and roasts.

JD
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
SmokNmirz
JD:

I had started to realize that reduction in temp but had not done enough roasts to verify that in my mind. Thanks for the reassurance!

I like reading the numbers and reading the gauges but figuring out the Amprobe well enough to put the results into my laptop is beyond me. I love and hate that device both at the same time!!!

What charge temps are you using?

Stephen
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
http://mini4fun.info/Quest/Quest_M3_Mods.html
boar_d_laze
John Despres wrote:
One day I mean to find two temp probes and install the both, one for bean temp and the other for drum temp.

Eric S is something of a one stop shop for the most effective stuff for wiring a Quest. Here's a link to his pdf, illustrating what and how.

You can save a few bucks by ordering your probes and compression fitting directly from Omega. Convenience or money? You decide.

So far, I'm more or less sticking to Tom's cheat sheet on using the roaster. I think I read somewhere increasing fan speed will reduce the drum temp and slow the roast.

Yes. And because the Quest is what it is, the fan will shed heat a little quicker than lowering the power.

Therefore I began increasing fan speed to full 0:30 into first crack to slow the roast. It seems to work as the rate of rise in the beans does indeed slow down.

For better control, lower the power at onset of 1st, and then crank the fan after 30 seconds as much as necessary to stretch the interval from end of first to drop. With the heat down, the fan will give you very fine control.

That's a way of anticipating the slow response of an electric drum to power changes to conform to common modern roasting theory (Tom Owens, for instance) and control the last couple of minutes of the roast to increase sweetness without losing acidity.
Now I need to learn how to more effectively apply this to specific beans and roasts.

Welcome to my misery.

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze on 11-24-2013 16:16
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
boar_d_laze
John Despres wrote:
I haven't wrapped my brain around the drum with the two controls: fan and heat. I'll get it soon enough, though. I hope.


Count yourself lucky there's no damper.

BDL
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
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boar_d_laze
SmokNmirz wrote:
I like reading the numbers and reading the gauges but figuring out the Amprobe well enough to put the results into my laptop is beyond me. I love and hate that device both at the same time!!!

Seeing the BT and knowing the numbers for specific roast milestones is very helpful; and you don't need a readout for that.

Seeing ET and BT plotted in real time, isn't quite as important but it IS useful.

It's been a long time since I set up a TMD 56 and linked it to a roasting program. But, as I remember:
Turn off every piece of software you've got going other than Windows. You definitely don't want any roasting program running or it will mess up communications assignments.

Load the driver and program that comes on the minidisc included with the Amprobe. As I recall, there's an "autodetect" feature for the software to set the com port; use that. You may have to update your USB driver, but if so, it's very likely that it will update automatically if your computer won't see the datalogger after you've loaded the software. If it doesn't, reboot and see if that kickstart the update.

After you've got the Amprobe working, load Artisan (if you haven't already) and follow the instructions in the documentation to link the datalogger to the roastlogging software. The one thing I remember for sure that it's all pretty easy. If you can't make it work, we can find someone who can explain it better than me.

What charge temps are you using?

Even though this isn't directed at me, I'm going to take a stab at answering. Charge temps depend on dose size. The lower the dose, the lower the charge temp necessary to avoid scorching and tipping.

The best way to figure your ideal charge temp for a given dose is by working backwards from the turn. With very low, sample size doses, you want a charge temp at or lower than 300F; with the idea of hitting the turn at around 170-180F.

I don't have enough experience with the Quest to give you definite information. So, grab those salt grains. But, as I recall, 150g is about as low a dose as you can use for sampling. Start by dropping 150g at 275F, and see what happens.

BDL
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
SmokNmirz
BDL: Thanks for all the good info!

I had gotten the computer to recognize the Amprobe. I had downloaded Artisan but from that point it was a zero communication between them. So I have just been keeping a log book of heat numbers and time and actually been drifting away from that and going by sight sound and smell, and eventually taste.

Stretching out the roast is what I have been tinkering around with lately and that was the reason for my fan question. I had begun to notice the lower temps with the higher fan speed.

Without the probes from EricS it would be darn difficult but with them it is pretty easy to observe the roast and get a mental image of what the beans are doing in relationship to the Quest settings.

I have been using a 200g charge of green and dropping in at 375F, although I have tried lower at 300F which extends the time to FC. The reason I had been using the higher drop in temp was that I noticed that the second roast, when roasting back to back, was more well behaved and hit the FC more predictably at about 374F. I have just started messing with cutting back power to stretch after/during FC but was unsure about the fan.

Now I can play with the fan with a bit more knowledge :-) Thank you!

Stephen
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
http://mini4fun.info/Quest/Quest_M3_Mods.html
boar_d_laze
SmokNmirz wrote:I had gotten the computer to recognize the Amprobe. I had downloaded Artisan but from that point it was a zero communication between them.

1. Reboot.
2. DO NOT START AMPROBE
3, With the TC(s) connected to the TMD 56 (data logger), the data logger hooked up to the computer, and the data logger powered up, start the Artisan program. When you get the Artsian screen, DO NOT start the roast logger running. For now, leave the START button the hell alone.
4. Mouse over to the drop down menus at the top, select CONFIG.
5. From the Config drop down menu, select SERIAL PORT
6. At the bottom of the SERIAL PORT screen, you'll see a button labeled SCAN FOR PORTS. Click it.
7. Once a port and rate have been selected, click OK to return to the main screen ("Roaster Scope").
8. Select START. If all is good, you'll see the temp lines start to crawl across the screen. If not, we'll move on to Plan B.

So I have just been keeping a log book of heat numbers and time and actually been drifting away from that and going by sight sound and smell, and eventually taste.

I need to take notes by hand too. With my current setup, and my current level of experience with it, it's too "busy" to enter much data by computer while the roast is running.

I've bought a new touch screen hybrid tablet to run Artisan. It should make it easier to enter the basic events in Artisan as they happen, AND keep a hand written record.

Stretching out the roast is what I have been tinkering around with lately and that was the reason for my fan question. I had begun to notice the lower temps with the higher fan speed.

So I gathered.

Without the probes from EricS it would be darn difficult but with them it is pretty easy to observe the roast and get a mental image of what the beans are doing in relationship to the Quest settings.

I'm not using a Quest, but otherwise YES!

I have been using a 200g charge of green and dropping in at 375F, although I have tried lower at 300F which extends the time to FC. The reason I had been using the higher drop in temp was that I noticed that the second roast, when roasting back to back, was more well behaved and hit the FC more predictably at about 374F.

Everyone has to find her or his own way, but you probably want to drop your charge temp and focus (a) on the turn; and (b) stretching the drying period. That phase has as much, if not more, positive effect on sweetness and overall roast profile as the interval between 1st C and drop.

I have just started messing with cutting back power to stretch after/during FC but was unsure about the fan.

Play the fan and the heat controls at the same time to get the desired RoR.

Speaking of fan, it's a good idea to run it at full blast for fifteen seconds at the 3min mark to clear out any smoke.

Get some graph paper, and draw a t/T (time/Temp) graph with three points: Turn, 1st C, and Drop. If you haven't established an ideal profile yet, you can use ideal times; but you'll need to use actual temps as determined by experience -- because temp readings are highly idiosyncratic.

For instance, a typical three point profile (with my current roaster) looks like this: Turn -- 80sec, 175F; 1st C -- 9:30, 385F; Drop -- 14:15, 415F. For your model, you don't need to plot charge temp, but just FYI, I'm currently charging at 300F.

Draw the graph, and calculate the average RoR for both legs. The formula is change in temp/change in time. If you took math and/or college physics you'll recognize the form of the formula as dT/dt. Obviously, you don't need to draw a graph to determine RoR, but the visual reinforcement is useful for most people.

During a given roast you'll want to keep an eye on RoR to make sure it roughly conforms to the average for each of the two legs.

To refine the profile, choose some intermediate roast landmarks on each leg. For instance, I like to use "End of Drying," which occurs a little more than half way through the first leg. I extend the first part of drying by adjusting my controls so that the roaster runs (a little) slow to EOD, then picks up the pace from EOD to 1st -- to preserve the average Turn to 1st RoR.

Using a graph you concocted before the roast will help a lot to keep track. Using a real-time plot can either add a lot of information or be one helluva distraction. It takes a lot of practice to make it work in real time.

FWIW, I also break down the second leg of the roast by noting "End of 1st" as an intermediate point between (onset of) 1st and Drop; and refine the profile by extending interval the End of 1st to Drop.

My roaster not only has power (gas, in its case), and fan, but damper too (the damper directs the air through the roaster, through the cooling tray, or some combination of the two). It's the first roaster I've had with three forms of control.

It's pretty easy to calculate RoR in your head while the roast is going on; but the RoR reading in Artisan is always on the money. Either way, the key is to be comfortable enough within the roasting process that you have time to process and make use of information as it comes to you. That takes familiarity bred of lots of practice. Cut yourself some slack. You can only hurry the learning curve so much.

Switching to my new roaster has me busier than a cat trying to bury $#*! on a marble floor. I'm sure your move to the Quest has you just has you equally incoherent.

Now I can play with...a bit more knowledge.

Roflmao

BDL
USRC 1lb Roaster, Chemex+Kone, Espro, Various FPs, Royal Siphon Vacuum, Yama Ice Drip Tower, Bunnzilla, La Cimbali M21 Casa, Ceado E92.
CookFoodGood
 
SmokNmirz
Thanks for the information BDL.

I shall plod along and try the Amprobe again when I am housebound Post Op after shoulder rotator cuff/bicep tendon surgery. BBQ grill

Cheers!
Stephen
L-1p, HG-1-motorized, Monolith Flat, (ordered) mini500Plus.

If whatever you do does not put a smile on your face then rethink what you are doing.
 
http://mini4fun.info/Quest/Quest_M3_Mods.html
ciel-007
ciel-007 wrote:

The Quest M3 is being mentioned with increasing frequency here at HRO... John, you are a long time Gene Cafe user. Since the Quest M3 and the GC are so very different, I would like to hear how you went about mastering those differences, and what impacts the new roasting style may have had on your brewing results...

Ciel


John Despres wrote:

... I'll give it some thought and post after a bit...



John Despres wrote:

... Quest M3 all the way. Hands-on, very intuitive, and easily modify-able if you like...



John, it would be much appreciated if you would share what you like and dislike about the two roasters (Gene Cafe and Quest M3) that you have been using over the passed year or so.

Your expert feedback would be most helpful for all HRO members who may be considering purchasing either a Gene Cafe or a Quest M3 in the near future.

Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK�NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
trueQness
Where would I buy a Quest M3?
 
ginny
Hello:

Thom at Coffee Shrub sells the Quest 3.

http://www.coffee...

you will love it...


ginny


cool
 
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