Quest M3 guide and experiments

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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Postby amh0001 » Dec 04, 2016, 6:23 pm

******I originally started this thread with the idea of changing just one single variable from roast to roast, but it is now becoming more of a guide. welcome any feedback or criticism.

Below I will show how I am roasting, but be warned!
It is easy to think by copying my AMP and FAN setting it will get you a good roast, but if we have anything different in our Quests, such as probes, probe locations, models, years, solid drums vs drilled....this will differ whats actually happening. So, instead of simply matching my settings and times, I suggest you learn how your roaster drives and then try to interpret my profile to fit yours based on graphs and what you tasting in your coffee.

TLDR This is how I am currently roasting:

1. preheat roaster for about 20 mins at a steady ~500 F MET (only before my first batch as a preheat)
2. lower amps to 5 and up fan to 7 to let roaster cool to about 420 MET.
3. amps back up to 8 and fan to 4 and watch MET and BT.
4. charge with 150g load once the MET has momentum and is increasing around 440 MET 320 BT. BT is not as important and different probes can read up to 25 degrees difference depending on size and placement.
5. the roaster has momentum and MET is rising. hold at 8 amps 4 fan. I hit dry end around 315 BT and around 4 mins my MET will have raised from 440 to 500 at this point.
6. up Fan to 5 during initial dry phase. that will hold my MET at ~500. approximately 45 seconds before first crack up fan to 7.
7. about 30 seconds into first crack start dropping heat to 5 amps and aim for around 18 percent development time around a 9-10 minute roast.
8. Once done cooling. Close all hatches let roaster cool at 5 amps and 7 fan to about 420 to start you ramp again. Once at around 420 go 8 amps and 4 fan, and raise to 440 and charge with momentum going up.

***PS I am using an older Quest with the trier on the left. and most importantly I am using Eric's thin probe in the BT2 location that goes through the screw the sight window (most people use a bigger probe in BT1) . This is will always make our graphs different if we are using different probes in different locations.

-Try to have some momentum going as you charge, but don't charge too hot. You don't want to be rocketing through the drying phase, and back of so much energy that you stall out during first crack.

-I never ADD power during the roast with this method. The electric elements of the quest are heating up with power as the roast is going.

-If you have the same MET probe as me, then try to match the MET in my graphs without going over 525.

-Use the same batch size 150g

-Ultimately we are after tastes not graphs. So try to learn how your graphs translate into your cup.

too roasty and bitter, lower my development time or make sure I'm not charging too hot.
Vegetal and sour Increase my development time and or total roast time.
Paper flavor Baked, try steepening your ROR and making sure it doesn't go flat. Also, I THINK this can happen with older green coffee. So try another coffee.

After every roast I rack open about 3 beans, I smell them, and I look for evenness of color from the inside to the outside.

This roast profile is for pour over

Good reading ... ast-part-1 ... t-roasting ... and-colour

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Postby max » Dec 04, 2016, 6:36 pm

Looking forwards to posts to come!

Could add information on which Quest model (year? M3(s)?) you have?

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Postby samuellaw178 » Dec 04, 2016, 6:57 pm

Great idea! I have recently acquired a Quest as well and am on my learning curve (about 40 roasts in and as confused as ever). :D Looks forward to comparing notes & exchange if you don't mind (and maybe replicate some of yours) - at least it's not a monologue! :lol:

I have a MK-2 (thinner drum) with modded perforated rear drum (drum was cut 1cm shorter with a perforated plate welded on), as opposed to your MK1 with drilled drum. The fan resistor has been cut so the fan setting has a wider range now. I started logging using Artisan too.

I roast by wattage (as read out by a watt meter). So I use the slider function and its values on Artisan to indicate my exact roast setting. That way I know exactly when and how much I've changed the heat and fan setting during a roast. ie. P100 on the Artisan corresponds to 1000 watt, P85 = 850 watt, P75 = 750 watt. Fan setting too - F20 = fan setting 2.0 and so on. Would be nice if there's a way to calibrate airflow among different Quest users.

Only thing I would recommend is to change the setting in event tab to 'type' for easier reading (if you haven't already done so). I found that the default setting always had the numbers overlapping with each and off the chart if my MET went way up.


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Postby amh0001 » Dec 04, 2016, 7:41 pm

Looks great! I changed it to bars. Thanks for the input!

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Postby thepilgrimsdream » Dec 04, 2016, 10:38 pm

I've had some successful roasts recently with constant full airflow(slow start fast finish). I use the latest style drum too.

Just removing another variable :D

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Postby TomC » Dec 05, 2016, 12:35 am

amh0001 wrote:...

In this next thread, I plan to try to narrow down my variables to 1 by keeping everything the same.

Just something to consider, before you get too far down the rabbit hole, I'd pick up a 5 inch long piece of 3/4 inch copper pipe and slide it in the rear air entry hole. It can be held in place with a simple O-ring since that area won't get too incredibly hot (mine hasn't snapped yet in several months of use) to break it. That'll force the roaster to actually draw all the air over the elements and your convective heat drawn over the beans will be greatly improved. It's an important modification to the latest generations of the Quest that have my shortened, perforated rear drum design. Alternatively, I'm sure one could use some other high temp silicone to seal off any air leak around the tube, or even use a few layers of foil, but I don't know if it's really that important to have it completely sealed off.

It's a $3 modification and it seems to help. The copper is thin and highly conductive of heat from the elements that it sits next to. So there seems to be an additive effect of having the air not only pass over the elements like they should, but the air is also slightly pre-heated as it's drawn down thru this very hot tube.

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Postby wrz0170 » Dec 05, 2016, 5:23 am

Watching this thread as a Quest owner myself and and getting back into it. My previous roasts were all just -meh. Even thinking about a switch from Roastmaster to Artisian to help with information gathering.


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Postby wrz0170 » Dec 06, 2016, 8:12 am

amh0001 wrote:Hello all,

I recently had a long thread about how to roast on the Quest M3. I got tons of great information by helpful people that shared their experiences and profiles. Here: Help me get better roasts with my Quest M3 (with graphs)

In this next thread, I plan to try to narrow down my variables to 1 by keeping everything the same. The charge temp, the batch size, the type of coffee, the profile etc. I will only change one variable and them cup them and try to see what I like more, and then continue with that. I think this can really help me dial in my roasting and also, help anyone else that is interested. I am prepping to start my first batch.

I just got 5lbs of Sweet Marias Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Kebele Kochore lot 2. I will be working my way through this bag for the beginning of my experiments. Cheers.


Hi Adam,

With reducing variables, where are you at with the work flow? From charging weight to dropping the beans ? Thanks!


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Postby amh0001 » Dec 09, 2016, 4:43 pm

Hey guys thanks for the positive responses.

Here is the first experiment. I want to start with low variables, so I decided to use the Ultimate Orange Quest guide as a start.

My charge weight is always 150g
I am trying to charge at 350 degrees
and I am trying to use the fan to manage first crack development (increasing as the ferocity of the cracks increased so did the fan)
I drop at the end of first crack

Ok so this first one is at 75 amps

The next one I upped it to 77 amps during the whole roast

Here are the cupping results

75 amps
was sufficiently developed with out any off (paper or bitter burnt) flavors. It had a bit of a nutty taste (hazelnut) character to it. It lacked clarity and had light to medium body.

77 amps
Had more acidity initially (almost unpleasing), and a bit thinner body. It was sufficiently developed without any off flavors. The major difference I noticed as the coffees cooled about 10 degrees, the acidity mellowed out and became that classic yig ethi fruit.

I made a pour over with 77 amps as it was my preferred cup after it had cooled, and it was a very nice coffee. a 4/5 rating. The only thing that could had made it better was a little bit more clarity and a bit more pop on the fruit. but it was well rounded and I was quite happy with it.

PS TomC, thank you for the idea about the copper pipe. I will definitely look into it.

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Postby FotonDrv » Dec 10, 2016, 10:22 am

Here is what I did with the copper pipe. I soldered a male fitting onto the intake end to just keep the pipe from going all the way into the roaster AND to make a larder diameter part to the pipt to make a slight seal. Wrapping it in tinfoil might be a good idea as Tom has suggested, since it will not burn, easy to replace and inexpensive.


I will try to get a photo of the pipe soon.
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