Help with Quest M3, specific light roasts

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by Word_salad »

Hey all, hoping to get some advice roasting with the Quest M3. I've been using this roaster with artisan for a few months and I feel like I can get good medium roasts, but my 'light' roasts are always underwhelming. Specifically my light roast are basically the same as my medium roasts in color and taste. Even when I drop the roast right after first crack the beans are always medium to dark in color and while the the taste isn't bad it's not the bright flavors I think I can be getting from the beans.

I've tried a few things posted on these boards, higher charge temp, lower charge temp, faster ramp, slower ramp, fast overall roast, extended maillard phase, etc and the beans always come out the same.

Here's a profile from a roast yesterday on some Ethiopia Yirg

For this one I started with no fan and power at 9 amps, turned the fan on at ~2 mins in and dropped the power to 7 amps at dry end.

Here's a kenyan I did a while ago

For this one I started pretty hot with the power at 11 amps and dropped it down to 7.5 amps at dry end then dropped it early, still pretty dark.

Here's one I just tried to roast hot and fast the whole thing, don't remember the exact power

I've tried some other things and have lots of plots

Thanks for reading!


#2: Post by Rickpatbrown »

Your Kenya profile looks good with the ROR. You control the roast well.

Maybe try smaller batches to get through everything faster. My light roasts are usually under 10 minutes.

I feel longer roast times degrade a lot of flavor, especially delicate floral/fruit. We tend to call this "baking" the roast.

I'd also suggest taking one green and trying it 3-5 different ways. Compare them right next to each other and note what that change does to the flavor. It's a tedious task, but the knowledge you gain is so worth it AND it usually applies to other greens.

I'll leave details to quest users.


#3: Post by backporch »

What's your batch size?

This topic might have some useful insights for you. Development time of light roasts

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#4: Post by another_jim »

Your final segment looks spot on for light roasts, about 2.5 to 3 minutes from 375F to the end. 4 minutes in the middle is also OK, although 3.5 would be better. 5 minutes early is too long; again 3.5 to 4 is better. Regardless of what consulting mavens say; the Quest works best (at least for me) with roughly equal roast segments.

Like the others say, considering going with lower charges on very light roasts. I typically drop from 180 grams (5 roasts per 2 pound bag) to 150 or even 129 grams (6 or 7 roasts per 2lb bag) when I do brewing only light roasts.
Jim Schulman

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#5: Post by luca »

It has been a while since I've used the quest M3 stock, but I'd agree with rickpatbrown; sounds like the solution to your problem may be a faster roast. If you head into first with a high ROR, you will need to drop it with a bit less time after first crack. I'd try to do a roast or two significantly faster, and with less time after first crack. If you get a 7 minute roast with 50s or 1 min after first crack, that might be a good starting point. Don't be afraid to go faster and lighter. It would be good to do this exercise with some coffee that you're prepared to waste. You will hopefully find a point that's underdeveloped, but free of any roasty flavours, then you can look at increasing things from there. Sometimes it's worth finding something that's on the other side of the roast defects you want. For example, if you were roasting for 14 minutes with 3 minutes development time and you needed to get down to 10 minutes with 1 minute development time, and you went progressively 10 seconds less development time every time and sped up the roast a little, you'd have to go through 12 batches that all tasted similarly overdeveloped to get into the ballpark.
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#6: Post by Dokkie »

I agree with Luca that faster roasts generally work better on the Quest. When going slower than total 7-7:30 minutes all my roasts taste smokey/as if airflow was too low. Mine is a 3S and profiles like the one attached seem to work best for me. This is pretty light, if I go 10 seconds shorter after FC my Niche has stalling issues. My airflow is on max the whole roast.

PS: Don't mind the temperatures too much, but focus on the overall shape and time of the profile. I once decided to call FC at a specific temperature and for consistency's sake always kept it the same and tuned from here based on flavor of the roasts. It's not necessarily a correct FC time.