Quest M3 or M6? - Page 2

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
dcbrown1
Supporter ♡
Posts: 39
Joined: 17 years ago

#11: Post by dcbrown1 »

I have definitely noticed that it cools down way slower now. In fact, once the heat it turned off the temperature readings seem to continue to climb for a bit. It's like turning an aircraft carrier. That said, it's hard to fathom that more insulation/stability is a bad thing that can't been managed via less amps. However, I'm a newbie at the Quest m3, and there are others here who can speak authoritatively on this topic.

Pressino (original poster)
Supporter ♡
Posts: 1390
Joined: 3 years ago

#12: Post by Pressino (original poster) »

dcbrown1 wrote:I have definitely noticed that it cools down way slower now. In fact, once the heat it turned off the temperature readings seem to continue to climb for a bit. It's like turning an aircraft carrier. That said, it's hard to fathom that more insulation/stability is a bad thing that can't been managed via less amps. However, I'm a newbie at the Quest m3, and there are others here who can speak authoritatively on this topic.
The "stability" is potentially a problem, which can be seen as such when you replace "stability" with "slow response time." I quickly found out that the Quest M3s drum has a high thermal thermal inertia (not sure if that or "density" or "mass" would be a better term). Turning down the current or changing the fan speed will change the BT and ET, but with a lot of lag time that makes it difficult to adjust roast temperatures on the fly. The Quest has absolutely no trouble getting to higher temperature fairly quickly from lower temps, but it's challenging to go the other way. The key to success is being able to anticipate the temperature changes over time and make appropriate anticipatory changes in heater current and fan speed to get the roast curve to end up where you want it to go. I tried that a few times just using digital/analog thermometers and it was really hit or miss and resulted mostly in overshooting the temps I wanted (though depending on how you adjust the current and fan speed it could go the other way and result in, say, stalling the roast during the development phase).

Right after I got it and discovered this "problem" (at least compared to my other more "responsive" roasters) and saw that anticipating the temperature changes over time (i.e. the roast temperature curves), I purchased the Mastech ms6514 clone from Perfect Prime and downloaded Artisan to my notebook. Suddenly my ability to control roast temperature changes over time (i.e. the roast profile) became not only doable, but in fact fairly easy. I've been roasting for quite a few years and managed to get good results (certainly better than the stuff from Starbucks and Peets and frequently as good as stuff from more artisanal rosters like Blue Bottle), but using Artisan has opened my eyes to the real potential of hobbyist roasting at home. Artisan alone in conjunction with my air roasters and Behmor coffee roaster oven would have certainly allowed me to use those to better and more consistent effect. The Quest not only forced me to resort to Artisan to use it properly, but at the same time made me appreciate how capable a roaster it is compared to the others I've used. :)

dcbrown1
Supporter ♡
Posts: 39
Joined: 17 years ago

#13: Post by dcbrown1 »

Thanks so much for the feedback. I was running Artisan with my hottop. When I purchased my new M3, I just bought a cheap duel temperature thermometer that doesn't have output capabilities. Dumb, but I had stopped using Artisan on my Hottop once I was experienced. I looked into the 6514, but it has seemingly been replaced by model TC2100 (or is that what you meant by "clone". I downloaded the new Artisan software (running on a Mac book), and noted that the 6515 is listed on the device menu, but there's nothing for a TC2100. Any advice here. Thanks again.

Pressino (original poster)
Supporter ♡
Posts: 1390
Joined: 3 years ago

#14: Post by Pressino (original poster) »

Rest assured that the current Artisan program will work perfectly with the Perfect Prime TC2100 clone if you set the device in Artisan to the Mastech ms6514...if you liked how your Hottop roasted with Artisan, you're going to love what you will be able to do with the Quest and Artisan.

Pressino (original poster)
Supporter ♡
Posts: 1390
Joined: 3 years ago

#15: Post by Pressino (original poster) »

edgndg wrote:If you decide you want to put a thermocouple in the bean chute hole for MET as suggested above LMK. When I had access to a drill press I drilled a couple extra of the screws. They fit the coffee shrub thermocouples (intentionally tight).
Well, after using Artisan with TC's mounted at the usual ET and BT access ports and not finding the ET measurements particularly useful for guiding the profile changes in BT, I did what you suggested and replaced the M4 cap screw at the upper right of the bean chute with a similar but "vented" cap screw to accept a flexible 1mm TC to measure MET instead, using suggestions from previous posts here on HB. The first time I tried it the MET readings were way to high. I had placed the 150mm probe on the upper left of the chute and probably inserted it too deeply...I suspect it was touching the drum or the shell. I moved it to the right side and bent it to insert only about 75mm into the airspace around the drum and it measured more reasonable (expected) METs. It's easy for me to keep these fairly stable and make changes to heat and airflow that result in more predictable changes in BT. Relying on MET measurement was a brilliant idea that definitely made it easier to guide roasts on the M3. Thanks.

dcbrown1
Supporter ♡
Posts: 39
Joined: 17 years ago

#16: Post by dcbrown1 »

Thanks for the additional perspective. Is there any reason why it would make a difference if the MET probe was placed on right upper shoot hole, or on the left?

buckersss
Supporter ♡
Posts: 579
Joined: 3 years ago

#17: Post by buckersss »

Nunas wrote:I had an M3 Mk-2, and now have an M6. The M3 easily will do 250 gram batches. I pushed mine once to 400 just to see what would happen. It struggled. It's happiest at 250 grams. My M6 is happiest at 400 to 450 grams, even though it is rated higher. Either one will do smaller batches, as they are identical in build; the M6 is simply a bit longer with slightly bigger heaters. Have a look at my Quest manual here https://www.dropbox.com/s/upzbg8u8ktlet ... 1.pdf?dl=0 It's getting a bit dated, but should give you some good information.
Out of curiosity, what is the difference between the M3s and M3-Mk2?

Nunas
Supporter ♡
Posts: 3687
Joined: 9 years ago

#18: Post by Nunas »

The Mk-2 has a thinner drum that turns in the opposite direction from the original M3. Otherwise, they are about the same. The M3s and the M6 have a different stirring vane structure and a much different air flow and chaff arrangement. In the original and the Mk-2, the air came in a hole at the back of the roaster and entered the drum via the open ends of the drum, mostly at the back. The M3s and the M6 have a perforated backplate, with air being drawn from slits at the bottom of the case (a much better arrangement). The Quests all have the same chaff collector, but the M3s and the M6 also have an ash collector at the bottom of the case. There were also a few transitional Quest models that had air drawn through multiple small tubes. Older Quests had both heaters at the bottom of the drum, while current ones have one to one side near the bottom and the other diametrically opposite.

Pressino (original poster)
Supporter ♡
Posts: 1390
Joined: 3 years ago

#19: Post by Pressino (original poster) »

dcbrown1 wrote:Thanks for the additional perspective. Is there any reason why it would make a difference if the MET probe was placed on right upper shoot hole, or on the left?
Sorry for not answering that question earlier. The difference is that the probe placed through a hole in the upper right bolt holding the charging chute will be measuring air temperature between the roasting drum and the outer shell (i.e. outside the roasting chamber. This may more like what is termed the MET reading in large commercial roasters. In any case, for the M3s and M6, a probe placed in the left bolt hole (opposite the trier port) is going to measure the hot air inside the roast drum, essentially the "environmental air temperature" around the beans. In either setup, the probe in the bolt hole just below the trier will be submerged in the rolling bean mass and approximate the "bean temperature"...provided the bean charge volume is high enough to cover the probe when the drum is rotating. I've found that the temperature measured with the probe in the upper right is higher than when the probe is in the lower left bolt hole. I initially thought that the upper right position would be "better" for working up a roast profile, but I've come to the opinion that the location chosen for the second probe by the manufacturer is more useful...at least for my purposes.

dcbrown1
Supporter ♡
Posts: 39
Joined: 17 years ago

#20: Post by dcbrown1 »


Thanks. I actually was wondering if it made a difference using the right versus left hole by the charging chute (MET). I assume not. I did try the stock ET hole first, but the differences between BT and ET with stock locations weren't very different very different. In some cases, BT was higher than ET. Hmmm. Based on the advice of some knowledgeable folks here, I ended up going with the MET set up using the upper right hole (note photo). I've been trying to maintain a MET temp of about 515 and have been getting some good results...thanks to some awesome coaching by some great members on this site!