Quest M6 max batch size?

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

#1: Post by F1gpstar »

I'm looking to buy a Quest M6, but want something that can roast a pound of net roasted coffee. So maybe 566ish grams green. I'm open to other roasted as well. I probably roast 20 pounds a month. Thanks in advance

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#2: Post by Nunas »

IMO, 566 g would be right at the absolute max for the M6. I usually do 450 g batches, but in the winter drop to 400 and on a hot summer day have gone as high as 600. Six hundred was a struggle. The limitation on the M6 is the heaters. By limiting the heaters to work on a 15-amp service, one can't practically get much past batches of 500 to 550 grams. Had they made it with bigger heaters, it could easily do more. Of course, most residences don't have 20-amp circuits available outside, where most of us like to roast. So, their decision is defensible. On the other hand, doing as many back-to-back roasts as you want with the Quest roasters is a piece of cake, which is what I do. Rather than push the roaster to do one ~20-minute batch for a week's worth of coffee, which might risk being toasty rather than roasty, I roast two slightly smaller batches for about 10-days worth; each takes about 14 minutes.

F1gpstar (original poster)

#3: Post by F1gpstar (original poster) »

Thank Nunas, that makes total sense. Anything I should lookout or prepare for with the quest. I'm a hands on manual roaster, but think I want to add artisan in the mix this time. Thanks again

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#4: Post by okmed »

Is it set in stone that it must be electric ?

F1gpstar (original poster)

#5: Post by F1gpstar (original poster) »

Not at all. I'm open to gas, 110 or 220

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#6: Post by Nunas »

F1gpstar wrote:Thank Nunas, that makes total sense. Anything I should lookout or prepare for with the quest. I'm a hands on manual roaster, but think I want to add artisan in the mix this time. Thanks again
If you've never used a Quest, I'd definitely get it with an ET and BT probe. I believe Coffee Shrub can supply them with the Quest (I got mine from the manufacturer, as I'm in Canada). My ET and BT probes are hooked to a Mastech 2-channel thermometer, which feeds a laptop running Artisan. Once you get used to the roaster, and establish a routine, you can easily do without the laptop and artisan. Here's a link to the Current Quest manual. ... 2.pdf?dl=0

PLUG: Quest owners, I've received a couple of suggestions for improvement to the manual and will do a revision in the not too distant future. If anyone has anything to suggest, please PM me.

F1gpstar (original poster)

#7: Post by F1gpstar (original poster) »

Thank you. The more I look at the Cormorant, Bullet, and anything else in that category, I keep coming back to the Quest. My only fear was it would be to small to keep up with a 20+ pound a month request.

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#8: Post by Nunas replying to F1gpstar »

I guess it all boils down to how you value your time vs the capex of a bigger roaster. If you're like me, you'll want to roast about once a week to keep a constant stream of beans at optimum quality. In the M6, that's five or six back-to-back roasts for your 20#. I just did two back-to-back 400g roasts. Once the roaster is warmed up (not long on the Quest as its drum isn't all that heavy), each roast took 10 minutes. Ambient today is about 14 C, so, I could have easily done 450 g batches. I've never measured how long it takes to get the roaster back up to charge temperature between batches, but it couldn't have been even five minutes. From start-up to tear down, I was done in about 40-minutes. Another two batches would likely have taken me up to or just over an hour, a bit longer if I'd have done 450 g batches.

Before buying the M6, I was on the reserved list for a Bullet. The Bullet was about US$1500 more. For that money, you get twice the capacity of the M6. For me, two back-to-back roasts on the M6 didn't justify the expense of doing only one on the Bullet. I was also a bit leery of the complexity, and the proprietary firmware/hardware on the Bullet. In contrast, the Quest is totally non-proprietary and can be totally disassembled with simple hand tools. If I was roasting your volume, and if I were not retired (so time isn't a big deal), I think I'd seriously consider the Bullet.

F1gpstar (original poster)

#9: Post by F1gpstar (original poster) »

Thank you so much. I downloaded the manual too. I love the simplicity of the M6


#10: Post by AlexR87 »

Hey all, this is sort of the opposite of the topic, but what do you find is the minimum batch size on the m6 that you have done with good results?

I'm looking at the m6 or m3s, but am leaning m6 if it can handle smaller batches. For regular beans I'd want to do 1/2 lb batches ideally so I can play around a bit. I typically roast lighter beans and do dabble with high altitude african beans, so am worried the m3s may not have the power to handle it at, say 250g.

My wife drinks almost exclusively decaf, so I'd want to do a full lb roast on decaf ideally - less bean variety, so I'm not as interested in running lots of small batches to play around on decaf.

Also, want to say as a longtime lurker, thank you to those of you who post regularly on the roasting forums. I've learned so much from your comments over the past few years.