The Quest M3s Coffee Roaster

The Quest M3s Coffee Roaster

The Quest M3s now comes with one analog thermometer in the face, insultation around the drum and a chaff collector under the drum.

It's hard to define what the Quest M3s Coffee Roaster is, exactly; it falls in-between the current categories of small scale coffee roasters. It is hand-built, one at a time, in a small workshop factory in Taiwan. It has no advanced electronics, no motherboard or chipset, no heat profiling or automated cooling cycle. This is basically a miniature shop roaster scaled down to sample roaster size. It is a very manual machine and therefore most suitable for an experienced professional coffee roaster. It's not a Probat sample roaster (nor is it priced like one!) Yet it has some similar features: a sample trier so you can view coffee from the drum while roasting, a sightglass to see roast progress, manual temperature control (a dial adjusted gauge shows you the amperage sent to the heat elements), air speed control (fan speed controls volume of air pulled through the drum. A timer essentially functions as an on/off switch and allows you to cool the roaster down when you are finished with your batches, as well as acting as a safety shut off if the roaster is left unattended. It has an ingeniously simple way to cool the coffee; you dump the batch into the tray like a little shop roaster, open the rear door to the chaff collection chamber, and set the tray there so cool air can be pulled through it. Outside-the-drum cooling in 3 minutes or so ... another great advantage over most home roasters. Important! Turn the amperage all the way down when cooling your coffee. The drum will retain heat with the amperage down, but if left on it can overheat the roaster.

The Quest is designed for continuous roasting, once it is properly warmed up you can roast for hours. In fact, this is the way to use the machine, as heating it up to do one batch and cooling it back down right away could cause wear and tear on the drum. So, in this sense it is much more like professional sample roaster. The Quest M3s has lots of power and, as a miniature shop roaster it requires a knowledgeable operator too. You can have a chaff fire in a hurry without cleaning it, and it's not so consumer-oriented in safety design either; like a Probat, there are lots of hot surfaces to remind you where your fingers should and should not be during roasting.

With an Allen wrench and a screwdriver the Quest M3s can be stripped of it's bodywork, the drum pulled out of the motor drive, and any part accessed in minutes. It is incredibly straight-forward in terms of wiring and parts. For example, it uses a commonly available computer fan for air intake. Heating elements can be changed out quickly, if need be. It is ready for any type of modification you might desire, such as PID control of the burners. (Not that I would want to automate anything here - the idea is a manual roaster with a trier to pull samples. Yes, it's a tiny, tiny trier but it works!) We did have trouble with the initial heating elements sent with the machines, but we worked with the manufacturer so now the heating elements have a higher electrical rating (up to 130v). The Quest M3s  is very quiet, and runs on standard US voltage (120v, 60 hertz). You'll be impressed with the ease, convenience, and consistency that you can achieve roasting coffee with this electric roaster.

The ideal batch size is 120 grams which is a rather standard load for a modern electric Probat roaster. The absolute maximum batch size is 200 grams. Dimensions: 14.25" x 9.5" x 11.75" The Quest has a 30 Day Warranty, parts are available for sale after warranty- for parts and warranty service contact: questm3roaster@gmail.com We require previous roasting experience and signed Terms of Use. Processing of orders may take additional business days until this verification is complete. Full instructions for use can be found in the Quest M3 instruction manual.

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$1400.00



Cooling tray
Cooling tray
Heating elements
Heating elements
The cooling tray
The cooling tray
The cooling tray
The cooling tray





The trier
The trier



Comments

#1 ETA on Stock

Just wondering if there is an ETA on the Quest M3 getting back in stock. I would love to be able to pick one up.

#2 ETA on Quest re-stock

Hi there, we are hoping our shipment of Quests will arrive end of January. If you'd like notification, feel free to email us directly and we'll let you know once back in stock.

Thanks!
Dan

dan@coffeeshrub.com / info@coffeeshrub.com

#3 ETA on Quest re-stock

Are the built-in thermometers available with Celsius scales? Thank you! -Karl

#4 Quest Thermometer

One other thing to note Karl is we do sell a digital thermocouple that fits the Quest that has a centigrade option. It provides much more accurate readings too, and is just under $30.

http://coffeeshrub.com/shrub/content/digital-thermometer-thermocouple

#5 Quest Thermometer

Hi Karl, they're only available in Fahrenheit. If you have any other questions you can email us at info@coffeeshrub.com for the fastest response.

#6 Chaff collection problems

I was hoping to get some help. I recently purchased the quest M3s and noticed that the chaff does not collect in the basket in the cooling bin. I have an old version of the quest which I love and the chaff collection works really well. however on the new machine no matter what i do I am unable to pull the chaff out of the drum during or after. I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong or if anyone has had the same problem and no the solution. thanks!

Dan

#7 Chaff collection problems

Hey Dan, the bulk of the chaff should collect in the same place as the original model, up top in the cooling tray. The bottom drawer is for the chaff and debris that makes it's way through the grid at the back of the drum as well as the small gap at the front. This is what you used to have to vacuum from the hole at the rear-bottom of the older machine.

I'm happy to exchange emails if this is still an issue too!

Dan Wood
dan@coffeeshrub.com

#8 Quest M3s

I am currently looking for a simple home roaster capable of doing back to back roasting of finished 8 oz batches. When speaking of 200 gram batches, is that green or roasted?

#9 200 grams green coffee. You

200 grams green coffee. You could potentially do more with this new design, since it does a much better job retaining heat. I haven't experimented with larger batch sizes, but know there's a pretty extensive thread at home-barista.com about the Quest, and you might ask them their opinion about roasting larger batch size. 224g is 8 oz, so I guess you'd potentially be roasting 260 - 270 green or so, depending on your roast preference.

I'm going to ask around myself to a couple people I know who use this machine with regularity. We just boxed up our test models because we are in the middle of moving to a new warehouse, but I'll be doing some more testing once the dust settles.

-Dan

#10 Thanks for the info, I am

Thanks for the info, I am very interested in the Quest. I have been reading some on home-barista also. My biggest concern is if it's possible to pull an exceptional roast with a 270 gram batch. Other than that I love the basic profile of this machine. I will continue researching and appreciate the reply, -gail

#11 Max Batch Size

It's great to see continued improvement and support of the M3. I own an older model and I love it.

I am interested in the reasons behind the statement "the absolute maximum batch size is 200 grams." The instruction manual describes batch sizes up to 300g, and I see videos and posts that discuss profiles for 200+ gram batch sizes (with the older model). My typical batch size is 225g.

Is this new roaster somehow less capable of larger batches?

Thanks for your help!

#12 Max Batch Size

Hey there, thanks for the feedback. We state 200 grams as the max because in our experience, it seems like this is where we lose the ability to influence the roast curve. Can you go beyond 200 grams? Sure, but we didn't think the roaster handled very well as a "sample roaster", which for us means shooting for shorter roast times than our typical production roast: Something like 3-4 minute turnaround, 6-7 minute 1st crack, and pulling between 8 and 10 minutes. A rough guideline, but to give you an example.

Also, it's common for roaster manufacturers to advertise a max batch size well beyond what the roaster can actually handle. We have a few home roasting machines that claim they can handle up to 1lb, which they can, but the roasts are pretty lousy.

And all that said, if you're getting good results with 225, then roll with it! That's not too far beyond what we thought to be ideal. I probably shouldn't have used such definitive language :-)

-Dan

#13 Availability?

I saw in another comment that there is an expected shipment coming in April/May? Is that still the case/ is there any way to be on a list to get an email or anything to be notified of when they're coming in?

#14 Venting

Is there a way to run venting for smoke to disperse? I will sample roast in a somewhat enclosed space and was wondering how to remedy this if it happens to be a problem. Thanks!

#15 Quest

When are you guys getting more of these in stock? I WOULD LOVE TO PURCHASE ONE!

#16 Quest ETA

Hey Gabe! We're expecting the next shipment from Taiwan in late April/early May. They're built to order so it can take a little while. We'll send you an email when they're back in stock. :)

#17 Amanda, is there a way to be

Amanda, is there a way to be notified when it arrives? I would like to purchase one as well!

#18 Hi Sam, Send us an email at

Hi Sam,
Send us an email at info@coffeeshrub.com and we'll put you on the email list.
-Amanda

#19 HI, I´M NEW IN THIS PAGE.I

HI, I´M NEW IN THIS PAGE.
I JUST WANT TO KNOW, HOW MANY TIMES CAN TOAST A DAY?

#20 Roasting on the Quest

Hey Alejandro,

The Quest is a robust little machine, and I've roasted as many as 20 batches in a row (I'm sure it can handle more). Feel free to contact me directly if you have any other questions.

Dan Wood
dan@coffeeshrub.com

#21 Hi again Alejandro, I

Hi again Alejandro,

I generally am shooting for 6 - 7:30 minute first crack time, and then finishing within the next 2 minutes for cupping. This might change for coffee of higher density (maybe as long as 2:30 post first snaps), but determined case by case, and you will have to be comfortable making those judgement calls based off of sensory cues (sight, smell, etc...but mainly sight). We cup light roasts to make sure that any imperfections/defects are easily sensed from cup to cup.

I hope this helps. We'd be happy to walk you through the roasting process, but might be easier once you have the product in front of you. Again, feel free to ask for clarification on any of the steps I've mentioned and I'll be happy to answer as best I can.

-Dan Wood
dan@coffeeshrub.com

#22 Thank you for the answer. And

Thank you for the answer.
And also I want to know, what could be the right temperature for a green been with a high density?
And the second question, what could be the curve profile to cupping?
Thanks for the attention.
Kind regards.

#23 roast characteristics

Newbie here. So don't roast me! Pun intended. I just bought the Q3, and I roasted the first three batches the other night. The roast came out somewhat bitter or sour. One batch even smelled sour. I ran the Q3 on about 8.5 amps, .5 on the fan. The outside ambient temperature was about 40 degrees F. I could hear first (about 8 minutes) and second crack (about 9-10 minutes), dropped the beans at the beginning of the second crack. Volume of beans about 150 grams. I want to accentuate the carmel, chocolate, roasted nut, and smoothness characteristics of the coffee. Could someone give me a short summary of the roast profile to use? i.e. amps, fan speed, roast longer, shorter, drop the ams at the begiing of the first crack...? Advise appreciated.

#24 Hey there, here is a basic

Hey there, here is a basic profile that I use. It would be helpful to know what coffee you were using as far as bringing out those specific characteristics. One thing to keep in mind is that the ambient temp will dramatically affect this roaster as there is no real insulation in the construction. All that said, based on the characteristics you're looking for I would do a much longer roast, leave to fan and amps pretty low at the beginning of the roast and then ramp into the 1st C. I would also go check out the Sweet Maria's forum thread on the Quest. There's a lot of great dialogue there.

- 125 gram charge (by volume)
- Energy set at 7.5 amps, air at 4.5 speed
- Charge @ 220˚C
- First crack start @ 7:30
- Air full speed for 20 sec @ 8:00
- drop 9:40

#25 beans

My first three batches I used about 150 grams by volume and used the MK Blend from Sweet Marias. The second batch went on a long roast cycle, tasted and smelled somewhat sour, and I never heard the first crack. But it was in the system about 22 minutes. I think I did not charge at the right temp or was not reading the amp guage right.

Thanks for giving me yoru raost profile. Taking off work early today to give it a shot.

#26 Reasons

Quest seems to be:

built more sturdily with less parts
less complicated mechanically and very basic circuitry so less to break
parts are somewhat inexpensive
roasting is completely manual (temperature, air, time) for complete control
allows for multiple temperature sensors
cools out of machine so less chance to over roast after heat is turned off
has a trier
batch size is right for my needs

I hope it lives up to its reputation

#27 New Quest M3 User

Thank you for all the posts of info, it is really nice to read what others are doing/trying with the Quest.

Quick question, has anyone had any troubles with the door hatch (the door hatch to the drum) opening towards the end of the roasting process and spilling out multiple beans? Twice yesterday it opened while trying to roast to a Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">french roast profile for the first time (I normally just stick to city or full city).

Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Tommy

#28 DRUM HATCH OPENING

I had had a little problem with the drum door opening right after I put the green beans in the hopper. This starting about after my 200th batch. It did start after I had done a complete teardown to clean the unit. I believe I caused the problem. Today I noticed the problem again and on my unit it relates to a slight misalignment of the part that encompasses the door I will work on it the next time I clean the unit. For now I just have to apply a little extra pressure in closing the door. When I do I hear a "click sound" as the door overcomes the slight misalignment. No problems once I have heard that "click".

#29 Hey Tommy. I haven't had this

Hey Tommy. I haven't had this problem come up or anyone else mention it before. I'm not sure if it's related to the depth of your roast or if it would be more of just an issue with making sure the door is closed tight before starting the roast. As the beans expand, I could see them perhaps pushing the door open if it weren't securely closed all the way, but this would depend also on your batch size as well.

#30 love the design

I love the way this thing works, if I were looking for a production size roaster what would operate the same what would be the best fit? It seems like something probat or joper would be somewhat similar. any thoughts?

#31 Hey Stephen, I actually think

Hey Stephen, I actually think this is more similar to an IR12 Diedrich than anything else, but I ask think that you can get this to model roasts for any shop roaster, SF, Joper, Probat.

#32 Quest M3 K-Type Thermocouple

I wanted to post a bit about my experience so far with the k-type thermocouple that quest makes (and shrub now sells). I hooked mine up last weekend, and right out of the gate I was having real issues. The read out was very jumpy, and what really confused me was each jump was symmetrically matched between both of the ET/BT probes, but they were the inverse of each other.

The issue I eventually discovered (painfully) is that the casing for the probes (the entire length of the wire) is actually connected to the common of that probe. So, in my case, because the two probes wires (read: outer casings) were in contact with each other as they ran from the roaster to my computer, their voltage (and current) fluctuation due to temperature, were immediately drained into each other, hence causing my symmetrical disturbance. The wires have no shielding at all. If I kept the wires entirely separated, the graph was perfect and smooth. A long term solution is to cover the wires with electrical tape, or some other non-conductive coating (whatever works).

I wanted to share this, as this could affect anyone. Even if you're using one wire, if that wire happens to be touching something that is grounded (or otherwise), it could cause unexpected readings/results.

I hope this helps!

Andrew

#33 FYI

Its worth noting that low voltage systems within a large system and or by effect via the panel box can get easily damaged when voltage issues like this occur. Low voltage systems/devices are particularly sensitive to grounding irregularities. Ex: Ground fault in large breaker box causes related systems to have grounding issues. Within a week, two wrapping station/Digital scale/Label-er units died and Grinder sustained motor failure. This issue is def not something one should procrastinate with finding the time to repair.

#34 Thermocouple - insulated sleeving

Most electical (specifically lighting and heating ) supply stores will carry fiberglass or teflon sleeving that you can slide over your thermocouple. This way you are electrically and themally insulated.

#35 roasting time

I've developed a basic roasting profile that seems to work consistently and allows me to tailor the endpoints to my desired roast for the SO greens or blend. (NB: 110V version, line voltage is a stable 126.4VAC, usually around 230g load) I warm the drum to 160C using the BT probe. (Max amps, no fan, bean chute lid open) Drop the beans, cut the amperage to ~7A, no fan and chute still open. When BT rises to 150C, close chiute, crank amperage to max and run the fan wide open. At 190C, decrease to ~5-6A and lower the fan to somewhere between 1.5-3, depending on whether or not your fan is actually all the way off at the zero point. Monitor bean temp to desired endpoint. Elapsed time for the roast is 8-12 min usually depending on endpoint. I never roast beyond Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide. ">FC+ and usually C+ to FC.

#36 triodelover, I would

triodelover, I would recommend never running full amps with no fan. It could reduce the life of the elements... a lot.

#37 +10! Hear, hear :-)

+10! Hear, hear :-)

#38 cpsuguy

Does any one else's first roast take like 20min to get to FC even though you warm machine up and drop beans at 210c?

#39 QUEST M3 ROAST TIMES

I am now at roast run number 81 (around 35 pounds of green beans total) . I have solidified on a batch size between 150 grams and 200 grams. I made myself a note on my log sheets to never use less than 8.25 amps except sometimes during the drying phase. I use a minimum to a 2.5 fan setting during drying. I will use between 9 and 10.5 amps during the roasting phase after drying (and fan setting of 4-6) and then reduce heat to there area between 8 and 9 amps before 1C, but never later than 1C itself. I will use increased fan to modify the length of time between 1C and drop which is at City to City+ for me. My times are usually somewhere around 8:30 minutes for 1C and drop at 10-12 minutes. I have done faster batches, but like these better. I have found that I have run into stalling at times when my amps got too low and lengthier roasts without a stall at other times, hence my rule of not using less than 8.25 amps during the roast phase and usually much more than that. I definitely agree that it takes time to actually get the unit to temperature. Without proper preheat you will notice a major difference between batch number one and batch number two on any day. I have done significantly larger batch sizes previously but dropped the size so that I can produce smaller batches to blend together to obtain the taste profile I like. In other words 2 - 150 gram batches with different profiles to blend into a 300 gram (minus moisture loss) final mix.

#40 It takes me in the range of

It takes me in the range of 8.5-9.5 minutes to reach first crack from when I drop the beans in the roaster for a 300gm load. I've recently been loading at 150c @ 10 amps, reducing to 8.5 amps after 4 minutes. Before I used to load at 170c @ 9 amps with fairly similar timings.

#41 First Batch Blues

The trick I've been using to beat the first batch blues is to toggle and fan between mid and low settings. I just watch the ET/BT temps to make sure they are rising eventually.. I find with the fan very low, the ET spirals up way faster than the BT.. if you run the fan for 60 seconds, the BT catches right back up and usually passes ET.. just let them rise together to somewhere above 400, and it should be good to go!!

Also, I'd agree with the other poster that running the fan at too high a level early in the roast would make it very slow in general.

#42 hmmmmm, it shouldn't. How

hmmmmm, it shouldn't. How much coffee are you putting in, and how long do you let the roaster sit at temperature before you load it? I like to let my roaster stay at temp for 20 mins or so before I drop the first batch. The therm might read the temp, but my experience is that you have to let it sit at the temp for bit to get it really ready. Even if, it shouldn't take 20 mins, I would imagine that has something to do with your energy and airflow settings.

#43 Loving my Quest

I've recently received my Quest and done probably 20 batches so far.. just want to echo the love for this machine. Buy it today!

I'm having no trouble with 8 oz roasts and can easily get FC starting at 8:00 minutes or faster if I want.. the cooling is amazing, and it really is easy to clean. Even between the drum and the casing via the hole near the back.

Happy roasting!

Andrew

#44 Great Machine

This is one great machine. Have now done 7 roasts. First 2 we learning experiences and last 5 were very drinkable. The last two were great. One question: I have read what I can find on removing the drum. I can get to the stage where the front plate is loose (removed 3 screws on plate face and 2 screws on circumference) and it seems the plate and drum should come out but gentle tugging does not seem to do anything. Do I just need to tug harder or is there another step?

#45 It takes a pretty sturdy

It takes a pretty sturdy pull. Just be sure to pull straight and be careful to not bend anything. It can also be squirrel-y to get back together so be careful. Lining up the drum casing with the groove is a little tricky. We don't really recommend taking the machine apart if you don't need to, for the record. It doesn't sound like you've done a whole lot of roasts to need maintenance, is there a reason you're taking it apart?

#46 QUEST MAINTENANCE

RE: Taking the Quest M3 apart. I guess it is the engineer and hopeless mechanical and electrical tinkerer in me that makes me take things apart and put them back together. I agree on there being no maintenance need this early. When I got it apart it was basically pristine everywhere. A small amount of chaff on the fan that needed a little coaxing to release, but that's all. Drum and roasting chamber spotless. I think doing lighter roasts helps with the cleanliness.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being an engineer's (or technicians's) nightmare, working on this machine is a 1. For the mechanically adept, it is a dream. I am totally impressed with it's simplicity and elegant design. The more time I spend with it, the more impressed I am. This is definitely the machine I have been waiting for since I started roasting.

#47 stopped during roast

while roasting a sample I stepped into the next room for maybe 15 seconds, just walked in a grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. When I came back the Quest sounded funny, too quiet. So I looked it over and the drum had stopped. My first thought was "Oh, I forgot to wind the timer" but no it was fine and the fans were still running. Weird, well I quickly turned it up on its end and dumped the beans, turned the heat off and used the brush handle to try and move the drum. It wasn't just a broken gear or something, it was stuck firm. So I left it to cool figuring I'd have to look on here and see how to tear it down.

After it had cooled completely, I started checking it out a little more. The drum didn't want to move, but I still seemed to have a bean inside and as I turned it over to dump out that bean, a small flat rock fell out too. And of course the drum started moving freely again.
So, I will check my samples over very carefully from now on!

#48 Stopped

Excellent observation Scott. It's really important to check all of your samples and to keep in mind that there is a gap between the drum and the front and back plates where something like this can get lodged. Thanks so much for sharing.

#49 need to calibrate thermometer

A customer said that the thermometer shipped with his machine was off by as much as 30 degrees - so if you are getting odd readings - it might be good to check the thermometer for accuracy by placing it in boiling water.

#50 Compared

So I cupped my samples from yesterday, 2 from the Quest and 2 from the Probat PRE 1Z. I used the Guatemala La Esmeralda Yellow Bourbon, which was crazy sweet and delicious with rich chocolate and date notes out of both roasters. I roasted on the Probat with my standard profile for samples:

- 100-115 gram charge (by volume)
- Energy set @ 8.5 (I leave it set here, the 8.5 is just a marking on a dial does not indicate amps)
- Charge @ 320˚F (environmental probe in the rear of the drum, this is the only time I look at the temp)
- First 1:30 the air is full open, @ 1:30 air set at 50/50, 3:00 air set at full closed
- First crack start at 8:15, 8:30 air set at 50/50, 9:00 air full open for 10 sec.
- drop @ 9:50

With the Quest batches I did a profile that I had worked out the other day
- 125 gram charge (by volume)
- Energy set at 7.5 amps, air at 4.5 speed
- Charge @ 220˚C
- First crack start @ 7:30
- Air full speed for 20 sec @ 8:00
- drop 9:40

Very few adjustments with the Quest, but I felt that I was getting the development that I wanted this way. I also was basing my drop time on time from the end of first crack along with the odor from the beans (really impressed by that little trier on the Quest).

The cups were very similar flavor and sweetness wise. The main differences were that the Probat batches had slightly more body, maybe a bit more depth of sweetness because of this, and the Quest batches were brighter with a bit more defined acidity adding a bit of an apple tart-ness to the date notes. I attribute these differences to (as I theorized above) the different methodologies of air control in each roaster. I will continue to play around and take actual before and after weight measurements next time, this should be at least a little telling.

Overall though, I am really pleased with the results of this exercise. The clarity in the cup of the Quest roasts is spot on for sample roasting, and I still have plenty of room to play around with to try to get the body in line with the Probat roasts.