HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Quest M3 Arrives, Is it worth it? (49 msgs / 1580 lines)
1) From: Hank Perkins
Today my Quest has arrived.  I thought I would give a short review,
and why I bought it.
Over the years I have roasted on popcorn poppers, A Freshroast, a Hot
Top  (6-7 years), a Behmor (about a year), and now the Quest.
Over this time I have roasted from 1/2 pound a week up to 5 pounds a
week (Hot Top).
Using the Behmor the most I have roasted is 3 pounds in a week but
only on rare occasions.
18 months ago I could see the writing on the wall, the Hot Top was on
her last legs.  I don't know how much coffee I ran through her but it
was a good bit.  It was frustrating to be limited to 1/2 pound but she
roasted really good coffee even for the occasional espresso I would
pull on the old Gaggia.  I priced all the parts to rebuild her and it
was totaling around $300 as I recall.  I looked at the prospect of the
rumored 1 pound Hot Top but it looked like this was not going to
happen in time to meet my schedule.  I didn't like the filters either.
 The filters were a total pain and were expensive. So I ordered the
Behmor knowing that if I didn't like it I could change again in a year
and be about where I would be if I just upgraded the Hot Top and hope
for a 1 pound Hot Top in the future.  Well the 1 pounder has never
materialized and about 3 months ago I began looking at full up
commercial roasters, 1 pound sample roasters, and the Quest.
Commercial rosters and sample roasters were just not practical for my
usage.  Permanent Installation, gas lines,  ventilation systems, and
possible fire suppression systems made this not worth it for me.  At
this point I had three choices stay with the Behmor, order a new Hot
Top, or go for the Quest.
I knew where I was headed if I went for the Hot Top.  I decided I
would either differ the decision and ride the Behmor for a while
longer or go for the Quest.
I was not satisfied with the Behmor at all.  I tried all kinds of
different adjustments to improve my control and the coffee taste.  In
the end I resolved that without being able to dump the beans and
without a solid metal drum I was not going to be satisfied.  In the
last few weeks I have begun to believe that the problem I have had
with the Behmor being unable to produce a tasty product revolved
around 3 issues.  First lack of temperature control, second the lack
of an ability to stop a roast before when I wanted to,  and third the
lack of a solid drum.  I ruined a large number of beans in the Behmor.
 More than in the Hot Top by a large margin.  Initially this was due
to trying to cook a full pound in an unclean roaster.  I had beans
never hit C1 here.  Then I cleaned the roaster and reduced the bean
volume. I began cleaning the roaster after each roast and I installed
a thermocouple in the roaster. The thermocouple shwed variance in the
roasting temps with clean roasters and holding times, weights,
profiles constant.  For the most part this solved the under roasting
issues but now I had issues stopping the roast where I wanted without
having a fire or just having the beans continue to cook with the
residual heat.  Finally I had some successful roast with the Behmor
hitting the end where I wanted ( but not in a consistent fashion) but
the flavors just weren't as good as I expected.  I wondered why.  In
the end I hypothesized this is due to the mesh drum the Behmor uses.
Coffee roasts using 3 types of heat convection, radiant, and cooking
via direct contact.  I believe each of these types of roasting effect
flavor.  Much has been written on the differences in convection and
radiant.  Little has been written about direct contact.  This is where
I THINK the Behmor suffers.  So, I went ahead and ordered the Quest.
So, what about the know issues with the quest?   Roast load size and
smoke venting?  One big difference in my roasting habits, I roast
smaller loads more often now and with the ability to roast loads back
to back it looks like I can push out as much coffee out of the quest
as the Behmor.  The Smoke load out of the Quest is low,  I was shocked
just how low.  I didn't even open the windows in my shop when I ran it
the second time.  The manual controls are a dream to operate.  As the
user I feel like I have total control over the roaster and am more
than the spectator I was with the Hot Top and the Behmor.
Lastly, will my opinions about the solid drum vs the mesh drum become
a valid consideration?  I don't plan to sell my Behmor for a while
specifically to evaluate the both roasters in head to head
comparisons.  I would love to hear the thoughts of others on the solid
vs. mesh drum cooking process.
By Christmas I should have run enough coffee through this baby to
provide a better review.  Any ideas on the head to head with the
Behmor are welcome comments.
But, after 2 roast to different degrees of doneness I really like the
way the Quest works.  With the 125 gram sample of Ethiopian Jimma I
was able to get the magical 3 minutes between cracks to allow the
flavors to develop fully on my first try.  Time will tell if the
coffee is as good as I expect it to taste, but I never hit more than
45 seconds with the Behmor roasting this bean.
More to come.
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2) From: Scott Miller
Hank,
Best of luck with the new roaster. I'm sitting on the fence trying to
figure out if I should take the plunge and get an expensive, though
certainly useful sample roaster or opt for the Quest... Look forward
to hearing your experience with different beans and how the side by
side comparisons work out.
By trying some different beans and processing methods of the beans,
you should be able to really see how a solid drum makes a difference,
IMO.
What is the rate of rotation of the drum?
cheers,
Scott
On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 7:59 PM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
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3) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Wow Hank - amazing review. This is very interesting and I appreciate 
the criticisms and comments of a long-time roaster. You are 
definitely the right type of person for Quest M3 ownership. I see the 
controlibility as an asset in the hands of someone like you, but a 
liability in the hands of someone who hasn't been through a few 
stages of home roasting. Learning the relationship between air speed 
and heat settings in the Quest is like driving a fickle manual 
transmission car, and for someone used to an automatic it could be a 
real challenge. My Quest roasting habits have tended toward a stable 
heat setting and using air to shape the roast profile more. As far as 
drum roasters, I don't think we can compare the Behmor to the Quest 
or the Hottop. I too was dubious of the open wire drum, but it is 
really a radiant roaster. The fact that pro shop roasters are not 
like this doesnt mean it is a bad thing (not saying that you imply 
that, just riffing on this topic). It's just different. The issue 
with control though is key. The ability to slow a roast down is a 
great tool, a professional-level tool. The need to cool outside of 
the heat chamber is definitely an issue with home roasters, Behmor 
included.
By the way, I actually like the results from 1/2 Lb in the Quest, 
even though it's not the spec for this roaster. Also, watch for beans 
in the tube between the front and back, as well as chaff that gets in 
between the drum and the outer drum cover.
One of my goals for the Quest M3 is to get it into the field, to be 
used at regional or farm-level cupping labs. The more they cup small 
batches at the wet mills, the more they start to understand the 
variations in quality in coffee processing, and making improvements. 
The Quest is simple enough to use, could be easy to repair in places 
without access to proprietary parts, and I think it works under a 
range of conditions too (low voltage etc).  I wish it was less 
expensive, but seeing as they are completely hand built one at a 
time, the price makes sense too. I hope it measures up to your 
expectations! Keep us posted.
Tom
PS: I am going to paste this into the Quest thread on the forum too.
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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4) From: Hank Perkins
Tom, when not at work, I am a cook first and a coffee roaster second.  I have brewed beer  from scratch, and consume lots of hot and iced tea as well as my coffee habits. 
As a cook, food can also be cooked via convection ( convection oven), via radiant heat ( broiler), or on a griddle.  If you take a steak for example and used each method, the flavors and the way the steak would cook would be very different.  To achieve the same degree of doneness would require different times.  This is why I have my opinions about the mesh vs, solid drum. 
The Behmor is a perfect solution for many. For the price point it is hard to beat. As someone who has extensive experience in the kitchen it just frustrated me.  
After the first load  in the quest  (Costa Rican) it was obvious how to slow it down to extend the time between C1 and C2. However, I was very satisfied with the coffee produced by the Hot Top. So where is the difference?  To me the only real difference in my 1st generation Hot Top and my Behmor was the solid drum and the ability to stop the roast but I found the flavor differences dramatic. Also roasting 100's of pounds in the Hot Top I maybe tossed 3-5 loads of beans. With the Behmor I have roasted less than 100 pounds and tossed over 10 loads. Some of these due to under roasting some to over roasting. 
More to come!!!
On Dec 6, 2010, at 7:41 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee  wrote:
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5) From: Hank Perkins
And, THANKS for the kind words!!!!!
Thanks,
Hank Perkins
Perkins Technical Services, Inc.
Work 256-539-6787
Cell 256-426-0543
On Dec 6, 2010, at 7:41 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee  wrote:
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6) From: Hank Perkins
Scott, I think I read it rotates at 60 rpm.  Maybe Tom can chime in on this.  It looks about as fast as the hot top. The Behmor is slower. 
On Dec 6, 2010, at 7:29 PM, Scott Miller  wrote:
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7) From: miKe mcKoffee
Scott, if it was me I'd go for a QM3. For the price of a commercial sample
roaster you could have more than one QM3, and QM3 would afford more
versatility (profiling control capability) versus traditional barrel sample
roaster. Unless you're talking about something like a USRC .5k as a sample
roaster. 
I'm still using a CCR HotTop as my sample roaster but would rather have two
QM3 for what I paid for the CCR HT...or one QM3 and some halogens for vac:)
Not that the CCR HT isn't pretty nifty, but I believe from all I've read and
what I understand of how the the QM3 works that it's capable of superior
roasts, close to if not on par with my USRC. QM3 fully manual of course so
doesn't have the automation advantage of the CCR HT, but I could live with
that.
Slave to the Bean  miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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8) From: Edward Bourgeois
It's kinda like a 21st century type Olympia Cremina. Small company,
simple, old school, well designed and built, pro worthy. Manual!  No
reason why a Quest wouldn't be able to last a long time. Compatible
with the concepts used with bigger drum roasters.  The price is at a
good price point for this quality/level of a roaster. Similar to the
price range of better prosumer espresso machines.  This might create a
chance to make something somewhat from here. At some point there will
be used ones available and serviceable and hopefully some new similar
designs. A Quest type machine seems like a nice option for many pro
roasters too.
We gotta get Ben working on some roaster drawings.
On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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le
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wo
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:)
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and
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nt
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re.
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mariascoffee.com
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-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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9) From: Scott Miller
That was my thinking, too. The times when lots of samples just bog me
down because I only have a single sample roaster is frustrating. Cost
of a mutli barrel sample roaster is too much for me at the moment. A
pair of QM3, I can live with and benefit from.
cheers,
Scott
On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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10) From: Hank Perkins
Scott/Mike,
As I am not a pro roaster I offer the following:
The Quest compared to the other roasters I have used is like comparing
a Wal Mart frying pan to a Le Cruset frying pan.  They both cook but
they perform much differently and are built differently.  I am totally
impressed with how well the Quest M3 is built.  It does not look or
feel like some Chinese counter top appliance.
I have been able to roast with a pro on a Deidrich IR once before.
Although the Quest is electric and not gas the experience is very
similar.  Electric is slower to react both heating up and cooling
down.  It does require the user to be a bit more proactive than gas
but you adjust fan speed instead of a damper, and element amps instead
of gas flow.
I can't wait to have the thermocouples and data logger instead of the
analog thermometer.  With the analog gauge it is very difficult to
determine the environmental rate of change to the adjustments I was
making.  I was very lucky to hit the time on the Jimma as I did.
Hank
On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 8:14 AM, Scott Miller  wrote:
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11) From: g paris p
Hi Guys:
Nice to hear some good stuff about the Quest 3M.
Love to look at mine, very cool machine. Broke my wrist when it came so
cannot turn the dials while roasting or handle much of anything.
Good old Hot Top has been providing me with my daily Java.
Cannot wait to try out my Quest; hopefully by net week.
My choice was to be able to have the advantage of a total manual machine.
Mike I will see if my sister will send one up to you!!
love ya all,
ginny
On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM, Edward Bourgeois wrote:
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12) From: Robert Yoder
Hi Ginny,
 
Congratulations on your new Quest Roaster and Commiserations on your injuries!
 
Any chance your sister could use a new (old) brother?
 
Speedy Mending, and,
 
Happy roasting,
 
robert yoder
 
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13) From: Hank Perkins
I did a sample run tonight with 8oz for kicks and giggles.  I dumped the coffee at 225c with the amps set at 10 and the fan set down at 3. I hit C1 at about 9 minutes. WOW. This thing is a beast. To think I can do 8oz roasts back to back in about 12 minutes. 
More to come.  
BTW the Jimma from the other night is developing wonderfully. 
On Dec 8, 2010, at 2:53 PM, Robert Yoder  wrote:
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14) From: Robert Yoder
Hank,
 
Thanks for your very informative posts!
 
Can you provide a bit more info about the thermocouples and data-logger you installed in the Quest?
 
I'm still a bit confused about the relative merits of wire-mesh v solid drum.  I imagine the solid drum has more thermal mass and is slower to react to temperature changes, but what I don't get is why the solid drum is better, being slower and thus less-sensitive to control input, especially with the thermal lag of the electric heating elements.  
 
Any light you can provide would be very welcome.
 
Thanks, and,
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder 
 
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15) From: miKe mcKoffee
Controlling airflow and thus controlling convection is key to quick control
in commercial (style) drum roasters. Convection is the primary heat source
commercial roasters, not induction or infrared.
Solid drum superior affording more even heat. The entire drum is heated not
just an open mesh allowing heat in through the openings. Drum itself slower
to change heat yes, and roast changes slower responding IF attempting to
control profile strictly via applied heat. See above.
The QM3's solid drum combined with variable airflow is what makes it unique
in the home roasting arena and most able to replicate a good commercial drum
roaster.
Controlling airflow is one of those strange somewhat counter intuitive
things that takes time and many many roasts to begin to get a handle on.
Airflow can draw heat OUT of the chamber slowing a roast and/or apply more
heat to the beans via convection speeding the roast. What!? Learning how
much airflow when with how much flame for what result, tricky science and
art. And changes never immediate so you always want to know where you are
and where you want to be and where you want to go to make changes in advance
to arrive when you want where you want. Yeah, a mouthful.
It's easy to turn beans brown, it's a lifetime Journey learning to make
beans sing.
Slave to the Bean  miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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16) From: miKe mcKoffee
Now should you want to for a smooth and sweet yet snappy roast for espresso,
try hitting C1 at the same 9min and finish City+ ~430f at 14min. QM3 has the
control to do it! Though I'd slow earlier a hair shooting for C1 10min EOR
15.
Have fun!
Slave to the Bean  miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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17) From: Hank Perkins
I ordered the Omega HH806 from Omega and the thermocouples from Eric here:http://users.rcn.com/erics/I have not received these yet. 
Good luck
On Dec 8, 2010, at 11:40 PM, Robert Yoder  wrote:
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18) From: Mike Chester
With a solid or fine perforated drum, you get a true drum roast.  The gas 
burner or electric element heats the drum and it transfers the heat to its 
inside.  The beans are heated slightly by contact with the hot metal 
(conduction) but spend most of the time falling through heated air and are 
heated by gentle convection.  With an open mesh screen such as the Behmor 
has, you have some heating through conduction and convection, but the mass 
of the drum is much less and less heat is transferred these ways.  The 
infrared energy from the element passes through the mesh and strikes the 
beans directly heating them also, and this provides most of the heat 
transfer.  (You can think of it as the difference between roasting a piece 
of meat and broiling it.  Both methods get it cooked, but the results taste 
differently)  There is nothing wrong with the infrared heating done in the 
Behmor, you just need to understand the difference and adjust for it if 
using a profile from a true drum roaster.
Mike Chester

19) From: Robert Yoder
Thanks, MiKe!  Very helpful, and "It's easy to turn beans brown, it's a lifetime Journey learning to make
beans sing" is a definite keeper!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder
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20) From: Robert Yoder
Thank you, Mike!  I think the Behmor also uses reflected radiation from the shiny surfaces of the chaff collector (even the inside of the mesh), etc.  The thermocouple I installed shows that the ET is also a contributor, so I imagine that, even in the Behmor, the beans are "falling through heated air", as you say. So it's a coffee Broiler! So much to digest!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder   
 
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21) From: ricky carter
Hank,
Did you  get any scorching or uneven roast with those settings? I have had
some problems with this on high heat settings even with high fan.  maybe I
need to increase the load size to 1/2 lb. :)
On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
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22) From: Hank Perkins
Not that I could see or smell and I did have a 1/2 lb in the machine. As a neophyte I am unsure why you would want to start that hot with a 125g load.  There is a relationship between amps, fan speed, and thermal loading from the size of the roast load should allow you to bring the temps up as fas as you want. 
I am flat out amazed how well I can make this baby dance already. Between amp and fan speed this roaster you can do most anything. Want to move the temp up fast set the amps on 10 and the fan on 2-3 ( with a full load). Want to bring the temp down cut the amps and crank up the fan. Now, I don't advocate doing this indiscriminately but you can get this machine to change temps faster than I expected but when running the amps wide open you should watch your temps and adjust the fan up as the temps climb or you risk burning out the elements. 
At thus point I doubt I will be plugging the Behmor in again but will hold off until after the holidays to decide if I will sell the Behmor or not.  I have just lost interest in using the Behmor. 
On Dec 9, 2010, at 4:35 PM, ricky carter  wrote:
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23) From: Hank Perkins
MiKe,
Is this true for all coffees?
THANKS!!
Hank
On Dec 9, 2010, at 12:51 AM, "miKe mcKoffee"  wrote:
<Snip>
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24) From: miKe mcKoffee
NOTHING is "true" for All coffees! 
miKe 
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25) From: Hank Perkins
OK, are there some basic guidelines here?  May I ask how you
determined just how special the Jimma is?
AND IT IS SPECIAL!!!  I would not have had any idea without your help!!
I guess I am looking for guidance on how to evaluate coffees.
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
mariascoffee.com
<Snip>
ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
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26) From: Joseph Robertson
Robert,
Not exactly. I would agree with you if the beans came out toasted on the
outside and not done on the inside. Coffee that comes out of the Behmor is
usually done throughout depending on who is at the helm. I do see your
analogy though, my toaster oven ( which looks very close to the Behmor )
does a great job broiling a game hen with electric elements.
Regarding your subject of wire mesh vers. solid drums, miKe covered this
nicely. Most of my roasting experience after a home roasting intro. has been
with a Probat 5L. Until a few minutes ago I was under the impression my
Probat had a solid 1/2" cast iron drum 14" deep. I'm glad I looked. Of all
the lists I post to, this is one I do not want to pass bogus information on.
I got this impression from the person that sold the roaster to me and one
other who I'm sure knew even less. As it turns out the first 3" is 1/2" cast
iron but the last 11"are what appears to be steel alloy of maybe 1/8". Great
air flow but not the air control that miKe has with his USRC.
When I started this post I was all prepared to tout the benefits of roasting
in a cast iron solid drum, cast iron being so good at distributing heat like
all the cast iron some of us used to cook with. Now I realize the drum is
not that different from the USRC or Quest. I think the USRC is stainless.
Does the Quest have a stainless drum?
My profiles with the Probat are rock solid as it sounds like the Quest will
be also. You all have me thinking the Quest might make a very nice sample /
and or shop roaster for everyone to gather around.
Keep posting all your Quest notes. Great to hear how well you are all
enjoying it.
Joe
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM, Robert Yoder wrote:
<Snip>
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27) From: Robert Yoder
Thank you, Joe, for your thoughtful contribution!  This group can be a wonderful source!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder 
 
<Snip>
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28) From: ricky carter
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 6:29 PM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
<Snip>
200 gram loads actually, not sure where the 125 gram notion came from.
<Snip>
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29) From: Joseph Robertson
Robert,
When it comes to home roasting, I have not found a better group of folks. No
list can come close to this one as far as clear and concise and extremely
generous help.
Once again as this year comes to a close I want to express my thanks to our
host and hostess Tom and Maria for providing this platform for all to
benefit from.
Sincerely,
Joseph Robertson
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM, Robert Yoder wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
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30) From: Robert Yoder
Hank,
 
I'm interested in the smoke output you're seeing.  Do you go for 2d Crack, normally, or not?  If you avoid 2d, what sort of smoke do you experience?  Would a pretty strong range hood be enough for occasional indoor roasts? 
 
Is the Quest something that one could carry from a shelf to a roasting area without requiring medical attention?
 
I understand that the Quest offers control unlike other Prosumer Roasters, but I wonder how you know how and when to alter fan speed, heater power, etc.  While recognizing that this is really the essence of the Roaster's Craft, I'm asking about basic guidelines.  Do you adjust based on Bean Temperature information (If so, where is the probe and how'd you get it there) as it changes with time (temperature ramp or some such (I think Ed Bourgeois calls it his Speedometer)).  What are you using for an Environment Temperature Probe (I mean where and what kind)?  I saved your previous post about the Omega purchase, but it sounds as if you haven't yet made those "improvements", yet are still sailing along well without them.  
 
Thanks again for your reports!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder
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31) From: Robert Yoder
Amen to that!  Thanks, Tom, Maria, Derek, for all you do and the wonderful way in which you do it!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder
 
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32) From: Hank Perkins
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 9:50 PM, Robert Yoder  wrot=
e:
<Snip>
ck, normally, or not?  If you avoid 2d, what sort of smoke do you experie=
nce?  Would a pretty strong range hood be enough for occasional indoor ro=
asts?
I am going right up to C2.  I think your range hood should be able to
handle the smoke.  I would definitely try it.  If I didn't have a
workshop where I roast I would try it inside.  Early on I did this
before we installed the JennAir and it smoked up the house.  I am now
banned from the kitchen during my "experiments".
<Snip>
ea without requiring medical attention?
About 20 Pounds, it isn't awkward to carry.  For me it would be no big deal.
<Snip>
, but I wonder how you know how and when to alter fan speed, heater power, =
etc.  While recognizing that this is really the essence of the Roaster's =
Craft, I'm asking about basic guidelines.  Do you adjust based on Bean Te=
mperature information (If so, where is the probe and how'd you get it there=
) as it changes with time (temperature ramp or some such (I think Ed Bourge=
ois calls it his Speedometer)).  What are you using for an Environment Te=
mperature Probe (I mean where and what kind)?  I saved your previous post=
 about the Omega purchase, but it sounds as if you haven't yet made those "=
improvements", yet are still sailing along well without them.
The temp controls are on order.  As for how to know, I play and roast
often and nothing I have roaster has been tossed.  I really would like
to take a roasting class.  For stuff like this my experience is that
that kind of classroom experience would be very positive.
I travel quite a bit and plan to flip the light switch at the office
on the 20th for the rest of the year. I expect to have the probes and
the Omega NLT the 23rd.  I should be able to provide better insight at
that time.
<Snip>
 a neophyte I am unsure why you would want to start that hot with a 125g lo=
ad. There is a relationship between amps, fan speed, and thermal loading fr=
om the size of the roast load should allow you to bring the temps up as fas=
 as you want.
<Snip>
n amp and fan speed this roaster you can do most anything. Want to move the=
 temp up fast set the amps on 10 and the fan on 2-3 ( with a full load). Wa=
nt to bring the temp down cut the amps and crank up the fan. Now, I don't a=
dvocate doing this indiscriminately but you can get this machine to change =
temps faster than I expected but when running the amps wide open you should=
 watch your temps and adjust the fan up as the temps climb or you risk burn=
ing out the elements.
<Snip>
ld off until after the holidays to decide if I will sell the Behmor or not.=
 I have just lost interest in using the Behmor.
<Snip>
had
<Snip>
e I
<Snip>
wrote:
<Snip>
he
<Snip>
it C1
<Snip>
 roasts
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ote:
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e so
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he
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ill
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ow I
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ng to
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ugh
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ward
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<Snip>
ns,
<Snip>
ence,
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
eetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
offee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
tmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
fee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
mariascoffee.com
<Snip>
ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
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33) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
By taste!
 =
<Snip>
<Snip>
Don't thank me, thank Tom. I just did all I could to buy out his supply and
roast the stuff!
 =
<Snip>
By taste! Sensing a pattern... :>)
Ok more precisely by trial, error, trial, error, trial, error ad
infinitum...
Another pattern oh no! There are no short cuts. =
It's easy to turn beans brown, it's a lifetime Journey learning to make
beans sing.
miKe
 =
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
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34) From: Hank Perkins
I did 2 roasts this evening and one yesterday using only the
thermometer that came with the roaster.  This thermometer is in C not
F.  So, I have to think about the temps.  Once I get the Omega in I
will switch over to F.
I really am enjoying this roaster.  Personally, I think it is a deal
at $1200.  I have NEVER enjoyed roasting as much as I am now.  From
the first roast with the Quest it has elevated the quality of our
coffee.
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 10:19 PM, Hank Perkins  wrote:
<Snip>
ote:
<Snip>
ack, normally, or not?  If you avoid 2d, what sort of smoke do you experi=
ence?  Would a pretty strong range hood be enough for occasional indoor r=
oasts?
<Snip>
rea without requiring medical attention?
<Snip>
deal.
<Snip>
s, but I wonder how you know how and when to alter fan speed, heater power,=
 etc.  While recognizing that this is really the essence of the Roaster's=
 Craft, I'm asking about basic guidelines.  Do you adjust based on Bean T=
emperature information (If so, where is the probe and how'd you get it ther=
e) as it changes with time (temperature ramp or some such (I think Ed Bourg=
eois calls it his Speedometer)).  What are you using for an Environment T=
emperature Probe (I mean where and what kind)?  I saved your previous pos=
t about the Omega purchase, but it sounds as if you haven't yet made those =
"improvements", yet are still sailing along well without them.
<Snip>
s a neophyte I am unsure why you would want to start that hot with a 125g l=
oad. There is a relationship between amps, fan speed, and thermal loading f=
rom the size of the roast load should allow you to bring the temps up as fa=
s as you want.
<Snip>
en amp and fan speed this roaster you can do most anything. Want to move th=
e temp up fast set the amps on 10 and the fan on 2-3 ( with a full load). W=
ant to bring the temp down cut the amps and crank up the fan. Now, I don't =
advocate doing this indiscriminately but you can get this machine to change=
 temps faster than I expected but when running the amps wide open you shoul=
d watch your temps and adjust the fan up as the temps climb or you risk bur=
ning out the elements.
<Snip>
old off until after the holidays to decide if I will sell the Behmor or not=
. I have just lost interest in using the Behmor.
<Snip>
 had
<Snip>
be I
<Snip>
 wrote:
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
hit C1
<Snip>
z roasts
<Snip>
rote:
<Snip>
me so
<Snip>
y,
<Snip>
No
<Snip>
le
<Snip>
 a
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
te a
<Snip>
will
<Snip>
ilar
<Snip>
ro
<Snip>
t>
<Snip>
ial
<Snip>
ore
<Snip>
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<Snip>
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<Snip>
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<Snip>
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<Snip>
've
<Snip>
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<Snip>
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<Snip>
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<Snip>
ing to
<Snip>
ough
<Snip>
rward
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e by
<Snip>
ans,
<Snip>
rence,
<Snip>
sweetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
sweetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
sweetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
sweetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
sweetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
weetmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
coffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
etmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
ffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
tmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
fee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
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35) From: g paris p
Robert:
you are most likely youger then I am?
ginny hot at 66
On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM, ricky carter  wrote:
<Snip>
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36) From: Jim Gundlach
On Dec 10, 2010, at 7:51 AM, g paris p wrote:
<Snip>
I'm there for five more days.
    pecan jim
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37) From: Barry Luterman
I have 2 questions for the Quest users.Can the roaster be used indoors
with a good exhaust system over the range? Is the roaster sensitive to
ambient temperature? Living in Hawaii these variables were never much
of a concern forme. Now with the move to sunny Portland they have
become important.
Oh when Pecan Jim and ginny were born I was cutting my second teeth
and starting to drink coffee. Ne 1937
On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 6:37 AM, Jim Gundlach  wrot=
e:
<Snip>
mariascoffee.com
<Snip>
ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
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38) From: Edward Bourgeois
ET/MET is the most important thing to know and get control of.
Avoiding scorching or baking. Finding a spot to acquire this in a
consistent and uncontaminated  way is also important. From others
trials I've followed, close to the outside of the drum and part way in
from the ends seems to work the best for the Quest. Getting an
approximate drum temp. relationship. A good BT reading can work to
monitor ET indirectly by keeping track of the rate of rise of the bean
temp with a good understanding of the beans being used, batch size and
heat transfer abilities. Having both ET and BT just makes things
easier as does having my BT rate of rise metering.
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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39) From: Joseph Robertson
Barry,
By some of your posts past, I had a hunch you've been around the coffee
block a few times.
Happy holidays to you.
Joe
On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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40) From: Robert Yoder
Hi Ginny,
 
Oh, if that were only true!  I was most likely in first grade when you were born.  (Does that rule out the adoption thing?)
 
I wish you were closer to Northern California;  I'd help you with your Quest (as it were), and get to know it myself.
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert, barely warm
 
<Snip>
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41) From: Yakster
I just saw a Quest M3 Roasting Instructions tread start up by Jim Schulman
on the Home-Barista coffee forums, and thought that some of you M3 owners or
prospective buyers might be interested.http://www.home-barista.com/home-roasting/quest-m3-roasting-instructions-t15989.html#p190416-Chris
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42) From: Robert Yoder
Beautiful!  Thanks so much for the link, Chris!
 
Happy Roasting,
 
robert yoder
 
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43) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I appreciate this conversation and have been holding back from 
weighing in here. People are entitled to their opinions, and home 
roasters have never held back. I look at each roaster as something 
unique, each with ups and downs. I think you can get good roasts in 
many of these machines. There was a real change around here when I 
decided I could no longer roast all my samples on a home roaster. The 
volume of samples was just too great, and I needed a multi-barrel 
roaster that could roast and cool at the same time. But I still use 
most all the roasters (I even have a Poppery 1 on the bench, across 
from a vintage  3 barrel electric Probat and a 3 barrel Gothot gas 
roaster). I do not "profile" sample roasts - it's a straight line 
from start to finish, within a range of about 9-11 minutes, with 
minor adjustments in a session if I find the roast times creeping up 
or dropping off. I use the green coffee batch size to adjust the 
roast as well. If I roast a batch in the Quest (or the Poppery 1 for 
that matter, or I Roast or Behmor or Hottop) I don't expect it to be 
better or worse. I expect it to be slightly different, that's all. We 
compare roasts regularily- I did 6 separate batches of a decaf 
arrival in the Probat (imagine how much time it would take in one 
behmor!) and we did a Behmor batch as well. Behmor cupped quite 
favorably. My Probat allows me great control, as the quest m3  does, 
as well as much greater opportunity to ruin the coffee as well. In 
not of this are we talking about larger batch roasting, which we do a 
bit of in the L-12 Probat, and on that we use several basic 
adjustments to air and gas during the roast. The key on the L-12 is 
to have it properly installed, and very clean ducting because it has 
low air flow. I think the L-12 roasts are nice, but I feel that the 
critical factor is what you are putting in, the coffee. I can say for 
sure that i MIGHT like an L-12 batch of a particular Kenya, but it 
will have a different taste profile than my sample roasts. Usually I 
produce many sample roasts of each coffee, and if I toss one L-12 
batch on the table with these many sample roasts, I guarantee you I 
will find one of the sample roasts I like better.
My point is this; It might seem that it's about the machine, and the 
operator. True, it is. But you have no chance of quality without 
putting in good ingredients, and without targeting a specific end 
point. With small (home roast size) batches, I get many snap shots of 
the same coffee, and several seconds difference in degree of roast is 
where some coffees can really shift. Getting really good at targeting 
that roast degree is difficult; doing it in a Behmor is even harder. 
That (and cooling within the same space you roast in) are my gripes 
with most home roasters, and those factors make a difference in 
successful results. To a large degree, other differences are 
secondary. If a Behmor no longer meets your needs and a Quest might, 
fine. That would be like me at the point I found I could not possibly 
produce enough samples in a home roaster. A Quest is not a Behmor. A 
Quest is not a 3 barrel Probat nor an L-12. All are tools with 
different capabilities. It depends on what you are trying to do with 
them. The thing I find endlessly amusing is that you can produce 
AMAZING coffee in an air popper.
There is not one right way. If you spend 4x as much money, you can 
still produce horrible coffee. People do it every day on $250k of 
roast equipment. With care, and accepting some limitations, a $2 
thrift store find can result in great coffee.
Anyway, just trying to chime in with some perspective from a 
different place... now I am going to go roast a Guatemala sample in 
the Behmor!
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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44) From: Joseph Robertson
Tom,
Thank you for your incite and wisdom that only comes from hours and hours
doing what you do with the wonderful tools/roasters at your disposal.
Regarding your comment,
 "Getting really good at targeting that roast degree is difficult; doing it
in a Behmor is even harder. That (and cooling within the same space you
roast in) are my gripes with most home roasters, and those factors make a
difference in successful results."
Have you had the opportunity to consult on home roaster design and
engineering concepts with a manufacturer?
Just seems like of all the professionals I know of you would be the first I
would come to.
Thank you again for so much of the roasting/targeting picture from your
perspective and how much or little the machine matters.
Makes me want to drag out the popper and play again and compare like you
described, same bean different roast systems.
Cheers,
Joseph
On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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45) From: Sergio Kusevitzky
Thanks Tom
Good ingredients, some knowledge and passion!!!...., that is all you need=
 for a =
good roast!
(I roast with my air-popper, the stove popper, the precision roaster and th=
e =
maggiolino)
Sergio---------------------------------------------------------------------=
-------
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this e-m=
ail"
"Por favor, considere su responsabilidad por el medio ambiente antes de imp=
rimir =
este mensaje"
---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
- =
From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, =
available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"=
Sent: Tue, December 14, 2010 9:48:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Quest M3 Arrives, Is it worth it?
I appreciate this conversation and have been holding back from weighing in =
here. =
People are entitled to their opinions, and home roasters have never held ba=
ck. I =
look at each roaster as something unique, each with ups and downs. I think =
you =
can get good roasts in many of these machines. There was a real change arou=
nd =
here when I decided I could no longer roast all my samples on a home roaste=
r. =
The volume of samples was just too great, and I needed a multi-barrel roast=
er =
that could roast and cool at the same time. But I still use most all the =
roasters (I even have a Poppery 1 on the bench, across from a vintage  3 =
barrel =
electric Probat and a 3 barrel Gothot gas roaster). I do not "profile" samp=
le =
roasts - it's a straight line from start to finish, within a range of about=
 9-11 =
minutes, with minor adjustments in a session if I find the roast times cree=
ping =
up or dropping off. I use the green coffee batch size to adjust the roast a=
s =
well. If I roast a batch in the Quest (or the Poppery 1 for that matter, or=
 I =
Roast or Behmor or Hottop) I don't expect it to be better or worse. I expec=
t it =
to be slightly different, that's all. We compare roasts regularily- I did 6 =
separate batches of a decaf arrival in the Probat (imagine how much time it =
would take in one behmor!) and we did a Behmor batch as well. Behmor cupped =
quite favorably. My Probat allows me great control, as the quest m3  does=
, as =
well as much greater opportunity to ruin the coffee as well. In not of this=
 are =
we talking about larger batch roasting, which we do a bit of in the L-12 Pr=
obat, =
and on that we use several basic adjustments to air and gas during the roas=
t. =
The key on the L-12 is to have it properly installed, and very clean ductin=
g =
because it has low air flow. I think the L-12 roasts are nice, but I feel t=
hat =
the critical factor is what you are putting in, the coffee. I can say for s=
ure =
that i MIGHT like an L-12 batch of a particular Kenya, but it will have a =
different taste profile than my sample roasts. Usually I produce many sampl=
e =
roasts of each coffee, and if I toss one L-12 batch on the table with these=
 many =
sample roasts, I guarantee you I will find one of the sample roasts I like =
better.
My point is this; It might seem that it's about the machine, and the operat=
or. =
True, it is. But you have no chance of quality without putting in good =
ingredients, and without targeting a specific end point. With small (home r=
oast =
size) batches, I get many snap shots of the same coffee, and several second=
s =
difference in degree of roast is where some coffees can really shift. Getti=
ng =
really good at targeting that roast degree is difficult; doing it in a Behm=
or is =
even harder. That (and cooling within the same space you roast in) are my g=
ripes =
with most home roasters, and those factors make a difference in successful =
results. To a large degree, other differences are secondary. If a Behmor no =
longer meets your needs and a Quest might, fine. That would be like me at t=
he =
point I found I could not possibly produce enough samples in a home roaster=
. A =
Quest is not a Behmor. A Quest is not a 3 barrel Probat nor an L-12. All ar=
e =
tools with different capabilities. It depends on what you are trying to do =
with =
them. The thing I find endlessly amusing is that you can produce AMAZING co=
ffee =
in an air popper.
There is not one right way. If you spend 4x as much money, you can still pr=
oduce =
horrible coffee. People do it every day on $250k of roast equipment. With c=
are, =
and accepting some limitations, a $2 thrift store find can result in great =
coffee.
Anyway, just trying to chime in with some perspective from a different plac=
e... =
now I am going to go roast a Guatemala sample in the Behmor!
-- -Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roast=
ing
              Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com    Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
            phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetma=riascoffee.com
Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) : =http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820      =
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46) From: John Monteleone
I started roasting the past year with a Fresh Roast 500 and I have loved my
results.  I was thinking of moving up to a Behmor but this thread has me a
bit confused.  Perhaps Tom (and team) could consider another Behmor video
that could address some of the issues raised.
John
On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 1:53 AM, Sergio Kusevitzky wrote:
<Snip>
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47) From: Edward Bourgeois
What specifically are you confused about?
On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 12:05 PM, John Monteleone
 wrote:
<Snip>
my
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tmariascoffee.com
<Snip>
tmariascoffee.com
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mariascoffee.com
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ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
<Snip>
-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee=.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820

48) From: sci
Thanks so much Tom for the kind of deep insight probably only you could
provide.
I agree the bean in the roaster is the biggest factor. After roasting that
'07 IMV last week that truth is all the more vivid to me. It was still an
amazing cup, blueberry still alive.
I liked Allon's analogy with cameras. As a photographer, I understand fully.
If you're going to take photos of a once in a lifetime event, you want a
good camera. Like all here, I have lots of home roasting devices. But when
you have a killer bean, like Aida's Grand Reserve, or a fancy gesha, or that
batch of  '07 IMV, you don't want to risk it in an air popper (or the B1600
methinks).
Ivan
<Snip>
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49) From: Hank Perkins
Scott,  the rotation is close to the Hot Top
Late last night I returned from a long business trip. I hope to avoid climbing in any more airplanes until 2011. I do have one more trip which I will drive. It is about 400 miles and we hope to do a over and back in one day. 
Anyhow, I just completed a 3 roast session.  And here are some additional comments:
It was really easy to hit city + to full city with a decaf
I love the back to back sessions.
Before I ordered and initially after I unpacked the Quest I was concerned with the roasters performance cooling the beans.  I felt the cooling was cheesy and planned to build a proper bean cooler.  WRONG.  I am almost exclusively roasting 125g batches and the cooler works fantastic.  With a 200-225 gram batch it works just fine. 
I ordered and received an Omega Dual temperature data logger HH806AU. Eric Severen in MD is sending me 2 thermocouples to allow ET and BT data collection. This will turn my my Quest into a true mini pro roaster. 
Over the weekend I was in Baltimore and visited the SPRO coffee shop. They brew coffees with Yama, Chemex, AeroPress, and some other methods I had never heard of as well as all the standard espresso drinks. While there I met the owner Jay. He was very interested in the Quest.     A very cool guy and a very cool place. The young barrista's made me feel very welcome. 
One last note,  It would have been fairly unlikely I would have ordered this puppy if Tom and Maria had not gone out on a limb and began carrying them. I want to publicly thank them for the offering. 
On Dec 6, 2010, at 7:29 PM, Scott Miller  wrote:
<Snip>
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