[Homeroast] QM3 arrives today!! My first blush review.

sci scizen at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 21:16:06 CST 2011


The QM3 arrived today. THANK YOU Sweet Maria's and Coffee Shrub!

The Q is a dream machine, like driving an Italian sports car. Built like a
tank out of pure highly polished stainless steel, it has a charming look,
certainly a conversation piece. If it had a couple of brass bobbles and an
emblem, this thing would look classy. Still, anybody who walked into you
kitchen would immediately be intrigued by it.
I roasted three 125g batches back to back and she performed like a champ.
Cracks are easy to hear. Tomorrow I'll try 250g batches. Finally, I, yo,
moi, was in control and not a Procrustean bed profile I didn't create that
blindly executes itself (no, I'm not a control freak no matter what my ex
says). The back-to-back roasting is easy because the drum stays hot during
cooling. I'll probably do at least 2 or 3 roasts each session because the
preheat does take about 15 min.
The Q is as powerful as she is pretty. I had no problem getting the 125g
charge up to 2C with a nice 3-4 min. pause between 1C and 2C.

Here's the big advantages:
1. Plenty of heat at your full control. And this isn't on/off cycles of a
heating element, but steady heat delivered by two heating elements. Set it
at 7amps and the elements draw 7amps, not on,off,on,off. You can control
things on the fly. But this requires constant hand-holding. I don't think
I'll stray out of the room with the Q running. It requires front burner
attention mode.
2. A powerful fan to ventilate the drum chamber and draw out chaff. This
allows you to control temp. I think Tom said he sets the temp at a good
steady setting and leaves it there, and then uses the fan to control
temperature. I'm still learning.
3. A trier.Yes, a TRIER,  on a home roaster! Twist it and pull out 4-6 beans
at any point in the roast. Bite'm, sniff'm. Target your roasts where you
want them. Careful, that thing is hot! Aside from Whirley pop and HG/DB
roasting, grabbing a bean out of the roasting bean mass is rare.
4. A chamber window. A small window also allows you to see inside the drum
and look at the beans as they churn. This is like seeing the beans in the
IR2 chamber dance around. The Q's window is tiny, but it works.
5. A Bean Mass temp. probe. The thermometer screws in the front and goes
right into the rotating mass of beans. I do not like the Celsius
calibration, but I will learn to live with it.
6. A machined and threaded hole is provided for at ET (environment probe) to
track drum air temp. That temp responds quickly to fan settings. I used my
thermocouple and digital unit in that hole, but it needs a bushing to hold
it. [Anybody know where I can get one?]
7. Bean cooling is very fast, outside the drum like HT. Dump the beans in a
tray, place the tray on the back fan box, and the beans are cooled in 2 min.
flat. It will take longer for 250g charges.
8. Chaff control is nice compared to the B1600. After three roasts, the
chaff collector was still working fine, easy to dump.
9. Quiet. Very quiet. I didn't know it started when I turned the timer knob.
Drum is quiet, fans too. The loudest noise you will hear is the beans
themselves gently tossing around in the drum, and their cracks. SuuWeeeet!

Here's the disadvantages:
1. It doesn't roast a full pound like the B1600. Perhaps the Q should be
compared to the Gene Cafe or the HT here. Oh well, as long as she does back
to back 250g charges, who cares. Some have roasted 300g. Maybe I'll try that
soon. I believe it has the power. I roasted my 125g batches with 7amps or
less, and it will use up to 10amps.
2. Cost. At 4X the cost of the B1600, it's steep. But I'm pretty convinced
on first blush, that the QM3 is worth every penny, IF it proves durable.
3. No smoke suppression. B1600 is nice on this. But with smaller batches,
I'm not sure the Q will need it. It is easily small enough to put under an
oven hood.
4. Some don't like the flat exhaust vent on the back. It isn't that big a
deal, but I roast under a hood. Still, a flat vent like that is easy to
modify.
5. It does get hot! External surfaces will burn you FAST. But, so will my
cast iron griddle, and my water kettle, etc. It can't be avoided in cooking.
Just be careful and keep kids away.
6. Some think it needs a funnel to dump the beans in the bean chute. Yea, it
would look cute and be practical, but I poured in three batches and didn't
spill nary a bean. If even an issue, it is a minor one.
7. No UL approval. Significant? Yes, and no.  I'll let others tackle this.

Bottom line: I highly recommend.

Ivan


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