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

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com
Tue Jan 11 13:51:24 CST 2011

Thanks for the comments Ivan - It's really good for me/us to hear the 
Pros and Cons from a fresh perspective. Of course, the most important 
feedback is what we get over time, and as we use them ourselves. I 
also had 5 220 volt models made and am taking one to Ethiopia in a 
couple weeks for roasting in the field! Should be fun - I will take 
some pictures. Definitely watch those hot surfaces - the dump chute 
on the front got me once! -Tom

>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
>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.
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"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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