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Thread: Need advice on upgrade from aeropress

  1. #1
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    Need advice on upgrade from aeropress

    Cafelat Coffee Tamper and Accessories
    Hello,

    I'm thinking of getting a descent coffee machine. I've been looking at a Gaggia Classic and a Rancilio Silvia. My budget is less than $500. I already have a Baratza Encore so I wouldn't need to upgrade my grinder, right? I'll be using it for making cappuccino's and maybe even espresso's if I get the right blend. There's a few Gaggia Classic ads in gumtree for $150. Would that be my best choice? I'm located in Perth.

    Cheers,
    Brad

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Hi Brad,
    I was in the same shoe as you were not long ago... It was a toss up between a classic and a Silvia, but I went for a Silvia because I was told it has a bigger boiler and have a longer steam capabilities compare to the Classic. But then the classic would take less time to get to the right tempreture due to the smaller boiler size. So I guess the Silvia might be the better option. Thats not saying the Classic is bad either as some members here love their classic.

    The ad on Gumtree listed at Kardinya for the Classic with grinders was previously advertised much lower and she was happy to sell it less than $200 then... maybe you can bargain down with her on it...

    if you want to try and play with a Silvia, let me know and you can try mine
    BradG likes this.

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    Hi okitoki,

    Thanks for your advice. I will only be making one cappuccino at a time so the boiler in the Classic would be big enough, right? The lady in Kardinya hasn't replied to my text so I think it's sold. Can used machines be problematic if the owner hasn't taken good care of it? I'd rather buy a new Classic but that would set me back another $300. Which suburb are you from?

    Thanks again,
    Brad

  4. #4
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    I'm based at Bentley if that's close by...
    I rang the kardinya lady before, and she seemed nice enough to offer a demonstration previously... maybe give her a call tonight instead...

    When I first picked up my Silvia, the previous owner told me her son had not used it for a few years, and has been left in storage for awhile... I followed the general cleaning instruction from reading everywhere (and watching youtube); back flushing and descaling with commercial products... I did see that my water were kind of cloudy and bits of white stuff were coming out... but after a few flush the water coming out were pretty clean.

    From what I have read, the classic and Silvia are actually very basic machines, and parts and replacements can be found pretty easily... if there are no rust, pump is working and water is heating up... not sure what else to look out for... maybe the experts out there can explain better?
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    Hi okitoki,

    I've changed my mind and now want a Rancilio Silvia after I had a look on youtube. Would gumtree be my best bet on getting a cheap Silvia in Perth? There aren't any cheap ones on gumtree right now but I can wait a week or so.

    Cheers,
    Brad

  6. #6
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    your guess is as good as mine mate... I was pretty lucky to find one cheap when I looked... otherwise, keep an eye open on the forum's hardware sale section... you might find a good one there for sale locally...

    one thing though... you need to make sure your Encore is up to the task of grinding fine enough for a Silvia as she can be a very unforgiving girl if your grinding, dosing and tamping is not right
    BradG likes this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    If you are going to install a PID (can be had for $40 plus crimps/cable/etc), the Gaggia is by far the better machine by my reckoning, due to the boiler size and construction it should be able to maintain control and temp stability better than the Silvia.

    Stock, I found it to be a dog of a thing to get consistently right.
    BradG likes this.

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    Hi Dragunov21,

    Where can I find a Gaggia Classic PID for that cheap? I had a look and the lowest was $200.

    Cheers

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    well, if you are handy with electrical stuff and DIY, you can pretty much source out the parts and get it setup at that price...
    I'm pretty bad at both... so I ended up getting a PID kit from a site sponsor and had it installed in myself in around 2 hours (Good way of spending a Sat morning)... was simple plug and play...

    Temp surfing is one thing you will need to put up with with either machine if you don't have a PID installed. It's not hard to get the hang of it and get farely consistent result... but having a PID just makes life easier... even getting a temp sensor installed can be helpful too...
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    I've had a bit of electrical experience in the past so it shouldn't be hard. Are there any threads which have info on the parts I'll need for the PID and how to wire it up? I had a quick look but couldn't find anything.

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Well... either way, my offer still stand with testing out the silvia if you like... probably good idea to bring the beans you like and bring your grinder along to see if it is suitable for the Silvia.
    Dragunov21 and BradG like this.

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    Thanks for your offer, okitoki. I'm still waiting on my green beans to arrive so once I've roasted them, I'll consider your offer. Thanks again for being so kind and sharing your knowledge.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradG View Post
    I've had a bit of electrical experience in the past so it shouldn't be hard. Are there any threads which have info on the parts I'll need for the PID and how to wire it up? I had a quick look but couldn't find anything.

    Cheers
    I'll flick you some info; can't post commercial links here.

    Quote Originally Posted by okitoki View Post
    well, if you are handy with electrical stuff and DIY, you can pretty much source out the parts and get it setup at that price...
    I'm pretty bad at both... so I ended up getting a PID kit from a site sponsor and had it installed in myself in around 2 hours (Good way of spending a Sat morning)... was simple plug and play...

    Temp surfing is one thing you will need to put up with with either machine if you don't have a PID installed. It's not hard to get the hang of it and get farely consistent result... but having a PID just makes life easier... even getting a temp sensor installed can be helpful too...
    PIDs aren't just about convenience and shot-to-shot consistency. With the Classic moreso than the Silvia (hence my recommendation) it results in a much more stable intra-shot temperature than with a thermostat. The Silvia does have a larger boiler to begin with though, and I haven't seen intra-shot discharge-water temp plots for the Silvia.
    BradG likes this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    You know what? This took too much time and effort for a PM; might as well throw is out there for the benefit of anyone else interested. Essay incoming =/

    Please, unless you have an comprehensive understanding of electrical safety and are willing to take complete responsibility for testing/verifying your modifications, don't attempt this work. This is written from the perspective of a licensed electrician and common sense isn't common if you don't have any background in electrical work. All care, no responsibility, if in doubt, get a sparky/competent friend to test it before you plug it in.

    Remember to reconnect the earth to the top cover before screwing it back down.

    Hi Brad,

    The PID I use is a Sestos D1S, aka "A Set Dual Digital PID Temperature Controller OMRON relay & 25A SSR & K Sensor" on eBay

    It comes with thermocouple and SSR, is self-tuning and has a full set of features (vastly more than required for our purposes)


    You'll need to carefully cut the thermocouple fitting off the sheath, which will leave the thermocouple bead bare (if you damage it you can always re-twist/solder)

    The thermostat you'll be replacing (situated down the side of the boiler, not the steam thermostat on top) is M4 threaded, so get some "10x Brass Standoff Spacer M4 Male x M4 Female - 10mm"

    Drill a small (2-3mm diameter, I think?) hole down the centre of the stand-off, with the aim being to come out the other end.

    Do yourself a favour and take the four allen-bolts out of the grouphead to give yourself enough room to move the boiler around when fitting. Better yet, take the whole boiler out completely if you can be bothered.

    I filled the threaded hole where the TStat was mounted with some spare heat transfer compound, but it's probably not necessary, then inserted the bead through the brass standoff and bent it slightly to the side, so that when screwed in, the standoff would press the TC bead against the inside of the threaded hole. Use your judgement about how hard is secure without breaking the bead. you can secure the sheath in the other end of the standoff with some high-temp silicone if you want but once again, not strictly necessary.

    As far as the wiring goes, you'll want to piggyback the switched active, which is (looking at the switch-set from the connector side) on the far right, second from the top. Go to Jaycar and get some 6.8mm piggyback spade crimps and a cheap ($5-$10) crimper, unless you have something suitable at home. Run this to one of the AC power terminals of the PID(terminals 9 & 10).

    The neutral, you'll want to take from the topmost terminal of the IEC socket at the back of the machine and run to the other power terminal of the PID.

    When you disconnected the thermostat, you'd have had two connectors to detach. those will be wired to the two switched terminals of the SSR (marked 24-240V AC). Once again, use the 6.8mm spades, since you don't want to be cutting up your machine for the sake of five bucks and might want to sell it stock one day). Probably goes without saying, but wire one connector to one terminal and the second connector to the other.

    Wire the thermocouple leads to terminals 3 & 4 (3=blue, 4=red).

    Last bit is to wire the SSR power terminals (marked 3-32VDC) to the SSR terminals on the PID (6 & 8). These are polarity conscious, so match them according to the markings on the SSR/PID. + goes to +, - to -.

    Once all that's done, double-check your wiring and fire it up. If you want a dry run, disconnect the connectors supplying the elements, making note of which goes where, then turn it on and check the operation of your PID and SSR.

    Pressing the up or down buttons will let you change your setpoint, holding "set" will open up the menu (which you want to leave alone for now), pressing "set" quickly will toggle between displaying the setpoint and displaying the output (0-100% heating)

    Here's the cool/tricky bit. Where most people run PIDs to hold an exact boiler temp, what we're going to do with the Classic's tiny boiler and low process lag is purge the boiler a little to cool the too-hot boiler and group, then grind/dose/tamp and then pour our shot while the boiler is still in recovery. The shot will start at the correct brew temperature (when the setpoint is dialled in correctly for your thermocouple and prep-time) and the PID will hold the heating signal relatively steady while cool water is entering the boiler, keeping the discharge water at a constant temperature.

    I would suggest setting your temperature at 111.5 to start with, then operating the machine as following:

    Turn it on, fill the boiler and leave it until it's had time to heat up. A good guide is that the left-hand side of the top section of the machine will get warm and the PID output will settle at a range of 3-9% (as the metal components aren't sucking all the heat from the boiler housing).

    Hit the brew switch and watch the PF. With a naked PF you'll see the water bubbling out in a steaming cone, then the flow will stop, then start again with more uniform dispersion. With a regular PF you won't see it, but should notice that the flow stops and starts. Let it flow for ~2 seconds after the flow starts again (or until you've pulled 40-60ml of hot water, total) then turn it off. Great way to preheat your glass/cup, by the way. Unseat the PF just enough to let the remaining water drain from the basket then do your thing (weigh/grind/dry-PF/dose/tamp). It takes me one and a half minutes, which is what my variables are optimised for. If it takes you substantially more/less time, pull more/less water through in the purge to compensate (don't mess with it too much though unless you're able to measure your brew temperature at the puck).

    Lock your PF in and brew, then remove your shot and portafilter and give the brew-switch three quick bursts to clean the shower-screen. If you want more shots before steaming just repeat the process, grinding/pulling back to back, with no purge. The grouphead/water temp shouldn't vary more than a degree as long as you leave 1.5-3 minutes between shots.

    If you're steaming milk, hit the steam switch, bleed the water out and wait until the boiler temp hits ~150 before doing your thing. This will vary between machines/users; the idea is to leave it as late as possible without the steam thermostat tripping and cutting power to the elements (at which point the temp will drop massively before the TStat resets). Because the alarm contact on this model of PID is dry (no voltage) it's not possible to bypass the steam thermostat without using a discrete power supply to power an extra relay/SSR (do NOT try and switch the elements directly using the PID's internal relays).

    After steaming and cleaning your wand, hit the brew switch, wait for the gush of steam to give way to the regular trickle of water (once again, the flow should stop, then start again at a trickle) and you're ready to go again (or walk away, knowing your machine's boiler is full).

    Once you have your shot-weight/time sorted, then you can adjust your temperature setpoint to your taste/TC/climate, I'd suggest one degree at a time. Once you've worked that out, you can program in an offset (SC in the menu) and if you like a hi-temp alarm to let you know when to start steaming). My offset is -18.5C, which results in my setpoint matching my initial brew temp (which in my case rises half a degree, then drops one and a half degrees over the course of a double shot).

    If you don't have access to a calibrated thermocouple/meter, just get it to a point where it's tasty then make your offset -xC, where x is the difference between your "tasty" temp and 94C. Set your setpoint to 94C, which will be close enough.
    Just a disclaimer - unless you're tuning your parameters to your particular machine/thermocouple/house/astrological sign combo, this isn't an exact science. I got my values after a couple of hours testing and tweaking while measuring with DIY'd Scace, using sponge in the portafilter to simulate a coffee-puck dropping the flow-rate down to match my shots. The values I've given for purge amount, recovery time between shots, TC offset and the like will not be perfect for anyone else's situation. That said, they should be in the ball-park and should produce noticeably better coffee. If you want the best results possible, you'll have to do the testing legwork for yourself with the correct measuring equipment or simply buy a more capable machine.
    BradG likes this.

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    I ended up buying a Breville Dual Boiler today as it was on special. The shots that I've been pulling are tasting sour and don't have any flavour notes. I'm using a Baratza Encore on grind setting 5. If I have it any lower, I end up with clumps and the water doesn't even pour through the basket. The beans are 3 days old and tasted better with my aeropress. I'm using the default settings on the BDB (7 second pre-infusion and 25 second brew time). Does this mean I'll need a better grinder? Also, tamping is so hard ahaha.

    Cheers
    Brad

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    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Are you using the pressurized or normal filter basket?

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradG View Post
    Also, tamping is so hard ahaha.
    Curious as to what you mean... Physically hard or you just find it difficult?

    What are you tamping with?

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    I'm using a normal double filter basket. I'm tamping with the stock metal tamper that came with the BDB. I'm just finding it hard to get it level ahaha. My last ones were quite level so I think I'll get the hang of it quite soon.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Get a single-wall basket and a tamper that fits, then we'll talk

    I'm assuming that there's a fair bit of space between the tamper and the edges of the basket.

    I've had good results with the $25 tampers off eBay, if you can't find anything better second-hand and don't want the expense.

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    I meant single wall basket, just the one for a double shot. The tamper does fit too, the basket and tamper are both 58mm. Would you recommend the K3 Touch for a good espresso?

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I know Talk_Coffee recommends it pretty highly...

  22. #22
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    I'm using Caden's Baratza Preciso and getting pretty good result too.

    I was getting good result from my MACAP which I was told actually need new burrs. So I can't wait to see how good it will be with the new burrs.

    There's a few used commercial sized grinder on Perth gumtree right now.

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    Which ones would you recommend, okitoki? Cheers
    The compak k6 looks really tempting..

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    The Preciso gives me good results but it's a bit plasticky and when I tried to get a spare piece when it arrived with a cosmetic defect I was told "we can replace it for you but we can't do spares".

    I'd spend the extra (or go 2nd-hand) for something serviceable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradG View Post
    I ended up buying a Breville Dual Boiler today as it was on special. The shots that I've been pulling are tasting sour and don't have any flavour notes. I'm using a Baratza Encore on grind setting 5. If I have it any lower, I end up with clumps and the water doesn't even pour through the basket. The beans are 3 days old and tasted better with my aeropress. I'm using the default settings on the BDB (7 second pre-infusion and 25 second brew time). Does this mean I'll need a better grinder? Also, tamping is so hard ahaha.

    Cheers
    Brad
    Do you mean 25 second TOTAL time, including the pre infusion? If so you need to grind finer. 35 seconds total time before blonding including the 7 second pre infusion is the minimum I will accept. Most of the time my best shots are 10sec pre infusion @ 65% with a total time of 40 - 42 seconds.
    18 gram dose, with the resulting shot usually weighing around the 30g mark.

    What beans are you using? IF the beans are all good and your grinder cant grind fine enough without severe clumping then I suggest its not up to the task.

    If you can get a compak K3, you wont regret it.

    EDIT: The tamper that comes with the machine is pretty well matched with baskets. The single wall baskets that come with the machine are pretty darn good quality to.

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    The total time was around 32-35 seconds. I'm using the beans which I roasted in my corretto, they aren't the best but still drinkable in my aeropress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradG View Post
    The total time was around 32-35 seconds. I'm using the beans which I roasted in my corretto, they aren't the best but still drinkable in my aeropress.
    Ahh yes of course your corretto thread!

    That shot time is quite acceptable from a conventional view point.

    So your beans might be a bit underdeveloped for espresso. You can try and get around this, if you can tighten up the grind just a touch, if not, up the dose by 0.5 to 1g and that will tighten up you pour a bit. At the same time bump up your temp to 94 , then 95 to see if you can highlight more roast aspects of the bean, balancing out some of the sour acidity.

    The BES900 does produce quite a bright shot and can highlight acidity. When you get your roasting caper down, you can fine tune to your tastes.
    When you get it right the machine can produce wonderfully full bodied shots, highlighting the differences in origin acidity with a great depth of flavour.
    A lot of this also has to do with the quality of grinder to.

    Good luck

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    I stopped the machine at 32-35 seconds so does that mean that it's being over-extracted? I tried grinding finer which made it pour much slower. By underdevolped, do you mean not roasted long enough or not properly roasted? Would you choose a new K3 for $600 or a used K6 with new burrs for $500? I'd prefer getting it locally as I don't want to be drinking sour coffee for a week ahaha.

  29. #29
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    The K3 seems like a very well recommended machine among here, but the K6 is a bigger machine...

    Plus the difference between having a doser and doserless can be an issue... for me, I tried the Preciso and as much as I like the grind out of it, I am too used to using a doser and able to keep the place clean after I make a cup of coffee... while others would prefer the doserless grinders like a K3 for single dosing... (different strokes for different folks)

    If it's the K6 on gumtree you are looking at, the fella is willing to drop the price if you negotiate with him

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    You don't count the pre infusion in the brew time. If your shots are sour you generally will be under extracting. But it varies from person to person and its all part of finding what you like.

    Under developed beans may be from ending the roast to early and or roasting to fast, to high temps, so the outside may look nice and brown but the insides have not had a chance to develop properly.

    As for the grinder, oki's advice is sound. If it were me in your shoes...well I would still try and get a k3p at the right price 450 to 470. it's doserless and the size suits my situation. But yes I can see why your drawn to the local option of the second hand k6.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    You don't count the pre infusion in the brew time.
    Can't say I agree with the above... at all!
    Seeing as how hot water is in touch with the coffee throughout the pre-infusion phase I would certainly count that time as being part of the total brewing time.
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  32. #32
    Senior Member NakiChap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradG View Post
    I stopped the machine at 32-35 seconds so does that mean that it's being over-extracted? I tried grinding finer which made it pour much slower. By underdevolped, do you mean not roasted long enough or not properly roasted? Would you choose a new K3 for $600 or a used K6 with new burrs for $500? I'd prefer getting it locally as I don't want to be drinking sour coffee for a week ahaha.
    Go with a new K3 and you should be pretty happy, have you seen the size of a K6 in the flesh ? big grinder to have on the kitchen bench if your not banging out large amounts of drinks,
    There is a shop in Osborne park doing them brand new for $499,
    The K6 your talking about has been for sale for months now, I think it is the same the one I had a look at a while back.

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    [QUOTE=Vinitasse;503806]Can't say I agree with the above... at all!
    Seeing as how hot water is in touch with the coffee throughout the pre-infusion phase I would certainly count that time as being part of the total brewing time.[/QUOTE


    Thanks for your helpful input... it's a case of you being pedantic about how i worded a description of the process. Of course the coffee is " brewing " while its pre infusing. I should have said " total extraction time "

    I was talking specificly and practically about the default low pressure pre infusion on the bes900, trying to help out a new user with something i have experimented with A LOT.

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    Hi Cadan,

    Which shop is selling the K3 for $499 in Osborne Park? I'm pretty sure my beans weren't roasted well as they tasted crap in my aeoropress compared to the beans I got from five senses a few months ago. Are there any good roasters in Perth where you can order and pickup later in the day? Five senses is too far away from me (Rockingham). I'm also thinking of getting a Behmor so I can get good results straight off the bat.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Steve82;503808]
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Can't say I agree with the above... at all!
    Seeing as how hot water is in touch with the coffee throughout the pre-infusion phase I would certainly count that time as being part of the total brewing time.[/QUOTE


    Thanks for your helpful input... it's a case of you being pedantic about how i worded a description of the process. Of course the coffee is " brewing " while its pre infusing. I should have said " total extraction time "

    I was talking specificly and practically about the default low pressure pre infusion on the bes900, trying to help out a new user with something i have experimented with A LOT.
    Pedantic or not I still contend that the pre-infusion phase should be included in the "total extraction time". An ideal 26-30 second shot should be counted from the moment the water starts to flow to the puck. And... while I'm impressed that you are an obvious font of expertise vis-a-vis BDB shot experimentation, it may be considered wise to assume that there may be a few people on this forum with as much (if not more) experience and expertise than yourself on any given topic.

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    You can get a brand new K3 Push for $420 from at least one of the site sponsors. I just ordered one yesterday from Jet Black. Use the quote form and see what they can offer you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    You don't count the pre infusion in the brew time.
    There is another way. Don't count the preinfusion and don't count the brew time either. Decide on your dosing strategy and then experiment with flow rates until you get the balance that your palate prefers. No clocks, no scales, no PhD- merely a little forgotten art meets science.

  38. #38
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Isn't that removing any science from it and relying purely on art?

    Not saying science is necessary, but you can't say with a straight face that removing variable control/measurement/standardization is scientific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Isn't that removing any science from it and relying purely on art?
    Not in my opinion. Your palate is not too bad at Chemistry once trained

  40. #40
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    The word 'Science' comes from the latin 'scientia' which means knowledge.
    By considering what happens when you don't count pre-infusion or brew time is purely the pursuit of knowledge,
    which, by definition is absolutely scientific.
    Chris quite clearly states in his post...... 'forgotten art meets science'. He is not removing science at all.

    It isn't possible to make coffee without science, whether we think about it or choose to ignore it.
    How we apply science to our coffee world is different for everybody; some are anal, some are practical,
    others more Zen and some in blissful ignorance.
    What should be common to those who love a good shot of coffee is the pursuit and enjoyment of excellence.

  41. #41
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Or in my case. Blind luck in some shots

  42. #42
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    [QUOTE=Vinitasse;503812]
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post

    Pedantic or not I still contend that the pre-infusion phase should be included in the "total extraction time". An ideal 26-30 second shot should be counted from the moment the water starts to flow to the puck. And... while I'm impressed that you are an obvious font of expertise vis-a-vis BDB shot experimentation, it may be considered wise to assume that there may be a few people on this forum with as much (if not more) experience and expertise than yourself on any given topic.
    I have no doubt there are many more on CS with much more experience than me and I am always happy to learn from them. Most of what I know is gleaned from here.

    However if I was to follow your "ideal" shot time with a 10 to 12 second pre infusion I regularly use, the resulting shot would be rubbish and undrinkable. 28 to 32 seconds after the pre infusion is where I end up stopping the shot. Which is usually a couple of seconds after the cone collapses, before blonding,using a naked PF.

    Time is not that important during a shot. I was simply trying to communicate what I have found successful.

  43. #43
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    The word 'Science' comes from the latin 'scientia' which means knowledge.
    By considering what happens when you don't count pre-infusion or brew time is purely the pursuit of knowledge,
    which, by definition is absolutely scientific.
    Chris quite clearly states in his post...... 'forgotten art meets science'. He is not removing science at all..
    Regardless of etymology, modern scientific method favors objective measurement.

    By choosing to ignore measurable variables you are taking a step backwards, from a scientific perspective.

    If you can make great coffee but can't explain how you do what you do, that is art.

    Using your palette is a valid method of scientific observation, but when making coffee, saying "just tweak everything until it tastes good" means you aren't isolating variables and determining the effect of each on the taste of your coffee so they become tools you are able to use deliberately (as good baristas are able to do, whether they reached that point scientifically" or not.

    Doesn't matter how much tweaking of dose and grind you try if your water's coming out at eighty degrees (which you will never discover without what Chris suggest be dropped - breaking it down to parameters)

    To reiterate, I'm not saying that the "art" approach is any less legitimate, but unless your approach seeks in an increased understanding that can be objectively articulated, and repeatable results other than "good coffee", please don't call it "science".

    Face it, most of the "science" happens in the development of machines and grinders and we just gain experience in using the tools provided.

    Motorcycle riding is a good parallel. You can have very effective riders who understand little about the science of what the bike it's doing underneath them. Doesn't make them worse riders but it is what it is.

  44. #44
    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Regardless of etymology, modern scientific method favors objective measurement.

    By choosing to ignore measurable variables you are taking a step backwards, from a scientific perspective.

    If you can make great coffee but can't explain how you do what you do, that is art.

    Using your palette is a valid method of scientific observation, but when making coffee, saying "just tweak everything until it tastes good" means you aren't isolating variables and determining the effect of each on the taste of your coffee so they become tools you are able to use deliberately (as good baristas are able to do, whether they reached that point scientifically" or not.
    You see, that's where I choose to disagree. I can do it, I can repeat it and I can teach it as well.

    There are plenty out there ignoring art and using Science only- and consistently delivering rubbish. Science by all means if it assists, but not as a robot without learning.

  45. #45
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    You see, that's where I choose to disagree. I can do it, I can repeat it and I can teach it as well.
    Under what definition do you claim your methods to be scientific? (question, not a challenge) If you are creating a knowledge-base of predictions/rulesets based on repeatably testable hypotheses then that's science by my definition, but unless I've misinterpreted what you've said, you're not advocating that, or are at least advocating less rigorous scientific method (by intentionally reducing accuracy. I may have exaggerated by saying you were advocating complete removal of the scientific aspect

    I'd be interested in knowing what sort of people are into the science of it but haven't realised that coffee is supposed to taste good, given that it requires a little dedication and you don't see much interest in coffee among those who don't enjoy it...

    Science can tell you that certain compounds result in certain flavours and that certain conditions favour extraction of certain compounds or cause them to undergo certain changes. Art tells you how to apply that ruleset to turn that into a pleasing sensory experience.

    As a side issue, I think a lot of my problem with the use of "science" in the coffee world is that people seem to try to relate scientific observations to what is best, which is quite (though not entirely) subjective.

  46. #46
    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    A story...

    Once upon a time (in the olden days), kids used tools (training wheels) when they learned to ride a bike. Plenty of 4 year olds couldn't ride without tools...

    These days, kids learn on balance bikes and ride earlier. A little bit art underpins the Science of balance. [/story]

    Some can't make good coffee without their tools. Others learn the art and can do so consistently with or without tools....

    Ultimately, do as you please but to argue that the only way of producing consistent great shots is to use tools is rubbish IMHO. Sadly some have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the art. Meanwhile, I'll be having my second while those microbalances are beig calibrated!

    With that, I'm out of this one. I'll keep training palates and consistency without a bucket of electronic gear. Curiosity value- yep. Everyday? Not on my watch!

    Discuss ad infinitum guys :-D

  47. #47
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Normally I wouldn't continue something beyond where someone else is interested in discussing, but this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Ultimately, do as you please but to argue that the only way of producing consistent great shots is to use tools is rubbish IMHO. Sadly some have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the art.
    is not something I've said and is in fact something I've purposefully distanced myself from.

    I'll leave it at that since you're out.

  48. #48
    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    Hi Dragunov- apols if you felt the comment was directed at you. I was intending it be read as a generalisation, not a criticism of you.

    Now I'm out!

    Chris

  49. #49
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    No worries dude

  50. #50
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I weigh dose and the shot every now and then, but do so so that I can communicate a dose level, grind setting that works for a particular bean to SWMBO...who is profoundly uninterested in understanding what is going on. Means I come home with a lesser likelihood of discovering 150g of wasted beans has gone down the sink.

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