Thanks guys. I think you're right boontsien. It's a little smoother when I let it rest in place as turn it and this morning it seemed better.
zingzing - thanks for that. I'm plumbed into a natural well which is then ran through a filter. I had it tested before and it's free of all impurities. I set the water hardness to 5, think it should be the other way round and set to 1 instead?
I've read about others who have the puck sticking to the group head, that's happening me too each time! Is that due to me tamping poorly?
I've started using the double basket and it doesn't stick at all on that. I read on the BES900 owners thread that some people just run the manual setting when it sticks and it drops off. Love this machine!
Breville were supposed to have solved the sticking puck issue with the 920 I thought.
I'm here in the U.S. and have been looking into buying the BES900 for some time. After reading probably 1000+ forum posts on mid-high DB machines, I was still convinced that this was the right machine for my budget. Then I saw that the BES920 recently came out, and it only confirmed my thoughts! I had some trouble finding a 920 that would run on 110V, but eventually found one on idrinkcoffee.com and Espresso Planet (both Canadian retailers). Just ordered it today from idrinkcoffee, along with a refurbished Baratza Vario-W grinder. So excited for it to come in! I'm selling my faithful Silvia and Gaggia 8002 MDF, and they will be dearly missed, but it sounds like people have already fallen in love with their BES920s
I'll update when I get it in with some videos!
Until then, has anybody heard when a naked portafilter will be available for the 920? I checked the AU Breville website and it has no date yet... I have never used one, but it seems like it would be a fantastic learning tool.
Look forward to seeing your videos.
Don't want to get in trouble for linking offsite, but found this quote regarding the puck sticking quite interesting:
"The reason the puck sticks is the 3 way solenoid that releases pressure to the drain is inverted. So when the 3 way opens it creates some negative pressure (vacuum) on the puck. Then the baskets have a generous internal taper to allow then the puck to be knocked out easily, but this just lets this small vacuum hold it against the shower screen. Answer, buy some aftermarket 58mm baskets. LM, Synesso, VST but be careful with the VSTs, because they have a lot more holes & as such total hole area, then you have a grind a lot finer, something the smart grinder may not cope with too well." - Phil McKnight
No complaints so far hope its reliable since it's only a one year warranty in Canada.
Hi guys! I just signed up. After reading your amazing posts I went ahead and purchased my BES920 from a major (red coloured) department store. I used the receipt online after a google search for the haggle. I wasn't interested in getting an extended warranty so got it for $1198 including the BSG800 smart grinder. I can upload a pic of the receipt later if you like? Great machine, just getting used to it. I am used to a crappy little old sunbeam and until it died would spend five minutes standing there warming milk then pouring a shot through a cracked puck. This thing roars! So quick to warm! There's a local bean roaster here in Hobart so I'll have to become familiar with them.
Not bad at all, the pucks are still too wet even using the single wall filters. I'll keep experimenting
work on increasing the pre infusion times as well.
Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.
I don’t believe you would have your temperature at 204. Maybe 94.
Adjust your grinder to get the desired amount of flow by 25 to 30 seconds. Fresh coffee needs to be coarser and older coffee finer.
Enjoy your coffee,
Welcome to the forum tanethomas and to the BES920 club! Definitely seek out some freshly roasted beans and let us know how you get on.
I'm getting some really good results with my 920 and a Compak K3P grinder.
I do have a proper question:
How do you make the BES920 pour coffee by volume? Mine seems to go by time. No matter which kind of grind I do, it stops at 30sec exactly (inc 7sec preinfusion). And some times I can grind fine enough to choke it, but I get a tiny shot because it stops once again at 30secs. Also, are we aiming for pressures around 9 bar rather than brew time?
Edit: oops! Amazing what's in the manual... Access advanced menu then vOL -> FLo not SEc.
Edit 2: hey! Now that I'm on volume not time for the shots, it took 23 seconds including preinfusion. I'm glad I ordered the shim kit for the smart grinder after all! Need finer grinds.
Last edited by tanethomas; 25th January 2014 at 07:30 PM.
Ok I really do have a question now and I've had this one rattling around in my head from the beginning. If you have a dual boiler plugged in and turned on at the power point, is it using any power at all while switched off? Can someone use a meter and check if we don't know?
TT, there will be a minute amount of power used to run the clock.
204 į Fahrenheit so 95.56 į Celsius
I adjusted the grind level to 11 and experimented with the tamper pressure, it's a bit better now. Also increased the pre-infusion time to 10 seconds.
Last edited by lightower; 27th January 2014 at 02:24 AM.
Also, new update on the naked portafilter for the 920 from Breville:
"Thank you for contacting Breville USA Support. We expect an updated version of the naked portafilter for BES920 / BES980 and newer version BES900 that should be available within the next 3 months or so.
Consumer Call Center
Breville, you made an awesome machine for the price and all of you failed to think, 'duuuh, if we just include the 3 cent shim kit in the box with our grinder that we give away for free with our revised coffee machine, then maybe we will not just save on postage but people won't go INSANE waiting by their letterbox day after day for it to arrive.'
First world problems I had a laugh. Still, I mean, c'mon. The grinder seriously needs the shim kit. Include the shim kit.
Ok, got my shim kit. Hope you saw my Arj Barker video on the topic before the coffee gods took it down... Maybe I did get a little ranty haha.
Anyway. It took me about 300g of beans to dial in to a basic level that I am happy with and boy, am I happy with it! I get 34 sec doubles, inc. 7 secs preinfusion, so 27 sec 18g doubles that weigh in at 36-38g. I'm impressed with the grinder now. I can see that stepless grinding and finer control is the next step, but as far as a do-it-all grinder goes, can't beat the smart grinder for the money (BUT IT NEEDS THE SHIM KIT!!!).
I have been weighing everything. I have the smaller size 'Accura' glass digital scales and they are fantastic. I got to trust the readings shot after shot, I recommend them esp for about $20.
So, here is my 'recipe':
Weigh grinds, get 19-20g in the stock single wall basket. North, South, East, West to smooth out the grinds. Wipe basket flat with finger to remove excess. For me, this always leaves 18g of grinds without fail (it's nice to find a technique that's repeatable, then you don't have to weigh anything!). Tamp once, nice and level. Tamp pressure is 15kg down with a polishing twist at the end. Analogue bathroom scales help to hone that skill. It should then pour in about 27 seconds excluding preinfusion time leaving a double shot that should weigh twice as much as the grinds. Too fast, grind finer, too slow, grind coarser. I haven't yet played with preinfusion, I kept the time and pressure stock as the pucks are perfect. I also haven't played with temperature, it's on 90 degrees Celsius.
My friend Todd from St. Ali in Melbourne also pointed me to this video:
St Ali on Vimeo
I've finally committed and ordered a 920 ( black) and SG, using details from here for a good deal The wait is a killer!
I've been playing with the SG for aeropress and percolator, I'm pretty impressed with its consistency. I'll prob measure the real power draw on the grinder & machine once set up.
If anyone is looking for a knock box bcb100 one of the large (east coast) electronics retailers is selling for $19 and the others can match
Can anyone recommend a good course in WA?? I think my skills need polishing for the new machine.
Not sure about a course in WA but there is a wealth of information on this site to get you going. Without knowing how proficient you are with espresso, at a super high level my approach with the Breville is.....
1. Grind - 18g-19g in double basket. Use digital scales until you refine your method. Distribute grinds evenly across the basket and tap the basket to collapse the clumps and spaces.
2. Tamp - between 10-15kg of pressure. You can gauge this by tamping onto bathroom scales to get consistent.
3. Engage the PF and press the manual button. By default it will do 7 secs preinfusion then to full pressure. Press the manual button again to stop around 35-37 secs depending on flow and I usually get get about 35g of espresso goodness.
To dial in the grind.... grind quite fine so the coffee just drips out and seems almost choked, then slowly back off your grind until you get your desired flow. Then enjoy playing around.
Last edited by zingzing; 30th January 2014 at 04:48 PM. Reason: spelling
The WA barista academy in Lake St in Northbridge and Epic Espresso in West Perth would be two I can vouch for both home enthusiasts and for those who would like to pursue a career as a barista.
You get what you pay for, it,s money well spent and those I mentioned will provide a thorough program from espresso mastery to latte art.
After that you will gain knowledge on how to dial in the grinder, set and maintain machine as well as sound techniques.
The flight will cost me $3000 I had a laugh
It,s a great state for an extensive holiday plus you get to learn lots.
Thanks Zing - I've read a lot but I learn better from watching/practicing. I'll give your process a run
Both courses look pretty good sidewayss, I'll prob enroll with WABA for the fundamentals next rdo.
Just thought I’d introduce myself – My name is Kat and I’m the Beverage Specialist at Breville. I’m monitoring the forums & came across your post. There are some really good Youtube videos of Phil Mcknight demonstrating various aspects of the espresso making process here:
Toby's Estate also run a very good commercial barista course in Perth: commercial link removed per site posting policy
Last edited by Javaphile; 4th February 2014 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed
I'll give these videos a try. Can't make any good fine "paint" froth for latte art at all. Tried skim and 2% milk...
1. Fill jug half way with cold milk - the colder the better. Make sure there is no remnant of heated milk from the previous jug.
2. Place the steam tip at the 3 o'clock position & try and keep it at that spot in the jug throughout the entire process. Moving the steam wand around during texturing makes the process difficult & it can be hard to achieve quality foam.
3. Before you turn on the steam, ensure the steam tip is just under the surface of the milk
4. Now turn the steam on, put your free hand is on the side of the jug & pull jug down very gently so that the steam tip just breaks the surface
5. Keep pulling the jug down very gently - this is called stretching the milk
6. When your hand starts to feel the jug turn from cold to warm, stop stretching and just hold your position. Keep your hand on the side of the jug the whole time!
7. Your hand will start to get hot - when you cannot physically hold onto the jug any more (do not burn yourself!), let go & turn the steam off.
The faster you stretch, the more foam there will be. The trick is to keep the stretching movement gentle and constant. Hope that helps!
Finally picked up the BES920BS - very impressive sitting in the kitchen. Pulled my first few shots to try and get the grind close. Pucks a bit wet but getting 8 sec before flow. Still tastes a bit under-extracted and slightly low pressure.
Thanks for the links Kat, I've watched a few of the vids - he is good and clear.
Now to experiment!
Looks like the naked portafilter is available on the Breville website now "NOW compatible with BES900, BES920 and BES980 Models." (Porte-filtre sans fond Naked Portafilter)
Just picked up my machine last week, unfortunately no smart grinder in stock so still waiting on that.. made a ridiculous amount of hot chocolates though..
Was wondering what's everyone process for making a few espresso shots in sequence. I usually grind, tamp, then pour the shot, and then take the portafilter off and knock the puck off. Easy. But then put the portafilter back and rinse it with water for about 5 seconds. This is where it gets annoying - because the portafilter is empty and it's just water I am using (rather than coffee) it starts dripping, and quite a lot. It takes something like 10 seconds before all water clears out, and if I try to grind-in another shot before it cleared completely, then it drips all over the bench and inside the grinder housing.
Am I the only one getting this? Or maybe my method is wrong?
Last edited by slepax; 9th February 2014 at 02:07 AM. Reason: spelling
I normally run the empty portafilter for 8sec by holding the single button to heat it up first. Quick wipe with a dry tag or paper towel, then dose etc. Got the tip to heat first off here, seems to make the shots more consistent.
After knocking out I give a quick rinse then chuck on the drip tray to drain any remaining water..
So what's the consensus on volume vs time mode? I'm using vol at the moment, easy shot clock but I don't know how accurate it is?
btw, I heard that in Italy they are much more likely to work a combo of finer grind and lighter tamp, ending up with a shot time as long as our (probably American based) 15kg tamp requiring a slightly coarser grind. Has anyone heard about this? The average coffee in Italy kicks the shit out of most coffee I've had here (and not just because they can be made by beautiful Italian girls!).
Been following the forums for a while but only just registered as I just picked one of these machines up. Getting some good coffee with the only slightly annoying thing being the sticky pucks.
Its happened to me less than 10 times and each time I have just tweaked the grind a bit finer and lowered the dose to compensate 0.5 to 1g and its all good.