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Thread: Brew temp

  1. #1
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    Brew temp

    Hi all,

    I am relatively new to the forum, bean enjoying the info (pun intended).

    something I have not found a lot of info on is brew temperature. I realise the optimum temp will vary from bean to bean, grind and machine.

    But for those with dual boiler machines, what brew temperatures do you aim for and what change in flavour do you expect from going up or down a few degrees?

    thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Welcome Yoshi!

    And thanks Paul for the informative response. I've been keen to understand this a little more also. I current have my machine set for 94c, so seem to be in the sweet spot. Always a little room to wiggle tho :-)
    Last edited by Crema_Lad; 8th July 2017 at 10:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Go down to 92 and you'll get something acidic.
    Not in my experience, after using a calibrated instrument to set up my machine's brew temperature...

    Besides which, the beans/blend, roast depth, age of beans and profile all effect what the optimum brew temperature will be, to get what you want out of an espresso. Quoting a so-called optimum brew temperature that will be ideal for all people in all situations does not work...

    Mal.
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  4. #4
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    thanks for your comments, i am just going to have to try a range between 91 and 95 and see what happens!

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Brew temp

    Mal has hinted here, your brew temperature should be determined by what beans you are using. Light,medium and dark roasts all react differently to temperature, along with the blend of beans. The reason some Italian machines have higher set temperatures is because it better matches the general profile of their blends.
    Also it is boiler temperature that determines boiler pressure. Before PIDs were common there was a standard that many worked to that determined temperature. 1.1 bar = 93 degrees and so on. Now we have PIDs that make this much easier.
    Very few blends like higher then 95.
    I would work between 90 to 93 for most blends, including the darker Italian style roasts.
    Cheers
    Antony
    Last edited by Casa Espresso; 8th July 2017 at 08:00 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Great point Mal. You certainly never know your actual brew temp unless you have a calibrated instrument.

    For example, if you have a DB with a PID, and set the PID to 93 you can't depend upon getting 93 brew water.

    This is because the thermocouples measure temp at the boiler then uses an off-set to estimate brew water temp. Remember, water cools on its travels from the boiler, through the group and to the coffee puck.

    As Mal suggested, the only way to really know your brew temp is to use a calibrated instrument such as the K Bean SCACE-style device below.



    Cheers, Paul
    K Bean - Dream Machines
    0416528339
    Interestingly, even if the brew water temp is 93C, you aren't actually extracting at 93C...

    http://www.diycoffeeguy.com/espresso...n-temperature/
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    And even using that device you won't know the extraction water temperature as that meter is likely only accurate to +/- 2 degrees.


    Java "Science is only as accurate as the instruments it uses" phile
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  8. #8
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    When I first got a DB machine for home I played with temp for the first few months, then left is at the 93-94 setting. This is pretty common with DB owners.
    Then what is the advantage of a DB over HX?

    It seems to me like there's are hundreds of posts here about the latest dual boiler somebody has bought or is selling, then you follow a link to a video of a shocking espresso pour. If someone can't make back to back killer shots I really don't see the point in having a pid, especially if after a few months you just leave the temperature at factory settings.

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    Then what is the advantage of a DB over HX?

    It seems to me like there's are hundreds of posts here about the latest dual boiler somebody has bought or is selling, then you follow a link to a video of a shocking espresso pour. If someone can't make back to back killer shots I really don't see the point in having a pid, especially if after a few months you just leave the temperature at factory settings.
    Spot on!

    Marketing and retailers are telling people they need DB.

    I can't tell you the number of times people come to us asking for a dual boiler . After spending some time with them and understanding their requirements 9 times out of 10 they walk out with a well set up HX

  10. #10
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    A DB will give you adjustable brew temp if it has PID (most of not all do?).

    Machine has nothing to do with the outcome of the pour. You can get ripper pours on a cheap single boiler (with right technique and ingredients) and also can get crap pours on the best machines.

    You don't need expensive gear to get great results. They tend to make the experience nice and give easier repeatability and reliability.

    Cheers
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  11. #11
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    My point is that if you can't make consistently good coffee, altering your temperature isn't going to change the flavour anywhere near as dramatically as learning to use your equipment

  12. #12
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Actually, that's only half the point. The other half being, if you never change the temperature, why pay extra for the ability to do so

  13. #13
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    My point is that if you can't make consistently good coffee, altering your temperature isn't going to change the flavour anywhere near as dramatically as learning to use your equipment
    True but wouldn't it be fair to say it's a valid variable among many that can be used to change what goes into the cup? Of course modifying any of those variables to a beneficial conclusion requires a foundation in being able to pull a good -actually, not so much good but a consistent shot to begin with. Else as you say no point in trying to enhance something you can't replicate in the first instance.
    Last edited by Crema_Lad; 9th July 2017 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Spello

  14. #14
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Please note that I originally started banging on about this in response to:

    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    When I first got a DB machine for home I played with temp for the first few months, then left is at the 93-94 setting. This is pretty common with DB owners.
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  15. #15
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    I guess its about knowing your machine. if 91, 93 or 95 on my PID gives me the taste i like (with a particular bean etc etc), thats all i need to know. I dont really care what the temp at the group is.
    Have been playing around and it is interesting how a few degrees changes the flavor. Not sure i have decided what i prefer yet...but its fun experimenting.
    i plan on running at a constant temp for a few days to myself and my wife get use to the flavor and then we will change.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Yeah temperature is for sure an important variable, moreso for filter coffee methods and I'm not too sure about espresso as I've never explored it much. I'd imagine because the temperature is already at the very high end for espresso (whereas for filter there's much greater variation, having even gone down to 79-80 degrees with awesome results), there are probably more importance given to other factors. But would be really cool to play around with, would be interested to see your findings Yoshiboldor!
    Last edited by simonsk8r; 10th July 2017 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  17. #17
    Site Sponsor SpiceBean's Avatar
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    Hi Magnafunk, great question!

    The DB advantage over a HX is more stable temperature in a busy environment, because it has a large reservoir of ready to use brew water. HX has no reservoir and thus if you are in a busy cafe making lots of shots the brew temp cools down slightly, which means each customer gets different tasting shots (not ideal). La Marzocco now has technology where they combine a HX and DB into one machine, whereby the HX runs into the brew boiler making temp stability extremely good. This is amazing if you run a busy cafe or have lots of guests around. However as others mentioned HX can make great coffee and may be perfect for your personal needs.

    Mike K

    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    Then what is the advantage of a DB over HX?

    It seems to me like there's are hundreds of posts here about the latest dual boiler somebody has bought or is selling, then you follow a link to a video of a shocking espresso pour. If someone can't make back to back killer shots I really don't see the point in having a pid, especially if after a few months you just leave the temperature at factory settings.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Spot on!

    Marketing and retailers are telling people they need DB.

    I can't tell you the number of times people come to us asking for a dual boiler . After spending some time with them and understanding their requirements 9 times out of 10 they walk out with a well set up HX
    as in 9 out of 10 people in Oz drink milk-based coffees?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Great point Mal. You certainly never know your actual brew temp unless you have a calibrated instrument.

    For example, if you have a DB with a PID, and set the PID to 93 you can't depend upon getting 93 brew water.

    This is because the thermocouples measure temp at the boiler then uses an off-set to estimate brew water temp. Remember, water cools on its travels from the boiler, through the group and to the coffee puck.
    Exactly, which is why I tend to think the ring group on PL60T/Pro300 might be a better design than e61 for home users as the water path is much shorter.
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  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yep...

    Much more responsive cycle time when less mass and a shorter process (water) path is involved.
    The level of control I was able to achieve with my Imat Mokita (Lelit style machine) many years ago was quite astounding.
    Intra-brew water temperature fluctuation was ≤0.5C during the shot, recovery was a matter of seconds between shots. Heading into Steam mode also took only a matter of 30Sec. or so for the boiler water to reach 125C. When coming off Steam mode back into Brew mode, a quick re-prime of the Boiler water and it was ready to go again at Brew Setpoint in ≤30Sec.

    Mind you, if you're using a batch of beans that will see you through a brew session without needing to replace or change them, there's not much point in chopping and changing the Brew Setpoint once an optimum setting has been established for a particular batch of beans... As beans age, of course, it can be beneficial to alter the Setpoint as time goes along, to get the best out of the beans but you're not talking multiple Deg.C at a time for this.

    Mal.

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