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Thread: New Member :)

  1. #1
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    New Member :)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, new member here, must say Im quite impressed by the knowledge so far.

    Just made an investment in a San Marino Lisa, Stainless Steel Volumetric 2 group, its a beautiful and eye catching machine!

    Picked it up second hand from a friend who bought it new, unfortunately she closed her cafe after 6 months trading, looked through the machine inside and out and its like new!

    We plan on starting up a Mobile Coffee Van in the next month and trading in the Melbourne region.

    Still in the market for a Grinder and Im considering the Mini Mazzer as it would match our capacity and price range.

    Also still deciding on a blend for for our business and considering currently between Lavazza and Amanti, freshness and local blend vs the big L! Open to peoples suggestions regarding this matter. Were willing to spend up to the $25-30 mark for a Kilo to ensure a great cuppa!

    So gday all! Feel free to send me a line anytime and look forward to getting to know you all better.




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    Re: New Member :)

    Hi there, and welcome to CS!

    At the $25-30/kg mark, you will certainly be able to find great coffee. I cant believe that you would even consider mentioning Lavazza ... I mean, seriously ... from your post it seems clear that you can taste the difference between stale and fresh ... is the idea to trade off the well-recognised brand name? My advice would be to get a bunch of coffee and try it out on your machine. I believe that the San Marinos steam milk really well, but tend to run really hot, so you would need a blend that could handle that.

    I dont know what sort of pace you intend to have, but I would not ever consider matching a mazzer mini with a two group machine. The mini delivers great grind quality, but it is kinda slow and prone to over heat if your get a rush. Mazzer grinders are built like the proverbial brick s#$%house and are well worth spending the coin on. I have heard from a bunch of professionals that they constantly get service calls for cheaper grinders like the gino rossis, but never, ever for their mazzers. Im currently using two mazzer majors and a mini at work. The majors strike me as quite good value for money. $1.2k or thereabouts, but they seem to grind three or four times as fast as the mini and twice as fast as the super jolly. Id imagine that this grind speed would be important for a cart type scenario, where people are standing there waiting for a takeaway cup, instead of sitting down leisurely and waiting for a paper. You would have no hope of grinding to order with a mini if you had three or so customers in a row.

    Im working at Maling Room cafe at the moment and we get a lot of cafe owners to be coming through to speak to us for advice ... dont know why. St Ali is probably the biggest coffee roaster/cafe owner/operator/ barista hangout in Melbourne. Well worth making the trip to see how its ideally done.

    Anyhoo, best of luck in your adventures and if you have any questions, Im sure that someone around will be able to help.

    Cheers,

    Luca


  3. #3
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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrighterSide link=1151409801/0#0 date=1151409801

    Also still deciding on a blend for for our business and considering currently between Lavazza and Amanti, freshness and local blend vs the big L! Open to peoples suggestions regarding this matter. Were willing to spend up to the $25-30 mark for a Kilo to ensure a great cuppa!

    So gday all! Feel free to send me a line anytime and look forward to getting to know you all better.


    :o Surely in the wonderful city of Melbourne you can do waaay better than Lavazza or Amanti?? For crying out loud, please do your customers a favour and go to South Melbourne. There are some terrific roasters there! St Ali being one and Cottles the other!


    Quick! Some other CSr must know of a better bean down in sunny Melbourne too! 2mcm?? Help this guy out before he poisons half of Melbourne! :P

    [/rant]

    Welcome BTW!! :D ;)

    Yes, there is a bit of knowledge to be had around these parts too. ;)

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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1151409801/0#1 date=1151411680
    Hi there, and welcome to CS!

    I believe that the San Marinos steam milk really well, but tend to run really hot, so you would need a blend that could handle that.
    Ive thermologged a San Marino 2 group. They do seem to run hot at 97 C. You can flush them down to respectable temps though. They rebound pretty quickly, if I remember correctly. Maybe not the easiest machine to use. Maybe different thermosyphon restrictors will help lower the temp to something more respectable. I now this is supposed to work for Rancilios.

    Cheers,

    Mark.


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    Re: New Member :)

    Welcome BrighterSide.

    As you have just been advised the SM runs hot. This is a fact. Your managemnent of the machine is therefore paramount. My professional opinion (with requisite apologies to SparkY) is not to waste time chasing your tail looking to supply a technical solution. *Rather, manage it properly and when you decide eventually that it is time to upgrade, look for something different.

    I will second Scootas advice...go and see Cottle. There will be others in Melbourne, but I am not in favour of buying from cafe owners that also want to roast and sell their own to you. Please...support professional coffee roasting industry, not part timers whose core business is their own cafe. You will /should get better service and support from experienced full time professional coffee roasters.

    As you have just been advised by Luca.........The type of grinder you have mentioned will be a liability in your situation. You need a proper sized automatic doser grinder...of any brand.....commercial.... Note here that in general, grinders that are built heavy with metal body and metal (and plastic) doser / dispenser units are far better. Grinders that are a cheaper build and therefore have plastic bodies and all plastic dispenser units will give you more trouble over time because of the plastic components that will fail far more quickly than those made from "proper" materials. They are built to a price, and if you buy one, it will come *back and bite you on the bum sooner rather than later. NOTE: There is nothing wrong with their capacity to grind coffee properly...its the reliabilty factor over time that will get ya! Having said above "any brand" again....look to something with local support...ask your chosen coffee supplier what he deals in...

    Good luck, just ask if you have anything further to enquire about.

    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: New Member :)

    Quick question, Attilio, whats so difficult about fitting different restrictors to the thermosyphon? The restrictors themselves are essentially bits of metal with a hole in them; cheap to have knocked up, and it shouldnt take much of a good technicians time.

    That said, if the machine is volumetric I guess you just set the biggest volumetric to flush 300mL or so through the group and wham it so that the water stops flowing as you finish tamping. But Id imagine that in a Van situation the excess water that this would require could get problematic ... I mean, if you have a 20L waste water container and you flush 250mL per shot, you can only make 80 coffees before the thing overflows. Not to mention that you need to have 20L of water to go through the machine ... By comparison, putting in the correct restrictors to get you a 25mL flush instead of a 250mL flush will mean that you only have to empty the waste bottle every 800 coffees (yeah, ok, you end up with other water going into the bottle, but you get the point!)

    Cheers,

    Luca

    PS. Did I spell your name correctly? I can never remember if its double t or double l :-[

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    Re: New Member :)

    Hi Luca,

    Basically, tuning ideas that work for some machines dont necessarily work for others.

    In addition need to remember the difference between business and past time. In business we just want things to work as they should in n their standard condition. We have no time for equipment that wont work like we need it to, as it comes. Mucking around modifying equipment from standard is time consuming, costly, and unnecessary. In past time, we can do whatever we like and get into the time consuming, costly, & unnecessary as much as we like! * ;)

    Any modifications away from standard on working equipment also renders it difficult for future service providers.

    So as far as I am concerned...in business, if it doesnt work as required from delivery....Im not interested. Thing is, many people dont know what to expect from a coffee machine......

    This is not intended as a private plug although it may well be construed to be...

    ...but over a period of several years my company has reported all service and "behavioural" difficulties to the manufacturer of our machines. They have ongoping R & D with info like ours, and develop their products accordingly over time. This way, when we deliver a new machine, it simply.......works like it should...as delivered. We do this because we are coffee merchants first, and we dont wish to handle machines that cant make a good cuppa.

    Machine importers that arent coffee merchants dont need to be interested in the above....so are more likely to accept whats in the crate without question. *So you are also in the hands of the importer, not just the "brand".

    Importers that dont have an ongpoing R & D arrangement with their manufacturer, or that have a manufacturer that doesnt care to listen, have machines that..........can burn coffee if not managed properly by their operators. Which requires the operators to be properly trained / experienced in how to operate an espresso coffee machine....but lets face it...this is all academic, & it aint rocket science!

    regardz,
    FC.

    PS one other word of real advice for BrighterSide...........please, do yourself a favour and learn how to adjust your grinder properly. This is the single most common reason for wasted time and money on callouts to "service" equipment that doesnt need service.

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    Re: New Member :)

    I certainly do agree that a minimum of fuss is the best case scenario, problem is that getting a machine that works well right out of the box is just not all that likely. As you say, it really points towards the old maxim caveat emptor. Either fork over a premium for a machine that works perfectly straight away, be prepared to pay $$$ for service (or DIY) or settle for a machine that just plain doesnt work that well.

    Im not too sure that I agree with you 100% on the idea of leaving it alone in this instance. Restrictors and gicleurs just dont strike me as a big deal. I know like a gagillion guys who have installed different gicleurs to get softer pressure rampups. As for thermosyphons, I think that Expobar have a few different restrictors that they can change around on their domestic machines ... Ive even heard of them sending out restrictors to home users and having them DIY. Your Diadema machines are great, but you know as well as everyone else that BFC will give you a choice of thermosyphon restrictors; doesnt seem to be much difference between fitting them over here or at the factory. And then theres the inevitable fact that no one setting is perfect for each situation - the whole raison detre of the Synesso ... out of the box it performed like crap, but with a few simple changes to the PID it was sheer hotness ... including the ability for each barista to set the steam pressure to whatever theyre most comfortable with at the beginning of the shift. Add to that list of tweaks, the Australian Barista Comp machines provided by ECM this year, which had heaps of tweaks with restrictors and thermosyphons and such. So if it were my machine, Id probably at least talk to someone about restrictors, rather than burn my coffee or have to empty a drain bottle every hour in a busy van situation. But if the waste bottle isnt a problem then you might be able to get by ... I dont know; I havent had a good play around with a San Marino to see what the rebound time is like.

    ... just my $0.02,

    Luca


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    Re: New Member :)

    I think you are making things too difficult Luca. Non of the above needs to be that difficult. The machines shouldnt need to be tweaked if the importer was doing their job correctly ( or atleast, as I think they should), and asking to have machines manufactured for them, that produce what they require...

    Once the manufacturer has produced the machine as required for a particular market (and therefore as specified by the respective importers) that should be the end of it in a purely business sense.

    After that, there is.....freedom of choice, understanding cafe operators, and helpful suppliers with a good service ethic.


    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: New Member :)

    Luca, Fresh_Coffee, Sparky & scoota gal thanks for all your advice so far! I apologise in advance *for the length of this post.

    I have been sitting back and taking in the advice you have been giving me while trolling this and other forums to educate my self in the art of espresso.

    First re the most disscussed matter in this thread the issue of the San Marino running hot, due to the unique nature of our van and the heavy power demands of the San Marino, about 4500kw I may act on a technician previous advice to decrease the power of the coils/power manage them so as to make power demand more applicable to our actual output. The technician advised me over the phone that he could teach me how to make such alterations and that it wont a.
    Affect the machinery in the machine and b. Will allow me to change it as I need it, e.g daily basis, with such situations as markets/events no doubt providing high output then the normal daily run where as your daily run demand will be fairly consistent and predictable after a short period of time.

    Would such an alteration help in regards to the concerns about the San Marino running overtly hot, curious if I should accept the technician advice and if there would be any long term concerns with such a move? Re Restrictors I admit Im as much in the dark there as Im on rice demand in Uganda.

    Today was christmas once again for me as I had the Saeco van roll up outdoors and bring me my newest present. As per the great & knoweldgable advice here I did some further research and realised that the Mini Mazzer may not have matched the amount of shots required. As such for the square sum of 1k my San Marino now a Polished Aluminium (cost extra) Super Jolly as a friend, quite a good looking grinder and matches the San Marino nicely, no doubt this should more then easily match our demand. As to what magic beans will be going through this grinder? Im currently considering Veneziano with their commercial blend Forza, curious on peoples thoughts as to the roaster and blend vs other Melbourne commercial roasts out there! As for you Luca I know where you stand on that :p

    Now to the issue of plumbing and flushing, you were correct in stating the concerns about water usage, in discussions with my partner and long-term girlfriend, who is much more educated in these matters then me, she forecast a desire to flush hot water through the group handle after every shot, would this a. help further with the temp issue and b. be a consistent value that will help provide consistent and quality shots? Currently throwing up between a 50L or 100L water storage tank and may well hinge on this matter.

    While on the same issues Im aware that the San Marino needs to be plumbed in but as such would plumbing in such a mobile situation as ours consist of a full water source e.g water storage tank with the hose running into the said storage and then through the water filter then to the external pump and then into the machine? Would any modifications be recommended in such a situation?

    While I have already shackled many questions upon you I leave you with one more and alas the most pressing at this very moment.

    In my kitchen lays 1x San Marino 1 x Super Jolly, however I have a major dilema in the fact that my power plug for the San Marino is a 250v 20 amp. Now me in my foolishness I went to plug it into the wall only to realise that the metal prongs were to large for the wall socket in the kitchen and elsehwere in the house, so I waddled urgently down to the local Kmart, Target, Dickys and electric shock trying to get what I thought was needed... a euro adapter but alas after my misguided adventure and some further reading Im currently of the mind that this is what not I need (plus I couldnt find such an extension) but instead I need but a 20amp wall socket or something to make it convert too.

    I had a trip out to the fuse box (were currently renting, the house is fairly old) and found the following:

    80a * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *32A * * * * * * * * * * 10A * * * * * * * *20A * * * * X 4 of (protected power)
    240/415v * * * * * * * * * * 250V * * * * * * * * * 250v * * * * * * *250V
    Main Switch * * * * * * * * Stove * * * * * * * * * Light * * * * * * *Protected Power
    Lights & Power

    I would take the guess here then based on these facts that I have 20amp sockets in the house? but my power cord metal prongs are of a wrong size or alas I would need to get a electrician, sparky does your name ring true?:p in and rake up a bill that would be ill ivised and foolish for a rental. Before you suggest too I pull out the oven (woops cant get it back in I had a laugh) to find a suitable plug I couldnt find a suitable socket there either.

    Well guys if you can help me with my range of questions you are truely a god or at least some kinder being.

    Hope to get on the road soon so you can judge and ridicule me, oh and the first coffee is free. :)


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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrighterSide link=1151409801/0#9 date=1152280403
    As to what magic beans will be going through this grinder? Im currently considering Veneziano with their commercial blend Forza, curious on peoples thoughts as to the roaster and blend vs other Melbourne commercial roasts out there! As for you Luca I know where you stand on that :p
    Yeah ... not a huge fan of forza, but I do have to admit that its a good crowd pleaser as a milk drink. Concordia is, to my palate, the nicer espresso.

    Supreme might be worth checking out. They have a very different roasting style to Veneziano, so theyd be good just for comparison. Other than that, Im not sure what great commercial roasters are around in Melbourne ... might even have to look interstate and suck up the $$$ for postage.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrighterSide link=1151409801/0#9 date=1152280403
    Now to the issue of plumbing and flushing, you were correct in stating the concerns about water usage, in discussions with my partner and long-term girlfriend, who is much more educated in these matters then me, she forecast a desire to flush hot water through the group handle after every shot, would this a. help further with the temp issue and b. be a consistent value that will help provide consistent and quality shots? Currently throwing up between a 50L or 100L water storage tank and may well hinge on this matter.
    Flushing after every shot will do diddly squat to help your shot temperature, but it will help to keep the machine clean. Flushing before the shot will help to do both and is common practice for machines of this type. But Im not sure how much youll need to flush. Go by taste.

    I think you are making things too difficult Luca. Non of the above needs to be that difficult. The machines shouldnt need to be tweaked if the importer was doing their job correctly ( or atleast, as I think they should), and asking to have machines manufactured for them, that produce what they require...

    Once the manufacturer has produced the machine as required for a particular market (and therefore as specified by the respective importers) that should be the end of it in a purely business sense.

    After that, there is.....freedom of choice, understanding cafe operators, and helpful suppliers with a good service ethic.
    I agree with you that manufacturers should basically do a good job. But that doesnt help BrighterSide, who has, unfortunately, bought a machine that is inherently difficult to work with. Perhaps part of this is because it was manufactured before manufacturers really started getting into the nitty gritty of temperature control. So it seems to me that there are four options in this scenario:

    (a) Use the machine as best it can be used.

    (b) Modify the machine to make it easy to use.

    (c) Sell the machine and buy one that is less of a bean burner.

    (d) Make bad espresso.

    I agree with you that (a) is the best option if that is possible. I dont know if it is or if it isnt. If it isnt, I would presume that (c) would be out of the question, which means that the only (b) and (d) are left. Surely modification is preferable to making bad espresso?

    As for modification being "time consuming, costly and unnecessary," in a commercial environment ... I would instead say that its not preferable. The last cafe that I worked in had an Azkoyen that ran WAY too hot, so I programmed one of the volumetrics to flush about 300mL and just resigned myself to emptying the drain bucket a few times a shift. Id imagine that that would not have been practical for a van. In terms of it being time consuming and costly ... well ... I just dont see that thats the case. Yes, it will cost some technicians time. The machine owner should expect to have to pay for this and will have to make up their own mind. Time consuming? I dont know about that. I know guys in roasteries who have sets of restrictors matched to different blends. When a customer buys a machine for a specific blend, they just slot the right restrictor in. No dramas at all.

    Anyway, all of this might be a moot point. I had a brief poke around inside a San Marino yesterday and it looked to me like the groups were just bits of metal bolted on to the boiler, so its not as simple as fitting a restrictor to an e-61 head.

    I guess well just have to agree to disagree. And any onlookers can take this whole discussion as a good exploration of the reason why it pays to take advice from a top-notch roaster when shopping for a machine! ;D

    Cheers,

    Luca


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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1151409801/0#1 date=1151411680
    Im working at Maling Room cafe at the moment and we get a lot of cafe owners to be coming through to speak to us for advice ... dont know why. St Ali is probably the biggest coffee roaster/cafe owner/operator/ barista hangout in Melbourne. Well worth making the trip to see how its ideally done.
    Because Andrews too generous with his time and advice, it is appreciated though! :)

    Im always finding an excuse to go to chefs hat in Sth Melb just so that I can drop by St Ali on the way back to work ;D

    BrighterSide, im using Forza in my cafe and for the general milk drinking public its a good blend, prob not a geeks preferred blend, though I was pulling some great tasting ristrettos (ristretti???) this morning.
    Drop by Veneziano if you havent already and have a taste.

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    Re: New Member :)

    Luca,


    re: *"...I had a brief poke around inside a San Marino yesterday and it looked to me like the groups were just bits of metal bolted on to the boiler, so its not as simple as fitting a restrictor to an e-61 head...."

    Exactly...the aforementioned mods are not for this machine.

    re" "....I know guys in roasteries who have sets of restrictors matched to different blends. *When a customer buys a machine for a specific blend, they just slot the right restrictor in. *No dramas at all...."

    Not wishing to disrespect (certainly not you)...but.....phooey! *This IS a drama, and IS unnecessary, and is nothing more than cynical "spin". So if we allow ourselves to entertain this rubbish for just a moment, how do we think they are going to account for the change in the freshly roasted *coffee as it ages over a few days or a week.....are they going to fit different restrictors for every day as the coffee ages / changes? And what do they do when they have to change from one pallet lot of a particular origin /grade/ of coffee to another...for every origin in the blend...run around and go changing restrictors for everyone that buys that blend.....?

    And what of the differences in all our personal techniques as espresso machine operators...do we have a different restrictor for the bloke that tamps harder & uses a coarser grind, as opposed to the gal that tamps more softly & uses a finer grind.....from one shift to the next, in the same establishment, for the same blend?????? *Che???

    Im sorry mate but theyre having you on. This is nothing more than a deliberate "spin" of technical mumbo jumbo designed to boost the spin docteurs image/credibility.


    Regardz,
    FC.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrighterSide link=1151409801/0#9 date=1152280403
    In my kitchen lays 1x San Marino 1 x Super Jolly, however I have a major dilema in the fact that my power plug for the San Marino is a 250v 20 amp. Now me in my foolishness I went to plug it into the wall only to realise that the metal prongs were to large for the wall socket in the kitchen and elsehwere in the house, so I waddled urgently down to the local Kmart, Target, Dickys and electric shock trying to get what I thought was needed... a euro adapter but alas after my misguided adventure and some further reading Im currently of the mind that this is what not I need (plus I couldnt find such an extension) but instead I need but a 20amp wall socket or something to make it convert too.

    I had a trip out to the fuse box (were currently renting, the house is fairly old) and found the following:

    80a * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *32A * * * * * * * * * * 10A * * * * * * * *20A * * * * X 4 of (protected power)
    240/415v * * * * * * * * * * 250V * * * * * * * * * *250v * * * * * * *250V
    Main Switch * * * * * * * * Stove * * * * * * * * * *Light * * * * * * *Protected Power
    Lights & Power

    I would take the guess here then based on these facts that I have 20amp sockets in the house? but my power cord metal prongs are of a wrong size or alas I would need to get a electrician, sparky does your name ring true?:p in and rake up a bill that would be ill ivised and foolish for a rental. Before you suggest too I pull out the oven (woops cant get it back in I had a laugh) to find a suitable plug I couldnt find a suitable socket there either.
    Well guys if you can help me with my range of questions you are truely a god or at least some kinder being.
    Hope to get on the road soon so you can judge and ridicule me, oh and the first coffee is free. :)
    Gday BrighterSide,
    in relation to the circuits you have mentioned. You say that you have four 20A power circuits and this would indicate a 20A outlet somewhere in the house. Not necessarily, as 20A outlets arent very common in domestic use, with their use being restricted to big air cons or arc welders. Check the garage, you might get lucky.
    Depending on the size of your house, you may have a lot of outlets in the house, which requires 4 circuits to protect them. There may be normal 10A outlets on the circuit, just heaps of them. There is a formula to work out how many outlets per circuit, taking the cable size into account as well, but I dont have a current wiring rules to tell you what it is. On the other hand, if your fuse box does contain fuses and not circuit breakers, this may also account for having so many power circuits.
    If its a rental house, especially an old one, I wouldnt be stuffing around with the wiring. The sparky might find some other work to do if they replace one of the circuits ;), and the land lord may get narky with you.
    As youve found out about the stove, no outlet there, theyre direct wired.
    Hope this helps.

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    Re: New Member :)

    Suggest you start asking questions of your local SM service / repair agent. If they are close by, find out who was servicing or supplied the machine to the PO (previous owner). *You need a source of good, reliable, local service.

    If its a 20 amp 2 grouper, and it has a 2 or 3 segment element, ask the techie to modify it to run at 15 or 12 or 10 amps (or whatever) *if possible. These machines have a large boiler capacity so have plenty of heat / steam reserve to run ok even when the boiler wattage & therefore speed of recovery is reduced. *If you are going to stick it in a *van, you wouldnt have it running on 20 amps anyway.....my personal preference would be a large capacity machine with a 10 amp element. hen you could run it at home anyway.

    If the element is only a single segment element then youre temporarily screwed.....however in this case see if the techie can supply a smaller wattage element. Remember, you have to spend money to make money and if you have to work a few things out & spend a bit in order to set up & use the machine...then thats what you have to do!

    Also, ask him if he would set the boiler to cut out at 0.9 bars boiler pressure *so you can see how that leaves you in the steam capacity department....Should be ok, but different individuals have different personal preferences. This is about all you can do to try & manage / limit the amount of over hot water you might need to purge/flush from the group before brewing.

    Regardz,
    FC.

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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1151409801/0#12 date=1152490403
    Im sorry mate but theyre having you on. This is nothing more than a deliberate "spin" of technical mumbo jumbo designed to boost the spin docteurs image/credibility.


    I have to confess that before we started this discussion I popped over to Veneziano to pick up some of Daves WBC blend for us to play around with and they had a San Marino on the bench. I ribbed them for having such a burn box around and they told me that they had picked up some new accounts that had old San Marinos in them. They were trying to figure out how to modify them to get them to the right temperature for the blends that the accounts were using.

    Anyhoo, at the Somage tea/hot chocolate launch last night, Dave told me that I should drop by to check out a suh-weet machine that they had on the bench, telling me about a la marzocco FB-70 that they had been setting up. So I swung by today on my way home from work, expecting to be able to check out a FB-70 manufactured just this year. Well, the FB-70 was boxed up and the San Marino was back on the counter opposite Daves linea. Nice joke, Dave. So to humor everyone I went and pulled a few shots on it. To my surprise, I wasnt bowled over by steam when I went to flush the group. In fact, after a small flush - maybe two seconds - I was able to lock, load and pull shots that tasted very similar to those from Daves linea.

    As you can see from the photo, the machine is at 1.1 bar, which provides ample steam. It has been modified, although it wasnt as straightforward as tweaking the machines that they sell. I cant believe that Im saying this, but that junked up old San Marino is actually performing very well now!

    So if we allow ourselves to entertain this rubbish for just a moment, how do we think they are going to account for the change in the freshly roasted coffee as it ages over a few days or a week.....are they going to fit different restrictors for every day as the coffee ages / changes? And what do they do when they have to change from one pallet lot of a particular origin /grade/ of coffee to another...for every origin in the blend...run around and go changing restrictors for everyone that buys that blend.....?

    And what of the differences in all our personal techniques as espresso machine operators...do we have a different restrictor for the bloke that tamps harder & uses a coarser grind, as opposed to the gal that tamps more softly & uses a finer grind.....from one shift to the next, in the same establishment, for the same blend?????? Che???
    I dont really follow what youre saying. First it seemed to be that we shouldnt fuss too much over machine temperature, then the above seems to be saying that we should be really pedantic about it. My attitude is that you dial it in to the point that makes the cup taste right. Thats it. No point complicating it more than that.

    Andrew, Marika and I all have different techniques, and to complicate things more, we often change the way that we are dosing, tamping, etc. The Synesso has taught us that once the temperature is dialled in and the pour time is correct, the resultant espresso will taste good, regardless of variations in technique. Over the past few months, the temperature for our main blend has not really varied that much, even with experimentation. So if the roaster has decent quality control its not a problem.

    Hope that clears up my point of view,

    Luca

  17. #17
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    Re: New Member :)

    Luca:

    The interesting point here is the sort of temperature control you are talking about is the outlet temperature of the water after sitting in the hx for a while. This isnt much influenced by the pressure in the boiler although it has some effect obviously.

    This type of tweaking on these sorts of machines requires changing of the flow rate via chaning the inline orifice size which is used to control the flow rate in most hx machines with rotary pumps.

    The other trick is changing the length of the PTFE pipe which runs into the hx which is normally just a tube with the PTFE tube running into it on the inlet side.

    Adjusting the length of this pipe will determine the outlet temperature of the water and the amount of mixing taking place in the hx.

    I have been through all of this with my Bezzera although in the end the PTFE tube is stock length.

    The Bezzera too runs like these machines, just hot enough but not likely to burn shots or require 250ml purges like some burners do.

    Unfortunately many prosumer hx machines are real burn boxes and much harder to tune than these professional machines.

    One of the reasons that I like these machines. Once they are tuned like this by a technician, these are real dream machines.

    Regards,
    Grant

  18. #18
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    Re: New Member :)

    Again this thread continues and I the keen novice continue to learn.

    Travelled to Veneziano on Tuesday and met Troy, David and Craig. Troy put a through shots from the San Marino before Dave came along and Troy offloaded the coffee making responsibility to him, to be honest I have never tasted coffee so good! So far my only experience has been through the various cafes offering "best coffee in X town" and the franchises, I had to become to expect that all coffee either tasted bitter, overtly acidic or just to damn hot. Ironically however my favourite blend of theirs was the first blend which Troy informed me was their organic, but with Dave apperance I found it to be for one of their custom blends for a specail 600 kilo customer or something of the like, it was smooth, chocolately without the biterness and acid nature, have you tried this blend Luca, if so intersted in your opinion of it seeing your around there all the time.

    In other news progress is being made and recieving delivery of a Kipor 5.5kw generator on Friday. Considering using a heat exchanger system for the hot water requirements of the council, most other hot water systems even the smaller 5litres use to much power drain unfortunately and then construction and the other myriad of jobs on the list e.g sourcing cups, electrician etc etc. Public liability and insurance has proven to be a large dint in the start up kitty with it due to cost over 3k.

    Thanks for the continued interest and knoweldge!

  19. #19
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    Re: New Member :)

    Hello Luca.

    Ok let’s see if I can clarify.

    Thermo-syphoning is designed into machines so as to keep large mass groups hot and not to lose heat and over cool/under extract in times of high volume.

    The purpose of a restrictor is to restrict the flow / temperature of the thermo-syphoning boiler water travelling through the group. This is a form of management to stop the group being overheated *by the thermo-syphoning, otherwise it will add unwanted heat to the brew water, resulting in burning the grinds/over-extracting the brew. The temp of water in a boiler can be anywhere between 120 to 125 degrees (if adjusted properly, and a lot higher when not), before it leaves to go “thermo-syphoning”.

    The spec for brew water is 88 to 93 degrees or thereabouts depending on which spec you believe/read.

    The range is given for a reason…it would be near impossible to try and stabilize a regular commercial espresso machine to a particular figure. *Once this has been done and the brew water runs to within range…that’s it.

    I maintain this only needs to be done once to get the machine working within range, and the rest is “spin” as has already been explained…my opinion is it is not possible to get machines running “to a degree” to get a particular extraction for a particular sweet spot for a particular variety on a particular day when the sun is shining at a particular angle, when there are so many other variables in operation. That is nothing short of madness and the deliberate (malicious?) injection of misinformation into the market by some coffee company people that want the market to believe they are so expert or so "into" or "serious about" coffee that they can see the necessity to provide different restrictors for different blends/varieties.


    If someone has discovered a way of getting an SM to run within spec, goodluck to them but thats not what this discussion was about.


    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  20. #20
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    Re: New Member :)

    All I know is that the duration of grinding for shots is usually how long I have to flush my SM. If Im not constantly pulling shots, the temp quickly ramps up. Anything that would help decrease the ramping up would be welcome, but not necessary. The only difference would be the amount of water wasted flushing. Time is no concern in this case, as the flushing is done simultaneously to another necessary function.

    It all becomes part of the technique, coping with various idiosyncrasies involved in brewing an excellent espresso.

  21. #21
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    Re: New Member :)

    This type of tweaking on these sorts of machines requires changing of the flow rate via chaning the inline orifice size which is used to control the flow rate in most hx machines with rotary pumps.
    I did not know that. Ive got to confess that my knowledge of machine modification is more or less it can be done. All that I really know is that I go up to the Synesso, push a few buttons and the temperature espressp improves ;P

    The spec for brew water is 88 to 93 degrees or thereabouts depending on which spec you believe/read.

    The range is given for a reason…it would be near impossible to try and stabilize a regular commercial espresso machine to a particular figure. Once this has been done and the brew water runs to within range…that’s it.

    I maintain this only needs to be done once to get the machine working within range, and the rest is “spin” as has already been explained…my opinion is it is not possible to get machines running “to a degree” to get a particular extraction for a particular sweet spot for a particular variety on a particular day when the sun is shining at a particular angle, when there are so many other variables in operation. That is nothing short of madness and the deliberate (malicious?) injection of misinformation into the market by some coffee company people that want the market to believe they are so expert or so "into" or "serious about" coffee that they can see the necessity to provide different restrictors for different blends/varieties.
    OK, so I think that weve found the core thing that we disagree on. You think that having correct temperatures to within a 5c range is sufficient. I think that different coffees have different optimum temperature bands of, probably, 1F or so that mostly fall within the range that you are talking about.

    I, too, thought that this was all BS a while back, but my personal experience this year has completely changed my perspective. Now it is not only possible, but routine, for me to taste temperature effects on coffee to a relatively high degree of precision. Just a few days ago, for example, I dialled in a guest blend. My starting guess was 202F. At that temperature, the coffee was quite sour. Utterly undrinkable. I knew that the temperature had to be bumped up a bit and hit it on the second dialled-in shot. At 204F, the coffee was utterly balanced. Rich and unctuous with a mild and juicy acidity, as well as an incredible sweetness. At 205F, it turned to bakers chocolate ... fairly drinkeable, but nowhere near as knock your socks off as the sweetness present at 204F. I served 204F and 205F shots to a few customers and they also noticed the same differences. This sort of thing is far from uncommon for me.

    There will be a Synesso at the barista guild stand in Sydney. Depending on how busy it is, it might be possible to do some comparative tastings of the same blend at different temperatures there, presuming that you are going.

    Anyhoo, I have thrown as much evidence for my point of view out there as I can be bothered doing at this time. If Im behind a Synesso and not busy, Im more than happy to demonstrate the effects of brew temperature control to people.

    If people want more information about this sort of stuff, David Schomers Espresso Vivace articles are a fairly good place to start: http://www.espressovivace.com/archives.html The "prosumer" machine reviews on home-barista.com usually feature some sort of thermometry and Abe Carmelis Expobar Brewtus Review on that site has a bit of a rundown of tasting different blends at different temperatures.

    As for your comments about other coffee companies, I think that it reflects poorly on anyone involved in specialty coffee to seek to denigrate others who also strive for excellence. As always, whats in the cup is the great leveller.

    I do agree that in-depth thermowizardry isnt necessarily for all, but I think that we are starting to enter an era where machines are being built to make the baristas job easier.

    Ironically however my favourite blend of theirs was the first blend which Troy informed me was their organic, but with Dave apperance I found it to be for one of their custom blends for a specail 600 kilo customer or something of the like, it was smooth, chocolately without the biterness and acid nature, have you tried this blend Luca, if so intersted in your opinion of it seeing your around there all the time.
    Yeah, Ive tried it. Its actually what I was pulling in the photo above. Its good, but I prefer their Concordia blend and their Pure blend (the organic one). I think that with commercial coffee you absolutely have to have a blend that tastes great in milk, though, whereas these days Im biased towards espresso blends. For this reason, Forza is their flagship blend and the one that I like the least.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  22. #22
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    Re: New Member :)

    Luca:

    What FC was saying about thermosyphoning is yet another variable for groups with thermosyphon heated groups such as the E61 group heads and others. My machine like the Cimbali heats the group by conduction from the boiler rather than using a thermosyphon.

    The restrictor I was talking about is actually in line between the rotary pump and the hx. I only changed this in my machine as the flow rate was way out so I presume someone had been playing with this in a previous life.

    There are a few points therefore where you can tweak the temperature although this is normally done as a modification to the machine and to set it up for a particular coffee. Most people would temperature surf to achieve this sort of control.

    As to whether you can taste the difference, that really depends on your experience and palate I guess.

    The Bezzera temperature can vary of course depending on where in the temperature cycle you pull the shot and I guess this temperature could result in 2 -3 degrees variation from top to the bottom of the boiler cycle. Within a shot the temperature can vary very little maybe as little as one degree.

    I even heard one Seattle based espresso stormtrooper claiming that he thought his Giotto produced better espresso than a Minore as it had a unique "hump" in the temperature profile which gave the espresso more character.

    If you are really lucky you might have one of these mystical humps and produce espresso of outstanding character.

    You just never know...

    Grant

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    Re: New Member :)

    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn link=1151409801/15#21 date=1152796985
    If you are really lucky you might have one of these mystical humps and produce espresso of outstanding character.

    Grant
    Go, my son, and seek out the "mystical hump"...... It is there you will find the true meaning of nirvana ;)......

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    Re: New Member :)

    Luca,

    re: reflecting poorly/denigration.

    ...Rolling eyes...

    If you take a look at my posts in general you will find that I rarely if ever denigrate anyone so to be accused of such is astounding. Sometimes, it is simply necessary to call a spade a spade.

    My calling a spade a spade or attempting to explain some simple facts about restrictors seems to have upset and in turn, I see that you have gone to an extraordinary length to try and denigrate what I have already contributed in this topic, certainly with your "on line" accusation about reflecting poorly which appears to be deliberately designed to publicly embarrass…

    If you wish to pursue an emotional public discussion that appears to be centered around endless counter posts to see who has the "better" technical information or technical advisor, then by all means go for it, I will not waste any further time in this topic.


    Regardz,
    FC.

  25. #25
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    Re: New Member :)

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    ...all of which makes me inclined to suggest that enough has been said in this thread...so Im gonna lock it now. :-X

    Members are reminded to play nice. We are here to learn from and support each other... ::) Think first, then type, then refine, then post!

    Happy experimenting to all!

    2mcm



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