Originally Posted by Holyfrog
Hi there. If you don't ask, you wont find out....so from my perspective, the answers to your questions are:
2) Beware of the specs you read on the net. For example, 95 is too hot for the types of coffees/roasts we favour in Australia. And, question already answered in 1.
3) Wrong. Well made HX machines don't fluctuate like that, and even badly made HX machines wouldn't fluctuate by that much which is way (WAY) out of all proportion. And again, already answered in 1 & 2. The figures you have quoted appear to be theoretical or "raw" figures for a totally uncontrolled Heat Exchanger. Additionally, note HX machines were originally designed to be used continuously, and when left to idle especially for long periods, will heat up. That is normal, and that is what a cooling flush is for (to bring any overheating from not using the machine as designed down to a workable level), and after that a well designed HX will remain within its spec/. Certainly large cooling flushes on the less well designed machines are a frustration, but that comes down to choosing well in the first place (just like when you buy a car).
4) Yes I am one that believes a PID is unnecessary on an HX machine. If people sell their awesome machine because they don't know what temp it is at, for me that would fall under the category of the client not understanding the equipment and managing it accordingly (i.e. not an equipment problem). PID's are for knowledgeable people (especially professional cupping laboratories) to take espresso to the nth degree for whatever reason (not going into here would make this a lot longer) otherwise, certainly NOT necessary for most coffee drinkers who will never move a PID setting from the setting it was delivered with when new. So by that I mean, there are an aweful lot of PID owners that never move the PID from its original setting when the machine was sold new. So then what is the point of having the PID, if the operator is not going to use it for what it is intended for.....meaning the marketing hype that sold the client the PID machine did its job....for the vendor, to perhaps justify a higher selling price... but not necessarily for the client, who would be making just as good a coffee with a good HX machine.....
5) I think it you read these forums with your thinking cap firmly in place you will find that there are only a small number of machines that are forever discussed around, and that reflects only what the mix of sponsors sell. There are more excellent machines in the market than are discussed here.... I have a BFC Unico Splendor HX at home which is a cracker, and there are countless happy owners that don't necessarily discuss them around in forums...
Hope that helps.