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Thread: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

  1. #1
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    Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Firstly want to say, thank you all so much for this site. Ive learned a lot in a short time and its only the first few steps. This is an incredible resource--my post count is so low because every time I think Ive come up with a new question, a quick search shows me its been asked and answered.

    And my question(s) here have been kind of answered, in this thread: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1245718204, but if anyone can add details Id really appreciate it. Sorry in advance for the length.

    So. About to buy my big machine, having taken my tiny Sunbeam about as far as I think I can. Already bought a Mazzer mini-e from the lovely people at Coffee Parts.

    Came down to a Minore III or a BZ99 for a number of reasons including aesthetics and what I could get my hands on before buying. Talking to Jack at Barazi, he mentioned his conviction about the taste advantage of HX versus single boilers: "Youre not drinking boiler water."

    Which made a lot of sense, although from the figures in the thread quoted above, any oxygen is gone by the time water is at brewing temperature anyway.

    And finally the questions:

    Has anyone here upgraded from a heat exchanger to a dual boiler and noticed a drop in overall taste quality? Or an improvement that wasnt as much as they expected?

    Is there something other than "missing oxygen" that might make reboiled water taste "flat," or is that idea just a popular myth? Planning to do my own blind taste test this weekend, but all data is welcome.

    Im still leaning towards the Minore as its both more tweakable as I learn more, and made a perfectly good cup first try in the showroom. Also, dials!

    But will I spend the rest of its life tasting (imagined) reboiled water? (And yes, I do know Im the only person who can actually answer that question. But you know what I mean. :))

    Thanks for reading, and extra thanks for being here,

    Danny M

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Interesting question, and one I asked myself before my last upgrade.

    Alas, I have no answer for you.

    However, I drank the boiler water in my VBM Piccolo (single boiler, dual purpose) and am very pleased with the upgrade to an HX. Whether the re-boiled water had any taste consequences I cannot really say.

    Greg


  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    I dont there are any definitive answers Danny.... :-?

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs by the way [smiley=thumbsup.gif] ;D

    If you are a coffee drinker who tends to pull plenty of shots within a shortish time frame then I doubt that there would be any penalty on taste from a consumer Dual Boiler setup. More refined Dual Boiler designs tend to utilise a relatively small Brew Water Boiler/Heater compared to the Steam Boiler, which assists with this. Less refined designs seem to use identical sized boilers for both purposes.

    Smaller Brew Water Heaters (theyre not really Boilers in the true sense) can be flushed quite easily with small amounts of water and thus retain reasonably fresh water thereafter for pulling espressos. Given that element sizes are usually quite significant too in these designs, Temperature Stability and Recovery are quite good as well.

    In a commercial environment of course, Brew Water throughput is very high and therefore not allowed to go stale. It is probably only something that home users need to be aware of where a regime of regular water flushing through the Brew Water Heater will combat this. Personally, I dont enjoy using long standing, heated water for any kind of beverage preparation; it really flattens any resulting brews and can even taint what would otherwise be a nice Cuppa Tea. Freshly Boiled/Heated water is definitely the go, which ever Espresso Machine design is preferred..... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Thanks Greg and Mal for your thoughtful and helpful replies.

    With the 1.8l boiler in the Expobar, even at four or five cups a day Ill be drinking a lot of re-boiled water... or flushing for several minutes each shot. Bugger.

    My [non-blind, but alternating sips with an unboiled control] taste test yesterday was scuppered by dust clouds returning to Brisbane as the glasses of water cooled--now Im not sure what I was tasting. :) Will try again with actual coffee when I have a chance.

    Anyone out there actually gone from a small HX to a Minore?

    Cheers,

    Danny M

  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Hi Danny,

    I think that there may be something in that. I have switched from a ECM Veneziano at home and now have a GS/3. I perceive that there is more in the shot (placebo effect *:-/) due to the saturated group and temp control has assisted with some funky coffees I have run through it.

    I am conscious of a largish brew boiler and make a point of running plenty of water through it to keep things moving.

    A few years ago, we ran a shootout between Giotto and Minore II at the coffee academy. It wasnt controlled by any means- more a lets pull a few shots. My personal perception was that the Giotto shots were brighter. That stated, there are other differences between the machines which probably influenced things as well.

    I believe that a well calibrated HX machine is usually perfect for the home. The multi boilers can offer a little more play. Still, the biggest source of variation will often be the user.

    Ultimately, if you choose a good machine, youll love it either way.

    Chris

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    I can`t comment on the boiler v HX, but i went strait to the 99 from an old Saeco Gran Crema and haven`t looked back. The more i use it the better the coffee gets.
    A BZ99 might not look like the blingy competition but it certainly delivers where it counts - in the cup.

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Thanks Chris.

    Im sure youre right--I got to taste three shots from the Minore III, and each one was surprisingly different (I think it was still warming up) but I didnt flag any of them as "stale." The water is just one factor, and as Mal intimated the brew water isnt actually boiled, just heated.

    Im still leaning towards the Expobar for the tweakability, but now Im re-reviewing HX machines I thought Id eliminated from the list... Tomorrow Ill have another look at the Isomacs at Di Bella.

    And on it goes. :)

    And cheers, Lozzo. I actually love the design of the BZ99, but I keep coming up short at that tiny tiny drip tray. (And the sense that all the decisions about temperature etc. have been made for you. Which may actually be a very good thing.) Alas, the BZ07 just doesnt do it for me, or it would be a front runner...

    Thanks for your input guys!

    Danny M

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by 113335383D2031540 link=1253946742/6#6 date=1254105235
    Thanks Chris.

    Im sure youre right--I got to taste three shots from the Minore III, and each one was surprisingly different (I think it was still warming up) but I didnt flag any of them as "stale." The water is just one factor, and as Mal intimated the brew water isnt actually boiled, just heated.
    really? I thought the minore a fairly significant temperature offset? Like a Silvia I always thought that the water was heated above 100 with the thermal stability of the E61 bringing temperatures down to the desired level when brewing.

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by 30282D2D382902303C336B6A5D0 link=1253946742/7#7 date=1254184503
    really? I thought the minore a fairly significant temperature offset? Like a Silvia I always thought that the water was heated above 100 with the thermal stability of the E61 bringing temperatures down to the desired level when brewing.
    From memory I think theres a 7C temp difference between brew boiler and group on e-61s... but that was for HX and DB might be different. That puts the brew boiler in the vicinity of 100C. From a quick google, O2 solubility drops to 0 at about that temp.

    ...All of which is irrelevant if Danny thought the shots from the Minore tasted good! ;)

    Cheers
    Stuart.

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Well, they could have been better... :)

    Which will be my job now, since Im going with the Minore III. Happy and nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by 534B4E4E5B4A61535F5008093E0 link=1253946742/7#7 date=1254184503
    really? I thought the minore a fairly significant temperature offset?
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D4A4B5F4C4A594C5F504A3E0 link=1253946742/8#8 date=1254198814
    From memory I think theres a 7C temp difference between brew boiler and group on e-61s...
    Yeah, that was probably wishful thinking on my part. Thanks for the heads-up about the temp difference though. I was taken in by the PID! Of course, according to the thread I quoted above, O2 is gone by the time you hit 80 degrees, let alone boiling...

    And the learning begins again. Next stop, naked group handle!

    Cheers guys,

    Danny M

  11. #11
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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Does Minore III use a PID? as opposed to Minore II digital thermostat? Probably doesnt make much difference?

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Good point, m_m67. The technical distinction is likely to escape me.

    It uses a "new Gicar proportional temperature controller", apparently. Which on the Di Bartoli site is described as an "improved PID Controller".

    So Im hoping yes. Also hoping that if it isnt, youre also right that it wont make much difference. :)

    Off to pick up the beast, already named "Domingo" (unless it objects).

    Cheers,

    Danny M

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    The brew boiler on my La Spaz is I think 450ml. As I run a double shot of water into the cup to preheat it and the group, even 4 cups per day will completely run it through.

    Herbal tea made from the larger steam boiler seems to taste the same as made using fresh water in a kettle so I doubt it is actually a significant factor.

    My 10 cents.

    Chris

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Dont forget to keep us informed with your progress. The minore III is on my shor list so any comments would be appreceiated.
    Good luck and happy baristering (is that even a word?)
    Regards
    Crisp Image

  15. #15
    sjn
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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C7E7875706D7C190 link=1253946742/11#11 date=1254264648
    Off to pick up the beast, already named "Domingo" (unless it objects).

    Cheers,

    Danny M *
    Interested to know how it all goes. Did you get my PM?


    Steve

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    I wonder if the taste of reboiled water is as much the contact with the copper tank and pipes as the re boiling. After all an electric jug has no effect on the water when its part used then reheated again and again. But it doesnt take much copper contact to sour water off. I did read of a machine that boasted coated tanks and pipes but for the life of me I cant find the article while I an writing this post:(

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    Re: Double-Boiler Equals Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A313F2C450 link=1253946742/15#15 date=1255537363
    I wonder if the taste of reboiled water is as much the contact with the copper tank and pipes as the re boiling. After all an electric jug has no effect on the water when its part used then reheated again and again. But it doesnt take much copper contact to sour water off. I did read of a machine that boasted coated tanks and pipes but for the life of me I cant find the article while I an writing this post:(
    Welcome otzi.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Not sure mate. Our kettle is a s/steel job heated on the gas stove. However, I can taste a difference between freshly boiled water used in a Long Black or a cup of tea for that matter, and that made with reboiled water. As a result we only ever use freshly boiled water.

    Not sure about the effects of copper on boiling water but espresso machine manufacturers have been using copper for a great many years now (dual boiler machines) although some do use s/steel so that may be an indicator. Sounds like we need a chemist to chime in with some factual data.... ;)

    Mal.



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