Assuming the milk starts at 'frig temperature, that's a 61 degree C lift.
61 oC (= K) * 0.1 kg / 25 s = 0.244 kg . K / s. Assuming 3.95 kJ / kg . K for milk, that's 965 Watts, better than 70% of the output of the steam heater.
Given that some of the steam is lost and some of the energy serves to rouse the milk and to modify milk proteins and other constituents, this is as good as you could expect.
Yes I know that the steam heater operates after the water heater but for dry steam almost all of the energy is in the vapour phase so the water heater contributes very little to the energy budget.
Operator error or not long into the journey. Early days but with the right hand (or left) the Decent will equal, and mostly surpass coffee from just about anything from the last decade and for that matter, last century regardless of machine cost. With the possible exception of my two group analogue Gaggia Tell, which is only limited by having no wiggle room, in the context of having an infinite fiddle factor my Decent surpasses it along with my Elektra A3 and the Lambro plus every other machine I have ever owned.
There is any amount of reviews if one cares to look. But don't take my word for it as it's on the net :-P
Don't believe everything you read on the net... do a search and see if there's a local review/blog on the DE
I had a laugh good one ☝️
So here’s a non-review by James Hoffmann, that I think just about every person interested in DE has seen;
The BLE module vendor we used has "upgraded" their module and made it completely incompatible (v1 https://redbear.cc/ble-nano.html vs v2 https://redbear.cc/product/ble-nano-2.html).
And I've today learned that this company (RedBear labs) has been sold and is discontinuing even this v2 BLE module. https://redbear.cc/
This scenario is exactly why we kept the Bluetooth module separate, and easily replaced/upgraded.
Have no fear, as our BLE module uses a very well support BLE chip from a major vendor (Nordic Semi), that will be available for a long time.
And so we have "cloned" the RedBear labs module, and improved it. Our new version is completely compatible with the old one, but adds two LEDs, that we will use to display status. Here's what this looks like (the debug cable in this movie would not normally be there)
At the moment:
- blinking white = on but no tablet connected
- solid white = on and tablet connected
- red led = BLE command received
This module is totally backward compatible with v1.0 hardware, and the new firmware auto-detects the presence of the new LEDs. I'm also much happier having taken control over the Bluetooth board, in terms of managing future risk. If any v1.0 users ever want this feature, this tiny "upgrade" will be available to you.
One reason we put this BLE board on a separate board is that we can make new versions of it in the future, to keep up with existing communications technologies.
We also now have software control over the BLE range, so that we can lower the distance the tablet is allowed to be from the espresso machine. We might want this for safety reasons (limit the distance to within a few meters, for instance).
This communications board is inexpensive, small, and easily replaced, without even needing to open the chassis up. Here's a photo of it, accessible once you remove the dark plastic back panel.
I own a treadmill that is 20 years old, works great, that has excellent Windows software that talks to a heart rate sensor. Unfortunately, the treadmill requires an RS232 port to talk to Windows, which I don't have on any computer, so I can't use the software any longer. Ugh. That expensive lesson is one I didn't want to repeat with Decent.
Also... we have new heaters coming. We're currently using 1350W heaters, but we have 1100W, 1500W, 2200W heaters arriving. Serial/Parallel wire-ups are something we'll be trialing. Our theory is that if we dry up the steam, we can increase its temperature and end up with a "steaming experience" that is fast but still easy to control. I've used some very-fast-heating steam, and it can be really, really hard to get good microfoam for a single drink.
One of the things I appreciate about the way we do steam is that I can separately control temperature and flow (via firmware, at the moment), and so slowly adjust it based on how it fares when I have actual humans steaming milk in front of me.
While we don't win any speed awards with the current steam, reviews of the taste and foam quality of the resulting beverage, have consistently received "top marks". Since beverage quality is my top goal, I'm ok with that.
As we move to higher powered steam, I'll have to revisit the "steam tuning" to make sure we can still make the same quality beverage, but faster.
The current "40% wet" steam in our current model was tuned to be that way, as it produced the most-appreciated drink results.
So... that's going to be the DE1CAFE mode, which has a larger chassis.
The DE1+/DE1PRO are really quite small, and "steam during brew" was a sacrifice we had to make to get it down to that size.
ps: yes of course we could give you steam-during-brew by putting a boiler in the machine, and taking 30 minutes to heat up. The reason we're not going down that path is that I think the greater control we have over our steam is making better drinks.
about way. I really can't remember using a machine regardless of pedigree that relies so much on grind and puck prep as the Decent. That little pas de deux we so lovingly go through on our way to anticipated nice espresso could be a little chaotic in the past because we couldn't see what was going on with profiles and flow behavior. Now, if I prepare for the DE like I do for the A3 or Gaggia the outcome will more than likely be somewhat underwhelming. Then again, I can be an absolute slob first thing in the morning so aint nothing going to help much..
I think due to Decent's (members only) Diaspora much of the discussion is there. Even on HB (and there is some long threads and good reviews) about the 3rd or 4th longest thread is from the guy who sold his DE1+ to get a Londinium! The UK has one big thread. I am sure John is waiting for his Diaspora to actually go forth and discuss, instead of all hanging in the Diaspora clubhouse and chatting to the converted. John might have to shut the Diaspora on the weekends or similar to force them to post somewhere else
screen 2018-08-23 at 2.45.59 PM.jpg
In countries such as Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore, people have very much been taking their own Decent machines touring. Less so in the UK, Australia and US.
But... I think there there might be an inverse relationship between the size of the specialty coffee scene, and the sharing that occurs in that community. The smaller the "scene" the more tight knit it is, and the more sharing that goes on.
What I have learned so far:
Have I found the DE1+ Ver 1.0 challenging? Absolutely. Would I go back to an HX or DB machine? (And this is a question I have actually asked myself!) No! My reasoning is simple: When I try a new blend of coffee I may not be entirely happy with the flavour. But with the DE1+ I am able to fiddle many parameters until I can get the flavour I want without the bitterness - something I could never achieve with my HX machine. The changes required in my current roast choice were to reduce temperature as the shot progressed and lower the pressure of the shot to 7 bar [remember, DE machines give actual pressure at the puck, not in the boiler], and declining to 2 bar as the puck degrades. I can't think of another domestic machine except a lever that can achieve this.
However, having so many options for crafting a shot has meant I have had to learn a helluva lot more about selecting, preparing and delivering a shot. Been quite mind boggling really. On the Diaspora Forum I get hints every now and then about a variable change that might improve a shot. This is really helpful to me as there are some very experienced baristas there for whom coffee making is a serious hobby. But I'm not in that league.
I've had my machine since early May and feel I am only mastering the basics. The DE1+ is VERY fussy about grind and puck preparation causing me to upgrade my grinders [Sette 270W and new Vario]
Software is being improved all the time. For example, I used to stand there for 15 mins trying to get the tablet and DE and scale to connect via Bluetooth. Now its immediate. There are frequent updates and new profiles are added periodically. These can be used as is, or tweaked and edited endlessly if your up for it.The hardware improvements are ongoing for future releases, but as an early adopter I knew that risk. I'm not too worried though because even in its present form the DE1+ can produce VERY good coffee. And I guess this latter point is a real question for potential owners, but its the one thing I have no doubt about at all - it can make very good coffee, limited only by the barista skills, not the machine. But its "not point and shoot" in my experience [yet].
Two things I have noticed are that preparing coffee in the morning is a slower process, despite the fast (5 min) heat up time, than when using my HX machine. Mainly because of the careful puck prep required, but also pulling the shot just takes longer, and also steaming can't be done simultaneously. Incidentally, although not fast relative to other machines I've used, the DE does deliver a terrific steaming experience with effortless microfoam - one of its best features!
The second negative for me is the wet pucks. After a shot the puck can be literally sloppy which makes it hard to empty into the knock box and I can't wash the grounds out down the sink because we are not on a sewered system where I live. Later versions of the DE will have a groupe which has less headroom above the puck which should improve that situation.
About the shot quality comment above, I think it's slightly hasty to judge it just from one or two shots..I had a play with JMcCee's for an hour or two about a month ago. Even then I barely scratched the surface of what the machine can do. My impression is it would work really well for lighter/medium roasts. Definitely heaps of potential there (and of course there are areas that can be improved). I wish I could've kept it with me and let loose on geeking out over one for a few weekends.
I sold the DE1+ to Richard. It is a wonderful machine with amazing control over everything. Unfortunately, when I started using it at work, I found that I had no time to utilize all of the cool controls. This was frustrating since I had been imagining for so long about exploring and playing with all of the features. Also, I had imagined sharing use of it with a few coworkers, but there was some reluctance. In practice those two things that had attracted me weren't happening.
I have a Londinium 1 (original) at home and love it. It occurred to me that the simplicity of a spring lever like the L1 might make for a good match with my work situation, so I stretched and got the Londinium R. It was also helpful to know that someone else was going to get a lot more enjoyment out of the DE1+'s intended use (a win-win).
The idea is, you want to avoid engaging the 3-way valve at all cost and let the puck depressurize to atmospheric pressure at its own pace. If there is a bit of gas/air in the brew chamber (there usually is), those gas/air will push out the remaining water, in theory.
Aha! Now I get it! Actually that zero flow option I mentioned would achieve some of what you are suggesting. It would avoid opening the flush valve [there is no 3 way in a Decent machine] for the time interval specified while having no flow. While I have not tried that exactly, from my experience I seriously doubt that would make any difference to soggy pucks. [Altho your "theory" does make sense]. I'll give it a go with my own coffee tomorrow if I can to see what happens.
Edit: Tried zero flow and it did improve things a little, but VERY tricky to work in the advanced editor [maybe I just don't know how]. I don't think I could get the same taste with a pressure profile where this would be easily done. The problem for me is that I don't think its possible at this stage to use the BT scale as a trigger for the next stage in the advanced profile editor, so that I could say for example "when 34gms in the cup move on to zero flow/pressure for 1 minute". Today I just whipped the cup out from under portafilter at 34gms!
Last edited by gc; 24th August 2018 at 08:53 AM.
I have had the DE1+ since June and have had lots of enjoyment with it already. I mostly use the 18g Decent Basket (which is intended to behave as a VST). I started out with a 16g dose and had the wet puck. I gradually increased the dose and have settled in right at 18g. With my current prep, and using a pressure profile with up to 20sec preinfusion, I don't get any watery pucks. The shots are great and you tend to learn a lot just by using the machine and looking at the pressure, flow and temperature tracks for each shot.
Even just within one basic profile, (Pressure Profile plus preinfusion) there are many avenues to improve your shots. Small changes in the preinfusion flowrate, small changes in your maximum pressure in the profile, small changes how quickly the pressure falls during the profile all make changes to your shot. You can't help but learn about the inter-relationships between flow and pressure by using the machine.
Once you have a pressure profile really well dialed, it is not hard to shift to a flow profile and work with that instead with some further adjustments and experiments. Being able to see the track of pressure and flow over the extraction time frame is really enlightening and you get a sense of what really good shots tend to "look like" in those terms. Lots of fun.
Because pre-orders were initially 2/3rds from America, I chose to make a lot more 110V machines. With v1.1, it's split exactly 50/50 110V vs 220V. Hence the shortage I'm having of 220V v1.0 machines.
Is there a guaranteed Toyota style trade in deal for v1.0 to v1.1 machines? Wife wants to know :-D
But I suspect the answer from me is going to be "no" as we don't have any trade in deals. Besides, there's not enough new from v1.0 to v1.1 (except for a slightly drier puck) that would warrant wanting to trade in.
Virtually everything new coming from Decent is in the form of software and firmware, and the v1.0 machines will continue to receive all updates that v1.1 gets.
At the moment, version 1.3 will have the group head controller, possibly a less fancy/less-expensive water level sensor, and likely an Android 7.0 version of the tablet. The new tablet model will be available as a purchase, if you want it for your v1.0/v1.1 machine.
I love their model because it allows a consumer to get a $3,000 machine for $1,000. Of course, the issue will be reliability. They propose to offer spares direct for Decent (without wholesaler or retailer margins) and also have a swap arrangement if a unit fails.
Tell me more about this $1000 machine..
To be honest I can't blame someone for posting that. When I googled for info on Decent there was a bunch of articles (a few repeats of each other) referring to how this machine was going to set the coffee world on fire with a $1k machine which could imitate or be better than any existing machine. Hard to change the article when performance targets get raised and reality of production sets in. The writers were very enthusiastic which of course actually makes John's job harder to half way deliver on that (some of the articles had that Tesla evangelistic/change the world tone but honestly I wouldn't want to taint John with that).
I found the following quote at post #263 at https://www.home-barista.com/espress...0.html#p605439 which really fits my experience with the DE1+. It's worth a read there for those wondering about upgrading to the DE1x from E61 or BDB.
For me, the "Learning HOW" is the toughest part since the DE is endlessly tweakable.The Decent will beat out the Vesuvius and BDB in the cup every time. My V is now sitting in another room unused. Here's the rub- you have infinite possibilities (within reason) on how to pull shots with the DE1. So if you don't like the shot you pulled, you can adapt. Learning HOW to adapt to get things you like is the skill you must master. A lot of people are learning and discussing those skills right now!
In a few hours I fly to London for a demo and talk at Prufrock https://www.facebook.com/events/333104743900059/
A week later I'm in Italy, doing my yearly "show and tell" to some Big Fish in the coffee industry. It's good to stay on friendly terms. As of September 15th I'm in Southern France for 6 weeks of a "working vacation". I'm back in Hong Kong in early November.
I'll still be online, coding, and answering questions but.... I'll be trying to take some time off too. I kind of screwed my left arm up getting the latest big DE1+ Android app update shipped. It fixed a lot of remaining annoyances, but nearing 50 years of age, I can't abuse my body as much as I used to.
Ray is kind of in the same place I was in, with his big Firmware Update, but he's not quite yet finished with it. His update fixes a lot of remaining annoyances on his plate (fan noises in various circumstances, idle power consumption and more).
The factory has started working on the v1.1 machines with the partial stock of parts we have on hand. When the last parts arrive (ETA 1st week of October) they'll start pushing DE1PROs out the door. I'm confident they have that in hand, as I haven't had to babysit the factory operations for a few months now.
Once we're caught up on the DE1PRO back-orders, we'll start taking orders for DE1+ models and shipping them right away. I'm hoping we can do that before Christmas, as I expect some people would like to receive a DE1+ for Christmas, but we've got to be 100% sure we can deliver on time.
I'm working on moving Decent away from the "back-orders" concept, to one where we'll take money to ship product right away. We still have work to do there (UL compliance, DE1CAFE, but there's progress....)
Enjoy your holiday. Beware the big offers from 'The big fish in the coffee industry'. :-)
Prufrock are a very good choice for a whistlestop in London.
Fabrice tells me that the samples of our ceramic drip trays, with a drainage hole built in, are now on their way to us.
DE1PRO buyers will receive both a non-draining, and draining version of the drip tray, so they can choose how they want to use their espresso machine (sometimes draining, sometimes not)
This new design avoids stagnant water.
Previously, our prototypes were made by drilling a hole into the ceramic. Unfortunately, the fitting meant that some water stagnated in the drip tray. This was kind of nasty, but also it meant that eventually there would be dripping around the seal.
We're not yet sure what kind of tubing arrangement we want under the drip tray. We'll likely use a 90º pre-bent silicone tube to attach to the ceramic drip tray. Afterward, either a reinforced tube or a longer silicone tube. Back in Hong Kong, they'll be testing these ideas.
Titanium steam wand tips?
Our steam wand manufacturer has made some titanium steam wand tips.
I'm not sure "why" titanium would be better.
I asked them, and they wrote:
I'm buying 5 samples to test."Compared with stainless steel, titanium has better performance in corrosion resistance, heatproof, longevity, and without metal flavor."
Does anyone here have any thoughts on this?
Maybe the titanium insulates better than stainless steel, and thus the milk is less likely to "cook" onto it, needing less clean up?
I made my own stainless tip. It has a slightly matt finish (straight out of the lathe). Super easy to clean (run some steam through, use a wet cloth). Much easier than the chromed one I had previously.
Can't see stainless having issues with corrosion or longevity. Much of a muchness with respect to heat capacity and thermal conductivity. As for "heatproof" and "metal flavour"...
No significant advantage + extra cost = getting taken for a ride?
You'll find titanium is easier to clean and keep clean than is stainless, the oxide layer is thicker and it reforms much faster when breached.
Re "metal flavour": stainless does allow metal ions to migrate into fluids in contact, that's the whole point of passivating with citric acid or similar, it preferentially dissolves the iron leaving an increased proportion of chromium and nickel. In the wine industry, where we care about such things, stainless is always passivated with citric after it has been cleaned with an alkaline cleaner.
There is no need to passivate Ti, it does it itelf in an ordinary atmosphere.
Last edited by Lyrebird; 30th August 2018 at 08:56 AM.
As someone who does not know an awful lot about Titanium my guess is titanium is probably superior in the anti corrosion and longevity...The thought just crossed my mind as to why they use titanium steel in joint replacement etc rather than stainless steel...I guess it would be a cost vs benefit question when it comes to upgrading or not in manufacturing with it.
That alloy is fairly rare, I've never used it. I would expect that the alloy used would be 6Al4V, AKA Grade 5, it's a very common high strength alloy.
It also has low thermal conductivity but I'm not sure that thermal conductivity is at all important in this use.
Thanks. Grade 5 is mentioned a lot, often for being a bastard to machine. I have a watch coming of Grade 5, meant to resist scratching better than SS. I agree about thermal conductivity hardly relevant for a tip and on a wand you would still want double wall or similar.
Our steam is currently passing through solid teflon (PTFE) tubing all the way from the steam heater (which is stainless tubing) through the steam want itself (to make it cool touch) so that the steam only touches the stainless very briefly, at the current tip. Seems like very little contact time to me, to be worrying about.
Paragon Machine Works. There is a story that he responded to a magazine article that talked about how difficult it was to machine by sending them a letter, only he CNC milled the letter into Ti sheet.
When it is indeed easier to clean than it would be worth it for me
Back in Hong Kong, Fabrice and Alex are testing the prototype plumbable drip tray. They tried 3 different kinds of tubing, two kinds of fasteners. Everything to work OK. Quick flow, no blockage.
The only problem at the moment is the sharp 90º bend of the tube is slightly lifting the drip tray up. A few possible solutions: (1) pre-bent tubing, (2) a tube-bend-guide that fits over the tube and (3) connecting two segments.
[QUOTE=decentespresso;635800]I knew that it was possible to place the bluetooth scale we sell under the drip tray, but the fit wasn't right, and it didn't work that well. These problems seem to now have been resolved by the Decent user community.
The advantage of having the scale underneath is that you now have access to the entire drip tray, and you don't have worry about spilling coffee on your scale. It's invisible, and out of the way. You can now also USB power your scale, since the USB cable will not be in the way.
Decent customer Michel Wyss did the first draft of an idea, and shared his drawing as a STEP file. He replaced the top of the skale with his own design, which was a bit taller, and sized to fit the ceramic drip tray correctly.
Steffen Lav revised this design, printed it and posted this video today on youtube of it working:
On the video I can see, it stops at about 47.5 grams - nice - but than camera takes a look at tablet and back on the scale. Ad there is 60something grams on the scale. Why?