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BES878 - Breville "the Barista Pro" Owners Thread

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  • Hi everybody,

    I am new to both this forum and to coffee making, as I just in January invested in a Breville Barista Pro (BES878). Before then, I usually only drank French press or the occasional old-fashioned, stove espresso maker.

    Last week and seemling out of nowhere (*), the grinder blocked with only 1/3 of the regular ground coffee entering the portafilter.

    I have spent hours troubleshooting the problem, both offline testing the machine and online where I happened to stumble upon your forum.

    I have: Fully dissembled the grinder and cleaned it thoroughly three times, used the Grindz 'cleaning beans' from Urnex, blown compressed air from a can through the chute, reset the burr to 5, used a whole bag of regular beans from IKEA on the coarsest setting (30) trying to clean any residue out. But nothing seem to work, the grinder is still blocked.

    There are no weird sounds from the machine - just the high-pitched hissing noise, as when the hopper is empty.

    Usually we have used dark-roasted beans from smaller roasters, bought through Drinktrade.com. So maybe the beans have been too wet?

    What am I missing? What have I done wrong?

    Surely I'm doing something wrong, so all proposals will be met with indefinite kindness (and a firm handshake and a six-pack, if you happen to live in Minnesota, USA).

    * "Nowhere" is possibly a stretch, I admit. Back in April, a stone jammed the burr. I managed to remove the stone, seemingly without any injuries to the burr. The grinder worked perfectly for a couple of weeks until last week. So these incidents may be related.

    Comment


    • noidle22
      noidle22 commented
      Editing a comment
      Sometimes the burr set just goes bad, not sure why. If the motor or gearbox isn't making any unusual noises and you can see no signs of visible wear or damage, it will likely just need a new set of burrs.

      Contact Breville and they should be able to send you a replacement set. The arrangement for warranty service is a lot different in the USA than Australia as you guys don't have independent service agents like us, you just go through Breville USA.

  • noidle22, thanks for your quick reply! I am starting to lose all hope in myself as a man's man, as I just can't fix the problem. There's no unusual noises or signs of wear or tear. It's just odd.

    I would suspect that you are right - that the problem might be found with the motor or gearbox. So I'll contact Breville USA.

    Comment


    • Hi everyone!

      New to this forum and new to coffee making!

      I have gone through this forum and I seem to be having an entirely different problem than everyone else here.

      So the machine was shipped with the top bur setting at 6. The idea was I run with the recipe of 18g in and hoping for 38g out with the grinder setting at 11; then fine tune it from there.

      The pour was...painfully slow. In fact, liquid struggling to come out of the portafilter. Tried a few times and no luck. So I adjust the grinder setting coarser and while it is in the right direction but still not great.

      I read somewhere here that the grinder is not calibrated out of the factory so I decided to adjust the top burr to 4 (counterintuitive I know) and defaulted the machine.

      I changed the grinder setting to 15 and decided to run with 16g and ~33g out just to see where I sit. Hopefully with the lower dose, it helps with the flow.

      To much of my surprise, I am getting better results:

      16g in
      Pre-infusion for ~7sec
      33g out @ approximately 40sec (including the pre-infusion time)

      The coffee is OK? Decent body, a hint of bitterness, crema is OK but definitely a lot of room for improvement.

      Everyone here seems to be suffering from too fast of an pour or under extraction, yet here I am trying to get my flow rate up.

      Is there something wrong with my machine? Worth calling Breville support?

      Any guidance would be much appreciated.

      OH - I am using those Veneziano Crave beans they give out for Mother's Day special.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Oreo5354 View Post
        Hi everyone!

        New to this forum and new to coffee making!

        I have gone through this forum and I seem to be having an entirely different problem than everyone else here.

        So the machine was shipped with the top bur setting at 6. The idea was I run with the recipe of 18g in and hoping for 38g out with the grinder setting at 11; then fine tune it from there.

        The pour was...painfully slow. In fact, liquid struggling to come out of the portafilter. Tried a few times and no luck. So I adjust the grinder setting coarser and while it is in the right direction but still not great.

        I read somewhere here that the grinder is not calibrated out of the factory so I decided to adjust the top burr to 4 (counterintuitive I know) and defaulted the machine.

        I changed the grinder setting to 15 and decided to run with 16g and ~33g out just to see where I sit. Hopefully with the lower dose, it helps with the flow.

        To much of my surprise, I am getting better results:

        16g in
        Pre-infusion for ~7sec
        33g out @ approximately 40sec (including the pre-infusion time)

        The coffee is OK? Decent body, a hint of bitterness, crema is OK but definitely a lot of room for improvement.

        Everyone here seems to be suffering from too fast of an pour or under extraction, yet here I am trying to get my flow rate up.

        Is there something wrong with my machine? Worth calling Breville support?

        Any guidance would be much appreciated.

        OH - I am using those Veneziano Crave beans they give out for Mother's Day special.

        Hey there I’m using the Crave Veneziano beans on the Barista Pro. I spent….2 hours tonight trying to perfect it with the right grind size.

        After an hour I realised there’s a QR code on the packaging. It has a recipe card in it.
        They recommend 22 grams coffee, and roughly 36 mL/grams expressed.

        I have an auto tamper, so my tamping is the same every time. This is an important variable to cut out if you can get one. https://www.amazon.com.au/Distributo.../dp/B082MKVYFV

        Also, a gram scale so you can weigh your grind into the portafilter. Also..to weigh your expressed shots.

        After 2 hours the best I could do is - a size 7 grind with exactly 22 grams coffee. On the double shot setting it took approx 10 seconds after pressing start to express (so you could say pre-infusion was 10 seconds) and then obviously 20 seconds of water running through.

        That gave me a nice thick pour with 40 mL/grams extracted. I’m thinking tomorrow morning I might go manual mode and weigh the shot as it’s pouring real time.

        but yeah. Anything coarser than a 7 grind came out sour. With a 7 and 22 grams it wasn’t sour. BUT I will say it was nicer in a latte glass as a double shot coffee with milk. Single shot was a little weak.

        I think this is just the nature of the Veneziano beans though.
        I can highly recommend the Coles organic coffee beans. PM me if you want to try and I’ll give you the ‘recipe’.

        Last edited by Javaphile; 8 June 2021, 04:42 AM. Reason: Link removed

        Comment


        • level3ninja
          level3ninja commented
          Editing a comment
          FYI ml and grams are not the same thing when it comes to coffee like it is with water. Ignore the ml and measure grams in and grams out for best results.

      • Hello Pro owners,

        I read through this thread and registered to get some advice. I am really struggling to get good milk foam out of my BES878. The problem is temperature, volume, and texture. The milk is too hot, there is no microfoam (flat), and ends up like hot milk than anything else. My sense is the machine is putting out too much steam (is that a problem?) too quickly so I can't work the milk. I've tried a lot of difference techniques from position to timing.

        Some background... I owned the Express (BES870) for seven years and only replaced it because the grinder was going out. I did very well with the BES870 and didn't have these issues. I've spent a lot of time watching vids to confirm I am doing the right things. I know the heat/process is different and I know the steam wand tip is different in the BES878 as well. Not sure what is throwing me off.

        The good news is that the BES878 is pulling great shots for me after about a half day of dialing it in. Zero problems there. Just can't seem to make a decent cap.

        Any advice would be appreciated!

        Comment


        • level3ninja
          level3ninja commented
          Editing a comment
          Add more air at the start and keep the tip of the wand higher in the milk. Keep doing this until you get what you want

      • G'day coffee lovers - new owner of the Barista Pro here. Previously a user of Aldi's Sterling Espresso Machine. I'm fooling around with grind level using Aldi's "Brazil" bean at the moment, and using the manual program mode to aim for 32g of extraction (16g of beans) in about 30 seconds. This is based on a youtube video I saw. Is that right? Also, what accessories or upgrade would you recommend?

        Comment


        • level3ninja
          level3ninja commented
          Editing a comment
          The Aldi Brazil beans, in my experience, works better at a slightly higher ratio (you are doing a ratio of 1:2, 16g in to 32g out). Try a ratio of 1:2.5, so 16g in to 38g out. I wouldn't stress about accessories or upgrades too much. The only real accessory you'll ever get good use out of is a better tamper, but you don't need it. Get used to the machine as is and improve your skills and build muscle memory so that you can produce the same amount of coffee in the cup in the same number of seconds multiple times in a row back to back. Then you might know what you do/don't like as much about the machine and what you might want to buy etc, if you ever do.

      • Wasted $25/500g of Campos beans from Woolworths trying to dial in my new machine with no luck. Then like many I'm sure found Lifestyle Lab's "How To Dial In Breville Barista Pro" video on YouTube...


        So I bought a drip scale, a palm tamper and 1kg of the Aldi Lavazza Dark Roast beans ($11). Following the advice in the video it took me 5 minutes to dial in the machine. The last piece of the puzzle was dropping the temperature down one notch.


        Top burr 6, Grind setting 13, Temp dropped 1 notch.
        18g in, starts pouring after 8 seconds, 36g out at approx 32 seconds.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by wombatstew View Post
          Wasted $25/500g of Campos beans from Woolworths trying to dial in my new machine with no luck. Then like many I'm sure found Lifestyle Lab's "How To Dial In Breville Barista Pro" video on YouTube...


          So I bought a drip scale, a palm tamper and 1kg of the Aldi Lavazza Dark Roast beans ($11). Following the advice in the video it took me 5 minutes to dial in the machine. The last piece of the puzzle was dropping the temperature down one notch.


          Top burr 6, Grind setting 13, Temp dropped 1 notch.
          18g in, starts pouring after 8 seconds, 36g out at approx 32 seconds.
          Do you generally drop the temp because of the last roast? I still haven't got the temp bit right. I'm using Coffee Snob's Espresso Wow and it's the best tasting beans yet (have tried Aldi's "Brazil", Grinder's Espresso and Campos "Columbia").

          Comment


          • **I meant to say Aldi Lazzio not Aldi Lavazza in my last comment!**

            Originally posted by 1MAC View Post

            Do you generally drop the temp because of the last roast? I still haven't got the temp bit right. I'm using Coffee Snob's Espresso Wow and it's the best tasting beans yet (have tried Aldi's "Brazil", Grinder's Espresso and Campos "Columbia").
            "Dark roasts may require you to lower the shot temperature in order to reduce bitterness without lowering the overall shot volume."

            Something that was said in the video about dialling in the Barista Pro. Tried it and it worked.

            I'm happy to be completely wrong, because I know nothing about coffee, but the shots I'm pulling at the moment taste how I'd expect them to.

            Comment


            • I'm having trouble dialling in shots.

              My method:
              1. 18g weighted beans into hopper
              2. Pre-warm group head and portafilter by running hot water through it
              3. Grind beans and make sure hopper is empty
              4. Level and tamp using one of those Matow levelling and tamping tool.
              5. Custom double shot program
              6. Espresso glass on weight
              7. Aiming for 36g yield in 30-35 seconds (including pre-infusion time) per the Lifestyle YouTube video.
              8. Taste

              And here's where I'm kinda stuck. If it's sour then it's under extracted - but grinding the beans finer would put me over the 30-35 second range. I can fool around with temperature but I'm having trouble dialling in the shot within that time range. Any tips? Should I ignore the time range and dial in to taste?

              Comment


              • 1MAC have you ever had these exact beans tasting good with those parameters you listed or is that just something you've been told to aim for? If the latter then yes ignore the time and go by taste. The numbers are just a guide and different beans work better at different parameters. At the end of the day it's taste in the cup we're chasing, so let that rule over all else.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by level3ninja View Post
                  1MAC have you ever had these exact beans tasting good with those parameters you listed or is that just something you've been told to aim for? If the latter then yes ignore the time and go by taste. The numbers are just a guide and different beans work better at different parameters. At the end of the day it's taste in the cup we're chasing, so let that rule over all else.
                  It's something I learned to aim for: essentially a 1 to 2 yield achieved in 30-35 seconds (via adjusting grind size). Some other video said to aim for 60ml double shot yield (18g dose) in 20-30 seconds from the first drip. I haven't really tried adjusting temperature just yet but from I've read increasing temperature increases the extraction?

                  Comment


                  • Ignore all suggestions that use mils. Starting at 1:2 by weight is a good starting point, but like time some beans work better at different ratios. Once you have it close to dialled in, try letting the shot run a bit longer and see how it tastes at 1:2.5 or 1:3. If it tastes good then adjust the grind or dose a touch to adjust the time.

                    Temperature will affect extraction, but it's the last variable to use. I only ever adjust it if I can't get something quite right otherwise. Maybe 1 in 30 coffees I try needs it. Typically lighter roasts require hotter temperatures and darker roasts require cooler temperatures.

                    Comment


                    • My hipster dosing cup...requires a chopstick to press the grind button but I think one of those half size cans like you get on aeroplane would fix that. I'm not willing to shell out AUD$60 for the Crema dosing cup just yet! Cannot take any credit for this idea. Saw it elsewhere.

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