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Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

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  • Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

    Ive been fascinated with the whole temp surfing thing with single boilers and to a lesser extent with hxs.
    With the botticelli I wait till the heater light goes out flush boiling water for about 5 sec then a sec or two more- checked with a thermocouple and I have a good starting temp of around 92/93 C
    Do others with single boilers have a similar approach or have others used the more common Silvia wait 40 sec after light goes out thing?
    A few people have suggested its not necessary but with the bott Ive had a very forgiving run with the little flush routine

    Brett

  • #2
    Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

    Now that Ive got used to the quirks of a single boiler machine AND been prepared to accept them, a single boiler machine isnt too bad. I use flushing for both heating and cooling.

    - Turn the machine on at least 10 mins in advance, with the portafilter in the group
    - Flush until the water stream is consistent (usually 10 seconds)
    - Cooling down after steaming - flush at least 15 seconds of hot water through steam nozzle (or until its water and no steam) and then few seconds through the group

    I think it definitely is necessary with the Botticelli. I dont even regard it as temp surfing - its just getting the machine to the optimal temperature.

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    • #3
      Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

      Flushing the machine down ... seems more like a HX technique than single boiler ...

      Heres my technique:

      -Flush water through PF into cup. This does a number of things; it flushes some gunk out of the PF, heats up the cup and cools down the boiler, switching on the element.

      -Wait until element switches off. Boiler thermometer lags and takes a while to stop counting up.

      -If I want to brew a hotter shot than normal, Ill flip the steam switch on for five, ten or fifteen seconds to turn the element back on. No point looking at the thermometer readout per se because of the lag.

      -Wait until the increase in temperature on the thermometer slows right down and then grind/dose/tamp. As sparkman has shown, the water in the boiler has a whole bunch of thermal currents happening when you pump cold water in at the top of the boiler and heat water at the bottom. I figure that the best time is when the thermometer says that that has more or less stopped.

      -Brew!

      Cheers,

      Luca

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      • #4
        Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

        Gday, My temperature technique is a bit simpler... or is it substandard? could someone tell me... I use the hot water into a cup, until the boiler light switches on... This happens quite consistently after 250 mls have gone through. I start my timer for 50 sec, and i dose and tamp in those 50 sec. I pull the shot when the timer goes... Is there a better way? Ive heard people talk about flashing the steam switch for a few seconds, is this to do with personel preference?

        Cheers, Mark

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        • #5
          Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

          No, your technique is not substandard, its just one of a couple of simple techniques that work, in a sea of techniques that just make life unnecessarily hard.

          Regardz,
          FC.

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          • #6
            Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

            Originally posted by MachoSilvia link=1158708162/0#3 date=1159154225
            Ive heard people talk about flashing the steam switch for a few seconds, is this to do with personel preference?
            Like FC said, its personal preference. Do whatever gets your espresso tasting right.

            I use the steam switch as I described above, but I have no set amount of time that I use it for, if I use it at all. It varies with the beans that I am using. For example, Im far from the greatest roaster in the world, so if I under-roast something and it tastes a bit acidic, Ill add a bit more temperature to try and mute that. The only way to work it out is trial and error.

            Cheers,

            Luca

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            • #7
              Re: Single boilers- botticelli, Silvia etc

              An interesting thing- it relates to the OPV discussions on this forum- I tested the flow rate through the OPV outlet and looked at the specs for model 5 ulka pump.
              Very happily the Botticelli was set for spot on 9 bars of pressure as the company says. Now that leaves you wondering whether its a happy accident (compared to the readings of lots of others with diff machines) or whether the gossip Ive heard is true- that the bott is the beloved toy of the heir apparent of the ECM company. Word is that he was concerned that large single boilers are on the way out in the face of super automatics.
              Oh well!
              Brett

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