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Topic: Brute Bric' showdown> RE: + A good Time was had by All (5 msgs / 359 lines)
1) From: miKe mcKoffee
And the winner is, there isn't. It's a tie and an apples and oranges kind of
thing. The Brute wins for ease of use pulling shot after shot at the same
temp (albeit at a slower shot pace than can done on the Bric' while
maintaining shot temp consistency), the Bric' wins for ease of pulling shot
after shot each shot at a different required shot temp (albeit the temp
ain't automatic, you must know what you're doing.) The Bric' does flat out
win when it comes steaming, especially ability to pull and steam
simultaneously. The Brute flat out wins when it comes to keeping the PF
wiggle water off the counter. (deeper front to back drip tray) 
I'll elaborate a bit more on Barry's Brute who visited me from Thursday
afternoon until leaving about 5pm today. (long)
Bullet: the Brute is an excellent machine for a person who primarily pulls
shots of one blend or SO at the same temp (the key factor here is at the
same temp, not changing temps between shots) and makes caps or lattes. But
bit of a slow poke if you only want to pull a series of straight shots for 3
or more people. Does much better making multiple consecutive caps than
multiple consecutive shots only. HUH? Doesn't make sense you say! Seems
weird and will take some explaining. First go over to Home Barista forum and
read espresso 101 & 102 'cuz I'm not going to take too much time going into
types of espresso machine functionality specifics when it's alreay there.
OTH if you routinely pull shots of different beans, requiring different shot
temps, sometimes even different temps back to back shots, look at a good HX
machine not a dual boiler. And for those of you who have spent temp surfing
Silvia and swear when you upgrade you'll NEVER surf again, think again, HX
might be the right machine for you. I surfed Silvia for almost 3 years
before PIDing, and swore I'd never get an HX 'cuz you have to surf. I
learned it's TOTALLY different. HX surf and go technique highly accurate and
simple timed from end of HX flash (from idle over heated water in HX line is
above boiling and flashes/dances when it hits the grouphead and or PF) My
Bric' is tuned end of flash and go pull 208f, each one one thousand lowers
shot temp 1f, reliably repeatably calling any temp 198f to 208f shot after
shot after shot. Back to the Brute...
Mike (just plain) and I were mistaken, confirmed today both the brew boiler
& steam boilers are factor insulated. Insulating the brew boiler turns out
to be a big mistake if you have any barista skills at all. Unless you like
your shots to quickly creep up to 206f NO MATTER WHERE THE BREW TEMP BOILER
SET!!! (with steam boiler set at a moderate 1.3bar kick on trigger)
Here's what happened beginning Thursday afternoon when we unpacked the 64.5
pound Brute! After waiting an hour for full warm up christened the brute
pulling an excellent shot of 1/3 PRYS LFC 2/3 Sumatra Volkopi FC.
Outstanding shot. But Barry had to leave to pick up Lois from her seminar,
so I proceeded to put the Brute through some paces beginning with testing
series of shots checking inter & intra shot stability. Since I knew that
with the Bric' I needed to wait 35sec from end of one shot until beginning
the start of the next pull to maintain shot temps I figured to see if the
Brute cound do better and start shot temp testing waiting only 30sec from
end of post shot group flush & back flush blank wiggle to start of next
pull. Big mistake! I had the brew boiler set for 94c (201.2f) and first shot
on target +-1f with 2oz E61 warming pre-flush (per manual). But next shot a
good 2f high be end of 2oz pull. (Shot temps measured with Scace
Thermofilter, the current standard) By the 3 or 4th it hit 205.7f, 4.5f
higher than brew boiler set, not good. Fiddled around and pulled 24oz
non-stop (at 2oz per 25sec) with the temp rock stable fluctuating
205.6/205.7f. BUT THE BREW BOILER SET AT 201.2F!!! I also noted way earlier
in this shot series test the the brew boiler NEVER kicked it's heater on,
never. Oh, the Brute's two 1.7L each boilers heat independently, only one
can be on, steam boiler priority, the brew boiler is fed with steam boiler
HX heated water. Obviously the brew boiler was getting water that was too
hot for shots 30sec apart! Slowed to a minute, didn't help, slowed to snails
barista shot pace 90sec, didn't help. Ok, this sucks, it's late Thursday
evening and I quit.
Friday morning after calling WLL and getting nowhere with the service tech
(who kept trying to explain to me how to adjust shot OPV when I kept asking
how to lower boiler pressure 'cuz HX feed to brew boiler too hot) WLL called
Todd at his kid's softball game and had him call me back. Didn't really get
anywhere other than Todd saying shot temp creep normal. I theorized
substantially lengthening the 8" line feeding from the HX steam boiler to
brew boiler to might help cool the too hot inlet water. Todd agreed to send
us a couple feet of the teflon tubing Monday if we wanted, which of course
wouldn't do us any good Saturday's Gathering! After hanging up I dialed down
the steam boiler to the same lower 1.0bar I run my Bric'. This did achieve
being able to pull shots that didn't keep creeping up in temp, if using a
moderately slow 60sec between shot pace. Ok, can the Brute pull a shot and
immediately start steaming while the shot pulling like I do all the time
with the Bric'? NO!!! As soon as the steam opened the pressure plumetted
below 0.5bar and kept going down! Fine, can it steam while not pulling a
shot with steam boiler at 1.0bar. Yes, barely, not nearly as much steam
power as the Bric' at the same boiler pressure. Problem while yes the Brute
has two nice sized 1.7L boilers each has it's own (enemic) 875w heater (or
1000w depending if going by earlier specs that say 1000w or current specs
that say 875w). This was tried with the Brute stock 1 hole and Gold Pro 2
hole (two hole I use on the Bric') The huge performance difference here of
course because the Bric' has 1800w heater.
Ok, Saturday after Mike (just plain) arrived we pondered and speculated and
thought the boiler insulation was after market (this is buyer's remorse
returned Brewtus 1) Since didn't have any suitable tubing to lengthen the
brew boiler inlet feed, Duh, remove the brew boiler insulation so it won't
retain heat as well! And it worked, to a point. Cranked the steam boiler
back up to a respectable 1.3bar, did some testing and seemed pretty good.
Able to start a pull and steam while pulling (~3oz for a cap only, larger
volumes of milk need to steam without pulling). Steam presure would drop and
get a bit weak by the end of steaming 3oz but acceptable. (again using Gold
Pro 2 hole tip) Steaming while not pulling robust with pressure maintained.
But on back to back straight shots still need atleast 60sec wait or shot
temp will creep up in a shot to shot series. Not a big deal as long as you
know. (but it is a slower pace than I can pull back to back shots, and would
be a PIA to me)
What about changing target shot temp? Going up quick. Going down even 1c?
Unless you "force the issue" it takes forever! (10-15min) 3 or 4 minutes by
pulling a continuous blank shot and simultaneously dumping the steam boiler
temp by pulling hot water until both the steam boiler heater kicks on
(immediate)AND the brew boiler requests to come on, then stop the cooling
water flows. (takes a bit of time, didn't precisely time it) Now wait for
first the steam boiler to come back up to pressure and then the brew boiler
will come back up to temp. So takes about 3 or 4 minutes all told to lower
shot temp. (I didn't get that method from the manual, figured out the
technique on the fly, but I didn't read much of the manual so who knows
maybe it's in there;-)
Ok that's been mostly about inter shot temps. What about intra shot? Dual
boiler shot temp profile very different than HX shot profile. (You can read
copious pages about it on HB;-) Basically an HX shot machine will have an
initial high hump then stablize (or slow drop off depending on how tuned)
while dual boiler (this Brute anyway) starts a bit low and slowly
continuously rises during the shot. I still think it'll benefit having a
longer HX inlet feed tube, I'd like to see the incoming water substantially
lower temp, around 198f, since not many blends call for temp lower than
that, and the higher temps required brought up to temp from there by the
brew boiler heater (what a concept). Since I could pull 24oz at 2oz/25sec
normal shot rate non-stop with brew boiler set basically off (80c) and have
the actual temp at the puck a rock solid 205.6/205.7f the entire time that
tells me the HX inlet to brew boiler temp is atleast 205.7f at 1.3bar. Some
designer broke the lead on their pencil! I do not know if they've made a
change in the HX design on the current Brewtus II.
I previously mentioned the Brutes initial heatup time from room temp
compared to the Bric'. The Brute's steam boiler took 2min longer and 10min
total time longer for both boilers to come up to initial temp. Which is no
biggy since both machines should be on about an hour to be really fully up
to temp, atleast a half hour. (that's what timers are for:-) Though since I
woke up early Saturday, before the Bric's timer, I employed a speed warmup
technique and had my first double shot Americano in hand (Gesha) before the
Brute's brew boiler made it up to temp from power up. (And to be fair I even
turned the Brute on first;-) 
The cup the cup the cup. It's all about the cup. Yes, the Brute, with it's
true E61 is great, excellent in the cup. (The lower line Expobars are not
E61 but rather similar to E61 clone groups) Brute better than the Bric'? I
think rotary pulled shots have a bit more clarity, more distinct flavor
characteristics in the shots. But since the intra shot profiles Brute dual
boiler vs Bric' HX are different I can't say that rotary vs vibe is the
clarity factor with a certainty. (Also noticed an even greater distinction
in clarity between the Bric' and Silvia though)
Looks wise the Brute is a straight forward squared off shiny massive
machine, one might say a gleaming Brute of a machine! It has a HUGE drip
tray (2qt IIRC) but with a poor cover design. Specifially a bunch of cut out
holes rather than a wire grid, more prone to spattering. Anyone who's read
anything about the Brute already knows the ample reservoir tank scenario is
terrible. You have to lift off the entire top, as in cup warmer, to fill.
Dumb dumb dumb lazy designers IMO, but in reality wouldn't be an issue if I
had a Brute. (I guarantee he'd be float valve auto-fill mod'd just like my
past Silva was.) Overall fit and finish "average", just ok. Obvious
difference in finish and style factor between the Brute and Bric', no
contest IMO and Barry & Lois both commented they preferred the look of the
Bric'. But Barry didn't buy the Brute to look at and I didn't buy the Bric'
just for looks (like was about last on my criteria list) just like you won't
buy the Brute for it's looks, it's the feature set and the cup that really
counts! OTH little things like the steam and water knob screws are left with
no finishing cover seems cheap and cheesy on what was a $1500 machine.
(Brewtus II now $1700, and maybe they took care of that) 
That said, as I already said, I'd highly recommend the Brewtus for the
person who will primarily pull shots of the same bean, then move on to the
next. But if you'll be needing to vary shot temp a lot, like I do, look at
the HXs.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

2) From: Mike Chester

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Yes and no. On a dual boiler pre-heating the inlet water is a very good
thing for shot stability, when done properly. For instance, the most
temperature stable dual boiler machine I know of HX pre-heats the brew
boiler water, ie the GS3. You can slam out shot after shot as fast as =
barista skills allow never varying shot temp more than 0.1f IIRC. If the
water isn't pre-heated on a dual boiler the intra shot temp won't be as
stable because of inputing cold water. Of course the GS3 is like =
compared to Brewtus I $1500.00. 
Also, on HX (shot) machines the issue of the HX water being too hot is =
from machine at idle. HX machines can be tuned for a very stable shot to
shot consistent target temp, a single target temp, as is done in a
commercial HX machine setting where using the same 
blend all the time and same shot time desired all the time. Having the
machine tuned to higher temp in the home setting makes it necessary to =
a few seconds to surf each shot yes, with the benefit of being able to =
each shot temp" on demand. 
BTW, all E61 machines require a flush from idle whether dual boiler, HX =
non HX single boiler. From idle the E61 group will be slightly under =
temp. (group still plenty hot enough to burn the heck out of you even =
it's slightly under shot temp) Dual boiler to bring the group fully up =
shot temp, HX to bring the group up to temp and cool the HX shot water. =
GS3 uses a different design for heating the grouphead and doesn't =
temp stabiliizing flush. And it's not like the E61 group is way under =
from idle, nothing like the ~12f low on Silvia. Pull a series of shots =
a PIDed Silvia and the shot temp will rise 12f or more by about the =
shot! (then be stablized up there) Even just the third shot in the =
will be 4 or 5f higher. Hence the second PID mod for Silvia, group PID
controlled rope heater which can make her very shot series stable. Even =
intra shot stable when doing a boiler inlet pre-heat mod via coiling =
tubing around the boiler or better yet using a thermoblock from like an =
Gusto. And of course the person I know of who did Silvia's brew boiler =
mod, group heater PID mod, thermoblock boiler pre-heat mod also got rid =
the vibe pump adding external rotary pump mod. Results a rock stable
espresso shot only machine, but doesn't help going from shot temp to =
temp. IIRC modding Silva for dual boiler was on his agenda;-) His =
kind of like those VW kit cars that make them look like a high =
sports car, where you also include swapping the VeeWee engine for a =
engine so it really is a high performance sports car.
FWIW I've have no problem running the Bricoleta on a 20A circuit shared =
1000w nuker, Foodsaver, Kitchen Aid blender, food processor etc. Did of
course have the Brute on the kitchen's other 20A circuit. That said =
I build a home espresso Café it'll have atleast 2 dedicated 20A =
plus 220V and gas line;-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I =
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal =
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone =

4) From: Mike Chester

5) From: miKe mcKoffee
No argument from me. I was just trying to elaborate the strengths and
weakness of the two performance wise as I saw them, comparatively speaking,
not if a good "value". To some it is worth being able to not have to surf at
all for a given shot temp, regardless how simple it is to HX surf and go.
And if you're real lucky you'll stumble on a brand spankin' new rotary Bric'
for $800;-) With such a slight "owie" not one person has spotted it. (Front
right side of frame that holds drip tray got bent about 1/8" out of true on
it's journey from Italy, so Chris wouldn't sell it as new.) 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

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