HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Expobar Brewtus and La Spaziale S1 (14 msgs / 554 lines)
1) From: Clifton
I am starting to get upgrade fever for a dual boiler. I was wondering if
anyone on the list has an Expobar Brewtus or a La Spaziale S1 and how they
like the PID controls?
Clif - SomeWhere in Florida 
with Rocky the Cardi and Garfield the Tabby
Odie PWC at the Bridge 01/18/2006http://www.freewebs.com/aesk/inmemoriam.htm

2) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Clif .... I too am from somewhere in Florida .... I also have an S1. =
Excellent machine. I had a Silvia prior to the S1. I really got tired of =
the single boiler when making several cups for friends, good learning =
machine though. The S1 one is a pretty well designed machine. It has =
many override adjustments that can customize most everything your little =
heart desires. The only thing I changed out was the frothing head. Not =
really sure I needed to do that, once I got that process clear in my =
mind. There are a few forums out there that deal directly with the setup =
and operation of the S1. I had to send it back one time .... for a =
problem with the boiler temp control. It was still under warranty and =
they, Chriss Coffee, resolved the issue and has been working great every =
since. Now ... that being said. There are also some real nice Group 61 =
Units out there now as well ... and offer some very nice capability.  =
The only thing is ... they are almost the same price !!! Tough decision =
I know, but I do like the dual boiler. Later, Bob

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
Detailed reviews of both:http://home-barista.com/brewtus-buyers-guide.htmlhttp://home-barista.com/s1-buyers-guide.html
Here's a HB forum discussion titled Expobar Brewtus II vs. La Spaziale S1http://home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t20Both machines have there pros and cons. 
Neither the S1 or Brewtus have PID temp control. Electronic on/off type temp
control with 1C deadband resolution yes, not PID. (same boiler temp control
resolution attainable with 0.5bar deadband pstat like the Barksdale I put in
my Bricoletta, though HX not DB machine) Some have upgraded their Brewtus's
to PID control, don't know of anyone mod'ing their S1 with PID.
What machine are you using now? When I upgraded from Silvia thought I didn't
want a HX because of HX "surf". Surfed Silvia two years before adding PID
and swore I'd never surf again! After thoroughly researching found I was
wrong. HX surf vs Silvia surf apples and oranges. Chris Tacy's
professional's review of the Bricoletta one of the articles that showed me
the HX light.http://home-barista.com/pros-perspective-briccoletta.htmlKona 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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4) From: Barry Luterman
I have a Brewtus. I wrote a review of it a few months ago on this forum. The 
Brewtus does not come with a PID but some people have added them also some 
have added rotary pumps. Seehttp://groups.google.com/group/brewtus I have had no trouble with the machine in  the 4 months that I own it. I 
also have had only 1 sink shot ( my own fault) and multiple I heard the 
angels sing shot and at least one G-d shot. Couldn't be happier with any 
other machine. Out of the box it does have some shot creep. But just plain 
Mike and Mike McKoffee fixed it in no time . Just a minor modification.

5) From: Barry Luterman
Oh I should have added. As far as I am concerned adding a PID or a rotary 
pump to a Brewtus would be just gilding the Lilly

6) From: Clifton
My first espresso machine was a Solis Master 5000 and right now I have =
an
ECM Giotto Premium. Still miss the superauto in the morning. I like
Americanos on the way to work and that machine did them right. I =
couldn't
justify the countertop space after I got the Giotto so I gave the Solis
Master 5K to a friend at work for his 60th b-day. I used it less and =
less as
I got up to speed on the Giotto. 
Never really liked the idea of an HX, but the dual boilers were just too
much bucks at the time and many required plumbing which I did not want =
to
do. I was looking at a single boilers ( the Isomac Zaffiro ) and was
intending to PID it, but most of the reviews I read said I would have =
been
left with marginal steam and splattering hot water. I like my hot water
dispenser so the splattering they described, along with some quality =
control
issues with the pump, steered me away from that machine. 
I have thought of building a coffee cart and use a flojet to get water =
from
a 5 gallon to the S-1, which would get around the plumping issues. The =
cart
would also allow me to move the machine around in my small kitchen and =
free
up more counter top space so I may eventually do that anyway. I live in =
a
house by myself so the noise issue of a vibe pump vs rotary really =
doesn't
matter to me. I'm still leaning more towards the Brewtus.
Clif - SomeWhere in Florida 
with Rocky the Cardi and Garfield the Tabby
Odie PWC at the Bridge 01/18/2006http://www.freewebs.com/aesk/inmemoriam.htm

7) From: Leo Zick
While the brewtus has been one of my dream machines, im a bit hesitant
lately, ive seen a few people suddenly have controller issues with it and
other expobar models.  I hope its isolated, but really makes me nervous with
such expensive repairs..

8) From: The Scarlet Wombat
I have been using an Isomac Zaffiro for over 2.5 years with perfect 
success.  There is enough steam to do several cappies in a row or power a 
small locomotive.  According to my talking digital thermometer, the temp 
stability is very good for a single boiler machine.  Aside from the heat up 
time to get steam and cool down time to return to regular shots, I could 
not ask for a better machine.
Dan

9) From: Clifton
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I have a couple of beans that I can get great results with my Giotto.
However some of the beans have an optimum brew temp that is slightly =
lower
and trying to hit that temp constantly with an HX machine is touch and =
go
for me. 
 
 
Clif - SomeWhere in Florida 
with Rocky the Cardi and Garfield the Tabby
Odie PWC at the Bridge 01/18/2006http://www.freewebs.com/aesk/inmemoriam.htm

10) From: Clifton
The Zaff had really great reviews on CoffeeGeek. I think they did =
mention
that they ran into a bad lot of thermostats, but as long as you buy from =
a
reputable dealer you could get it repaired. That is the type of part =
that is
usually purchased and installed not built by the end manufacturer so I'm
sure other brands has similar problems unless it was a handling and =
storage
issue of the parts. I did think about getting the Quick Mill "Alexia" =
and
putting a PID in it. Looks like it is very similar to the Zaff. A 750 ml
boiler tied directly to an E61 group. I rarely do Cappas, I am mostly an
espresso or Americano kind of guy so a machine targeted to an espresso
purist would do me just fine. As a single person who rarely entertains =
it
would have more than enough steam power to keep up with my caffeine
tolerance level! The single boiler is great for temperature stability on
shots, it just has the main drawback of the ramp up time to steamer =
temps
and that the refill water is cold so you have could have to wait a bit
between shots if you were pounding them out at a party. I did read that
getting hot water from the steamer wand caused some spurting issues that =
you
had to be careful about. Have you had that problem?
Clif - SomeWhere in Florida 
with Rocky the Cardi and Garfield the Tabby
Odie PWC at the Bridge 01/18/2006http://www.freewebs.com/aesk/inmemoriam.htm

11) From: Greg Scace
Hi:
I just bought an S1 because I am developing a 53mm version of my 
themofilter.  I have extensive experience with double boiler 
machines.  I did rather exhaustive testing of the LM GS3 and I own a 
2-group LM Linea, which is heavily modified for improved temperature 
stability.  I'm in a good position to make comparisons of coffee 
taste with my LM.  In my limited experience with the S1, I find it to 
be very easy to use.  I was able to dial in the brew temperature 
quickly, to a temperature setting that seems reasonable compared to 
the brew temps I use on my Linea for the coffee that i am using right 
now.  I don't have quantitative temperature reproducibility data on 
the S1 yet, but I will in a couple of weeks, once I have the 
prototype 53mm  thermofilters done.  In the mean time I am going by 
taste and look of crema.  The S1 is easier to use than the e-61 
machines with which I have experience.   The crema color and back to 
back taste consistency is good and more reproducible than e-61 
machines I have used.
I should mention here that the machine on which these opinions are 
based suffered shipping damage, and I had to send it back.  I now 
have a replacement machine and will get more experience with it.  The 
S1 seems like a pretty solid machine so far, particularly for the 
money.  Interior layout and design is very slick.  Electronic control 
of the temperature seems good, but I can't back up that statement 
with numbers, as i already mentioned.  Setting the temperature is a 
little kludgey compared to just dialing in the number on a PID 
controller, but it's easy enough to do and works fine.
-Greg
  At 06:47 AM 9/9/2006, you wrote:
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12) From: Les
Greg,
Thanks for the report.  I am always interested in info on the S1.
Les
On 9/13/06, Greg Scace  wrote:
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13) From: Jim Rubino
Hey Greg,
Is it too early to draw any comparisons between the S1 and the GS3?
Thanks,
Jim
On Sep 13, 2006, at 9:18 AM, Greg Scace wrote:
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14) From: Greg Scace
No, probably not.  I can tell you for sure that the GS3 steaming is 
waaay better.  The GS3 steam boiler allows boiler pressures over 2 
bars, which makes for hellacious steam, almost as good as a 2-group 
Linea.  The GS3 has feedwater preheat that is very sophisticated, so 
that off idle performance is very similar to performance during 
continuous duty.  It's an interesting exercise for me to approach the 
machine "flying blind".  My usual approach to a new machine is to set 
the brew temperature and dynamic brew pressure to numbers that I know 
will work for the coffee I'm currently drinking.  Then I learn how to 
keep the machine at those temps through group flushing regimen.  Once 
I know this information I can pretty much go to war without having to 
think very much.  My S1 is set to 97C boiler temperature.  That's 
206.6 Deg F.  Based on taste and crema color I reckon that the brew 
temp at the top of the coffee is around 201, which is the brew temp 
of my Linea.  FWIW, my Linea's PID setting is somewhere around 207 
degrees.  There's a fair amount of temperature difference between the 
body of the boiler and the group, even in a machine that has very 
active convection in the group neck (the so-called saturated 
group).  My Linea is modified so that effects of relatively cold 
group solenoid and flowmeters are completely mitigated, and thermal 
stability is on the order of the GS3.  I suspect, based on the S1 
layout, that there is some temperature drop between the main volume 
of the boiler and the group, although it looks to me that La Spaz has 
done a good job of thermally anchoring the group to the boiler.  I'm 
guessing first shots are slightly cold unless steps are taken to warm 
the dispersion block.  Subsequent shots probably are slightly 
warmer.  I've programmed my single dose to be a 2-ounce group flush.
Also, compared to the GS3, the S1 control system is less 
sophisticated and boiler volumes are smaller.  It's entirely possible 
to achieve sub 1 degree temperature stability and reproducibility 
under all usage conditions with a very small boiler, such as the one 
on the S1.  However it requires that the feedwater be preheated and 
that the temperature control system be more sophisticated than on / 
off control, such as I think is provided on the S1.  I suspect that 
when I run the WBC protocol on the S1 I will find that it suffers 
during the continuous duty part of the WBC test.  The GS3, on the 
other hand, is capable of handling any duty cycle thrown at it.
I'll know more in a couple of weeks.  I'm just getting acquainted 
with it now.  Unfortunately I had to sell my Astra with the 
integrated group flushing temperature probe.
-Greg
At 03:44 AM 9/14/2006, you wrote:
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