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Topic: HX temp inconsistency> RE: thermofilters WAS:+ExpobarBrewtus and La Spaziale S1 (7 msgs / 291 lines)
1) From: Les
I would like to sum this whole discussion up.  There is no magic to
this.  It is simple.  I will let you all in on the secret!  Many of you may
not like it because it is so simple.  Greg alluded it to it in the
discussion below.  Mike has stated it several times!  So here it is.  You
have to get to know  *your* machine!  Carlos (my Expobar Office Control)
and I are good buddies!  I had to give him an attitude adjustment
(pressurestat) to get him to behave.  I have two of my 4 buttons adjusted
for volumetric flushes that bring my temps down to 204 and 202
respectively.  I know the routine that allows him to make me happy with his
shots.  Every machine is different.  Don't worry about making some sink
shots if you are learning your machine.  The same goes for your grinder.
The grinder and the espresso machine have to dance together.  Yesterday I
wanted to pull a ristretto with the Nicaragua Limoncillo Estate Var. Java.
Major (my grinder) didn't do his part right and I ended up with a nice
double shot espresso.  I made a cappo for Becky and adjusted Major and had a
very fine ristretto on the second try.  So here is the secret, spend time
getting to know your machine.  Don't look with envy on those with something
bigger and more shiny.  To be real honest, I think upgrade should come only
after you realize you want more out of your machine than it can deliver.  I
was with a Miss Silvia owner who drinks a lot of Cappos.  They are upgrading
to an HX, not for better shots, but for more convenient steaming power.
They have learned to make excellent shots on their Miss Silvia.  You can
have the best equipment in the world and still make swill.  I can take you
to a coffee shop here in Roseburg that has good beans, Mazzer Grinders, and
a nice LaMarzzoco espresso machine.  They make consistent sink shots all day
long.  Some of the worst swill I have ever tasted.  They don't know their
machines!   So the secret to great espresso is to know your machine.
On 9/14/06, Greg Scace  wrote:
unsvbscribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>

2) From: Brett Mason
ALSO: And get a good tamper....
Les doesn't like to sound off on that, but he makes an awesome tamper!
On 9/14/06, Les  wrote:

3) From: Michael Dhabolt
To amplify Les's comments.
A story (that is actually appropriate to this thread):
I got a call from a friend last night and was asked if I'd take a look
at a three group La San Marco (LSM) at a shop in Hood River Or.  This
guy knows a guy who knows a guy....along the trail of guys I had built
a clone of my Ubber Popper roaster for one of the guys and also helped
him sort out some problems with his espresso machine, so all of a
sudden I've become a source of espresso machine knowledge.  The guy
with the LSM purchased an espresso shop less than a month ago and
didn't know anyone local to help out.  "Sure I'll help out but you
understand I'm not - - (caveats a bunch).
The problem, as he saw it, was way too much steam pressure.  His
Barista's couldn't keep the milk in the frothing pitcher.  You already
know where this is going.  Boiler pressure was at 2.1 Bar, large
commercial Pstat, points in the Pstat just short of non-existent.
Buffed the points a bit with emery cloth, adjusted the Pstat down to
center the dead band at 1.1 Bar (huge 0.6 Bar dead band), called EPNW
and ordered a new Pstat.
The Barista's were pleased (understatement).  As I was leaving I asked
the guy to pull a shot to see if he could tell a difference.  While
giving me a quizzical look (like what does steam pressure have to do
with the shot quality) he pulled a shot....quaffed it.... and his eyes
got big and round and gave me a serious "Wow!", and told the two
baristas to pull and taste shots....similar exclamations from them.
Had to stick around for another forty five minutes to explain steam
vs. temperature relationship (shot temp is now at least 3°F lower than
before the adjustment) and heat exchanger loop function in an espresso
machine.  As the guy walked me to my car he asked "Do you think you
could come back and teach my other shop personnel what you just went
thru with us?"   I told him" Sure".   He replied "I really appreciate
it....It is, after all, all in the cup".  I'm gonna like this guy!
As I was driving home (and patting myself on the back), I couldn't
help but think that I know a bunch of folks who could have
accomplished exactly the same thing (you guys).  Helps the ego
limitation program.
Mike (just plain)

4) From: Leo Zick
Nice story, its always fun to teach others and learn in the process :)
Hope you get lots of coffee out of the deal.. hehe

5) From: Les
I was at my daughter's favorite coffee haunt in Bend when she lived
there.  I watched the barista pull an excellent shot.  She (and the
guy too) had good technique, and knowledge.  The beans seemed fresh
and not overroasted.  I wasn't going to have anything, but Becky's and
Esther's Cappos looked really good and they were well  constructed.  I
asked for a ristretto.  The barista didn't blink and eye.  He adjusted
the grinder and pulled a very nice looking ristretto.  I took one sip
and the pucker factor was a 9.9 on a scale of 10.  Talk about sour!
The lingering aftertaste was good.  I asked what temp they were
pulling their shots at.  They said 186 degrees!  A short intense
argument took place.  They insisted that their roaster said that was
the best temp for the bean.  They had a very nice espresso machine
with digital controls.  I finally talked them into cranking it up to
202 and she pulled another ristretto.  It was one of the best I have
ever had from a commercial place.  They gal and guy both pulled one
for themselves.  It was shock and awe!  They didn't think a shot
could be that sweet and smooth without sugar.  The sad part of the
story is as we were leaving, I saw the temperature being reset to 186.
On 9/14/06, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>

6) From: miKe mcKoffee
In all fairness to both yourself AND the café owner, I'd charge him =
for the
next service and/or training call. BTW, baristi that don't know their
equipment is the difference between a Pro Barista and a Faux Barista:-) =
home amateur barista are more Pro than many that call themselves Pro...
While 2.1bar boiler pressure on an HX machine would usually be rather =
for shots without extreme temp managament and/or HX system =
modifications, I
have heard of shops that run their DB's steam boiler around 2bar and =
have a problem with excellent microfoam. VERY fast steaming of course, =
takes practice to control it. 
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 =

7) From: Michael Dhabolt
On 9/14/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
The going rate for espresso machine repair guys is pretty stout.  The
guy had a check made out for a couple of hours at that rate when I
left - Shock and Awe.  He proferred his sincere thanks for helping him
out while he handed me the check - - who am I to ruin his gesture ;~)
I'm developing an understanding that many small (and I expect large)
roasters are similarly clue-less.  The occasional 'Stumptown' keeps
the faith.
Mike (just plain)

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