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Breville Barista Express BES860XL
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Corrupy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: South Africa
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 2:42pm
Subject: Breville Barista Express BES860XL
 

Hello

I own a breville barista express as stated in the title. I've been trying to get more and more serious with this machine. I know it's not a very good machine
and I'm not at liberty to exchange it or get another grinder. I've tried pulling shots at different grind sizes and dosages. The problem I'm having now is that
the dosage and grind size either increases the flow of the espresso by too much or the pressure gauge starts fluctuating but the espresso seems to be coming
out at a decent rate. The espresso still tastes very sour. I'm not sure if this is a temperature thing or if I can even install a PID into this machine. It seems like
I've exhausted all possibilities to no avail. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Aug 7, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Breville Barista Express BES860XL
 

HI,
Well the 870 express machine on the B website says it is a thermoblock style machine. These are hard to get proper heat regulation on, even with a PID as the water is flash heated on demand, there is no boiler so you are at the mercy of the alum block and a click thermostat.

I do not know for sure but most porta filters on this class of machine are pressurized so I suspect that yours is too, if it is, the actual grind is not as critical as there is a device in the PF to pressurize the pf regardless of the coffee. This is done to let you use old, sub quality, stale pre ground coffee and get something out of the machine.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Corrupy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: South Africa
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 12:42am
Subject: Re: Breville Barista Express BES860XL
 

Thanks for replying. They offer single and double walled baskets and I'm using the single wall. Does that still means it's pressurized?
Also do you know anything about the pressure gauge going heywire? I'm not sure if i'm supposed to backflush this machine.
Does it have a 3 way solenoid?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: Breville Barista Express BES860XL
 

Corrupy Said:

Thanks for replying. They offer single and double walled baskets and I'm using the single wall. Does that still means it's pressurized?
Also do you know anything about the pressure gauge going heywire? I'm not sure if i'm supposed to backflush this machine.
Does it have a 3 way solenoid?

Posted August 9, 2013 link

Brevilles single wall filters are normal, the double wall ones are the pressurized ones. Can be a number of problems, not meaning to talk down your machine or anything. But the thermoblock is stuck at 205F I believe, which is too high for espresso imo. The built in grinder is just not good at all, same burr set as the Smart Grinder but doesn't have the adjustability of the Smart Grinder which in itself teeters on the edge of espresso capable grinding. So using the built in grinder with the single wall filters is kind of a lost cause. But the pressurized ones will make coffee taste more like a shot of drip and give fake crema, but there for people who use stale or preground coffee, don't know how to tamp etc.

Did you get a blank filter for backflushing? Breville calls it something weird lol, on the low end machines it's called the "dry puck feature", unless they changed that, the Dual Boiler machine def has a 3 way valve though and they call it so.... but I think it works similarly being it drains internally to the tray. You'll notice there's no stem/tube coming out from near the group to the drip tray. However if it didn't come with a blank filter to use, it pry can't be backflushed the way a normal machine can.

Not much you can do, but what beans are you using? Fresh roasted? You could get a separate (capable) espresso grinder and go from there.
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Corrupy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: South Africa
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Breville Barista Express BES860XL
 

Hi. I'm not so much concerned with the quality of the coffee. More so the pressure this machine is outputting on the gauge shows that it fluctuates while the shot is being pulled.
Inconsistent pressure could affect the shot if I'm not incorrect in saying. I'm not sure if the machine is even outputting 9 bar pressure as it states it does. Not sure if this is a concern that I should take up with breville
or is it normal. Someone once said that I could have been choking the machine, but I have since measured out 14 grams of coffee for a double shot and it seems to do it still.
The coffee I use is freshly roasted.
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