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Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
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mn
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Boston, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Unica
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 9:15am
Subject: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

I have a Bezzera Unica. I'm finding that with the same PID setting (94C) if the machine has been on for a few hours my shots come out poorly with a dark broken crema. This seems consistent with a machine that is too hot?

With the same grind, coffee, tamp, PID settings (94C) I get a better shot if I startup the machine from cold and let it warm up for no more than 20 minutes.

Shouldn't the PID ensure that the temperature is the same? Can anyone explain why I'm getting worse shots when the machine is on for several hours even though I'm using the same PID settings, grind, coffee, tamp?
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 228
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Aeropress, Bialetti Brikka,...
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

The Bezzera Unica has an E61 group head. My understanding is that it's heated by thermosyphon. I believe, from what I've read, the E61 can run hot after a long idle period. This means a flush to cool the E61 would be required. HOWEVER, I'm not certain about this and by no means am I an expert on this.

I will defer to other, more knowledgeable CG members for their expertise.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 10:10am
Subject: Re: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

Is 20 minutes a long enough warm up for this much mass/machine?  20 minutes for Gaggia Classic and PID works, but the PID makes it appear stable in about 5 minutes - the PID sensor is being kept at stable temperature.  If the warm up time needs to be 45 - 60 minutes it might explain your findings, you are actually getting water out a degree or more lower than you might expect from the PID setting and offset. You could lower the PID temperature a degree or two and use 1 hour warm up and test your results.  Obviously a thermofilter would help, or perhaps an E61 thermometer.

I also defer to those with more similar machines, and more knowledge  :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

The Bezzera Unica has an E61 group head. My understanding is that it's heated by thermosyphon. I believe, from what I've read, the E61 can run hot after a long idle period. This means a flush to cool the E61 would be required. HOWEVER, I'm not certain about this and by no means am I an expert on this.

I will defer to other, more knowledgeable CG members for their expertise.

Posted May 21, 2014 link

This is true. I usually do a quick flush before I pull the PF out. dry the PF, grind and tamp, then flush the group again before inserting the PF and pulling the shot. Shouldnt require too much time. You can also look at cooling your PF under warm water briefly before the shot. It should still be hot enough that it is uncomfortable to hold but not so hot that it alters the coffee on its way out.

I've been playing with this on my brewtus and I find that a very brief flushing can make a huge difference.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,318
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 12:33pm
Subject: Re: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

It takes longer than 20 minutes for a Unica to fully warm up.  

The PID read out is the temperature of the water in the brew boiler only.  If your machine isn't fully warmed up, the brew water cools down as it passes though the group and into the basket.  

You need to allow a longer warm up.  If you aren't starting your morning sessions by warming up the pf with a flush, that's something you need to do as well.

Put your machine on a timer so it will start warming up in the morning before you get out of bed.  That way it will be fully warmed when you pull your first shot.  

The E-61's "thermosiphonic" plumbing wasn't designed for an SBDU like the Unica; and the interaction is complicated.  Basically, the group will run a little too cool when the boiler's been set at brew for awhile, but a little too hot when it's just come off steam.    

You don't need to temp the Unica's head as precisely as you would if it were an HX by using the "water dance."  But you do need at least a brief warming or cooling flush after every idle longer than four or five minutes.   If you flush for around 30sec then wait another 30sec for the group to come to equilibrium, before pulling your shot that should do it.  

Once you start using a fully equilibriated machine -- in terms of both warm up and flushing -- you'll probably want to adjust the PID temp by a degree or two.      

Rich
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 8:15pm
Subject: Re: Different quality shots/ same PID settings, coffee, grind, and tamp
 

Sounds like your offset in your PID is to high for that group.

You really want to borrow a scace and fluke data logger if you can. If not there are tons of articles on other ways to measure temp and it sounds like the results differ so dramatically you should be able to narrow the gap just with your pallet and a IR thermometer.

I would turn the offset down to 4 or degrees and start there.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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