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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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Park_Ridge_Dave
Senior Member
Park_Ridge_Dave
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 82
Location: Mundelein (Chicago)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario (NOT...
Vac Pot: N/A (French Press)
Drip: Technivorm MochaMaster
Roaster: None
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

des16 Said:

I have tried 19g and various settings. Even at the macro setting of 3, the coffee is still very powdery. When I tamp it compresses far below the silver ring on the tamper. And I am still getting 55 seconds. I have tried different beans, and basically the same story. So, do you think there is something strange with the vario-W

Posted January 12, 2013 link

FWIW have you tried cleaning it??  And then check the calibration. That helped me.

Gail & Kat have a video that I found helpful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa30Kh35bOs

I have the Vario w/o the weighing scale but the mechanics are probably similar???

Anyway, if that doesn't work I'd call the guys at Baratza they seem to be helpful.

Good luck,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

Those barista guys are also pulling hundreds of shots a day with the same bean, so they've got their gear dialed-in before you even come into the shop. Add in the fact that most of what they sell is milky drinks with so much candy that none of their customers can even taste the coffee and you appreciate that quality control for espresso pulled at home is more stringent than for mass-produced fancy drinks in a commercial setting.

In the Bay Area, many shops do weigh their grinds when pulling straight espresso these days; the last three I've been to did that, in fact. But they know I'm a geek, so they don't try to get too fancy with me.

Posted January 11, 2013 link

I'm not denying the obvious fact that a lot of shops sell really syrup-heavy and novelty-style drinks, but not all of them do. There are definitely shops that are better equipped--with staff and hardware--to do quality control to a higher degree than most can at home. Sure, not 100% of the shots will be to that degree, but the large majority will.

-Dave-
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 533
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Park_Ridge_Dave Said:

BubbaDude,

I am curious about your time of 35 seconds. I looked back several pages to do a quick check so excuse me if you have answered this question before.

My question:

Does your 35 Seconds include any "Pre-Infusion" time?

Posted January 12, 2013 link

Like I said, the 35 seconds is from the display. This is to keep it simple, assuming the default pre-infusion time. Don't take what I wrote as the definitive guide to making espresso, I was just trying to get you to a starting point. It's up to you to adjust your grind and dose to the your taste, as the final parameters depend in the bean and the adjustment of your grinder.

The dose should not be so small that you can't tamp it down without hitting the slope on the sides of the basket, and not so large that it overflows the basket. Ground coffee volume will be lower per unit of weight if your grind is super-fine. It's like filling a bucket with sand vs. filling it with rocks: sand will be heavier.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 533
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

I'm not denying the obvious fact that a lot of shops sell really syrup-heavy and novelty-style drinks, but not all of them do. There are definitely shops that are better equipped--with staff and hardware--to do quality control to a higher degree than most can at home. Sure, not 100% of the shots will be to that degree, but the large majority will.

-Dave-

Posted January 12, 2013 link

I think of it like this: A paid barista may pull three or four stinker shots a day using his seat-of-the-pants method, and that's no big deal because most people won't notice and the few who do can get a replacement. The home barista doesn't want to ever pull a stinker shot, so it's wise for him to weigh and measure each shot. Of course, if you're showing off for friends at home, all bets are off.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 533
Location: High in the Rockies
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 4:01pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

des16 Said:

I have tried 19g and various settings. Even at the macro setting of 3, the coffee is still very powdery. When I tamp it compresses far below the silver ring on the tamper. And I am still getting 55 seconds. I have tried different beans, and basically the same story. So, do you think there is something strange with the vario-W

Posted January 12, 2013 link

A fine grind like that is suitable for a ristretto with a 1:1 ratio between the weight of the dry dose and the pulled shot. Loosen up the grind for a normale with a 1:2 ratio.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

I think of it like this: A paid barista may pull three or four stinker shots a day using his seat-of-the-pants method, and that's no big deal because most people won't notice and the few who do can get a replacement. The home barista doesn't want to ever pull a stinker shot, so it's wise for him to weigh and measure each shot. Of course, if you're showing off for friends at home, all bets are off.

Posted January 12, 2013 link

Fair enough; I can concede to that.

-Dave-
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 340
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: HG-One, baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

Fair enough; I can concede to that.

-Dave-

Posted January 12, 2013 link

weighing.  sigh.

it's really this simple:  if you are against weighing, either:

1) you think you can "eyeball it" as precisely as a scale

or

2) you can't taste the difference anyway so why bother

you can get the tenth-gram precision you want for under $20 in a scale.  a tenth of a gram is nominally a single half-bean.  four bean-halves is at least half a gram in a light roast.  and half a gram is HUGE when it comes to espresso.  think you can eyeball it that well?  you'll have to forgive me if i hold on to my doubts about your ability to eyeball it, if you happen to be one of the folks who claims you can dose by looking.

and we have not even begun to talk about weighing the shot itself yet.  even after YEARS of weighing both dose and extraction, i still have to force myself to believe the scale when i'm watching/timing a fresh, gassy roast that fills like a gusher, but isn't really.  the scale doesn't lie.  period.

i've never understood the passion of the folks who oppose it so vehemently. (not pointing at you dave, you just reminded me of it).


-peter
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 6:20am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

weighing.  sigh.

it's really this simple:  if you are against weighing, either:

1) you think you can "eyeball it" as precisely as a scale

or

2) you can't taste the difference anyway so why bother

you can get the tenth-gram precision you want for under $20 in a scale.  a tenth of a gram is nominally a single half-bean.  four bean-halves is at least half a gram in a light roast.  and half a gram is HUGE when it comes to espresso.  think you can eyeball it that well?  you'll have to forgive me if i hold on to my doubts about your ability to eyeball it, if you happen to be one of the folks who claims you can dose by looking.

and we have not even begun to talk about weighing the shot itself yet.  even after YEARS of weighing both dose and extraction, i still have to force myself to believe the scale when i'm watching/timing a fresh, gassy roast that fills like a gusher, but isn't really.  the scale doesn't lie.  period.

i've never understood the passion of the folks who oppose it so vehemently. (not pointing at you dave, you just reminded me of it).


-peter

Posted January 12, 2013 link

I think we're misunderstanding each other, because I completely agree with everything you just said. I don't think I can eyeball with the exacting precision of a scale. At home, I weigh every single dose and every single shot. When I said "fair enough," i meant that I agreed with your previous rebuttal, if that was confusing.

-Dave-
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 340
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: HG-One, baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

TheSunInsideYou Said:

I think we're misunderstanding each other, because I completely agree with everything you just said. I don't think I can eyeball with the exacting precision of a scale. At home, I weigh every single dose and every single shot. When I said "fair enough," i meant that I agreed with your previous rebuttal, if that was confusing.

-Dave-

Posted January 13, 2013 link

was i not clear that i wasn't picking on you?  it was just something in your post that reminded me about the feud between weighers and non-weighers.  anyhow, no attack intended.

-peter
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,294
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

When you take all the subjective factors, taste, different coffees,variables even within the most precise machine
such as pressure/water temp, tamping,grind, and length of pull. Then try to fit all of these into a formula called dosing,
does it really create a static constant which delivers precise results ?
Could it just create more confusion as you constantly taste it and then try to find that taste over and over through formulas ?
Isnt it possible to arrive at a close enough proximity, by learning to recognize the amount in the basket when properly tamped,
that yields the espresso taste your looking for.
And please dont use my honest questions to start a dosing vs non dosing war. I simply am a non doser who
doesnt weigh or measure and wants to know if I should go down that road. I am open to exploration
and it could be since I only make Lattes its really not that big of an issue.
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