Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > HX machines...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
faaparasite
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 290
Location: Dallas Metroplex
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ99
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012, 5:56pm
Subject: HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
 

Many years ago when I first got my BZ-99(similar to BZ-02 and Livia 90 series machines), I naturally assumed the correct boiler pressure would be in the green zone on the gauge which goes between .9 and 1.5 bar.  For other HX machines I have seen, 1 bar and up seems to be the rule.  It was pretty difficult to pull a decent espresso in that range without doing a pretty long flush.  After lots of experimentation, I finally found that much lower boiler temps suited this machine much better, although I found that such temps made steaming milk an exercise in futility.  Fortunately I don't really like milk drinks all that well so it wasn't much of an issue for me other than when other people wanted a cappa.  It should be said that I have my machine optimized for walking up and making one double espresso.  If I had the need to make multiple drinks at once, I might do something differently.

Eventually the p-stat went south and rather than replace it, I opted to PID the machine.  This mod proved to be invaluable for the ability to easily bump up the boiler to steaming temps, and it ended the exercise of temp surfing (which I'm not sure is all that productive on a HX machine anyway).  Later on I sprang for a Scace and a data logger, which has given me a wealth of information on this machine.  As it turns out, my settings weren't too far off as I suspected all along just going by taste.  Believe it or not, the setting I most often use is 216 F on the PID, which corresponds to about .5 bar (I don't know the exact value as most charts I've seen don't go that low).  While this seems ridiculously low, here's the results from the datalogger with 198 F as my target temp:

0:00:00 190
0:00:01 194.5
0:00:02 195.7
0:00:03 197.4
0:00:04 197.4
0:00:05 197.3
0:00:06 197.2
0:00:07 197.3
0:00:08 197.2
0:00:09 197.3
0:00:10 197.3
0:00:11 197.3
0:00:12 197.3
0:00:13 197.4
0:00:14 197.5
0:00:15 197.6
0:00:16 197.6
0:00:17 197.6
0:00:18 197.8
0:00:19 197.9
0:00:20 197.9
0:00:21 198
0:00:22 198
0:00:23 198.2
0:00:24 198.3
0:00:25 198.3
0:00:26 198.4
0:00:27 198.4
0:00:28 198.5

I can repeat these results with pretty good regularity.  My technique is this.  When I walk up to the machine I remove the portafilter and start the pump, filling a 2oz espresso cup to capacity as I'm working on grinding.  After 2 oz, I shut off the pump and continue grinding, distributing, and  tamping.  From the start of my pre-flush to the start of the shot, 60 seconds pass.  I typically do a 25 second shot.  The results in the cup are quite nice.

I was just wondering if anyone else using a HX machine is using similarly low boiler settings.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Mon Nov 19, 2012, 6:59am
Subject: Re: HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
 

It seems to me that you have the wrong machine for your use. What you have done is to neuter a HX machine into a SBDU machine. There is nothing wrong with that if you like it but you are tossing out the features that you paid good money for. I think you would be better served with a E61 SBDU machine such as the Qucikmill Alexia Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com) rather than "crippling" your HX to do that same operation.
By lowering your pressure (temp) to a walk up and pull a shot, type of setup (no issue with you doing that if it is what you want) you only have one chance at pulling a shot then you need to wait for the machine to warm up again.

I think this is a classic case of the wrong type of machine for your type of use situation. Hey if what you have done works for you then more power to you and enjoy!

For me, I use the HX machine as it was designed to be used. My Pstat is set to 1.2 bar. I walk up, grind, tamp, pull 3 to 4 oz of water into my cup to prewarm the cup, let it warm the cup for about 15 seconds, dump the water, lock and pull. All this while maintaining good temp and keeping the ability to pull shot after shot (I will pull up to 4 doubles at a time) all of them very tasty indeed. YMMV!

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
faaparasite
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 290
Location: Dallas Metroplex
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ99
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:00am
Subject: Re: HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
 

I actually bought the machine used for $600 many years ago.  I'm not really in the market for a new machine as the one I have is already capable of +- .6 degrees F profile.  So I suspect I'd have to pay considerably more to get something better than this.

Rather than crippling my machine, I just look at it as optimizing it for what I do with it.  As I said, if I had the need to make multiple drinks, I would optimize my machine for that operation and at times I do just that.  My experience with my machine is that higher boiler temps equate to less than optimal walk up first shots.  2nd and subsequent shots are better.  So while that might be more in tune with how the machine was designed to be used, that's not what I'm doing with it 99% of the time.  Once I have a particular coffee dialed in, one chance is all I need.  In the event I do get a sink shot, the machine actually recovers quite quickly.  The PID also makes changes quite simple, so when I have guests coming over and have the need for espresso and milk based drinks, changing the settings just takes a few seconds and a few minutes of waiting while the temps stabilize.

I can't really say how my methods would equate to other types of HX machines, which is why I'm curious as to what others are doing and if anyone else has tried this.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:24am
Subject: Re: HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
 

Like I said, YMMV.  

PID on a HX machine, when the machine is used as designed,  is as useful as teats on a boar hog except for the lack of moving parts.

You are pulling a little water to warm your cup anyway, so a couple more oz of water into the cup to warm it and your unaltered machine will be in the "zone" without crippling it's abilities, like I said, you basically have turned it into a SBDU machine, abet a very expensive one to operate VS a standard SBDU machine.

From my personal point of view, I really fail to find value in the need to walk up and pull without running a little water through the machine. EVEN DB machines need to have water flushed through them to warm up the group, for the most part. Yes there are the few machines with active GH heating and control but they are not very common.

Then there is the need on every machine to flush spent grounds from the dispersion screen so you will be pulling water through the machine pretty much regardless of the "walk up" temp.

I am not putting you down, no not at all, I just don't understand the need you express. What works for you is fine, no GREAT! Me, I don't see the need.

Whatever makes you happy. YMMV!

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
faaparasite
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jun 2003
Posts: 290
Location: Dallas Metroplex
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ99
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: HX machines boiler pressure/temp: Where is yours set?
 

Actually I have found the PID quite useful, just not in the same way a non-HX machine owner would find one useful.  It allows me to reconfigure the boiler temp quite easily and precisely without having to take the top off the machine and go through the trial and error exercise of adjusting the p-stat.  That alone to me makes it worth it.

Here's the result your method would produce on my machine.  Here the boiler is set to 1.2 bar, a 4oz flush was used followed in 15 seconds by this shot...

0:00:00 194.4
0:00:01 195.1
0:00:02 196
0:00:03 196.7
0:00:04 197.5
0:00:05 198.2
0:00:06 199.1
0:00:07 203.6
0:00:08 205.1
0:00:09 204.7
0:00:10 204.7
0:00:11 204.5
0:00:12 204.5
0:00:13 204.5
0:00:14 204.4
0:00:15 204.4
0:00:16 204.4
0:00:17 204.4
0:00:18 204.4
0:00:19 204.3
0:00:20 204.3
0:00:21 204.3
0:00:22 204.3
0:00:23 204.2
0:00:24 204.2
0:00:25 204.1
0:00:26 203.9
0:00:27 203.8
0:00:28 203.7

While the linearity here is not bad, the brew temps are clearly well above what my temp preferences are.  A shot pulled at 198 is clearly not the same as a shot pulled at 204.  2nd and subsequent shots will yield somewhat progressively lower temps for the first few shots, but it's still well above where I like.  That's why I don't use this method unless I am making milk based drinks and need to use the steam wand.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > HX machines...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.34744310379)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+