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HX Recommendation
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:29pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Ben's last post, although something to consider, is a recommendation made mainly to business owners, because if their machines go down, they can't afford to close for a couple of days until their machine is fixed...so for them the best brand to get is the one the local repair guy can fix.

I highly recommend taking a look at this product on Chris' website... Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com) I would also strongly recommend you read the pdf manual that accompanies it, because in addition to explaining the flush very well, it also lists a few machines that are exceptions to the "must flush" rules.

Lastly, Chris' Coffee Service is an exceptional company, highly regarded here for their exemplary customer service. They courteously answer all of your questions and won't sell you what you don't need or want.  For instance, I have an Alex Duetto II I bought from them, and well...before I read that manual above, I emailed Chris about buying the E61 thermometer and he told me not to but it.  Also, their service guys will help you over the phone if you have any issues or desire to do any repair work yourself.

If you can take the time to go visit their showroom, it'll really be a great step in helping you decide what you want to buy.  I've never been there, but would love to visit some day.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 7:56am
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

cuznvin Said:

More confusion..lol.... Are there any HX machines(brands) that you would say hold the temp better than others and dont need a long flush?

Posted December 17, 2012 link

The larger the machine, the more thermally stable it is.  Then again, how much time are you talking about in between shots?

ANY machine will need some sort of flush after sitting idle for a long time -- cooling flush for an HX, warming flush for a DB.  But in continual use, NEITHER ONE will need any flush at all, or a tiny one at most, if you're pulling multiple shots.  For example, every day I make multiple drinks.  My home machine (an Elektra T1 -- a plumbed-in HX with a 6.0L boiler) is on 24/7; my office machine (a La Valentina -- a pourover HX with a 1.8L boiler) is on a timer to kick on at least one hour before I get to the office.  I stumble downstairs, run a cooling flush and pull a shot.  Empty the dishwasher, whatever, and then make two lattes -- a short flush before the first one, none (except to clean the group head -- think of it as a "cleaning spritz" rather than having any affect of cooling) before the second one, and third if I'm making one for my daughter.  When I get to the office, the machine has been on for at least one hour before I get there, so there is an initial cooling flush, then I make two or three drinks back to back with no need for a cooling flush in between.  But when I come back after lunch and make drinks for employees/clients, the machine has been idle for some time and so -- yes -- it needs a cooling flush.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,034
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 8:34am
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

cuznvin Said:

More confusion..lol.... Are there any HX machines(brands) that you would say hold the temp better than others and dont need a long flush?

Lets say the flush is too long or too short. Would the temp be way off or just a degree or two as you put it. I am not so worried about a degree or two and doubt I will be able to tell the difference.

Posted December 17, 2012 link

LOL, I took so long typing my answer that Jason posted a long time before I did! Yes, what he said +1 ;D

Short answer, no, one maker is not much different than another for stability.

There are several great articles about how HX machines work etc. I will try to just make it pretty simple here.

HX machines are the back bone of industry. They are dependable, work well and abundant.

They work by thermal mass, they have a lot of metal and large boilers. The Pstat (pressure stat) keeps the temp in the boiler to within 2 to 5 deg F, on the low side for a new machine and on the higher side for a well used machine due to mechanical wear but at any rate well within easy operating range.

The HX (Heat eXchange) system works by keeping the boiler at steam temp of about 235 to 240F or even higher depending on how you want  your machine to work. The temp is indicated in Bar thus you have a gauge that reads from about .8 bar to about 2.5 bar or so, with an operating range from 1.1 bar to about 1.4 bar. This is nothing more than just a thermometer with a scale that reads in bar, you can look up the temps if you like they are widely available online.

The temp of the boiler stays constant by the use of a Pstat. This device is sensitive to pressure (bar is a measure of pressure) and the Pstat keeps the boiler at the set temp within it's range of operation accuracy or the 2 to 5 deg f. (if set for 240 f this would give you a range of say 237.5 to 242.5 or Plus or minus 2.5 deg f for a pstat that swings 5 deg.

When someone uses a PID on a HX machine, it replaces the Pstat which is operating well within need accuracy so a PID really does not add anything to the system but if you like digital readout of numbers, it does not hurt either but it does NOTHING to improve the machine.

The HX system, think of it as simply a tube that passes through the boiler but does NOT connect to the water in the boiler. As water passes through the HX tube, it is heated by the water in the boiler. The tube is designed to a size and distance so that in constant operation, say pulling a shot every minute or minute and a half, the water will be heated to the proper brew temp of 195 to 205. If you continue to work at the same speed, the water temp will be the same shot to shot and all is well with the world.

The problem comes when you stop pulling shots. Now the water in the HX system is sitting inside the boiler longer than it was intended to and it becomes the same temp as the water in the boiler. This is not a big deal as you simply FLUSH this over heated water out of the system and return the system to normal brew temp. If you do not flush a lot of water, you can make the shot temp rise a little or if you pull a couple shots quicker than the system is designed for, you can get a cooler shot, but unless you are all thumbs, you will be in the proper brew zone of 195 to 205 and this is the way a HX machine will allow you to make one shot warmer or a little cooler, depending on what you want for the shot. If you work at the machines design rate, the temp will be the same within a deg or so time after time.

Now, adding to the way the system works, you will have a lot (LOT) of metal in the brew group, in the case of the E61, this is 8 pounds of brass that is also being temp regulated through a balance of exposure to air and active heating of water from the boiler flowing through water passages in the brew group. This is eight POUNDS of mass that is at temp. Your shot of water is (for a double shot) two OUNCES of weight or mass, the affect of the heat stored in the group head acts on the temp of the water that is flowing through it, either warming or cooling the water passing through it, depending on if the water is hotter or colder than the brew group temp.

You can see that there are a lot of design factors taken into account in a HX machine to regulate the temp of your brew water. Yes, you can affect the temp of the water you brew with but it will not be wild swings of temp, just a little warmer or cooler depending on your actions. As long as you flush long enough for the water to stop flashing to steam (an easy thing to tell when you listen to the flow of the water and watch the flow of the water) you will be darn close to brew temp. If you flush just a couple of oz past this point, you will be in the zone, if you flush a little more, you will be on the cool side, a little less and you are on the warm side. It really is as simple as that. No drastic failure of the brew either way, just the ability, through your actions, to alter the  temp of the shot a little warmer or cooler.

DB machines also have a great deal of thermal mass in the brew system. The do not have a single boiler (hence the name Double boiler) They use a PID to (the new ones anyway) maintain the temp of the brew water to a set temp. This water then flows through the group head where it's temp has an affect on the brew water. In MOST instances, the brew group will be COLDER than it should be due to sitting, exposed to the air, bleeding heat to the air. The first shot through the group will then WARM the brew group to it's operating temp but the result is that the first shot or so of water through the system will be too cool to properly brew your espresso, thus you need to flush the system to WARM the brew group so the machine pulls shots at the desired temp. Either way, you are flushing the system.

There are double boiler machines with actively heated and thermostat regulated temp (brew group) but they are not part of this discussion nor are they in the price range of what we are discussing. So for this discussion, they are a moot point.

One is not "better" than the other, it really comes down to how your brain works, what floats your boat and how you like to work. While it is true, you can just change the temp of a shot on a PID controlled DB (or sbdu for that matter) machine with a touch of a button as some are fond of saying, you need to wait for the whole machine to change it's operating temp and normalize at the NEW operating temp. This can take about 15 minutes or so. Not a big deal but not as rapid as watching the number change on the digital readout either.

I hope this helps to clear things up a bit.

 
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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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 8:43am
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

emradguy Said:

Ben's last post, although something to consider, is a recommendation made mainly to business owners, because if their machines go down, they can't afford to close for a couple of days until their machine is fixed...so for them the best brand to get is the one the local repair guy can fix.

I highly recommend taking a look at this product on Chris' website... Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com) I would also strongly recommend you read the pdf manual that accompanies it, because in addition to explaining the flush very well, it also lists a few machines that are exceptions to the "must flush" rules.

Lastly, Chris' Coffee Service is an exceptional company, highly regarded here for their exemplary customer service. They courteously answer all of your questions and won't sell you what you don't need or want.  For instance, I have an Alex Duetto II I bought from them, and well...before I read that manual above, I emailed Chris about buying the E61 thermometer and he told me not to but it.  Also, their service guys will help you over the phone if you have any issues or desire to do any repair work yourself.

If you can take the time to go visit their showroom, it'll really be a great step in helping you decide what you want to buy.  I've never been there, but would love to visit some day.

Posted December 17, 2012 link

That link was very helpful.. Looks like the Vibiemme or Rocket is what I want to go with..
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 8:52am
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Wow, Cal.. Thanks SO much.. You should copy that and then cut and paste it in the future. It is very helpful and a great description...
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Wayne, that was a great explanation!

I copied it and saved it into a Word file on my PC!  I think I'm going to post a link to it in the "jwoodyu, valuable links" thread.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Can anyone explain the difference between these three machines?

Rocket Espresso Cellini Evoluzione V2  
Rocket Espresso Cellini Premium Plus V2  
Rocket Espresso Cellini Professional
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 3:25pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

ALso, it seems that the Rockets have a mechanical pre infusion(Mechanical pre-infusion system has a progressively working piston and static pre-infusion chamber) whereas the Vibiemmes do not.. Is this true?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,296
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

on the Rocket website they have a pdf that shows the features of each model

Looks like:

Evoluzione V2 is reservoir or direct connect (plumb in) and has a rotary pump, and has external pump pressure adjustment
Plus V2 is vibe pump and reservoir only
Pro is rotary pump and direct connect only (plumb in)

 
.
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