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Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Trying to Decide...  
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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

Reminds me of the design determinants of the military years back: if it must work it can't be digital, use analog. Then when they decided the circus could be hardened, all of a sudden complete board replacement wasn't unusual - it became the standard. Primarily due to extended downtime caused by component troubleshooting, and secondarily because it was far less expensive to trade out a calibrated circuit board (or even complete box) than, again, pay someone labor to troubleshoot to component level.

We are literally living in an age where fine workmanship is being surpassed by commoditization of computer/robotic manufactured goods. The question then, truly becomes, is the LP on the turntable better than today's state of the art digitized rendition. So far, coffee/espresso is still an analog product. Moot point. Then it must become: whatever floats your boat!
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Thu Jan 24, 2013, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

Thanks, but I don't need for you to speak to the BDB's longevity since I've had one for over a year and its longevity speaks for itself. I have one of the early models that came with the OPV set too high, so I had to open the machine to adjust it. Having done that, I haven't needed to open the machine again or to adjust the OPV again. It's either right or it's not, and Breville lets you program the pre-infusion pressure so there's no need for fiddling on a routine basis.

Posted January 24, 2013 link

I was talking about beyond the 5yr warrantee that breville puts out. Longevity in the sense that there are gaggia machines from the 60's still in operation, and plenty of Breville's from last year in the trash. Im not making any specific accusations here, it seems clear enough that breville has really taken a new direction with the BDB, but only time will tell. It's not a matter of "fiddling," it's a matter of fixing issues as they come. Though there is a new trend for pressure profiling, I dont see this amounting to much. The easy access OPV is more of an issue for plumbable machines with variable back pressure. But easy access to the boilers and their electronic components is nice when something goes wrong (power surge, water leak, etc).

BubbaDude Said:

There is no such thing as "direct circuit electronics." There are solid-state circuits with no movable parts that aren't subject to wear other than copper migration (which takes a very long time) and there are mechanical switches that wear out after too many actuations. We had a long discussion about this on the BDB owner's thread so I won't repeat it. Some people are more comfortable with mechanical systems and others with electronic systems. This thread is about dual boiler machines, so the OP's assumption is that electronics will be part of his solution.

Posted January 24, 2013 link


It's more of a question of how simple the circuit is to replace, and what the switch is actually controlling. Your BDB's buttons are nothing more than that, buttons. Whereas on a traditional machine, these switches are directly in line with the circuit they activate. No software, not that you's have to reprogram your BDB ever, just that its less that can go wrong with water hitting the electronics. Also the screen on the BDB, I have seen plenty of LCD's in my lab and in businesses that fog or crap out due to water and time. This is the same for any PID machines, but on most you can still use the machine without knowing the details on the PID, versus the breville's "weather-map," of the machine.

BubbaDude Said:

My sense of the 50-year-old E61 is that is looks like a legit espresso machine because that chunk of metal on the front is so familiar. Some people are attracted to that design and others aren't. It's a fallacy to suppose that it can't be improved on, however.

In any event, people who buy a BDB for its looks will be disappointed, but those who buy it for its functionality - like me - tend to be pretty happy. The feature set simply runs rings around every other machine in its price class.

Posted January 24, 2013 link

It's not that it cant be improved upon, its just that it is such a simple structure, why would you want to? I imagine if you prefer the digital controls it doesn't matter much, but I think it overcomplicated cleaning the machine, and makes repairing it in the event of an accident, or a move, less than pleasant. You are absolutely right, and I've said this already, in its price range, no other machine can compete for features, design, and functionality. It's the lack of user control (meaning I cant go beyond routine backflushing) though that turned me away from it. Having the three way valve so exposed and all of the brew components out in the open is nice when changing gaskets, cleaning the group, backflushing, or replacing smaller seals. Backflushing with capsules alone doesnt do anywhere near as much as pulling it apart. However the difference is only significant if you take a while between cleanings.


All this aside, I hope you're not taking this all in a derogatory way, I like the BDB and think it's a great machine. Mark Prince's review really played it up, and seeing the videos online have made it a really attractive buy. Here, I am only trying to list other considerations that the OP may want to make before they spend the cash. Going by their original post and the machine's they have mentioned, an e-61 type machine seems to be more what they are looking for. When buying a dual boiler, many people are looking for a lifetime machine, that said, knowing you will be able to fix any hardware inside without too much fuss searching for parts over the next few decades, I think, is an important consideration.

 
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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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 520
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 1:38pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

acasabia Said:

It's not that it cant be improved upon, its just that it is such a simple structure, why would you want to? I imagine if you prefer the digital controls it doesn't matter much, but I think it overcomplicated cleaning the machine, and makes repairing it in the event of an accident, or a move, less than pleasant.

Posted January 24, 2013 link

I work with electronics, and have for many years, so they don't make me uncomfortable at all. If you're scared of microprocessors, electronic sensors, integrated circuits, software and firmware, please don't drive a car built since the turn of the century as you're trusting your life to those things. And by all means, stay away from the Internet, there are no "direct circuit switches" to be found on it.

But seriously, why would you *not* want to improve on a 50 year old design? The use of complex internal design elements makes for simple user interaction with the machine and more consistent and repeatable shots. This is a thread about PID-controlled, dual boiler machines, isn't it?

 
"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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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:51am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

I work with electronics, and have for many years, so they don't make me uncomfortable at all. If you're scared of microprocessors, electronic sensors, integrated circuits, software and firmware, please don't drive a car built since the turn of the century as you're trusting your life to those things. And by all means, stay away from the Internet, there are no "direct circuit switches" to be found on it.

But seriously, why would you *not* want to improve on a 50 year old design? The use of complex internal design elements makes for simple user interaction with the machine and more consistent and repeatable shots. This is a thread about PID-controlled, dual boiler machines, isn't it?

Posted January 24, 2013 link

You're failing to see my point, while these complex internal design elements make the user experience simpler, they come with the added cost of opacity. When my car stops running for anything electronic it costs me an arm and a leg, when my internet fries, I buy a new router. This is not what what we want in >$1k espresso machine, having to send it in for special repairs and maintenance, or having to replace the whole model due to a faulty processor. Yes it's under warrantee for five years, yes major issues probably wont occur, but in the case that they due, I know I would prefer the convenience of an quick and easy fix, over an hour phone call with Breville's tech support hotline, having to mail my machine to a special facility for basic maintenance, and risking the need for full replacement due to cheap computer hardware. A machine doesnt deliver consistent repeatable shots, a barista does. If you want the former, buy a super-auto, in the end all of the BDB's technical controls wont serve anything to a bad grind and tamp.

Again, I dont disagree that the BDB is a great machine... I almost bought one, I just dont like the idea of trading the convenience ownership, for pushing a button. In the end, it's just like you said anyway, Im still just pulling a lever.

Now, before we beat this horse into pieces, I think we should agree to disagree. The E-61 machines offer more user serviceable parts and easier internal maintenance. the BDB offers price-unrivaled technical control and feedback, comprable to the LM GS/3. E-61's require more user interaction with the machine during a pull, the BDB can be pre-programed to handle these details on its own. While I have often changed the way I pull a shot based on how I see it developing, I can see how eliminating this variable could be of benefit when focusing on grind and tamp. In the end it comes down to style, and what responsibility you want over your machine.

 
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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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 520
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:24am
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

acasabia Said:

You're failing to see my point, while these complex internal design elements make the user experience simpler, they come with the added cost of opacity. When my car stops running for anything electronic it costs me an arm and a leg, when my internet fries, I buy a new router. This is not what what we want in >$1k espresso machine, having to send it in for special repairs and maintenance, or having to replace the whole model due to a faulty processor. Yes it's under warrantee for five years, yes major issues probably wont occur, but in the case that they due, I know I would prefer the convenience of an quick and easy fix, over an hour phone call with Breville's tech support hotline, having to mail my machine to a special facility for basic maintenance, and risking the need for full replacement due to cheap computer hardware. A machine doesnt deliver consistent repeatable shots, a barista does. If you want the former, buy a super-auto, in the end all of the BDB's technical controls wont serve anything to a bad grind and tamp.

Posted January 25, 2013 link

I grasp the point you're trying to make, the problem I have with your comments is the extent to which they're based on bad information and poor logic. All of the machines under discussion feature dual boilers and electronic temperature control, that's what a PID does. The parts that are most likely to break in all of these machines are the mechanical parts such as the seals, the pump, and the switches, common parts that are easy to replace. The differences between the BDB and the E61 DBs are in the brew group design and the particular coding in the microprocessor that controls the temp and implements the user interface. The E61 has a number of picky little parts, channels, springs, and balls, that control the water flow through the group in order to stabilize its temperature. On this count, the BDB's system of PID control of the group through an electrical heater is more likely to be reliable. Breville's user interface is more sophisticated, but both designs are microprocessor controlled. So you're making an awful lot of noise to try to make a virtue out of a design element - the E61 - that's actually a reliability drawback, speaking objectively.

Now there is a point to be made regarding Breville's lack of willingness to sell replacement parts to tinkerers who want to be their own repairman, but that's not a design issue, it's a business decision. But that doesn't seem to be what you're complaining about in any case.

It's also not the case that shots are made by the barista and not by the machine: It takes both to pull a shot, and you have every degree of control over shots on the BDB because you can alter the pressure in mid-shot by fiddling with the water dispenser valve. You have to know how to operate the machine to get the most out of it, and it probably helps if you understand at least a little something about how these things work.

And BTW, the warranty on the BDB is one year, not five.

 
"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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MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Fri Jan 25, 2013, 1:41pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

...you have every degree of control over shots on the BDB because you can alter the pressure in mid-shot by fiddling with the water dispenser valve...

Posted January 25, 2013 link

</bonks self on forehead, "Wow that was just an amazingly 'Duh!' moment for me! Thank You!
Cheers,
-Chris
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 520
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 6:46pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

MerleApAmber Said:

</bonks self on forehead, "Wow that was just an amazingly 'Duh!' moment for me! Thank You!
Cheers,
-Chris

Posted January 25, 2013 link

Of course, nobody in their right mind will actually want to jiggle the pressure of the BDB in mid-shot, it's a lot more productive to find the best brew temp for each roast and let the machine do the rest. I just mentioned this for the hell of it.

I'm curious about how one operates a dual boiler E61. The cooling flush seems like an integral part of the E61 ritual on the HX machines, where it serves the purpose of setting the brew group temperature in a seat-of-the-pants way. Does the pre-flush serve any purpose on a PID'ed dual boiler with E61, or is it an evolutionary left-over like the human appendix?

It seems to me that Izzo, QM, and Brewtus may have bolted the E61 onto their dual boiler PID machines because it was the only brew group they had lying around, not for any functional reason. In any event, it's a pretty opaque part.

 
"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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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 8:47pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

Of course, nobody in their right mind will actually want to jiggle the pressure of the BDB in mid-shot, it's a lot more productive to find the best brew temp for each roast and let the machine do the rest. I just mentioned this for the hell of it.

I'm curious about how one operates a dual boiler E61. The cooling flush seems like an integral part of the E61 ritual on the HX machines, where it serves the purpose of setting the brew group temperature in a seat-of-the-pants way. Does the pre-flush serve any purpose on a PID'ed dual boiler with E61, or is it an evolutionary left-over like the human appendix?

It seems to me that Izzo, QM, and Brewtus may have bolted the E61 onto their dual boiler PID machines because it was the only brew group they had lying around, not for any functional reason. In any event, it's a pretty opaque part.

Posted January 26, 2013 link

I am finding that out, I am on day 11 of a E-61 DB. There is no flush since this is not an HX, the E-61 is attached to the brew boiler which is around 218f (+ or -) and not 255f+ of a steam boiler.  So far what I am experiencing from this ancient design is temp stability for the group and the PID for the two boilers keep the water with in 1f in there.

I like new stuff, I traded up my old Camaros for new ones. How many years did I have to live thinking nothing could beat the pre 70s muscle cars? About 40 years, now I can have my cake and eat it too. Tried and true took me down the strip faster then all the tuners could muster for a long time, now I love it on my Detroit power, no 8 cylinder should ever feel shame from a 4 cylinder again.
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 520
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

germantownrob Said:

I am finding that out, I am on day 11 of a E-61 DB. There is no flush since this is not an HX, the E-61 is attached to the brew boiler which is around 218f (+ or -) and not 255f+ of a steam boiler.  So far what I am experiencing from this ancient design is temp stability for the group and the PID for the two boilers keep the water with in 1f in there.

Posted January 26, 2013 link

Does this mean that the E61 DB sacrifices the control of the initial brew temp the HX has for greater stability throughout the shot? It seems that it would.

 
"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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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Trying to Decide R58, Quickmill Qm7,  Breville DB
 

BubbaDude Said:

Does this mean that the E61 DB sacrifices the control of the initial brew temp the HX has for greater stability throughout the shot? It seems that it would.

Posted January 26, 2013 link

I don't think so, with a HX you would use its temp stability to flush the super hot water which would raise the temp slightly to brew with the HX hump. Now that the e-61 is stable at a much lower temp and the boiler is no no longer super heating there is no need for any flush. I need to use a Scace to see if thre is a need for a warming flush after long idle periods but as far as my taste buds can tell it is walk up and pull shot, if a difference tempos wanted  then dial it in and let machine stabilize, next shot will be what you set it for.

Edit: I am not going to get specific, it is just a big hunk of thermal mass done Italian style, I am sure there is more detail then that, or not, but it works and 1f adjustments I can taste, isn't that all we care about anyway? LOL
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