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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Breville Dual...  
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JMFishtown
Senior Member
JMFishtown
Joined: 18 Jan 2013
Posts: 38
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Drip: Aeropress, Espro Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Sooo I gave an FAQ a shot, if anyone disagrees with anything or wants to add anything let me know
Breville Dual Boiler – Beginners Guide

*take this with a grain of salt as I too am a beginner, but I have read through all 213 pages of this thread more than once*
This may sound harsh but if you’re using the dual wall (pressurized baskets) no one can help you; it just is never going to give you a *good* shot of espresso.  Equally harsh: If you have a grinder that’s less than a Smart Grinder or equivalent, no one can help you

Now here are a few tidbits I have picked up along the way in this thread that I find useful.

Set-Up
• Set-up is incredibly easy on this machine so there really isn’t much to say here: follow the instructions, if you still have an A model pull out the black plastic in the bottom of your portafilter, fill it up, plug it in, get to work.
o As to the question of “do I have a plastic insert” just look at your portafilter. If you see silver you don’t if you see black you do. It’s that simple

Cleaning
• Everyone has different cleaning procedures; Phil McKnight from Breville recommended to do a clean water back flush after every ‘session’
o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TpSSSYpq1I
• I do a chemical back flush only when the machine’s “clean me” cycle comes up. About once a month at my volume
o YMMV some do a chemical back flush using caffiza or similar every week

Brewing
• Really, please read up on basic prep before asking questions
• Don’t use the volumetric buttons; they’re finicky and really don’t add much convenience. If you insist, no one can help you as no two machines have the same settings. Each machine needs to have them configured to work and they will need to be reconfigured every time you change a grind/coffee
• Dosing: AGAIN extremely dependent and varying; but my starting point is around 18g dry in the double basket (I use the stock Breville basket)  It fits just fine
• Timing: I consider the brew process to start about 2 seconds after the pump ramps up to full pressure (stock pre-infusion) so I aim for about 22-24g (I prefer a little ristretto) wet coffee in 34-38 seconds on the BDB clock
• Temperature: based on the roast level of your coffee or recommendations from the roaster: I crank the temperature up on light roasts to help smooth out the brightness, and down on dark roasts to dull the bitterness

Longevity
I kind of just want to ignore this, but because it’s been beaten to death 30x on the thread I figured I’d mention something about it
Yes, there are a lot of plastic components in the BDB, no it can’t be descaled by the user (yet), and no it probably won’t last 10 years. There are issues coming up in the early Australian models, but users have found relatively easy fixes, you can look at that thread here: Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)
All that being said, this machine is still a great value, I have pulled over 500 shots from it without a hiccup, and I have had excellent experience with Breville customer service; I received an old stock model that hadn’t been adjusted (this was over a year after release) and they were still HAPPY to send me a new model that had been calibrated and you speak with a person not a machine and you get a personal email address and phone number; not just some faceless call farm.  In general I could not be happier.

Miscellaneous
• VST Baskets do fit in the stock portafilter all the way up to the 21g
• No the lugs on the PF / Group Head do not match any other machines
• Naked portafilters are the same as they are on any other machine
• Using a blind the machine should peg at 10.5 Bar; this is what the OPV is calibrated at from the factory
• The 3 way solenoid valve is what releases ‘dirty’ water into the drip tray. You hear it spurt after you kill the shot
• The Over Pressure Valve (OPV) sends clean water back into the reservoir to keep pressure below 10.5 bar
• Hot water comes from the BREW BOILER not the steam boiler, so if you open the hot water valve a tiny bit (i mean a tiny bit) you can do some pressure profiling on the shot

Appendix:
• Texturing milk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hdCI_OjhLo
• Cleaning procedure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TpSSSYpq1I
• General tips:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4ByyUmZT28
• Yes it’s capable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1S0hiOBt0E
• OPV Adjustment: http://nic.steve-tek.com/?page_id=180
• OPV Replacement: http://nic.steve-tek.com/?page_id=364
• Coffesnobs Forum (KatBrazier a Breville Rep posts here): Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)
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Park_Ridge_Dave
Senior Member
Park_Ridge_Dave
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 78
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 Tue May 14, 2013, 2:32pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

JM Fishtown,

Excellent post and I agree that the "distillation" of the 212+ Pages was needed. The only "quibble" that I have is that if I open the hot water during a "shot" (manual) it stops the shot YMMV. Not a real problem and I have 1000+ shots on my BDB and I never open the hot water while pulling a shot (since that first time lol).

Great start IMHO!

Cheers,

Dave

 
Don't forget to stop and smell the coffee...... er flowers!
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 318
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 5:44pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

epengr Said:

Is there, or has any thought been given, to a BDB FAQ / Newb guide?

Posted May 14, 2013 link

There are newb guides all over the internet.  Most notably, here, and on HB.  Any generic newb guide is perfectly 100% applicable to the BDB, because the BDB is a standard espresso machine, nothing more, nothing less.  All the rules, guidelines, and techniques of barista'ing (made up word), apply to the BDB.  As far as machine design, with it's temperature stability, you are probably best treating it like a saturated group machine, like GS/3 or a Speedster.  It is not an E61/HX machine.  If you know that, you can frame the rest of your journey in learning around that fact.

For the most, this thread IS in and of itself a big fat cumbersome newbie guide, because roughly 90+ percent of the subject matter is basic barista stuff that applies just as well to any other espresso machine.  I'm not sure why the user base of this machine has such a newbie bias, but that is clearly why this thread that is supposed to be about the BDB, has devolved into a remedial clearing house for newbs.  But since no newb guide needs to be 233 pages long, I don't blame you for not wanting to read it all.  So, IMHO, your choices are:
1) use this thread as your newbie guide, but sharpen your search skills
or
2) read one of the much more brief and concise newbie guides out there that are purposely written and well focused.  PM me if you want a link to the one on another forum like H-B, since I question the taste of blatantly plugging another site.

-Peter
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carz07
Senior Member
carz07
Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 192
Location: Philippines
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Bodum Bistro,...
Drip: V60, Phin, Bonmac, Ame. Drip
Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 11:27pm
Subject: Re: pressure readings
 

biochemgawd Said:

What is the pressure reading during this time?

Posted May 14, 2013 link

the pressure hits 9.5 then drops to 6 thrice then back to steady 9.5
the pour is dribble

 
Travel the world with a cup of coffee
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JMFishtown
Senior Member
JMFishtown
Joined: 18 Jan 2013
Posts: 38
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Drip: Aeropress, Espro Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 7:27am
Subject: Re: pressure readings
 

Carz: That's not choking the machine; choking the machine is where you grind so fine you get no coffee coming through the PF.

Are you noticing the flow increasing when the pressure drops to 6.5? or did the 'dribble' remain constant throughout? How does the pump sound during the shot?

Maybe you could film the issue and post a link to the video
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carz07
Senior Member
carz07
Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 192
Location: Philippines
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Bodum Bistro,...
Drip: V60, Phin, Bonmac, Ame. Drip
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 7:45am
Subject: Re: pressure readings
 

JMFishtown Said:

Carz: That's not choking the machine; choking the machine is where you grind so fine you get no coffee coming through the PF.

Are you noticing the flow increasing when the pressure drops to 6.5? or did the 'dribble' remain constant throughout? How does the pump sound during the shot?

Maybe you could film the issue and post a link to the video

Posted May 15, 2013 link

im trying to find a way to get a video

after preinfusion and the pump kicks in with the sound it hits 9.5bar no drops yets then after few seconds drops comes in and dribbles. then pump mutes and drops to 6bar or less or 7bar, dribble lessens, then pump kicks in with sound the hits 9bar now, the dribble resumes at better rate then slight drop to around 8.5 8

 
Travel the world with a cup of coffee
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 11:24am
Subject: Re: pressure readings
 

carz07 Said:

im trying to find a way to get a video

after preinfusion and the pump kicks in with the sound it hits 9.5bar no drops yets then after few seconds drops comes in and dribbles. then pump mutes and drops to 6bar or less or 7bar, dribble lessens, then pump kicks in with sound the hits 9bar now, the dribble resumes at better rate then slight drop to around 8.5 8

Posted May 15, 2013 link

A video would help. Sounds like a potential pump issue. When you really choke the machine - there should be no dribbles. Does this pressure drop happen with a "good" shot that starts at 9 bars?
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epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

BubbaDude Said:

Likewise.

Posted May 14, 2013 link

I Was NOT implying that you should answer such questions over and over - one assumes that doing so is not you job :).   I'm just saying, many forums/communities use "stickies" or other easily found FAQs to share the accumulated wisdom in a forum.  This thread is daunting, a "quick search" doesn't to the trick.
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epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

My brand new machine doesn't seem to have the OPV set right - it maxes out at 14+.  I don't know if I should try to get it exchanged or just get my dose/grind tamp down.    It's WAY different for the DBD than for my Oscar, I have yet to dial it in.  Then again, the Oscar doesn't have a gauge so I'm suddenly juggling one more variable.

I'm torn...

(Hey, maybe I'll get a /B if I swap it...)
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epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

dagoat Said:

There are newb guides all over the internet.  Most notably, here, and on HB.  Any generic newb guide is perfectly 100% applicable to the BDB

Posted May 14, 2013 link

To clarify, I'm not a total newb, I've been pulling shots from an NS Oscar every day for over a year.  You're right, there are many excellent guides for espresso newbies online.   I'm just looking for a BDB specific FAQ/primer.  

JMFishtown nailed it.  Thanks!
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