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Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
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 Aug 25, 2013, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: Brew temperature
 

Yank out that pressurized basket and use a single wall filter like below and tamp to 30 lbs then see what happens? You need to have the tamped coffee supply the resistance to the hot pressurized water
not a gizmo. YOU CANNOT GET REAL ESPRESSO WITH A PPF





MJW Said:

I made a quick experiment to measure brew temperatures by threading a thermocouple up the portafilter spout.

Over 5 double shots, about 30 s each, I get 201-203*F flat or possibly slightly rising* temperature readings.  In the portafilter is a dual wall single basket, underneath is the rubber disk, I use it to hold the thermocouple.  So the probe is measuring the water temp squirting out of the hole in the dual-wall basket.

*Possibly rising because the thermometer isn't perfectly fast.  Once up to temp the readings did hold fast so I think it's flat within 2*F.

Posted August 25, 2013 link



Iluvdabean: FILTER.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 25, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: Brew temperature
 

It's OK, there was no coffee in there!  This was a temperature measurement exercise.  I used the dual-wall single to make false pressure on purpose.

When I make coffee I use the double basket ("2 cup, single wall" in Breville-speak), and use about a 15 gram dose.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
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 Mon Aug 26, 2013, 7:23am
Subject: Re: Brew temperature
 

I still would never recommend any Breville and frankly when it comes up I say avoid them all. I think that they should have stuck to what they
do best, toasters. They are made in China. They have no track record. They have questionable build quality.
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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 Tue Aug 27, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Brew temperature
 

Krups are also low quality department store machines, better suited for wedding gifts where they look good on the wedding table but never are expected to make good espresso.

Sunbeam has been around for a long time but I am not aware of any that are imported under that name.

Re-badging of names is a very common thing, many machines and grinders are sold under different names. For example the Starbucks Barista grinder is really a Solis 166 under a different name. The Starbucks Barista espresso machine is a Saeco if I remember correctly but I may have the manufacturer incorrect.

The Mazzer Super Jolly is often found under the Astoria label and on it goes. Through the years, machines have sifted into several general classes of machines by the way they are designed. At the very bottom are steam toys. These are machines that do not have a pump and depend on the pressure of steam to force water through the puck of coffee. The water is too hot and the pressure is too low, a poor cup always follows.
Next up are thermoblock machines. They are a step up from steam toys but only because of the higher pressure. Most are click thermostat controlled but a few are now PID regulated. Either way, they are not temp stable with the PID being better than the click thermostat for sure but still physics do not allow the tight regulation of the shot in the same way a flow of constant temp water from a large reserve of at temp water from a boiler is stable.
After that is the SBDU machine. They have a boiler and though many are click thermostat controlled you can "temp surf" them by using the heater on light to know when the water has reached it's max temp. From there is is a matter of waiting from a few seconds to a minute or two for the water to cool to the desired temp. A PID will improve the situation a lot and so equipped, a SBDU is able to get very consistent shots. The weak point of a SBDU is that it takes a long time to switch between the steam function and the brew function. They have limited supply of water in the boiler so the steam is also limited. As the lowest end of truly able espresso machines, they do not have automatic features such as auto fill in the boiler. The user must take care to refill the boiler after steaming to make sure the heater is never uncovered and thus allowing it to over heat and burn out.

The advanced machines are at the top of the scale and both are able to steam and pull shots at the same time. They both can make outstanding espresso when operated properly and they only differ by how they are designed inside. These are the Prosumer HX and DB machines and these will often be the item of lust for many home espresso brewers.

Commercial machines are at the top-o-the heap. These are very heavy duty, heavy machines. They are more than nearly anyone brewing espresso at home NEEDS but that does not stop people such as myself from wanting and getting them. Over kill in the home for sure. A waste of money? Possibly but if the pocket allows, they are proudly shown off on our coffee bars.

Moving up the espresso machine scale, requires that the grinders improve also, for many of us, the commercial grinder is the top of THIS list too. Often too large for most home coffee bars, but the grind is second to none.

 
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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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Aug 27, 2013, 5:07pm
Subject: Backflushing tablets / cleaning powder
 

The 840 includes a cleaning procedure that backflushes several times, and uses cleaning tablets.

The tablets are labeled "cinocleano".

I did some digging and found that cinocleano and cafetto share the same Australian phone number.  There are many different tablets sold under the cafetto brand for various superautos.

In the U.S. a lot of people are using Urnex Cafiza powder or Cafiza tablets.  Cafiza tablets are relatively inexpensive, and are probably a safe choice.

To make things more complicated Urnex has introduced another brand, Full Circle and has made yet another tablet product!  These are supposed to be "sustainable" and have different ingredients.  I ordered some and we'll see if they work.

If anyone wants to see what these various products contain, they can look up the MSDS for each product.  There's no need to guess.
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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 12, 2013, 3:50pm
Subject: Re: Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
 

One simple modification I made a while ago is to remove the black plastic insert from the portafilter.  BES900XL owners do this too, it only seems to get in the way and get dirty.

It's very easy to remove if you remove the portafilter spout first.
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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 Fri Sep 13, 2013, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
 

Quality machines and machine makers do not have (put) plastic inserts in the PF.

 
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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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
 

Are you having trouble removing the insert?  Just unscrew the spouts first.  I can assure you the quality of espresso this machine makes is excellent.  Once you get more experienced making espresso your shots will improve!

After removing the insert from the portafilter, it's more important to make sure the portafilter's heated up.  After the 30 second machine warm up, I just press the single shot button and wait another 30 seconds.  Probably it won't affect the brew quality that much, but a cold portafilter will definitely leach heat from the coffee as it flows down.
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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 Sep 16, 2013, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
 

I have seen the light, I have drunk the KoolAid!

ECM, Rocket, Brazilia, La Marzocco, Gaggia, La Cimbali, Expobar, Nuova Simonelli and many others, long established movers and shakers of the espresso world, makers of outstanding commercial and home equipment, some of which have been in business for over a century, have all seen and discarded or did not implement the thermoblock properly!

I now bow to the new leader in the espresso world, the up and coming star, the company who will dominate the world with new innovation the company that will replace every dinosaur machine that uses a boiler be it a SBDU, DB or HX, those outdated machines that hog energy, waste space and squander the earths resources with their excessive use of stainless steel, brass and other metals, causing the machines to weigh over a hundred pounds for a single group head machine, let alone multi group machines.

Breville!

I am going to sell my now obsolete machines, ECM.... GONE! La Cimbali... HISTORY, my two group Brazillia .. a BOAT ANCHOR! I am going to recover my money from these machines while I still can get the most from them. I am leaping onto the BREVILLE THERMOBLOCK TRAIN!

Think of it, no more timers! No more boilers! No more electric power hogs! No more counter real estate devoted to giant machines!

Excellent espresso can be had from the ground breaking discovery that this home appliance manufacturer has finally perfected!

Think of it! All the energy savings that we will have when all the third wave coffee shops convert from the wasteful boilers to the wave of the future, the thermoblock! EXCELLENT espresso is now in the hands of the average home owner!


UH, not.

 
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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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: Breville BES840XL Owner's Thread
 

I don't think anyone's worried about using up metals such as brass or stainless steel.  (Calblacksmith is referring to stainless steel because the BES840XL's redesigned thermocoil is made of stainless steel.)  The problem with brass, in my understanding, has to do with concerns about lead poisoning.  For example, if you ask Bill Crossland why in the GS/3 he chose to use stainless steel boilers, I think he'll say the reason is in part to minimize contact between brass and the water.  It's just something that manufacturers keep trying to improve.  Anyway the prices for metals are already relatively high and are elastic, so if supply goes down prices will go up.
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