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specific hazards of breville dual boiler
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > specific hazards...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 6:02pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

friendlyfoe Said:

To Noobie - That's actually a bit of a bad analogy because not one form of high level racing uses a true manual, they all use some form of electronic aided manual transmission. Formula one is full paddle shift, le mans GT class and rally cars both use a lever that you push or pull to shift gears and the rest is sorted out by the car, etc....

Posted October 24, 2013 link


I am 100% sure you understand car shifting technology and car racing way more than I do, but that doesn't alter my point one iota.  My point was you have been making very large statements about HX and you are making huge assumptions from watching one video.  You know less about espresso today than I do about manual cars.   Also, there are some electronics in most espresso machines that are helping regulate temp and pump etc so my analogy while not perfect is not that far off.  More to the point anyone reading it can get the picture I was trying to draw for you.

I am not pushing you to HX.  I just think you should understand something a bit better than you do to post the statements you have posted.

And once again you make a broad statement that is flat wrong, I do understand what you want, I am NOT trying to change your mind and I am not telling you my machine is best or even better than a BDB for you.  You are sold on the bells and whistles and I admit they are nice bells and whistles.  But to talk in car terms again, I care more about the size of the engine and the parts/servicing than I do about the electric seat heater.  I wanted more raw horse power and less upfront cost as well as long term.  But I am not telling you to buy the same machine as me, car or espresso.

If you care to hear my story, I bought an HX because I wanted a larger machine that would do more work for me than a single boiler. (not unlike your statement) I did not want to temp surf and I wanted steam power.  My husband (who is not in to espresso making and is very in to technology as we both are) took one look at the BDB in Clive's and said "too much electronics around water, we don't want that."  At the time I thought he was nuts, I had the pid glitter stuck in my eye.  I thought about that later and I agreed with him. That one statement took BDB off the table for me.  Later reading the horror stories on Amazon about people spending big bucks on super autos and having to send them off for repair to the company sealed the coffin for good.  I am glad I did not  succumb to the siren song of the pid glitter but I am not faulting you or anyone for getting one.   If you are comfortable spending that kind of money on something that could die after warranty and possibly have the cost of service almost the cost of a machine- then do it.  

I would be interested in a BDB if the price came down and you could get it serviced or do it yourself.  Unless and until then I would not have one unless it was sent to my door free.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Can we stop with the car analogies? I'm not sure a steam fed over boiler brew chamber fits into the category of a "seat warmer", and that the actual design of the machine is on par with some of the highest end machines out there.

I dont understand whats required in achieving temperature stability with an HX machine but i do keep asking about the way an hx machine heats the brew group that you dont seem to be interested in answering. For what it's worth the review i just read makes me think an HX machine may not be suitable for my needs, or at the very least that the oscar most certainly isn't (but i'm thinking this might apply to all hx machines). The pro review on coffee geek mentions how when you start the oscar you need to run the steam wand as it's heating up to relieve pressure or it wont achieve its proper temperature. This is in addition to a half hour warm up time and because of needing to run the steam wand makes it not suitable for a timer.

I absolutely need something i can run on a timer. My main use for this machine will be brewing a small to medium sized americano first thing in the morning, but i leave the house super early. What i'm looking for is something i can set on a timer, pay no attention to, and then spend 5 minutes brewing my drink before heading out the door.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,403
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 9:38pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

"Dialing in" is something you do with each coffee, not each morning.  Dialing in temp, grind and dose is almost entirely palate driven and not at all equipment dependent as long as the equipment meets certain minimal standards.  

Dialing in temp with an adequate HX is actually somewhat easier and faster than with most DBs; specifically including the BDB.    

On the other hand, once you've figured out the right temp for a given coffee, it's a little (but very little) easier to hit that temp with a DB -- especially an electronically controlled DB -- than with an HX.  But when I say "very little," I mean very little.  If you have enough control over the process to actually dial in the right temp range, you have more than enough to consistently return to the right range without much trouble.  

DBs offer some real advantages in commercial size machines, but for residential volume, almost of their "superiority" comes in the form of psychological support for people who want the security of a digital read out.  Knowing what your temperature is nice, but it's a helluva lot less important than knowing whether it's right.  

It's good practice to use a lot of water stabilizing an HX for the first shot in the morning; but if you're sinking a lot of first shots, there are some major flaws in your technique.  Just so you know, it's also good practice to use a certain amount of water to stabilize a DB before that first shot (and in between shots too).  The difference is that you flush an HX to cool the head and the brew water, but flush a DB to warm it up.  And while we're on the subject of flushing, you flush thermo-siphonic stabilized groups (like E-61s, for instance) to stabilize them.  

The exterior of the BDB is thin stainless over plastic.  The frame of the BDB is plastic.  Otherwise the BDB is pretty much the same stuff you see in every other machine.  In fact, the component quality is probably a little higher than you'd expect for the price range -- a product, no doubt, of purchasing power combined with economy of scale.   On the other hand, the BDB has some very nice things going for it you don't see in  any other machine near the BDB's price like pre-infusion and a thermo-compensated group.  

The BDB is a very stable, friendly and easy machine to use.  I wouldn't trade my current HX (La Cimbali M21 "Casa") for a BDB though.  Not even if you threw in double the price difference.  But that's me.  Nor, would I buy an entry level HX or DB; and no way in hell would I buy an SBDU.  On the other hand, if I were buying an espresso machine for either of my kids it would be a BDB --and I'd pair it with a Vario.  

That doesn't make it the right choice for you.  But if what I'm saying makes sense...

Take it for what it's worth,
BDL
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 10:18pm
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I changed my tune because I realized I was probably making a promise for us as a whole we couldn't keep.

I GUARANTEE you the Oscar would piss you off, given your needs. It does not come with a vacuum breaker and installing one requires, well, a LOT of expertise and effort (see our video). This means it will not be ready for you to use when you get up and has to be turned on 45 mins prior to use to warm up and a human being has to release the false pressure from the boiler. You can't put the Oscar on a timer unless you modify it internally.

ALL espresso machines. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE needs time to stabilize to a correct temperature. A Heat exchanger machine warms the group because a constant, slow flow of hot water comes into the back of the group, which is cast brass, and out the bottom. Google a diagram and it will show you. Boar is right though, the differences are minimal. Temperature is the least important factor behind grind and distribution, though still quite important. Either save your loonies for an entry level E61 machine (they're just cool, okay?) or go for the BDB. An advantage to these E61 boxes is they all use interchangeable parts and they are much easier to get service for. But if you just want the best machine for your dollar RIGHT NOW, your choice seems clear and it will probably serve you well as long as it stays in one piece. Many people are happy with the BDB. I could probably be as well under certain circumstances. Different strokes, and all that, but just keep in mind the passion behinds these posts is partially because we don't want to see you get buyer's remorse and then leave home espresso. It's a rewarding hobby, but it's admittedly a damned expensive one.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 5:38am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

I have expressly said more than once I was not trying to talk you into HX. I did not explain HX because it is clear to me you have made up your mind and it is pointless to .  The only thing I want from you is for you to stop making broad wrong assumptions and over generalizing.  

And frankly new price Oscar is over priced because it doesn't have the vacuum breaker or the thermosyphan upgrades (that I added) that it should.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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friendlyfoe
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Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Some great info guys! Its much appreciated and as I'd hoped has left me with some specific questions.

So first of all can you run some hx machines on a timer or do they all need the steam wand opened first thing?

I have to look into what the cost of ownership is going to be with the bdb, I'm not sure what it's going to cost to have it descaled or exactly how often I'll need to have them do it. Also if once its out of warranty if a place like Idrinkcoffee will descale it in spite of not having service status. If I have to ship the machine to have it descaled that seems like a disaster in the making.

If long term the cost of ownership is going to equal or surpass that of purchasing a descent hx machine I could probably justify spending the money now, and hooking up a timer. Still trying to figure out what is most suitable for me. What I don't want is something with a massive boiler that's going to take forever to heat up. I don't plan on turning it on all the time so when I want an espresso I'd like it to be up to temp within 30 minutes. I won't ever be asking the machine to pour more than a couple shots.

Would also love to know what breville has in store for an updated version :).
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 881
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 6:36am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Most HX machines do have a vacuum breaker and so can be put on a timer. The Oscar (and it's predecessor, the Ellimatic, which I have) don't, and need false pressure bled, unless a vacuum breaker is installed after the fact. There are a handful of others that don't, but since most HX machines are designed to be on 24/7, it's only occasionally an issue. I once figured out that the cost of leaving my Ellimatic on 24/7 would be about equivalent to leaving a 40 watt light bulb burning continuously (~$0.17 per day). As it is, since I have my daily espresso needs taken care of on work days by the Caravel I keep at the office, I turn the Ellimatic on when I get home Friday, and it's ready to bleed pressure by the time I've hung up the coat, emptied out the pockets and looked through the mail, then I leave it on until I leave the house Monday morning.

My daily consumption is 3-5 doubles, mostly just straight shots, but usually I'll make myself a breve latte on weekend mornings and the occasional one for my wife, who is not an espresso drinker, but mostly sticks with brewed coffee. It would probably be less if i had to turn the machine on and wait for it to be ready every time I felt like an espresso.

It took me less than two weeks to grok the flushing routines, despite never having touched an HX machine before, and feel as if I had sufficient control over the machine to pull decent shots. Over time, my skills have improved, and I'm generally pretty happy. Haven't pulled a sink shot in quite some time (though, having said that, I'm sure there'll be at least one this weekend).

Note: I'm not anti-BDB, or DB (I'd dearly love to have a Double Domobar or a Vivaldi II in the kitchen), but I've owned Breville appliances in the past and would have to see a much larger body of evidence than I have to trust that their QC issues are a thing of the past before shelling out ~$1k for something they had built by a sub-contractor in China.
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 8:20am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

*siiigh* before you know it you guys are going to have me considering hx machines. Every website seems to carry some brand of machine that I hadn't previously heard of, so maybe some names of machines to look into.

A big bonus would be a machine that can supply hot water for a small americano as that would let me take the kettle off the counter.

If an hx really is designed to run 24/7 and I could do so for under 2 bucks a week I'd be inclined to just leave it on. I'm open to looking for brands of used machines as well and cleaning them up.

I like the design of the bdb, a small steam fed brew boiler over the group, but I'm open to considering other options. Trying to weigh long term costs here.
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 9:12am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Have to say the bezzera bz02 semi auto just caught my eye, but does it only come in plumb in? I'm soooo okay with saving 600 dollars on a machine because it doesn't have a polished stainless housing! But I move a lot and I doubt my land lord would like me drilling holes. Now you guys are going to have me buying a house just to put my new espresso machine in ;)
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 881
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 9:36am
Subject: Re: specific hazards of breville dual boiler
 

Lot of people run plumb-in machines off a pump system, pulling water from a 5-gallon bottle and draining into another, the same way mobile espresso carts do, so drilling holes and running pipes isn't strictly necessary. Stick the whole system on a cart of your own, and you're not restricted to the kitchen for your coffee station, either. It's a solution I've considered if I ever come across that stupid deal on a single-group commercial machine that runs on 110v, like a Pavoni Pub or a Cimbali Jr. (or start making a lot more money).
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