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New Breville BES920
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New Breville...  
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voodoo11
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES920XL
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario...
Drip: V60
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

SpaceTime Said:

I am still waiting to hear from our new 920 owners... voodoo did you pull the trigger?

Posted February 12, 2014 link

Well, I sat on it for a few weeks making sure it's really something I want and I finally pulled the trigger today.  Will attempt to do my own side by side comparison to the official coffeegeek review Mark tweeted about a few days ago.

I ended up ordering it from Seattle Coffee Gear.  I took advantage of their instant discount to add a few goodies.  I'm not going to attempt to justify writing my own review since I'm such a noob, but I am happy to answer any questions as it is delivered this week.

Stay tuned.
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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 1:59pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

I didn't see this mentioned yet-

http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-dual-boiler-v2.html

Oddly enough it hasn't replaced the BES900XL, rather it lists at another $100 with added features including a 2 year limited warranty. They're both listed at 1700 Watts, for some reason I thought they were 1800.
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mariog7
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2011
Posts: 210
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Vetrano
Grinder: Vario
Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 4:50pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

Damn, price is crawling up there!  They should really have just replaced the 900 and kept the same price.  $1300 is quite high for a disploable machine.
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voodoo11
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES920XL
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario...
Drip: V60
Posted Tue Feb 25, 2014, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

Ok.  Here goes

Yesterday, the UPS man brought me two big boxes from Seattle with all of my new goodies.  Here's my current setup:

- BES920XL
- Stock Tamper
- VST 18g basket (fits in perfectly)
- Baratza Preciso Grinder
- Not bothering with stock baskets or that razor leveling thingamabob.

After unboxing late in the evening, I did a few adjustments and proceeded to be frustrated with quick, gushing, zero crema shots.  Stale beans resulted in me scrapping the experiment for the night and first thing this morning I headed out to the local micro-roaster for some fresh beans.

Upon returning home with 12 ounces of 3 day old beans, I played around with the machine today pulling a series of shots.  A couple of quick observations:

Coming off of 6 years on a non PID'd Silvia and Rocky, I concluded by the end of the night that I am probably overthinking (and am somewhat overwhelmed) with all of the variables I can change.  That, and I'm probably accustomed to crappy shots ;)  Steam Boiler Temp, Group Head Temp, pre infusion time, pre infusion %........  I ended up trying to adjust everything and found myself in a bit of a mind meld frustrated by making my grind finer while simultaneously screwing around with shot temp, pre-infusion, etc. etc.  This resulted in me pulling shots with some crema but the gauge was reading 7 bar and the shots overall were fast (20 sec).  I've now taken a break for the night and decided to focus on only one variable at a time, my grind.

So, I've gone to all the default settings - 200F Grouphead, 6 sec preinfusion, 60% pre-infusion rate.  My preciso is set to 3C.

Can anyone here offer tips on dialing in my grind?  Even though I've been stepping finer and finer, my shots are still at 7 Bar, 20 seconds, gushing crema.  They don't taste too bad but boy are they fugly.  FWIW - I am weighing 19g into the grinder before pouring into the PF.  I am also employing the "just get the tamp level and don't worry about 30lbs of tamping pressure" methodology.

Any help here is appreciated.  I will take some pics tomorrow.
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CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 287
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Mitica Top, Spaz...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Tue Feb 25, 2014, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

voodoo11 Said:

Ok.  Here goes

Yesterday, the UPS man brought me two big boxes from Seattle with all of my new goodies.  Here's my current setup:

- BES920XL
- Stock Tamper
- VST 18g basket (fits in perfectly)
- Baratza Preciso Grinder
- Not bothering with stock baskets or that razor leveling thingamabob.

After unboxing late in the evening, I did a few adjustments and proceeded to be frustrated with quick, gushing, zero crema shots.  Stale beans resulted in me scrapping the experiment for the night and first thing this morning I headed out to the local micro-roaster for some fresh beans.

Upon returning home with 12 ounces of 3 day old beans, I played around with the machine today pulling a series of shots.  A couple of quick observations:

Coming off of 6 years on a non PID'd Silvia and Rocky, I concluded by the end of the night that I am probably overthinking (and am somewhat overwhelmed) with all of the variables I can change.  That, and I'm probably accustomed to crappy shots ;)  Steam Boiler Temp, Group Head Temp, pre infusion time, pre infusion %........  I ended up trying to adjust everything and found myself in a bit of a mind meld frustrated by making my grind finer while simultaneously screwing around with shot temp, pre-infusion, etc. etc.  This resulted in me pulling shots with some crema but the gauge was reading 7 bar and the shots overall were fast (20 sec).  I've now taken a break for the night and decided to focus on only one variable at a time, my grind.

So, I've gone to all the default settings - 200F Grouphead, 6 sec preinfusion, 60% pre-infusion rate.  My preciso is set to 3C.

Can anyone here offer tips on dialing in my grind?  Even though I've been stepping finer and finer, my shots are still at 7 Bar, 20 seconds, gushing crema.  They don't taste too bad but boy are they fugly.  FWIW - I am weighing 19g into the grinder before pouring into the PF.  I am also employing the "just get the tamp level and don't worry about 30lbs of tamping pressure" methodology.

Any help here is appreciated.  I will take some pics tomorrow.

Posted February 25, 2014 link

Sounds like you need to grind finer if you are at 7 Bar, 20 second shots with gushing crema.
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voodoo11
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES920XL
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario...
Drip: V60
Posted Tue Feb 25, 2014, 8:38pm
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

Ok.  Do you think I should ditch the 18g VST for now?  Maybe another variable to eliminate while I'm getting back up to speed.  Or should I just perfect/learn on this basket since I will probably keep it long term?
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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 8:38am
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

voodoo11 Said:

Ok.  Do you think I should ditch the 18g VST for now?  Maybe another variable to eliminate while I'm getting back up to speed.  Or should I just perfect/learn on this basket since I will probably keep it long term?

Posted February 25, 2014 link

You gotta tamp. Breville suggests tamping 30# or so. Life will be much easier if you do, and your grinder will appreciate it.

As for the VSTs, they require a finer grind vs the Breville baskets in general. If you look at the surface area of the bottom of each basket the VST has a LOT more holes. The Breville baskets are very good and you will do fine with them if you want to try them first. Either basket will give good espresso, I have both and generally stick with the Breville baskets. The VST has an advantage in that you can load just about any amount and still be able to tamp it and pull a shot. The Breville baskets require a dose that fills the basket enough so that when tamped you are above where they start to taper. If you underdone a Breville basket then you'll hit the basket when tapering. I use 18.3-18.8gm with those baskets, no problem. VST baskets don't taper so you won't ever have that fussiness with doses.

I bet if you tamp you'll be fine. The thing about tamping is to be consistent. Come up with a way of tamping that is repeatable and (like you said) as level as possible.

Weigh your doses if you can, that takes another variable out. Also, weigh the espresso shot as it pours if you can. I stop my pours around 30gm (which end up being ~36gm total) and aim for about 32 seconds. To me that's where my coffees really shine. Some even do well with only 18gm @ 32 seconds. Chances are since you've already pulled shots on other machines you have your preferences but being this is a new machine feel free to try just about everything you pull! Spit, we won't tell anyone.

Don't sweat the temp, pre-infusion and other variables until you have your tamp down.

Congrats BTW!
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uscfroadie
Senior Member
uscfroadie
Joined: 2 Aug 2008
Posts: 414
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: GS/3 Strada MP, BDB; owned...
Grinder: Forte, Zass and PeDe hand...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: owned Behmor
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 8:58am
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

voodoo11 Said:

Ok.  Do you think I should ditch the 18g VST for now?  Maybe another variable to eliminate while I'm getting back up to speed.  Or should I just perfect/learn on this basket since I will probably keep it long term?

Posted February 25, 2014 link

I'll make you a really good deal on my 20 gram VST (fits perfectly but is overrated IMO).  The stock Breville basket is very nicely made, and like PrescottCR already mentioned, perfectly holds 18-18.8 or so grams.  

For now, use the stock basket, 18.5 grams, and adjust your grind until you get proper flow.  Once you have that down, then you can start tweaking, changing only one variable at a time.

On a side note, from a cold start, how long does it take for the boiler to come up to temp?  Curious if it is faster than my 900's 6:00.  I think the 920 has even more powerful heating elements, so the warmup time should be shorter...and steaming is supposed to be more powerful given the more powerful element there too.  As for brew boiler recovery, my Kill-A-Watt shows that once up to temp it takes just a few seconds (under 10) to recover between shots, so I can't see that being improved upon.

Good luck.
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CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 287
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Mitica Top, Spaz...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 9:00am
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

voodoo11 Said:

Ok.  Do you think I should ditch the 18g VST for now?  Maybe another variable to eliminate while I'm getting back up to speed.  Or should I just perfect/learn on this basket since I will probably keep it long term?

Posted February 25, 2014 link

Stick to the basics for now:Tamp, Consistent dose, OEM double basket, Fresh quality beans and grind finer if needed.
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voodoo11
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 28
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES920XL
Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario...
Drip: V60
Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014, 9:05am
Subject: Re: New Breville BES920
 

uscfroadie Said:

I'll make you a really good deal on my 20 gram VST (fits perfectly but is overrated IMO).  The stock Breville basket is very nicely made, and like voodoo already mentioned, perfectly holds 18-18.8 or so grams.  

For now, use the stock basket, 18.5 grams, and adjust your grind until you get proper flow.  Once you have that down, then you can start tweaking, changing only one variable at a time.

Posted February 26, 2014 link

I decided last night to just stick with the VST and get up to speed with this setup.  I bought it, might as well put it through the ringer before I abandon it for stock.  I'm weighing 19g in and will plan on weighing out once I buy a new micro scale.

That being said I'm at 3D on my Preciso this morning.  Decent crema, small blonding, but measure out at 30ML at around 32 seconds.  Taste was bright, but not too crazy.  I'm going to dial back the micro adjustment one more setting and see how it settles in this afternoon (had to run to work).

uscfroadie Said:

On a side note, from a cold start, how long does it take for the boiler to come up to temp?  Curious if it is faster than my 900's 6:00.  I think the 920 has even more powerful heating elements, so the warmup time should be shorter...and steaming is supposed to be more powerful given the more powerful element there too.  As for brew boiler recovery, my Kill-A-Watt shows that once up to temp it takes just a few seconds (under 10) to recover between shots, so I can't see that being improved upon.

Good luck.

Posted February 26, 2014 link

Next time I start from cold I will time how long it takes to come up to temp.  Separately, while the stock tamper is ok, I can't resist looking at new tampers online :)  Anyone have favorites?
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