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Starbucks barista brew temp.
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martisan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Grinder: super jolly
Drip: melitta
Roaster: good local shop
Posted Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

Two days ago my shots suddenly turned terrible-  I think majorly under-extracted, or someone switched instant Maxwell House coffee for my shots.  I use a super jolly and the grind size should be at least ok.  I measured the temp of the shot and it was about 150 F.  I tried switching to steam for more heat and got  between veal and lamb on my meat thermometer, or  about 170 F, with and without the pf, and no coffee in it.  I just read that measuring this way is 20 or 30 degrees lower that actual brew temp.  Could it have suddenly started running cool, or could I have pulled acceptable shots for five years at  150 + 25 degrees.  I descaled last night as I am sure it was time for that, but no temp change.  Might I be looking at the wrong things here?  And would a pid upgrade be a good idea, either  to solve my immediate problem, or in general?  I am a tinkerer so that appeals to me, but only if if helps.   I also got similar temps on my old Briel Lido, both ways, that I pulled out  of a closet.  I didn't try any shots with it however.







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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Feb 5, 2013, 8:58am
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

Wow, there are so many things wrong here I seriously wonder if you are trying to jerk us around, every step of the way is wrong so this sure looks like a troll but, in the spirit of the board, I will answer seriously, Lord knows why.



martisan Said:

Two days ago my shots suddenly turned terrible-  

Posted February 3, 2013 link

OK, what did you do two days ago that caused this, nothing changes all on it's own so something is different.


martisan Said:

I think majorly under-extracted, or someone switched instant Maxwell House coffee for my shots.

Posted February 3, 2013 link

Are you sure it is under extraction, what is it tasting like? What beans are you using? How old are the beans since they were roasted?


martisan Said:

I use a super jolly and the grind size should be at least ok.

Posted February 3, 2013 link

I have had several SJ grinders and I can get bad grind on them just as well as a good grind, it is harder to get it right and VERY easy to get it wrong so just because you own this grinder, there is no lock on the grind being correct.


martisan Said:

 I measured the temp of the shot and it was about 150 F.  I tried switching to steam for more heat and got  between veal and lamb on my meat thermometer, or  about 170 F, with and without the pf, and no coffee in it.  I just read that measuring this way is 20 or 30 degrees lower that actual brew temp

Posted February 3, 2013 link

This type of thermometer is WAY too slow reacting to get any kind of meaningful reading. Are you just holding it under the stream of water from the brew head or are you using the styrofoam cup method? To even start to come close, you need a fast acting thermometer, digital thermometers are among the quickest and they are what you should be using.

martisan Said:

.  Could it have suddenly started running cool, or could I have pulled acceptable shots for five years at  150 + 25 degrees.

Posted February 3, 2013 link

Well, yes it could be cool but most likely, it has been this way all along.

martisan Said:

 I descaled last night as I am sure it was time for that, but no temp change.

Posted February 3, 2013 link

Even if there was a boiler full of scale and it is now perfectly clean, the thermometer is too slow acting to be of any use.


martisan Said:

Might I be looking at the wrong things here?  And would a pid upgrade be a good idea, either  to solve my immediate problem, or in general?  I am a tinkerer so that appeals to me, but only if if helps.   I also got similar temps on my old Briel Lido, both ways, that I pulled out  of a closet.  I didn't try any shots with it however.

Posted February 3, 2013 link

A PID will take a lot of the drift out of the temp cycle on  a lower ranking or starter machine but it is not a magic device and it can not make a YUGO into a Porsche.

You really need to read all of the FAQ pages to get a better idea of what the heck you are doing and to get a better understanding of the equipment and process. http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

 
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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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

calblacksmith Said:

Wow, there are so many things wrong here I seriously wonder if you are trying to jerk us around, every step of the way is wrong so this sure looks like a troll but, in the spirit of the board, I will answer seriously, Lord knows why.

Posted February 5, 2013 link

Wayne, glad you tackled this.  I saw the thread last night and did not know where to start.  Hopefully someone who really wants to learn.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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martisan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Grinder: super jolly
Drip: melitta
Roaster: good local shop
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

These were reasonable questions.  My grind was the same as the day before- you might not have liked my shots, but they were at least a little better than starbucks.  The beans from a good local roaster, 5 or 6 days old. They were drinkable.  The terrible shots  were like brown water and had the flavor of very diluted truck-stop coffee and no crema.  My meat thermometer was telling us something.  If it said 70 degrees, as poor of a reading as it was, we would have had a fact- not enough heat.  It seems likely that my poor readings were at least plausable numbers, like the heater still worked.  I assume I will be removed from your forum.  If anyone wanted to help me instead of put me down, I would care.  The only useful piece of information I was given was that my water temp was likely that way all along.
       I regularly use a similar type of site (non-coffee)  and have no trouble ever getting along with others and have never even considered yelling or swearing before.  I shouldn't generalize  about all the members, but calblacksmith certainly got to me.  It was a beautiful welcome to coffeegeek.
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martisan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Grinder: super jolly
Drip: melitta
Roaster: good local shop
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

I just looked up troll-  I guess that now I am one. In my first post, those were questions, not meant to inflame anybody, just to gain knowledge.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 5:30pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

Of course you could delete/edit your "shout" above before it is widely read and continue some dialog.  You have added a little about your experience that will help gain answers.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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martisan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Grinder: super jolly
Drip: melitta
Roaster: good local shop
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

D4F-  thank you.   A reasonable  response.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 8:25pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

Thanks for your response, and edit, also reasonable.  

I believe that your point on the temperature is that the thermostat did not suddenly die, you had some heat.  I doubt that it suddenly dropped 20 - 30 degrees as well, though it might not be at new OEM specs.

Interesting that you had just descaled.  Any chance that it was not flushed long enough to remove all of the chemical taste?  What did you use and how did you flush?  This at least seems coincidental in time, perhaps cause.

Any change in shot time or appearance?  

I will assume that you feel the dose of coffee is fairly consistent with your normal.  You did not mention weight of coffee, but you sound like you have used the system for a bit, so you feel that the beans age, dose and grind were not changed?  We do not all weigh doses though some would recommend that.  No, not giving you a bad time.

If you even want an approximation of the temperature, then use a digital instant thermometer.  Bed, Bath and Beyond has a $10 Polder brand and Harbor Freight has a cheap one, $5- $7 and it also works.  I have used a styrofoam cup, low thermal mass, and cut it down to about 2" tall and poked the thermometer through the side, and preheated the thermometer in the cup, and then held the cup to the group and can get close to a temperature that I have measured with a thermofilter.  I can literally watch the temperature fall, so the reading has to be "instant."

Perhaps all of the above will explain why your question was a bit complex to answer.

Though it is probably not the answer to the immediate problem, a PID is a great addition.  You apparently are competent with your hands, auto repair, so, a DIY PID install by making up the wiring can be done inexpensively.  Perhaps a good follow up topic.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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martisan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: starbucks barista
Grinder: super jolly
Drip: melitta
Roaster: good local shop
Posted Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

I used Durgol to descale, after things stopped working out.  I didn't really think it would help but it was overdue.  I rinsed very thoroughly.  I have used my machine once every day for 5 years with fairly consistant results.  I fool with the grind, but usually not for weeks at a time. (not really hardcore)  .    I cleaned the valve and stuff in the pf as I do  maybe once a year.  It looked cruddy inside but probably functioned better than it looked.  I used the same grind tonight with my old Briel Lido and got something passable for latte, my main interest.   Again I tried the Barista, and what I got wouldn't really even be called espresso- it is very awful brown liquid.  I have tried grinding from too fine for water to flow to coarse enough for it to rush right through, and various steps between- all with bad shots. The amounts are not weighed, but pretty consistant amounts.
                                             Thanks
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Starbucks barista brew temp.
 

If I have it correctly, you got the poor expresso before the descale.  Even so, how about heating up the machine as usual and running a couple oz of brew water through the group and PF, no coffee, and tasting.  I am trying to eliminate a variable of the water through the machine and PF.


martisan Said:

I cleaned the valve and stuff in the pf as I do  maybe once a year.  It looked cruddy inside but probably functioned better than it looked.

Posted February 5, 2013 link

 

Are you using a pressurized PF/valve?  Pressurized or not, how have you cleaned the machine group and PF.  A pressurized PF is not recommended for real espresso, but that can be a different discussion.  You are are being consistent.  If pressurized, then the PF pressurization system is more complex and difficult to clean.  There are specific cleaners that are good at desolving old coffee oils and cleaning the group, screen, PF and if pressurized, then that system.

Could the grinder need to be cleaned?  Perhaps ok since you got passable with the other machine.

I do not believe that you noted extraction or shot time, or volume.  Has the brew volume or time changed?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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