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Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Is PID needed in...  
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
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 Apr 4, 2014, 10:24am
Subject: Re: Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
 

Mostly what the HX flush does is it removes the over temp water from the HX system of the machine.

The boiler is kept at steaming temp, above boiling.

The XH runs THROUGH the steam boiler.  If the water sits there a while, the water in the HX reaches the same temp as the water in the steam boiler. The flush is not so much to alter the temp of an E61 group head, as if it is properly setup, the thermosyphon will keep it slightly warmer than brew temp, to assure that the brew water is not too cold, rather the flush is to remove the over heated water from the brew system to brew temp.

The HX is designed to properly heat the water as it flows through the system. You can alter the first shot a little up or down depending on what you want to do simply by flushing more or less water from the HX. Once a working pace is established, the shots will be very consistent in temp. Please do look at the video I linked to to show when the water stops flashing to steam and is at brew temp. In the video, when the flashing stops, the water is slightly on the high side of brewing, a little more flush like I do with the 3rd push of the button drops the temp to my desired brew temp. A slightly longer 3rd flush will be a little on the cool side.

When sitting between shots, the water will heat again but will not get near as hot as the first part of the video shows as it was sitting for hours at the start of the video. The small flush before the shot is pulled is all it takes to return the machine to proper brew temp. Each machine is slightly different and it is the skill of the operator who learns his (or her) machine that makes a difference. Some machines run a little hotter and some a little cooler and that can be adjusted by the Pstat (or PID if the machine has one) but that is adjusting the temp of the STEAM boiler, not the brew temp.

When people try to put a PID on a HX machine, it is the steam temp that is altered to bring the boiler down to brew temp. This messes up the thermopsyhon and the group head is too cool, the water in the HX system then reaches the temp of the steam boiler which is dropped down to brew temp so the first water out is at brew temp then as the boiler is too cool, the next shot is not hot enough as the water needs to sit and heat again in the brew system. Then they need to turn the temp up to get it to steam properly. In effect they have turned a nice machine into a poor copy of a SBDU, doing a service to neither a SBDU OR the HX.

To recap. The steam boiler is kept at a constant steam temp, the flush clears the over temp water and the machine design matches the HX system to the steam boiler and the desired service use of shots per hour. In short, a PID does nothing to improve the in cup but is only a different way to regulate steam temp. The HX design is what is in control of brew temp.

Don't let all this confuse you, it really is as simple as my video. Understanding how it works takes the mystery and the Vodo out of it but in operation it is pretty simple.

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
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 Apr 4, 2014, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
 

Ya beat me to the post button Rich LOL!

 
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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yiannis550
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Lemesos
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Apr 4, 2014, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
 

Wow thank you guys. I am glad I post the question. I have cleared up many details. I am thinking now that I could save some money from the machine by getting an HX model and then spend it on a better grinder instead... I need to do more research! Also need to study grinders first!
Any suggestions for good grinders to start from? I have no clue about them except that mazer is good but very expensive!
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 178
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Fri Apr 4, 2014, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
 

So much information can be gained for general and specific knowledge just by perusing the posts in the grinder forum:

"Grinders - Espresso"

If you have a question, chances are someone else recently had the same question so you'll probably see it in there.  How much do you think you can budget for the grinder?
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yiannis550
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Apr 2014
Posts: 20
Location: Lemesos
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: Is PID needed in good machines like Bezzera Magica
 

Thank you guys,

I had another round of research especially DB vs HX. I decided to go for an HX and most probably the Magica. I like the looks and the price. It will save me about 200 Euros from a DB machine like the EXPOBAR which I can use towards a better grinder!

So any comments on the Magica are welcome especially from people who owned it or can compare it with another machine from their own experience.

Now I have the most difficult job to find a grinder. For espresso machines I knew a thing or 2 but for grinders I know nothing! :)

Yiannis
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