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I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 10:30am
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

I sympathize with your situation.  I am also fortunate to have 2 kids, but addiitonally fortunate to have a loving wife and forunate/unfortunate (depends on your point of view - or at least how things are going at a given time) to have a live-in mother-in-law.

I used to read Stero Review, and then Home Theater Mag, and then Sound and Vision Mag.  I gave it up when I realized I already own good stuff that'll last a very long time and all I got out of reading those mags was upgraditis.  I never could tell the difference between 14 gauge cables and silver-plated oxygen free.  One of my friends swears he can tell the difference between a digital audio input and an optical input.  I think he's full of it (and yeah, his eyes are brown - lol).  And unidirectional cables...I've always gotten a chuckle out of that one!

So, with espresso, I try very hard to make sure I focus on the taste in the cup, but it's really hard sometimes not to fall into the hype and crap that gets prosyletized, when there's no science to support it or when the changes in the cup are very subtle.  It's good members who point this out from time to time that help keep things in perspective, so kudos to you!

I completely agree with your logic on machine warm-up.  Like you said, it's just physics! I haven't seen any science on it either. I suppose someone has done it, but I haven't spent a single minute looking for their results or methodology. Certainly, it would be done at the group, and probably using a scace device, but I'm not prepared to do the tests myself and frankly, don't want to.  I am quite confident that my machine will take more than 20 minutes though, given the amount of metal available to draw heat from the source until it becomes "thermally stable"...and surely, your SBDU will be stable before my DB.  My programmed ontime is designed, if you will, to eliminate any question whatsoever that my machine will not be warmed up enough before I'm ready to prepare my first drink...at the expense of a little extra electricity.  I suspect your warm-up and flush process is sufficient to adequate get your machine ready for your first drink.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

Nurk2 Said:

Since you asked... my usual warm up time is when I'm making dinner. It's probably on and heating for about 20 minutes before I start flushing the hot water through the system, including the pf, and then another 10 minutes while I'm running around doing other things before I actually pull the shot.

I think this is plenty of time.

To get to the point - and I'm not necessarily directing all of this at you - once everything is warm, it's warm. I'm not sure how much "more warm" I'm going to create by leaving it on any longer. I know that this puts me in the minority, to say the least, on these boards. I'm willing to accept the opprobrium of my peers.  

Do I go with the 6 minute warm up recommended by the manual my espresso machine came with? No. I don't thinK that provides enough time for all the tubing and what not to heat up. But once the machine is warm to the touch, the rest is just wasted electricity - IMHO - unless someone can show me otherwise.

Maybe there's a study or something that shows that 30+ minutes of warmup time is necessary? Actually, I'd love to see something like that because this has been bugging me. Maybe I'm just getting cranky in my senility?

Posted November 4, 2013 link

A little science on Gaggia supporting at least 20 minutes

Click Here (www.afonic.org)

Any flush or purge should be done very early in that small boiler.  The study also shows how long to restabilize.  You are flushing half way through.  Running water through the boiler will really affect the temperature of 105 ml boiler, and delay stabilization.

I have used a thermocouple placed in various parts of the machine and on the group and confirm that it takes at least 20 minutes to stop changing and reach stabilization.  Obviously the last few minutes are show the least change as the temperatures plateaus.

Many say that 1F can be tasted in the cup :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 1:09pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

cool, thanks for posting that Fred!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

emradguy Said:

I used to read Stereo Review, and then Home Theater Mag, and then Sound and Vision Mag.  I gave it up when I realized I already own good stuff that'll last a very long time and all I got out of reading those mags was upgraditis.  I never could tell the difference between 14 gauge cables and silver-plated oxygen free.  One of my friends swears he can tell the difference between a digital audio input and an optical input.  I think he's full of it (and yeah, his eyes are brown - lol).  And unidirectional cables...I've always gotten a chuckle out of that one!

Posted November 4, 2013 link

No one can actually tell the difference. I should take that back. I do take that back. I'm a pro musician, I won't use stuff that's going to break on me, so good shielding, good quality connectors, good wires, etc. these things are important. But once you've reached the threshold, well, you've reached the threshold - the rest is happening in the listener's head. Seriously, you could use coat hangers (with a little shielding) to hook an amp to a speaker and get good sound. Coat hangers.


emradguy Said:

So, with espresso, I try very hard to make sure I focus on the taste in the cup, but it's really hard sometimes not to fall into the hype and crap that gets prosyletized, when there's no science to support it or when the changes in the cup are very subtle.  It's good members who point this out from time to time that help keep things in perspective, so kudos to you!

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Here's an interesting article on wine-tasting.

Click Here (www.theguardian.com)

I think the parallels to coffee tasting are obvious. Again, as with audio cables, you're going to be able to tell a sink shot from a god shot - and even more than that, I sincerely believe that there are people who can tell if a bean is from Africa, or central America or somewhere else with a accuracy rate above pure chance.

And I'm even willing to believe that you need decent equipment operated correctly, within a reasonable set of parameters, to bring out these differences.

But that's about as much Kool-Aid as I can handle. I'll say it flat out. Putting thousands into any non-essential item (we're not talking a roof on your house, or new tires for the car here) like speakers or espresso machines or bottles of wine... spending thousands on these things creates enormous expectations biases in the person making the purchase.


emradguy Said:

I completely agree with your logic on machine warm-up.  Like you said, it's just physics! I haven't seen any science on it either. I suppose someone has done it, but I haven't spent a single minute looking for their results or methodology. Certainly, it would be done at the group, and probably using a scace device, but I'm not prepared to do the tests myself and frankly, don't want to.  I am quite confident that my machine will take more than 20 minutes though, given the amount of metal available to draw heat from the source until it becomes "thermally stable"...and surely, your SBDU will be stable before my DB.  My programmed ontime is designed, if you will, to eliminate any question whatsoever that my machine will not be warmed up enough before I'm ready to prepare my first drink...at the expense of a little extra electricity.  I suspect your warm-up and flush process is sufficient to adequate get your machine ready for your first drink.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

It works? It gives you great shots? You like the ritual? As we say around here: "God Bless." We love our espresso machine!

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 1:53pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

D4F Said:

A little science on Gaggia supporting at least 20 minutes

Click Here (www.afonic.org)

Any flush or purge should be done very early in that small boiler.  The study also shows how long to restabilize.  You are flushing half way through.  Running water through the boiler will really affect the temperature of 105 ml boiler, and delay stabilization.

I have used a thermocouple placed in various parts of the machine and on the group and confirm that it takes at least 20 minutes to stop changing and reach stabilization.  Obviously the last few minutes are show the least change as the temperatures plateaus.

Many say that 1F can be tasted in the cup :)

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Thanks! That's exactly the article I was looking for. This article was created by Auber - the PID manufacturer?

Either way, it appears to be solid and reasonable. It makes sense, and this article seems to show, that when you're moving a hot liquid through the Rube Goldberg contraption that is an espresso machine, it's good that the things the water comes into contact with are already warm. And 20 minutes does seem a reasonable amount of time for a relatively small unit like the Classic.

You've spent a lot of time thinking about temperature, particularly as it relates to the Classic. And I know that you do not recommend flushing immediately before starting the pour... so here's what I do, and tell me how to fix it short of disassembling the poor beast and installing a PID, which is pretty unlikely to happen.

1) Heat the whole thing, with the pf attached, for 20 minutes or so.

2) Run 4 oz of hot water into the shot glasses and cup.

3) Remove and dry the pf.

4) Dose and tamp.

5) Flush another couple oz into a mug. Wait for the brew light to go off.

6) Attach pf.

7) When brew light comes back on, turn on the steam switch for a few secs. Turn off the steam switch and wait a few secs.

8) Pull 2 oz espresso in 23 - 27 secs into the pre-heated shotglasses.

9) poor it into the pre-heated cup, and drink.

My thinking with all this flushing and what not is, the only time I know where I am on the deadband is at the point when the little brew light comes on - so let's take the info and run with it.

Am I a caveman? Is there any chance for rehabilitation? Again, I can see you've spent a lot of time thinking about this. What do you recommend?


D4F Said:

Many say that 1F can be tasted in the cup :)

Posted November 4, 2013 link

I'm probably not one of them.... Couldn't resist!

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

Nurk2 Said:

It works? It gives you great shots? You like the ritual? As we say around here: "God Bless." We love our espresso machine!

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Yes, it works.  In my opinion, my shots on average are better than when I had a Silvia. Having spent significantly more on my current machine than my Silvia, the biggest improvement (not the only one mind you) is efficiency...and that alone is worth the added cost.

Yes, I do enjoy the ritual. If I didn't, I would not spend the time, effort or money to do it myself.  Life is too short to do things I don't enjoy, when I can pay someone else to do them.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

Nurk2 Said:

Am I a caveman? Is there any chance for rehabilitation? Again, I can see you've spent a lot of time thinking about this. What do you recommend?


  "  D4F Said:  Many say that 1F can be tasted in the cup :)  "



I'm probably not one of them.... Couldn't resist!

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Yes, and Yes probably, and I couldn't resist either :)

With music your taste is in your heart and ears, but with espresso it is in the cup, and hopefully this one of those times when your taste is in your mouth.  Compare 1F to a slight sharp or flat in music  :)

And, I will give a better reply to the rest as I put it together.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 5:49pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

D4F Said:

Yes, and Yes probably, and I couldn't resist either :)

With music your taste is in your heart and ears, but with espresso it is in the cup, and hopefully this one of those times when your taste is in your mouth.  Compare 1F to a slight sharp or flat in music  :)

Posted November 4, 2013 link


!!!

I had never thought of it that way.  I can hear something's sharp or flat LONG before it gets to an entire half step off. Microtones. Easily. So can every musician I work with.  It's as obvious as the nose on your face. A half-step error is huge.

I'd be amazed if I could develop a sense of taste that accurate and sensitive. That would be amazing.

D4F Said:

And, I will give a better reply to the rest as I put it together.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

Hey, you've put out a lot of material here, at HB, and Gaggia UG.  I've read it all.  I've watched the videos.  Don't kill yourself trying to recreate the wheel.  A couple pointers about my overall technique vis temperature would be much appreciated, but don't feel like you need to knock yourself out.

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,007
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

Happy to help.  I am finally getting some of the references together making them easier for me to link.  I am sure that many of my posts are repetitious.  Slight correction, I am not on HB :)

You may not taste every 1F but the range of good is small.  It is not all or none, but when you reach 1F over max acceptable, you get the start of bitter and 1F too low, you start tasting sour.

Brewing with a Classic without a PID

First I will admit that it's been some time since I used my Classic without a PID.  At no time am I doing a flush or running water through the heated, or heating, machine. You certainly should make sure the boiler is full, primed, but I would do that well before stabilization. The boiler size is about 105 mL and the pump runs about 10 mL per second. Much of a flush whether for hot water or heating cups will replace most or all of the boiler water. I cannot think of a good reason to use a flush for heating or cooling in a Gaggia aluminum boiler machine, with the exception that you can cool from steaming temperature by flushing or re-priming the boiler with cool water. You will hear a lot about flushing in SBDU machines from Silvia users. That is because Silvia has the boiler offset from the group making a flush useful or necessary.

1) heat the machine with the PF attached for at least 20 min.
2) remove and dry the PF and dose and tamp
3) attach PF
4) wait for the brew light to turn off * then hit the steam switch for about 3 to 4 seconds and then off, and rest for about 3 to 4 seconds
5) pull the shot, about 30 to 40 g in about 25 seconds.  The more volume of the shot the more chance you have for intra-shot temperature drop. You can surmise that from the prior Gaggia temperature study.
6) enjoy

Surfing temperature with a boiler thermometer

Another method uses a $10 Polder Thermometer available at Bed Bath and beyond. The thermometer is disassembled and the thermistor bead placed on the boiler. That gives you a rational method of temperature surfing using the steam switch and knowing the temperature.

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

When using the steam switch to preheat and or control boiler heat the older method of temperature surfing of watching the lights, or controlling the lights with a flush is less useful.

As noted, I use a PID controller and have not done it as above for a bit.  If memory is correct...
And, you do want a PID controller :)
And thank you for the compliment

  • See note in following post about use of light

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Tue Nov 5, 2013, 6:15am
Subject: Re: I can't make espresso until I've had an espresso....
 

Thanks. I appreciate the detailed answer.

Basically, what I'm doing is using the light to tell me when I'm at the top of the deadband. You're saying, use the light to tell you when you're at the bottom of the deadband, and have the heater running the whole time you're pulling the shot. This is counter-intuitive to me for a couple reasons.

First, it means that not only am I starting the shot at a low temperature, but I'm intentionally starting the shot at a low temperature - it seems like this can't be good. Does the heater really catch up fast enough to bring the intrashot temp up from this low point while the shot is being pulled (and cold water is being added to the boiler)? I'm asking.

Second, from what I've read - and some of this is probably what you've wrote - the point of turning on the steam switch for 4 sec and then waiting for 4 sec is that it takes a few seconds for the temp in the boiler to rise, and that it continues to coast up even after you've turned the steam switch off. So while I'm pulling the shot, I'm starting hot and staying hot because the temperature of the water is still coasting up.

That was the thinking behind what I was doing. It's a good story, at least.

Third, you've convinced me. No more flushing. Maybe a little? OK. None.

And again, thanks for all your work on this. Who knew this "fun" thread would turn out to be so useful?

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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