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My time with Vibiemme Domobar Junior HX

Postby khestehave on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:15 am

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Alright! Upgradilitis cured....or at least tended to........for now ;)

Vibiemme Domobar Junior Manual Heat Exchanger!

My decision making was helped by this thread: Who knows about a small HX espresso machine

Now I'll keep this thread up to date with info as I go along.

I went into Copenhagen for it yesterday and quickly got my darling Miss Silvia out of the way to make room for the new :( Kinda sad really, she's been with me for almost 8 years and without a hitch other than a recent OPV issue caused by a clog from some foreign object (almost got me to consider to stop the upgrade, but by then I was bitten pretty bad).

So the wife and I moved Domo around a bit to see where she fit in the best and the original place was still the best. Here they are side by side on the oposite side of the counter (I know Silvia is a bit mucky, but I didn't have time to clean her after yesterdays morning latté, which turned out to be the very last!!!).

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Here she is in her new home

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I toyed around with Domo for a bit before pulling the first shot and found it to be absolutely solidly built. Everything on it is tight and "weighty", it's just the apidimi of quality IMHO. The PF's are simply outstanding, heavy, with great balance and the rubber handles are to die for. Huge drip tray which is a really nice change from Silvia which is a tad shallow. The casing is solid too. Thick steel....love it.

So here's the first shot (I know it was maybe a bit crooked, but I had itchy fingers to get started but they tasted great! And isn't that was it all about in the end?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MszfIHhU...e=youtu.be

Steaming is amazing (remember I am comparing to Silvia and not a GS3 or something like that ;)). On Silvia I was steaming for about 45 sec to 1 min but this thing is spitting fire and steams the same in about 15 sec! I do need to get used to the two hole tip. Also I think I need do my first machine mod, which I've been pondering ever since looking into HX's and that is to switch sides of the steam wand and hot water spout since I have a wall to the left of my machine, but that's for later.

One thing to definitely get mod'ed though is the single spout PF which I will probably undress to get room for a triple basket. Since my wife bought me my NPF for Silvia I haven't used anything else....at all. And I think I'll send my current NPF with Silvia when she gets sold as the quality of the PF isn't as nice as the VBM PF and I found it to be a great learning tool that the next user would probably enjoy. But I don't know if I should have Verna Design do the undressing or do it myself as some members here and on CG have done, but I'll keep you up to date on that as we go along.

When I get more shots out of her I'll be back with more info as I think there is too little user info on this machine anywhere.

Later

Klaus
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Postby Randy G. on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:40 am

I would slide the machine closer to the front edge of the counter which would make it a lot easier to use the steam wand. In any case, the rear legs appear dangerously close to the edge of the counter.
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Postby Spitz.me on Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:00 pm

I agree, definitely want to think of ergonomics when setting up your station. Slightly bending over to do anything like steaming milk will make it uncomfortable not only on your back, but on your arms that are reaching out.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.
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Postby khestehave on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:15 pm

Randy G. wrote:I would slide the machine closer to the front edge of the counter which would make it a lot easier to use the steam wand. In any case, the rear legs appear dangerously close to the edge of the counter.


Yeah this position was just when I got it up on the counter so I moved it forward a few inches to where Silvia was and this suits me just fine. In the pic it does look like the counter is very deep, but it is actually ok "ergonomically" :) And I'm 6'4" so I have no issues with "viewing my steaming action". My biggest problem is the fact that I've been steaming with the wand on the other side for 8 years....so I gotta reset my muscle memory...;)

Thanks

Klaus
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Postby Randy G. on Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:59 pm

I had much the same problem switching from Silvia to Vibiemme. I have the VBM DD on the far-left side of a freestanding coffee cart and I stand to the side of the machine (at the side of the cart) to steam, so I am looking straight down into the pitcher.
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Postby Intrepid510 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:43 pm

As far as milk steaming there was another poster that talked about when using this machine that I saw right before I got mine, and it basically works very easily with a flat sided pitcher. Just put the tip straight down in the middle and let it do the rest, just leave it at top at first till it's body temp and then below the surface to mix it all up. Got micro foam from first attempt, only problem I run into is sometimes I make a cappa instead of a latte because it steams so much faster than my Classic.
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Postby khestehave on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:49 am

OK, two days in and we just had guests so I needed to do multiple shots and steam at the same time! Oh my God this machine is amazing! I still need to get used to the new sounds that this thing makes, but that's just details schmetails. Going from Silvia this just poured out shot after shot with steaming in the middle and seemed like temp was consistent throughout all shots with minimum cooling flushes in between. It rocks! So much more convenient and easy to work with than Silvia. What an amazing step up. However I do have a question that you guys can maybe help me out with. I'm not quite sure what the pressure gauges are showing me, or rather i know that I see boiler pressure on one which is set to 1.1 bar and the other is pressure at the group which is a bit more finicky. When I turn on the machine and it's all warmed up the reading is 10 on the group gauge then I run a cooling flush and it drops to 4. When I pull a shot it rises to 10 and drops to 9 as I guess it should. I then noticed when preparing a shot that it shot up to 11 and down to 4 and up to 10 again (it was just idling and I wasn't touching it) within a few seconds. So question is, do I only need the readings from the group when pulling shots and the rest of the time it's not relevant, basically shooting up and down at will? The boiler gauge is mostly reading 1.1, but then after a shot it's more like 1.0 or 0.9, but I guess that's natural since I just pulled a shot. Right?

Does anyone know of somewhere I can find some relevant info on how to use the gauges and troubleshoot with the info I get from them if needed?

Br

Klaus
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Postby khestehave on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:50 am

Intrepid510 wrote:As far as milk steaming.........


Thanks I will give this a try tomorrow morning :)
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Postby stretch on Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:08 am

Hi Klaus.

Just a few questions regarding your new HX.

Why the hx and not a DB?
Why the Vibiemme over a Rocket or Izzo?
What kind of grinder do you use?
Have you tried the steamer and does it keep its strength - that is, does it have enough power for multiple steams (four people wanting lattés...)

You machine looks really nice and though I have only just entered espresso country (a minefield?) I would seriously consider having somthing similar to yours.

Hope you have the time to explain some of your considerations.

S
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Postby erics on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:37 am

Does anyone know of somewhere I can find some relevant info on how to use the gauges and troubleshoot with the info I get from them if needed?

http://www.home-barista.com/downloads/Vibiemme_guide7a_press.pdf
AND
http://www.espressomyespresso.com/
AND
http://www.home-barista.com/forums/search.php
While the links do not specifically address the VBM Junior Hx, it shares many of the parts with its older brother.
Skål,

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