Buyer's Guide to the Expobar Brewtus - Page 2

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mike

#11: Post by mike »

Dan asked if I could post a couple quick thoughts to this thread now that I've had Brewtus in the place of the PID'ed Silvia for a few days.

Lining this machine up against Silvia is sort of like lining up a late 60's Mustang against my little Honda Civic. They are both great cars for what they do, but very different. Not to mention the Brewtus is big, loud and runs hot ;) WAF (wife acceptance factor) on Brewtus isn't so big for me, I'd have some sweet talking to do.

Now, all that aside, I gotta say that this machine produces some pretty darn amazing espresso. Hands down, it produces better depth and body than not only Silvia, but in my mind better than the LM commercial machines I've been around. Nothing I've run has put solid hot cocoa into a ristretto cup with my blends * like this machine did.

On the negative side, I couldn't drink a straight up shot without thinking to myself that the shots were consistently one-dimensional. When I drink a shot out of almost any other machine, particularly with my blends that I design, I get great unique taste segues from brightness to body to smooth aftertaste as a sip sits in my mouth. Shots from Brewtus have beginnings, middles, and ends that really don't seem to differ at all from each other. These would be without a doubt great shots for making milk drinks due to their body, but as ristrettos they just left me unexcited.

I'll put forward a hypothosis, but don't really have the capacity or time to dig much into this. I believe what we are seeing is the effect of extreme temperature stability. A long while ago PeterG, Dan and I talked about the old homebrewers' trick of adding hops in multiple additions because the varying boiling times brought out different characteristics. We have often wondered if a non-flat profile is indeed better for an espresso shot, and I think Dan and JimS's work on the hump profile HX technique certainly would lead one to allowing variance in temperature during a shot might very well be a good thing (the other factor might be variance of pressure and it is suggested that at least one commercial machine is doing pressure profiling during the shot).

On that final note, I would be extremely interested in further exploration of the pressure profile of the Brewtus. There are clearly some very big things going on there, and I think it is in the pressure profile (as opposed to the temperature profile) where the incredible depth and body is created.

-mike

* this week's to the best of my memory: 40% Brazil, 30% Sulawesi, 20% El Sal, 10% Eth Sidamo

kdkrone

#12: Post by kdkrone »

Dan,

I searched the WLL website for the complete quote by Schomer but only found a reference in the first line of the blurb for the Brewtus:

Recommended by David Schomer as "the best machine for the home user," the Expobar Brewtus double boiler espresso machine with digital temperature control is the result of a groundbreaking collaboration....

Can you direct me to his complete review?

Thanks
Ken Krone
(Expobar owner and devotee)

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HB (original poster)
Admin

#13: Post by HB (original poster) »

Like you, I searched for the full quotation using "schomer the best machine for the home user". All the matches were either his endorsement of the Giotto long ago or the shortened text you noted. I asked Sarah Ferguson at WholeLatteLove if there was a fuller report. She said it was a personal statement from David regarding his thoughts on the Brewtus, not part of a larger formal review.
Dan Kehn

kdkrone

#14: Post by kdkrone »

Well, thanks for responding.

I am looking forward to your review. I purchased my machine about 3 months ago and have been using it out of the box without modification. While I look with envy at Sean, Abe, and Kitt's PID'd machines, the bottom line is that I roll out of bed in the AM, grind my Code Brown, pull shots for my daughter, wife, and myself knowing that the only variable will be the state of the beans, and I smile. Then I pull another shot... Ho, hum... another consistently wonderful shot... wonder what the poor people are doing...

I am sure that there are other machines that can do the same, but I did not have this experience with my old HX machine, and I love the consistency now.

Thanks to you for all of the work on your website and your participation on CG and alt.coffee.

Ken K

Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#15: Post by Abe Carmeli »

kdkrone wrote: I look with envy at Sean, Abe, and Kitt's PID'd machines
Ken,

PID'ing The Brewtus is not really necessary. The Brewtus as is, is an exceptional temperature performer, and most people would not notice a difference in the cup after PID. It is also an expensive proposition that mandates plumbing in the machine and replacing the vibe pump with a rotary. There is more bang for the buck in the rotary upgrade then in the PID, and most definitely, the best bang for the buck would be in improving the driver's skills. That one, won't cost you a dime :).
Abe Carmeli

mike

#16: Post by mike »

I mentioned to Dan today that I had come across an alt.coffee post that seemed to address the body differences between long preinfuse like Brewtus and non-preinfuse like the Silvia or the LM we use at CCC.

Jim's comment:

My two cents is that machines with a long preinfusion time like the E61s produce more body and more consistent, but somewhat more subdued, tastes than machines where the flow starts 2 to 4 seconds after engaging the pump.

Andy's comment:

Having made all those excuses, I must say that the shots with the La Marzocco-style sudden rampup seem to need an extremely uniform tamping job to resist water breaking through in one spot. IOW, they have a greater probability of channeling, which inevitably leads to harsher flavor. When the LM-style shots are successful, however, there is a naked flavor intensity that is quite seductive. It's like BOOM, in your face.

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt ... 4739e6385c

papalatte

#17: Post by papalatte »

Abe,

Thank you for your post! I almost didn't buy the Brewtus because of all the testing and so forth, I felt a little confused. However, someone made the comment that the Brewtus was great as it was, the rest is history. I think your post should be duplicated so that those of us who do not PID, will not feel left out or be missing something, because we can't PID or just want to keep it "stock". I'm enjoying the Brewtus, and am glad you said what you said. Thank you very much. :D

Skip

Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#18: Post by Abe Carmeli »

I've been practically absent from the Brewtus Bench for one reason: I already had the machine for eight months when the bench started its review. The bench is designed to convey the initial experience with a machine, and since we had already passed our honeymoon, I felt it would not be authentic.

So Dan filled-in with the initial user experience. But in the background, I have been working on the official HB review of the Brewtus as part of the Buyer's Guide series. The review is done, and I am now compiling some images to accompany it. To that end, I pulled a few shots yesterday, which I'd like to share with you. (the photos were also published separately on my Versalab M3 grinder review)

Image
I promise, no more naked shots

The above image was taken 20 seconds into the shot using a ridgeless double basket and 14.5 grams coffee. This is just about as perfect as a shot can get. The jet is perfectly centered, note how dark the extraction is so close to the end of the shot, how evenly the stripping is, not a hint of channeling, and best of all - this is not your standard triple basket 21 grams naked shot. It is only 14.5 grams of coffee in a double basket. That one was yummy.

Image
In the cup - They just don't get much prettier than this one

Image
My afternoon shot - like molten chocolate
Abe Carmeli

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barry

#19: Post by barry »

lennoncs wrote:If you look closely at the double PID chart in the Compendium, I raised my steam boiler pressure to 1.5 Bar to help out with the steaming.
sean,

while your PID charts show quite admirable stability, i'd be interested to see a followup showing the temp performance while the machine is in use (brewing and steaming).


--barry "idle is easy"

lennoncs

#20: Post by lennoncs »

Barry,

The charts you reference were actually the followup to many charts of shot performance prior to me writing that piece and were not intended to to be a demonstration of the machines shot performance but more a comparison of control system performance.

Did you look further into the brewtusgroup files? (folder "sean")

Sean "It's hiding in plain sight...really"