Breville Dual Boiler, five+ years on - Page 3

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
mcknightp
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 01, 2008, 3:37 pm

Postby mcknightp » Jul 30, 2017, 11:35 pm

sammys wrote:Thank you for your informative post, Peter. I've been running two BES900 machines in a commercial setting for just over three years. Each machine has over 15,000 extractions on the clock. I've almost completed a three-year overhaul of the older of the two machines. It had a temperature instability that has taken a while to diagnose because I didn't want to replace many things in one hit so I can see/learn what effect each replacement has.

There's little chance anyone at Breville will read this. However, a huge thank you to the product development team at Breville for building such a tough machine that outperforms commercial machine extraction quality without needing little tricks like flushing the group etc at a fraction of the cost. I chose these machines because I can set up the grind and coffee/water amounts then my less experienced staff can then extract above average coffees.

The downside... the machine wasn't designed for a commercial workload so there are some parts that struggle to hold up. Parts that can't take the load are the o-rings, the coffee pump, the needle valve for hot water and the ball valve for steam. I've recently switched o-rings to EPDM and it's too early to report whether they will last longer but I'm pretty sure they will. I'd love to get my mitts on commercial quality valves though I have not even begun to look into it. I've almost convinced myself to replace the coffee pumps with Fluid-o-Tech rotary pumps using custom controllers... Almost.

Hopefully someone will get some use out of this information.


We read everything! Thanks for the shout-out to the design & engineering teams that brought this amazing product to market! It's still my preferred machine over everything on the market! It's temperature control & response are second to none, perfect for bench-marking coffees at different temperatures!

Cheers,
Phil

baristabazza
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 09, 2017, 3:26 am

Postby baristabazza » Jul 31, 2017, 1:39 am

mcknightp wrote:"It's temperature control & response are second to none"


I'm gonna call BS on that one. There's not even control over the group temperature!

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Jared
Posts: 95
Joined: Aug 11, 2014, 9:29 pm

Postby Jared » Jul 31, 2017, 6:58 pm

baristabazza wrote:I'm gonna call BS on that one. There's not even control over the group temperature!


The group head is heated to the same temperature set in the PID...the BDB are well known for temperature stability.

baristabazza
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 09, 2017, 3:26 am

Postby baristabazza » Jul 31, 2017, 7:21 pm

I didn't say that they aren't temperature stable. The BDB has 2 pids, one in the group and one in the brew boiler. The one in the brew boiler is adjustable, the one in the group is fixed.

Do you really think the BDB has more control over temp than a slayer or gs3?

Have you used the LMLM Phil? I can guarantee you that it will make a better coffe and is more temperature stable than the BDB.

My BDB couldn't make a great shot of espresso. It could very consistently make a good to great flat white for 1/2 people but it was always a let down when making shots or catering for more people. Maybe I had a defective unit. Even if that is true however, I think it is a good reason to stay away.

Give me an e61 hx any day over the BDB.

new2espresso
Posts: 94
Joined: Nov 20, 2014, 2:38 pm

Postby new2espresso » Jul 31, 2017, 7:30 pm

baristabazza wrote:I didn't say that they aren't temperature stable. The BDB has 2 pids, one in the group and one in the brew boiler. The one in the brew boiler is adjustable, the one in the group is fixed.

Do you really think the BDB has more control over temp than a slayer or gs3?

Have you used the LMLM Phil? I can guarantee you that it will make a better coffe and is more temperature stable than the BDB.

My BDB couldn't make a great shot of espresso. It could very consistently make a good to great flat white for 1/2 people but it was always a let down when making shots or catering for more people. Maybe I had a defective unit. Even if that is true however, I think it is a good reason to stay away.

Give me an e61 hx any day over the BDB.

Baristabazza,
I think the OP was trying to talk about the merits of the BDB as a home espresso machine. It is not designed to be a commercial or a catering machine, which is why it would be sh*t as a catering machine. But that's not the point. For the $ spent on the machine it gives people the best bang for the buck and as a satisfied BDB user its good to see that some at least have made it to the 5 year mark.
If you want to talk about machines that are worse than a $10K slayer or $4K LMLM you're going to have a lot of threads to post on.
Cheers!
-Karan
Kind regards,
Karan

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Jared
Posts: 95
Joined: Aug 11, 2014, 9:29 pm

Postby Jared » Jul 31, 2017, 7:59 pm

baristabazza wrote:I didn't say that they aren't temperature stable. The BDB has 2 pids, one in the group and one in the brew boiler. The one in the brew boiler is adjustable, the one in the group is fixed.

Do you really think the BDB has more control over temp than a slayer or gs3?

Have you used the LMLM Phil? I can guarantee you that it will make a better coffe and is more temperature stable than the BDB.

My BDB couldn't make a great shot of espresso. It could very consistently make a good to great flat white for 1/2 people but it was always a let down when making shots or catering for more people. Maybe I had a defective unit. Even if that is true however, I think it is a good reason to stay away.

Give me an e61 hx any day over the BDB.


Well you are wrong about not having control over the group head temperature. It uses the same temperature as you set the brew boiler which is how temperature stability is kept since you want the brew water to be consistent from the boiler to the group head and finally to the coffee puck.

1. Dedicated steam boiler with integrated Heat Exchanger aids thermal stability
2. Dedicated espresso boiler with electronic PID delivers precise water temperature
3. Heated group head - PID controlled embedded element maintains thermal stability

Based on your post history, you didn't have money to spend on a dual boiler machine back in April. Chances are you never owned a BDB and your lack of knowledge/experience may be why you have not been getting good results with whatever machine you currently have.

baristabazza
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 09, 2017, 3:26 am

Postby baristabazza » Aug 01, 2017, 2:14 am

Jared wrote:Well you are wrong about not having control over the group head temperature. It uses the same temperature as you set the brew boiler which is how temperature stability is kept since you want the brew water to be consistent from the boiler to the group head and finally to the coffee puck.

1. Dedicated steam boiler with integrated Heat Exchanger aids thermal stability
2. Dedicated espresso boiler with electronic PID delivers precise water temperature
3. Heated group head - PID controlled embedded element maintains thermal stability

Based on your post history, you didn't have money to spend on a dual boiler machine back in April. Chances are you never owned a BDB and your lack of knowledge/experience may be why you have not been getting good results with whatever machine you currently have.


Phil has said himself that you don't have control over the group temp as in this thread. check this quote from this thread below (emphasis added)
Quick look at Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

I cant afford a LMLM, but after going to every major espressso machine shop around and trying every machine that I could, I found that the LMLM was so much better than any of the e61 machines I tried. That is why I am making it happen even though I can't really afford it. My wife is still dark with me about it. Do it once, do it right I reckon.

Also I am really happy with the shots I am pulling on the la scala butterfly that is in my kitchen atm. If I didn't have to give it back I probably wouldn't bother with the big upgrade. I don't think I ever said that I was unhappy with the shots that I am currently pulling.

I'm not sure what to make of you calling me inexperienced/unknowledgeable/a possible liar based on a few posts. It probably says more about you than me.

[quote=mcknightp]"Hi,

I'd like to introduce myself, I'm Phil McKnight & I work for Breville in AUS. Just like to answer a few queries if I can.

There is a separate PID that controls the element embedded in the group head, but it is not adjustable.

The lugs on the PF/Group are proprietory & more "regular" patterns like LM/Synesso etc don't fit straight in. The PF is deep enough to take a 18g VST, but the 21g VST is a little snug against the floor & might not yield perfect results, but clearly a naked would be OK. You will have to remove the plastic floor to fit in the 18g VSTs.

The Steam Boiler is running at ~1.6bar. It's not PID controlled, but just by an NTC temp sensor. Dan's machine might be just one on the lower end of the temp spec causing it to appear to be a little under powered. It might not be super fast, but it's consistent and it does produce really silky shiny micro-foam.

Cheers, Phil[/quote]

baristabazza
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 09, 2017, 3:26 am

Postby baristabazza » Aug 01, 2017, 2:25 am

new2espresso wrote:Baristabazza,
I think the OP was trying to talk about the merits of the BDB as a home espresso machine. It is not designed to be a commercial or a catering machine, which is why it would be sh*t as a catering machine. But that's not the point. For the $ spent on the machine it gives people the best bang for the buck and as a satisfied BDB user its good to see that some at least have made it to the 5 year mark.
If you want to talk about machines that are worse than a $10K slayer or $4K LMLM you're going to have a lot of threads to post on.
Cheers!
-Karan


My response was to mcknightp's post where he said that it was his preferred machine over everything on the market. As the LMLM was designed, built and marketed as a home machine, I think it is fair to say that it is in the same market as the BDB, if in a completely different price point.

I haven't been saying that the BDB is a piece of sh**, just that it has its limitations and that in my experience is is roughly equivalent in lifetime price and overall performance as a e61 hx machine (eg VBM domobar junior), not a giant slaying underdog as mcknightp seems to keep saying. There are people who I would definitely recommend the BDB/smart grinder combo to.

I bought the BDB as I was under the impression that it was some epic machine due to all the posts like the ones in this thread. I didn't want to post in this thread as I thought that I would get the responses that I have, but if I have helped someone considering a BDB to get a better idea of what the BDB is capable of then I am ok with it.

Also I typically make up to 10 milk based drinks at a time at home while entertaining and found the BDB frustrating when making 4+drinks. I wouldn't call that catering, but whatever. I still maintain that it is a great machine for making 1/2 milk based coffees at a time. It's one hell of an achievement from breville, and I can understand why phil is so one eyed about it. If you are in NZ and want to prove to me that you can pull god shots off a BDB then be my guest, I will post here about how useless I am if you can. That's it from me.

pcrussell50
Posts: 559
Joined: Mar 01, 2009, 3:11 am

Postby pcrussell50 » Aug 03, 2017, 2:57 pm

G'day Brian. Love NZ. Spent a year of Uni there at Vic in Wellington.

baristabazza wrote: I think that the lifetime cost of the BDB would be at least as much an e61 hx due to its cheaper construction (imo) and for someone who fixes their own machines the issue of getting parts comes into play as well...


Five and a half years in, and my only costs have been $10 to Amazon for several lifetimes worth of o-rings, and about $50 for a new solenoid, where the old one was still working fine, but was getting buzzy sounding. The pumps are widely available, standard Ulka's but they don't seem to fail very often. I don't know of any. So far, the only failures that seem to have come up are leaks from o-rings that should have been replaced, and the damage from those leaks that could have been avoided if the leaks were dealt with as they happened... or before. The occasional steam valve leak, but that seems to be hit or miss... Not everybody has this problem.

You say you had trouble pulling truly excellent shots with your BDB? Can you tell why? It's Scace testing seems to fall into the saturated brew group territory.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

pcrussell50
Posts: 559
Joined: Mar 01, 2009, 3:11 am

Postby pcrussell50 » Aug 03, 2017, 3:01 pm

mcknightp wrote:We read everything! Thanks for the shout-out to the design & engineering teams that brought this amazing product to market! It's still my preferred machine over everything on the market! It's temperature control & response are second to none, perfect for bench-marking coffees at different temperatures!

Cheers,
Phil


That's pretty much what I use my BDB for. Benching and dialing in my home roasts. I also use lever machines a lot for the fun and challenge at temperature management, (and the hands-on pressure control). But it's the lab-grade temperature control on the BDB that makes it so great for dialing in roasts.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

 
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