Breville Dual Boiler woes - Page 2

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#11: Post by iploya »

Undercaffeinated wrote:I received the sette 270 today from baratza and it made all the difference in the world. I was surprised at how course I had to grind it not to choke the machine with the single wall basket. Still dialing in the grinder to get it perfect but I'm happy it wasn't a problem with the machine. It makes me think the old grinder wore really fast and wasn't grinding as fine. Thanks again for the help and making me realize I was an idiot for not investing in a good grinder.
Just reading through this thread the first time. I had the same initial reaction and suggestions come to mind as some of the earlier replies, except I would have probably been more blunt and after listing the 4 baskets that come with the unit mention the 3 that should go directly in the trash after purchase. Happy to fast-forward to the end of the thread and you already scored a good grinder. Sorry if I overlooked it but if you don't already have one a digital gram scale should be next on your equipment purchase list, so you can start measuring out consistent dose and output. The stock single-walled double (the only basket you should use) is good for around 18g dose, give or take a gram.


#12: Post by IMAWriter »

Yes, a .1 scale for sure. As to baskets, I believe I read somewhere the very fine EPNW "HQ" baskets (I owned several with my Strega) work well with the Breville?
LMWDP #187


#13: Post by Undercaffeinated »

I'm sure it's a problem with my technique but I could use some pointers. Using the single wall double shot adjusting the grind, I either get good pressure ~8-9 bars with bad flow (slowly dripping out) with not much crema and not enough volume. Or i get less than ideal pressure with good to almost too much flow but thin shots. This is using klatch WBE that just arrived, weighing out 20g of grinds and extracting @ 201 degrees. What am I messing up? Using less than 20g leaves a sopping mess in the basket.

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#14: Post by Bret »

It may or may not be technique: if your coffee is too many or two few days past roast, you can have difficulties.

With the Sette, although I am not familiar with it, I gather that you can make fine adjustments to grind. I'd suggest sticking to your double shot single walled basket, and your 20g dose. I use 20g with mine and it works well.

I find that with very fresh coffee I have to grind a little coarser, and as it ages over a few days I end up grinding finer. But you want to establish a dialed in point to begin with. I make notes for 99.9% of the shots I pull, and I can go back (as I did today) when I am starting a new bag to see what grinder setting worked on day 4 (for example) off roast, and over how many days it arrived at a fairly steady grind setting, etc. Over time these settings will tend to drift to a finer grind as the burrs break in.

You'll likely find that different coffees require different settings. This is another good reason to keep notes or a log. It will quickly become too much to remember. And it will end up being useful as starting point guidance on new coffees in the future.

In the near term, you need to find a grind that is as close to what you want as you can get, and concentrate on other areas of consistency. Puck preparation variances can make huge differences shot to shot. Ensure a consistent tamp pressure: for me, with my BDB, I've found tamping to full compression -- with an associated grind that works with it -- is the most consistently repeatable approach. But there are many other approaches that people use that work well for them. I did purchase a calibrated tamper set to 30 lbs, and found it worthless.

Ensuring a level tamp is also key. I have the LevTamp which suits me, but there are other variants out there.

Distribution prior to tamping turned out to matter for me. I had tried mini whisks, needles, paper clips, bamboo skewers, etc. and for me they effectively and consistently made things worse. But then I got the Londinium distribution tool and it was, for me, a game changer. Its design allows me to stir and mix the grind vertically as well as laterally, so instead of just swiping a pin around thru the grind to 'eliminate clumps' I can stir and mix the grind to even out the distribution to be more homogenous. The needle/rod/pin/toothpick approach seemed (for me) to just generate channeling paths.

I've found that shooting for a 30-35 second shot time is well suited to a busy cafe environment. I get much better tasting shots by grinding a bit finer and pulling shots in 45-80 second range (depending on coffee and freshness of coffee). In the end, judging your results by taste alone is a luxury we have at home that shops cannot tolerate.

How many shots do you do in a day? If one or two, then the coffee itself is changing out from under you a bit each day. If you can dedicate a number of shots in a single day to getting dialed in (you don't have to drink them all, but you can taste each one), then you would likely only need a small grind adjustment day to day (assuming your puck preparation is consistent). Using the bottomless PF will help you see what is happening (spouted just hides all of that information).

Once you get to a consistent, easily repeatable result -- even if it doesn't taste the way you want yet -- you can then start adjusting one variable at a time to fine tune things. It does take time, you won't get it in a day or a week, maybe a month or more. But if it is taking a long time and you feel at times like you are never going to get there, then congratulations: you are on the same path we all travel. :-)

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#15: Post by Bret »

Another comment: I am not familiar with the Klatch coffee you are using, so someone here who is can likely offer recommendations on recipes and such. I would stick with 20g doses myself, as that seems to be the 'magic' dose for my BDB/stock double basket.

Also, at this stage, you may need to commit to sticking with one coffee for a time to work out kinks and gain control of variables. If you try a different coffee every time you finish a bag, you may find that whatever seemed to be working or getting you close on the last bag will not work at all on the new bag. (another good reason to keep notes).


#16: Post by maximatica »

Undercaffeinated wrote:I'm sure it's a problem with my technique but I could use some pointers. Using the single wall double shot adjusting the grind, I either get good pressure ~8-9 bars with bad flow (slowly dripping out) with not much crema and not enough volume. Or i get less than ideal pressure with good to almost too much flow but thin shots. This is using klatch WBE that just arrived, weighing out 20g of grinds and extracting @ 201 degrees. What am I messing up? Using less than 20g leaves a sopping mess in the basket.
(this post duplicates some of the info from recent posts since I started this earlier today and then got distracted (had to do some work :-(. But I do think it will help.

Man, that is puzzling.

I just today measured the beans from my home-made volume based single dosing contraption that always needed a bit more grinds to make it to the Razor-based height in the basket.

I dumped the beans out and they weighed 12 grams. If I grind 14.5 grams then the Razor skives off a small bit so I think 14 is right on the money.

<sound of a stylus scratching across an LP>Scriiitttccchhhh!!!!</sound of a stylus scratching across an LP>

[I wrote the above and then realized that I had left the scale dormant for many many months (perhaps years) and so I went through the calibration procedure and even without using a calibration weight, just invoking the CAL function seems to have reset it to be fairly accurate. I tested with various coins and it is now within about .1 grams, which is its tolerance]

I reweighed the beans from the volume doser widget and they are right at 18-18.1 grams (now that the scale is calibrated).

So, my point is that 18 grams are right on the edge of exactly where the height of the puck should be relative to the shower screen.

How you are getting (a true) 20 into the basket and getting it locked into the group with the handle at 6 o'clock baffles me.

I do think that there is widespread confusion on the espresso forums as to the proper height of the grinds in the basket.

I hope to get enough time to discuss it all in a separate thread (because it is very important to get right) but that might be a ways off.

So, to try and help you. Let's call this Square One!

Grind some beans,
put them into something that you can shake and shake them around to randomize the grinds. (I think you said you are buying beans preground but do the exercise below anyway and report back the timings)

Then dose into the basket, tamp to your liking, then use the BDB Razor puck height tool to skive off the excess. Then do another light tamp and polish (twirl the tamper without pressure to smooth the surface).

Run your normal pour and note the time it takes to get to 2 ounces. If less than 30 seconds of full pressure, grind finer if more than 30 seconds then grind coarser.

Once you get to 25-30 seconds of full pressure delivers 2 ounces, you now have a baseline to work from. Until you get there, you are just chasing your tail.

I do not count any pre-infusion time as part of the pour, in my own scenario, I have 15 seconds of pre-infusion and 45 seconds to get my 2 ounces.

But I am going to be modifying that over the next month or so, which direction (longer or shorter) will be based on flavor.

Hope This Helps.


[also, a data point, - I just recently sold an almost new (7 weeks old) Sette 270wi that needed to be set at 19.5 grams to get to the proper amount of coffee grinds to meet the Razor height. So, whether the 270wi scale was off or not, I don't know but since I have moved from that grinder to a Niche Zero it is moot other than to encourage everyone to confirm their scales calibration. A nickel is 5 grams so you can take it from there] ... ifications

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#17: Post by Bret »

I've never used the razor: either it skims off before the tamp, which means the tamp will be well below what is desired, or if one attempted to use it on a tamped puck, it would damage the puck.

14g seems way too little for the single wall double basket. You would have to grind pretty coarse to make that work at all. But to get 18-20 grams, you would just grind finer and probably tamp a bit harder. In my case, I am grinding fine enough that the shots will flow slowly which results in 'crazy' long shot times, but produce (to me) much better flavor.

ETA: this is important -- you don't need to lock it at 6 o'clock, and you don't want to force it to that. On older models of the BDB they had some issues and it was necessary to lock that way (on my 900 I had to go past 6 or the PF might walk itself loose during the pull!)

If your machine is newer, probably within 2-3 years I would guess, the group has been redesigned a bit, and the gasket is also a bit thicker and of better quality. I probably lock my PF at 630-645ish, basically to where it feels snug, and then I do NOT force it any further. Otherwise one risks fractures and other issues in the group from over stressing it.

Failed to mention in my post above: I don't do any preinfusion, but I prefer more traditional roasts. I've tried it many times, found the results not to my liking. I gather that for light roasts, preinfusion is useful and perhaps even essential, but I have no direct experience.


#18: Post by pcrussell50 »

Bret, you have been a holdout on "slaying" yours, correct? And instead, taming light roasts with a looong slow extraction. Do I remember that right?

There is now a video on the needle valve mod up and n the "BDB Slayer shots"thread.

LMWDP #553

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#19: Post by Bret » replying to pcrussell50 »

Not holding out, just haven't got around to it. I'm doing long slow extractions, fine grind, no preinfusion on traditional roasts. Never got good results with light roast tastes before. With the Monoflat I probably could do them justice, but I enjoy the 'normal' roasts so much that I don't feel any particular need so far.


#20: Post by pcrussell50 »

And don't let me shame you here. Unless you're going gonzo on super light roasts, you're just fine without the mod... Although you know you have the grinder for it :)

For most coffees, even some pretty light ones, you can still do long pre infusions by setting PP to 55, PT to 0, then press and hold the "manual" button for as long as you want to pre infuse, then release. Stunningly even this capability in a totally stock BDB is miles ahead of 90% of the machines out there, at any price.

I converted mine to rotary (and plumbed it in), and now I experiment with some medium roasts that I wallop with no pre infusion, instantaneous rotary nine bar at 8-12ml/s for an old skool thick syrupy tiger stripes for days, shot like we used to do for espresso porn years ago. Like an old commercial Linea. The stock vibe can't wallop that hard and fast.

LMWDP #553