Brown sugar portafilter espresso. Down the road issues?

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
Skillzo1

#1: Post by Skillzo1 »

Hi everyone, looking for some thoughts. Today i have for the 1st time experimented with using brown sugar inside the portafilter before extraction. Basically after the tamp flatten out some sugar on top then proceed to pull the shot. In my personal opinion the shot was smoother and sweeter, along with being easier emptying the puck from the pf. Im considering doing this all the time but have some concerns about it damaging the machine later on down the road.

My machine is a Breville Oracle Touch that is about 3 months old. I pull about 2 shots a day and backflush 5x for 20 sec after each shot pulled. Do you think any crystalizing of the sugar will happen in the drain lines?

Anyone with any knowledge on the subject that can answer? I would greatly appreciate it.







Brien

#2: Post by Brien »

My only concern would be going straight into a back flush after pulling a shot with sugar in it. If anything, I would pull another blank shot first. But I cannot speak firsthand to any possible long-term side effects or sugar migration into the plumbing. Brevilles are not known for being a easily serviceable, though..

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by Nunas »

You might do a search, as this has been discussed before. The latest thread was in the context of using an espresso machine to create ersatz café Cubano here Espresso-Sugar (Cubano) Discussion

spopinski

#4: Post by spopinski »

If you insist on doing this then do a daily back flush

JRising
Team HB

#5: Post by JRising »

I have had customers bring in machines where they've tried brewing with milk in the reservoir and machines with sugar in the grinders... They aren't covered by warranty. Weigh the benefits of your experiments against the cost of a brew valve.

ira
Team HB

#6: Post by ira »

In theory the machine should never get hot enough to change the state of the sugar, so I would think it will just dissolve the next time water reaches it. But, I don't know if the molasses I believe brown sugar contains works the same.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by Nunas replying to ira »

Excellent point; caramelization of sugar does not really get going until well past 160 degrees C, while espresso is brewed at about 95. Also, caramelization of sugar takes considerable time, while espresso is pulled in 20 to 30 seconds.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by Nunas »

Oops...Delete

JRising
Team HB

#9: Post by JRising »

ira wrote:In theory the machine should never get hot enough to change the state of the sugar, so I would think it will just dissolve the next time water reaches it. But, I don't know if the molasses I believe brown sugar contains works the same.
You're not wrong...
But if coffee oils can get into the springs of brew/flush valves and then transfigure into tar, I'd bet that sugar can come back out of solution in some pretty inconvenient places as a machine sits idle, if it jams a valve, it may never see enough flow to dissolve again. Anyhow, the thought of intentionally allowing dissolved sugar through a brew valve worries me, you may be much braver.

ira
Team HB

#10: Post by ira »

I didn't say I thought it was a good ide, I was only trying to point out it's possible it might not be a serious issue. If you have access to a lever machine, that's probably the best place to try it.