Can you get long extraction times with Breville Barista Express?

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kye
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Joined: 3 years ago

#1: Post by kye »

I'd like to play with long extraction times on my Breville Barista Express, but the machine seems to have an internal timer that just stops the shot after a while. I haven't timed it, but it's maybe 40-60s, so I don't think the machine is faulty, it seems like it could be a safety feature perhaps.

This cut-off time applies even though I brew in manual mode. (My normal routine is to dial in the grind so that using the pre-infusion gives me about 9 bar, which tapers down to about 6 bar during the shot, so I'm just using the pre-infusion part of the cycle, however I think the full-pressure part of the cycle is also subject to this timer).

Does anyone know a way to get around this?

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas »

It's been many years since I had a BBE. From memory, there's no way to pull for longer than 60 seconds. Nor should one do so. The BBE uses a vibe pump. Vibe pumps have duty cycles, typically 50:50, with a max on of one minute. If you consistently run for longer than this, you risk blowing the internal diode in the pump, which is not user replaceable (well...it can be done by a good DIYer, but it isn't easy). My Magister Stella used the same pump, but had no timer on it. I killed it one day when flushing water through the boiler for about 90 seconds, to rinse out descaling solution :oops: .

kye (original poster)
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#3: Post by kye (original poster) »

Nunas wrote:It's been many years since I had a BBE. From memory, there's no way to pull for longer than 60 seconds. Nor should one do so. The BBE uses a vibe pump. Vibe pumps have duty cycles, typically 50:50, with a max on of one minute. If you consistently run for longer than this, you risk blowing the internal diode in the pump, which is not user replaceable (well...it can be done by a good DIYer, but it isn't easy). My Magister Stella used the same pump, but had no timer on it. I killed it one day when flushing water through the boiler for about 90 seconds, to rinse out descaling solution :oops: .
Thanks - that's really useful. I am curious to explore longer shot times but not at the expense of the machine. The BBE is a bit of a mixed blessing, for all its limitations it's one of the only budget machines with a pressure gauge that doesn't require a 15-20 minute wait for it to heat up, and I'm too impatient/disorganised for that!

BodieZoffa
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Joined: 3 years ago

#4: Post by BodieZoffa »

Nunas wrote:It's been many years since I had a BBE. From memory, there's no way to pull for longer than 60 seconds. Nor should one do so. The BBE uses a vibe pump. Vibe pumps have duty cycles, typically 50:50, with a max on of one minute. If you consistently run for longer than this, you risk blowing the internal diode in the pump, which is not user replaceable (well...it can be done by a good DIYer, but it isn't easy). My Magister Stella used the same pump, but had no timer on it. I killed it one day when flushing water through the boiler for about 90 seconds, to rinse out descaling solution :oops: .
Most stock vibe pumps do have that typical use/duty cycle. My Silvia Pro gets pushed to 70 seconds at times with a very fine grind, done on purpose of course. Granted it might weaken the pump over time, but makes no difference to me as I have a heavy duty Ulka waiting for transplant. It's rated for 2 min ON/1 min OFF and once I install it I plan to push for 90+ second extractions with less than 1 oz yield.

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Jeff
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#5: Post by Jeff »

Those ratings are for, as I recall, 25 C ambient and 20 C inlet fluid. Neither are met in reservoir-fed machines. Thankfully they generally become a $25-30 maintenance part, at least on a machine you can service yourself and takes a standard pump.

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baldheadracing
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#6: Post by baldheadracing »

Also, keep in mind that the BBE uses a thermoblock. Brew temperatures will vary as both time and flow rates change. In some cases the effect of longer-than-'standard' pulls on water temperature can be dramatically bad, viz. Hedrick's experience with the Bambino Plus. In general, it is best to restrict yourself to a thermoblock machine's design parameters.
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