Decent DE1+ vs Modded Breville Dual Boiler

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jevenator

#1: Post by jevenator » Jul 11, 2019, 1:20 am

I would really like to see some discussion about this. I understand these are different machines (I feel like Decent is in its own complete category now based upon all my reading) but I'm curious to hear what people have to say about how these two machines compare. I've seen some talk here and there in existing threads so it'd be nice to see it as it's own conversation,

It's good to mention the stock BDB but I think about the "slayer" mod that is possible to do with the BDB which our community here has a large thread about already would be a better comparison to mainly allow that pressure profiling for the light roast extractions.

I'm in a position where I kind of "won" the crypto lottery and can buy a BDB outright and have money left of over or put in some extra amount of money (still close to a grand after shipping and taxes) towards a DE1+.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
― C.S. Lewis

Quester

#2: Post by Quester » Jul 11, 2019, 7:59 am

I have both—different worlds.

The modified Breville DBD is simple—in the first few minutes I was pulling shots with lighter roasts I couldn't pull with my GS3 AV. But one of the things that's cool about the Decent DE1 is what you learn about pulling a shot you can't "see" without the graphing. And some of the profiles I've explored—amazing.

The downside of the DE1 for some people is complexity. I happen to love that aspect, but it can be maddening. Without having a lot of experience pulling shots, and having great prep, profiling on the DE1 gets some people lost in the woods.

jevenator

#3: Post by jevenator » replying to Quester » Jul 14, 2019, 4:45 pm

That's very interesting to hear that a modded BDB would pull better shots than the GS3.

Complexity can always be a blessing or a curse depending on the person you are. I'd rather have the ability to manipulate the variables than not though.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
― C.S. Lewis

User avatar
Jake_G
Team HB

#4: Post by Jake_G » replying to jevenator » Jul 15, 2019, 12:13 am

My Rancilio S20 (commercial HX machine) that I modded with needle valve flow control handily outperformed my GS/3 in stock trim. What the GS/3 gives you out of the box is rock solid consistency. Bad shots are a function of how well dialed in a coffee is, rather than a one off experience. Once a coffee is dialed in, it's more or less the same, every time with a GS/3. Even so, the shots off my modded machine were consistently tastier.

Now that the GS/3 is profiling, too. The S20 is lonely. Its boiler has been empty for the last few weeks, and truthfully I don't miss it, even if I have a soft spot for it for the sake of nostalgia. The point is that a machine like the BDB, which offers stability akin to a GS/3 out of the box would likely have no trouble besting a stock GS/3 in terms of flexibility and squeezing really tasty flavors out of brighter and more complex beans.

Cheers!

- Jake

jevenator

#5: Post by jevenator » Jul 16, 2019, 12:07 am

That's really crazy to think about really. Cause it's a $7500 machine vs $1000 machine.

Back to the topic though, the DE1 would already have everything you would possibly could do to the BDB and makes it much easier to replicate and be more consistent.

Is there any advantages to the BDB other than price and ability to steam at the same time as a shot?
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
― C.S. Lewis

pcrussell50

#6: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to jevenator » Jul 16, 2019, 12:13 pm

Last I looked, the DE was pretty darned reasonable in price anyway. Isn't it in the strata of mid-level E61's in price?

Quester/Kevin's little bit at the bottom of post #2, about being "lost in the woods" with all the capability of the DE is not to be ignored. I have read about it time and again. The other thing you can do with a Slayed/needle valve BDB and a Jake valved GS/3 AV is you can respond on the fly, if the shot is looking like it's not turning out the way you want it to. With DE (today) you can't make changes on the fly as the shot is running. However, word is, they will be making one soon (this fall?) where you can make changes on the fly, to try to salvage a shot that isn't looking right.

OT: I don't have a GS/3, (although I'm close with someone who does), and I do have a Slayed BDB that is also plumbed and rotary, but I wouldn't say better. Just different. A Slayed BDB simply has more capability than a GS/3 (unless you do the Jake mod on it), that's all. A Cessna is not "better" than an F1 car, just because it can fly and an F1 car can't. The GS/3 has it all over the BDB in terms of look and feel and aesthetics, which, let's face it, are big things in this hobby. Although if you can pass the spousal barriers to plumbing, that is a huge aesthetic improvement for the BDB. And it's easy too.

Carry on. Great discussion.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

jevenator

#7: Post by jevenator » Jul 16, 2019, 12:24 pm

pcrussell50 wrote:Last I looked, the DE was pretty darned reasonable in price anyway. Isn't it in the strata of mid-level E61's in price?

Quester/Kevin's little bit at the bottom of post #2, about being "lost in the woods" with all the capability of the DE is not to be ignored. I have read about it time and again. The other thing you can do with a Slayed/needle valve BDB and a Jake valved GS/3 AV is you can respond on the fly, if the shot is looking like it's not turning out the way you want it to. With DE (today) you can't make changes on the fly as the shot is running. However, word is, they will be making one soon (this fall?) where you can make changes on the fly, to try to salvage a shot that isn't looking right.

-Peter

Yah I wouldn't see the reason why you wouldn't want the DE1 if you are shopping for a $2-3k machine or even higher.

Yes, I was reading up on the forum and later in this year there will be a touchscreen grouphead where you can change the profile on the fly. It'll be operable without the tablet if needed as well if you want to set one profile and leave it. It'll be an extra $300 so anyone with V1.1 can upgrade as well.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
― C.S. Lewis

Quester

#8: Post by Quester » Jul 17, 2019, 3:44 pm

jevenator wrote:That's very interesting to hear that a modded BDB would pull better shots than the GS3.

Complexity can always be a blessing or a curse depending on the person you are. I'd rather have the ability to manipulate the variables than not though.
I'm not knocking the GS3—it's been awesome. It's never missed a beat. But I sometimes struggled with lighter roasts.

To another point, I'm not sure how much "adjusting on the fly" actually helps. With the Decent, when a shot goes off, I suspect it's because of tiny channels. There's no making it great at that point. What's been so interesting is that you can have a seemingly perfect pull in terms of the naked portafilter visual, but still have channels—which you can usually see in the graphing on the Decent. I was pretty sure with my GS3 there was no channeling because the shot looked perfect. But I'm realizing that was not always the case—and thus the little bit of variation I sometimes had in taste. But once you have a solid profile with a given bean on the Decent, when the graph is right, it's always great. And when the graph is a bit off, it's not as great. I've worked on "perfect" prep for years—but I suspect it's not as good as I thought it was. I also think the finer grind the Decent needs with some of the profiles makes prep a bit more challenging.

It's going to be interesting to see what new profiling machines show up in the next few years. I wonder what Lyn Weber is cooking up.

pcrussell50

#9: Post by pcrussell50 » Jul 17, 2019, 5:55 pm

Nobody should ever knock the GS/3 :D

There is a school of thought on those tiny channels, that if you can catch them early enough and dial back the flow, "on the fly", you can "heal" them. At the very least, slowing the flow reduces the "damage" from them, and you can still have a salvageable shot.

Yes, all this fancy schmancy flow profiling really only starts to shine, the lighter you go with roasts. Also keep in mind that since light is the latest bandwagon, there are roasters roasting light AND underdeveloped. While others with greater mastery of light roasting have figured out how to roast light and not underdeveloped.

For less light roasts, sometimes I do no profiling at all. I have my BDB converted to rotary, and for those less light roasts, sometimes I just whack it with 8-12ml/s right off the bat for an old skool thick "espresso porn" shot. Though I should say that even with those shots, as the puck erodes in the last third, I will often tail back the flow so it doesn't speed up so much at the end.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Quester

#10: Post by Quester » Jul 18, 2019, 2:01 am

pcrussell50 wrote:Though I should say that even with those shots, as the puck erodes in the last third, I will often tail back the flow so it doesn't speed up so much at the end.
This alone is a lot of the "secret sauce" of profiling. It's so simple.

Sometimes I'll pull a shot on the Decent, then the GS3, then make filter coffee. For some beans a lot of the same notes come through with all three methods. And for some, all three are different.

Coffee is such a joyous thing—those beans are amazing. So much potential inside waiting on our creativity and skill to get it out.