HX vs DB

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Juanjo

#1: Post by Juanjo »

Hi,

here is something I'm pretty clueless about..

FOR HOME USE.
the size of the boiler is more about steaming that for the espresso making... right!!

here is my question:

what's "better":
a DB let say 1.8liter for steaming / .8liter for brewing
or
a HX 4+ liter boiler?

in other words,
two small boiler or a BIG one?

thanks and sorry for my cluelessness ;)



Juanjo
cheers,
Juanjo

User avatar
JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by JohnB. »

One benefit of a well designed DB is that you can turn off the steam boiler when you don't need it so you are only heating a small brew boiler. Also the small brew boiler should respond quicker if you want to raise or lower the brew temp.
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User avatar
Juanjo (original poster)

#3: Post by Juanjo (original poster) »

Thanks John,

the water wand on a DB is connected to the brewer or steam boiler?

the raising and lowering the brew temp have a lot to do with the heat element..right!
I have a 4.5liter boiler with 1850watt heat element and the temp raise very fast.. within seconds.

anyway.. I'd like to know more about the two..

thanks again,
Juanjo
cheers,
Juanjo

Bluegrod

#4: Post by Bluegrod »

A big factor in choosing which to get is what kind of drinks you make more often. If espressos are your thing than a double boiler is really not that important. If you like alot of milk based drinks than maybe a double boiler is your best choice. Just for your information I like a combo and usually have 2 espressos and 1 cap per day. I currently have a quickmill vetrano which is a 1.6l HX and it's an excellent performer. We do have people over on a regular basis and during that time I might make 3 to 4 milk based drinks at a time and the vetrano will keep up with the pace for that many drinks with no problem. I guess you just have to decide what you drink more of and start to work from there.

MDL

#5: Post by MDL »

Every double boiler machine that I know of uses the brew boiler only for the group head to pull shots. The steam and water wands are connected to the steam boiler.

I don't know of any reason to want to regularly alter the steam boiler temperature. Different coffees taste different/better when shots are pulled at different temperatures. With a double boiler machine you can change the brew boiler temperature relatively quickly because the brew boiler is relatively small.

With HX machines the relationship between the boiler temperature and the brew temperature is more complicated.

I use a double boiler machine and love it. I don't have to do any temperature surfing and I can steam as long as I have ever needed to. As John said, you can also turn the steam boiler off if you don't need it.

Take care,
Mark

User avatar
Juanjo (original poster)

#6: Post by Juanjo (original poster) »

thanks again,
so unless is something more than steam power, which in my experience with 4 HX machines from 1.2 to 4.5 liter boiler was endless.. the biggest plus of the DB is that you can switch off one boiler.. right!


Juanjo


PS.
if you don't steam a lot the water on the steam boiler doesn't get "old" causing scale..! do the machine rescale that or you have to do it manually (or NON and I'm talking out of my $#% ;))?
cheers,
Juanjo

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JonR10

#7: Post by JonR10 »

Juanjo wrote:the biggest plus of the DB is that you can switch off one boiler.. right!
I would disagree. I'd say that the big advantages of the DB is more precise control over brew temperature and removing the need to purge an overheated HX tube. With practice on the HX, you can repeatably produce brew temps within a reasonable window but with a DB you can nail a specific flat-line brew temperature every time (a specific temp - like 201.5°F or maybe 194.0°F)

Juanjo wrote: if you don't steam a lot the water on the steam boiler doesn't get "old" causing scale..! do the machine rescale that or you have to do it manually (or NON and I'm talking out of my $#% ;))?
Since there is very little need to refill the steam boiler, many folks I know use very soft water (or maybe even distilled) so scale isn't a problem.
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, Texas

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Vad

#8: Post by Vad »

I agree about steaming. If you will do a lot of milk drinks, go for a 4 liter HX. I myself own one, and it is great (after I got to know it well).

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timo888

#9: Post by timo888 »

juanjo wrote:the biggest plus of the DB is that you can switch off one boiler..
No.

The biggest plus of the DB design is that brewing is independent of steaming. Steam requires superheated water. If the brew water is drawn from, or through, the same boiler that produces steam, the water is much too hot for espresso and needs to be cooled, using a large brass heat-sink. With a DB, the brew water can be heated to the desired brew temp (or just a couple of degrees above it to compensate for loss) and so there is no need for a heat-sink. The lack of a heat sink and the typically smaller volume of the brew kettle on a DB means the temperature can be changed readily, because there is no large thermal mass to deal with. Changes can be precise, too, whereas with an HX, whose temperature is regulated by flushing, there is far less precision, and moreover, the HX is only at that desired temperature range after flushing for a brief time, as it will quickly rebound.

User avatar
Juanjo (original poster)

#10: Post by Juanjo (original poster) »

did a little search and find this..
http://blog.seattlecoffeegear.com/seatt ... oiler.html

my HX SanRemo Capri is RIGHT ON with the temperature.. espresso after espresso, cappuccino after cappuccino.. maybe I'm lucky but never had a temperature problem with my HX machines.. (well, maybe a little with the first one, livia90)
cheers,
Juanjo