Some thoughts on heat exchanger vs. double boiler espresso machines - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#11: Post by RapidCoffee »

BrainInAJar wrote:With a double boiler you need to flush more to keep the grouphead up to temp than an HX, but you can continue flushing without detriment, your water stays the same temperature. Flush too much with an HX as I understand it and you're brewing cold.
Agreed. Brew temp management is simpler on a DB. But I never found the HX flush to be particularly difficult. Perhaps that's because the Vetrano has an extremely quiet rotary pump, and the water dance transition is obvious by sound. Eric's grouphead thermometer makes the HX flush even simpler to monitor. But you do have to pay attention.
John

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#12: Post by RapidCoffee »

JohnB. wrote:Suddenly you've forgotten how to do a flush on the S1? If you want to change temp up or down just push two buttons (hardly rocket science), pull a flush & wait for the group boiler temp to stabilize (30-40 secs). Do one more 2 oz flush to stabilize group head temp & go.

Get the p/i mod & then do a taste comparison.
Awright, awright, it's on my to do list. :lol: I wanted to try the machine in its stock configuration first, and I've had no issues with channeling. But the preinfusion retrofit sounds like a worthwhile mod.

Changing brew temp via the HX flush is easier and faster than reprogramming the temperature on a DB, although less precise. You have to change the temperature setting (which is an unintuitive PITA on the S1), and then wait for the boiler to heat up, or flush and wait for the boiler to restabilize at the lower temperature.
John

IMAWriter
Supporter

#13: Post by IMAWriter »

RapidCoffee wrote:Agreed. Brew temp management is simpler on a DB. But I never found the HX flush to be particularly difficult. Perhaps that's because the Vetrano has an extremely quiet rotary pump, and the water dance transition is obvious by sound. Eric's grouphead thermometer makes the HX flush even simpler to monitor. But you do have to pay attention.
Interesting you mention the quiet rotary pump. My Anita, a wonderful machine make it a bit difficult to actually hear the dance, as the vibe pump was a bit loud. Obviously watching helped, as did Eric's thermometer thingy.
Boy, he's getting quite a (well deserved) bump here!
For those who haven't installed one, they're very reasonable in price, and a breeze to install. Just minutes.
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

User avatar
cafeIKE

#14: Post by cafeIKE »

Great post, John!

On the Vibiemme machines, taste differences can be exacerbated by the coffee. After I got the DB, I changed my blend and roast profile to better accommodate the DB. Removed a Tanz, post blended, adjusting final temps per bean and flattened and extended the post 1st slope. I'm currently enjoying Katch Belle more on the DB than the HX, using very similar shot end points. Previously, it was swings and roundabouts with Klatch WBC. That being said, Belle as a double is delicious on the HX.

- Regarding letting the espresso sit to let a single boiler come up to temp : Empirically, if I let a shot sit :oops: , the missus often comments her latte tastes 'a bit flat.' One of the major reasons for the change from the Solis SL-90 was the utter futility of trying to make several milk drinks for a dinner party.

Like so many things for the home, espresso machines are a compromise. My mega-stainless gas BBQ will never cook a steak the same as a 25Ft² red oak open pit fire.

A favorite expression is "There is no free lunch." Prospective purchasers need to do their homework, analyse how they will use the machine and try to separate the buckwheat...

User avatar
JohnB.
Supporter ♡

#15: Post by JohnB. »

RapidCoffee wrote:Awright, awright, it's on my to do list. :lol: I wanted to try the machine in its stock configuration first, and I've had no issues with channeling. But the preinfusion retrofit sounds like a worthwhile mod.

Changing brew temp via the HX flush is easier and faster than reprogramming the temperature on a DB, although less precise. You have to change the temperature setting (which is an unintuitive PITA on the S1), and then wait for the boiler to heat up, or flush and wait for the boiler to restabilize at the lower temperature.
First of all you should point out that your S1 is a very early machine & not the V2 version most buyers would be shopping for. There have been many improvements made to the S1 since 2004. Changing temp on my S1V2 takes 5-6 seconds & I'm no programming whiz. On your earlier version you had coarse temp/fine temp modes to deal with that have been eliminated on the V2. Also unless you upgrade to a V2 board you won't have the programmable p/i only the fixed canister. What other machine anywhere near the Vivaldi's price point lets you turn the p/i off/on, program the duration from 1-8 seconds & set the pressure of the p/i water?

Looking at the Vetrano & S1V2 H-B reviews both receive an 8.5 score for excellent espresso up from your S1V1's 8.0 rating. In the morning after/ease of use score the S1 crushes the Vetrano 9.5 to 7.5 & beats it in the other 2 categories also.
LMWDP 267

da gino

#16: Post by da gino »

JohnB. wrote: What other machine anywhere near the Vivaldi's price point lets you turn the p/i off/on, control the duration from 1-8 seconds & set the pressure of the p/i water?
A Pavoni lets you do a few of those things, but they don't tend to be in the Vivaldi's price point :D

IMAWriter
Supporter

#17: Post by IMAWriter » replying to da gino »

:lol:
Rob
LMWDP #187
www.robertjason.com

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#18: Post by RapidCoffee »

cafeIKE wrote:I'm currently enjoying Katch Belle more on the DB than the HX, using very similar shot end points. Previously, it was swings and roundabouts with Klatch WBC. That being said, Belle as a double is delicious on the HX.
Many of my HX-DB comparisons have used Coffee Klatch blends and SO's. The tasting session with my friend this week featured Belle Espresso, one of my favorite blends.
cafeIKE wrote:- Regarding letting the espresso sit to let a single boiler come up to temp : Empirically, if I let a shot sit :oops: , the missus often comments her latte tastes 'a bit flat.' One of the major reasons for the change from the Solis SL-90 was the utter futility of trying to make several milk drinks for a dinner party.
Ah, the single boiler dilemma: pull the shot first and let it sit while the machine comes up to steam temp, or froth the milk first, and then deal with the resulting temperature instability when you flush down to brew temp. I don't think there's a best answer; both are compromises.
John

User avatar
shadowfax

#19: Post by shadowfax »

JohnB. wrote:First of all you should point out that your S1 is a very early machine & not the V2 version most buyers would be shopping for.
....
Looking at the Vetrano & S1V2 H-B reviews both receive an 8.5 score for excellent espresso up from your S1V1's 8.0 rating. In the morning after/ease of use score the S1 crushes the Vetrano 9.5 to 7.5 & beats it in the other 2 categories also.
I would observe that John W. wrote an extremely detailed post that covers all of the details you seem to be trying to grill him on. Case in point above: You tell John that he needs to point out he has version 1... which he did. You tell John he needs to add preinfusion, which he mentioned he was without and accounted for.

Moreover, you're guilty of nitpicking positive points for your Vivaldi (P/I + improved temp control adds half a point to the exceptional espresso score), yet you claim the Vetrano only received a 7.5 Morning After score, which is not the whole truth:
Eric Svendson's E61 adapter / thermocouple combo mentioned earlier in Developing Better Temperature Control Skills would raise this score to 8.5.
9.5 vs. 8.5 is hardly crushing, especially considering that the reviews were conducted by 2 different people. Not to say that I think that they are on par in terms of ease of use: no one even suggested that. But I'm exceedingly confused by the remarks you've made about how John W. needs to get P/I and note that he has an older Vivaldi. What is really the point? John W. is not criticizing the Vivaldi, he's comparing the two machines' "personalities" and trying to explain them.

I think that's a really worthwhile thought, and while I know that nitpicking has its place, it seems like one ought to be more observant when trying to do so.
Nicholas Lundgaard

User avatar
RapidCoffee
Team HB

#20: Post by RapidCoffee »

JohnB. wrote:First of all you should point out that your S1 is a very early machine & not the V2 version most buyers would be shopping for. There have been many improvements made to the S1 since 2004. Changing temp on my S1V2 takes 5-6 seconds & I'm no programming whiz. On your earlier version you had coarse temp/fine temp modes to deal with that have been eliminated on the V2. Also unless you upgrade to a V2 board you won't have the programmable p/i only the fixed canister. What other machine anywhere near the Vivaldi's price point lets you turn the p/i off/on, program the duration from 1-8 seconds & set the pressure of the p/i water?
John, this is not a Buyer's Guide to the S1V2. It's an attempt to start a reasoned discussion on the respective merits of HX and DB designs, which handle the problem of heating water to two different temperatures in very different ways.

I'm glad to hear that the S1V2 makes temperature adjustments easier. As far as S1V1 brew temp programming goes: I teach a course in graphical user interfaces, and if any student turned in a program with an interface like that, they would fail. Even an infinite number of monkeys would have trouble figuring it out without a cheat sheet. :P

But this is getting completely off track. With the possible exception of preinfusion, I would expect the S1V1 and S1V2 taste profiles to be striking similar. Same boilers, slightly more accurate temp sensor on the S1V2 (woot), same grouphead... I'm really having trouble understanding the thrust of these comments.
JohnB. wrote:Looking at the Vetrano & S1V2 H-B reviews both receive an 8.5 score for excellent espresso up from your S1V1's 8.0 rating. In the morning after/ease of use score the S1 crushes the Vetrano 9.5 to 7.5 & beats it in the other 2 categories also.
Likewise, this is not an S1-Vetrano shootout. It's also consistent with the impressions that I've posted above. Brew temp management is easier on a DB, and so the S1 deserves a better "morning after" score (actually it's 9.0, not 9.5). As Nicholas points out, the Vetrano gets a score of 8.5 with the grouphead thermometer. The other two categories are 0.5 points or less difference, so all this focus on scores is of debatable significance.

Try not to take offense because I think the Vetrano is an excellent espresso machine. The Spaz ain't bad either. :lol:
John