Stabilizing hot blooded Bricoletta for shot 1 same as shot 1+x and good intrashot stability

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#1: Post by Compass Coffee »

Wasn't going to post this with the resurrection of the Monster Bricoletta project but since it may still be a spell changed my mind. I've been working with this procedure for about 4 months now. The problem I was working to overcome was two-fold. One being having shot 1 or shot 1+x behave the same in a series and secondly for shot 1 to be predictable any idle time from 35 seconds to multiple hours. For a year it seems regardless the initial cooling flush shot 1 would behave differently than shot 2, shot 3 yet slightly different then stable through shots 3+x. Didn't seem to matter boiler pressure. Same behavior virtually identical pre and post boiler insulation. Just seemed to me the Bricoletta worked best when working. So last December decided to attempt to simulate working conditions before pulling the first shot. And it seems to work quite well, for me anyway.

Basically I do not flush by volume, ever. I do an initial cooling flush with empty PF in group to 6 count beyond target temp. (At first this was via flash and count, two months ago added Eric's digital thermometer adapter and adapted procedure.) While initial cooling flush running start grinder. After grinder finished including brushing out grinder, flush again to 6 count beyond target temp. Now I remove the PF, wipe dry and build for the shot. After polish gently set built PF on counter and flush for flush count and go, immediately lock and pull. Post shot every shot I always empty group flush, blank flush wiggle, empty group flush again equaling ~3oz total. Then knock puck, rinse PF with off boiling water from hot water on demand unit, wipe dry and build for next shot. Now flush flash and count for next pull... With this procedure I've determined as long as at least 35sec between post shot flush and flush for flash count and pull temp doesn't fade shot to shot in a series and intrashot stability ~2f from initial HX hump to end of shot. Shot one shot 10, doesn't matter. Verified by taste and simulated shots Scace Thermofilter.

When I first got Eric's digital thermometer adapter used my usual listening flush flash and count observing how it read. Later again borrowed Thermofilter and confirmed. What is a bit different using the Eric's adapter is initial two stabilizing flushes are to actual target temp as read digital thermometer reading, flush for to shot 6f higher than target temp. This matched my flash & counts too. What I see Eric's versus Thermofilter is almost immediately Eric's reads ~2f above shot temp target and by the time Thermofilter rises to target temp Eric's is now <0.5f off and tracks rather closely entire shot.

While ~2f intrashot drop isn't necessarily that intrashot stable, it is intershot stable and repeatable shot 1 or shot 1+x. If using flush and rebound with the Bric' I do see virtually rock solid intrashot with slight rise like with a Salvatore, but hate to wait so I prefer flush-n-go. And hence have not worked up accurate repeatable flush and rebound method for the Bricoletta.

Using two initial cooling stabilizing flushes and then another flush for shot may seem extreme yet it seems to work quite well with the Bric'. And since direct plumbed rotary filling a tank isn't an issue. I'll add that my procedure will highly likely not work with a QM! I agree E61 HX does not automatically equal E61 HX shot temp management! At least not with Justin's Anita he brought over last weekend. Even with her boiler set 0.2bar higher than the Bric' couldn't come close to keeping temps up with my Bric' method. We spent numerous hours working with the Thermofilter working to come up with a good repeatable series procedure for his Anita (also with Eric's digital thermometer installed) but that's another story.

This all may be moot depending on what the Monster Bricoletta project reveals! But for now I use it and like the way it works.

Brought up from later in the thread for possible clarity:
Recap:
For 201f target shot temp from idle (idle time doesn't seem to matter whether 5 minute or 5 hours)
1) With empty PF in group flush to 11 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 201f. (my count pace slightly faster than one per second) While flush running grind da beans for shot.
2) 2nd flush to 11 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 201f. Remove PF, wipe dry, build shot.
3) After minimum 35 seconds have elapsed now flush for shot: Flush to 5 counts past end of flash/207f Eric's digital thermometer reading. Immediately lock and pull shot (< 5 seconds from stopping flush to starting pull).
4) Post shot ~3oz total volume flush-w/blank wiggle flush/flush.
5) Build next shot in series repeating from #3 with the minimum 35 seconds being from end of post shot flush. I grind for the next shot during the previous shot so it's ready to build PF as soon as post shot flush completed.

To maybe help clarify here's for 200f target shot temp from idle:
1) With empty PF in group flush to 12 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 200f. (my count pace slightly faster than one per second) While flush running grind da beans for shot.
2) 2nd flush to 12 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 200f. Remove PF, wipe dry, build shot.
3) After minimum 35 seconds have elapsed now flush for shot: Flush to 6 counts past end of flash/206f Eric's digital thermometer reading. Immediately lock and pull shot (< 5 seconds from stopping flush to starting pull).
...
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

Grant

#2: Post by Grant »

Interesting....I will do some experimenting with some of your techniques and see how it applies to my Bric as well. I also anxiously await the Monster Bricoletta project details...and I am sure hoping it applies to my volumetric controlled Bric.

I have a flush pattern down (by volume) that let's me hit 200F ± 1.0F every time that is as follows. I have the volumetric contols on mines so buttons are programmed for each flush volume.

The procedure is always based after a long idle. After the long idle, I use my long flush button, which is about 5 seconds past the end of the water dance...total volume is about 6 oz I believe. I grind/prepare as this is happening.

Then...

If I pull my shot 10 seconds afterwards, it is spot on 198.5
If I pull my shot 20 seconds afterwards...it is 200F
If I pull my shot 30 seconds afterwards....201F
Haven't experimented much past 30 seconds, but I intend to try temp map it out one of these days....

After this shot, I have to keep moving to keep stable shots temps though. Immediately after my initial flush and the shot, I tap out the puck, and then I have a "short" flush programmed which I use to rinse the PF Basket...I think it is about 2 oz. After this short rinsing flush, I can pull another shot every 50 seconds (I have a little digital timer I hit), and I hit exactly 200F every time.

The key to mine is the tap out, cleaning flush + 50seconds routine.

To get these volumes and times, I used the Scace thermofilter and just did repeated tests....my wife thinks I'm nuts...but she sure loves the cappas.

G

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edwa

#3: Post by edwa »

Compass Coffee wrote: I do an initial cooling flush with empty PF in group to 6 count beyond target temp. (At first this was via flash and count, two months ago added Eric's digital thermometer adapter and adapted procedure.) While initial cooling flush running start grinder. After grinder finished including brushing out grinder, flush again to 6 count beyond target temp.
Mike could you clarify for me what you define as the target temp? Let's say I want to pull a shot at 201f are you adding a 6 count to the read out of 201 or are you adding the 4-6 degrees for the offset of Eric's adapter, thus 205-207?
Compass Coffee wrote:... are to actual target temp as read digital thermometer reading, flush for to shot 6f higher than target temp.
Sorry to be so dense, but could you re-word that for me, I'm not following the abbreviated language?

I will definitely give your method a try as I have found a lot of your past advice invaluable. As we've discussed before there is a variance from machine to machine. My Volante works quite different than Grant's postings. I also think my use patterns have a big impact on temp. performances. The Volante warms for 1.5 to 2 hours before first use. Then its 2 pulls in succession, one for the missus, one for me. We sit, read the paper, read the new HB and VolvoXC postings, check the Surfline cameras - about 20 minutes later round 2 and we're off and running for the day. 8)

I have changed my methodology since my last postings on the subject in Feb. I no longer do a large volume flush and let the Volante rebound. I'm back to an initial flush of about 8 oz, build my PF, then do another flush with a 2 count past the end of the water dance. Then, I watch my temp readout from the adapter and lock and pull around 205.1 This method gives me a more stability during the pull. Then its flush the screen, blind basket wiggle, build the PF and then flush to a 2 count past flash ... 20 minutes later for round 2 start with the long flush again. BUT, ah the big but ... all of this doesn't work after the Volante has been sitting for 5 hours - its way too hot and pissy from the inattention (is that a word?).

Looking forward to the Monster mods, and looking for a reply from Mike.

Thanks, edwa ... NOT edna :lol:

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#4: Post by Compass Coffee (original poster) »

Grant,

My first thought was your shots are probably very intrashot stable. My second thought was there no way my Bricoletta would come close to your results, but rather yield smokin' hot results. It's always seemed my particular Bric' HX tuned substanially hotter than others. So with my Bric' boiler toggling 1.1-1.2bar including over shoot ran your method for 200f, initial from idle 6 count beyond flash with 20 second rebound, each series shot 2oz post shot flush each timed with lever up for rebound shot right at 50 seconds from post shot flush, with the following results: (Don't have data logging, initially only noting Thermofilter peak temp then later peak, low and end of shot temps.)

1) 209.5
2) 208.2
3) 208.3
4) 208.2
5) 208.8
6) 209.2
noted the very flat intrashot and climbing temps and started noting the three points...
7) 208.8-208.7-209.1
8) 209.4-209.1-209.6
8) 209.5-209.3-209.8
9) 209.7-209.5-210.1
10) 209.9-210.3 (missed the low)
11) 210.0-209.8-210.6

And I quit. Seems obvious my Bric' runs much hotter than yours!

Hence my preferring the flush-n-go method I suppose and needing an extreme from idle routine to stabilize the sucker.

I'll add that when I was running boiler down at even 0.9-1.0 bar still rather hot blooded but steaming too weak for my liking. My HX tuning must be really bizarre. But I don't have the expertise (at the moment) to play with HX tuning. :oops:
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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#5: Post by Compass Coffee (original poster) »

edwa wrote:Sorry to be so dense, but could you re-word that for me, I'm not following the abbreviated language?
Thanks, edwa ... NOT edna :lol:
No, it's not you being dense it's more like me being convoluted! Would I even understand what I wrote if I hadn't written, would I understand it and I did write it!

I'll try to make it understandable, even to me :shock:

For a 201f target shot temp I do a cooling/stabilizing flush, grinding while flushing, followed by a second cooling/stabilizing flush. These two flushes would be either 6 counts beyond flash and count for 201f (meaning 5 counts beyond flash for 201f plus 6 counts for 11 counts beyond end of flash total) OR to Eric's digital thermometer actual reading of 201f. Now build PF. Approx' 35 seconds elapse time for flush for flush-n-go shot. If by flash & count for 201f target temp 5 counts beyond end of flash, if by Eric's digital thermometer as it drops to 6f above shot target temp. In this case end flush right as it hits 207f. Immediately lock and pull. The shot itself will be 201f.

Post shot gets ~3oz total flush. Minimum 35 seconds wait. Flush to 207f Eric's reading (or 5 count beyond flash) and immediately lock and pull next 201f shot. Repeat, repeat, repeat keeps working.

I have no idea how well this would work on other Bric's, especially after trying Grant's procedure with very seemingly different results!
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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malachi

#6: Post by malachi »

In general I've found better results with a time flush (from when the water stops flash boiling) than with a volume flush.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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edwa

#7: Post by edwa »

Compass Coffee wrote:These two flushes would be either 6 counts beyond flash and count for 201f (meaning 5 counts beyond flash for 201f plus 6 counts for 11 counts beyond end of flash total) OR to Eric's digital thermometer actual reading of 201f.
Huh?


Here's what I did trying to follow your lead:

LONG idle ~ 8hrs,
Flush and add a 6 count after the "water dance" ends and then stop flush,
After approx 35 seconds have Pf built and begin 2nd Flush,
Add a 5 count once the "water dance" ends and then stop flush.
Immediately lock in pf and pull shot.

If this attempt isn't what you meant, do me a favor and cut and paste where the procedure should differ.

Interestingly enough the temp at the end of the second flush was 207 - and change, on the readout off of Eric's adapter. Locked in the Pf and pushed down the lever, by that time the temp had decreased to 205.3. The shot, however, was far from stable as the temp continued to plummet and reached the low 195's on Eric's adapter by the end of a 20 second count.

My Volante doesn't have your boiler insulation mod. Yet. But, it needs a longer time between 1st and second flush. I found the 6 count past 1st flash yielded around 6 oz.s maybe less and the 5 count past 2nd flash a little less than 4oz. This is very close to my method but the additional time to grind, remove & dry off the PF,dose, WDT, and tamp BEFORE starting the 2nd flush helps my Volante rebound. Then I do what is very close to a 5 count past end of flash which usually is around 210 to 211 on the readout and then I pause for the few seconds as the temp gently goes down to around 207-206f - lock in the PF and then pull at 205.1 ish. The temp then usually drops to the low 204's and ends after a 25 second pull with a readout from the high 201's to low 203's. It varies with the length of the pull but generally the best I can get is around a 2 degree variance.

Thanks,
Ed

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#8: Post by Compass Coffee (original poster) »

First I'll preface by again saying my garbage can wrapped rotary direct plumbed Bricoletta's HX and/or E61 group tuning may be different (run hotter) than current production Bricolettas. Mine was the last from a lot of 30 Chris imported quite some time ago then he decided not to carry but rather developed the Quick Mill line. I know mine came with the old lighter vacuum breaker valve that had a tendancy to give intermittent false boiler pressure from cold heat up which I replaced after about a month. Unknown what other production changes were made to more current models based on user feedback to Fiorenzato.
edwa wrote: Huh?

Here's what I did trying to follow your lead:

LONG idle ~ 8hrs,
Flush and add a 6 count after the "water dance" ends and then stop flush,
After approx 35 seconds have Pf built and begin 2nd Flush,
Add a 5 count once the "water dance" ends and then stop flush.
Immediately lock in pf and pull shot.

If this attempt isn't what you meant, do me a favor and cut and paste where the procedure should differ.
For target shot temp of 201f of previous example not quite.
Flush and add a 6 count after the "water dance" ends and then stop flush,
Initial flush from idle is count to desired target temp plus 6 count additional. Since flush-n-go technique during shot production for attaining ~201f shot temp is 5 count beyond flash, initial flush is 5 count plus additional 6 count for 11 count total. Flushing via Eric's digital thermometer adapter I now flush to Eric's actual reading of 201f for initial flush.
After approx 35 seconds have Pf built and begin 2nd Flush,
Add a 5 count once the "water dance" ends and then stop flush.
Immediately lock in pf and pull shot.
No. During cooling/stabilizing flush #1 I start grind. (I grind into SS cannister). After grind complete I do a second cooling/stabilizing flush exactly like the first. The first two flushes are with empty PF in the group. Now I remove PF, wipe dry, build shot and gently set PF on the counter. This is were the 35sec minimum comes into play. Next I do the flush (yes a third flush for from idle shot!) for the flush-n-go shot. For 201f shot target this is 5 count beyond end of flash or add +6 to target temp Eric's adapter digital thermometer reading, for 201f shot temp this is ending flush just as reading comes down to 207f. Immediately lock in built PF and pull shot.

All my shots get a post shot ~3oz total volume empty group flush-w/blank wiggle flush-empty grup flush. Now minimum 35 second pause comes into play again before next flush for shot lock and pull. Same as third flush from idle above, flush temp descending +6 reading Eric's lock and pull. (or count from end of flash of course)

Recap:
For 201f target shot temp from idle (idle time doesn't seem to matter whether 5 minute or 5 hours)
1) With empty PF in group flush to 11 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 201f. (my count pace slightly faster than one per second) While flush running grind da beans for shot.
2) 2nd flush to 11 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 201f. Remove PF, wipe dry, build shot.
3) After minimum 35 seconds have elapsed now flush for shot: Flush to 5 counts past end of flash/207f Eric's digital thermometer reading. Immediately lock and pull shot (< 5 seconds from stopping flush to starting pull).
4) Post shot ~3oz total volume flush-w/blank wiggle flush/flush.
5) Build next shot in series repeating from #3 with the minimum 35 seconds being from end of post shot flush. I grind for the next shot during the previous shot so it's ready to build PF as soon as post shot flush completed.

To maybe help clarify here's for 200f target shot temp from idle:
1) With empty PF in group flush to 12 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 200f. (my count pace slightly faster than one per second) While flush running grind da beans for shot.
2) 2nd flush to 12 counts past end of flash/Eric's digital thermometer reading 200f. Remove PF, wipe dry, build shot.
3) After minimum 35 seconds have elapsed now flush for shot: Flush to 6 counts past end of flash/206f Eric's digital thermometer reading. Immediately lock and pull shot (< 5 seconds from stopping flush to starting pull).
...
Interestingly enough the temp at the end of the second flush was 207 - and change, on the readout off of Eric's adapter. Locked in the Pf and pushed down the lever, by that time the temp had decreased to 205.3. The shot, however, was far from stable as the temp continued to plummet and reached the low 195's on Eric's adapter by the end of a 20 second count.
I see temp via Eric's initially at start of shot ~1 to 2f higher than Thermofilter will peak with <1f variance between the two by the time Thermofilter peaks until end of shot. Typically 2 to 2.5f intra-shot total temp drop via Thermofilter equalling Eric's reading down around to 198f end of shot for 200f target shot.
My Volante doesn't have your boiler insulation mod.
Based on Thermofilter temp testing prior to insulating I saw virtually no change in my Bricolettas intershot and intrashot behavior post insulating. I did of course see reduced heater on time while idle.
But, it needs a longer time between 1st and second flush. I found the 6 count past 1st flash yielded around 6 oz.s maybe less and the 5 count past 2nd flash a little less than 4oz. This is very close to my method but the additional time to grind, remove & dry off the PF,dose, WDT, and tamp BEFORE starting the 2nd flush helps my Volante rebound. Then I do what is very close to a 5 count past end of flash which usually is around 210 to 211 on the readout and then I pause for the few seconds as the temp gently goes down to around 207-206f - lock in the PF and then pull at 205.1 ish. The temp then usually drops to the low 204's and ends after a 25 second pull with a readout from the high 201's to low 203's. It varies with the length of the pull but generally the best I can get is around a 2 degree variance.

Thanks,
Ed
My needed flushes seem larger volume wise than some have reported. Inital flush current procedure usually around 9 to 10oz depending on target shot temp, 2nd cooling/stabilizing flush about an oz less. Then my flush for flush-n-go 4oz or so. But these are of course not to flush by volume but rather by temps so will vary depending on idle/pause during build times etc. When I was attempting a single cooling flush took more like around 14oz or so and wasn't as predicatable as using two initial cooling/stabilizing flushes..
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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edwa

#9: Post by edwa »

Got it!

Well this certainly proves my Volante doesn't run as hot as yours.

I tried a couple of passes and always ended up with far too low of a shot temp.

Although you don't write that at least 35 seconds needs to pass from the end of flush#1 before starting flush #2 it turned out that if I didn't wait that long (ie. starting again at the end of grinding) the temp wouldn't get back up to 201f by the end of the flash or flush. So, on my last attempt I waited 40 seconds and then started flush#2. It takes me around 52 seconds to dry pf, dose into pf, WDT, Stockfleth, and tamp. Start flush #3:
My Volante wouldn't come up to 207f. The temp readout began to fall after hitting the low 206's so I hurriedly locked in the pf and pulled but the readout just fell and fell and fell, I think it was in the 170's before I stopped less than 20 seconds later.

Now I could start tweaking the pause periods or the count lengths, but with these really low 20 second shot temps I might as well start from scratch. A worthwhile pursuit nevertheless, and I'm always willing to give a new method a go.

Thanks again,
Ed

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edwa

#10: Post by edwa »

Mike,

A quick note, and thanks. Following your example flushing the first time to the desired shot temp has worked great. It has freed me from flushing by volume. My wife prefers Americano's and I make her cup before my shot. So, now I just do the initial flush straight into her coffee cup to preheat it and then go about my prep for her Americano. Nice!

Ed