Profitec 800 review in the works

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Balthazar_B
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Postby Balthazar_B » Dec 30, 2016, 9:53 pm

In case somebody didn't notice, Dan Kehn has started a thread for his review of the Profitec 800 in the Bench forum. The world waits for his next installment.
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mathof
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Postby mathof » Dec 31, 2016, 4:18 am

Since the review thread is locked, I hope it's OK to post a question here. Dan says that "the barista can emphasize sweetness by tweaking the extraction temperature on the fly". I don't see how that can be done, except perhaps by lengthening pre-infusion time, which would give the brew water more time to cool down in the group before spring pressure is applied. Am I missing something?

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Postby HB » Dec 31, 2016, 10:45 am

Thanks for the feedback! BTW, I keep the review thread locked so the reviewer's initial commentary appears together. In the past we kept review threads open the entire time, which sometimes led to side discussions breaking up the flow of the review commentary (the Lever Espresso Machines Smackdown is the textbook example of this phenomena :lol: ).

Re-reading the text, I see that my meaning was unclear. I use temperature to control acidity, i.e., higher temperature to reduce acidity and lower temperature to enhance it. I'll have to think about the precise rewording, but essentially I wanted to convey that reducing acidity enhances the perception of sweetness. I think that's why you'll often read descriptions of lever pours as "smooth", which I interpret as meaning low acidity and sweetness with little or no bitterness.

UPDATED: Added clarification per the suggestions above here, excerpted below:

HB wrote:It plays to the Pro 800's strength since the barista can emphasize the perception of sweetness by suppressing acidity with an on the fly tweak of the extraction temperature and taking advantage of the naturally declining brew pressure profile to smooth the roast notes in the finish.

Lever espresso aficionados have come up with lots of different ways to manipulate brew temperature. Search the forums and you'll find ample discussions. Below are some instructive discussions of techniques applicable to the Bosco group on the Profitec Pro 800:

I'll document my preferred method over the course of this review.
Dan Kehn

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Postby naked-portafilter » Dec 31, 2016, 12:00 pm

The Pro800 is a great lever. We tested it on a Cyclocross race event and we pulled 300 shots and lots of teas with it in just 6 hours.

This is a pull in the roastery:



And the teaser of the race video:


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Postby mathof » Dec 31, 2016, 2:21 pm

Thanks, Dan, for the informative reply.

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Postby pizzaman383 » Dec 31, 2016, 6:55 pm

HB wrote:By pacing the drink preparation at a more leisurely pace, the Pro 800's Bosco grouphead has sufficient time to shed heat gained during the previous extraction. While admittedly it's partially my laziness, the lack of a flush between a succession of drinks for this type of group also helps keep the grouphead closer to the ideal brew temperature. When preparing drinks at home with no line to worry about, I flush and scrub the dispersion screen between shots and allow a few minutes for it to restabilize.

I am curious how long between shots it takes for the temperature to stabilize and what PID temperature setpoint you use. I never flush between shots using my dipper. If I weigh, grind, WDT, and tamp between shots it takes me 2-2:30 and that seems to be just about the right time for my group head to recover.
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Postby HB » Dec 31, 2016, 8:45 pm

I posted a video of my routine, shown below for easy reference:



My pace is a little faster than yours, averaging around 90 seconds drink-to-drink. That's enough time for the group to stabilize and no flush is required. The PID setting is 254°F (~1.2 bar).

The Pro 800 is a reasonably fast steamer, but it's slower than the Speedster and La Marzocco GS/3 I've used at the same event. That's no surprise, given the latter are double boilers with steam boilers set to > 1.5 bar. You can see the impact of faster steaming time:



The Speedster's drink-to-drink time is comfortably around 60 seconds, even for a non-pro like me. One drawback of the Pro 800 under load is that you cannot raise the steam boiler pressure to reduce steaming time without impacting brew temperature. Then again, one drink every 90 seconds is no slouch pace!
Dan Kehn

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Postby lagoon » Jan 01, 2017, 12:34 am

Is that the T64 grinder you're working with there?

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Postby HB » Jan 01, 2017, 3:04 am

Yes, it's the Profitec Pro T64 in the first video.
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Postby pizzaman383 » Jan 04, 2017, 8:51 am

from the review wrote:Ten cappuccinos in six minutes, served with more style than I managed. :lol: Thanks to Philip @ Caffe Lusso for bringing this video to my attention! Notice that Dritan doesn't really bother with preinfusion time. It proves the old adage that when it comes to lever espresso machine usage, there are no rules, only suggestions.

My dipper lever has the same group head as the Profitec 800. I don't use any preinfusion time, either. I use the group head ball valve to adjust the flow rate into the group so that it takes just the few seconds it takes me to slowly pull the lever down (for what it is worth I pull slowly to reduce likelihood of puck fracture). I have found that on a dipper the longer preinfusion time just lets the group head temperature stabilize (for then first several seconds) then decrease.

In my opinion, for levers the temperature change of the group head that longer preinfusion times give may be the main reason for the changes in taste that come with varying preinfusion times.
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