Breville Dual Boiler - dialing in recipe using manual mode

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
big_mack

#1: Post by big_mack »

I have a new BDB that I have been using preground and the pressurized basket. I have a Mignon grinder coming any day now and I have been reading up on how to dial in espresso shots. Reading up on all the variables and techniques. I also have the Breville naked portafilter and a scale of course.

Should I be using the factory programmed single/double shots at first and adjust grind and dose to start with and then switch to manual mode and experiment with other variables like preinfusion time and total time?

Jasonbird

#2: Post by Jasonbird »

That's pretty much what I have been doing. I just got my sette grinder adjusted for good grind size and have adjusting for around 2 oz in the 30 seconds with stock preinfusion. I got a hario v60 scale yesterday so now I'm going to try and shoot for a 1:2 ratio.

But I barely know anything about the whole process so I'm sure others will chime in with better answers. :)

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tennisman03110

#3: Post by tennisman03110 »

You should definitely read the instruction manual, FYI. It's very useful.

What I do is exclusively use the manual button, stopping when appropriate. I use the single press mode, which utilizes pre-infusion time based off the machine setting. Which is very quick to change shot to shot. The only difference with this and the one/two shot buttons is those automatically stop (again you can set this time of "volume").

You can use the manual hold and release function, which some use to hold until first drop, or espresso starts to appear on the portafilter. Only when you release the button does the machine move from pre-infusion to full extraction pressure.

Now truly I'm not too great at dialing in a new coffee, yet. Don't change more than one variable, adjust by taste, use the basics to guide you.
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Henry_k

#4: Post by Henry_k »

First real espresso? Start with darker roast, so no preinfusion would be needed. Calibrate grinder for 1:2 ratio in 30s as a base - check how grinder reacts to changes and if you can repeat the same result second and third time (avoid any changes). Work on distribution and tamping till everything works fine. Focus only on extraction quality, don't bother if it tastes good. Test the same next day, and third if needed, and maybe fourth...
If you are consistent then start second level tests - different ratios, different times. At this level use your taste to get espresso you like.
The just program double espresso button for result time and single espresso button for 5s flush.
If you are using light roasts then after a few weeks start with preinfusion tests (and don't be afraid of long extractions).

You have npf so first level would be easier. If any problem then show us how you distribute, tamp and how looks extraction.

big_mack (original poster)

#5: Post by big_mack (original poster) »

I am not really following what you guys are saying Henry and Dustin. I read the manual but it doesn't tell me anything about how to go about making adjustments in a methodical way. It lists the features, menu options etc but not much info on how to use it other than pressing the 1/2 shot button or manual.

So if I can get a 30 second, 2oz shot from the programmed double button using 18g of a dialed in grind, is that all I should do? I can do that now (after a lot trial and error with lots of beans thru the Mignon). Should I now focus on taste and then adjust BDB settings based on taste?

tennisman03110

#6: Post by tennisman03110 »

I don't think adjusting based on taste is ever bad.

Are you reading the quick start guide or the manual? Mine came with both, the manual is pretty thick and informative. It goes over how to adjust pre-infusion, etc.
★ Helpful

Henry_k

#7: Post by Henry_k »

big_mack wrote:So if I can get a 30 second, 2oz shot from the programmed double button using 18g of a dialed in grind, is that all I should do? I can do that now (after a lot trial and error with lots of beans thru the Mignon). Should I now focus on taste and then adjust BDB settings based on taste?
2oz is a little bit too much. But yes - this is the first level, which confirms that grinding, distribution and tamping are ok and will not mess with BDB settings. Now you can play with time in Manual mode and grinders settings to check if it's better for you coffee to grind finer and extract longer, or opposite, or maybe grind finer and extract less to get ristretto instead of espresso. All this depends on beans and your taste. When you find optimal time program it to double espresso button. I don't know if you are using 1 espresso button - I never use single dose baskets and just programmed 5s flush under this button. There is a lot of videos on YT on how to dial-in espresso.
I you master it then third level is to play with temperature - general rule is lower for darker roast and higher for lighter, but again - bean and your taste have to decide.
Last level is preinfusion - I use it only for very light roasts or "difficult" beans, but again - bean and your taste...

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iploya
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#8: Post by iploya »

Forget the timed buttons. Use the Manual button. Get a gram scale so you can control your brew ratio ("dose" of grams dry coffee in/grams liquid out). You press the Manual button to start the flow, and press it again when you reach your desired gram weight. Typically you'd commit to a particular brew ratio, then for every shot you note the time it takes to reach the desired liquid output in grams. If too quickly (say, under 20s), grind the next dose finer; if too slowly (say, 45s), grind coarser. Use your taste buds on the current and preceding shot as feedback as to which direction to adjust the grind setting for each subsequent shot. The timer just gives you feedback or a sanity check as to whether you are sort of in the ballpark (EDIT - but once you find the sweet spot for that particular coffee bean for that particular brew ratio on that particular equipment setup, you can note the shot time and fine-tune your grinder adjustment from day to day to try and maintain that shot time from shot to shot). This is the core process to dialing in that you want to get down pat before you go playing around with other variables like temperature and pre-infusion.
--AB

big_mack (original poster)

#9: Post by big_mack (original poster) »

iploya wrote:Forget the timed buttons. Use the Manual button. Get a gram scale so you can control your brew ratio ("dose" of grams dry coffee in/grams liquid out). You press the Manual button to start the flow, and press it again when you reach your desired gram weight. Typically you'd commit to a particular brew ratio, then for every shot you note the time it takes to reach the desired liquid output in grams. If too quickly (say, under 20s), grind the next dose finer; if too slowly (say, 45s), grind coarser. Use your taste buds on the current and preceding shot as feedback as to which direction to adjust the grind setting for each subsequent shot. The timer just gives you feedback or a sanity check as to whether you are sort of in the ballpark. This is the core process to dialing in that you want to get down pat before you go playing around with other variables like temperature and pre-infusion.
Thanks for the tips. I didn't realize it should or could be done that way, without the pre-infusion. So am I aiming for 2x's the grind weight? So 18g of grind should be 36g of liquid coffee?

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iploya
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#10: Post by iploya »

Brew ratio is just a variable, and it doesn't have to be 2:1, but that is a good, middle-of-the-range "espresso" ratio to start with. Lock that ratio in for the next few dozen shots, and play around with the grind settings and take note of how changing the grind setting between shots changes the time it takes (in seconds) to reach 36g and how it affects taste. Most sources will say shorter shots are more sour and longer shots (in terms of seconds) are more bitter, and somewhere in that range is the sweet spot.
--AB