Can't tell when the HX water dance ends

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
JKT

Postby JKT » Apr 06, 2007, 7:06 am

I have owned an Andreja for several months now and have develped my technique for consistently good shots.
I now want to play with the finer points of brew temperature to be able to tweek my shots as required.
My brew pressure is 1.1 bar and my flush routine is "flush six ounces, build the shot then go"
Somewhere on this site I read that the temp. is ~206F at the end of the water dance the drops about a degree per second of flush thereafter.
This is great stuff for my scientific mind but my problem is, I can't tell when the dance ends.

My Andreja's dance is kinda subtle and the end point is not obvious to me.
Does anyone have a video clip of a Quickmill machine's water dance with some expert opinion of the end point?
This would be a great help in understanding the flush and see if my machine is operating properly.
Thanks, John

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Apr 06, 2007, 9:49 am

Here's a video from How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love HXs

«missing video»

HB wrote:Notice how it sputters and spurts, then calms down to a steady flow right around the 24 second mark (Hint: use the single-pour spout rather than a double-pour spout to make the transition easier to discern). If the portafilter is loosely engaged, you can more readily hear the hissing of boiling water and steam--sound is a very accurate indicator of when the heat exchanger is cleared of overheated water. Flushing water out of the group until you've poured the same amount of "steady flow" water will give you the same starting temperature shot-after-shot. No fuss, no muss, and takes less than 30 seconds.


More suggestions are in the Andreja and Vetrano Buyer's Guides, e.g.

If all this talk of listening to cooling flushes has your head spinning, below are Bob Yellin's keep-it-simple rules that work well:

  • If the machine has been idle for awhile, flush 6 ounces
  • Or, if the machine has been idle around three minutes, flush 2 ounces
  • Wait 30 seconds and start the extraction.
That's it!

And of course there's Eric E61 thermocouple adapter if you want nearly idiot-proof temperature management.
Dan Kehn

Beezer

Postby Beezer » Apr 06, 2007, 12:32 pm

The water dance is pretty subtle on my Anita too. I've found that it's easiest to see on the naked portafilter, where you can literally see the water bubbling as it leaves the bottom of the filter basket. With the spouted PF's, you can kind of see the water bubbling, but it doesn't hiss and spatter like it does in Dan's video clip. Maybe this is because I have the boiler to set to a fairly low 1 bar. Anyway, you might want to try using a naked PF if you have one.

I'm actually planning on getting Eric's adaptor with a built in digital thermometer just so I don't have to guess about water temps anymore. So far, my results seem pretty good, but I feel like I'm not being very scientific about my technique. I just flush about four ounces, then dose, distribute, tamp, flush another ounce, wait a few seconds, then pull my shot. It works OK, but it would be nice to know whether my technique is really in the right ballpark.
Lock and load!

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cafeIKE

Postby cafeIKE » Apr 06, 2007, 1:21 pm

HB wrote:And of course there's Eric E61 thermocouple adapter if you want nearly idiot-proof temperature management.


And of course there's Eric's E61 thermometer adapter if you want completely idiot-proof temperature management. :wink:

DaveC

Postby DaveC » Apr 06, 2007, 7:11 pm

JKT wrote:My Andreja's dance is kinda subtle and the end point is not obvious to me.
Thanks, John



When you think it's there, flick the brew lever off then on again.....if the water separates out into a number of streams (shower) from the shower screen, then it's there. If it's still central and bubbling slightly it's not.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

Postby RapidCoffee » Apr 06, 2007, 8:31 pm

Beezer wrote:The water dance is pretty subtle on my Anita too. I've found that it's easiest to see on the naked portafilter, where you can literally see the water bubbling as it leaves the bottom of the filter basket. With the spouted PF's, you can kind of see the water bubbling, but it doesn't hiss and spatter like it does in Dan's video clip. Maybe this is because I have the boiler to set to a fairly low 1 bar. Anyway, you might want to try using a naked PF if you have one.


Even better: watch and listen with the PF removed (briefly) from the grouphead.

IMHO, this is one of the primary advantages of a rotary pump in a home HX machine. The relative quietness makes the HX flush very easy to monitor. I don't bother to watch the water dance on my Vetrano, because the transition is so obvious by ear.
John

DaveC

Postby DaveC » Apr 07, 2007, 2:01 pm

I never have the portafilter loaded when doing the cooling flush....I am usually busy grinding/tamping or thinking :wink:

Also as another poster has said, you can hear it when it's right, even with a vibe pump it's fairly clear.

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TimEggers

Postby TimEggers » Apr 07, 2007, 2:07 pm

I've tried with both the handle on and off and I'm with Dave even with a vibe pump it's pretty easy to hear.

JKT

Postby JKT » Apr 08, 2007, 8:06 am

Thanks for all the pointers, I think I can see the transition fairly well now. I always use a naked PF but it is usally off being filled and tamped during the cooling flush. With my old ears in my kitchen with my noisy pump, I can't hear a clear transition in the hiss and splatter.
The visual ques are adequate for now, I don't think I'm ready for Eric's thermocouple adapter just yet.
Thanks, John

LeoZ

Postby LeoZ » Apr 18, 2007, 3:39 pm

i think its sort of amusing that an e61 machine isnt really a high volume machine, yet the only way to ensure temp stability, after the initial flush, is to keep making shots within 3 minutes or so.
i wonder how long my machine would last if i pulled shots every 3 mins for a day. lol

on a related note, i wonder how long until next generation machines (like the gs3?) start to become more commonplace. it just seems that the whole vibe pump/e61 design is becoming antiquated. maybe thats why so many here 'revert' back to lever machines..