E61 Thermometer Adapter Techniques for Dummies

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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sweaner
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#1: Post by sweaner »

I installed the adapter this past weekend and continue to experiment with it. I am having trouble coming to grips with the different techniques involved. I have read most of the threads about this but my non engineer mind continues to struggle.

For those that use this device, can you post your method? Let's say you want to brew at 200 degrees. What is your step-by-step method?
Scott
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Randy G.

#2: Post by Randy G. »

You cannot "brew" at 200 degrees, or any other temperature because there is a temperature curve that takes place. But you can begin your brewing at about the same temperature every time.. here's what I do:

- first thing in the morning the machine goes on about 30-40 minutes before use.
- pour milk in pitcher, dose beans into grinder, and get ready generally.
- draw water through brewhead until thermometer displays the chosen temperature. This is my pre-cool.
- grind, dose, tamp
- draw water again to once again cool to predetermined temperature.
- lock and pull.
- subsequent shots done in succession need no further cooling.

* the temperature I use is 203 to 203.5
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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sweaner
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#3: Post by sweaner »

Thanks Randy. Let me see if I have this right.

1. Flush until temp is 203.
2. Prepare basket.
3. Flush again until 203.
4. Pull shot.

What will the true extraction temp be? Will it be about 4 degrees below the thermometer reading?
Scott
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GC7
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#4: Post by GC7 »

Randy - You don't wait at all after you reach 203* each time?

I have found the best tasting espresso for my tastes so far are to flush a bit to warm the cup. Remove the portafilter and dose and tamp. I then flush to 203* put the portafilter back while counting to 25 and then pull the shot.

Repeat shots just got to 203* again and wait the 25 sec before pulling the shot.

I'm still new to this but after some experimentation with flush and recover and direct extractions without waiting that this way with my Anita works well.

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edwa

#5: Post by edwa »

Scott, you don't mention how quickly your temp rebounds. For what its worth here's the procedure for my quick rebounding Volante. I flush until my readout is around 201 F, then I pull the PF wipe it dry, grind, build my PF. I then do a flush/flash to a quick 5 count AFTER the ending of the "water dance" (usually no more than 4 oz). I then watch the readout and lock in the PF pausing so that I pull my shot around 205.1 F. The readout then continues to drop and often settles out around 200 to 201 for the last seconds of the shot. This is the best I've been able to achieve. For the second shot (my wife gets the first) I wiggle rinse the Grouphead and then with the water saved from the last flush I rinse out the PF, wipe it dry, grind and build the PF again and then directly flush/flash to a quick 5 count after the "water dance". Bob Y's rule of thumb works well for me, meaning that after we sit and sip more than 10 minutes has gone by and I start again with the initial longer flush, and then the second flush/flash.

Hope that helps, but it will depend on how quickly your machine rebounds.

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erics
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#6: Post by erics »

Scott -

A nice collection of tips is contained here:

Need hints on using E61 thermocouple adapter

Additional tips are here: http://users.rcn.com/erics/

Most importantly, the referenced HB post demonstrates that "pulling a shot" in two ways that are 180 degrees apart can, in fact, produce very similar results. Naturally, I prefer "my method" as it is better suited for repeatibility AND for making very small changes to shot temperature either as a result of a "taste test" or simply for the purposes of adventure.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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cafeIKE

#7: Post by cafeIKE »

Randy's machine has a flow restrictor.
The same routine on another machine may yield vastly different results.

A technique depends on the shot interval. One-offs at a long interval may require a completely different approach pulling half a dozen for a dinner party.

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sweaner
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#8: Post by sweaner »

erics wrote:Scott -

A nice collection of tips is contained here:

Need hints on using E61 thermocouple adapter

Additional tips are here: http://users.rcn.com/erics/

Most importantly, the referenced HB post demonstrates that "pulling a shot" in two ways that are 180 degrees apart can, in fact, produce very similar results. Naturally, I prefer "my method" as it is better suited for repeatibility AND for making very small changes to shot temperature either as a result of a "taste test" or simply for the purposes of adventure.
Eric, I have read those posts and most of the info on your site. however, the many methods as well as the graphs can make my head spin.

My Vetrano idles at about 215-216. It is being run off of a bottle, so the water is at room temp. Therefore, can anyone describe a few methods that I can use to extract at say 200. (I know that the temp changes during the shot) Also, what about the "back flush flush" technique?
Scott
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Randy G.

#9: Post by Randy G. »

sweaner wrote:My Vetrano idles at about 215-216. It is being run off of a bottle, so the water is at room temp. Therefore, can anyone describe a few methods that I can use to extract at say 200. (I know that the temp changes during the shot) Also, what about the "back flush flush" technique?
As has been stated,too many variables comparing one machine to another to get exactly the same results. HX volume alone would necessitate different methodology. Add your palate, the blend and roast, the age of the coffee, accuracy of the thermometer and its depth in the brewhead, mass of the brewhead to that... well, you get the idea.

To further confuse you, I have never seen a temperature displayed over 210 or 211 on my machine, and that is during a flush after a prolonged idle period. During idle it usually is at about 200-202 or so.

Best advice is to flush to a given temperature for all your pulls for a few days, see how that tastes to you, then try a degree or two different temperature and see if that changes things. Don't worry about the "True" extraction temperature. Use the thermometer as the starting line, the brew-button to start the race, and your palate is the best way to judge who wins.
Espresso! My Espresso! - http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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erics
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#10: Post by erics »

The "general" design of most heat exchanger espresso machines is such that the most oftened used procedure is one of "flush & go" or "flush, wait a touch, & then go". For sure, there exists variations of these methods but basically what you are doing is trading some pretty hot water in the hx (average of ~223) for some colder water from the pump. The water in the hx is now a good bit below average grouphead temperature and, during the course of a shot, you are using the group to raise the temperature of that water using these methods. Note that this relatively small flush does zilch to the grouphead temperature because it takes quite a bit to alter the temperature of ~ 9 lbs of brass.

The idea of doing a "back flush flush" on Vetrano does not accomplish anything meaningful because the only spot that water is actually FLOWING is internal to the rotary pump via the pump's built-in bypass valve.

As you are drawing water from a bottle, I would think you want to minimize the volume of water used for flushing. In that case, you might want to consider lowering your pstat such that group temperature at idle is around 211-212. I would venture to say that the maximum reading on your boiler pressure gage is 1.25 to 1.30 bar. If so, try lowering the max to around 1.15 - this will reduce your flushing.

It is a little tricky to flush to exactly "X" degrees but I would suggest a flush to, say, 204-205 and then pull the shot. I have a thermometer installed in Anita now (all previous graphs were done with a thermocouple) and may run a "flush & go" tonight.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com