Just got my Breville Dual Boiler. Best settings for Northern Italian single shots?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
aleks

#1: Post by aleks »

Hello fellow baristas,

After almost 10 years of my Gaggia Classic with PID I finally managed to afford an upgrade to the mythical BDB. I can tweak pre-infusion time and pressure.

I came to the US in my 30s but I grew up in Torino, Italy (where the espresso machine was patented by Angelo Moriondo in 1884). This is to say that I like all espresso but I would love to recreate the ubiquitous northern Italian taste that I grew up with. Those are short shots, 7g in, 24 or less mL out (often 18-20mL, as I used to drink 5 ristretti a day over there).

Do you have any advice on how you would set my BDB?
I'm using freshly roasted Colombe Nizza or Blue Bottle Hayes Valley (def not like the Vergano/Beccuti/Costaroro I was used to, but can't find those fresh here in NY).
Already got a bottomless portafilter although grinding and tamping technique are the same as with my gaggia.
Got a la marzocco single basket.

I'm thinking 7g in 20 mL out, aiming at 25-30 secs for dial in, maybe 88-90C temp (will have to check how much it is in F).

The questions are:

1 - Do you suggest what temp on the BDB? Is the temp in F exactly the temp at the grouphead or should I set it a bit higher?
2 - the opv is probably set to 10 bars or 11, should I bring it down to 9?
3 - preinfusion: what pressure and time?
4 - what brew time? Is preinfusion counted towards total extraction?
5 - in general, any tips for chocolatey non acidic non fruity shots is welcome.
6 - in general, any tips about singles, because they are hard to pull but I like many singles a day, Italian style, and don't want to throw away singles cos I'm brewing doubles.
7 - any tips on beans for this purpose are appreciated too. I found Italian beans that come packaged from Italy to never be fresh :(

Grazie!!

Alessandro

OK31
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#2: Post by OK31 »

I unfortunately can't comment on some of the items but have a BDB myself and have been told to split the difference of the preinfusion (7 seconds) although you can change the time and even avoid it altogether by pulling "manually" by holding the single/double shot button or by press/hold the manual button until the shot starts and then let go (it will initiate a full pressure at that point).

The OPV can go up as high as 11 but I usually try to aim my grind to stick at/around 9 and with the beans I mention below am fairly successful most of the time. I did also upgrade my grinder to the Atom 75 and am EXTREMELY happy that the consistency is there.

As far as temperature I find that if I set 205F it comes out a bit lower into the cup BUT I think if you want really precise temp that maybe pulling a blank to queue up the hot boiler water may work.

I have yet to learn after about 4 years how to pull non-acidic non-fruity shots and the handful of times I've been able to manage in my opinion the perfect shot for me it was a fluke.

as far as beans I really like Malabar Gold from Josuma - https://josumacoffee.bigcartel.com/prod ... d-espresso, they ship freshly roasted on Monday and here in NYC I usually get it by mid/end of week. They are closer to Italian roast from what others say here and are VERY consistent shot to shot and along the whole life span of the beans. I've been ordering them in the single # bags (costs just a few bucks extra) but have been then freezing what I'm not using.

Not sure where in NY you are BUT there is a FANTASTIC little Italian coffee spot on Madison and 73rd called Via Quadrono (sp) and they sell the Italian beans they use.

I'm sure others here will definitely offer a lot more and better information but hopefully this can get you started.

katkat
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#3: Post by katkat »

I am a big fan of Redbird Espresso. Always sent fresh and has a Northern Italian taste profile. I do not have a Breville, so it's hard for me to answer the other questions, but my La Spaz is set at 93c and I use 14g/30 sec.

SAllen

#4: Post by SAllen »

I have the BDB.

I exclusively make doubles (15 grams in, around 26 grams out) so I can't help re singles.

Re darker roasts which are relatively non-acidic and non-fruity, I like the readily available Peets Major Dickason and my favorite- Third Coast Coffee (local roaster here in Austin) El Guapo Espresso.

BaristaBob

#5: Post by BaristaBob »

Just finished dialing in a really dark, oily Maui Mokka bean. Took me a few tries to balance chocolate and roastiness.

18g in
30g out
7 sec. preinfusion
190F

Hope that helps. I know it's a double, but that's all I make.
Bob
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

jasiano

#6: Post by jasiano »

hard to compare/specify for your beans/setup exactly, but like others have mentioned I also just use the double basket (although I have just also switched to a Pesado/IMS 19g basket). I find that (a) easier to control/dial in and (b) gives me enough coffee instead of having to do multiple single shots :)

Currently have a medium to dark(ish) Peru Mandarina Suave, some chocolatey but also mildly fruity flavours.
19g in
37/38g out after 28-30secs shot time.
10sec PI at 55%
93C temp.

Pressure holds at pretty much bang on 9bar during the main part of the shot. The OPV as far as I can tell on my machine is between 10-10.5 bar (with the blind basket) so if your OPV is set around there you probably don't need to adjust it much/at all.
-Jason

Down Under

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lancealot

#7: Post by lancealot »

aleks wrote:Hello fellow baristas,
The questions are:

1 - Do you suggest what temp on the BDB? Is the temp in F exactly the temp at the grouphead or should I set it a bit higher?
2 - the opv is probably set to 10 bars or 11, should I bring it down to 9?
3 - preinfusion: what pressure and time?
4 - what brew time? Is preinfusion counted towards total extraction?
5 - in general, any tips for chocolatey non acidic non fruity shots is welcome.
6 - in general, any tips about singles, because they are hard to pull but I like many singles a day, Italian style, and don't want to throw away singles cos I'm brewing doubles.
7 - any tips on beans for this purpose are appreciated too. I found Italian beans that come packaged from Italy to never be fresh :(
Grazie!!
Alessandro
1) Don't worry about this. the water temp on the screen is said to be the water temp out of the group.
2) I have mine set to 8.5. I find the lower pressure makes the machine less fussy about puck prep = less prone to channeling. I dont think I can detect a difference in taste between 8 or 10bar.
3) Preinfusion can do 2 things. A: help with make extractions less prone to channeling. and B: Help to better extract lighter roasts. If you are interested in A, just keep your defaults. If you are interested in B, it depends on your coffee and you need to read and learn. I say, and some might agree with me, that many medium to darker roasted coffees taste better with no preinfusion.
Note: this question as well as Q's 2 and 4 will be answered as you increase your reading and education about espresso extraction theory and principles.
4) Extraction time is optimized for each individual coffee. See my note above.
7) Get 2 or 5 lbs of Espressiale from SkyRoast Coffee. It has deep rich flavors that many associate with darker medium roasts and none of the oily ashy nastiness that are also sometimes associated with dark roasts. I have been pulling it on my BDB @ 201, 18grams in and 30 grams out in 26 -28 seconds.

Last advice: A: get a bottomless portafilter (edit: looks like you already have) B: make sure you weigh your dose and yield on a digital scale with a tenth of a gram resolution. C: have fun and don't take this stuff to seriously :D

aleks (original poster)

#8: Post by aleks (original poster) »

OK31 wrote: I have yet to learn after about 4 years how to pull non-acidic non-fruity shots and the handful of times I've been able to manage in my opinion the perfect shot for me it was a fluke.
.
Interesting that you say that, and thank you for the beans reccomendation, I just ordered some.
In NYC I like colombe (Nizza), when they brew it in their Cafe it's zero bitterness or sourness.

I want to replicate that, but it seems very hard.
In fact, I'm about to return my bdb. I use 3 packs of beans, tried to dial in everything, and I still find the shots too harsh and bitter.

I'm thinking of returning the bdb because after years of using my modded (PID) Gaggia classic, I could pull perfect doubles and decent singles (with the LM 41mm basket).

It's been 2 weeks that I try everything with the bdb, different opv settings, even tried the slayer mod but clearly it's not consistent enough to judge the machine.

I think I might to an Italian high level single boiler for 1.5k, which is what I paid for the bdb on Amazon.

Also, all the plastic piping on the bdb CANNOT be good. Even the piping between the boiler is plastic. Jot water through plastic. Genius!
Working inside of it with my experience, I was very disappointed. But in general, I think bdb fans do not use darker roasts.

exidrion

#9: Post by exidrion »

some very strange conclusions you got there...

OK31
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#10: Post by OK31 »

aleks wrote:Interesting that you say that, and thank you for the beans reccomendation, I just ordered some.
In NYC I like colombe (Nizza), when they brew it in their Cafe it's zero bitterness or sourness.

I want to replicate that, but it seems very hard.
In fact, I'm about to return my bdb. I use 3 packs of beans, tried to dial in everything, and I still find the shots too harsh and bitter.
So a quick update to my surprise after having said this and using some of those beans I mentioned above from the NYC cafe it has definitely improved. They are significantly more robust and maybe even slightly roasted to tend Italian style which makes the coffee cut through milk in latte and you get that nice after taste. I need to try making it smoother and actually ended up dropping the brew temp to 201f and may try even further lower to get rid of some harshness.