Preinfusion and the La Marzocco Linea Mini

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
mathof

#1: Post by mathof » Oct 07, 2019, 4:15 am

How important is preinfusion given that the LMLM has only 1 second of it and yet is a very popular machine for sophisticated users on this forum?

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#2: Post by RapidCoffee » Oct 07, 2019, 12:12 pm

Some thoughts on preinfusion:

* "Preinfusion" is terrible terminology, really misleading. Presumably we mean infusion, or saturating the puck with water.

* All machines preinfuse to some extent. You cannot saturate the puck instantaneously. Rotary pumps, with their higher water debit, generally saturate faster than vibe pumps.

* Some machines allow you to saturate the puck more slowly, via line pressure (for plumbed machines), running the pump at lower rates, gradually ramping up pressure, etc. This is generally what we mean by preinfusion.

* Preinfusion is not necessary for even extraction. Careful puck prep is the key.

* For light roasts, preinfusion allows a finer grind without choking the extraction, which helps to tame acidity. IMHO this is the main benefit of preinfusion (and pressure profiling in general).

So... coffee preference plays a big role when it comes to preinfusion. I prefer little (or no) preinfusion for classic medium-dark espresso roasts. For lighter roasts, I consider it essential.

Flame on...
John

blondica73
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#3: Post by blondica73 » Oct 07, 2019, 12:45 pm

mathof wrote:How important is preinfusion given that the LMLM has only 1 second of it and yet is a very popular machine for sophisticated users on this forum?
I have a La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II that was modified so I could program various pressure profiles. I played with the machine for a while and then I bought the Linea Mini. I like them both. The big selling point of the Linea Mini is its simplicity in pulling consistent shots and powerful steam. When I want to explore various nuances of the coffees I roast, I play with the MV. However, my everyday machine is the LM as I don't have the time in the morning to play when I just want to make a good cup of coffee and enjoy it.

RockyIII
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#4: Post by RockyIII » Oct 07, 2019, 1:49 pm

On the Linea Mini, you can turn on the pump to add water to the puck, turn it off, wait however long you wish, and then turn the pump back on for remainder of the extraction. It has been a couple of years since I had a Linea Mini, I forget how long I let the pump run initially, but maybe just a second or two. I'm sure I turned it off before any liquid came from the spout.

Rocky

pcrussell50

#5: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 07, 2019, 2:55 pm

RapidCoffee wrote: * For light roasts, preinfusion allows a finer grind without choking the extraction, which helps to tame acidity. IMHO this is the main benefit of preinfusion (and pressure profiling in general).

So... coffee preference plays a big role when it comes to preinfusion. I prefer little (or no) preinfusion for classic medium-dark espresso roasts. For lighter roasts, I consider it essential.

Flame on...
No flame from me. :) This is the reason I don't own an LMLM. Or even a GS/3 for that matter.
RockyIII wrote:On the Linea Mini, you can turn on the pump to add water to the puck, turn it off, wait however long you wish, and then turn the pump back on for remainder of the extraction. It has been a couple of years since I had a Linea Mini, I forget how long I let the pump run initially, but maybe just a second or two. I'm sure I turned it off before any liquid came from the spout.

Rocky
Yes, but each time you do that you are cycling the solenoid and evacuating whatever was on the top of the puck out into the drip tray. This is why it is useful to have separate control of the pump and the solenoid. If you can energize the solenoid and leave it that way, then cycle the pump on and off to your pleasure then you can soak the puck way you are describing without dumping some of the best solubles into the drip tray. Your heart is in the right place here. This is certainly a capability I have made sure I have.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

JojoS

#6: Post by JojoS » Oct 08, 2019, 6:22 am

Check out the mod of Rick Bond in Youtube if you need preinfusion on the LMLM.

pcrussell50

#7: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 08, 2019, 9:43 am

JojoS wrote:Check out the mod of Rick Bond in Youtube if you need preinfusion on the LMLM.
That's the guy in Melbourne right? What a dilemma for people in North America. Shipping off to him would make an LMLM cost more than a GS/3. OTOH, it would make it better than a GS/3 in that regard too.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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arcus

#8: Post by arcus » Oct 08, 2019, 11:01 am

FYI, Frank @ Titus is going to be releasing a kickass preinfusion module for the LMLM shortly. I have no issue with the 1 second preinfusion as I just adjust my bean selection accordingly. I'm also not sure I really care about more control as it makes a fantastic espresso right out of the box.

pcrussell50

#9: Post by pcrussell50 » Oct 08, 2019, 11:17 am

arcus wrote: I'm also not sure I really care about more control as it makes a fantastic espresso right out of the box.
I have not yet figured out how to make a fantastic super light roasted espresso without some degree of "Slayering". Maybe you make more traditional espresso with more traditionally roasted beans? In which case it's hard to imagine a better machine than your LMLM. But there's a reason people buy Slayers and DE's and/or modify their GS/3's (or other machines) so they can flow profile.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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arcus

#10: Post by arcus » Oct 08, 2019, 11:58 am

pcrussell50 wrote:I have not yet figured out how to make a fantastic super light roasted espresso without some degree of "Slayering". Maybe you make more traditional espresso with more traditionally roasted beans?
-Peter
Yes, I was referring to super light roasted beans when I mentioned that I adjust my bean selection accordingly. I like to try super light roasted espresso at cafes but it's not my preference although I will say that I have moved slightly more towards adventurous so I could see the benefit of having the control for those times when I want to experiment.