Thermometer Adaptor and Brew Temperatures

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
PhaetonFalling

#1: Post by PhaetonFalling »

So. I bought and installed Mr. Svendson's thermometer adaptor... and is quite simply the one thing I've bought that has dramatically improved the quality of the shots...

Honestly... Eric. Thank you very very much...

It turns out, I have to flush approximately 2 cups of water through the group before I reach the right temperature, and then immediately lock the portafilter in and pour the shot, otherwise the temperature climbs up and I have to flush again...

Some minor questions though.

In the instructions it says that the difference between the temperature of the water hitting the puck will be 3-4 degrees different from what is measured. I assume that this difference is cooler, so if the thermometer says 206, then I'm brewing at about 202-03ish? is that correct? What is considered ideal temperature?

I noticed on another post that someone said that they brewed when the thermometer says 199, which gives them a 203(?) brew temperature, which confused me somewhat. Or was that a different piece of equipment?

I'm no longer start dumping, with 2 cups of flush volume, the espresso is much much less sour tasting.

Sincerely,

Namson Pham

And a picture, because I'm a picture whore...

Image

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edwa

#2: Post by edwa »

Beautiful looking machine!

I was under the impression that the coffee bean itself is a determining factor in the "ideal" temperature. Some beans/blends want a hotter temp, others don't, but I'm also under the impression that 202 is a good starting point and then if you can control your temp in increments you experiment to bring out flavors of the bean or blend.

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jesawdy

#3: Post by jesawdy »

Yes, the brew temp is expected to be less than what you read on the thermometer. How much so will vary from machine to machine, installation to installation.

It is not so important to know what the brew temp is, but now you have an easy way to gauge the relative temperature. Once you find a good temp, you can tweak with shorter or longer flushes to raise or lower the temp and see what that imparts in the cup.

By 2 cups I assume that you mean 16 ounces.... that's a lot of flushing, but I am not terribly surprised... that's a really big machine. I would be curious to know a few things... I don't think you have ever stated what the boiler pressure gauge reads. I would also be curious to know how long after the sound of flash boiling or visible/audible "water dance" this 2 cups is at.... a few seconds beyond, a few ounces, whatever. Can you correlate a temp reading and an end to the "water dance"?
Jeff Sawdy

kanoyu

#4: Post by kanoyu »

Just this morning I did some E61 grouphead tc device and scace filter basket device comparisons. I did not log the data (didn't have enough time), but I can tell you that with my machine (Salvatore), the temperature difference varies.

- I began with a long flush to 202 degf on the grouphead tc (probably 10 seconds and 3-4 oz past water dance; total 12 oz water).
- As soon as I stop flushing, the device measured a pop back up to 206 or so before beginning to slip back down.
- It took a minute or so to get to 201.
- I popped the scace in and ran a double shot. The temperature difference was about 0.1-0.5 degf (200-201.5 range).
- I waited 15 seconds after the end of that shot and ran another double with the scace locked in. This time, the temp difference was 2-3 degf (201-203 grouphead tc vs 203-206 scace, excluding initial ramp on scace), and both indicated temperatures rising at the end of the shot
- The more shots I pulled after that (at 15-second intervals), the smaller the variance was. Only once was the scace higher (by 0.1 degf) than the grouphead tc.

What do I take from this?

1) If I am pulling multiple consecutive shots, I really want to have the baskets dosed, tamped, and ready.
2) I am really ballparking/surfing my 2-n shots, with the hopes of being about right.
3) I will need to do an additional 3-5 oz flush if I wait much more than 30 seconds after my previous shot.

Finally, as you can probably already tell, I'm about the least scientific person in these forums. I use this instrumentation to help me develop a routine, to give me a general sense of what I should be doing with my machine. Try to determine the taste of shots at various temperatures, at various stages of shot-making. As previously noted, that is a BIG machine you have, and I'm not sure any of my measurements/advice will help.
dw

PhaetonFalling

#5: Post by PhaetonFalling »

I don't think you have ever stated what the boiler pressure gauge reads.
The boiler reads 1.2 bar (roughly)
I would also be curious to know how long after the sound of flash boiling or visible/audible "water dance" this 2 cups is at.... a few seconds beyond, a few ounces, whatever.
The water dance takes 55 seconds to a full minute, at 29-33 seconds the sound of flash boiling water stops, at which point my thermometer shows 212/211. It takes almost another 30 seconds to get the water down to 205, which, as a I understand it now, is the upper range of the brew spectrum (is that correct?). It takes another 15-20 seconds to get it down to 199/200.

A full minute of flush yields a total of 2 cups of water (205 brew temp). I didn't check exactly, but I'm assuming that this means 1 cup in the first 30 seconds and 1 cup in the last 30 seconds. (I'm doing the flush with no portafilter/basket on)

It takes about 5-10 seconds as I empty the metal container that I flushed into, rinse it out, lock the pf in, put a cup under, and brew the shot. Temperature rise is while waiting 1 degree or so, if at all. According to the thermometer, temperature will stay stable throughout the shot.
Try to determine the taste of shots at various temperatures, at various stages of shot-making. As previously noted, that is a BIG machine you have, and I'm not sure any of my measurements/advice will help.
Kanoyu, that was extremely informative. It's probably a good indicator of what my machine should do if I just tighten the inter-shot temperature variance.

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#6: Post by cannonfodder »

I ran my two group at .8 bar to reduce the flush. The thing you have to remember, you are working on a commercial machine that was designed for non stop use in a commercial environment. Under that kind of shot-per-hour load, the cooling flush is reduced to a quick little squirt and then lock and go.

With your lower shot volume, you may want to consider dropping the pstat down a bit. You can get a restrictor for the thermosyphon to slow the group overheating as well. With a large boiler, dropping your pressure down to .9-.8 is the easiest way to reduce the overheat problem. It will drop your steam pressure a little but with that big boiler you should still be in good shape.
Dave Stephens

Beezer

#7: Post by Beezer »

Very cool setup, Phaeton. I love the Bauhaus look of that machine.

Just curious, how much trouble was it to install and calibrate the thermometer and adaptor on your machine? I started reading the instructions for the TC adaptor, but I got intimidated. Also, what's the total cost for the adaptor and a decent digital thermometer? I know a really good meter like a Fluke can be expensive, but it looks like you're using an inexpensive digital thermometer. I'd like to have a thermometer to get accurate brew temp measurements on my machine, but not if it's going to be a major expense or hassle to get it set up.

I still don't understand why none of the manufacturers offer a brew temp readout as an option for their machines. They have boiler and brew pressure gauges, so why not a brew temp gauge? Especially for an HX machine, this seems like an obvious way to help amateur baristas improve their shots, since it would take the guesswork out of temperature management.
Lock and load!

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Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

Beezer wrote:Just curious, how much trouble was it to install and calibrate the thermometer and adaptor on your machine? I started reading the instructions for the TC adaptor, but I got intimidated. Also, what's the total cost for the adaptor and a decent digital thermometer? I know a really good meter like a Fluke can be expensive, but it looks like you're using an inexpensive digital thermometer. I'd like to have a thermometer to get accurate brew temp measurements on my machine, but not if it's going to be a major expense or hassle to get it set up.
Got mine first week of February. Easy to install in a few minutes. Calibration wise my digital thermometer isn't, but is in my head and after the first 5 seconds or so of the shot fairly well tracks Thermofilter temp. Cost wise less than a C Note including digital thermometer, ask Eric his currect actual price. Eric magnanimously is making, or made, some complete with digital thermometers for us that sniveled about the asthetics of a wire sticking out the snout of our E61 group. :wink:
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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erics
Supporter ◈

#9: Post by erics »

Surely the thermocouple adaptor kit can be intimidating because of all the various choices one might have to make. At least I fixed the diameter of the thermocouple one must use. :D

With the digital thermometer kit, the choices have essentially been eliminated. It sorta saddened me that I just sold the last digital thermometer kit today (until next month when adaptors come in) as I have been swapping them all in and out of Anita and making the same cappy's every morning for some time now. All of these temperature measuring devices behave in the same manner (for a vibe pump E61 machine) as illustrated in the chart below which shows temperatures during the FLUSHING RITUAL ONLY.

Image

This chart is really important as it vividly and accurately illustrates how the E61 grouphead temperatures are varying during the flushing process and in the time period after the flush is stopped. For sure it would be interesting to create the same type of chart for an E61 machine equipped with a rotary pump because the flowrates during the flush are vastly different.
Skål,

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

PhaetonFalling

#10: Post by PhaetonFalling »

Sooooooo... it was extremely easy to install, and the thermometer is fairly accurate, measuring approximately 1 degree under the real temperature (in boiling water, it shows 211 instead of 212... in my mouth.. yes I washed it afterwards... it showed 97ish instead of 98ish....)

There wasn't any real calibration, I just noted the temperature difference under different circumstances. I didn't pay the extra money for the calibratable one... I didn't think it was worth it. This is fine, and helps me temp surf for better shots.

When I take the machine with me to IU, I will be doing some further modifications on it, maybe installing a thermometer on the second group, insulating the boiler, bringing the boiler pressure down, etc... I definitely need to trade up the t80 grinder for a mazzer, maybe the robur, or at least trying new burrs on it. And I may end up trading up the Fiorenzato for a dual boiler machine either next year or the year after...

I finally understand what (whoever said it.. I think it was Eric) meant when he said that he flushed to 199 to get a 202/203 degree shot, I've been flushing to 202 and that gives me a 205 shot... the shot temperature rises significantly when the water is cooler, and tends to heat up to brew temperature very very fast.

I'm glad I could bring the Thermometer adaptor back to the forefront of conversation again... its a very very useful tool.

Sincerely,

Namson Pham