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Date: 02 Apr 2007 21:49:26
From: anthony
Subject: Perfect espresso temperature?
My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
degrees C.
However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
facility is there.
Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
lose) by lifting it to 94?





 
Date: 04 Apr 2007 13:06:50
From: billm3
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
> I am mindful to not lose sight of the bottom line here - i.e. the way
> the espresso tastes.

True. It's amazing how quickly espresso conversations "geek-out".

> But there is something about the progressively hotter brew water you
> are getting that still bugs me - mostly because the thing that has
> most impressed so far with the Alexia is that it does *not* vary much
> from shot to shot.

Until I get something to measure the brew temp with, I won't know for
sure what is going on. So far it's just visual/taste observations. I
will try turning up a little and keep it there to see what happens.
Thanks for the info.

Bill



 
Date: 04 Apr 2007 11:33:48
From: billm3
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
If this posts more than once, I apologize, I got the following message
a couple of times:
"An error was encountered while trying to post, please try again
later."


> Welcome, Bill. Something may be wrong if you are getting sputtering
> steam. You should not have to turn down the temperature (except to
> fine tune for different blends). I have a roughly equivalent Isomac
> Zaffiro with a PID, and the temperature has been very stable for over
> two years.


Thanks for the welcome.

I only get the steam and sputtering from the grouphead after pulling
3-4 shots in succession, presumably because by then ALL of the metal
is then 216 F. I also live in Salt Lake City, elev. ~4300 feet, so
the boiling temp is somewhere around 206-208, which could cause some
"premature" sputtering. I don't use the steam wand on the Alexia,
which keeps my temp stable. I also let it warm-up for about an hour
(at 216F) before pulling the first shot.

I use the 216 temp for the first couple of shots and that seems to be
the "sweet spot" so far. I have only had the Alexia for 3 weeks, so I
am still experimenting (upgrade from Pavoni lever, used for 5 years).
The Mazzer Mini is supposed to be here today, so of course the sweet
spot will be moving around.

>FWIW, with the Alexia PID set to 230F I am seeing consistent brew temp
>readings of 199F (Scace device measurements).

At 230F, I would have pure steam at this altitude. I did use the
steam wand once and the temp showed 220 (and climbing) and the amount
of steam was HUGE.


Bill



  
Date: 04 Apr 2007 21:45:48
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On 4 Apr 2007 11:33:48 -0700, "billm3" <bmiano3@gmail.com > wrote:

>I only get the steam and sputtering from the grouphead after pulling
>3-4 shots in succession, presumably because by then ALL of the metal
>is then 216 F. I also live in Salt Lake City, elev. ~4300 feet, so
>the boiling temp is somewhere around 206-208, which could cause some
>"premature" sputtering.

That probably explains a lot.

Marshall


  
Date: 04 Apr 2007 15:23:54
From: jggall01
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On 4 Apr 2007 11:33:48 -0700, "billm3" <bmiano3@gmail.com > wrote:

>I only get the steam and sputtering from the grouphead after pulling
>3-4 shots in succession, presumably because by then ALL of the metal
>is then 216 F. I also live in Salt Lake City, elev. ~4300 feet, so
>the boiling temp is somewhere around 206-208, which could cause some
>"premature" sputtering. I don't use the steam wand on the Alexia,
>which keeps my temp stable. I also let it warm-up for about an hour
>(at 216F) before pulling the first shot.

Bill -

I am mindful to not lose sight of the bottom line here - i.e. the way
the espresso tastes. If 216F gives you something good in the cup,
then by definition that's the right setting.

But there is something about the progressively hotter brew water you
are getting that still bugs me - mostly because the thing that has
most impressed so far with the Alexia is that it does *not* vary much
from shot to shot.

As I reported on HB a week or so ago, I pulled 8 Alexia shots in 18
minutes using a PID setpoint of 233F. The first 5 shots averaged
202.7F, with a band of a little less than +/-0.7F.

The last 3 shots fell off in temp only very slightly (average 201.3F).
It was suggested by another HB'er that this stability might even be
improved using a short flush before the first shot (I haven't tried
this yet, but believe that will probably tighten things up even more).

When I dialed the setpoint down to 230F, I ran another test with 4
consecutive shots that averaged 199.1F. These fell within a very
tight band also (less than 1F).

BTW, I found that 35 minutes was enough to get the group on the Alexia
to a steady state temp. More is always better, but I found that 35
minutes'll do it.

Jim


--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com



 
Date: 04 Apr 2007 08:07:55
From: billm3
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On Apr 2, 10:49 pm, "anthony" <anthonyjhcnos...@netscape.net > wrote:
> My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
> degrees C.
> However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
> steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
> facility is there.
> Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
> changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
> lose) by lifting it to 94?

Another thing to check would be what the actual temp is that is
hitting the coffee in the brew head with a thermocouple. I have a
PID'e Alexia and supposedly, according to daveb (the guy most of you
love to hate), the water looses about 10-15 deg F on the way to the
brew group from the boiler. I have not actually measured this yet,
however I would eventually like to check this. So I keep my boiler
temp set to 216 F, then lower it to 200-205 after pulling multiple
shots when the water starts to sputter from being too hot. Hope this
helps.
Bill (first time post)



  
Date: 04 Apr 2007 17:31:35
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On 4 Apr 2007 08:07:55 -0700, "billm3" <bmiano3@gmail.com > wrote:

>On Apr 2, 10:49 pm, "anthony" <anthonyjhcnos...@netscape.net> wrote:
>> My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
>> degrees C.
>> However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
>> steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
>> facility is there.
>> Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
>> changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
>> lose) by lifting it to 94?
>
>Another thing to check would be what the actual temp is that is
>hitting the coffee in the brew head with a thermocouple. I have a
>PID'e Alexia and supposedly, according to daveb (the guy most of you
>love to hate), the water looses about 10-15 deg F on the way to the
>brew group from the boiler. I have not actually measured this yet,
>however I would eventually like to check this. So I keep my boiler
>temp set to 216 F, then lower it to 200-205 after pulling multiple
>shots when the water starts to sputter from being too hot. Hope this
>helps.
>Bill (first time post)

Welcome, Bill. Something may be wrong if you are getting sputtering
steam. You should not have to turn down the temperature (except to
fine tune for different blends). I have a roughly equivalent Isomac
Zaffiro with a PID, and the temperature has been very stable for over
two years.

Marshall


  
Date: 04 Apr 2007 12:33:41
From: jggall01
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On 4 Apr 2007 08:07:55 -0700, "billm3" <bmiano3@gmail.com > wrote:

>..snip.. I have a
>PID'e Alexia and supposedly, according to daveb (the guy most of you
>love to hate), the water looses about 10-15 deg F on the way to the
>brew group from the boiler. I have not actually measured this yet,
>however I would eventually like to check this. So I keep my boiler
>temp set to 216 F, then lower it to 200-205 after pulling multiple
>shots when the water starts to sputter from being too hot .. snip..

Bill -

Welcome to AC.

When you do this measurement, I predict you will find more like a 30F
difference between boiler temp and average brew water temp. (Of
course this is dependent on type and location of boiler sensor, and
whether there is a PV offset programmed into the controller).

FWIW, with the Alexia PID set to 230F I am seeing consistent brew temp
readings of 199F (Scace device measurements).

I'm surprised to hear that you are dropping the PID setting after a
few shots because I found that the Alexia remains pretty stable from
shot to shot.

Jim

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com



 
Date: 03 Apr 2007 17:39:50
From: anthony
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On Apr 4, 7:38 am, Randy G. <f...@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote:
> "anthony" <anthonyjhcnos...@netscape.net> wrote:
> >My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
> >degrees C.
> >However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
> >steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
> >facility is there.
> >Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
> >changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
> >lose) by lifting it to 94?
>
> You are talking in Centigrade, and 92 to 94C is 197.6 to 201.2 F, or a
> difference of 3.6F which is a lot when looking for the correct
> temperature. What machine is it? many new adopters of the PID say tat
> they can taste a difference as small as one or two degrees. at over
> 3.5 degrees per step I am not sure that you will find a perfect
> temperature, but it may be there.
>
> With that out of the way, your question is about the same as asking
> "My stereo as a volume control. What should I listen at? 4 or 6?" The
> best temperature to set your machine at is the temperature that makes
> the coffee that tastes best to YOU.
>
> Randy "how fast is 136mm?" G.http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com



So I guess the answer is .... .experiment. Let your taste-buds tell
you. Not like tea, where there's only one optimum temperature for a
good cuppa -- boiling!



  
Date: 03 Apr 2007 21:36:49
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
"anthony" <anthonyjhcnospam@netscape.net > wrote:

>
>So I guess the answer is .... .experiment. Let your taste-buds tell
>you. Not like tea, where there's only one optimum temperature for a
>good cuppa -- boiling!
>
I can't comment authoritatively on tea, but yes. With so many roast
levels for coffee, and so many different methods of brewing, and so
many different blends, not to mention water content and quality, there
is no one specific answer to the "best" about anything concerning
coffee.

data pint- for a long time (years) I was using 226-228f as my
setpoint, but recently, using a finer grind, a faster (shorter)
roasting time, and under-dosing just a bit, I have found that 124-125
setpoint is working better for me. It's the whole point of having an
adjustable thermostat- ADJUSTMENT! ;-)

Again, what machine are you using???


Randy "..is there anybody IN there...? Nod if you can hear me." G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com



 
Date: 03 Apr 2007 14:38:34
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
"anthony" <anthonyjhcnospam@netscape.net > wrote:

>My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
>degrees C.
>However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
>steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
>facility is there.
>Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
>changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
>lose) by lifting it to 94?
>

You are talking in Centigrade, and 92 to 94C is 197.6 to 201.2 F, or a
difference of 3.6F which is a lot when looking for the correct
temperature. What machine is it? many new adopters of the PID say tat
they can taste a difference as small as one or two degrees. at over
3.5 degrees per step I am not sure that you will find a perfect
temperature, but it may be there.

With that out of the way, your question is about the same as asking
"My stereo as a volume control. What should I listen at? 4 or 6?" The
best temperature to set your machine at is the temperature that makes
the coffee that tastes best to YOU.


Randy "how fast is 136mm?" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




 
Date: 03 Apr 2007 20:48:02
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?
On 2 Apr 2007 21:49:26 -0700, "anthony"
<anthonyjhcnospam@netscape.net > wrote:

>My machine is preset to deliver pidded espresso at a brew temp of 92
>degrees C.
>However, it can be programmed to lift that temperature in 2-degree
>steps -- or drop it by the same steps. And I'm wondering why that
>facility is there.
>Is that preset the best general temperature? I don't want to be
>changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
>lose) by lifting it to 94?

Adjustability is one of the two main functions of a PID in an espresso
machine. It is the principal reason I had one installed.

Increasing temperatures tends to increase bitterness, while reducing
them increases sourness. Somewhere in the middle is your personal
sweet spot. That sweet spot may be different for different blends and
roasts. As your coffee stales over the week or so you use it, it may
also respond well to a temperature tweak.

I typically rotate through about 6 different blends that I like and
have identified favorite temperatures for each of them by trial and
error. Some wholesale roasters even advise their customers on
suggested ideal brewing temperatures for their roasts.

When I load the grinder with a new blend, I look at my notes and
adjust the PID, if necessary. Blends change with the crops. So, I
re-adjust my "favorites" as needed.

Hope this helps.

Marshall


 
Date: 03 Apr 2007 19:24:47
From: Bertie Doe
Subject: Re: Perfect espresso temperature?

"anthony" I don't want to be
> changing it all the time, but is there anything to gain (or much to
> lose) by lifting it to 94?

There's everything to gain if you let your taste-buds make the temperature
choice. I prefer a dark roasted Malabar or Haraar, a few degrees cooler than
say, a lighter roasted Central. Everyone's taste is different, so it's worth
experimenting.
Bertie