I am going to get a double boiler. Had decided to get a La Spaz 2, but plumbing in is to big an issue. Likely going Brewtus 2. Had heard some quality control issues earlier, long term satisfication improving?
Here in Australia there have been QC problems with the internal hoses popping off their fittings, the screw in the OPV popping out before dialling it down to an acceptable pressure and the temperature controllers failing. The hoses and OPVs haven't been as problematic on the other expobar machines, so presumably it was just a bad batch.
I had a friend who owns a brewtus over last week and he commented that the flush routine for my HX was about the same as for his brewtus.
I've got a Brewtus II and have had it for about a year and a half. I'm pretty happy overall with it. The learning curve was pretty easy, as temp control is one variable you don't have to worry about as MUCH as with an HX. If you're looking for a machine that can steam and brew at the same time back to back shots (about 20 per hour), it's pretty good. No reliability problems yet.
This statement seems a bit misleading. An HX flush both warms the group and purges the HX of overheated water. Failure to flush enough will lead to brew water that is too hot (bitter shot); flushing too much will lead to brew water that is too cold (sour shot). One needs to either use some kind of temp probe to get to know the range of ideal flush amounts for their HX machine, or just spend some time making shots with it to get to know how it responds. A DB flush warms the group, and that is it. Once you flush 2-3 oz, you are at brew temp. On a Brewtus, the brew water will slowly increase in temp as you flush more, since the brew boiler is fed hot water by an HX in the steam boiler. By the way, I notice that Teme claims that even his GS/3 requires a warming flush. So, while the flushes are similar in that every home machine requires that water be drawn from the group before brewing the first shot in a series, that is about the extent of the similarity.
"Pretty good" for such an expensive machine??? I'd want to hear that it was fantastic. Why isn't it?
I've had my BrewtusII for almost a year and a half, and it has been fantastic. It does take temp management out of the equation for most home usage situations - set the temp, flush 2oz, and you are there. Dialing in a fresh roast is a piece of cake, and allows the user to focus on issues like dose and distribution, and to easily taste what changes in those variables are doing. Read Abe's review on H-B if you are really interested, and take a look at some of the pourn and videos from Brewtus users. I think you will see that it is not difficult to get stunning results in the cup.
I'm a big fan of the Brewtus, and highly recommend it. I've got the original model. Never had a maintenance problem with it.
I can get incredible shots (a few), very good shots (most), good shots (many), and merely drinkable shots (a few). I very, very rarely ever have to throw away a shot. I think the quality variation has to do with my barista skills, and not with the machine, because when I pay extra attention to distribution I get consistently high quality shots. The only time I ever have to throw out a shot is when my grind setting is off-- this sometimes happens on the first shot with new beans.
The flush is mindless. I just run the flush while the beans are grinding, until the cup is full. I don't ever "steam and brew at the same time", I can't comment on it. My routine includes sweeping up loose grinds on the kitchen counter while monitoring the shot, so I keep myself busy. Steaming milk is such a delicate process, I don't like to divide my attention while I'm doing it. For cappas, I steam immediately after I brew, and never worry about temp since it's a double boiler.
Not having to think about temperature is a huge, huge benefit of the Brewtus, in my opinion.
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