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Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
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carz07
Senior Member
carz07
Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Philippines
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Bodum Bistro,...
Drip: V60, Phin, Bonmac, Ame. Drip
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

michaelgo Said:

I figured since I have a new machine that I'd start over again.  I need to dial in the grinder but wanted to check something.  I pulled a shot using the 2-cup button and got a bit of a gusher, 18 sec total time on the shot clock but nowhere near the volume by weight.  So I'm curious.  According to the manual, the 2-cup is factory programmed to deliver 2 oz. (I'm guessing this is a liquid measure through the group head).  Assuming the grind and tamp are correct, is it reasonable that the 2 oz delivery, would deliver 36g liquid in the expected 36 or so second?

Posted January 3, 2013 link

most of the users here are doing manual

i have noticed that when i was doing the pre programmed buttons, the finer the grind the less water gets to the cup. im replying to this so this will move so others can pitch in

 
Travel the world with a cup of coffee
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JJC
Senior Member
JJC
Joined: 2 Apr 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Santa Barbara
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 900Xl, Saeco...
Grinder: Compak K3
Roaster: Behmor, Nesco
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Dan,

Don't waste your money on the VST baskets unless you just want a different size.

I and several others here, way back in the middle of this thread, have done that experiment and its a waste of money.
If anything its easier to get great results with the Breville double basket than the corresponding VST.
And the Breville is at least as well finished as the VST (examined them under my Wild stereoscope).

Roasting is of course the way to go if you really like variety and great coffees.
See the SweetMarias.com website.

Jim
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PrescottCR
Senior Member
PrescottCR
Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 113
Location: Prescott
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Breville
Grinder: Baratza
Roaster: Diedrich
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:23am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

carz07 Said:

most of the users here are doing manual

i have noticed that when i was doing the pre programmed buttons, the finer the grind the less water gets to the cup. im replying to this so this will move so others can pitch in

Posted January 6, 2013 link

I wanna say that once I've dialed everything in and I'm getting 36g in an appropriate amount of time the double button will dose darn near dead on afterwards. For my coffee that's just over 2oz including the crema @ 36g. Volume does seem to vary with regards to grind/times as mentioned before.

I do a lot of adjusting as I'm a wholesale roaster and these are my own roasts I'm testing, so I'm constantly adjusting from one batch to the next.

RE the VST baskets- they do provide a greater surface area on the bottom then the Breville baskets, you can see there are more holes. I'm sure that will make a difference in the cup and require a finer grind. The Breville baskets are of (at least) equal quality IMO. This was one of the details that pleasantly surprised me when I first bought these machines. You can get replacement baskets for $10(US) too... a crazy good deal. I wonder if commercial shops can use these baskets...
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

ok, so the BDB is a new product (little over a year), and many of the questions here are remedial barista questions by new BDB owners at beginning of their journey, with new machines solidly on warranty.

BUT is there is another class of BDB owner here, greatly outnumbered (for now), and we have had our BDB's for quite some time now, including more than a year, where our BDB's are now off warranty like a large percentage of the rest of the espresso machine owners in the world.

it should be no surprise that eventually, problems will crop up that need repair, and some of them will not be the kind of problem that requires you to send it back to Breville for service. as electronic as this machine is, it is still fundamentally plumbed just like any italian machine.  that means OPV's and 3-way solenoids and temperature and pressure sensors screwed into the boilers, etc...  over time, i have been hoping, and fully expect to see more and more posts from folks who have gone inside their machines and fixed or adjusted the kinds of things mentioned above that owners of other machines do on their own, too.  like richard/bubbadude, who adjusted his own OPV instead of sending it back to Breville (even free under warranty), like many of us early adopters did.

anyhow here is a technically inclined bloke from southeast asia with a BDB and no warranty coverage, so he has had to go it alone.  here is a very informative post from him, (excuse that english is not his first language): (not sure what went wrong with the quote formatting, but this quotation begins with "thanks" and ends with "nick")  after that, it's me again.  this was posted by nick on the aussie forum:

Thanks for the detailed comments and analysis. I can give you some of my experience on maintaining my BDB.

  1. My BDB is 13 months old and has made over 1200 shots. It should have an early version of the control board's firmware.
  2. After the use of 10 months since it was new, I found I must grind the beans finer to maintain 9 bar brewing pressure but all other things look normal and fine. I consistently descale the boilers and steam boiler's safety valve, so the boilers and the valve are all in very good conditions. Also, the o-rings used in the hoses connections are renewed if needed.
  3. Last week, the first time I dissembled the base of the 3-way solenoid valve and found a very astonishing issue. That is the two blue o-rings used on the two path ways to the gauge and brew boiler had been hardened and cracked on their surface. The o-rings were deformed without elasticity and the lime scale and burned coffee debris accumulated and eroded the flat surface between the solenoid valve's base. I realized this might be the cause the grinding setting changes.
  4. Replaced the deformed o-rings with two new ones and clean up the scale on the base; put everything back to recheck the brewing pressure. I had to grind coarser to not to reach the 10 bar OPV activation trip-point and see the brewing quality seems get better as the machine was new and comparable to my Alex Duetto 2 again.

So every users here in this forum should better know that the BDB does need regular maintenance and might be more frequently than traditional dual-boiler machines.

Thanks

Nick

pretty good, meaty information if you ask me.  and could be the cause of some of the low-or-no pressure problems some of our folks are experiencing, like michaelgo.  good news, because replacing o-rings like that is the kind of thing anybody who owns an espresso machine for a long time will have do do anyway, and for many, it's not that hard to do.

-peter
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

PrescottCR Said:

I wanna say that once I've dialed everything in and I'm getting 36g in an appropriate amount of time the double button will dose darn near dead on afterwards...snip...

Posted January 6, 2013 link

how many days of bean aging (or bean changing) will it be before your careful dial-in, drifts?  volumetric dispensing systems are highly sensitive to anything that affects flow.  you can dial in your button so it dispenses an even 2.0 fl oz, for example.  but if you make a change to your grind or change beans or use more or less ground coffee in your dose, your perfect 2.0 fl oz volume will be no more.  i don't see any practical use for these except in shops where the barista knows exactly what he is doing, has dialed in a dose and volume, and therefore knows he will pull a couple dozen or more shots before making _any_ adjustments to anything that could affect the flow meter.  for home users who make no more than 6 shots in a whole day, it seems worse than pointless.  it is even wasteful, unless you are ok drinking shots that are less than perfect.  don't take this the wrong way.  i like your objective, reasoned posts with solid technical understanding.  in fact, i'm sure you already know this limitation of volumetric dispensing systems, so i was more talking to newbies who don't understand the limitations of volumetric dispensing, and use the preset dispensing buttons because that's what they see the pros do in the shops.

PrescottCR Said:

RE the VST baskets...snip..The Breville baskets are of (at least) equal quality IMO. This was one of the details that pleasantly surprised me when I first bought these machines. You can get replacement baskets for $10(US) too... a crazy good deal. I wonder if commercial shops can use these baskets...

Posted January 6, 2013 link

the other think i LOVE about the stock breville baskets besides their super-precise, high quality is their tapered-wall design.  it makes ejecting spent pucks a joyfully light tap and the whole thing comes out clean as a whistle.  a big saver of time and aggravation.  you just have to make sure you use the right amount of coffee in the basket--which is no problem for pro's who make dozens of shots a day, or home folks who weigh every dose of grounds, every time.

-peter
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danioro
Senior Member
danioro
Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Peoria Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BDB, Gaggia coffee...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 5:14pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Thanks Jim!
Looking forward to learning the ropes with my new machine.  I will try the supplied baskets first!

Dan
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danioro
Senior Member
danioro
Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Peoria Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BDB, Gaggia coffee...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Park_Ridge_Dave Said:

The La Marz has straight sides and fits snugly. (I have an old table knife that I use to pop it out. I have arthritic fingers and very brittle nails lmao).

I get my coffee from metropolis.com (Red Line Espresso) or consciouscup.com (several types of beans for French Press). Both deliver via UPS or USPS. I tend to go more with Tony (Metropolis) as That is what I have been using for 3 years. I just discovered Conscious cup. Both are good. OBTW I derive no commercial benefit from these recommendations.

I am sure other members have favorite roasters (indeed, many do their own roasting) and they may join in as well, but I may get "flamed" for hijacking this thread as it is. If you need more information or just want to chat about our set-ups just PM me.

Cheers,

Dave

Posted January 6, 2013 link

Thanks Dave!  Great help for sure.

I'll be in touch.

Dan
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Contrabass_Bry
Senior Member
Contrabass_Bry
Joined: 3 Jan 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 7:47pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Peter,

Very interesting post from CS. Going to have to check up on his method of descaling  the BDB.

Mine is due to arrive Wed. That paired with a Pharos and some  Barefoot blends should prove rather fun. I'm a bit nervous as I haven't been behind a machine in close to 20 years!

I'll log some more posts and time with the BDB and give my impresssions.

Cheers,

Bryan
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BubbaDude
Senior Member
BubbaDude
Joined: 8 Jan 2011
Posts: 518
Location: Frisco Bay
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: Hottop 2KB
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 7:55pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Contrabass_Bry Said:

Very interesting post from CS. Going to have to check up on his method of descaling  the BDB.

Posted January 6, 2013 link

The Breville guy told people on CS very firmly that Nick's "descaling" method doesn't descale and isn't safe or healthy.  Read the whole thread before you think about doing it. I always take anything that guy writes with suspicion.

 
"I've Scaced many HX/E61 machines, seeing shot variances of up to 8-10F or more. [The BDB] stays within 1F." - Mark Prince
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dagoat
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 320
Location: santa barbara, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola, BDB...
Grinder: baratza vario
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: manual
Roaster: cafe rosto
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL Owners Thread
 

Good advice Richard.  I felt felt that way about nickos posts a year ago especially re De scaling.  However considerable time has passed and he has been going it alone.   AND he seems to have a duetto now as well.  I'd like to see his descaling process before I try it too.  But I consider his work in the o-ring and sealing area useful.

I imagine over time some of us will be able to peer review his work too.

-Peter
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