Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
How important is a PID?
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How important is...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
Lilyfil4
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 21
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: TBA
Grinder: Smart grinder breville
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Chemex/able brewer
Roaster: Behmour
Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

MJW Said:

I think FRCN nailed it.  The PID keeps the temperature right at the set point while idle, which allows you to walk up to the machine and pull the same shot anytime.  This makes the machine more transparent, consistent, and easy to use.

On a heat exchanger (HX) machine, the PID would control the steam boiler temp, and would not have a direct effect on brew temperature.  You still have to flush first and, depending on the recovery speed, time your pulls.

As Jim at 1stline has indicated, the advantage of a PID on an HX machine is just the extra reliability of the probe versus that of the mechanical pressurestat switch.

Liz if you're not already, you might consider warm up times.  Depending on how you plan to use the device, the time it takes to warm up from cold might be unimportant, or critical.  Some high end machines take 20 minutes to warm up.

Posted September 4, 2013 link

Yes, I have heard that warm up time can be an issue with some but for myself I would rather have the machine I can get the most use out of in regards to experimentation with beans, grinds, temps etc.. It will be a delicious science experiment. :0)  I appreciate you bringing that point up. Thanks.  

Best,
Liz
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,109
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 6:44pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Most of us let our machines warm up for 30-45 min before using it.  This allows all the parts to come to a stable temperature.  Many machines can be put on a programmable timer, like the ones you might use to have your lights come on when you're not home.  Mine, for instance, is set to turn my machine on at 5:30am every morning.  I'm never ready to use it before 6:20-6:30, so it's always ready when I am.

Also, since you're in the market for an espresso machine.  I'm wondering if you plan to get an espresso capable grinder.  The reason I ask is that some people who own the Breville Smart Grinder (as it says in your profile) don't plan to initially (against our advice), but end up regretting that decision.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Flori
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2013
Posts: 114
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

i think they all got it covered. goodluck on your purchase :)

flori
blogger, coffeeloversofworld.com
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 4, 2013, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Lilyfil4 Said:

I am open to as much advise as you can send my way.
Best,
Liz

Posted September 4, 2013 link

Aha! I see an opening here...  The dual boiler with PID matches with your stated needs, that appears to be what you're aimed at so that's good.  The only possible downsides with dual boilers are instantaneous power requirements -- some require a higher rated circuit -- and expense.  That's what causes some to pause and consider an HX.  Oh, and HX machines tend to have larger steam boilers than the dual boiler, since it's the HX machine's only boiler they go big.

People can, believe it or not, debate endlessly about HX vs DB but for you, unless you absolutely need the speediest steaming and are willing to give up some consistency between shots, DB seems like the right choice.

Another choice is plumbed (connect to your water line) or tank (you have to fill the reservoir).  You can look into it... I would go tank.

Another consideration is steam quality, in addition to steam speed.  Often there's a tradeoff and most machines are very quick and it's a little hard to "wrastle" the steam.  The BDB seems to be an exception with slow steaming but higher quality (that is, it's vastly easier to get high quality).

Another consideration is a steam lever versus knob.  I can't stand turning and turning a knob each time, I vastly prefer a lever.

Vibe pump versus rotary pump.  It used to be argued that rotary pumps make a difference in taste but this question was settled a while ago with blind tests.  Makes no difference.  So this is a personal choice whether you prefer the quieter sound of the rotary.  Otherwise for home use vibe pumps are the sensible choice.

Group design.  Most machines you'll consider are fine.  The old way to keep the group hot is thermosiphoning, the new way is group heaters.  Both work well.

Aesthetics.  I think it's important to find a machine that you like, and will enjoy using and looking at.  The Italians are good at taking a plumber's nightmare and making it into something nice.

Things of minor importance: preinfusion, basket mania, temperature and pressure profiling, the weight of the pressurestat, etc.  There are always people trying something new or making ridiculous claims on the internet.  Profiling makes a difference but at some point we have to ask ourselves how many variables we WANT to have... if you really want to get into coffee and experiment, and make something amazing, get into roasting your own beans.  It is pretty easy to start but it's a deep rabbit hole of its own.

Most any espresso machine can put hot water through coffee under pressure without breaking the puck apart or springing a leak.  After that, it's bells and whistles, and usability.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Lilyfil4
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 21
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: TBA
Grinder: Smart grinder breville
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Chemex/able brewer
Roaster: Behmour
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 4:20am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

emradguy Said:

Also, since you're in the market for an espresso machine.  I'm wondering if you plan to get an espresso capable grinder.  The reason I ask is that some people who own the Breville Smart Grinder (as it says in your profile) don't plan to initially (against our advice), but end up regretting that decision.

Posted September 4, 2013 link

You bring up a good point.  I received the smart grinder as a gift a year ago as I used it for pour overs etc.  It's been no trouble and a great machine but after all the reading I have been doing the past year I have been wondering about how it will transition over to the espresso world.  I see some places if you order the espresso machine and the grinder together you can save a decent amount.  I see mixed reviews on the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder but I do love its features, any input is appreciated by anyone out there.  I am not sure I would want a step-less grinder as I would like to have a clue where I was before in grind size.  

Also I think I saw in your profile you have an Izzo?  Do you have the DB and how do you like it?  

Thanks again for your help.  :O)
Best,
Liz
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
ECM
Senior Member
ECM
Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Mazzer Robour E
Vac Pot: French Press
Drip: no
Roaster: Fresh Roast+8,  i-roast and...
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 4:41am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Stepless is the best choice for espresso.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 5:49am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

The HX/DB "debate" 'is a long standing one.
The general rule of thumb is if you like to change things up, a HX may be a better fit, if you do the same thing with the same coffee, a DB may be a better fit. Neither is better than the other, a HX will take more of a learning curve on your part to achieve a high level of skill while a DB will remove one of the variables,  but at the expense of rapid changes for varying conditions. The adjustment of a PID is not instant, the whole machine requires time to readjust to the new setting while a HX can be nudged a little up or down on the fly.

Both machines require a flush though, most DB require a warming flush to warm the group head and all HX machines require a cooling flush after sitting idle to return the system to normal. Both can and do produce consistent shots after you learn the machine. Both machines require CLEANING flushes between each shot.

Plumb in, I do advise to plumb in if at all possible. I have had both ways and the plumb in is MUCH nicer to use.

I also advise to go with volumetric dosing should you be able to do so, the manual override is always there, so you loose nothing but you are much more consistent shot to shot and the ability to use different cups for your drinks without going through the hassle of brewing into shot glasses first is really nice. Not all machines offer these features and the more you use the machine the nicer it is to have them. When making one drink a day only for yourself, these things do not matter much. When having company over and making multiple drinks it is nice to have everyone served and to be able to enjoy coffee with them all at the same time.

YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Lilyfil4 Said:

I am not sure I would want a step-less grinder as I would like to have a clue where I was before in grind size.  

Liz

Posted September 5, 2013 link

..

Consider stepless grinders to be espresso only. Most of us who have espresso as a serious part of our coffee have several grinders. I never use my espresso grinder for anything else and honestly there is a difference in the grind between say drip and espresso, the requirements are different in more ways than just larger particles of coffee.

It is pretty easy to dial in a stepless grinder. Grind a dose, pull the shot. If the time is short, grind finer, if it takes a long time or chokes the machine, grind looser. Once the grinder is close, you do not make large adjustments and it is always ... close.. to correct. Minor adjustments day to day or hour to hour if need are small and you will quickly get used to what you need to do. Honestly, it is not as scary as it may sound.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,109
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Lilyfil4 Said:

You bring up a good point.  I received the smart grinder as a gift a year ago as I used it for pour overs etc.  It's been no trouble and a great machine but after all the reading I have been doing the past year I have been wondering about how it will transition over to the espresso world.  I see some places if you order the espresso machine and the grinder together you can save a decent amount.  I see mixed reviews on the Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder but I do love its features, any input is appreciated by anyone out there.  I am not sure I would want a step-less grinder as I would like to have a clue where I was before in grind size.  

Also I think I saw in your profile you have an Izzo?  Do you have the DB and how do you like it?  

Thanks again for your help.  :O)
Best,
Liz

Posted September 5, 2013 link

Yes, I own an Izzo Alex Duetto II. It's a DB machine (hence, them adding "Duetto" to the name - the "plain" Alex is a HX machine). I love it. I don't change coffees more often than every few days, so a DB is great for me. However, every once in a while I do find myself wanting to play around with temp differences on a particular bean/blend, and since I don't have a HX machine I can't do that using side-side taste tests...something to consider when deciding which machine is right for you.

I have always had to fill a reservoir. It's a PIA for sure. The E61 doesn't pre-infuse when not plumbed in. I don't understand why anyone would ever recommend using a tank where plumbing in is an option...that baffles me.

Stepless or stepped grinders: Wayne just covered that! For espresso you should definitely go stepless. There's infinite control of the particle sizes. Like Wayne said, once you get the grinder dialed in (which you have to do anyways - stepped or stepless), it's only a matter of tiny tweaks here and there to make slight adjustments that have very large effects in the cup. My grinders (remember how Wayne said many of us have more than one espresso grinder?) have a little thumb screw, if I need my grind a tiny bit finer, I simply turn the screw 1/4 or 1/2 a turn. It's very, very simple. Keep your Smart Grinder for its current task, you'll need it if you ever want to do non-espresso preps.

As you saw, many vendors offer discounts when making combo or large purchases. Some give it to you when you call to order (like Chris' Coffee Service), and others advertise them on their website. When I bought my current machine, I bought my second grinder (to replace a lesser "2nd" one), and Chris' gave me $100 off.

Regarding steam power. Having less time to interact with the milk is not bad. It means you finish making your drinks sooner. This is important when entertaining. True it might steepen the learning curve a little, but more steam power is desireable to every pro barista and most home baristi. It can also give you a stronger vortex with which to incorporate the air thus helping you texture microfoam more easily (once you develop your skills). I definitely would never recommend buying a machine because the steam pressure is lower...that seems like bad advice to me.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Lilyfil4
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2013
Posts: 21
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: TBA
Grinder: Smart grinder breville
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Chemex/able brewer
Roaster: Behmour
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 1:38pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Most of us let our machines warm up for 30-45 min before using it.  This allows all the parts to come to a stable temperature.  Many machines can be put on a programmable timer, like the ones you might use to have your lights come on when you're not home.  Mine, for instance, is set to turn my machine on at 5:30am every morning.  I'm never ready to use it before 6:20-6:30, so it's always ready when I am.

I was thinking that a programmable timer might be good, glad you confirmed it.  I wasn't sure as it draws a lot more current than a light. I would want to wait for sure for all the parts to be a stable temp to get the most out of the machine and a timer would do the trick.  Thanks!

Best!
Liz
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 2 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How important is...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.444802999496)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+