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How important is a PID?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How important is...  
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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, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

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.

When you say the E61 does not pre-infuse unless plumbed, are you referring to the fact as on the Rocket you have to manually lift the lever a bit to let in a bit of water to pre-infuse?  

I also had a question, I was of the understanding that a DB was the better choice if you switch up your beans and if you want to do single origins etc?  Are there a few schools of thought?  

BTW a big thank you for all your help everyone!

Best,
Liz
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

The pre infusion on a plumbed in E61 uses the line water pressure, not the pump to draw water from. This is a much more gentle flow than from the pump..

Again, if you change things up a lot, HX may be a better methodology as it allows you to bump up or down a little on the fly. A DB is more of a large ocean liner, you may tell it to turn but it takes a while for it to get and stabilize in the direction you told it to go.

I have been using a HX for 5 years. It has answered every desire I have asked of it. I am currently making the same thing over and over and it is very easy to be consistent shot to shot and drink to drink. I ALSO have the ability to nudge the temp if I want to if I want a warmer or cooler pull.

Like I said, I have nothing against a DB, my dream machine is a DB but because of the OTHER features on the machine rather than the brew methodology.

Once you learn your machine, it will be second nature, right now, it is all new and seems strange and confusing.  I am sure that regardless of the choice you make, you will have a learning curve and again, regardless of the choice, it will work out and you will most likely be very happy for a very long time.

A HX can adapt quickly shot to shot. A DB is an ocean liner, either can make you happy, how do you want to work and how do you want to pull your shots/beans. A DB costs more simply because there are more parts, neither machine is better than the other, one MAY be better for the way you want to work. 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!
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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, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

calblacksmith Said:

..

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.

Posted September 5, 2013 link

You sure did make it seem simpler and less scary.  Now I need to figure out whats the right grinder.  I did some research on the Rocket Mazzer Mini A.  But I need to dig deeper.  Any suggestions anyone?  
Thanks!

Best!
Liz
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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, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

The pre infusion on a plumbed in E61 uses the line water pressure, not the pump to draw water from. This is a much more gentle flow than from the pump..

Again, if you change things up a lot, HX may be a better methodology as it allows you to bump up or down a little on the fly. A DB is more of a large ocean liner, you may tell it to turn but it takes a while for it to get and stabilize in the direction you told it to go.

How do you bump up the temp on an HX?  

I see what your saying, the DB takes time to go to the temp you want and you can't just change it and then pull a shot right away, is that correct?  Why does an HX's temp adjust faster?

Thanks!

Best,
Liz
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MJW
Senior Member


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

Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 3:39pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

On a PID dual-boiler you would press a button a couple times to change brew temperature, and the boiler would adjust in a minute or two, which is faster than you can grind & tamp.  You can see the temperature set point in degrees.  It's what 99% of users want.

On an HX one has to pump water through the brew path first to cool it down.  The length of time you flush, determines the brew temperature.  There is no temp display, you have to learn the machine.  It's widely considered a significant disadvantage.  A small number of people have a personal preference for it, because it's mechanical, minimalist, and elegant.
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MJW
Senior Member


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

Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 4:00pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Lilyfil4 Said:

Why does an HX's temp adjust faster?

Posted September 5, 2013 link

In a cafe they might have two grinders lined up, and may be changing between coffees often.

At home, with one grinder, it is not a good idea to change coffees often, because it requires a change in grind and there is always a "changeover period" where the old grinds haven't completely been purged from the grinder.

By the time your grinder adjustment has been worked out and the old grinds are purged, the PID DB can get the boiler and the group at the new temperature.  It's a huge non-issue, at least for 99% of users.  There's always that one person on the internet, who is constantly changing coffees... but sensible people go through a session with one coffee only.

An HX machine is constructed with the brew boiler inside the steam boiler.  If you want you can think of the brew water path as a tube that goes through the steam boiler.  The waters don't mix but the brew water gets heated up.

If the brew water sits long it will heat up to steam temperature, which is too hot.  If you pump water through the tube, then new cool water flows in and cools it down.  There is a happy medium where temp is right.  Wait, and the water will heat up.  Flush, and the water will cool down.

Under normal home use, a DB PID is going to be much faster and easier to use, than an HX machine.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
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, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Hey Liz,

to do the highlighted quote text, click on the quoted icon in the right corner of the post you want to quote, then it'll be highlighted.  You can even delete text inside of it, as long as you leave the brackets with the quote number in front intact and the brackets with the x inside at the end intact.

As Wayne said, pre-infusion happens on plumbed machines using line pressure, which is much lower than machine pump pressure (extraction pressure).  Pre-infusing at extraction pressures is most likely just going to ruin your puck and lead to lousy shots.

Anyhow, to vary HX temps you simply flush shorter or longer, there's no machine changing to do.  I can't see how it gets faster than that to change temps. The DB change requires accessing the programming function, then toggling to the group PID setting, then adjusting it, then saving it, then waiting (albeit not very long for a couple of degrees) for the temp to adjust.

While some say HX allows side by side taste testing in different beans, I think it's really effective in doing side by side temp changes on a single bean.

As for single dosing...lots of people do it.  All one needs is a grinder that has very low retention.  While it's true that every bean/blend needs to be dialed in on it's own, the titan conical grinders (so I hear) are very forgiving and don't need as much dialing in as the higher end consumer models.  Maybe one day I'll be able to say this first hand, but until then...that's what I've heard.

Wayne, I love the turning a cruise ship analogy!

Once again, it's all in how you see yourself operating the machine, what your usage patterns will be, etc.  In truth, unless you're going to be doing side by side temp profile tastings, there's really no reason to worry about it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Deniss
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2013
Posts: 19
Location: jonquiere
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill QM67
Grinder: Compak E10 Master
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 5:01am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

Hi,

Can someone give the ideal PID settings for my Canadian Quickmill QM67? or direct me to a post with a review or post with this information. It would be very appreciated.

Regards
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Sep 6, 2013, 7:14am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

MJW Said:

On a PID dual-boiler you would press a button a couple times to change brew temperature, and the boiler would adjust in a minute or two, which is faster than you can grind & tamp.  You can see the temperature set point in degrees.  It's what 99% of users want.

On an HX one has to pump water through the brew path first to cool it down.  The length of time you flush, determines the brew temperature.  There is no temp display, you have to learn the machine.  It's widely considered a significant disadvantage.  A small number of people have a personal preference for it, because it's mechanical, minimalist, and elegant.

Posted September 5, 2013 link

Well, yes push the button, then WAIT FOR THE MACHINE TO STABILIZE AT THE NEW TEMP which is much longer than the time for grinding and tamping. You need to allow 30+ pounds of metal to equalize at the new setting, thus the ocean liner example.

ALL MACHINES REQUIRE A FLUSH FOR CLEANING THE SPENT GROUNDS FROM THE GROUP HEAD AFTER PULLING A SHOT AND BEFORE THE NEXT SHOT. In addition nearly ALL DB machines require a WARMING flush on the group head. A few seconds longer or shorter is all that is required on a HX to adjust brew temp. Yes you do need to learn how to use the equipment, so what? This is true with anything in life, why should espresso be any different?

Actually it is most often, the new people to the hobby that are mostly jacked up on a PID and the temp display and who see it as a disadvantage to not have one.

Truth is, one or two deg in temp is not going to make or break a shot. Digital is not better by default. It is a preference for sure to some and to others it means little.

Buy whatever equipment a person may wish, whatever features one may want. Spend money any way that pleases the buyer. Digital or no, one is not better than the other. DB is not better than HX, nor is HX better than DB. Single dosing is not better than grinding to time or time better than single dosing, volumetric dosing is not better than manual pulling or manual pulled shots better than volumetric, plumb in is not BETTER than pour over and pour over is not BETTER than plumb in. All are preferences, no better or worse.

There are better ways to design equipment such as a steam toy vs equipment that does not scald the coffee and proper pressures are used, Superauto VS operator controlled machines, stale pods vs fresh coffee,  distinctions need to be made here, but features do not better gear make. Personal preference yes, better no.

 
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!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Sep 6, 2013, 7:41am
Subject: Re: How important is a PID?
 

MJW Said:

By the time your grinder adjustment has been worked out and the old grinds are purged, the PID DB can get the boiler and the group at the new temperature.  It's a huge non-issue, at least for 99% of users.  There's always that one person on the internet, who is constantly changing coffees... but sensible people go through a session with one coffee only.

Posted September 5, 2013 link

Plllllllllease.

99% REALLY?

Please do not try to divide points of view into "sensible" or not, this is crass partisan politics at it's worst, it is dividing into classes and equally bad is marginalizing anyone who may have a differing view point. It is OK and perfectly fine to do what one may wish, a person is no better or worse for how they enjoy their coffee. To clearly state ones own view as their own view is fine, to put down others who do not agree with that view is not.

There is room for all, no right or wrong here. It is fine to have a preference but to feel the need to put anyone under themselves, so as  to make them  feel more comfortable in their position or as a way to say that others views don't count as much as their own, is a very poor way to make a point.

 
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!
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