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Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
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gribbly
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso Dream Up v2.0
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 12:25pm
Subject: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

Hi there,

This is my first post after much browsing and reading of reviews on this wonderful site! I've really learned a lot... in fact enough to go buy an Ascaso Dream Up v2.0 and a Baratza Preciso so I could make high quality caps and lattes at home. For context I am using the non-pressurized portafilter and have switched to the standard showerhead (as opposed to the "pod" showerhead that is installed by default on this machine).

I am pretty much a beginner, but I'm taking it pretty seriously and trying to learn. I would really appreciate some more experienced folks help with the following question:

What is the right way to reduce temperature of the Dream so I can pull another shot soon after steaming? Right now I pull my shot, then I steam my milk. If I want to pull another shot as quickly as possible should I:

(A) just wait for temperature to settle (which takes 5-10 minutes... i.e., forever)

(B) hit the coffee switch and run some water through the portafilter without removing the old puck?

(C) dump the puck before hitting the coffee switch?

(D) do something related to "priming" - i.e., dumping water out through the steam wand?

I think D is probably correct, but I find the instructions in the manual very confusing: "After steam has been produced, it is very important to wait for the pilot light to go on again and either to switch off or to perform priming."

Does this mean I have to wait for the pilot light to come on before turning off the machine, or before dumping water out of the steam spout (by turning the coffee switch on the with the steam valve open)? Because that seems to mean waiting for A, which takes forever. So I'm even a little nervous about turning the machine off!

So I've tried B and C. B seems like a good idea except one time I guess I didn't reduce pressure enough because when I took the portafilter off it blew coffee grounds all over my kitchen!  Can't be good for the machine, and I didn't enjoy the cleanup. So now I'm a little nervous about doing that.

C works, but blows a lot of steam and water sideways out through the portafilter spouts which gets everywhere and I spend a minute wiping down neighboring appliances! Not as bad as coffee grounds everywhere, but not exactly elegant.

I could really use a primer here... the Ascaso manual is truly terrible! (Happily the machine itself seems great)
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gribbly
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso Dream Up v2.0
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

OK answering my own question here... after typing out this question it kind of got clearer in my head, and I just did this (which I think is a good routine, would appreciate confirmation):

  1. Decided to do "steam first, shot second"
  2. Brought the Dream up to steam temp and steamed my milk
  3. Stopped steaming by turning the "steam" switch off (left the steam valve open)
  4. Cleaned steam wand, etc.
  5. Grabbed an empty pitcher and held it under the steam wand
  6. Turned the "coffee" switch on (with steam valve still open)
  7. Steam, then water, dumped out of the steam wand into empty pitcher (saved this water for cleaning at the end)
  8. This very quickly (10-15s) brought the machine back into extraction range
  9. Dosed, tamped, extracted
  10. Profit! (Well... tasty latte, anyway)

So I think I have a routine that works now... I don't have to wait unreasonable amounts of time, and I don't have billowing steam clouds or high-velocity coffee grounds shooting everywhere!

The only wrinkle here is that it adds a piece of equipment (a receptacle like an empty pitcher to purge into after steaming), which is not a big deal but worth mentioning.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

Gribbly, welcome to CG.

Ascaso Dream Up v2.0 a bit pricey, answering your own first post on CG - priceless :)

I have a Gaggia Classic also SBDU and do about the same if I want another drink after steaming.  Heating is active in SBDU and cooling passive, unless you actively cool as you did.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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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 Mon Sep 16, 2013, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

Cameron

I think you  are asking the best way to make two or more milk based drinks in a row???
I know you listed your procedure but if that was the question under everything....

On a SBDU, (you have a good solid machine) there is really no outstanding way to bang out drinks, well milk drinks anyway. When you need, say two drinks, it isn't the best as the espresso sits, but I used to make the espresso first for both drinks then switch to steam mode. Be sure to keep the boiler full as you steam the milk and pull shots.

I don't know if you can get two drinks worth of milk steamed in a single pitcher or if you need to do it twice but do be sure to keep the water level up in the boiler to prevent damage to the machine even if that means that you need to steam a pitcher, fill the boiler then steam again.

This is the quickest method to make two drinks as you are not waiting for the machine to switch between pulling, steaming then cooling again to pull the next shots.

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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gribbly
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso Dream Up v2.0
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

I think you  are asking the best way to make two or more milk based drinks in a row???

Honestly it was an even more basic question - what's the right way to bring temperature back down quickly down after steaming, whether to make another drink or simply to turn the machine off (the manual seems to say that it's important to stabilize the machine at "normal" temp before switching it off).

But in practice, you're right - this is mainly relevant to making multiple drinks in a row.

For my wife and I I've just been making two singles at a time, which works well.

But some mornings we both like a double so that's two in a row... steaming milk for two then pulling two shots sequentially is not something I've tried yet. But it makes sense, as I keep ending up with too much milk anyway!

Thx for the response!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 10:58am
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

I brew 2 doubles into warmed cups, put a top on those to keep heat in, and then steam, but have read on either way.  I brew first because I think that the temperature stability is better for the brew.  I am not sure how to tell stability after a brew with rapid cooling.  You can try using a Polder thermometer as below if there is a hole to insert the thermistor and wiring through.

Some info on temperature on Gaggia, the technique is similar.  Page 2 below for Styrofoam cup temperature review

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

Below page 2 to use a Polder digital thermometer for boiler temperature.

Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

BB&B and you can use 20% off so cheap. Buy 2, so that you can take one apart. Many brands have the thermistor or wiring glued in and do not slip apart, so get the Polder.

For the second Polder, and surfing, this post. You take the thermometer apart. You may need to heat the steel probe to soften the plastic where it holds the probe. You can find a place to put the wire through the front or top and get the thermistor the boiler. Sometimes you can wedge it in a spot by an existing fastener, or try high temperature foil tape or glue.

Using the thermometer you can learn the water/puck temperature by learning offset from the Polder boiler temperature.  You can probably learn a technique for steam first or last.  Gaggia studies suggest at least 4 - 5 minutes between shots for stability, and you are probably similar.  I have shortened that considerably.  That is probably worse/longer from steam.  The good news is that milk drinks hide imperfect espresso.

I use a PID now and not the Polder, but stability is still difficult especially from steam back to brew.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 3:43pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

gribbly Said:

Honestly it was an even more basic question - what's the right way to bring temperature back down quickly down after steaming, whether to make another drink or simply to turn the machine off ......

Posted September 16, 2013 link

After steaming, the boiler is around 250F and needs re-filling....
The vibe pump is very repeatable in now many oz. per second it will pump. With some experimenting and use of a thermometer (as Fred suggested), you can figure out how many seconds of running the pump will bring the boiler and group to 200F(er the boiler temp needed for 200F brew).  Use this exact purge time to park the boiler for the next shot.

I would suggest you put your cup under the portafilter and purge through the group. This will rinse the group, heat your cup, and cool down the (overheated) group as well. Run the pump at least until you no longer hear the sizzle of boiling water. ...likely several seconds after that to get 200F.

You then need to wait 45-60 seconds for the temperature to stabilize. (...while grinding and tamping)

You really should have a thermometer on the boiler to check/adjust your accuracy.

Edit: Dump the puck and rinse immediately after the shot.... While waiting for steam temps in the boiler you have time to do this and fill your pitcher. ...Use your waiting time most effectively.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

I like the idea of filling/running the pump for a set time, but that might vary a bit with how long you steam, or how much milk you steam.  Most of us get fairly repetitive and you can probably work that out. I like to refill the boiler through the steam wand and a bit out the group as the boiler fills.  I think that the steam outlet is usually at the highest  point, so you get all of the steam out and completely fill the boiler.  As it turns out, it looks like the Dream has a thermometer where I thought a pressure gauge, so easy to see where you are, and you don't need the Polder.

Interesting video from Seattle Gear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSgc18zqBNw

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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winkie
Senior Member
winkie
Joined: 29 Aug 2013
Posts: 32
Location: china
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

I like your ideas.It is so surprise.Just keep on your dream.

 
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 7:53pm
Subject: Re: Questions about operating my new Ascaso Dream Up
 

As it is steam and not air in the boiler, you really don't need to open any valves to fill the boiler completely.
I flush through the group to rinse/cool and heat the cup; have to expel the extra hot water somewhere....

You do need to be fairly consistent in the steaming routine; mostly about when the steam heater is turned off. The heat capacity of the incoming water is so much, it swamps small differences in how hot the boiler is.

The other option here is to time after you hear the last sizzle of boiling water. (This works for the Hx flush the same way.) It is quite repeatable as well.
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