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About AndyZap

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  1. I am thinking about getting a VST, to use for espresso. The syringe filters seems expensive (£160 for 100 pack on Hasbean). Can I use any cheaper alternatives? How long does a single filter last, do I need to replace it after every measurement?
  2. Indeed, you need to get the correct size to match PF and the gauge thread sizes. I bought mine from Screwfix (mainly because I wanted to try that it fits), but there are plenty online
  3. Scott Rao' post https://www.scottrao.com/blog/2018/7/18/advanced-mode-on-the-de1 inspired me to try repeating this with Gaggia Baby. My dimmer switch can be switched off completely, so I can do pre-infusion with the pump off. Also Scott Rao used paper filters to boost the extraction (this was also mentioned by @Colio07), so I decided to get Whatman filters to use under the pack and aeropress filters about the pack. The beans are Rocko Mountain by @foundrycoffeeroasters.com I recorded the weight per sec in the cap (from Acaia scales) and pressure from T549i bluetooth pressure sensor. The red curve is the standard shot, no paper filters. I use this for FW (the dimmer does not go all the way up, so the pressure drops naturally similar to a lever machine). This one is really nice in FW, but not very interesting in americano for this beans. The blue curve is my attempt to replicate DE1. This one is with the paper filters and finer grind. I do the pre-infusion at the lower dimmer setting (this gives about 3 mL/s flow), then switch the pump off for 30 sec. Then rump the pressure to about 7 bar. What can I say? ... the best americano I ever had, so much flavour. And I do not usually drink americano, but with such a nice one it is easy to convert .
  4. AndyZap

    Bean rating

    As I go along my coffee journey, I would like to assign some rating to the beans I tried. First I tried to give "stars" or "likes", but then most of the beans was given 4 or 5 stars. This is not very informative. So I had a idea to have a Coffee Cup (I mean "cup" as in "World Cup"). The rules are the following: I pull two drinks with two different beans and have a "battle". The winner bean gets the usual 3 points, or 1 point each in the case of a draw. The competition can run in different categories, e.g. flat white or americano. So far I had a battle between Rwanda Huyo Mountain Natural vs Kenya Karumandi. It was a draw in FW and Karumandi had 3 points for a "short americano with a drop of cold milk". Will see how it goes ...
  5. if it fits and the water does not leak around the edges, then this is fine. Do not tighten the center screw too much, as it should be some space behind the screen for the water to flow. I use a little stub screwdriver, and hold it by the shaft (not the handle) - this gives just the right amount of force
  6. To be fair to Dennis (Kafatek) he does a good job for the grinder price in the USD terms. This is the taxes, shipping and the post-brexit exchange rate which makes the grinders so expensive in the UK. Re the ordering: if you start 5 min before "the time" and have a reliable internet connection, you have a very high change to put the grinder in the shopping basket. Remember to press (in Chrome) F5 or Shift-F5 to refresh the page while waiting for the sale to open. Then use Paypal (esp linked to your bank account, not the credit card) to pay the deposit - I have not heard about Paypal transactions been rejected.
  7. I have the same IMS screen as yours, and a brass holder (do not remember the site I bought it from although). The holder has a small lip/edge, and the screen fits perfectly inside. It has to fit well, BTW, as you should not screw it too tight to avoid deforming the screen, tight just enough to avoid water escaping around the edges. Your holder looks different. Maybe it is not for Gaggia? The screen has "GA" markings, this this one seems the right one. Cannot comment re the VST basket
  8. I have finally managed to decipher the Acaia Bluetooth protocol, and wrote my own app for Windows 10 to collect the data from the scales: https://github.com/AndyZap/AcaiaLoggerWin10 Apparently it was not too difficult, as the support for Bluetooth Low Energy devices (this is the standard which most of the Bluetooth sensors follow nowadays) is build into Win10. Basically you need to figure out just a few byte sequences to send to the scale to get the measurements started, and to receive back with the weight data. I enjoyed solving the acaia bluetooth puzzle, so decided to solve another one: Testo 549i pressure sensor. This worked out fine as well. Check the Github link if you are interested in the details.
  9. I have a similar story: first half of a Rio Magdalena bag went unnoticed, probably because it was sandwiched between two other great coffees from Foundry, Karumandi AA and Rocko Mountain. Pulled the second half from the freezer recently, and discovered that it is delicious with long lasting choc/caramel aftertaste even in FW. With a dimmer I tied to do a kind of a lever profile on my Gaggia: first 10 sec keep the dimmer at the minimum setting, this gives a low-pressure pre-infusion. Then rump the pressure to around 8 bar and keep the dimmer at this setting. As the flow increases with time, the pressure drops to about 2-3 bars at the end of the shot. I use 18.5g -> 39g in 45 sec, incl 10 sec pre-infusion.
  10. You can also warm up the end of the tube to help forming the "flange", as mentioned here https://www.mrbean2cup.co.uk/gaggia-teflon-tube-4x6-l50-cm E.g. dip it into just boiled water for a minute
  11. I decided to go for these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008BSILN6
  12. No signs of scale. I've heard that the aluminium boilers need to be descaled frequently, to remove the alu oxide - this is the reason I decided to descale every 2 months
  13. @Rob1, @DavecUK - thank you both for the replies. Would you have a link to the Minima user manual? I use Volvic and descale my machine every couple of months (takes about 30 min). Every week I remove the shower disk and the brass holder and clean them with a descaler (a couple of mins). It makes sense that the Minima stainless boilers require less frequent descaling (esp when using Volvic). Also good to know that the larger service boiler is easy to descale and the E61 group is not difficult to clean. Have not looked at the videos yet, thanks for the link.
  14. I am thinking about Minima as well, mainly because of the small size (important) and simple design. How often it needs descaling / cleaning? And how long it take on average? I make 5-6 cups a week (and on weekends mostly), so worried that the extra time I need to spend maintaining a bigger machine is hard to justify (leave money aside). Also I like 2 bar and 6 bar shots (I have a dimmer attached to Gaggia pump). Can I attach a dimmer to the Minima pump to get a low-pressure shot, or it has an easy accessible handle to set the shot pressure? Sorry for a stupid question, spent too much time on Gaggia mods
  15. I use Brewmaster app with Acaia Pearl scale to record the espresso brew data (bean and coffee weight, grind setting, total time, flow rate vs time, etc). The app cannot compare flow graphs from different brews, so I export the data from the app into a CSV file, then do all the processing on a PC. Not sure if flow/weight vs time graphs helps making better coffee, but looking at my last 20 brews on a PC screen gives me a feeling that I am doing a real coffee science. Unfortunately the CSV export feature stopped working about a month ago. I still record the data with the app, but cannot access it. Contacted acaia support, they are still looking at the issue. I've been thinking about an alternative, e.g. writing my own app to connect to the scale. Acaia does have a IOS API for iPhones, but I have found that getting into iPhone app development is not a easy task. I am more comfortable with Android or .NET on Windows, but Acaia replied that they do not have plans releasing API for these platforms yet. Anyway, just checking if anyone has experience/interest in this kind of project.
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