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About IceQubed

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    Lightly Roasted

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  • Location
    Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Interests
    Electronic Engineering, Tech, Music
  • Occupation
    Electronic Engineer

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  1. Thanks for the advice MWJB and Mrboots2u. I've just ordered a 0.1g micro scale which will hopefully fit on my drip tray - the gaggia classic drip tray is pretty small and I can't fit my normal scales under it. This will allow me to dose by weight instead of time, however I will still have the same shot speed inconsistency issue. Hopefully as the beans get a little older they will calm down. 😂 I guess this is my life now, always reaching towards the perfect shot, never quite getting there...
  2. I am using a Gaggia Classic with PID mod, OPV mod, bottomless portafilter, upgraded steam wand and a recent descale. My grinder is an aergrind manual grinder. I've recorded the shots I've pulled in a spreadsheet 🤓 Even though I am careful to measure the weight and shot time of each shot, I don't have very repeatable results - they are all over the place. I've managed to dial in the Aergrind to get shots in the right ballpark, though I'm still having trouble. I use a timer to time the shots to 28-32s depending on how it's pouring, then weigh the shot once it's done. I even distribute the coffee in the basket with a toothpick for consistency and lump breakup! Note that in the spreadsheet where I record the grind setting, the first number before the dot is a complete turn, the second number is the number on the dial past the complete turn, and the third number is 0-9 for the distance between the numbers on the dial. Pretty much this system but with another level of precision. Ideas I've had: Perhaps some difference is due to the amount of time I'm pre heating the gaggia and basket? Perhaps the fact that I'm using beans that are too fresh means that they'll be all over the place until they mature? Why is my grinder giving me completely different results to the manual for it? The recommended espresso grind is 1.2 but I'm up at 1.8?! Why is a very tiny change in grind setting giving me wildly different results? Maybe the grind is coarse but there's another factor making some shots slow? Maybe I need to soak the dispersion block in puly caff or something? Could my tamping be rubbish? I apply firm pressure with a slight twist and press until the coffee is compressed. The grinder has some good reviews for being capable of espresso, so I don't think it's the primary cause though it may be a factor. Any advice is appreciated!
  3. Thanks, that makes much more sense! 😅 Must be my lack of sleep... I'll edit my post above to clarify! It was a fun build!
  4. I'm another happy customer! The guide was pretty easy to follow and was a good 'afternoon in' activity. It was clear that he's thought of everything and the multiple revisions mean that pretty much every issue someone could come up with has been accounted for. I'm still dialling in the PID, the auto calibration routine seems to select a high 'I' around 100 for some reason, which I think is making it a bit slow to heat up. Decided to mount with the 'standard' side mount method although may switch to the hinge when I can get my hands on one. I also took the opportunity to upgrade my gasket to one of those blue Cafelat ones as the gasket that had been installed previously was a bit too large/stiff leading to it locking in at a 7 o'clock position. I've also got a nice wooden handled bottomless portafilter on the way, and am trying to decide whether or not a VST filter is a worthwhile upgrade. One thing I may mention to @MrShades is that the crimped on 'ring' connector on part Q (meant to be screwed in to one of the SSRs to chassis) was too small to fit onto the supplied SSR bolt. I ended up snipping off the edge of the ring and splaying the resulting 'open circle' out into a makeshift fork connector. I managed to screw this down relatively securely but may swap it out for a new crimped on connector of the right size. EDIT: I'm an idiot and put it in the wrong way round. Small ring goes on the PID controller housing, fork goes on the Gaggia.
  5. Just put an order in for a bag of Stronghold and a bag of Resolute! Looking forward to them arriving.
  6. Bought! Thanks for the lovely machine Martin. I'm going to try it out asap!
  7. I've been introducing myself and some work buddies to good coffee and Has-Bean's Phil-ter blend has been very popular from my hario drip decanter - so much so that we've just ordered a 1kg bag and split the cost! Only problem is that we chose the worst possible time to order as we all flipped to working from home the day after I ordered it, so much for fresh beans! Haha
  8. Not sure if necros are frowned upon but decided it was better to not post a duplicate thread! I really loved the coffee I had at Colombia Coffee Roasters in the covered market. It was very busy, clearly a popular spot! It seems the baristas know their stuff and they have a good setup. The beans they were selling were pricey as Grimley noted - they're all in the region of £9ish for 250g, which is a fair bit pricier than excellent places like HasBean.
  9. Thanks @allikat - that all sounds very reasonable. I'm an electronic engineer so could have a go at tinkering around with the electronics to perfect it, though I have no machining equipment for the mechanical mods! @MartinB I may take you up on that offer! Perhaps you could PM me? I had a look at your post and it looks like a really good option.
  10. Hello! I'm new to the forum and am also in Oxfordshire! Good to see some local users
  11. I've moved in with a friend who owns a Delonghi Dedica EC685, and I've got a case of the dreaded upgradeitis. My personal equipment: Aergrind hand grinder Wilfa Svart grinder Aeropress Hario Drip Decanter 0.1g coffee scales w/timer I bought a non pressurised basket for my friend's Dedica but even then it still struggles to put out enough pressure to push water through the coffee, leading me to grind ever coarser. He doesn't have this issue because he uses pre ground coffee which is probably coarser than a proper espresso grind and maybe a bit stale. I'd like to purchase an espresso machine of my own which would be a significant noticeable upgrade. I'm not against waiting, saving up money over the next few months to purchase something good. I'm also not against buying a used machine for a better value. I think my Aergrind would be capable enough for espresso and can live with manually grinding for now. The much-loved Gaggia Classic seems way more expensive than the stickied guides say (it's £400 new now!) and is probably no longer the great value it used to be. It seems to have increased in price somewhat on the used market too. Is the £400 '2019 model' Gaggia Classic still competitive, and are there any machines around that price point (new or used) which would be way better? Also- I'd like the ability to make a mix of espresso based drinks so a decent steam wand would be good.
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