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Thread: Decent espresso

  1. #1801
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    Default What does "RISE" do?

    screen 2018-05-07 at 12.42.52 PM.jpg

    I was asked this question via tech support today, and I thought Iíd share my answer.

    This is a very advanced barista technique, so I donít expect most people to need it, but it emerged with my working 1:1 with Matt Perger, and it was the cleanest solution to a set of real coffee making problems, with a very particular technique in espresso making.

    -john

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    In sentence form, "rise" means "if time runs out on this preinfusion step, and we havenít hit the pressure indicated above, please add a short step after preinfusion, with the flow on max, in order to get pressure to this number. End this short step as soon as this pressure is reached".

    Imagine a barista saying "I want preinfusion to compress the puck to at least 4 bar, but I also donít want preinfusion taking more than 20 seconds to do so". RISE guarantees 4 bar as the preinfusion steps end and the shot progresses.

    I know, thereís a lot of concepts packed into RISE.

    ps: I find RISE to be hugely useful for preinfusion rates under 2 ml/s. Itís pretty much impossible for me to pull those shots otherwise. With those slow preinfusion flow rates, virtually no pressure is created, and so Iím using time to end preinfusion, with a "slam flow to max" short step to compress the puck. Iím trying to automate what Iíve seen some baristas do with paddles.

  2. #1802
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    Default DE1PRO News

    catering2.jpg

    We've been shipping DE1PRO machines to customers, but without the plumbing kit, as we haven't quite nailed it yet. At the MICE conference, I was able to heavily stress our beta plumbing kit, and found issues with minor leaking, due to the tubing not being thick enough to prevent kinks.

    I didn't want to delay the PRO users from getting their machines, so we've been sending them not-plumbed-in drip trays, and will follow up with a package of the parts they need to plumb in, once I'm confident of our design.

    People want to supply their espresso machines two different ways: with pressurized water, and from a water tank. For this reason, we "externalized" the plumbing kit, providing two different versions. PRO users will receive both kits, to use the one appropriate for their situation.

    Professional machines generally only plumb with pressurized water, and require a "flow jet" to be purchased if you're using a tank, to recreate the pressurized water situation.

    At MICE, we witnessed one vendor completely burn their machine out in 24h when their flow jet failed, and they didn't notice (thereby burning their pump out).

    No flow jet is required with our setup.

    With the "Catering kit" (for water tanks) the DE1PRO sends power to the external pump to automatically top up our 2-liter water tank.

    Two other reasons to keep this kit external:

    - if your water is dirty, you'll jam the external pump, which is easily replaced. This happened to me 2 years ago, when I stayed at an AirBnb that had kittens, and cat hair got into my water source.

    - if you burn out the external pump, it's easily replaced.

    So.... photos below of the latest iteration of the plumbing kit. This version hopefully fixes the leaking and tube kinking issues, and also locks onto the back of the machine, so it can't fall off the table accidentally.

    We'll be testing this new model extensively for 3 days while we pull hundreds of espressos at the HK trade show we're exhibiting at this week.

    Trade shows are good that way, in that they force us to use our own stuff, in a high-pressure situation. We always break something, learn and improve.
    Last edited by decent_espresso; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:01.

  3. #1803
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    Default Walking before you can run

    IMG_8699.jpg

    A little over 3 weeks ago, I reported that we'd jumped from making 5 espresso machines at once to 20 at once. It took us 8 days to do so, which was a big speedup. We also had just brought in 5 new employees to help build, where previously we had 2 people fulltime on building (and several engineers helping part-time).

    Unfortunately, I soon learned that I had pushed too hard, to soon, to speed things up. We quickly discovered that 12 of the 20 machines (60%) had some sort of problem and had to be repaired.

    That took us another 11 days so that it took us 21 days to build 20 machines, with the last machine being finally repaired today (that last one took two electrical engineers, 3 days to figure out).

    If you're interested in the gory details, below I detail all the little things we've learned in building the past 20 machines.

    One procedure change we're making is to have each person do fewer things so that we have less variation. One person=one assembly task, for now.

    When I was given a tour of Nuova Simonelli's factory, I was told that the newest employees are placed at the start of the assembly line. The most experienced go at the end. Now I understand why.

    Part of the problem was adding so many new people. Some of them did things in a new way, that caused a new problem.

    Here are the gory details, for those who want to know:

    (1) one person tightened the screws on a particular PC board much tighter than needed, causing microfractures in the PC board, which were exposed by our 1700 volt safety test. We now use soft plastic washers on the PC boards, never tighten by hand, and always use a verified torque setting on an electric screwdriver.

    (2) on some machines, during assembly the power supply rubbed against the legs, scratching them. We now cut a piece of thick yellow electrical tape and place it on the leg to prevent scratching.

    (3) the silicone o-rings that seal the water connections are quite vulnerable to tearing. If you use tweezers to insert them, unless you're really skilled, you can easily nick the o-ring, which shows up as a water leak under pressure. 40% of our "mixing chambers" had some sort of leak due to this.

    (4) the metal clips that hold the water tubes in place are really convenient. However: we found a slight problem. Most other espresso machines use plastic connectors with these clips. I was worried about heat and longevity, so I had ours made of metal. Unfortunately, the reduced friction of "metal clip on metal connector" means that the clips now slide too easily, and can fall out, causing a water leak. We're designing our own new clips to fit tighter and bending them slightly to hold them in.

    (5) if any wire is not tucked in and pulled tight, you run the risk of scrapping the insulation off the wire when you put the case on.

    (6) the water level sensor has a cable with a double-locking connector. However, if you don't push it in far enough, only one side locks, and with each lift of the water lever, the cable comes slightly more out. This causes the machine to occasionally read "out of water" when it isn't. We now have a 2nd person check that this cable is pushed in and double locked.

    (7) we decided to wire all machines to both pass UL and EU safety standards. That requires both thermal fuses and a thermostat. Unfortunately, that also means that electricity has 3 safety connections it has to pass through to drive the pump. That's 3 more opportunities for a loose connection. We're going to "cold crimp" the thermostats to the power cable using a special machine we've bought, instead of using an insulated spade connector. This will remove one extra "hop" of complexity.

    Not quality related, but we're now spacing out each machine more on the tables, and putting each into a yellow nylon box. This allows us to rotate them easier, easing back strain. We're also putting an articulated light permanently above each machine so my staff can see in better.


    What's next?

    Instead of switching back to 220V machines, we're going to make another run of 110V machines after these are done (probably starting tomorrow). The idea is to "change less stuff". We're going to make 40 machines at a time so that each person becomes more expert at their job. We're expanding from 2 to 5 tables so that visibility is better.

    With each iteration, we discover new ways to do things incorrectly. Hopefully, with time, we'll get less good at that.

    IMG_8700.jpg

  4. #1804
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    Default

    If I may touch on 1., verified torque setting on an electric screw driver, I trust it's not just a basic driver with end user able to adjust ?.
    Many industries use a preset either manual or pneumatic operation, it requires being preset by someone other than the operator and I've seen them colour coded to apply to specific applications.

    Jon.
    One Life this is it, it's not a rehearsal so enjoy it best you can - Have some fun, buy a coffee machine.

    ECM Synchronika - ECM V-Titan 64 Grinder - AMIR Scales and they work fine - 20g Filter Basket - Several Jugs and a Home Made Knock Box. - Several useful contributions from the Family.

  5. #1805
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xpresso View Post
    If I may touch on 1., verified torque setting on an electric screw driver, I trust it's not just a basic driver with end user able to adjust ?.
    Many industries use a preset either manual or pneumatic operation, it requires being preset by someone other than the operator and I've seen them colour coded to apply to specific applications.
    We're using an industrial grade screwdriver, plug-in, with a torque adjustment that isn't easily user-set. Color coding is a GOOD IDEA, thanks for that.

    -john

  6. #1806
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    Default Calibrating "stop at weight"

    screen 2018-05-15 at 5.52.02 PM.jpg

    For those of you who have bought a bluetooth "Skale" from us, your DE1+s can automatically stop your espresso making when a goal weight is reached.

    However, you have probably noticed that the final weight of the shot is a few grams off from the weight you asked for.

    The reason for this is that after the STOP button is "pressed for you", there is still residual pressure and water in the group, that continues to pour into the cup.

    Exactly how much more goes into your cup after the STOP button depends on a number of factors:
    - the pressure that was in place when the shot was stopped
    - the flow rate at the time of stopping
    - your dose weight and grind size
    - some delay between water entering the group and eventually causing a weight increase on the scale
    - basket size (and thus, hole size)
    - uncertainty on the scale, due to espresso droplets causing "sensor noise" (or "jitter")

    I had factory set the DE1+ to stop at 75% of the goal weight you set. I now think that's a few percentage points too soon, and have changed the default to 80%.

    However, it's unlikely that this 80% number will be "just perfect" for you, so I now allow you to calibrate the "Stop at weight" feature to your liking.

    To do so, go to Settings->Machine->Calibrate, and tap on the scroll bar. It allows a setting between 60% and 100%.

    The beta testers suggested an auto calibration approach, and that's a possibility for the future. However, as you change programs, doses, baskets, this auto-calibration will be off. It's not an easy problem to "solve", though I think I've seen a new pro machine which claims to have an "auto calibration" feature now.

    This video from James Hoffmann, about calibrating this exact same thing on the Black Eagle, illustrates some of the issues. It's reassuring that this venerable machine has the same issue (though Simonelli decided to calibrate in grams, not percentage).



    The new tablet software, that I will post shortly, has this feature.

    -john

  7. #1807
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    Default Mea Culpa

    IMG_8719.jpg

    So far, of the 45 machines we've sent out, we've been able to guide people with a problem back to a machine in good working condition without needing to send them a replacement machine.

    Except in three cases.

    Today, all three of these customers are getting free replacement machines from us. We'll pay to get those machines back to us and study them to figure out why they are anomalies.

    The 3 different causes of failure are interesting stories, though.

    - Michael's machine makes espresso about 5ļC hotter than the goal setting. We can't figure out why, but it's probably a defective temperature sensor (or bad connection) causing the control system to get confused. We thought that Michael must be "doing something weird" but have crossed out all the possibilities and now think "something is weird with his machine".

    - Jack was using the "calibrate" page when he accidentally didn't enter a decimal point, thus entering a huge number in by accident (ie, 300 ml/second flow rate, instead of 3.00). This caused the firmware to crash whenever the DE1+ was booted. Whoops: we hadn't thought to create an emergency mechanism for clearing the calibration settings. The DIP switch settings should have put Jack into "safe mode" so he could upgrade his firmware, but didn't do their job right.

    - Christian's machine had a retaining clip fall out during transport, so that steam was leaking. We resolved that with a video chat, but when he put the case back on, a pump wire wasn't tucked in enough, and the case scraped the insulation off as he closed it. This caused a short and blew a safety triac on one of our PC boards.

    Each new type of failure teaches us something.

    There is a positive side to our slowly ramping up our manufacturing speed: most of the big problems will have been solved by the time we can manage to ship machines at a reasonable pace.

  8. #1808
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    Default James Hoffmann DE1+ review

    James Hoffmann posted today that he's making a series of videos about our DE1+ Decent espresso machine, and this is his first.



  9. #1809
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    Came here to post James Hoffmanís new video about your machine but youíve already beaten me to the punch!

  10. #1810
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    It's great the most likely supplier of my espresso is looking at the machine, would make getting some training from Square Mile more interesting if it's on the actual machine I will have in a couple of months time.

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