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Thread: Sage Models Test Temp from Brew Head & Hot Water Spout

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    Default Sage Models Test Temp from Brew Head & Hot Water Spout

    Hi,

    You may have seen my Newbie thread about the Barista Touch. I think we have discovered that low brew temperature is causing much of the issues on this machine.
    Temperature from the Shower Screen or Hot water spout seem to be around 66C as they flow into a pre-warmed shot glass. (Even allowing for losses this seems much too low)

    I would like some comparable evidence from other Sage models to 100% confirm this is too low and hasn't just lost heat by the time it gets to the shower screen.

    Any help welcome.

    Luke

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    What are you measuring this with.
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    A thermapen. I did also do a rudimentary check against some boiled water and it showed ~98C.

    I've convinced myself the temperature coming out of the brew group or hot water spout is low and I am tempted to take my temperature probe into John Lewis and ask the Sage rep to check the machine that is on display.

    Sage have offered to send an engineer out or provide me with a full refund, so I'm unsure what to do and I'm wondering whether I should have bought the Sage Oracle to start with. (I was going to buy the Oracle but was put off by the larger size.)

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    It's not easy to measure brew temperature. It's usually done with some form of artificial puck. I think Sage has changed their method of heating the water on newer models - thermojet rather than thermocoil aka thermoblock. A quicker heat up time seems to be the gain. I assume PID temperature control is still used. That adds a complication. PID tuning needs to be changed to suite typical flow rates so you can't measure brew temperature just by catching water coming out of the grouphead.

    Hope I remember correctly about quicker heat up time. Problem with that even on the earlier thermoblock models is ok the heater may be ready but the portafilter and show screen wont be, probably some pipe work in the machine as well. When we first had the machine I often made 3 drinks on the trot. At one point I tasted each one and found that the last was a lot better than the others, mostly due to the portafilter heating up. Some will do that by leaving it in the machine for some time. What I did is simply fit the single dual walled basket and ran a shot through it empty. Then fit the basket and grinds etc I intended to use. I did it this way because it heats things thoroughly and it's quick. It didn't take me long to realise that a portafilter extraction tool off amazon was a good idea. 2 in fact. One on the machine and the other by the sink.

    You could try just leaving the portafilter fitted with the basket in and see how long that takes to heat up or even what I think Sage now suggest use the hot water outlet. It needs to get way too hot to touch.

    I can't say much more about using your machine as it doesn't have a pressure gauge other than that you use the razor tool while you are changing things to suite a particular bean. When that's ok measure the weight. Also like the BE I have it's probably a volumetric machine so shot time via the button will vary a bit. Once preparation is right it wont vary much and it will produce a pretty precise output shot weight. Where it will start getting wilder is when the grind is too fine and a lot of water is going out of the over pressure valve - on the older machine anyway. I've no idea what they have done to the insides of a touch.

    John
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    In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Piccino. Robur,Ascaso I-1, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J
    Too many filter baskets - maybe

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    Pull the water into an expanded polystyrene cup and check the temperature, if it's below 80C, then yes the machine is running too cool
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavecUK View Post
    Pull the water into an expanded polystyrene cup and check the temperature, if it's below 80C, then yes the machine is running too cool
    Not so sure about that Dave on brew unless it is brewing - they claim a 3 sec heat up time on the new BE's. I doubt if it will relate to normal machines. 1680w going in.

    The hot water output may be a bit on the cool side. I stopped using thick mugs on my BE but I like too hot and then allowing it to cool so that I can taste it more. The crema gives me the taste while it's doing that.

    John
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    In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Piccino. Robur,Ascaso I-1, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J
    Too many filter baskets - maybe

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajohn View Post
    Not so sure about that Dave on brew unless it is brewing - they claim a 3 sec heat up time on the new BE's. I doubt if it will relate to normal machines. 1680w going in.

    The hot water output may be a bit on the cool side. I stopped using thick mugs on my BE but I like too hot and then allowing it to cool so that I can taste it more. The crema gives me the taste while it's doing that.

    John
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    I understand your point ajohn. As the flow of water isn't being slowed down by the coffee it doesn't have enough time to heat up. How could I test that it is 93C?
    So I checked it again whilst running a dual wall double filter. After a few runs the retained temperature in the portafilter hit 80C! Getting close but its still not there!
    In any case I think this may be a design flaw as the hot water output is also only 66C.
    Sage have offered me to return the machine, which I will probably do and then upgrade to the Oracle. Another member has done this and now seems more than happy.
    Last edited by fuziduck; 3 Days Ago at 01:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuziduck View Post
    I understand your point ajohn. As the flow of water isn't being slowed down by the coffee it doesn't have enough time to heat up. How could I test that it is 93C?
    So I checked it again whilst running a dual wall double filter. After a few runs the retained temperature in the portafilter hit 80C! Getting close but its still not there!
    In any case I think this may be a design flaw as the hot water output is also only 66C.
    Sage have offered me to return the machine, which I will probably do and then upgrade to the Oracle. Another member has done this and now seems more than happy.
    Curiously 80C is sometimes mentioned as the correct temperature for a portafilter.

    Temperature of the shot when it is actually in the cup or what ever is more difficult. One machine I saw reviewed along with an engineer who helped design it reckonned that 70 something was correct. 72 if I remember correctly. That can't really be related to the actual brew temperature as heat will be lost on the way there. The other point is flow will be slower even with a pressurised basket if there is coffee in it.

    It's not easy to measure actual brew temperature eg

    https://www.home-barista.com/reviews...ture-t516.html

    Even that may not work well on a Sage machine due to many machines getting the portafilter up to temperature themselves - usually takes about 1/2hr for them to do that and some need some flushing even then. Personally I have my doubts if the smaller basket sized machine will do it. Too long for me so I settled on always using the pressurised basket before pulling a shot. It's only needed for the first one if more than one is being made. I also did this with the standards portafilter on my dual boiler. It seems that will get the portafilter hot in 15min. My machines get switched on and off several times a day so too long.

    I'd suggest you get on with making coffee. Invariably with Sage machines problems are operator error. It's generally recognised that all of them can make good coffee. They have changed the water heating arrangement before - seems to be mostly down to trying to reduce scale build up, could be the same reason again.

    I had a read of the touch manual. Seems fair enough to me - they mention trial and error. Brewing is and the final test is taste. Different beans can have different tastes and different tuning set up's of the same bean can have as well. If you look at the weight the baskets take the shot volumes they mention can also be read as grams. They are suggesting 10g in for 30g out or 18g in and 60g out. You will read about ratios of 2, lower than Sage suggest. I often find higher ratios are better and can make a bean taste as it should. You will also read about shots taking 30 sec to give a ratio of 2. The time can be changed as well but that leaves another variable to sort out so I'd suggest sticking to 30 sec.

    How much coffee goes into the basket can mess things up and in any case has a similar effect to changing grinder settings - very extremely if too much so I always suggest using the razor tool all of the time the grind setting is being sorted out. It's the easiest way to get a consistent dose. Also probably best to strain a little when tamping - helps to keep it consistent.

    Past that it gets difficult as I don't know what they have done in the machine. They mention flow starting within 7 to 10 secs. Sounds a little long in the extreme to me for a BE and may mean exceeding 30 secs for the correct output.

    John
    -
    In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Profitec T64. Others Sage BE, Piccino. Robur,Ascaso I-1, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J
    Too many filter baskets - maybe

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