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fuziduck

Sage Models Test Temp from Brew Head & Hot Water Spout

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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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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, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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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


ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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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

 

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, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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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

-

 

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.

Edited by fuziduck

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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.

 

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/wbc-procedure-for-measurement-of-brewing-water-temperature-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, Mazer Mini A, Ceado 37J. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

:pToo many filter baskets - maybe. For sale when I get round to it. Robur Elect, Ceado 37J, Ascaso i_1,Piccino

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Hi

 

I have had (and returned) 2 Barista touches in the last 6 weeks. Both were brewing way below anywhere near 93 degrees. I took the first one back (luckily I bought from John Lewis) and then I found exactly the same problem with the second. Coffees which were supposed to be full of fruity flavour were just bitter - just brewed to cold.

 

So I got a replacement and surprise surprise it was exactly the same. I have now got an Oracle and it brews exactly at 93 - I know this as the temp coming out is consistently 90/89.

 

I had a sage engineer who came out before I took the touch back and he agreed that it was not hot enough - he replaced the heater device but it was exactly the same. He thought it must be a circuit board error or something.

 

Anyway, it was at this point I thought - Nah this ain't right- so I took back the second touch and got an Oracle.

 

I miss the tamping but the espresso shots are soooo much more flavourful.

 

Hope this helps.

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Sage Barista Touch, purchased just before Christmas 2018.

 

Temp of double espresso = 55C (pre warmed cup and portafilter).

Temp of water only through portafilter and basket = 62C

 

I haven't tested the hot water output from the dedicated spout but I'll update.

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That's the old thermocock for you....


ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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I recently bought the Sage Barrista Touch (european name for the breville) and as i saw you guys are having issues with the temp, I checked mine just to be sure in case I should return it within the two week period which makes the return hassle free.

 

The most accurate measurement of the temp i could do was the temperature at the portafilter nozzle with no coffe in the filter. Measuring anything else (like temp in mug etc) had too many other variables in play so the figures were all over the place. Also measuring with the single wall filter gives wildly inaccurate numbers as the flow of water there without coffe in it is significantly higher than it would be with coffe in as there is very little resistance. Using the double wall filter insert actually simulates (at least to some extent) the resistance that a coffe in the filter would make, even without the coffe in it. Makes sense, as the dry preground coffe is lacking in resistance and thats the reason why the pressure needs to be artificialy created in the portafilter to brew it properly.

 

Measuring the flow of water out of the pressurized double wall portafilter nozzle (actually sticking the thermometer in the nozzle) reliably gives me 200F ... over and over again. You just have to wait a couple seconds for the thermometer to catch up with the water temp as its metal sensor (in my case) has its own mass that takes a while to match the temp of the water. Its actually a normal kitchen meat thermometer for some $15 so nothing fancy ... but from the few tests i did it seems to be pretty accurate.

 

Maybe you could try re-do your test and see if you can consistenty get 200F directly measured out of the portafilter nozzle too? Just be sure to use the double wall insert to simulate the pressure. I used the double shot one (not sure if using the single shot would make ani diff).

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@andrej Thanks for this. Recently I bought new sage barista touch with a deal for £420. Although I read all those comments about temperature issue I thought it's worth the risk for price like that. When I first tested i had similar temperatures like others, water spout - around 62C, coffee in the cup around 55C (everything warmed up prior to brewing). I tested it with double walled PF from a nozzle and after warming up I could get temps around 90C, then tried similar with single basket + coffee and temp was 80C + ( temp was probably higher where water touches the coffee). I just assume that there is great loss of temperature before coffee gets to a cup + loss in the cup. A note...Someone in the comments on YT videos mentioned that breville/ sage are going to change chip in those machines with new batch (in May). Not sure if true though. [SIZE=2] Today I bought from my local coffee shop [COLOR=#454545][FONT=&amp]Brazil Fazenda Rainha Da Paz (North Star Leeds),I also tried same espresso in the coffee shop to compare at home. Tuning was quite quick for me even though I am total noob when it comes to coffee. Managed to get close flavor ( maybe a little bit more citrus taste than in the coffee shop ). With milk, drink was very good, nutty, smooth. So generally I am happy. I have few more different coffees coming from rave, so will test further.[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE]

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I believe the measurements before were all wrong mainly due to the non dual-wall baskets flowing significantly much more volume of water per second as compared to using it with the dual wall or actually having coffee in it. To me it seems that i would end up with 3 or 4 times as much water in the cup (for the same brew time) when using it with the single wall as opposed to the dual wall (or actual coffee in the filter). It makes sense that the on-demand heat generation would not be designed to create 3+ times as much heat than usually needed so the PID would not be able to keep up. A bolier machine would be more forgiving of this (depending on boiler size i guess) but I think it should have very little impact when making actual espresso. Especially considering that with the dual wall it can already achieve very stable correct temperature. With coffee in it is likely even easier for the machine to keep up.

 

I also compared some shots from the shop that i bought the coffee from to those made at home with this machine. I also consider myself a noob but after half a pack of coffee wasted i could match the taste of the one they made in the shop on the commercial la marazzo machine (that likely costs more than my car). I even think i had more crema than they did but that may just be due to me wasting more grams of coffee per shot than they do :)

 

I still have more than a week to return the machine but I am liking it more and more. The on demand heat tech seems to match my requirements very well. I cant imagine waiting half an hour for things to hear up and i dont mint heating up cups and portafilters just by putting water through them.

 

To be honest i got very scared by the temp problems mentioned by others. But if I am right then its all due to misunderstanding the different behavior of the boiler and on demand tech when used with a non dual-wall empty portafilter basked. Since this has nothing to do with making coffee then i am absolutely fine with the fact that the machine cant handle the situation as well as boilers can.

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