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Pro 600 vs options (inc Hx)


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Dear experts.. After weeks of reviewing online and one discussion on the phone with the Bella Barista team (subject to a visit soon to finalise).. I am getting closer to a Pro 600 as my choice.. The suggestion from BB was a ECM Mechanika Slim for my budget and bias towards milk based drinks.. I seem to be struggling to find the logic in a Hx machine - especially one that is not plumbed-in (which is likely what I will do). All the cooling flushes (guess work), then filling and emptying tanks and trays because of the 'design' of the machine does seem odd.. Perhaps this is perfectly acceptable - but is making me think the best choice is to stretch to a DB and zero compromises (especially also for my wife to be able to use the machine)..

The Profitec's seem to be nicely made and look good.. I doubt I will ever have interest in profiling, and could always add the flow control to the group head later if I wanted..

Any comments, suggestions or things to really consider (non Grinder related)?

Best, Simon

 

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Dear experts.. After weeks of reviewing online and one discussion on the phone with the Bella Barista team (subject to a visit soon to finalise).. I am getting closer to a Pro 600 as my choice.. The suggestion from BB was a ECM Mechanika Slim for my budget and bias towards milk based drinks.. I seem to be struggling to find the logic in a Hx machine - especially one that is not plumbed-in (which is likely what I will do). All the cooling flushes (guess work), then filling and emptying tanks and trays because of the 'design' of the machine does seem odd.. Perhaps this is perfectly acceptable - but is making me think the best choice is to stretch to a DB and zero compromises (especially also for my wife to be able to use the machine)..
The Profitec's seem to be nicely made and look good.. I doubt I will ever have interest in profiling, and could always add the flow control to the group head later if I wanted..
Any comments, suggestions or things to really consider (non Grinder related)?
Best, Simon
 


The advantage of an HX is simplicity. One service boiler, and the water for the brew comes in fresh from the tank or from the mains if plumbed in. They can work well in a commercial environment where staff are constant pulling shots.

On a DB, is as if you have two machines in one (a steamer and a coffee machine).

The common consensus here is that Dual Boilers are better and more stable and consistent for the home environment. Speaking from experience, I have upgraded from an HX to a Dual Boiler in a matter of months, for the reasons you cited above.

Descaling of a dual boiler is difficult and should be avoided by using appropriate water in the first place.
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Noted - thank you!

Likewise, you should take the same precautions on any espresso machine! You want to avoid descaling at all costs!
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On 13/01/2020 at 07:59, M5Sime said:

Dear experts.. After weeks of reviewing online and one discussion on the phone with the Bella Barista team (subject to a visit soon to finalise).. I am getting closer to a Pro 600 as my choice.. The suggestion from BB was a ECM Mechanika Slim for my budget and bias towards milk based drinks.. I seem to be struggling to find the logic in a Hx machine - especially one that is not plumbed-in (which is likely what I will do). All the cooling flushes (guess work), then filling and emptying tanks and trays because of the 'design' of the machine does seem odd.. Perhaps this is perfectly acceptable - but is making me think the best choice is to stretch to a DB and zero compromises (especially also for my wife to be able to use the machine)..

The Profitec's seem to be nicely made and look good.. I doubt I will ever have interest in profiling, and could always add the flow control to the group head later if I wanted..

Any comments, suggestions or things to really consider (non Grinder related)?

Best, Simon

 

The Pro 600 does not not support a plumbed in installation, it is tank supply only. You will need to look at the Pro 700 if you want to go this route. Otherwise the Pro 600 gets a big thumbs up from me. It's an excellent machine though I do agree with you that a plumbed in option would eliminate the chore of constantly topping up the tank.

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I've also switched from a HX (Rocket Appartamento) to a Dual Boiler (Synchronika) for the same reasons (cooling flushes, water wasting and lack of exact temperature control).

Going back, i would never have bought the HX and would have gone straight to a Dual Boiler.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, mikas said:

I've also switched from a HX (Rocket Appartamento) to a Dual Boiler (Synchronika) for the same reasons (cooling flushes, water wasting and lack of exact temperature control).

Going back, i would never have bought the HX and would have gone straight to a Dual Boiler.

 

 

 

Thanks Mike! Perfect timing for the validation as I’m just leaving Bella Barista after amazing service. Pro 600 and a Mignon Specialita 

59A0FB5F-B6DF-482E-B7C0-F69D3354E24B.jpeg

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  • 11 months later...
2 hours ago, Waitforme said:

@M5Sime , how are you getting on with the P600 ?

Any “wish it had this function “ desires ?

 

Hi! Well it has had a LOT of use with the lockdowns and so glad I bought it. Overall, very happy. The only thing I would change is the steam boiler size. Sometimes it blasts other times it will refill itself mid milk steaming. 
 

I have started a routine where I purge the condensate from the pipe before making espresso. I get a good tablespoon or two of water and this makes the boiler element kick in and get the steam back to 2 bar (I set the Max steam temp with the PID). It will still sometimes do a refill of water while steaming which is annoying. That’s my only gripe. 
 

im starting to get a tiny bit of water seepage on the valve stem also now. Only when rotating the knob will I notice a few drops now and then. I guess the steam seal is just starting to let a little get by. Perhaps a side effect of me cranking up the steam pressure from the factory setting. 
 

I did buy a decent naked PF and basket which seemed to make a lot of difference. 

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15 minutes ago, M5Sime said:

The only thing I would change is the steam boiler size. Sometimes it blasts other times it will refill itself mid milk steaming

This is not necessarily boiler side dependent. I have a Lelit Elizabeth, steam  boiler is 600ml and this does not happen. 

it’s more related how the controller is programmed. On mine, I noticed it calls an auto-fill a few seconds after the shot ends, if necessary.

Does the auto fill happen when you try to steam and brew at the same time? Or Do you steam after or before your shot? 

Before doing s shot, open the steam tap very gently and see how many millilitres of water is required for an auto fill. You can try that and see makes it better. If you trigger an auto-fill before steaming, it should not require another fill during steaming. If it does, something is not right.

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1 hour ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

This is not necessarily boiler side dependent. I have a Lelit Elizabeth, steam  boiler is 600ml and this does not happen. 

it’s more related how the controller is programmed. On mine, I noticed it calls an auto-fill a few seconds after the shot ends, if necessary.

Does the auto fill happen when you try to steam and brew at the same time? Or Do you steam after or before your shot? 

Before doing s shot, open the steam tap very gently and see how many millilitres of water is required for an auto fill. You can try that and see makes it better. If you trigger an auto-fill before steaming, it should not require another fill during steaming. If it does, something is not right.

Hi - my auto fill is pretty random. It will do it when the machine has been standing for hours.when first frustrated with this, I got around it by triggering a refill by using some of the hot tap and this forced a refill. 
 

latterly I am using a decent steam wand purge where I get some water out and this causes the boiler to re pressure and most of the time it’s ok.. at least this way I get steam power. Before this, even if the boiler didn’t refill, I could run out of puff before steaming one drink of milk (flat white not latte). Hence not being impressed. 
 

I did mention this to the support team at Bella Barista but didn’t get that far with them. I think I expected or hoped that there would be enough capacity (steam) to comfortably do twice a milk load (two drinks, one jug) easily and without thinking about it. 
 

realising I didn’t answer all your Q. Steam after brew. Hence I now do ‘steam purge’ grind, tamp, brew, then steam. 

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@M5Sime - question: where the water you’ve been feeding your machine like? Is it tap water? Is it hard? Filtered? 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

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10 minutes ago, M5Sime said:

Always bottled. 

Which one?

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5 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Which one?

I have been using Ashbeck, lots of aqua pura I think it was called (5l in a large container) and latterly Volvic 

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15 hours ago, M5Sime said:

Hi! Well it has had a LOT of use with the lockdowns and so glad I bought it. Overall, very happy. The only thing I would change is the steam boiler size. Sometimes it blasts other times it will refill itself mid milk steaming. 
 

I have started a routine where I purge the condensate from the pipe before making espresso. I get a good tablespoon or two of water and this makes the boiler element kick in and get the steam back to 2 bar (I set the Max steam temp with the PID). It will still sometimes do a refill of water while steaming which is annoying. That’s my only gripe. 
 

im starting to get a tiny bit of water seepage on the valve stem also now. Only when rotating the knob will I notice a few drops now and then. I guess the steam seal is just starting to let a little get by. Perhaps a side effect of me cranking up the steam pressure from the factory setting. 
 

I did buy a decent naked PF and basket which seemed to make a lot of difference. 

Thanks for the update.

The steaming issue is a slight concern , but given that the steam boiler is 1 litre then I’m wondering if this is an issue experienced by other owners or is perhaps a fault on your machine ?

I must do a bit of googling ......

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I have a Synchronika and I purge the steam wand before the shot which gives me a reasonable amount of water. A very short second purge before steaming milk after or whilst the shot is pulling is all that’s needed. 
 

I have had the autofill kick in from time to time but only when doing a huge amount of milk for kids hot chocolate whilst I’m making myself a drink at the same time. 
 

I’d suggest running a steam test by letting everything get up to temperature, not pulling a shot, then open the steam tap fully with the wand in an empty container and video the steam pressure gauge. Mine runs for ages like this before the autofill gets close to kicking in.

For what it’s worth, remember that the service and brew boiler elements do not run at the same time on the Profitec or ECM machines. Unfortunately they have removed the option to change that in the advanced settings menu on the newer machines. This means that if the brew boiler is recovering temperature then the steam pressure will drop a little faster and not recover at all until the brew boiler is back to temperature.

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24 minutes ago, B-Roadie said:

This means that if the brew boiler is recovering temperature then the steam pressure will drop a little faster and not recover at all until the brew boiler is back to temperature.

Question: not sure if it’s an option, but have you tried having the machine with Steam Priority mode? I had a Pro-700 in the past and personally found the machine suffered in the default brew priority configuration. It was much better with the two boilers working at the same time, but understand this is no longer an option. The E61 should hold the fort temperature wise, and if you have aggressive PID settings with the steaming (I.e: P = 2, I =0, D = 0, effectively an On/Off tstat with a 2C deadband) this might work well. 

good luck.

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34 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Question: not sure if it’s an option, but have you tried having the machine with Steam Priority mode? I had a Pro-700 in the past and personally found the machine suffered in the default brew priority configuration. It was much better with the two boilers working at the same time, but understand this is no longer an option. The E61 should hold the fort temperature wise, and if you have aggressive PID settings with the steaming (I.e: P = 2, I =0, D = 0, effectively an On/Off tstat with a 2C deadband) this might work well. 

good luck.

Thanks.

I need to look into it again as it isn’t ideal. There is the option I believe to prioritise the steam boiler over the brew boiler as you say which I haven’t tried yet. I agree that the E61 head should keep the temp pretty stable for the 30s or so required. 

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24 minutes ago, B-Roadie said:

Thanks.

I need to look into it again as it isn’t ideal. There is the option I believe to prioritise the steam boiler over the brew boiler as you say which I haven’t tried yet. I agree that the E61 head should keep the temp pretty stable for the 30s or so required. 

Personally, I’d avoid steaming and brewing at the same time with that configuration. Should be fine, though, but unless you have a thermometer on the e61 or a scace device to test you’ll never know. Brewing first, steaming afterwards should work well I think.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 10/01/2021 at 11:58, MediumRoastSteam said:

Personally, I’d avoid steaming and brewing at the same time with that configuration. Should be fine, though, but unless you have a thermometer on the e61 or a scace device to test you’ll never know. Brewing first, steaming afterwards should work well I think.

I’m considering a Sync as my next purchase but have read a few things like the point above re. not steaming and brewing at the same time. Still learning about E61s (/generally!) but isn’t one of the main advantages with a dual boiler set up to steam and brew at the same time? For a machine >£2k this surprises me? Or have I misunderstood? 
 

(also considering the Bianca as an alternative and trying to establish what the extra 400 quid gets me on a Sync) 

any thoughts welcome - thank you 

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Just now, benoit3000 said:

I’m considering a Sync as my next purchase but have read a few things like the point above re. not steaming and brewing at the same time. Still learning about E61s (/generally!) but isn’t one of the main advantages with a dual boiler set up to steam and brew at the same time? For a machine >£2k this surprises me? Or have I misunderstood? 
 

(also considering the Bianca as an alternative and trying to establish what the extra 400 quid gets me on a Sync) 

any thoughts welcome - thank you 

The machine has changes since. I used to own a Profitec 700, and as far as I know, the Synchronika was based on that machine. But that was the older model. I don't know about the new ones. There are plenty of owners here though.

There was someone here who went through the same thought process as you. Personally, the Bianca offers incredible value for money. I'm not sure about build quality of those machines these days, but in terms of functionality, the Bianca wins hands down.

 

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28 minutes ago, Zorkin said:

What does it offer on top of flow profiling to make it better than a pro 600 /700 ?

That alone as far as I know, and it's worth the while if that's your thing. 

It also warms up quicker, and has a bloom pre-infusion program. Also it has last shot protection, i.e.: the display will tell you the machine is about to run out of water and will allow you to finish your shot. The Pro-600 is inferior to the P-700 and cannot be compared to the Bianca as it's a totally different machine. (smaller boilers, vibe pump, etc).

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1 hour ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

The machine has changes since. I used to own a Profitec 700, and as far as I know, the Synchronika was based on that machine. But that was the older model. I don't know about the new ones. There are plenty of owners here though.

There was someone here who went through the same thought process as you. Personally, the Bianca offers incredible value for money. I'm not sure about build quality of those machines these days, but in terms of functionality, the Bianca wins hands down.

 

Thanks @MediumRoastSteam - Never used flow profiling (coming from a sage duo temp at the moment so any of these machines will be a big step up for me) but having watched vids/read about it, it’s something I imagine getting into to explore different coffees more. 

Like you say, Bianca has a number of features built in and appears great value.

Whilst the ECM seem to have a superior reputation for build quality and I want to buy something that will last me 10+ years. However, I’m hesitant on the Sync as the flow control device appears an afterthought (perhaps to rival Bianca?) and not ‘designed in’ to the machine - worried they’ll bring out a new Sync (or new ECM model) in the next year or two making my purchase date. Read mixed reviews on the FCD for ECMs/Profitecs 

i’m also wondering if to buy the Sync now without FCD and hope they bring out a new improved version 

Not a bad problem to have deciding between these two machines and I’m sure each will be a huge step change from my Sage - but because it’s a lot of dollar I want to get it right. Seems there are small trade offs between each 

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