The plumbing arrived (via Utah and Colorado -- don't get me started).
Install is complete.
Testing is underway. Results on way.
But first... some photos.
The Bricc... ready to go
Hmmm.... what is that odd pink/red glow?
Moving in a little closer for more detail.
It's starting to become more clear...
The only visible sign of anything different about this Briccoletta becomes obvious.
So... as I've mentioned in the past, there were a lot of things I really liked about the Briccoletta. But there were some things that made it "impractical" for use for novices or in "recreational" use. The primary challenge was brew temp management.
With sufficient practice/training/insight it is possible to manage your brew temp with a fair amount of accuracy and consistency -- but learning to do this is non-trivial and doing it in practice requires a lot of attention and focus (not the easiest thing at 5am).
When the Monster Briccoletta project began - the idea was to turn the base machine into something closer to a commercial machine. The idea was to make repeatable brew temp significantly easier and to reduce the "art" of barista brew temp management to something closer to a science. In addition, a few of the missing elements of a commercial machine needed to be added (in particular, the ability to pre-infuse with line pressure was highly desirable).
There were a huge number of options pursued for how this all would be handled.
The obvious directions were pursued and discarded for various reasons. It became clear that a couple additional issues were going to need to be addressed. The combination of a horizontal boiler and horizontal heating element in an HX machine created some constraints. The semi non functional thermosyphon added its own issues. In then end, the thermosyphon simply had to be redone -- but replacing the boiler was deemed impractical (grin).
In the next post I'll add some thoughts on the actual solution to the problem -- and with luck will have some additional commentary on the topic from Terry Z (the madman behind the mods). For right now... some initial thoughts on how successful this has been.
Well... first thoughts are pretty clear.
1 - It's nearly braindead easy to manage brew temp on this machine. Seriously. Not only is there little to no "hoop jumping" in the process -- but the machine is pretty forgiving when it comes to how accurately you flush.
2 - The machine is very consistent shot to shot as a result.
3 - The potential range of brew temps (once set up) is very narrow (unless you do something really crazy like flush 8oz of water). How narrow? I'd say a couple degrees in total. I'll have more accurate numbers soon.
4 - All of this has the obvious pros... but also some less obvious cons. I'm guessing the "make it like a commercial machine" goals are going to be comprehensively met. One of the downsides of a commercial machine is that you really don't get to "play" with the brew temp. It's "set and forget" for the most part. As a result, I'm guessing that this machine is going to be the sort of thing that is VERY easy to live with -- but it's not really going to be a "lab" machine at all.
As noted earlier... coming soon:
- technical details (hopefully with commentary from Terry Z)
- coffee tasting results (all that really matters)
- more pictures
- measurements (sigh)