Category Archives: Tips – Tech

Ask Andrew From Rocket: PID Design

PID DesignBack with another episode of Ask Andrew! This time we decided to ask Andrew his thoughts on the design and use of a PID on an espresso machine.

We all know that Rocket Espresso takes a lot of care when it comes to the design of their machines, both in their aesthetics and  functionality! So we were sure he would have some thoughts around the PID design.

What’s a PID controller you ask? A PID, which stands for proportional-integral-derivative, is a device that is constantly reading  the temperature of the boiler (or wherever a thermometer is placed). It continues to calculate and adjust the boilers heating element so that when you brew you can set and be confident that you are brewing at a specific temperature.

Watch the video below to learn more about the PID design and it’s part in the design of a Rocket Espresso machine!

 

 

Ask Gail: Can I Use Grindz In A Superautomatic?

GrindzWe are always say, the cleaner you keep you espresso machine the longer it will last. And we will continue to say so until the end of time. But sometimes cleaning your machine improperly can cause more damage than just leaving it dirty! Who woulda thought?

Case in point, using Grindz in a superautomatic espresso machine. Running Grindz Cleaner through your burr grinder every few weeks will work wonders  in terms of keeping your grinder clean and keeping your coffee tasting fresh. It also happens to be  all-natural, gluten free and completely food safe. But this is only useful on a stand alone grinder!

If used in a superautomatic, the Grindz will go into the brew unit and expand due to the brewing water. This expansion is really bad for the inside of your superautomatic, and will cause damage.

Watch the full Ask Gail below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for daily coffee videos!

 

 

 

Ask Gail: Accidentally Put Oily Beans In A SuperAuto?

oily beansFirst off, don’t panic! Everything is going to be ok. In fact it could be worse, you could think there is nothing wrong with putting oily beans in your brand new super-automatic espresso machine! The horror!

Maybe a friend brought over a bag of the oily stuff, or maybe you “accidentally” grabbed the wrong bag at the store. However the oily beans got there (we aren’t here to judge), here is what you need to do.

Step One: get the beans out of the grinder! Flip the machine over, vacuum them out, whatever you need to do.

Step Two: Put a medium roast into your grinder! Grinding a light or medium roasted bean through your machine will help get rid of those oils.

If you have been using oily beans for a while in your super automatic, you may notice a clog forming. In this case you want to try and clean that clog out with an air compressor or vacuum. Unfortunately you can not use a grinder cleaner on your super automatic, those are designed specifically for stand alone grinders. If the clog is stubborn you will need to have your machine professionally cleaned.

Watch the Ask Gail video below to get the full scoop! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? No? Don’t worry! We got you covered. Click here to subscribe :) Thanks for watching!

 

 

Ask Andrew From Rocket: Tight Water Tank?

rocket water tankWe had Andrew from Rocket Espresso take over our Ask Gail segment! Since we had a few questions specifically about the Rocket machines we thought it would be best to ask him directly!

On this episode we had Andrew give us an explanation as to why on some of the newer machines the water tank feels more snug. It turns out they changed a rubber gasket to make the water tank more impervious to leaks!

Andrew shows us the change and gives us a few tips for getting the water tank out of the machine. So be sure to check out the video below!

 

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SCG In Portland: Dialing In A Grinder

Dialing In A GrinderWhen pulling espresso there are 4 things that should be on the front of your mind. The beans, the grind, the tamp and the timing. We are going to focus on the grind right now because it can be one of the more difficult things to really nail. Your grind consistency is going to effected by the bean you are using, how fresh that bean is, the humidly in the room, heck, even your mood! So dialing in your grinder so you can pull your shot in the appropriate amount of time is essential!

Let me start out with a word of warning: dialing in a grinder will use up a lot of coffee, especially if your machine is new. So be prepared to grind up to a pound of coffee!

The trick to dialing in a grinder is keeping all your other variables consistent. So your dose, grind distribution and tamp pressure should be exactly the same every time. That way you know that it is just the texture of the grind that is affecting your timing.

Speaking on timing, this is how you will know which direction to adjust your grinder. The goal is to pull a double shot of two ounces in 25-30 seconds. If your shot reaches two ounces in, say, 15 seconds then you know your grind is way too course. A finer grind will slow your extraction time. On the other end, if it takes 35 seconds to reach that two ounce mark, your espresso will be over extracted. Adjusting the grinder to be more course will fix this.

Remember, when adjusting your grinder you should be making small adjustments. Sometimes one step is all it will take! Also be sure to grind at least a double portafilter worth of beans after each adjustment and throw that out. Otherwise you will have grounds from the previous setting muddling up your shot.

Watch the video below for the in depth tutorial on how to dial in a coffee grinder. And while you are at it, subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

 

 

Breville Oracle Advanced Menu

If you are anything like us, and let’s face it you most likely are, you probably like to tweak every setting on your espresso machine! From the steam temperature to adjusting the clock, getting your machine dialed in to you is first on your list when you unpack your new espresso machine. So when you opened your Breville and saw the Oracle Advanced Menu, you were jumping for joy!Oracle Advanced Menu

But wait! Tweaking settings just for the sake of tweaking settings is not always the best course of action. Trust me when I say, you can easily adjust a setting that will put your machine on the fritz and have you calling our Customer Service department in tears. And while on occasion it may feel nice to chat to our wonderful customer service team with a tissue in hand, it’s best to avoid the situation altogether. How you ask? With knowledge!

The Oracle Advanced Menu is just that, an advanced menu. It won’t need to be adjusted regularly, some settings may not ever need to be touched. But knowing what each menu option controls is great way to know what to adjust when the time comes!

We had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Phil McKnight from Breville and thought he would be the best person to ask when it comes to the Oracle Advanced Menu. So we did!

Watch the in depth tutorial of the Oracle Advanced Menu below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here.

Ask Gail: How Many Grams Fit In a Portafilter?

portafilterWhen you get your first espresso machine the first thing you want to do is pull a shot! As you are grinding out your beans you may ask yourself, how much coffee am I supposed to grind into my portafilter?

Well the answer is, it depends. As you may already know brewing espresso is a balancing act of multiple variables. And even the slightest change in a  variable can drastically change your result! So the numbers below are an average amount of coffee that should go into each portafilter.

Your grind setting will affect this amount, how oily the coffee you are using will affect the amount, even the humidly in your room will have an effect! So precede with caution. :)

Under typical situations a single basket will hold 11 grams of coffee. A double basket will hold 17 grams. And a triple basket will hold 21 grams of the good stuff!

Watch the Ask Gail video below and be sure to subscribe to our channel for all the latest videos :) Click here to subscribe if you haven’t already!

Ask Gail: Can The Crossland CC1 Auto Shut Off?

crossland cc1We live in the age of automation. Between our smart phones and our super automatic espresso machines, we almost never need to manually control anything! Which leaves us more time for the finer things in life, like savoring our freshly brewed coffee!

But with all this extra time, we can get to thinking about those things we can’t automate. Cue the Crossland CC1. An excellent espresso machine complete with a built in PID and 2 liter water reservoir. But can you set it to automagically turn on and shut off? Because as we know, when the machines abide by your schedule true happiness is reached.

We asked Gail if this was possible and she told us that the answer was no. The Crossland CC1 does not have a built in clock, which is required for it to be able to know when to turn on and off. Sad, we know. But not to worry! Gail also said that she has a workaround for those that crave the auto on and off feature!

Check out the Ask Gail video below to find out the workaround. You might just be surprised how easy it is! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well if you haven’t already! Gail will be glad you did :)

 

Ask Gail: Adjusting Grinder Burrs

Today’s Ask Gail is a special one folks. This is a direct question from our YouTube comments! Do you have a burning question for Gail? You can ask her in the comments of our videos and you might get featured on her segment! Cool, huh?

adjusting grinder burrsSo the question comes from YouTube user dan110024: In regards to adjusting to a finer grind, is the same to be said when dealing with conical burrs? We know that when going finer on a flat burr grinder we need to be running the machine so any beans that might be in between the burrs will be ground out while the burrs get closer together. If that doesn’t happen, the burrs can’t adjust properly leading to a headache when pulling inconsistent shots (and not to mention it isn’t good for the machine!)

So is the same to be said when adjusting grinder burrs of the conical nature? And the answer is yes! It is the same principal, flat or conical or whatever shape you might have ;)

And remember, after you make an adjustment you should be grinding out about a double portafilter worth (or about 18 grams) of coffee to make sure the old grind is out of the shoot! If that doesn’t happen crazy things will happen! Well, actually you won’t properly know if your adjustment is correct, but that can certainly be frustrating!

Watch the video above and chat us up in the comment section on YouTube! We always love hearing your feedback and questions! Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our channel! :) Thanks for watching!

 

Ask Gail: Which Jura Water Filter Do You Need?

Gail got an office! If you haven’t had a chance to congratulate her, now would be a good time! Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? You should check out the old episodes of Ask Gail in order to really understand the upgrade Gail got :)

Water filterWhew, now that we have that out of the way we can jump to the question. Today on Ask Gail we asked Gail (funny how that works) to explain which water filter we need to buy for our Jura espresso machines. As you know, you should be changing the water filter every 2 months in order to keep the machine happy and the espresso flowing.

But don’t worry! Finding the right filter for your machine is a whole lot easier than replacing the ink on your printer (as most things are). All you need to do is check the color cap your Jura water filter has, and match it to the new one! The best part is, there are only 2 colors to choose from! Easy peasy!

Watch the brand new episode of Ask Gail above and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Every time we get a new subscriber Gail gets an extra day in her office! Ok, just kidding, but please do subscribe and we will keep the videos flowing!