Continued Espresso Work


I keep thinking of the book [Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060958324/sr=8-2/qid=1141778747/ref=pd_bbs_2/104-5463207-1573560?%5Fencoding=UTF8) as I work on this project. Everything people create is a form of communication. They tell you what they think of the state of things. They let you know what they think of you and maybe some of themself. Sometimes you can see that there is appreciation, others you can tell when they don’t care. Of course the message gets confused along the way so all you really pull back with is generalities and some meta concepts. Fun stuff none the less to think upon next time you go peering into your every day objects whether it’s a book passage or an engine.

The NS Oscar has been a fun project thus far and I have to say I’m right on schedule of where I hoped I’d be on the learning curve. Talking with good people like glepore, Jack Denver, & Dan Kehn have helped get me on the right path. The wealth of knowledge through the google groups window into [alt.coffee](http://groups.google.com/group/alt.coffee) as well as [Home-Barista](http://www.home-barista), and [Coffee Geek](http://www.coffeegeek.com) nearly broke my brain a few times trying to grok.

Gladly, the first steps have gone well. The expansion valve was not open and the machine rated around 15 bar, about 217 psi. That’s been taken down to 9.5 +/- bar. The boiler was producing first shot temperatures at 200f but then successive shots went down to around 198f. Twisting on the Sirai Pstat the machine rests at 204f, but after flushing hits right about 202f. This is around where Lydia at [CCC](http://www.counterculturecoffee) said the roasters profiled the Tuscano blend.

At this point I can touch the real espresso that Counter Culture is offering the public. The changes from my old settings to these are remarkable not in the dramatic change, but in the amount of subtle shifts all around. Sensory communication is a difficult thing to talk to people about because our words are made up from our own maps. Tuscano to me has recieved a new clarity. A certain fog of war has lifted leaving clear paths to caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, malt. It reminds me so much of a healthy stout as a shot. Real well rounded.

At this point the machine is controllable to an extent and feeling that it has gone well adding a PID is the next order of business. Dialing in a temp through large twists of the pstat is not something you want to do regularly. This adds another curve of learning due to locations of components, electrical, a lot of things to remove/move, and more pieces to hunt for. So far I’ve got another T, spades, splitters, wirer, the [Auber](http://www.auberins.com/ PID, 25A SSR, & their RTD, as well as a head overstocked with new knowledge. Glepore is sending me a compression sleeve (thanks!), and I need to find a vac breaker. We’re not quite sure if the RTD is going to work. It might be too small. If that falls through its only time in ordering the right one from [Omega](http://www.omega.com). I also have to figure out how this is going to look in the end and will probably work with a project box & get it attached to the side of the unit. Coming together though piece by piece.

Once this is all in place I’ll log and show a realistic picture of how the HX works in the Oscar. Right now I’m just [toying](http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciordia/107926185/) around.

-a

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