Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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you decide if you need to change your burrs or not. But we think paying attention to the volume of coffee and functionality of the grinder are most important. —Double J Should my staff be turning off our espresso machine every night, or is it better to leave it on? This is a great question, and we get it a lot. We always recommend leaving your machine on overnight—for a few reasons. One is that the electronics in your ma- chine like to be in as stable an environment as possi- ble. Heating up for the day and cooling down to room temperature every night can cause some circuit boards and switches to fail prematurely due to stress. Also, depending on the size and electrical wattage of your machine, it could take a really long time to heat up fully to the point where you or your staff can even begin to dial in the shots in the morning. My last reason for why you should leave the ma- chine on 24/7 is more of a hunch, and you'd probably need to get scientific confirmation from someone like Mr. Gregory Scace, but I imagine that heating a ma- chine up from cold everyday, utilizing the full poten- tial wattage of your machine (read that as sucking up a lot of electricity) versus just gently maintaining the temperature in your boilers overnight, would poten- tially use more energy over the long term. Perhaps we'll do some experimenting on that ourselves for some future column. One thing you should check is whether your machine has an eco mode or night mode. Some machines have the capability to lower the set temp on your boiler to, say, 140˚F from the time you close to the hour before you open. That way, you get the best of both worlds: You're using less electricity/energy when no one is pulling shots, but your opening barista walks in fi rst thing in the morn- ing to a hot and ready machine. Check with your local tech and see if your machine can be programmed this way. There are many brewers and hot water towers with this feature too! —Alex Regarding weighing espresso shots: What does it mean when people talk about how many grams you put in versus how many "grams out"? This is probably more of a training or theory question, but it's one I got out in the fi eld recently and it came up again from a reader, so I thought I would address it. "Grams in" refers to how much ground coffee you are putting in the portafi lter before you pull the shot, and "grams out" is the weight of the actual espresso. Weigh- ing the coffee before and after brewing is a really great practice to make sure your recipes stay consistent. An espresso recipe for a ristretto-style shot, for example, "If your finger moves across the grinder burrs with little to no resistance, you know it's time for a fresh set." 101

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