Expobar Brewtus III Double Boiler Espresso Machine Review
A few months ago I had a chance to get my hands on the Expobar Brewtus III and I’m dying to share the experience with you.
This was probably one of the biggest espresso machines I’ve used in terms of size, and therefore the name for this bad boy is very suitable – the Brewtus III.
Here’s a quick clip of this espresso machine in action. As you can see, its quite impressive when doing its thing.
Some History On The Brewtus
The Expobar line of espresso machine has been around since 2005, and so I’d heard the name here and there, so it was with some excitement when the Brewtus III espresso machine arrived at our café.
After one of our old ones (not a Brewtus, but another good, sturdy model) finally gave out after a solid 8 year run, we found ourselves choosing between either a brand new Expobar Office Control or a used Expobar Brewtus III that was being bid on at the time.
We went ahead and put a bid on the Brewtus III and it so happened that our bid was accepted. This is why we didn’t end up spending as much as we might of with the Office Control.
Big Bad Brewtus
This is a large machine that weighs in at about 62 pounds, so if you are getting it, a little bit of help will be necessary to pull it out of its box. I’ve been advised to lay the box on its side and slide the machine out. Still, you should get another person to help you lift it and place it on your counter top, as this is not a one person job, or at least it wasn’t for me.
The Brewtus III is made of stainless steel and looks great but the real value I think starts with a game-changing E61 group head that this machine uses.
This group head allows you better control over your shots, and the results we’ve gotten from it are quite amazing.
Even though ours was used when we bought it, with a bit of polish it practically looked new and it is quite a sight to see.
E61 Groups – The Key To Great Espresso
E61 groups, if you don’t know, are one of the keys to great espresso for a few reasons, with the main one being due to controlling the temperature of things and offering super stable heat in such a way that you get the best possible results.
Its a rather technical thing to explain, so here is a video on E61 groups to bring you up to speed on them.
This is a double boiler unit, but as far as double boiler units go it is relatively compact. Brewtus is 16.5″ high, 10.5″ in width and 17.5″ depth.
Heavy Duty Double Boiler Machine
The stainless steel exterior is made from a heavy gauge material, making it solid when lifting it up onto the counter. I guess I’ve just got its size on my mind since I almost threw my back out lifting it. I have to admit it was my fault, since I didn’t get someone to help me.
Our Brewtus III has a relatively small drip tray; and so you may find that to be a little con. The tray can be either plumbed in or emptied manually.
The machine came with solid feet with rubber pads so it is raised off of the counter; no worries whether it will heat the surface it is laid on.
Also, there’s no slipping when locking in the porta-filter.
The Brewtus III is equipped with a no-burn steam arm as you can see on the left (meaning you can touch it and not get burned) and a hot water tap on the right.
The steam and water wands swivel excellent in all directions.
Brewtus’ no-burn design is turned into a steaming wand that’s safe to touch, but also because the wand stays cool all the dirt doesn’t stick on it, which makes it super easy for cleaning.
Brewtus III is a double boiler, as mentioned – one boiler for steaming and one for brewing. Each boiler has a gauge to indicate the pressure, one for brew pressure and one for steam boiler pressure.
The machine also comes with a backflushing disc, a portafilter, single and double baskets, a plastic tamper and a scoop. I honestly, don’t like the plastic tamper so long ago I upgraded to something better.
This is a machine with a rotary pump that needs to be plumbed in. It came with a long braided stainless hose that is well explained in the owner’s manual; you can learn how to attach it to water supply, just make sure you read the manual closely.
Our manual was a bit banged up from the unit being used (about a year old, we’re told), but we’re lucky it was included. Of course there’s always the internet for helping with such things as well. We spent a lot of time on YouTube looking things up, to be honest. Here’s one of the many videos we watched to get us acquainted with the Brewtus III.
In my digging around for more info, I came across Crem International, the company responsible for Expobar and the Brewtus line of espresso makers. Here’s an article about them if you want to learn more.
The Expobar Brewtus III has a water reservoir, so there’s no reason for worrying about plumbing.
This model can be converted to direct connect. Its sub-degree brew temperature is managed by an electronic temperature control unit which is displayed by the three digit LED display on the front of the machine.
Give the machine about 5 minutes to adjust to a change in the brew temperature. The Expobar Brewtus III brew temperature control (PID) shows the desired brew temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit using one degree intervals.
The PID is pre-programmed at the factory and usually doesn’t need any adjustment, unless you prefer Centigrade instead of Fahrenheit. In case you want to change the temperature scale this is what you should do:
- Press and hold the UP & DOWN buttons while turning on the machine
- When the displays shows F.03, release the buttons
- DOWN selects the parameter you wish to modify; UP changes the selected parameter
- The first of five parameters, F.03, changes from F to C. Press DOWN to select it and UP to change its value
The other four parameters are P, I, D, and F.04. “P” is the value of the proportional variable, “I” is the value of the Integral variable, “D” is the value of the Derivative variable, and “F.04” is the correction factor or offset in degrees C between the actual boiler temperature and the display readout.
The water hookup is a standard NPT fitting that can be adapted to the plumbing fixture you have available under the sink or from the icemaker hookup.
You can plug this machine into a standard 15 amp circuit. If you’re buying the Brewtus new from WholeLatteLove, they will include a well-written owner’s manual with instructions, including the following steps:
- Turn on the main power switch
- Lift the lever to the right of the brew group; the pump should turn on and begin to fill the steam and brew boilers
- Leave the lever up until water exits the brew group. Note: If the pump runs for more than a minute and no water comes out, turn off the machine. You can damage the heating element if it is left on too long without water
- Wait a few minutes for the steam boiler to fill. The pump will automatically turn off when both boilers are full
Here’s a video showing pre-infusion of the Brewtus IV, something we’re looking at the for the future for sure.
Brewtus needs some time to warm up, so usually it’s about 35 minutes. Remember to leave the empty portafilter in the brew group so that it will be hot and ready for use. Make sure you have the portafilter locked into the group head during the initial warm-up.
The fact that Brewtus III can serve you well at least for five years makes it one of those machines that make a good investment. In all this technical talk, I never mentioned the actual espresso that this machine produces.
CONCLUSIONS ABOUT OUR BREWTUS III
As many customers have remarked, it is some of the best they’ve ever had. The Brewtus here makes you realize that there is espresso and then there is espresso. As one espresso loving friend of mine says, if someone takes my Brewtus away from me, I’ll go and get another one. We give this machine 5 stars all the way!