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Thread: My New Machine

  1. #201
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    The PF is not from the machine - the 6910 came as a basic box, no extras at all. My 2 handles look brand new, no wear, no marks at all. My working machine needed a spacer above the blue seal so i am presuming when i take it apart I will find some wear on the collar.

    Putting a PF into old and new collars sounds like a lot of work; I think I can get the same info just by noting where the PF turns to.

    I don't want to change my PF's. This is another of those cases I copped flack for a while back about how to make bad coffee; I want to understand what goes on. Blindly following instructions is not something I am good at - could have had a good career in the forces if I could've let someone tell me what to think.

    It wasn't till I saw the [physical unti in situ I realised I didn't understand what is being suggested with the grind the lugs. Prior to that it seemed to make sense; grind the lugs has always been presented as how to make the PF fit better, but now I've looked at it as I disassembled it, it doesn't seem to work as stated.

    I understand what you're saying about the sharp edge 'dressing' but the problem is, I have always had the impression when they talk about grinding the lugs that they mean the top. (no idea why, maybe just because it would be easier to hold a PF in the lathe from the base rather than the top) But I can't see how dressing the top of the lugs would do anything to change how it fits or works.

    The top of the lugs doesn't seem to contact against anything so I don't quite get how it might change performance.

    And dressing the bottom of the lugs will, as near as i can tell, move the lip of the basket away from the seal it forms against the blue seal. i.e. increasing the problem. Dressing the bottom of the lugs is exaggerating the problem you can see in the photo with the collar - the basket moves away from the blue seal, it doesn't press more tightly.

  2. #202
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    JM you keep using the term grind, you don't grind anything, its a case of dressing the bottom of the PF lugs to improve the fit between the contact surfaces.

    This is fairly precise work, if you take too much off or remove it from the wrong place it cant be put back on, very much a case of slowly slowly, trial and no error.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    For those with an interest, here is a pic. On the left is the collar from the old machine and on the right, a new one, unsullied by contact with a PF. Note the shelf where the lug goes - approx 1 o'clock on both. You can see where the constant lug movement has squashed the collar metal.

    THAT'S
    why we wind up adding spacers above the blue seal.

    Which leaves me with a puzzle - I've never had to do it but I've seen a number of people mention grinding the lugs to get a better fit. Near as i can see, the lugs go up into the collar and lock into the worn area on the right hand one. The blue seal is above this and the edge of the basket seals to it. (or should)

    So, what does grinding down the lugs do? Seems to me grinding the top of the lugs wouldn't affect anything and grinding the bottom of the lugs would reduce the pressure-fit to the blue seal. Am I seeing this wrong or am I missing something.

    Note I do understand the idea of grinding uneven lugs so the seal is even around the basket.
    Hi JM

    The wear on that photo shows the machine built up coffee between the seal and the group, which acts as a grinding paste over time. The collar may be a softer metal as well to splay like that, although pressure alone could do it. Careless use & no maintenance, possibly aided by a badly fitting p/f which needed to be locked in to the extreme right to try to compensate. Amazing how often I see brute force & ignorance used as a substitute for setup, maintenance & cleanliness...

    FYI, Grinding the top of the lugs* down for more clearance. It means the rim of the p/f sits higher in the group so the basket sits higher and exerts more pressure against the seal. Hopefully (90%) it stops leaking. Rarely, the other issue is when the basket diameter is far enough out compared to the p/f holder**. Then the basket / p/f holder has a little space / play between them. Think of it being a gap between the ridge of the p/f holder and the lower curve of the basket rim. When the pressure of a shot comes through, it can lower the basket and then spray (mostly water) everywhere through the group. Totally futzes up the shot pressure.

    *Pretty Basic Clearance 101 stuff. Courtesy of my old teacher in the late '70's who taught me this stuff to work on the "Italian Mafiosi Built Machines" all too common back then. He mentioned doing it for years before that. Back then, you had to either attack the fitting of the groups, readjust the collar or grind the lugs to get them to match on quite a few machines. Generally, the diameters were accurate back then (which is why I got caught out: see below).

    **These days I only use it when something is amiss. One thing I mentioned on this thread a while back: my newer 6910 "stainless p/f" was miles out in lug height compared to the older "brass p/f". After matching the lug height, the stainless SOB still leaked. I had wondered why the stainless p/f spring was weaker... until I changed them over with the brass one. When I measured them, the stainless is over 2mm bigger in diameter. Having a couple of sets of early VST's (like almost all LM's, diameter was a lottery at first for VST) I managed to find a couple that matched the stainless diameter. That stainless p/f still leaks like a sieve with any of my other baskets: including all the shipped SB ones I have tried that came with its machine!

    All part of the fun...

    Have a great XMas & NY.

    TampIt

  4. #204
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    So I have a new machine again.

    I'd been fiddling with my EM6910 due to intermittent start up of steam. I eventually took the knob off and discovered the internal part had come unscrewed from the rheostat - screwed it back on and everything great.

    But in the meantime, SWMBO kind to clicked her tongue and suggested maybe we should get a new machine. Never one to pass up a golden opportunity I started looking for possibilities. Originally it seemed only a brand new 6910 would be within budget, but then I found an EM7000 available for a little over the budget. (ah... Gumtree ) I talked him down a bit and queried as to why the sale - they bought it 6 months back for his wife to get some practice in barista work so she could get a job as such, and then she got pregnant and can't drink coffee so they decided to sell it.

    I brought it to it's new home last night. While at their place his wife made an espresso from my beans that was passable - good crema but bit thin in taste. Then she made a latté - good taste and milk. All with no adjustment for the grind nor finicky tamp etc. Figured that had to be good...

    This morning the wife's decaf choked the machine on 1st cup, I changed grind 2 clicks coarser and it poured fine. My med roast PNG beans poured nice and thick, great taste and approx 60ml in about 28 seconds with no adjustment at all. I used the VST and naked and it was about equal in pour to some of my better shots achieved after long practice on the 6910.

    The milk frothed beautifully - no problems with it turning off, although the temp on the gauge seemed to be about 3º above my thermometer - maybe because the sensor on the wand is affected by the metal of the tip? i.e. the temp right next to the tip is higher than that out in the whirlpool of milk?

    For those interested in the current discussions on here about the temp-sensing, I've been curious about just how this might work, and tended to agree with the idea they are cheating on it by timing the steam rather than sensing it. There is a stud on the rear of the wand which is obviously the sensor. The wand and tip are single piece construction, unlike the separate tip of the 6910.

    Structurally the 7000 seems a more solid construction and certainly the aesthetics are better. There is a slight extra clearance under the group head - maybe 0.5cm? And as mentioned by others, it is quieter to run - I might be able to make my morning coffee without having the missus bound out of bed chanting, "coffee? coffee? coffee?"

    So far, so good...

    The 6910 will be sadly missed - it has seen me through my exploration into the world of coffee and taught me a LOT. For those just starting out I doubt there is a better way to begin than with such a machine. The twin pumps & thermoblocks mean the machine stays out of the way as you learn the ins and outs of making great coffee. Once you have the process nailed, you may or may not want to upgrade, but having read some of the tales of how to get other, supposedly superior machines to give good coffee, I'm glad I didn't have to try to work out a machine as well as the intricacies of good coffee.

  5. #205
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    so journeyman what do ya reckon, 5 days of use now

  6. #206
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    Still a few things I need to work on, mainly because I have 4 different beans to try. I've got the decaf down pat though and learned to under dose. My naked 6910 PF turns well over to the right so I might need to invest in a 7000 PF and get it naked-ised. The lug ramps are significantly different in shape.

    But overall? A very good buy. The milk is very good, although at first I wondered if it was OK - it is a lot quieter in steaming than the 6910 so I thought maybe I wasn't getting the pressure. But it is better than the 6910. Easier to get the milk into the sweet spot (literally) and I've reduced the natvia in the milk to half what we were using. I'd not use any but the missus likes her coffee sweeter than I do.

    Once I'm fully competent in it, as in I am able to swap beans and know just where to grind them for best results, I will try changing the steam and temp a little - my impression is the espressos aren't quite hot enough. But one thing at a time - get to know the machine fully so I can do repeatable shots THEN start altering the settings. On the 6910 I had the steam hotter and drier than factory.

    One oddity - the blue seal had a thin strip around the top edge, like a very thin rubber washer. No idea why and new seals don't come with it as far as I know - at least the seal is the same part number for 6910 & 7000 and I've bought a number of new seals for the 6910 and they didn't come with it.

    I took it off to see if it made a difference but doesn't seem to. Gonna try putting it back on once I have my process settled and check what effect it has.

  7. #207
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    Everything is ticking along nicely.

    The temperature issue is sorted. The sensor on the wand is obviously affected by the wand itself. Using my normal thermometer as well shows there is a consistent error on the wand - it is always about 5ºC higher than the thermometer out in the milk.

    Also, the rise in temp is slower on the 1L jug than the 650ml, which is slower than the 300, so clearly not a time-based measure. Now I am used to it I don't bother with the external thermo any more, but I also don't stop it in the 'good' zone as shown on the dial - I go a bit above it to where my thermo showed me the real sweet spot is.

    The extraction seems a stronger process than the 6910 - or my grind/dose/tamp is better. The 7000 seems to cope better with a wider variety of process than the 6910 did, but that IS subjective. I can't think of any way to test/prove it. But the pours seem more consistent now, and I'm still using the same grinder...

    I'm about ready to start playing with the settings, with maybe a bit higher temp for the coffee and look at what steam settings might do, but I have to say, it's pretty impressive out of the box.

  8. #208
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    How do you know your thermometer is providing a more accurate measurement? If the wand is always reading "higher", maybe it just responds more quickly?

  9. #209
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    I calibrated my thermos against medical ones when I got them. The gauge is consistently above the thermos but rises in sync with them. So, no, it doesn't rise more quickly and physics says the sensor attached to the heat source will always read higher than the one out in the middle of the substance being heated. Pretty basic really, once the observation is made.

    Plus the difference in speed of increase in the different sized jugs is kinda conclusive. Particularly as that difference is matched, albeit slightly lagging, by the thermo in the milk.

    All the info is there, so I have to ask, what bit is it you are questioning?

  10. #210
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    Something a little strange... I have a microfibre cloth that sits on one of the grinders for the wand cleaning. Each morning as part of the set up I rinse it under the hot tap to clean & wet it again for purpose. With the EM6910 I'd have to give it a thorough wash every 3 - 4 days because it would start to smell.

    With my EM7000 is has been over a week and it still doesn't smell, yet the daily rinse is still the same.

    All I can work out is it's the difference between the milk in one compared to the other. I have noticed that the 7000 wand has less milk on it after steaming, and it's a thin layer, where the 6910 had quite a thick layer that seemed also to need more of a wipe to clean the tip. What I can't really work out is why there'd be a difference - both lots of milk get heated to the same temp using the same thermometer, so you'd think it would be the same residue.

    Maybe the tip in the 7000 doesn't get as hot for some reason even though the milk does?

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    So, no, it doesn't rise more quickly and physics says the sensor attached to the heat source will always read higher than the one out in the middle of the substance being heated. Pretty basic really, once the observation is made.
    Actually, physics doesn't say any such thing (but let's not get side tracked)
    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    Plus the difference in speed of increase in the different sized jugs is kinda conclusive. Particularly as that difference is matched, albeit slightly lagging, by the thermo in the milk.

    All the info is there, so I have to ask, what bit is it you are questioning?
    All I was questioning was the basis for your observation of it being the sensor in the wand which in error, as opposed to the thermometer. Usually hard to be conclusive with just two devices

  12. #212
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    I had a laugh - unless you know of some way in which heat can transfer faster to the liquid than it reaches the thing delivering the heat, I'd say physics says exactly that. Temperature loss will happen first to the wand and only after that will it transmit into the liquid.

    The thermometer has worked fine for all this time, and was calibrated, with its twin, against medical thermometers. If it was wrong, I would have noticed the result in my milk months ago. So, logically, (and given the physics) I think my observation justified the conclusion quite sufficiently.

    It might have been a reasonable question if all I wrote was what others have done about how the SB wand sensor has to be wrong or maybe controlled by time, but the observation is clear enough. If I am seeming sensitive, just chalk it up to the ongoing bias against Sunbeam owners among many long-standing CS members.

  13. #213
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    PM sent

    Would you notice if your milk had been 5°C cooler than you think it is? I doubt I would.

  14. #214
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    Thanks for the PM - replied

    I think 5º cooler OR hotter is very noticeable. The sweet spot for milk is definitely in less of a range than 5º and is very easily tasted if you get it wrong. There is (at a guesstimate) about 2º or 3º within which the milk 'sweetens' to the point where (if the missus didn't have a sweet tooth) I wouldn't use natvia at all - as it is, with the EM7000, I found I could reduce the natvia for 2 x 350ml lattés to a small half teaspoon, where with the EM6910 I used 1 teaspoon. That was because it was more difficult with the 6910 to hit that sweet spot.

    So I am fairly sure I have the temps correct for frothing, but with the wand sensor I need to take it above the recommended coloured segments to have the milk smack in the middle of the green segment on my milk thermos. Given the other two observations above (they move in sync and at different rates depending on jug size) I am also fairly confident in my conclusion that the wand sensor is measuring much closer to the steam-heated metal temp than the milk temp.

    (and also, as mentioned in PM, that my physics is accurate enough to support what I say )

  15. #215
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    About the sweet spot for milk.

    I take the milk to just on 65 and stop steaming.
    That 65 is according to the thermometer I have.

    However, not all thermometers of the brand I have are the same, the one in the campervan reads 5 deg lower, compared with the one I use in the house.
    So that means I could be way out on finding the sweet spot.

  16. #216
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    Hey Rawill - calibrate your thermometers. Then you can know when they are on the 'sweet spot' or not. I poured a jug of hot water and stuck 2 medical thermos in along with my 2 milk thermos. When the medics beeped I looked at them and the milk ones and adjusted the milks to match. (pretty sure most milk thermos have a nut under the dial that lets you adjust them)

    My reasoning is people can be sued for a 1º difference to reality for medicals.

    But the 'sweet spot' for milk is literally that, a point of temp where what is being done to the milk increases the sweetness you taste from the milk alone. It's worth getting right.

  17. #217
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

    I think 5º cooler OR hotter is very noticeable.
    Abso-freaking-lutely!
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  18. #218
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    Greetings JM

    Good idea, what I did do was put both milk thermos in a jug of hot water and compare.

    Now to find a medical thermo.

    Robin

    Aha, just thought, I do have a type K thermo somewhere.
    Hopefully that is accurate.

  19. #219
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    Do the two gauges actually show graduated temperatures, or just coloured zones? Perhaps sunbeam just like their milk hotter

    I tend to prefer my milk cooler than what most milk thermometers suggest, but then what you end up drinking isn't at the same temperature as the milk anyway - once you add it into the cup, with the hot espresso.

    That said, I generally have as much espresso as milk in my drinks, if not more.

  20. #220
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    Both milk thermometers have both graduations and a red zone.
    The red zone is 65-70 deg, above which I believe steamed milk splits.

  21. #221
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    The SB one has gradations with no numbers but a text in the middle to say Optimum is 65º - that would appear to be the top of the orange segment. There's a segment also to each side of that one.

    The milk thermos have gradations as well as numbers - on mine there's a green segment starting at 65º and going to 70º.

    As mentioned I calibrated against medical thermos - I figure they can't afford to be out by much - people might die.

    The issue isn't about the temp you drink the milk, it's about getting the milk to the right temp to create good microfoam and not cause breakdown of the constituents - at 65º +/- maybe 2º there is a change to the milk that gives an extra sweetness to it - that seems to be the optimum place to remove it and pour.

  22. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    Both milk thermometers have both graduations and a red zone.
    The red zone is 65-70 deg, above which I believe steamed milk splits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    The SB one has gradations with no numbers but a text in the middle to say Optimum is 65º - that would appear to be the top of the orange segment. There's a segment also to each side of that one.

    The milk thermos have gradations as well as numbers - on mine there's a green segment starting at 65º and going to 70º.

    As mentioned I calibrated against medical thermos - I figure they can't afford to be out by much - people might die.

    The issue isn't about the temp you drink the milk, it's about getting the milk to the right temp to create good microfoam and not cause breakdown of the constituents - at 65º +/- maybe 2º there is a change to the milk that gives an extra sweetness to it - that seems to be the optimum place to remove it and pour.
    Hi both

    The actual temp at which milk scalds varies according the the milk. Creamier milks (i.e. Guensey) tends to break down later than less creamy ones (i.e. Fresian), and that is without even considering the various HiLo / Skim etc variations. Moving away from cow milk, and the temps are even more varied (try steaming old Yak milk into microfoam sometime).

    The so called "holy grail" of microfoam is possible from circa 50 Celsius to (say) 75 (if it hasn't scalded by then, most will). Really easy to do after a few practice attempts.

    Unfortunately the "extra sweetness" so beloved of JM (and many others, including myself) is usually about a 2 degree range just before scalding point. Much harder to hit given all the different types of milk. As long as YOUR thermometer is consistent then it is possible to hit the "sweet spot" every time with YOUR chosen milk after you work it out. Mind you, you also have to allow for the thermometer's lag (they all do to an extent, even my medical "instant reading one" (which is about a one second delay). Doesn't sound like it would affect the milk much, however the target is very small...

    My pet peeve is those "uber powerful" milk steamer systems in too many cafes that scald the milk in front of me. More power is not always a good thing. At least your machines are easier to control.

    Enjoy your cuppa (hopefully with sweet microfoam)


    TampIt
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  23. #223
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    Aha, and thank you to JM and Tampit.
    You have added to my knowledge.

    Your comments tell me why I really like the stretched mild I get with full cream milk.
    I stop steaming just as my temp gets just before the red zone (65 deg.), the needle then "coasts" over into the red and stops about the middle of the red.

    I have been doing this ever since I got the EM6910, seems like I might just have lucked finding the "right (sweet) spot.

    Only issue I have with my steaming, stretching milk is that I seem to get too much "foam" sometimes, and the foam is hard to do "art" with.
    However, now I am going to contradict myself.
    My stretched milk is usually all the way through, that is it is consistent in its thickness from the begining to the end of the pour.

    I guess these comments should be in another forum.
    Mods move it if you want to.

  24. #224
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    I think they are fine here - my thread has always been about adding to information SB users can use to improve their coffee and much of it applies to other machines (because it is about process) as well. Cheers...

  25. #225
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    Just bumped it because I re read it and it is a good thread.

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    Naked PF

    Quote Originally Posted by mentasm View Post
    I reckon there is a fair few youtube videos that talk about using naked PFs to work out tamping issues
    I'm quite new to "proper coffee" and so am not up with the lingo - can you tell me what a "naked PF" is ?

  27. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
    I'm quite new to "proper coffee" and so am not up with the lingo - can you tell me what a "naked PF" is ?
    This is a family forum!

    It is a portafilter handle, that allows the coffee extracted from the filter basket to fall directly into the cup (i.e. not via a spout). Also known as 'bottomless portafilters'. These devices allow the user to observe the pattern of extraction at the bottom of the filter basket, and to receive a free spray of coffee if your technique is a bit off.

  28. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
    I'm quite new to "proper coffee" and so am not up with the lingo - can you tell me what a "naked PF" is ?
    G'day BrianB

    A using a naked p/f also means that the delicate crema is not bounced around when it is not necessary or productive in terms of the result in the cup. I now train all coffee newbies with a naked p/f. It not only highlights their deficiencies in technique in excruciating detail, it also gives them a better initial cuppa when they finally go "over the hump" in terms of experience. Most of them never use a standard two spout p/f after that.


    TampIt

  29. #229
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    Good work. Although I have not seen your machine but reading your review and other info, I would to congrats you to create such awesome machine.

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    Head off to Aldi..buy a bag of beans (they have a dark and medium roast)..1kg for under 12 bucks...perfect for dialling in a machine and grinder, then use the good beans for the final adjustment. And, I quite like the Aldi beans too..

  31. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjaype View Post
    Head off to Aldi..buy a bag of beans (they have a dark and medium roast)..1kg for under 12 bucks...perfect for dialling in a machine and grinder, then use the good beans for the final adjustment. And, I quite like the Aldi beans too..
    Do they have a roasted date on?

  32. #232
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    No only a use by date. Does anyone know how long that goes for? I bought a bag today (20 Sept 17) for my brother to dial in his Atom and the expiry date is 23 Nov 18.

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