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Thread: Really hot external parts of expresso machines (Bezzera BZ10)

  1. #1
    BLW
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    Really hot external parts on stainless steel espresso machines (Bezzera BZ10)

    G'day,
    I just received my new Bezzera BZ10 and am really happy with the results I can achieve with it.

    Something that I haven't come across in all the reviews and recommendations is how hot the external parts can get. As there are no retailer in town where I could go to have a look and get a feel for that set of machines, is it normal for those stainless steel espresso machines to get extremely hot?

    I expected the brew head and the steam wand after steaming to be really hot, but was surprised that the entire front is super hot too.

    I can get burnt on the on/off switches for power, steam, brew and hot water and of course the pipes leading to them. The cup warmer is rather a cup burner, When I put the portafilter in and try to prevent the machine from moving, I get burnt (especially when I touch the top cup heater).

    What are your experiences with your stainless steel machines? Is it something obvious when you go for a machine like this that it'll get really hot on many parts? Everything is working as it should, so I guess that's just how it is.

    Thanks,
    Bernhard.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Pretty sure the BZ10 uses an uninsulated boiler and with such a compact design, heat is rather efficiently radiated/conducted to most surfaces.
    Insulating the boiler would reduce this to some extent but may alter the performance characteristics of the Group Head, although this should be minimal given the Group Head design....

    Mal.
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    Benrhard your Bezzera BZ10 has a cartridge heater in the Grouphead to assist in getting it to temp quickly.
    Was your machine bench tested by your dealer prior to receiving it?

    Maybe other owners of BZ10 could comment.
    I previously owned a Bezzera (BZ99) and it as well as other Bezzera machines I recall reading about here didn't have this
    issue / comment by owners that I recall.

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    This is a timely post for me as I'm considering a BZ10 as well. I've researched it as much as possible online and haven't read any reports of burning.

    Looking forward to hearing feedback from BZ10 owners.

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    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeezaw View Post
    This is a timely post for me as I'm considering a BZ10 as well. I've researched it as much as possible online and haven't read any reports of burning.

    Looking forward to hearing feedback from BZ10 owners.
    Second day now for me.

    I love the espresso it makes! The double filter basket holds 18g easily (I read in an other forum that it's only a 14g max one). The 2 hole steam tip (I read it was a 4 hole one that is way to fast) still needs some time to get used to texture milk, but I'll get there.

    In regard to the hot surfaces: The machine is quite cold at the bottom, so I started to hold it at the drip tray to prevent it from sliding when fitting the portafilter. It's is nice and cool there. The switches heat up over time though, so turning the brew button on was a bit of a surprise for me that it was a bit hot. You won't be touching the cup heater after your initial encounter.

    Mal might be correct with his assumption that the small build and an uninsulated boiler are the reason for the parts at the top of the machine to get quite hot. I didn't get burn marks btw, but putting my fingers on the parts mentioned for more than a second is not pleasant (the cup heater feels almost as hot as the brew head).

    A bench test (from Bezzera/Europe) is included and I think I read that the importer (Barazi) are testing it before sending it out too.

    Overall, I'm really happy with the machine. The hot top part of it is thing to get used to though.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Morning BLW, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    You say in your last post "so I started to hold it at the drip tray to prevent it from sliding when fitting the portafilter." given that the BZ10 weighs almost 20 KG I'm wondering how much force your using to lock the portafilter in, I doubt I would use more than 2 KG at most, if your moving the machine when locking it in I suspect your using way too much force, only needs to be nipped up just tight enough to seal, gorilla force not needed.
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  7. #7
    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morning BLW, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    You say in your last post "so I started to hold it at the drip tray to prevent it from sliding when fitting the portafilter." given that the BZ10 weighs almost 20 KG I'm wondering how much force your using to lock the portafilter in, I doubt I would use more than 2 KG at most, if your moving the machine when locking it in I suspect your using way too much force, only needs to be nipped up just tight enough to seal, gorilla force not needed.
    Haha, no gorilla force at work here.
    The surface of the counter it stand on is quite slippery though. It doesn't take much to move it around. I'm looking into getting some rubber mat underneath it to keep it in place.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLW View Post
    Haha, no gorilla force at work here.
    The surface of the counter it stand on is quite slippery though. It doesn't take much to move it around. I'm looking into getting some rubber mat underneath it to keep it in place.
    Good idea.

  9. #9
    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLW View Post
    Haha, no gorilla force at work here.
    The surface of the counter it stand on is quite slippery though. It doesn't take much to move it around. I'm looking into getting some rubber mat underneath it to keep it in place.
    On second thought Yelta, you might be right too.

    I started to tighten the protafilter futher and further - until it's way past the center position. Thought it was a way to keep the brew pressure constant as it started to drop from 11 bar to 9 bar consistently after my first shots.
    Could it be that by doing that the wet puck touches the (quite low on the BZ10) shower screen, which then causes trouble? Will play around that way on my next trials

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLW View Post
    On second thought Yelta, you might be right too.

    I started to tighten the protafilter futher and further - until it's way past the center position. Thought it was a way to keep the brew pressure constant as it started to drop from 11 bar to 9 bar consistently after my first shots.
    Could it be that by doing that the wet puck touches the (quite low on the BZ10) shower screen, which then causes trouble? Will play around that way on my next trials
    Keep in mind, as mentioned previously, Bezzera machines need approx 8mm space from top lip of basket to puck surface, to prevent the puck contacting the shower screen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Keep in mind, as mentioned previously, Bezzera machines need approx 8mm space from top lip of basket to puck surface, to prevent the puck contacting the shower screen.
    Yelta is spot on and is offering you great advice.
    I don't see the benefit of dosing 'blind' based on a 'stated gm weight' per basket - whether it be Manufacturers or elsewhere that are recommending this.
    To me anyway I prefer to work with the volume / amount the Machine & Basket combined allows. And prefer not to ever have ground coffee jammed against my shower screen. As it can only add told burnt rancid grounds making its way into the brew path of the machine. And therefore more cleaning / maintenance. So I don't do it.

    The Bezzera BZ10 ( and my previous BZ99) has a proprietary 58mm Group Head with a different style of gasket to current Rocket E61 but I recall not locking it away with more than two fingers. I came out of a Sunbeam and I'm still concsious of not over tightening the handle which will only lead to 'stretching the GroupHead casting, imho.
    As your still new with your machine...Have you read up on the 5cent Test? Search here for it.
    'Coffeesnobs,5cent Test , AM'
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  12. #12
    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Yelta is spot on and is offering you great advice.
    I don't see the benefit of dosing 'blind' based on a 'stated gm weight' per basket - whether it be Manufacturers or elsewhere that are recommending this.
    To me anyway I prefer to work with the volume / amount the Machine & Basket combined allows. And prefer not to ever have ground coffee jammed against my shower screen. As it can only add told burnt rancid grounds making its way into the brew path of the machine. And therefore more cleaning / maintenance. So I don't do it.

    The Bezzera BZ10 ( and my previous BZ99) has a proprietary 58mm Group Head with a different style of gasket to current Rocket E61 but I recall not locking it away with more than two fingers. I came out of a Sunbeam and I'm still concsious of not over tightening the handle which will only lead to 'stretching the GroupHead casting, imho.
    As your still new with your machine...Have you read up on the 5cent Test? Search here for it.
    'Coffeesnobs,5cent Test , AM'
    Thanks EA for the tip, I'll give the 5 cents test a go with my next set of playing around.

    The 18g isn't that much of a deal to me either, but I brought it up as some sort of measure for discussion if all double baskets that come with the machine are the same size. I read multiple times researching the BZ10 that the double basket shouldn't be filled over 14g or you'll run into trouble. However, there were other things mentioned too that makes me think that Bezzera changed a few specs over the years (on/off switches instead of buttons, a 2 hole instead of a 4 hole steam tip etc.) so that I'm sure that the basket that came with my machine is a larger one as the one mentioned. 14 g would leave a lot of space towards the group head (well over 10mm). Anyway, the 5 cent test seems to be the way to go.

    As for the heat generation on the upper parts, do you have similar experience with that or is it somehing unique to my machine?
    I used to put my hand on the machine while watching the shot to wait when to turn it off. With the BZ10, I take a step back

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    I tested (handled) my Rocket E61 and it was hot in areas such as - parts of both side panels, the 'firewall' all over (obv) and of course the top cup tray.
    I can only believe that your Bezzera is as it should, its just your unfamiliarity at this stage with it.

    " 14 g would leave a lot of space towards the group head (well over 10mm)."

    Yes I'd think that the OEM dvle basket will likely be 17g (to) maybe 19g...?!

    "As for the heat generation on the upper parts, do you have similar experience with that or is it something unique to my machine?
    I used to put my hand on the machine while watching the shot to wait when to turn it off. With the BZ10, I take a step back "


    I cant recall what machine you've migrated from ..but a commercial 58mm G/H will very likely always carry that amount of heat.
    Due to its thermal mass which is integral to its design.
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  14. #14
    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    I tested (handled) my Rocket E61 and it was hot in areas such as - parts of both side panels, the 'firewall' all over (obv) and of course the top cup tray.
    I can only believe that your Bezzera is as it should, its just your unfamiliarity at this stage with it.
    ...
    "As for the heat generation on the upper parts, do you have similar experience with that or is it something unique to my machine?
    I used to put my hand on the machine while watching the shot to wait when to turn it off. With the BZ10, I take a step back "


    I cant recall what machine you've migrated from ..but a commercial 58mm G/H will very likely always carry that amount of heat.
    Due to its thermal mass which is integral to its design.
    I had an EM7000 at home before and started to work in a cafe a few weeks ago that runs an Expobar 3 G/H. As Dimal pointed out, the distance between the boiler of a large commercial machine and the controls is probably big enough to not cause any touch problems. The EM7000 with it's thermoblock is a quite different thing as well.

    On the flip side of having a machine that's running that hot, my kids (1 and 3 yo) won't be touching it more than once to play around with those shiny nozzles and joysticks

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    Hi BLW, another new Bezzera owner here. My machine was bench tested at the store I bought it from. I actually met an Italian gentleman from the Bezzera factory who was over checking the machines before they hit the shelves!

    My machine gets hot just like yours. I too made the mistake of grabbing the group head early on when seating the handle. I do the same as Yelta said and only twist the handle until it firms up.

    My basket has 16g imprinted on the side. Iíve been putting in 18.8g according to the scales on my grinder and have 10.5mm of headspace. I might add a little more and do the 5c test.
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  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLW View Post
    having a machine that's running that hot, my kids (1 and 3 yo) won't be touching it more than once to play around with those shiny nozzles and joysticks
    Whoa!
    Tough school...

    Mal.
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  17. #17
    BLW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Hi BLW, another new Bezzera owner here. My machine was bench tested at the store I bought it from. I actually met an Italian gentleman from the Bezzera factory who was over checking the machines before they hit the shelves!

    My machine gets hot just like yours. I too made the mistake of grabbing the group head early on when seating the handle. I do the same as Yelta said and only twist the handle until it firms up.

    My basket has 16g imprinted on the side. I’ve been putting in 18.8g according to the scales on my grinder and have 10.5mm of headspace. I might add a little more and do the 5c test.
    Thanks for the feedback on the heat generated by the machines.

    What's been mentioned above about the hot parts also sums up what I heard from the Bezzera importer, Barazi, whom I contacted initially about a replacement steam tip (no retailer had it listed online). I'm really happy they took the time to respond to my question in detail as I live in an area where no machine retailer is close by (commercial servicing agents are of course).

    Their suggestion is also to have the machine on when needed and turn it off when it's not, which I would have done anyway. As I'm amazed how quickly it heats up (it's go after 10 mins), I don't know why I would leave it on anyway.

    They recommended servicing every 12 months, which I hope is something I can do my self. Mentioned were group seal and other gaskets that can become brittle. When left on 24/7, parts are wearing out much faster and they recommend servicing every 6 months.

    I also did the 5 cent test, with coffee filled about 2mm below the ridge of the double filter. When I lock the portafilter to the center, I get a slight compression in the grounds. As it seems to seal before that, I'll try lock it as soflty as I can in the future

    I'm still playing around with grind size and tamping. I always get to the red zone (11 bar) on the brew pressure, but my shots don't last 25 sec unless I want to water everything down. Grinding finer makes the coffee bitter, coarser goes sour. At least taste wise I'm happy where I'm at.

    Thanks for the tips, especially for pointing out the 5 cent test. The overlocking I did before def. made the puck hit the screen and seems to be the reason why the brew pressure dropped - it stays the same now.
    Cheers!

  18. #18
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi BLW,

    Good to see that you are coming to terms with the machine

    We are a long time supporter of Bezzera and the BZ10 really is a great value for money HX machine. Keep it serviced, use good quality water and replace the group seals every 12 to 18 months and it will last you many years.

    A very hot group head and surrounding parts is normal on any machine with an exposed group head

    All the best

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au

  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Whoa!
    Tough school...

    Mal.
    Morning Mal, too a degree, I'm an adherent to the experience is the best teacher viewpoint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morning Mal, too a degree, I'm an adherent to the experience is the best teacher viewpoint.
    "Stop misattributing quotes to me"

    -- also not Confucius
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