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Thread: Greg Pullman's portafilter pressure gauge on the road

  1. #1
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    Greg Pullman's portafilter pressure gauge on the road

    Hi guys,

    The old thread Greg Pullmans Pressure gauge on the road was running for over four years and some of the details have changed, so I'm starting a new one with the (current) info!

    BACKGROUND

    The right brew pressure is one of the important factors in good espresso, but its one of the things that can be pretty difficult to measure without purpose-made devices. If the pressures off, no amount of grind / tamp / dose adjustment will really yield the best results. Since the pressure rarely needs to be changed once its correct, all most people need is a single opportunity to measure (and set if possible) their machines pressure, so the cost of a device they may only use once or twice is hard to justify for many. While the built-in brew pressure gauges on top-end machines are a very good guide, they're rarely dead accurate to the pressure at the group; but for those with machines with no gauge, about the only way to approximate the brew pressure is to measure the pump rejection rate and work out the pressure from the pump manufacturers data. A good way of telling if you're right off but hardly accurate.

    Perhaps this is the answer. I have a 63mm pressure gauge which can read from 0-16 bar (0-1600kpa), and has the right fittings attached to it to allow it to be screwed on to the standard 3/8" spout fittings on most portafilters. Spouts off, basket out, gauge on, and voila - a portafilter pressure gauge! Since I don't need this just lying around I'm happy for any CSer to borrow this. Indications in the old thread are that many people have seen an improvement from correctly setting their pressure.

    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

    * If just one person is hiring it, the cost is $20 including postage to you, and you then pay to post it back to me.
    * If another CSer wants to borrow it after you, you each pay $15 and you can sort out the distribution between you with the last person sending it back to me.

    T&C's?

    Obviously a level of honesty is required here so I'm trusting you not to just pass it around to all your coffee-luvn mates to use for nix - the cost of the gauge and associated fittings isn't insignificant and I think the hire fee is a pretty reasonable amount to pay for this service compared to the cost of purchasing a dedicated unit.

    The only other condition is that it comes back to me in the condition it went out (minor marks and other reasonable wear and tear is fine) and with all issued components intact. It will come with a list of included fittings. Youre welcome to add any other fittings if you need to match it to your machine but please dont remove the ones that are on there as theyve been tightly locked together and sealed. If it comes back broken or with parts missing (or not at all!) therell be a charge of up to $50 to contribute to the replacement of the missing / damaged part(s), payable by the last person who had it - so make sure you inspect it as soon as you receive it and sort out any faults / missing parts with the person who had it before.

    HOW DO I GET ON BOARD?

    Easy! Just send an email to pressuregaugehire-donotreply_AT_gregpullmanDOTcom (yep you need to substitute the bits to turn that into an email addy!). You will get an auto-reply with all the details you need, including payment details. The people who have it / are in line will be posting in this thread so you should be able to see where it's up to.

    Enjoy!
    Greg

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    PS This is what the gauge looks like.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Hi All,

    Steve here from Melbourne, just made my $20 payment as per e-mail and hoping to take my place in the queue. I can't quite tell from the old threat where the gauge is currently located, perhaps it's heading back home (or already arrived) after Thom from WA used it last?

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    Howdy Steve, the gauge is back with me at the moment so I'll send it onto you once the money's through. If anyone else wants to use it Steve's the only one in line so a good time to get in.

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    G'day,

    Tim from Brisbane 4171, payment made 5mins ago as per email. Please add my name to the queue.

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    Hi All, just to confirm that I have the gauge in Melbourne right now (work 3000 or home 3161), should be done with it by Wednesday.

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    Hi Tim, just to let you know that I'm now done with the gauge, Christmas delayed my playing! Turns out I'm at 10bar, so quite acceptable (I'd done some flow rate adjustment previously). If you want to PM me with shipment details, I'll forward it your way, that is if that is ok with Greg.

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    I'm back from holidays as of today myself, PM Sent.

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    Hi Tim,

    Just wondering if you still have the gauge? Trying to figure out if I should be paying Greg $15 if you still have it/can send it on to me, or $20 if you've already sent it back.

    Cheers,

    Daniel

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    The gauge should be with fredhoon at the moment, so it's still the $15 rate.

    Greg

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    Thanks Greg.Payment made as per email just now.So I'm next in line - Sending you a PM now Tim with my address for when you're done with it. Daniel

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    I am yet to recieve the guage from ozsmac, last correspondence said he was heading over to America for a week or so.

    I'll send another PM and email his way to try and get an ETA, oce in my hans I should only take a week or so to fiddle with my machine.

    Cheers,
    Tim.

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    Just made payment. Daniel, let me know when you're ready to send and I'll give you my details.

    Cheers,

    Ben

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    No worries Ben!

    I'll probably only be tampering (no pun intended) with my machine for a few days so shouldn't be long once I've got it

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    Hi guys,

    Current status: gauge with ozmac, I'm PM'd him for an update on when this will be going to fredhoon.
    Current list of people in line:
    * fredhoon
    * browny0
    * bgunsberger

    If anyone else is wanting to get inline... assuming the gauge spends about 10 days (including postage) with each person, this list should be through by ABOUT the end of February, noting this is a very ballpark figure.

    Greg

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    I'll add myself to the list, Greg. I think mine is okay but it's nice to know for sure, isn't it?

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    The gauge arrived at my place yesterday. I should be done with it on the weekend and will then pass it on to browny0.

    Cheers,
    Tim.

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    Cheers fredhoon. @fruity that'll be fine, yeah sometimes people have been surprised what they find! Just make sure you follow the instructions in the first post in this thread, I don't have an email from you yet.

    Cheers,
    Greg

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    Hi Greg, I've just transferred the funds to your nominated account and you should get them tomorrow. Let me know the current waiting list once you have confirmed. Cheers...

    Zarbs

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    Hi Greg, just wanted to confirm you got my payment through last week also? :-)

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    So far I've had a bit of a play around with the pressure gauge and adjusted the bleed valve such that it pours 27ml in 30sec. It's showing 10bar at the portafilter, compared to 10.5bar at the machine gauge (reading from the boiler).

    I'll finish adjusting my machine tonight and post the gauge off to browny0 tomorrow, during the brief window that AusPost is open.

  22. #22
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    10.0Bar is a bit too high at the Group Handle you know...

    You will achieve sweeter shots if the brew pressure (at the GH) is brought down closer to 8.5-9.0Bar.

    Mal.

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    Yep, did that last night - 9.0 on Greg's gauge, 9.25 on the machine gauge. Couldn't really notice much of a difference in this morning's coffee, however the beans are now over the 15day mark.

    Gauge is on its way to browny0 (and I've ordered an E61 Allen nut temp + pressure kit to keep to tinkering).

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    Picked up the gauge from the post office this morning. Probably won't get time to tinker too much until the weekend, but will likely posting it on to Ben on Monday.

    will report back with my results!

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    Still haven't heard from Ben, so won't be able to send it onwards until I get his address.

    Anyway, results!. My Silvia was running at around 10 bar, have adjusted it down to 9 bar with the gauge. Not sure I taste the difference, but the coffee I have on hand is getting a little old, so will see!

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    Ben, if you're reading this, can you please reply to my PM asap... Cheers

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    Just check with Greg perhaps, to see who is next in line.... Can always come back to Ben later on.

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by browny0 View Post
    Ben, if you're reading this, can you please reply to my PM asap... Cheers
    Just check you got my PM.

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    Hi guys,

    Current status: gauge on its way to bgunsberger
    Current waiting list:
    * fruity
    * zarbs

    Cheers,
    Greg

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    Is it heading to WA any time soon?

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    It can be Just follow the instructions in the first post and it'll be on its way to the wild west!

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    Hi guys put me on the list - just put payment through

  33. #33
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    Any progression in the list on this? It's been a week and no updates from anyone in the list of recipients after bronwyn0. Cheers...

    zarbs

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    Hi all,

    I have confirmed the gauge is currently with bgunsberger. Those waiting after him are:
    * fruity
    * zarbs
    * ash26

    Cheers,
    Greg
    Last edited by gregpullman; 7th March 2014 at 12:22 PM.

  35. #35
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    Thanks Greg...

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    Sorry everyone, it's been a bit of a crazy week. I'll finish up with it this weekend and mail it to fruity next week. Fruity, can you PM me your details?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgunsberger View Post
    Sorry everyone, it's been a bit of a crazy week. I'll finish up with it this weekend and mail it to fruity next week. Fruity, can you PM me your details?

    Thanks.
    Gauge is on it's way to fruity. For anyone who's interested, calibrating to 9 bar on the Pullman Gauge corresponded to about 10.75 on the gauge on my Expobar Minore

    Cheers

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    Guys, I will need to drop down in this list as I am about to head overseas for a month. I'm not back till April 18th so the test gear should continue on to ash26 after fruity is finished. I will slot back in once I return from my trip. Cheers...

    zarbs

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    Picked up gauge yesterday, should be able to test on the weekend.

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    Finally got to pulling my Silvia apart, so the results:

    Original: 10.5-11 BAR
    Adjusted: just under 9

    It was particularly difficult to get the lock nut loose on the OPV: my 20mm spanners were much too wide for the fairly skinny nut. Also hard to work around my internal PID & insulation, but eventually got it sorted.

    In the cup results? Hard to say it's any different yet. I'll post back after I've been through a few more batches of my regular beans.

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    Guys, seems the portafilter hasn't progressed much so I will keep my spot in the queue as I am back in town next Wednesday. So, once fruity, or the current holder, has finished can they PM me for my postal address so I can get this testing done. Thanks and cheers...

    Zarbs

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    Tested the machine tonight - was bang on 9 bar.... not sure whether to be happy or disappointed....
    I will await your address zarbs and forward it on (pm sent)

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    Hehe, perhaps look at it like you're either very lucky, or bought your machine from a retailer who took the time to make sure it was set up properly first. Either way it's a positive!

    zarbs is the last one in the current list so if anyone else wants to use the gauge it's a short queue right now.

  44. #44
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    Hi. I'd like to have a go. Zarbs, please PM me for my address.
    Greg, I've sent you an email. Thanks a heap!

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    Greg, I've paid the $15 to your bank account.
    Andrew R.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash26 View Post
    I will await your address zarbs and forward it on (pm sent)
    Sent my address last Saturday. Can you confirm you got my PM reply? Cheers...

    Zarbs

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    Hi to all,

    Haven't had a reply from ash26 re: my PM with the address and nothing has arrived on my doorstep so I have sent him another PM to get an update on where things are at. Cheers...

    Zarbs

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    Hi to all,

    Got the gauge this morning and got straight into testing as I have a very busy week. Initial test on my Silvia with Auber PID (steam control and pre infusion version) with blue LED was over 10.5 Bar. After some fine adjustment I got it down to a flat 9 Bar. No beans to test pour as yet but I'll do that this afternoon as time permits. Greg, can you confirm the next recipient and I'll try to get it off in the mail once I have their postal address. My daughter, who lives here with her family as well, has a v3 Silvia (no PID) and I did a quick test but it was so close to 9 Bar that it was no use pulling it apart to make such a small adjustment. They purchased their machine from JetBlack Espresso in Cremorne s few years ago, so JetBlack obviously set the machine up before delivery. Mine was sold in the original sealed box from a Bondi Espresso store so no adjustment there. The manual recommends a maximum of one turn up or down and my adjustment was 95% of one turn down. Thanks to Dimal for the suggestion of using Greg's portafilter gauge it has been a final step in getting my setup running at it's best after owning it for over 8 years. It is a workhorse that has been rejuvenated and has many years left in it. Cheers...

    Zarbs
    Dimal likes this.

  49. #49
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    Just got some new, fresh, beans. Pour is better but I'll need to play a bit with the grind and tamp again. The taste is as good as I was getting before but once the dose/tamp is sorted I'm sure there will be some improvement. Cheers...

    Zarbs

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Portafilter gauge is off to the next on the list today. Should have it by Wednesday.

    Zarbs

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