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Thread: Lelit Mara (PL62) Review

  1. #101
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    Mine is also around 1.1

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabbba View Post
    Mine is also around 1.1
    With what range?

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    With what range?
    No idea, but guessing, between 1 and 1.3, usually sits idle at 1.1 sometime goes over.

  4. #104
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    You need to watch it for several minutes and see at what point the blue light for the boiler lights up and at what point it goes off.

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    When you are finished making drinks and then cleaning, after powering down the machine, is it a good idea to depressurize the boiler by opening the steam wand valve and leaving it open til all the steam has escaped?

    I haven't read anywhere that this should or should not be done, but it seems like a reasonable thing to do.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder240 View Post
    When you are finished making drinks and then cleaning, after powering down the machine, is it a good idea to depressurize the boiler by opening the steam wand valve and leaving it open til all the steam has escaped?

    I haven't read anywhere that this should or should not be done, but it seems like a reasonable thing to do.
    why ??
    what do you think it does ?

  7. #107
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    The boiler pressure will eventually fall to zero anyway with the anti vac valve opening as it does. And you won't have to remember to close the steam valve next time you turn the machine on.

    Cheers

  8. #108
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    Lelit Mara (PL62) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    why ??
    what do you think it does ?
    My thinking was that the longer the boiler is under heat and pressure, the faster scale will form inside the boiler, since the process of evaporating water that containing minerals must cause those minerals to deposit somewhere. If this is true, then releasing the pressure after the use could slow down the formation of scale.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder240 View Post
    My thinking was that the longer the boiler is under heat and pressure, the faster scale will form inside the boiler, since the process of evaporating water that containing minerals must cause those minerals to deposit somewhere. If this is true, then releasing the pressure after the use could slow down the formation of scale.
    my my thinking is ...whilst the boiler is pressurised , the process of evaporation is halted due to the saturated vapor pressure.
    once you release that, MORE steam is produced, until the temp drops.

  10. #110
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    I started having problems with the on/off light. The light switches on and off randomly. Anyone else experienced similar behaviour? Really annoying, it is getting really hard to tell when it's on or off. Just the other day, I had the machine on for most of the day without even realising it.

  11. #111
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    No problems here with the power light (on the left). The boiler heating light (on the right) of course comes on for a brief burst once every 3 minutes or so as the boiler is heated and the temperature maintained within a narrow band. You are referring to the power light?

  12. #112
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    Unless I have some weird European right hand drive model, yes, I am talking about the power light uploadfromtaptalk1420247337791.jpg

  13. #113
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    Then something is wrong with that light or its connections.

  14. #114
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    It is very erratic, worked fine for a few days, and started to go off this morning again.

  15. #115
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    The light is always off now, even when I cold start it in the morning. It is very annoying. Couple of days ago, it was on for most of the day without me even noticing. Only when I got close to it to get some stuff from the cupboard I noticed the heat around the machine so I switched it off.

    I suspect a loose or a faulty connection is the cause. Now a $2500 question, if I unscrew the top to check what is going on, will I void my warranty. I really don't want to go through the warranty process if I can but I don't want to throw away another 10 months of warranty period by doing something stupid.

  16. #116
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    pm sent Jabbba,

    charlie

  17. #117
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    Well I don't think that anyone here is going to be able to answer that question with sufficient authority to give you 100% reassurance. You'll have to call the supplier, esp if it's JB.

    That said I can tell you that a few of us have had to take that lid off for minor adjustments. In my case I did so in consultation with Charlie of JB. I'm several hours drive and $$ of toll charges away and he was comfortable with me doing that, once he determined that I was sufficiently handy. But you should call them first IMHO. And of course, once you have those 10 screws out and the lid off, then you have live wires exposed, so PLEASE unplug it from the power before doing this.

    I see that Charlie has sent you a PM, so you can probably ignore much of the above.
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  18. #118
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    The thing is getting sorted by Charlie... Thanks for your responses.

    Back to the important topic... Coffee...

    In my pursuit to achieve consistency and cut down on the coffee usage, I tried all the suggestions. I was roasting my coffee a bit darker than I like and still getting about 20g in VST 15g basket and even a bit more in the Lelit double. The coffee was too potent but not mind blowing. So I started using my VST18g basket and split into two cups and the results were great. Back to the internet research and one article/suggestion caught my eye. Contrary to all the previous ones I read about dosing, this one recommends to overfill the basket without knocking at all while grinding.

    So I tried it.... Adjusted the grind a bit finer (expecting less coffee). Slightly overfilling the basket, no knocking, level, tamp... The tamper went well in, past my previous "perfect extraction" zone... Weighed at about 15g of coffee in the basket. Poured really nicely with velvety crema but the taste was wow... I extracted lots more flavour with less coffee than with more. I quickly extracted another shot, just to see if that was a fluke. It wasn't, result was the same. Third time was just as lucky. Another win for the coffee snob...

    Couple of "side effects" also going for me here. Charlie mentioned that the machine likes to have a lot of "breathing" space for the pre-infusion, I am guessing the results in the cup can attest to that. Also, having lots of room, coffee does not touch the shower and I end up with a cleaner machine. Win-win...
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  19. #119
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    I think I said this before somewhere on CS, but I have no idea how you were getting 20gms into a 15gms VST. I get nothing like that. I wouldn't be able to get the portafilter on, let alone passing the 5 cent test.

    I have the IMS laser cut shower screen which gives a little more head room, but only around half gm, and also keeps the inside of the machine a lot cleaner. I am currently putting in about 19gm into an 18gm VST. More than that and it doesn't pass the 5 cent test. Less and the puck is a bit wet, which I understand to be a sign of under-dosing.

    My understanding is that there's always going to be a little coffee on the shower screen after a shot, caused by the kick-back after the pressure is released at the end of a shot. Perhaps not if you seriously underdose, but otherwise I always get a few traces. If it has been caked on after a shot then that would be a sign of substantial overdosing.

  20. #120
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    My "new" puck is slightly rubbery to the touch (not too firm), knocks out clean from the basket with a uniform appearance throughout. All signs of good extraction, can't wait to get home tonight to play a bit more.

  21. #121
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    The light is on, yeeeey. Thanks Charlie.

  22. #122
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    I had a power light out on my non PID version. I contacted the dealer (1st Line) for a replacement that I installed myself. That solved the problem.

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    Hey folks, I just took a barista lesson from Counter Culture Coffee (they are an American specialty roaster that offers full services to cafes that agree to buy coffee exclusively from them -- I have some issues with the business model, but I digress). It was incredibly informative, but the equipment we used was all pro (mostly La Marzocco), and several of the instructions they provided don't translate to a home environment and prosumer machines such as our PL62.

    For example, the instructors told us to clean our dispersion screens in Cafiza daily, and to blind flush with the screens removed. The pro machines used screens that were held in with a screw rather than a rubber gasket. So, I'm wondering whether and how frequently we PL62 owners shoulder move our screens to clean? Currently I never remove my screen. I back flush with it on with water daily and with Cafiza every other week, and I brush it following a back flush. Is my routine "proper", or should o be removing my screen to clean it, either daily or less often? I hesitate to remove the screen because I don't want to wear out the gasket. Is that a real concern?

  24. #124
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    The shower screen doesn't need to be removed for routine back flushing.

    Daily with the blind filter/brew water, weekly with back flush detergent.

    You will need to work out how often to remove the shower screen, not to back flush but to clean the screen itself.

    Group seals are not that expensive, so whether you do it every 3 months or 6 months will depend on how dirty it gets.

    When you remove it, soak it in detergent overnight and scrub with a toothbrush. Clean up under the group while your at it.

    What is it about their business model you don't like?
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  25. #125
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    If you read this thread, you'll see that several of us have replaced the stock Mara screen with the IMS laser cut one. It really does stay cleaner and keep the machine cleaner. When I pulled the stock one out to do the swap it was fairly dirty inside. When I pull out the IMS, as I occasionally do, it's nowhere near as dirty. Especially after a regular chemical clean. The colour of the water going into the drip tray from the 3-way valve is not as dark, and ditto for what gets flushed there during a chemical clean.

    I have no idea what extra daily cleaning a commercial machine needs, but I've seen no evidence from my Mara that a moderately used domestic machine needs anything other than a daily water backflush and regular chemical clean, which I do fortnightly. All with the shower screen in place. No harm taking the screen out to check it occasionally. I guess I should say that an annual service may also be a good idea, but my Mara hasn't got to that point yet.

  26. #126
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    Thanks guys. That's what I was hoping to hear. The big concern the instructors left me with was that the daily backflush with the screen left in place might actually be damaging the screen. (They didn't assert it was causing damage but they did speculate with the caveat that it all depends on what sort of maintenance routine the machine was designed to take.)

    Gunda, actually I'm also using the replacement IMS screen (literally ordered it the same day I ordered my PL62). Come on now, I've been a subscriber to this thread for just under 6 months!

  27. #127
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    As for the CCC business model, it's great for them, but it's bad for consumer choice since it has motivated well over half of the specialty cafes in the Washington metro area to "subscribe", reducing the variety of coffee available. But at least the baristas in those cafes are well trained. I don't think they are in the wrong for trying to sign up cafes. I just wish they weren't so d#%$ successful!

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder240 View Post
    Gunda, actually I'm also using the replacement IMS screen (literally ordered it the same day I ordered my PL62). Come on now, I've been a subscriber to this thread for just under 6 months!
    Apologies. Hadn't noticed that you had one.

  29. #129
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    No offense taken, just feigned! Regarding the IMS, since I installed mine immediately, I lack a point of comparison, so your experience comparing the dirtiness of the exhaust water is interesting.

  30. #130
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    Just bumping this thread.

    2 questions.

    Does anybody have a link to the IMS screen replacement?

    How would this machine compare to something like the VBM Domobar Jnr

    I've noticed its available direct from Italy (with all the warrenty and repair issues)
    Last edited by nickm; 24th May 2015 at 11:27 AM. Reason: eBay link(s) removed

  31. #131
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    Don't know. I doubt that anyone here can make a valid comparison to EU configured espresso equipment- with all the you're on your own issues.

  32. #132
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    I was tossing between these two and Charlie from Jetblack explained a few differences, I think I listed all in one of my previous posts. I haven't used Domo Jr, but this is one capable machine, 8 months in, I'm still in love :-)

  33. #133
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    what grinder has everyone paired with this machine?

  34. #134
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    I use Compak K3

  35. #135
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    Talk Coffee sell the IMS screen, so it's on their website. Not sure if Jetblack do.

    M4D.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuBEnFL View Post
    I've owned the Lelit now for over a month, I'm really happy with my purchase so far. you can get many different type of funnel pitchers on the internet or on eBay, it makesAttachment 7465 refilling it a lot easier
    I've purchased this machine and awaiting delivery. I can't find this watering can anywhere on the net. Do you have a link to where you purchased it? Please PM me if we cant post the link in the forum.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickm View Post
    I've purchased this machine and awaiting delivery. I can't find this watering can anywhere on the net. Do you have a link to where you purchased it? Please PM me if we cant post the link in the forum.
    That looks like a plant watering can.

    Not sure how tight your space is, but I happened to have this before I've got the machine and it does the job perfectly.

    2L Juice - KLIP IT

    They are available at Woolies/Coles...

  38. #138
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    thanks jabba, i'm struggling to find any quality information on the net about these machines other than what is present on this forum and one other.

    Any further tips/tricks/gotchas that you could share?

  39. #139
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    Hi Nick,

    You ordered the machine, you are sucked in :-)

    There is not much to tell, it makes amazing coffee. I haven't worked on a lot of commercial machines, but the results are up there with the best. Depending on your experience it might take some time to dial in your skills with it, but even my worse results were better than anything I could produce on Breville Dual Boiler.

    I guess the only unknown for all of us is the reliability and how long this thing will last. It is one of the newest models on the market and not enough time to make a proper judgement. Based on the design, build quality and the feedback I received from the technicians (I was the unlucky one to have some LEDs from a dodgy batch installed on mine), if serviced regularly, this machine will give us joy for years to come. I certainly hope that is the case. Both my wife and myself cannot imagine our lives without it any more.

  40. #140
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    thanks for the info. I'm upgrading from several years on a rancilio silvia & stepless iberital challenge grinder so I feel like I've done a good apprenticeship

  41. #141
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    You certainly have... Frothing milk might be a challenge for you. I was not used to so much power, this thing is a beast.

    Please give us your thoughts when you get this machine delivered. Every experience counts, especially because it seems like this forum thread is the best resource on this machine in the whole entire world :-)

  42. #142
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    Will do, I will post pics.

    I've paired it with the Lelit PL044MMT (just for the sake of looks & brand consistency) but I can't say I've had much feedback on this unit. Based on price alone I'm assuming that it is far superior to my Iberital Challenge.

  43. #143
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    Excited to have just pulled the trigger on the Mara as an upgrade from my PID Silvia from Jetblack. fingers crossed it arrives by weekend - amazing after how moving from Melbourne to Brisbane there is a limited opportunity to bench test.

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    Flushing Routine

    So happy to have found this thread. After failed efforts to upgrade my Silvia first with a reconditioned Rocket Cellini Classic (DOA) and next a BDB (pump problem developed after 3 days) I now have a PL62S on order from 1st Line here in the US. One question I have, based in part on the video posted above, is what flushing routines people are using to control brew temperature on the PL62. I haven't used an HX machine before, and I've been a bit concerned about the rather complex flushing routines I've seen described on various message boards, some of which seem as fussy as what I've had to do on the Sylvia. In contrast, the video posted just above suggests a short (looks like 2-seconds) flush, and one retailer's description I've read says no flush necessary on the PL62. I'm dubious of the latter claim, especially if the machine has been idle for a while. In any event, I'm interested in the flushing routines that actual users have employed.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    Chris

  46. #146
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    Hi crispy, welcome to the thread.

    I just run it for 5-6 seconds after it was idle for a very long time. The machine is recovering well and incredibly quickly, and the coffee always tastes good. That should be your guide. After you just plug it in, it is ready to use in about 15-20, ideally around 30 minutes. You can flush it for a second or two, but don't think it is necessary. I just do it because it is a habit of mine, mostly to remove any grinds that could still be sitting there.

  47. #147
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    The Mara doesn't need a cooling flush. Every heat exchanger machine has an equilibrium temperature that it will eventually reach. The Mara's equilibrium temperature is right where you want it to be for brewing espresso. If you feel inclined to give it a second or two "cleaning" flush then go ahead. But you're probably better off doing a cleaning flush after each shot rather than before the shot. If you flush it too long before you pull a shot you risk dropping the brew water temperature below the optimum temperature.

    charlie
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  48. #148
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    Hi Charlie, what about the flush machine being idle for a while?

  49. #149
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    The great thing about a well designed HX machine is that it doesn't matter if it's been on for an hour or all day. Once it gets to it's equilibrium temperature it won't get any hotter. So it won't need a cooling flush even it's been on all day,

    charlie
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    The great thing about a well designed HX machine is that it doesn't matter if it's been on for an hour or all day. Once it gets to it's equilibrium temperature it won't get any hotter. So it won't need a cooling flush even it's been on all day,

    charlie
    Charlie (and Jabba)--thanks for your responses. I will, of course, experiment once I have the machine, but I do have a question about Charlie's statement above. Based on what I've read on other forums, it was my understanding that, while the group head temperature might be stable after it gets to equilibrium temperature, if the machine has been idle long enough, the water collected in the heat exchanger will be superheated (to the temperature of the steam boiler) and needs to be flushed out before pulling the shot. Do I have that wrong?

    I feel like I have a good deal to learn about how these machines work.

    Chris

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