La San Marco Flexa 85 E - owners thread
As a recent owner of this rather particular machine I think it would be nice to share use and maintenance tips with other owners. For those who don't know, the LSM Flexa 85E is a dual boiler machine based on the LSM commercial series but which features a 5 liter tank with level sensors, two vibe pumps (instead of the rotary pump present on it's professional cousins) and a so called "user-friendly" group (read pressurized portafilter) which requires an (easy) valve removal for serious use.
Last edited by Javaphile; 14th December 2014 at 06:21 AM.
Reason: Changed at request of OP
Anyone looking for the user manual of this machine can download it from here La San Marco Flexa series 85 Use & Maintenance Manual - Multi-language
It's worth mentioning that the machine can be purchased with an optional control unit which allows the user (among other things) to set the brew boiler temperature, the preinfusion duration and the lenght of the pause between preinfusion and the brewing. Here in Europe this control unit is a rather expensive optional, not sure how the machine is being sold in Oz or in the USA. Apparently Vinitasse bought the Flexa with the control unit included so maybe he can make some light into this matter.
Last edited by Javaphile; 14th December 2014 at 05:03 PM.
Reason: Fix link(s)
That is very interesting information. I will receive my new 85 Flexa E tomorrow and I understand that the there are settings available only for service and for those who has purchased with the palm unit (??) installed. Can you guide me through what needs to be done to remove the valve and what the change will be!? Is the purpose to change the portafilters to std models?
if someone has info about the Palm Unit or how to fine tune the boiler temp it would be highly appreciated... :-)
Removing the valve at the bottom of the PF is very straightforward. You remove the spring that holds the bottom screen/sieve in place, remove the sieve, then take the silicone valve out. Replace the sieve and the spring, then use you portafilter as you would do on any machine.
You cannot change the PF on the Flexa with a standard model and you don't need to. All you need is to remove this valve and to buy a 57mm tamper.
I don't have the palm unit so I cannot really advise about it's functions. From what I've read it allows temperature setting for both boilers plus the possibility to adjust the preinfusion function (time of preinfusion, pause between preinfusion and brew).
I have taken away the silicon valves but did it just 'from below', I confirm that its a really easy task! The Flexa E is a joy to work with/inside. Its built like a tank! All panels can be removed for easy access, the frame is made of 5mm thick steel and the sides (in black) are cast iron.
I had some problems related to chalc residues in the solenoids but now that is fixed! /P
I contemplated removing the whole system inside the portafilter in order to be able to use regular baskets (there is one stainless steel cylinder at the top which holds in place the bottom brass part where the screen/sieve is installed) but the laziness prevailed . Plus I found a 57mm tamper which fits really well on the current setup and is quite cheap (Motta 57mm, the cheap one with round metal handle).
As for working inside the machine, everything is extremely easy. Plus the vibe pumps are very cheap and can be replaced in minutes. The only real downside of this machine is the fact that the top boiler fittings are welded onto the boiler and don't have a hex on them. So all those simple operations like replacing the safety valve require taking the boiler out, fixing it really well between two wooden blocks and so on. Otherwise you risk to damage the boiler against it's metal mounts on the chassis.
P.S. There is just enough space to replace the pressurestat with a Sirai unit
I unexpectedly found one of the LSM 85 flexa second hand and picked it up yesterday. I'm absolutely wrapped with it so far. My question is, does the flexa have the same group as all other LSM 85's? I'd like to get a 21g naked basket that I've seen online...
No, the group is completely different. You cannot use portafilters from other LSM machines. Read the first part of post #6, in care you have the urge to tinker it a bit. I'm using the machine as it is, only rempved the pf valve and cut the lip of the PF gasket (the part that is intended to hold cialde pods in place).
The Motta 57mm tamper is a perfect fit.