Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: SB Ristretto overheating?

  1. #1
    oro
    oro is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6

    SB Ristretto overheating?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey coffeesnobs

    Anyone with a SB Ristretto had this problem?

    My machine is only 3 months old, It only gets used once a day at best, is well looked after. *I’m limited to using pre-grind (vittoria oro), haven’t modified the portafilter, use filtered water, etc. Its been doing a reasonable job, but the last two mornings something strange has been happening: a couple of seconds of warm-honey consistency (thicker than I usually get), v. quick blonding, then gushing clear water. *Its all over in under 10 secs and if I take the group handle out straight away it blows and I get grind everywhere. *When I wait a minute or so, then take it out, the puck surface is messed up and there’s grind all over the showerscreen. *When I flush the showerscreen after the shot, I get the usual water but now masses of steam as well (from the showerscreen). *It seems to me as though the whole machine is overheating, or there’s too much pressure – ironically, the result tastes better than I’ve been getting recently (not bitter). *I try to be consistent with my dosing and tamping, although its possible I overdosed a double yesterday, and underdosed a double today – but to me that doesn’t explain the excessive steam. *When the machine was newer, it only ever produced hot water – no steam (again, I’m talking about for extraction – steam for frothing milk has always been fine). *The machine cycles through its ready/warming cycle as normal; the light is blinking on and off periodically to reach its ‘correct’ temperature. *

    If it continues to do this, it may have to go back to SB – just thought I’d check with the experts here first *:) *Any clues, anyone?

    thanks

  2. #2
    brad74
    Guest

    Re: SB Ristretto overheating?

    The Ristretto was my first machine and I still have it for travelling. I have the steam through the showerhead issue but only after using the steam wand. When I overdosed with the presurrised filters I did get the problem with Coffee all over the showerhead and when I ground to fine or tamped to hard therfore choking the machine i got an explosion of coffee but never both together.

    I gave up using the machine as intended, I used it for about 12 months but decided something had to change. I was going to buy a non-pressurised basket but in the end got an Aeropress
    I now use this machine as a frother only. The SB and Areopress make a fairly cheap combination that can produce good coffee. I can also make mulitiple coffees fairly quickly when needed.

    I know this doesnt answer your questions but I thought I would post some of my experiences too.

  3. #3
    oro
    oro is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6

    Re: SB Ristretto overheating?

    Thanks brad74 (and sorry everyone - just realised i posted this in the wrong thread ::))

    Ive had the excessive steam issue before, but only when ive pulled many shots and its been on for quite a while - but never when its the first shot after heating for only 5 or so mins. *If its a known feature of the machine, then so be it - its a limitation i can work around for the time being until i can afford to upgrade. *But if its a fault, then - well, at least i can try to get a replacement on warranty. *

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,999

    Re: SB Ristretto overheating?

    Gday oro,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Personally, I think the main reason for the problems you are experiencing, is that you are restricted to using horrible, old and stale supermarket beans. Also, there is no guarantee that the grind from one batch to another is always going to be exactly the same. Quite a few members have or have had a Ristretto and when coupled with an unpressurised basket and a reasonable grinder such as the Sunbeam EMO480/450, you will be able to pull some very nice brews indeed; when combined with freshly roasted, high quality beans that is. Rather than upgrading the Ristretto, Id be looking to buy a grinder. In fact, I think Cosmorex Coffee (one of our esteemed Site Sponsors) is currently testing a new domestic class grinder that even comes in less expensive than the SB grinders referred to above and may be well worth considering.

    Regarding the apparent higher than usual brew water temperatures, thats a bit more difficult to determine as I dont know much about the design of the Ristretto and how they control these temperatures... Suspect though that it is just via the use of a simple thermostat and that more than likely, you would be able to obtain a replacement for a very modest cost and either fit it yourself or have someone you trust do it for you. Would probably be worthwhile to grab bother thermostats while youre at it (Steam and Brew) then you should be right for a few more years. :)

    You mention that you "look after" your Ristretto very carefully.... Does this include regular descaling of the Boiler, cleaning of the Group Head, etc? If not, theres a lot of advice on the basics of doing this to be found in the forum too and a search will reveal this info for you. All the best "oro"... [smiley=laugh.gif]

    Mal.

  5. #5
    oro
    oro is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    6

    Re: SB Ristretto overheating?

    Thanks Mal

    I inadvertently solved my own problem last night while playing with the machine – noticed that the steam dial was set to preheat, not off. *That’d do it *::) *And that’s why I need caffeine in the morning! *I haven’t been making milk-based coffees for the past week or so, so I haven’t gone near the steam dial; seems I left it at preheat the last time I used it.

    Yes, I definitely need a new grinder before a new machine. *The grinder I originally bought was a cheaper breville conical burr grinder, but cant grind fine enough for my machine. *Im definitely well aware of the supermarket pregrind issues, although I can produce some more than acceptable coffee (to me) with it. *Two doppio ristrettos or piccolo lattes to get me out the door in the morning and im happy.

    Im truly limited by $$ and bench space; the Ristretto is an excellent little machine, and Im keen to keep my eye out on more info the grinder at CosmoreX you mention. *Ive had my eye on the EM0480 for a while - Ill be upgrading to something sooner rather than later.

    cheers




Similar Threads

  1. ecm giotto overheating
    By kevtrans59 in forum Brewing Equipment - Pointy End ($1500-$3000)
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 17th May 2013, 01:32 AM
  2. Ristretto Doppio Ristretto?
    By PhatBoy in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 13th February 2009, 09:51 AM
  3. [m]: SB Ristretto overheating?
    By Dimal in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 9th September 2008, 09:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •