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Thread: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

  1. #1
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    Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    Im new to this forum and noticed that there are a lot of Bezzera owners around so maybe they can help me with a problem.
    I recently bought a 2nd hand Bezzera Minibar for around 200 euros. First the machine didnt worked, but I took the machine apart and there was a flaw in the pump which I made, after that the whole machine seemed to be working fine, but when I pull an espresso shot there is hardly any crema there.
    I am building espressos for about three years now, and recently owned a Rancilio Silvia, so I know the basics of espresso building.
    I use the following steps with my Bezzera:
    -preheat the machine for about 35 minutes
    -flush the machine and preheat cup
    -grind (with my Rancilio Rocky) and fill portafiller (dried)
    -tamp (with Reg Barber tamper
    -another cooling flush
    -place portafiler and run hit the button

    I get a recently ok espresso but with hardly any crema (there are holes in it). What I find strange is that the brewing head does not sink into the portafiler so when I remove the portafiler the coffee has been rosen to the top of the filterbasket. I tried to build an espresso without tamping and the results are almost similar.
    Maybe I am missing a part of the bezzera machine which keeps the coffee compact? Or is it the opv valve that needs adjustment (need help on it, donno where it is on the machine).
    Can anyone help please?? Very frustrating when you buy a "better" machine, but the coffe is worse :S.

    N.B.
    Image resized to make it easier to view in browser,
    Mal.



  2. #2
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    the indentation on the puck from it swelling is normal, and is no cause for worry. Make sure you level off the coffee before tamping, to ensure a uniform puck density.

    And most of all, make sure you use fresh coffee. make sure you have a consistent Grind, dose, repeat, and adjust the grind to get the correct flow rate. Make sure you distribute to avoid channeling. But you mus start with fresh coffee. Do you know how old your coffee is?

  3. #3
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Thanks for the reply.
    I use a constant grind and dose. I donno how old the coffee is that Im using, I normally buy a big bag of beans (1 kg) and keep it safe in the freezer. It worked fine with my rancilio silvia where I got perfect crema.
    When do I need to start counting for the 30 seconds, when I turn on the button or when I see coffee coming out of the portafiler? My flow rate is very slow, when I turn on the machine it takes about 10 seconds when water is coming out en another 30 when the cup is (half) full. Could it be that when I use a larger grind that the crema is better?
    I uploaded a picture from my portafiler so you can check whether the swelling is normal.



  4. #4
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Can I suggest down dosing a little, with the same grind and then if that is too coarse (too quick) a finer grind and also and most importantly FRESH coffee...if you dont want to home roast it get the browns off Andy or another sponsor. It could be that the manufacturer has changed the beans or you have an older bag than that used with the Silvia....if its the same Bag its probably completely stale...try some back in the Silvia if you still have it and see. In my experience trying to get good crema is a largely futule exercise without fresh (fresh!) coffee.

    CHEERS

  5. #5
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    ....from the puck it looks like your overdosing. Can I suggest grind to the point where the coffee is starting to get to or over the top of the filter, bang against the bench several times to settle, fill again bang, level and tamp hard enough so that there is a 4mm or so gap between the top of the puck and the level of the rim.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Heres how I dose with my Bezzera:
    fill to a mound, lightly tap on counter 3 or 4 times, refill to a mound, level off and then a medium tamp and very light polish.
    Ive include a picture- I usually get about 6 or 7 mm below the rim of the filter. Perhaps you are using the same technique as you did for the Silvia? It has a different shower screen height (the shower screen and its screw have made that pattern on the top of your coffee
    Hope this helps
    Brett


  7. #7
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem


    I think Thijs is in Europe, so buying from brownbay or any Aussie suppliers isnt an option.

    I agree with ozscott, that puck is too high. I cant even imagine how you could get it that high with a dispersion block and screen. Otherwise its not focussed well enough to tell more. But thats an interesting question, do you have a dispersion block under the shower screen?

    I ran a Bezzera BZ35 for a couple of years (similar to a Minibar with the same boiler and group) and had no trouble with crema. So the machine is capable enough.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Thats correct, Im living in Holland. I know this is an Australian site, hope you dont mind. Thanks for the help.
    I think I am missing a dispersion block. When I place in the portafiler and remove it it doesnt have the shower screen printed on. I allready found this strange when I start using the machine a couple of weeks ago, but I assumed this was normal. My tamping and dosing is ok enough, I have about a couple of mm between the rim of the filter, but when I start running coffee through the coffee rises to the top of the basket.
    Do you guys have any idea if a dispersion block is hard to find?

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Hi Thijs,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif].

    I just happen to own an almost identical machine so might be able to help you out a bit. First up, Ive attached a photo of the underside of the Group Block which depicts the Shower-screen and the Dispersion Block on to which it is screwed down. If yours looks like this then everythings ok from this perspective,

    Mal.


  10. #10
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Hi, this must be the problem.
    Mine looks different I dont have the block between the group head and the shower screen which keeps the coffee tight. The rest is the same, grouphead, shower screen etc.
    Is this block hard to find? I tried to look at http://coffeeparts.com, but the sending to the Netherlands is allmost as expensive as the block itself (around 30 dollars). When I do need to order at this site, do I need a ring which seals the group head and the block.

  11. #11
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Just a guess but when I did a google search for bezzera parts in holland I got this page:
    http://www.keesvanderwesten.com/pages/oldwork.html
    but I can only see photos

    I think you would be cheaper finding a local espresso service place to ask. Even Italy would be cheaper!
    Brett

  12. #12
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Ill try and search one and will let you know how the coffee tastes with the part installed.
    Thanks for all the help!

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    I think if you contact Bezzera direct youll find them to be very helpful people. Ive called them all the way from here in Oz to get information about my MiniBar and they were most helpful. That Group Block has been used on a number of different Bezzera models over the years and Im pretty sure that they will have whatever parts you end up needing for a very reasonable price. While youre looking for the dispersion disk, Id get a Group Seal & Gasket Kit while youre at it since it wont hurt to replace these inexpensive items and then you will at least know the job has been done properly.

    All the best,
    Mal.

  14. #14
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Hi ,
    I just just pretty much got my sights on the the completion of rebuilding a Bezzera Minibar.

    COMPLETED:

    total tear down and clean back to new
    total rewire with adding internal lights
    repaint & rechrome etc

    PROBLEM:
    The pump may be a dud??
    Everything electrically kicks in as it should but water IS NOT being fed into the boiler.The pump is running and i have disconnected it at various stages along the pipe and water does "trickle" through but doesnt seem to be filling the boiler.

    Also when the machine has reached operating temp the lights switch asnd regulate as they should to keep pressure. When i try to pull a shot (switch a shot i guess) The pump kicks in but minimal water comes through the group.

    Does the pump fill water in the tank simaltaniously when a shot is being pulled to push water through the group on this machine?

    Do you think the pump is the problem?

    cheers,
    David

  15. #15
    TC
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Check the boiler fill solenoid....

  16. #16
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    Re: Bezzera Minibar Crema Problem

    Hi checked the solenoid and it clicks on and off when power is applied to it but doesnt seem to be coming on when the machine is hooked up

    dave



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