Help with Boema A1
Just joined the forum. I recently purchased an old Boema A1, single group coffee machine. it came complete with the original turbo wand with about three small holes at the tip,
which produce more than enough steam to use.
I noticed when i first turned the machine on that there was insufficient water coming from the group head. The group head has been cleaned and descaled,
and it seemed like the pump had seen better days. After having it serviced, the pump has now been replaced and the water is coming out like a shower now.
I did notice though the coffee coming out was quite burnt, and the shot comes out without much if little crema. The repairman has advised that somehow the brew pressure guage
he has does not fit the Boema portafilter, so we were unable to check the pressure to see if it was right. Just wondering whether there is any simple way to test the pressure coming out ofthe grouphead without a pressure guage? Please go easy on me folks, as I'm still quite new to the coffee scene.
Welcome to Coffee Snobs Lincoln.
Tell us a bit about the coffee beans your using, i.e. where purchased, how old, beans or pre ground?
Do you own a grinder?
I suspect the only way to check brew pressure is with gauge.
You say "The group head has been cleaned and descaled" yes, the group head does need cleaning, that is back flushing with Cafetto EVO or similar, the boiler may need descaling, was it done by your repair man?
Good luck with the machine.
Hi tofu, probably better to ask this in the machine specific threads but the simple answer is no easy/reliable way. Best off eliminating other options first like are you using fresh beans, grinding fine enough/with an appropraite grinder etc - a service/repairman might be able to tell you the pressure using a gauge or you can get your own, but to save $$$ I suggest eliminating as much before then.
Are you wanting to know pressure or temp at group?
If pressure check out this thread.
Where are you located mate? I could seing by and test with my pressure gauge.
Thanks for the welcome folks.
I am using coffee beans purchased from Coffee Hit in Garden City, Mount Gravatt, QLD. The batch I purchased was dated 12/5, so it's still nice and fresh. I am currently using a krups GVX2 grinder, which I have followed the online mod and removed the plastic limiting nub to allow a more finer grind. It's rather basic I know, and I'm saving up for a mazza mini or something similar in the future. The machine is connected to a water tank instead of being plumbed in, although the repairman has advised that this shouldn't affect the machines operation. That pretty much sums up the current setup Am just taking a wild guess here that since the repairman wasn't able to confirm the brew pressure when he serviced the machine, that it might have something to do with that.
Hey Bosco I'm in the Wishart area, PM me if you're nearby and are interested in looking at the machine.
Originally Posted by bosco
'water coming out like a shower' this sounds normal. the shot coming out without crema may indicate that the grind is too coarse (if it's pouring out very quickly), and the burnt taste can indicate that your brew water is too hot and is extracting bitter and acrid compounds from your coffee. since the A1 is a heat exchanger, it may need to be calibrated (though i would think your repairman would have done that). failing that, look up 'hx cooling flush'.
Sorry, didn't realize you were in sunny Queensland. It is a bit of a drive from Melbourne.
I do know a really good coffee tech in qld, if you find yourself in need of a bit of professional assistance.
Otherwise, keep going through the options of what could be wrong. This sute is full of info. Search button is your best friend.
Good luck with it mate.
All good Bosco. Thanks for the info Woodhouse, I did some reading on the cooling flush. Sure enough, on the first run of water down the grouphead without a portafilter no water came out, only hot steam. After about 5 seconds or so, the steam settled and thena nice steady stream of water. The shot I made this time came out a lot better. Just has a small layer of crema, but no burnt smell or taste like before.
Hi Tofu, I have a pressure gauge you can borrow if you still need one. PM me if you need it. I also have a Boema so can help with any information you need.
Originally Posted by mcudogs
Update: issue is finally fixed. Turns out the pump pressure was too low. Once that was turned up, crema was flowing out. Heaps of it. I also got my hands on a mazza grinder, so things are working out well :-)
Originally Posted by mcudogs
@MCUDOGS: could you please tell me what pressure you set for the boiler (the guage that shows on the front of the machine.) Mine is set on the middle of the red area although the coffee is coming out slightly burnt so I'm thinking perhaps its set too high?
Are you using a cooling flush? With heat exchangers the water temperature at the group will change depending on when the last time you pulled a shot. If the machine has been standing for a while I usually just run water through the head for 20 seconds, wait 30 seconds then pull the shot. I've also got a small digital temperature gauge attached to the top of the heat exchanger loop to give me a constant temperature to start with. You can control that temperature by running water through the group.
Yes I'm running the flush every time. I may have let it sit a little too long after, maybe 1 minute or so as the heating light always comes on flushing.