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Thread: ECM Technika V - Weak steam pressure

  1. #1
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    Unhappy ECM Technika V - Weak steam pressure

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys - new to forum and need setup advice for my new machine.

    I recently upgraded to the ECM Technika V Profi PID and I'm a little disappointed with the steam pressure. This is me comparing to my previous machine which was the Brugnetti Viola which was a much cheaper machine.
    Straight out of the box the streaming temp for the ECM is pre-set to 120C. (Extraction temp at the brew group = 93.4C and sitting 1.0 bar). With the factory setting, takes way too long to steam milk in comparison to my old machine. Even after turning it up a few degrees I still found the pressure be quite weak Im not getting a nice whirlpool/microfoam. The instruction manual recommends placing steam tip in middle of the pitcher, Im not having much luck by doing this.
    Any advice/tips from other ECM owners? Has anyone else found that the steam pressure on the ECM Technika / Mechanika to be mediocre?

    Ive read on this forum that another owner had done a $250 modification to his Technika IV. He had a thermosyphon restrictor put in, meaning the steam pressure can be higher (sits at 1.4 bar over the stock 1.2) while the brew temperature is still ideal.
    I was wondering if this might be necessary to the ECM machines. (I really dont want to spend another $250, wife will kill me I had a laugh) Still need to get a need to get a plumber out to my place to create a new water line for the machine.
    Last edited by Pete7; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Welcome Pete7...

    Steam boiler set at 120C is a bit low in my experience.
    Try adjusting the PID setting for Steam up to 130C, where it should be able to produce loads of quality, dry steam...

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Welcome Pete7...

    Steam boiler set at 120C is a bit low in my experience.
    Try adjusting the PID setting for Steam up to 130C, where it should be able to produce loads of quality, dry steam...

    Mal.
    Thanks Dimal, my PID maxes out at 128C. But this will also mean the extraction temp at the brew group would be at 100C.


  4. #4
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
    Any advice/tips from other ECM owners? Has anyone else found that the steam pressure on the ECM Technika / Mechanika to be mediocre?
    .
    I have the mechanika running at 1.1 BAR produces lovely microfoam. I have read other Technika IV users replacing the steam tip with a 4 hole tip with good results??

    Having said that, and noting the manual states clearly set the temp @120, I wonder if there is something else going on that's causing the low pressure??
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  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Ah, sorry. I didn't realise that this was a HX machine...
    Yes, it sounds like the t/syphon gicleur needs to be reduced in size to accommodate a more realistic PID setting. 128C should be Ok, mentioned 130C since it's a nice round number...

    Mal.
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  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Having said that, and noting the manual states clearly set the temp @120
    Hmmm, that temperature is definitely at the low end of what I would consider reasonable. Maybe this setup has been idealised for a region other than Australia.

    Yes, playing around with alternative Steam Wand Tips is a worthwhile thing to try but only goes to further indicate that the setup hasn't been optimised for our conditions, in my opinion.

    Mal.
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  7. #7
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    Hi Pete. i'm a new owner of the same machine & experienced the same disappointment. Fortunately the solution is simple. Contact your supplier for the 4 hole steam wand tip. Done. Different as chalk & cheese to the supplied 2 hole steam wand tip. the 4 hole tip has BIGGER holes as well as double the number. Not only that, the 2 holes are adjacent & make swirling difficult where the 4 is much easier.
    Also found that adding a little full fat milk to Trim milk made life easier.
    My supplier not only supplied the replacement tip in short order but gave feedback to ECM directly when at a coffee show in Italy recently [that the supplied two hole tip is daft].
    Re group head temp from PID setting... while there is a direct correlation between PID setting & group head temp, this is not a constant during brewing. I have just installed the Coffee Sensor today & it is a revelation. Still have soooo much to learn but initial impressions are that if you want an average of, say, 94.5 then you might need to set the PID to 127 so that the water starts out higher but goes below the ideal. Very early days....thank goodness for this forum & its contributors!!
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the responses guys!

    Looks like I'm off to my supplier to get a 4 hole wand tip! I'll let you all know how I go once I swap over to the new wand tip.
    Glad to find out that this is an easy fix
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