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Thread: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,

    Very new to this and hoping someone might be able to assist with the problems I am experiencing with my new Sunbeam EM6910.

    I previously had a Sunbeam EM3800C which I managed to produce very good shots and the milk was ok but required a lot of work to get it right. The pump blew up 7 days after the 12 month warranty ran out. I rang Sunbeam and they said first take it to the Service Agent in Albion QLD who will look at it from there but they would honour the warranty based on it being so close to the date.

    Sparkys in Albion took 2 weeks to look at the machine then said the pump had blown and Sunbeam agreed to replace the machine at no charge. I waited another 2 weeks for the machine to arrive.

    I was getting cranky at not having coffee, so decided after doing a fair amount of research to upgrage to the Sunbeam EM6910. I extended the warranty up to 5 years at The Good Guys and paid $726 all up.

    Got the machine home and after unpacking and following the instructions carefully, cleaning and preparing I ran my first shot. The coffee was freshly ground by the lovely girls at Merlo Bowen Hills and they suggested the EM6910 required a girnd of 4.0 on their scale.

    The first shot was jet black from start to finish, with no crema and came out way too fast for my liking and nothing like the DVD, showing the illustrious dripping warm honey looking coffee I was expecting.

    I went back to Merlo and told them of my issue and they gave me a series of of different grinds ranging from the original one to finer grinds.

    One of the grinds extraxted an average shot but nothing I would say was ok, but very much more drinkable than the previous ones. I continued and adjusted my tamping and dosages and got no reward.

    Every time the coffee extracts in a fast trickle that resembles Nescafe 43 and hot water, sometimes a crema is produced. Over this time I must admit that I have not paid a great deal of attention to the gauge but rather timing the shot to no more than 25 seconds.

    So, I went to Merlo and took the machine there. They said there was an issue with the pressure and after taking many different attempts to adjust grind/tamp/dose etc etc they said take it back to the Good Guys and get it swapped over. So I took it back. The Goods Guys in Lutwyche were great about the problem but said I needed to get Sunbeam to agree it was a fault and then they would swap it over.

    I rang Sunbeam from The Good Guys and after 27.32 seconds on hold I got through to their Customer Service. After another 13 mins of talking to the consultant they insisted that Merlo were wrong and it did not need to go to the Service Centre in Albion but rather they would send me "their Coffee". Fourt days later a packet arrives in the mail. "Belaroma Classic Espresso, recommended by Sunbeam".

    Needless to say I tried to keep the frame of mind that maybe I was in the wrong and gave it a try. Well it produce3d some crema but also came out the same as before and very fast. So I adjusted tamp/dose etc and then on the 3rd attempt nothing came out. The machine made noise but nothing came out in the extraction. I stopped it, removed the group head, and started it again and water ran through no problems although it just looks as if (as it always has) that the water is not flowing right). Tried the coffee again and nothing. It started working on the next attempt but alas back to jet black fast flowing extraction.

    I am using the single floor basket and the coffee is freshly ground straight from Merlo. The milk is good and I make my 3 yo boy baby chinos and hot chocolate. Its evern useful for the guy next door whoss milk frother is broken so he comes knocking when he needs rich textured milk.

    But really this is not what my machine is for. I want the coffee to be coming out like in the demo DVD, like warm honey and resiting back up. I am nearly at the point where I want my money back and will save for a Giotto or something along those lines.

    So guys, I am in your hands. What am I doing wrong? Is it the machine or is it me?

    Apologies for the long rant but thats my coffee story so far. Hopefully someone cane help me in the right direction.

    cheers

    Basilbrush

  2. #2
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Basil,

    Firstly, welcome aboard!

    Crema or its lack is generally indicative of the bean and grind freshness. Your old machine likely had a pressurised portafilter that fakes crema.

    The 6910 is certainly able to produce some good shots, when paired with a suitable grinder and fresh coffee. Im sorry to say that without a grinder you are unlikely to produce a good shot.

    Grant

  3. #3
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Hi Basilbrush and welcome,

    It is the coffee that is your problem.
    More specifically, it is because the coffee is pre-ground.

    You need to consider purchasing a grinder.

    One saying you might see a bit around here is the rule of 3s.
    Green beans are best used within 3 years
    Roasted coffee is good for around 3 weeks
    Ground coffee is good for about 3 minutes.

    Dont care how fresh the Merlo beans might be, it is all for nought if you are not grinding them yourself.

    I seriously urge you to get a grinder and purchase whole beans.

    Brett.

  4. #4
    A_M
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F786D7B76604628202020190 link=1244876992/2#2 date=1244880083
    Hi Basilbrush and welcome,

    It is the coffee that is your problem.
    More specifically, it is because the coffee is pre-ground.

    You need to consider purchasing a grinder.

    One saying you might see a bit around here is the rule of 3s.
    Green beans are best used within 3 years
    Roasted coffee is good for around 3 weeks
    Ground coffee is good for about 3 minutes.

    Dont care how fresh the Merlo beans might be, it is all for nought if you are not grinding them yourself.

    I seriously urge you to get a grinder and purchase whole beans.

    Brett.
    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by 57707A7228202E2A190 link=1244876992/0#0 date=1244876992
    Very new to this and hoping someone might be able to assist with the problems I am experiencing with my new Sunbeam EM6910.

    I fully agree with Brett, and would suggest that if your close enough to go to Merlo at Albion... Then drop in to Di Bella as they are a CS sponsor..

    Further more it sound like you on the North side :-) I am at Wooloowin and more than willing to offer assistance or you can bring you unit around here and you can watch and learn at the same time..

    My experience is that many do not understand teh EM6910 and this goes for some Roasters as well as many of the Sales people... It may be a general whitegoods type of appliance, but behaves a little more like a commercial machine..

    PM me... If you wish to obtain further assistance..

    AM

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Hey BasilBrush,

    AngerManagement is a wealth of knowledge on these forums, particularly when it comes to the EM6910. Youd do well to look up a lot of his previous posts. Id also second his recommendation of taking your machine around to Di Bella or taking him up on his offer.

    -ACog

  6. #6
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 33313D35353B3C21520 link=1244876992/4#4 date=1244884340
    Hey BasilBrush,

    AngerManagement is a wealth of knowledge on these forums, particularly when it comes to the EM6910. Youd do well to look up a lot of his previous posts. Id also second his recommendation of taking your machine around to Di Bella or taking him up on his offer.

    -ACog
    Thanks ACog... Drooped you a call last week.... :-( Did not get a reply... So assumed you were busy...

    Only good coffee I got was from teh commune near the Peter Mac research center... Di Bella coffee and lots of branding.. BUT GOOD :-)

    Now back on Topic...

    Basilbrush - Sunday may be a bit short notice... But drop me a PM with the best times and I can work something out...

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D424B495E614D424D4B49414942582C0 link=1244876992/5#5 date=1244884657
    Thanks ACog...Drooped you a call last week.... Sad Did not get a reply... So assumed you were busy...

    Aah, you beat me to it, I was just replying.

    Back OT...

  8. #8
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Basil take AM up on his offer.
    If coffee is coming out then the machine seems to be fine.

    Merlo may not be the experts you are looking for in dealing with a 6910.

    And do get your own grinder, for in the long run you wont ghet good coffee without one.
    Even if Merlo find the right grind setting for your machine, by the time you get the coffee home it will already be stale.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your posts and advice. As I said to AM, very happy to receive constructive criticism and learn more.

    Have taken AM up on his offer as, conveniently looks like he is just a few blocks away, well something like that.

    Anyway, glad I am learning more.

    Hope to be a snob in a few years, fingers crossed.

    cheers

    Basilbrush

  10. #10
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 193E343C666E6064570 link=1244876992/8#8 date=1244893356
    Hope to be a snob in a few years
    It wont take anywhere near that long.
    You are showing signs already.

  11. #11
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Now just need to take your advice and research a grinder.

    I am taking it that a Rancilio Rocky is ok from some of the info I have read so far?

  12. #12
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Yep.

  13. #13
    A_M
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 446369613B333D390A0 link=1244876992/8#8 date=1244893356
    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your posts and advice. As I said to AM, very happy to receive constructive criticism and learn more.

    Have taken AM up on his offer as, conveniently looks like he is just a few blocks away, well something like that.

    Anyway, glad I am learning more.

    Hope to be a snob in a few years, fingers crossed.

    cheers

    Basilbrush

    Basil is going off to get FRESH Beans... Availability Grinder has been RECOMMENDED...

    Machine was clean and NEW... New hot water tip spotted as well as a new style Red warning system for the drip tray..

    Would have loved to have a CLOSER LOOK at some of the other hardware.

    1: Lots of pre ground coffee :-( Tins and zip locked bags in the fridge :-( of different grind sizes...

    2: On inspection / smell / feel and some testing - All STALE :-(

    However we dod a few shots and teh Sweet spot is at about 11:30..... 8-)

    A: Single floor baskets now in use.
    B: Demonstrated how the surface tares is disrupted when twisting teh SB tamp with a find grind... Recommended a polish of teh SB tamp as a start... After obtaining a grinder to then look at upgrading the tamp.
    C: Ran a few shots with the Stale coffee to demonstrate the Dosing level and affect of teh diferent grinds etc.

    Machine runs well and could get good clean pucks with a hit of teh screen and no channeling etc. On breaking them up, they looked good... However the dirty dish water was a clear indicator as to the quality of teh ground beans... :o :o

    Mr Basilbrush is off to do his SB training this week so it will all be good. ;) :D

    PS. It realy did demonstrate to me once again the importance of FRESH beans... This fact can not be understated; but appears to be hard to get across to new users.. As well as the people selling beans and appliances.

    PPS. I guess having my own roaster or two and access to good quality beans / suppliers.. One assumes that other also do.. ;)


  14. #14
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to post a big thanks to AngerManagement.

    He came round in his own time on a sunday and I learnt a lot to say the least.

    In the past the preground coffee has worked fine with my Sunbeam EM3800, but as AM explained with the dual floor in the basket its crap and oil etc that builds up that produces this "fake" crema.

    I think one of the important lessons I learnt out of the exercise was that it was very easy to blame the machine rather than the user. At the time of my original post outlining the problem, I was 80% sure that it was the machine playing up. But I am really happy to learn it was me and the coffee I was using.

    This in turn has given me a greater appreciation for the machine, coffee and its storage.

    I also wanted to say thanks to the other people here who:

    1. Made me feel welcome from the start.
    2. Were more than happy to offer advice.
    3. Were happy to offer a hands on service.

    I have not had the chance to get the grinder yet, but think I will settle for the Sunbeam EM0480. My faith in SUnbeam has been restored. I will purchase some fresh beans from Di Bella once I have the grinder but wont be storing them in the fridge.

    AM, you will be pleased to know I took your advice about all the stale coffee and gave it to my father in law for his compost heap. See guys good advice all round.

    Off to do the Sunbeam course on Sat morning and will continue to update with other posts as I continue to learn more.

    PS - Hope one day to be able to tell which side of the mountain the bean was grown on from its tatse (thanks AM)

    cheers

    Basilbrush



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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Great news Basilbrush. Have fun at the course and we all look forward to you posting in the Latte art and Pour art sections in coming months :)

    I propose this thread becomes a sticky we point newbies to. I think this thread has a lot of lessons packed in to one thread that I took days of reading various threads and months of real life lessons to learn when my post count was less than 10.

    -ACog


  16. #16
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Seconded ACog

    It will save a lot of people a lot of time.

    Oh, and AM - Good on you mate, well done. [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Good work all around, especially AM.

    Basilbrush, kudos to you for sticking with it and taking the help on offer. Im sure one day you will repay that sort of favour to someone new to it all. ;)

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    All Hail......long live the EM6910 ;D

  19. #19
    joh
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Hi all, Im resurrecting this topic in the hope of some assistance. Ive searched to try and find an answer to my question before posting but didnt have any luck.

    I bought myself a SB6910 and EMO450 grinder yesterday. I have fresh beans (Morgans, roasted five days ago). I read the instruction manual, watched the DVD and read CS. Feeling ready to go, I set everything up and... nothing. First and second try I got a tiny dribble. Subsequent tries - nothing came out. I tried different grinds (from 11 through to 18), tried swapping to the single basket, different tamp pressure - nothing.

    The pressure gauge goes up about three-quarters.

    What am I doing wrong? Ive just wasted a whole lot of really good coffee!!

    Thanks in advance for any advice. As I said, I have looked for an answer before posting but couldnt find one.

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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 5752553D0 link=1244876992/18#18 date=1257503039
    I read the instruction manual
    Did you run water through the head before attempting to extract espresso as instructed in the manual?

    When I did this, it took a few cycles to get any water through the head the first time.

  21. #21
    A_M
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 2326292E222B6A342629470 link=1244876992/19#19 date=1257503529
    Quote Originally Posted by 5752553D0 link=1244876992/18#18 date=1257503039
    I read the instruction manual
    Did you run water through the head before attempting to extract espresso as instructed in the manual?

    When I did this, it took a few cycles to get any water through the head the first time.
    Agree..

    Also make sure your tank is firmly seated and that you can run hot water and steam..

    Then try a shot.

    Note:

    Grind size / Tamp / and Dose level will all impact...

    If ya gauge is going 3/4 ie about 2 to 3 oclock... Then you choking and either

    1: Too fine a grind, over dosing and or over tamping..

    Take it slow and work up to it...

    So where are you located ih8toast, as it does sound like a PEBFAG

    Also do a search and follow the instructions as set out in the CS Search sticky.



  22. #22
    joh
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Yep - I ran the water through first. No worries there. Also no problem running water in between trying to pull the shots. Pucks arent watery when they come out and all but one of them came out easily.

    AM - Im in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

    Ill start again and slowly adjust the grind, tamp and dose. Should I start with a really coarse grind and a lighter pressure in my tamp?

    Meanwhile, Ill continue reading CS. And sign up for the SB course ;)

    Thanks.

  23. #23
    A_M
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 434641290 link=1244876992/21#21 date=1257505930
    Yep - I ran the water through first. No worries there. Also no problem running water in between trying to pull the shots. Pucks arent watery when they come out and all but one of them came out easily.

    AM - Im in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

    Ill start again and slowly adjust the grind, tamp and dose. Should I start with a really coarse grind and a lighter pressure in my tamp?

    Meanwhile, Ill continue reading CS. And sign up for the SB course *;)

    Thanks.
    BM bugger

    Section 4 as to using search... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1257241858

    1: Grind should be about fine salt... Not sugar and not corn flower..

    2: That should mean a reasonable tamp.. 10 - 15 kg... Do it on bath room scales... Not as heavy as you might first think

    3: Search and do the 5 cent piece test - dosing level

    4: Search and do the SB sweet spot check..

    With that info... You should not take long to get in teh ball park and get a reasonable shot..

    From there on in it is understanding what coffee is about and the interaction between every little variable... *

    It is only then that you will appreciate a GOOD barista and also understand why there is *so many crap coffees being served up *;D

    Take care and enjoy teh ride.. It will get bumpy at times *:D

  24. #24
    joh
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 517E7775625D717E7177757D757E64100 link=1244876992/22#22 date=1257507879


    It is only then that you will appreciate a GOOD barista and also understand why there is [ch65533]so many crap coffees being served up [ch65533];D
    I know - Ive already said Ill never criticise another barista again!

    Thanks for your help - Ill read up on all those things you recommended.

  25. #25
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 5154533B0 link=1244876992/23#23 date=1257508308
    Quote Originally Posted by 517E7775625D717E7177757D757E64100 link=1244876992/22#22 date=1257507879


    It is only then that you will appreciate a GOOD barista and also understand why there is [ch65533]so many crap coffees being served up [ch65533];D
    I know - Ive already said Ill never criticise another barista again!

    Thanks for your help - Ill read up on all those things you recommended.

    No... many deserver to be chatted to... They give the good ones a bad name..

    The trick is to make sure the good ones are recognised and thanked...

  26. #26
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F7A7D150 link=1244876992/21#21 date=1257505930
    Should I start with a really coarse grind and a lighter pressure in my tamp?
    Yes.

    It looks to me like the grind is too fine.

    If a really course grind lets the water flow through, start adjusting towards finer.

  27. #27
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    Re: Sunbeam EM6910 Probelms

    Quote Originally Posted by 3D383F570 link=1244876992/21#21 date=1257505930

    AM - Im in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

    Hey ih8toast,

    Agree with everyones comments thus far re grind, tamp etc.

    A bit of a hike, but we are in Kellyville and have the same setup as you have just purchased.

    Maybe drop in with your grinder and see if we can dial it in for you, alongside ours.

    Overall the numbers are pretty meaningless but it may get you off in the right direction.

    PM me, door is open.

    Chris





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