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Thread: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

  1. #1
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    inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,
    Ive had my Sunbeam EM6910 + EM480 for almost two years now.
    I am happy with this setup when I have fresh bean.
    Thinking about upgrade a bit, then give up due to may leave Australia in half an year.
    I still keep reading different information of espresso, try to increase my knowledge of coffee.
    Lately, read a article about the inconsistent pressure will affect the quality of pour.

    I know the pressure gauge of EM6910 was moving a bit when I pour my shot, and I thought it was normal for our machine or for my tamping skill.

    Until last week, I went to my boss BBQ and use his Rancilio Siliva.
    I found the speed of the pouring are very consistent, compared to my EM6910.

    Therefore, I wonder if the inconsistent pour speed is because my machine, or everyones EM6910 has similar issue when pouring.
    Or Rancilio Siliva is really better than EM6910 that much!!

    Cheers
    Colin

  2. #2
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Hi Colin,

    Must admit I dont look at the pressure gauge much, I watch the pour more and take my cues from that. But perhaps if you post a video I could compare and let you know what mines like?

  3. #3
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    when you say pour speed are you talking about the flow of espresso shot or are you talking about the pressure reading on the gauge?

    Both of these should be constant in my opinion. Usually you want the gauge to point straight up or slightly to the left (12 - 2 oclock) and the shot should flow consistently for 20-30 seconds until the colour runs clear.

    If you are talking about the flow of espresso increasing and decreasing (sort of like surging) then you may be over filling the basket or over tamping. Do a search and make sure you are not over filling, search for 5 cent test.

    This advice is assuming there are no mechanical faults with your machine, are there any abnormal sounds? Does it sound like your pump is struggling?

  4. #4
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    What grinder does your boss have? If he has a decent grinder, you may find this to be the biggest difference between your shots and his. The EM 0480 is not the most consistent grinder around (not surprising, considering its cost). You may find it worthwhile to upgrade to a better grinder. I did, and my shots flow very consistently.

  5. #5
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Thanks Pete & Tommy,

    My situation is the flowing speed of my shot fluctuated during one processing.
    My tamping might not be great, but when I use my boss Silvia, it was fine.
    I have read relative info in this forum, so I got the 5 cent rule already (might not be the same all the time tho)
    Thats why I conclude my machine has some problem.

    I did not notice that until after the yasi cyclone impact here (Townsville).
    I wonder if because the power off and on kind of damage the pump a bit.

    I bought it second hand from eBay, its almost 5 years now (include previous owner and myself).
    Does that mean it close to the end of its longevity?

    Wonder how much it will cost me by repair/replace the pump.
    If I can do it myself may save me a lot of money...

    Cheers
    Colin

  6. #6
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Quote Originally Posted by 292229313A277D7F480 link=1305413811/3#3 date=1305516694
    What grinder does your boss have? If he has a decent grinder, you may find this to be the biggest difference between your shots and his. The EM 0480 is not the most consistent grinder around (not surprising, considering its cost). You may find it worthwhile to upgrade to a better grinder. I did, and my shots flow very consistently.
    I had EM480.
    Truth, I dont think its a decent grinder and the Silvia I operated in my boss is by Rancilio Rocky.
    Therefore, there are two main factors happening at the same time.
    So is there anyone here using EM480 and can have a consistent flow of espresso with EM6910??
    Of course, in my ability, I can not really tell the different taste by inconsistent flow shot and consistent flow shot.
    Just by seeing the amazing consistent show by Silvia, I start to think about what happen to my EM6910.
    Is the factory design is not great, or mine got faulty.


  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C40434641584A412F0 link=1305413811/5#5 date=1305521256
    So is there anyone here using EM480 and can have a consistent flow of espresso with EM6910??
    Yes.
    But I bought my grinder before they started having Quality Control problems requiring shims to correct grind settings.
    However if your 0480 grinds fine enough for the 6910 I doubt its a factor in your problem.

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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Impossible to comment on the question without seeing, however one thing is for sure, a dept store brand domestic esp machine bought second hand, that is almost 5 years old and running even if suspect, is good cause for the current owner to rush out and purchase a lottery ticket to celebrate your bucket full of good fortune! :)

    You need to consider that if you took it in to a repair shop to be professionally checked, would that cost more than the price of the second hand purchase? And if so would the money be better spent if it were instead put towards the purchase of a new machine?

    Just some food for thought, only you can answer ;)

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

  9. #9
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    The main suspects IMO would be channelling due to an inconsistent/clumpy grind, overdosing and/or too fine a grind.

    Assuming you’re doing all the obvious things (descaling, backflushing and generally keeping the machine clean; keeping the grinder hopper at least ¼ full*; sweeping out stale grinds from the grinder chute before dosing etc), there are a couple of things you could try to narrow down the problem:
    1. Run a ‘sweet spot’ test by running water through an empty portafilter with the dual floor/pressurised basket. This will tell you roughly where on your machine’s gauge reflects the correct pressure.
    2. Check your dose using the 5-cent test (a tamped dose with 5-cent piece on top, inserted then removed from the group should leave a slight impression on the top of the puck). This is the maximum dose you should use.
    3. Compare how close your typical shot comes to the ‘sweet spot’– if it’s much further to the right that’s probably your problem, though personally I find I need to go a bit higher to get a decent shot from my Synesso double basket.
    4. Once you’re close to the mark, try varying your grind/dose/distribution/tamp routine – e.g. grind a bit coarser but updose slightly; lower the dose and reduce your tamp pressure slightly etc to keep to about the same pressure and extraction time.
    5. Check your pucks – if they’re watery and sloppy you’re probably grinding too fine; also look for bubbles or holes which indicate channelling. I think it’s pretty hard to eliminate this with the Sunbeam grinder.

    *I’ve stopped only putting a single dose into the EM0480 hopper as I think this makes the grind inconsistency worse – I half fill it then pour the unused beans back into the bag.

  10. #10
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Thanks for alls reply.

    @Thundergod
    I believer the EM480 can grind pretty fine, if I switch to finest (0), the whole coffee can block the pouring.

    @Fresh_Coffee
    Truth. Good espresso always come from a decent (or at least acceptable) level machine.
    I know once I finish my degree and get a job, I will upgrade to next level.
    But so far, have to stick to the 2nd hand, domestic made machine, pretty sad.

    Dont think there will be a professional repairman here (Townsville), or I may need to learn some DIY thing by myself even.

    @ m@

    Thanks for your detail introduction and explanation.
    Few of them, I have read from this forum, but still thanks heeps.
    One fact is the way I am doing with my EM6910/Em480 is the same I was doing with my boss Rancilio Silvia/Rocky.
    Of course, I can understand each machine need to adjust the pouring way a bit.
    But I believe the amount of coffee and tamping pressure wont be the huge issue.

    I dont know if the EM480 doesnt do the good job (ie. the size is not consistent) will lead to a fluctuant pouring or not?
    As I can remember before I get the EM480, I even use the blade grinder for few days.
    The inconsistent finess of the coffee actually make the pouring fast, I recall it right.

    From everyones suggestion here, I may say the fluctuant pouring may come from a old pump when I have a bit overdose/over fine tamping.

    Next step, I will try to bring the grinder to try others machine and borrow the Rocky to try my EM6910 to narrow down the potential problem.

    Cheers
    Colin

  11. #11
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Went to source the pump when I feel something wrong with my pump, end up get contact with AM.
    Then there is a happy ending.

    AM (anger managerment) aka "EM6910 guru" sent me PM for further help to determine the problem.
    After few email back and forward, he strongly recommend I need to unscrew the shower screen to check the condition.
    Although I back flush my shower screen every now and then with the coffee cleaner, he suggest the screen maybe blocked and result the pump struggling.

    Last night, I unscrew them and found they are so dirty!!!
    Frequent back flush obviously does not enough to keep the screen clean.
    I did a proper cleaning* job last night and soak screen in the cleaner.
    This morning the pump does not struggle anymore.

    Here I want to thanks AM personally for his huge help.
    We never meet each other before, and he never gets any benefit from helping me.
    Even I had a small argument with him when I just register here (I hope he either did not remember or forgave me).
    So bad, he wont be here as often as before by some reason I am not familiar with.
    Its CSs lost tho.

    Again many thanks for every peoples help here and especially AM.
    My EM6910 is back to live again!!

    Colin

  12. #12
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Great news!!! Very happy for you - happy coffee ;D

  13. #13
    TC
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    Re: inconsistent pressure of EM6910?

    Hello Colin,

    Excellent news that youre up and running again*and can get back to the coffee. [smiley=thumbup.gif]

    angry manager is no longer active in CS, so you will need to search him out elsewhere if you wish to thank him. Its also preferable that you dont cross post the same response in multiple forum areas. Once is plenty ;)



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