Post By burr
Post By TC
Post By saywhat
Post By JetBlack_Espresso
Post By Yelta
Post By TC
Post By chokkidog
Post By chokkidog
Post By Steve82
Get rid of ECM giotto? Help!
First post here guys but have been reading for a while.
So, after attending the aroma festival in sydney a few weeks ago I made an impulse buy on gumtree. My em6910 pump was playing up so I thought instead of fixing that I would just look to see what was around.
Ended up with an ecm giotto that I found on gumtree for $600 which was already stretching the budget.
I completely dismantled it and citric acid bathed the boiler and associated pipes along with mushroom nut. There was some scale in there but not too bad I thought.
Pressurestat was playing up so replaced that.
Every shot I pulled on it had thin crema no matter what, horrible watery taste too. The pump didn't have a nice quiet hum when extracting so I dismantled that and cleaned it,put it back in and there was an improvement but only minor.
Ordered a new pump and put that in yesterday and now there is a definite improvement in taste, however, still thin crema.
So this is the problem now, prior to the new pump and pstat there was some hissing/flash boiling once heated, but now there's only about 1 second of hissing and then nothing. So now I'm thinking the temp is too low.
So I need some advice! I'm pretty tired of it and don't want to put too much money into this as it was a stretch already.
Could it be a heating element problem? It seemed to boil alright before the pump change.
I'm thinking of just selling it as I've had enough but thought I'd see if anyone has some ideas?
Btw, grinder is a mazzer mini, fresh beans weighed to a tenth of a gram.
Yeah your giotto is completely stuffed. You should sell it to me for $50 ;-)
Nah just kidding. Ok, a few things:
Dose: your em6910 would have loved a nice high dose because the shower screen was way high. If you're dosing the same into the giotto you'll be in a world of channelling (where the water finds a crack in the puck and shoots through there instead of going through all the coffee picking up yums along the way)
Your dose should be just below the notch in the basket. I'd love to give you a weight as to how much you should put in, but it all depends on what size baskets you're running with. See photo below for approximate volume post tamp (may even be a touch high in this photo):
Also, do the 5c test to check as well. Search for it here
Can you grind fine enough to choke the machine on the sort of dose described?
Steam boiler: Once it's been on for 20 minutes or more, what does the steam boiler pressure sit at? It should sit around 1.1-1.2bar. You said you put a new pstat in yeah? If so, your boiler pressure may well be different now to before which is probably what is causing not as much flash boiling of the group. BUT if it's getting to 1.1ish bar, then this should be fine.
Brew temp: If you're getting any flash boiling from the group, the brew water is definitely hot enough. Technically too hot.
It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds and then brew as that should be about the right brew temp.
But do this test... Try purging for about 5 seconds past the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds, and then do a 2 second purge. Do you get any flash boiling after 30 seconds?
If no, wait another minute and do another 2 second purge to check for flashing.
If no, wait 1:30, purge for 2 seconds, and so on.
It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, then wait for about 3 minutes and you should start to get a little bit of flash boiling again.
But brew temp definitely hot enough. If you're not purging for a bit after the hissing stops, you'll be burning your coffee and this could account for the bad taste.
Brew Pressure: This could be where the problem lies. When you said you pulled everything apart, you would have seen a part like the one in the photo:
Did you disassemble and descale this? If so, when you screwed it back together, you may have done it back up either too tight or too loose, producing pressure that is either too high (if too tight) or too low (if too loose), and this could well result in thin watery bad tasting coffee. If you didn't disassemble, you could well still be brewing too high or too low.
Only solution really is to get a pressure gauge. You can borrow one here - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...auge-road.html
E61 group: Did you descale this? It would likely have scale inside it too, that the naked eye can't see. You need to run descaler through the machine to get it into the head.
Did you try making espresso before you did the work to get a benchmark or starting point?
What is the manometer reading when at temp? I'm guessing you are getting the usual 30ml between 25 to 30 seconds? I definitely prefer a vibe pump sound compared to the thermoblock sound. If you want quiet go a machine with a rotary pump.
What is "fresh beans"? My rocket Giotto gives me all crema from pulling 30ml and then settles to 1/3 crema for up to a 2 week roast. Do you notice any water escaping from the group head around the portafilter? When I got my bargain Giotto and pulled the first shot I could not understand the watery shots and on closer look realised hot water was actually travelling outside and under the portafilter making it look like a shot but in fact the group seal was well and trully brittle and I was mostly bypassing the basket and putting just hot water into my cup with some coffee = watery shot with no crema.
Great advice above - I would also add do a GOOD chemical backflush. When I got my E61 I wondered why the first few shots were terrible given that water backflushes came out clean, then I put some cafetto through it and saw a whole lotta gunk come out... including a couple of ants! How the hell did they get in there?
Congrats though, I'm sure you won't regret the purchase down the road. $600 is a sweet price for a Giotto.
Originally Posted by Bames
Wow, thanks everyone so much for the informative and helpful replies, especially bames!
Dose: I'm using a 15g VST basket and weigh out just under 16g. Here is what it looks like after tamped and after the 5c test. (Btw please let me know if these photos don't show, it's my first try)
Maybe a little bit high?
Steam boiler: Prior to the new pstat the gauge sat quite high, just under 1.5. It would constantly play up, I'd take water from the hot water wand until it was in the green zone 1-1.25 and then brew.
Currently with the new pstat I've got it so that it peaks at about 1.3 and then slowly it goes down to 1.1 and then pushes back up to 1.3 (dead band?). There is a bit of hissing going on, is this normal? I've read maybe the anti-vac valve.
Brew temp: I did the 5 second purge after flash boil then waited three minutes. After three minutes there was a little bit of flash boil again. So that sounds good!
Brew pressure: I thought this might be quite likely the problem which is why I changed the pump.
Yes I did take the OPV off, and descaled it, and then..........put it back on as tight as I could!!
Can the OPV be taken apart because I just took it off soaked it in some citric acid and then put it back on.
I will contact Greg, that is really great.
E61 group: Apart from taking the mushroom nut out and soaking that, I blocked the shower screen and filled the chamber up with citric acid. I will run descale through the whole machine assembled.
Yes I pulled some shots before and they were horrible as a benchmark.
So.......I loosened the OPV tonight seeing as it was so tight and pulled some shots. Definite improvement. Loosened it some more and even better!! I will have to measure the pressure though, I just don't know where I stand.
Something that I did omit from the original post, I've never seen this before but when extracting on some shots it looks good at the beginning and then there are some really large bubbles that come out and roll down the two spouts. Any ideas?
Saoye, I have replaced the group head seal because it was hard as a rock! There is no water escaping, it's nice and tight!
Beans were roasted on 30.7 so nearly finished but I was pulling shots a few days ago and there was very thin crema and bad taste. I used to get more from the old sunbeam.
Burr, I used a couple of the sunbeam backflush tablets on it. First one the water that came out was so brown it was gross! Second came out clean. You think more backflushing? I don't think the previous owner backflushed at all. When I asked her if she had she just stared at me blankly and you should've seen the gunk in the shower screen. Water was spraying out it was that blocked up!
Last edited by Javaphile; 16th August 2014 at 03:32 PM.
1.5 is way too high! 1.3 is ok but 1.1 to 1.2 is what works for me. hissing is the anti-vac but should not be that noticeable. May mean there's something not allowing it to seal. I'm not sure how great the sunbeam backflush tablets are but for the Giotto grab 500g of cafetto espresso clean which will last you a lifetime since you'd only use it occasionally and less than 1/4 teaspoon each session.
Originally Posted by saywhat
Well, I've tried playing around with the OPV a bit but shots always seem to be the same. Just quite thin crema, very watery looking. I will wait for gregs pressure gauge and see how that turns out.
Just a question with the pump. When extracting with the sunbeam the pump would start quite loud and then once under pressure would quiet down to a nice hum.
With the giotto, it's quite noisy all the time and doesn't go down to a nice hum at all. Just constantly loud, is this ok? I just feel like maybe not enough pressure is forming.
Also, even though it's a brand new pressure stat every morning without fail it gets stuck! I have to move the screw everything to free it up otherwise it just keeps building pressure. Could I have put it in wrong? I must say I'm pretty disappointed with the quality of it. Just has a plastic screw!
I'm thinking of just taking it to a service centre, getting a bit fed up with it.
As a newbie I have an ECM Giotto Premium 2006, had a lot of teething problems related to pathetic servicing in Brisbane that I need to share in another post, so if you are in Brisbane IMHO there is only one place to take your machine and that's Bezzera Coffee located in Coopers Plains
How about a video to show what you mean in terms of sound and extraction.
Just found out we are moving next week. I have put the coffee machine away for now but am waiting for Greg Pullmans pressure gauge to arrive. I will let you all know how it goes, if there is still trouble I will post a video and get your feedback. Thanks so much for all your comments.
Originally Posted by Bames
Did you do that? and adjust back to coarser grind to get 60ml in 25-30s? from your 2nd picture I doubt it's little coarse. anyway waiting for your video
Ok, so we finally moved and got gregs pressure gauge, tested the machine and........ Pressure was exactly 9 bar!
So I figured if it's not pressure and it's definitely hot enough it must be me.
Shots were just really bitter all the time so I decided to flush longer and brew straight after. Wow! What a difference. I'm not sure if the machine is running hot, I have the pstat set to peak at 1.1, but I flush a whole cappuccino cup and then go straight away and it is much much better. There is more crema and no bitterness so that's great. I'm very happy with the result. I still need to play around more with how much time to wait after flushing.
Anybody have any suggestions as to how long to wait after flushing? I tried the 30 seconds before but the bitterness comes back.
I'm far from an expert but maybe a sponsor could install some restrictors in the hx setup for you so you don't have to do this massive flush. Try contacting Chris at talkcoffee sure he will know if it can be done and could help out if so.
So frustrating! Put some insulation on the boiler and gicar box and assembled the machine. Assembled the machine back together again and switched it on and the boiler pressure just keeps building once again.
So I turn the machine off, take the top off and adjust the pstat.
Now, when I turn the machine on the heating element kicks on and then one second later there is a click and it stops. Then the machine just sits there dead. I pull the lever and nothing happens. Anyone have any ideas??
You insulated the control board? Why??
My advice? You purchased your machine for the price of a Silvia. I think it might be a good idea to pay a competent tech who knows what he's doing to repair your machine.
In all likelihood, you need a control module and probably some other bits and possibly a rewire as well.
Sorry for the tough medicine!
Yeah I agree Chris, I thought I'd try to get by but now I'm way over my head. Anybody know a good tech in sydney? I'm in penrith and would prefer a mobile one if anyone can recommend a good one.
I suggest you can drop your machine to Charlie of JetBlack at Cremorne saving the courier fee & shipping risk, although its a 50 mins trip. much easier. (if you can pay, they will provide on-site service)
Originally Posted by saywhat
On site service sounds good especially if I have to travel that far. Has anyone used auspresso? They are in parramatta which is a bit closer and also repair machines.
As previously mentioned with my experience with my ECM Giotto I would strongly suggest that you ONLY use CS recommended repair/service companies, there are too many monkeys out there unfortunately in my case the work had to be redone plus some items weren't serviced at all !
So here's an update. Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
Got the machine back from jetblack and got them to do a calibration on it as it worked fine with them (I must have tripped something when working on it).
As a side note I was really disappointed with their service. I was quite surprised by this especially with the rave reviews here.
So the machine is fitted with a restrictor now so that brew temp is 95C.
How does this affect the cooling flush? I have been flushing a small amount, about the same amount for a double.
Also, I am having trouble getting the thick suspended in the air honey type espresso. If when I extract it runs fast I grind finer and it just seems to restrict the flow more instead of thicken up. I've been endlessly playing with dosage and grind settings but doesn't seem to help.
I must say it has been a bigger learning curve than I expected going from the sunbeam to the giotto.
Here's a video of a shot I uploaded when I first got it back. Five senses beans roasted a week ago but I've had real trouble pulling a decent shot.
So what was wrong with the shot? Why did you need that massive cooling flush? If you want to judge an espresso shot would be better in an espresso glass.
The restrictor basically restrict the circulation of the super heated water in the e61 brew head so it doesn't get too hot and therefore no need for the cooling flush
Ok cool. I took that video when I first got the machine back so was still treating it like it was running hot.
I now give it a real quick flush and then go. Is it kind of like a tuned hx now? ie ECM technika
The crema dissipated very quickly on that shot. But things have improved since that video as I have a better feel for the machine now.
Just wanted to see if there was anything majorly out with my method too.
I too have been disappointed with their service twice, they won't get a third time. It's a shame. Coffeeparts is in sydney too as well as dibartoli. Both have been great in the past if you need something next time try one of them.
Personally I would grind a little finer and tamp lighter but your crema from what I could see was fine. Next time do it into a shot glass to see how much crema.
Yeah I certainly won't go back to jetblack. I will use a shot glass next time, I need to get another one. Thanks for the help saoye.
I'm sorry to hear that saywhat. I'd like to follow that up with you - PM sent.
Originally Posted by saywhat
Naming a company as being a poor service provider in an open forum is very poor form, the appropriate action would have been to take it up with them via a phone call or PM.
Being on the other end of the relationship, I feel for Charlie.
Best option is face to face. If not a phone call. It's in the interest of all sponsors to get it right because CS members are a proportion of our marketing team.
It's a shame when an issue is taken to an open forum first.
Having watched the video:
- Massive cooling flush- not required. It why you had a restrictor fitted
- No consistency whatsoever in dose method, average distribution at best and firm polish. I'd suspect that the use of a naked would show significant channelling.
- Five Senses coffee- probably very light roast. Not a personal favourite, but horses for courses. You will need a much tighter pour to get much from it.
In conclusion, I suspect that the tradie is blaming the tools....It's time for some quality training.
Were you getting um.."thick suspended in the air honey type espresso" with the same bean, on your previous machine?
Originally Posted by saywhat
Body relates to roast and roast age as well as bean/blend. The crema looks quite pale, was the shot sour?
Agree with the above two posts re going public.
Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee
If that was a 220ml or so cup then that is a significant injection of cold water into your boiler just before you pull the shot.
Coffee will be thinner and more sour the cooler you go.
Originally Posted by saoye
You are still using 15g VST? In my experience a bit more finicky than the 18 / 20g variants.
Using a slightly lighter roast, grind finer and actually make sure your dose is bang on 15g, or grind even finer and and try 14 to 14.5g.
VST hates overdose = channeling.
As said above you need to work on your distribution.
I will go out on a limb and say where you are currently at in your journey if you are still using the 15g VST? you will be better off getting some EP precision baskets or synesso baskets and learning to dose those consistently by eye or weight. Then return to VSTs when you are in a good place.
Hi guys, didn't mean to cause such a fuss.
My apologies to charlie and others if my comment re:jetblack was poor form, I was simply describing my experience with them. I will speak with charlie.
Re: all the other suggestions. Thanks! I was hoping to be critiqued in the video so that's great.
I've ditched the VST as I thought it better to concentrate on getting it right with stock baskets first.
I weigh the beans on a scale and then grind. I think there was 17 grams in that shot.
What would you suggest to improve dosage and distribution?
I'm just a newb guys so any constructive criticism is welcome.