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Thread: Temperature of water without portafilter

  1. #1
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    Temperature of water without portafilter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all, I bought a used espresso machine. When i run the water through it without the portafilter, it does not seem to be that hot. Only 160 degrees F (71 Celsius). What is the temperature suppose to be?

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Good question! How about 198F?

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    Are you in the States?

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    PM me - I'm a technician. We'll sort it out.

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    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    PM's already? What happened to the community assistance that the forum is designed to offer.....

    OP, what machine do you have? If we can know this then we can know what system it uses to heat the water. It will make it easier for us to diagnose possible causes and provide solutions.

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    Its an old machine. I can't find much information on it. But its a Coffee Gaggia. Most people compare it to the Classic. The first trial was not too bad. The initial taste of the espresso was good. I know if I get some fresher beans, then it would be even better. But, as the espresso cooled it became very sour. Undrinkable sour. I thought it was very strange since it taste pretty good to bring with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    Are you in the States?
    Yeah, I'm in the states. Well, kind of. I live in Hawaii.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Hi Kmcogar, greetings from Oz and welcome to CS!

    It would help if you posted your question in the same thread you started about the machine you bought.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...tml#post543349

    By having all the info in one thread it helps those who can help you and it keeps things in a logical and tidy state.......

  9. #9
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    So to follow up on your question.... chuck it out.

    Your post re the machine you bought is pretty self explanatory; i.e. you get what you pay for! ;-D

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    I wouldnt say chuck it out just yet. Its worth some experimenting. I would love to spend $1500 on a new espresso machine. But that budget is not in my life right now. SO I bought a cheap old espresso machine hoping it could give me something decent. If the machine could heat up a little better it could be worth way more then what i paid for it.

  11. #11
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmcogar View Post
    Hey all, I bought a used espresso machine. When i run the water through it without the portafilter, it does not seem to be that hot. Only 160 degrees F (71 Celsius). What is the temperature suppose to be?
    Put your mind at rest, I'd say machine working as designed... That is a pretty realistic temperature reading, if all you have done is to flow water out of the group and stick a thermometer in the flow or in the bottom of a cup that is catching the group water.

    Also as it is a Gaggia "Coffee", it will be all over the place temperature wise anyway, so what you read will fluctuate depending on where the temperature curve is at any particular time.

    If the thing works, use it and don't waste time trying to fix something that probably aint broke. All you need do is work out the point (in the temperature cycle of the machine) at which you should make coffee. The info should be all over the net. Start by looking up "temperature surfing".

    Hope that helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Put your mind at rest, I'd say machine working as designed... That is a pretty realistic temperature reading, if all you have done is to flow water out of the group and stick a thermometer in the flow or in the bottom of a cup that is catching the group water.

    Also as it is a Gaggia "Coffee", it will be all over the place temperature wise anyway, so what you read will fluctuate depending on where the temperature curve is at any particular time.

    If the thing works, use it and don't waste time trying to fix something that probably aint broke. All you need do is work out the point (in the temperature cycle of the machine) at which you should make coffee. The info should be all over the net. Start by looking up "temperature surfing".

    Hope that helps.
    That actually did help. The espresso was much hotter this time. Now for me to work on the tamp. The first pull was pretty good. This time it flowed a little too fast. Practice Practice Pratice

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    My comment re chuck it out may be a little brutal..... but it was meant in terms of any potential parts/repair costs.

    Using TOK's advice; see if there is a point in the heating cycle ( element light on/off ? ) where the water is hottest.

    Although your machine is probably out of production here is a link to Gaggia user manuals that might be of some help. (See Baby)

    GAGGIA
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    The machine maintenance guide on that site is very useful too....

    Mal.
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    FYI. With a little practice, I just pulled an amazing shot of espresso. I have some new tools and fresh beans coming in next week to improve the flavor even more!

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    Here's a few hints to get the best from these machines. and work out what teh temps are actually doing.

    1) leave it on for at least 20 minutes before even thinking of making a cup. Have the PF locked in place and your cups, etc on teh warming tray.
    2) With a decent thermocouple, preheated under hot running water (not a meat thermometer) poke it up inside the portafilter and see what temps the PF is actually sitting at. you'd want it to be somewhere around 90'c
    If not, flush some water through and observe the temps.
    3) Next, observe the heating cycle and when the heating light turns off, purge some more water through and see what the temps are. this "should" be close to the highest water temp the machine will offer. Ideally 93-95'c is espresso temp
    4) If the "top of cycle" temp is too hot, then measure other points in the heating cycle to find your optimum temp.

    but ensuring both the PF and machine aswell as your cups are all warm before making a drink is vital to getting a cood cup

  17. #17
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Put your mind at rest, I'd say machine working as designed... That is a pretty realistic temperature reading, if all you have done is to flow water out of the group and stick a thermometer in the flow or in the bottom of a cup that is catching the group water.
    TOK is right, when I started out with a small single boiler I also thought I was experiencing the same thing. I got exactly around the same reading by just probing with a standard thermometer. It will never give you a true reading.

    Glad you got results with temp-surfing. That is also how I found out everything was just fine. Allow it to warm up 20-25mins to get somewhat of a more stable temperature as 'Robbks' suggested. I would not recommend relying on the cup warmer though, it won't do a good job. Just heat them with the hot water to make sure your shots drop into a 'friendly' temperature. It can make a difference. ;-)

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    Anybody got a scace2 pf....?

    Maybe you could borrow him your Scace2...

    What machine do u use OP?

    If its compatible with the Scace 2.... i reccomend getting or buying one...

    I've been longing to get a scace 2 for perfecting my HX cooling flushes but never got one...

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    A "Scase" is just a PF with a thermocouple attached to it.
    I built my own with an old unused single basket.

    drilled a small hole in the of the basket just off centre
    Attached the thermocouple securely with some conductive heatsink cement

  20. #20
    TC
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    Hmm. I am not so sure about that Robbks.

    A Scace attempts to replicate the flow of a shot in addition to the thermal absorption properties of the coffee puck. The Scace II delivers temperature and pressure readings as well.

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    The odd thing about that TC, is that surely you want to know what the temperature of the water is when it reaches the puck - not afterwards.

    Replicate the flowrate certainly (you could just use a needle valve), thermal properties seems less useful.

  22. #22
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    Pics of Scace II showing internal anatomy and needle valve

    download.jpegscace 2.jpeg

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    Where is the needle valve? The brass fitting?

    I wonder if, rather than trying to replicate the properties of the puck, the plastic insert is actually to minimise heat transfer between the water and the device, and to direct water onto the thermocouple at as close as possible to the inlet temperature.

    May also improve the response time, by increasing the flow velocity over the thermocouple.

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    Talk Coffee, Congratulations on getting a very expensive PF that championship baristas use......

    How's your bank account?

  25. #25
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    Flow rate and measured temperature are intrinsically linked in a thermofilter. The Scace uses not a needle valve per se, it's a fixed restrictor jet and a sintered bronze filter. The plastic insert is thermally inert so as to not absorb heat energy away from the brew water, which is losing heat very quickly when it exits the group. Thus if you have a ristretto flow rate, your brew water is cooling in the puck or thermofilter and resulting temps read lower. Very easy to see if you can control the flow rate, as I do with my scace rip-offs for workshop use. I generally use flow rates quite a bit slower than the Scace gives. No numbers to quote, just an eyeball 'that looks like a shot I'd drink' flowrate.
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    That is quite interesting. Makes you wonder what is really the variable of interest; temp into the puck or temp within it?

    Does this observation differ between HX and double boiler machines at all?

  27. #27
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    I think of it as a variable offset, so even on a supremely temp. stable machine, changes in flow rate will affect measured temps (Newton's law of cooling re. rate of change of brew water with respect to the temp of it's surroundings- once outside the group or group/boiler).

    We know that water temp. inside saturated boilers (and mean temp inside HX tubes/group casting) is above our desired brew temperature, offsets of between a few degrees and 12 degrees are common. Thus desired extraction temp. as far as I am concerned is a function of internal water temp at source (maintaining temperature due to large thermal mass, and energy being put in) minus a variable offset dependent on how quickly energy is lost. If flow rate is higher, the water at source temp. is displacing the cooling volume in the basket/thermofilter more quickly.

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    1+ to the coffee machinist...

    Although not a HX, it does arguably make a lot of sense

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    The machine maintenance guide on that site is very useful too....

    Mal.
    Re: Mal's qoute regarding the Gaggia Site ( maitenance) I thought I'd have a look over lunch - like ' do myself a favour' !

    GAGGIA

    So to all the pro's here - what gives ? An espresso machine repairer with Nail Polish !!

    What's next in this crazy world ?
    A mechanic with Eye Shadow n Lippy ?
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    But doesn't the Scace2 also read pressure....

    I think i would build a scace2 too, but where do we get the multimeter from.....

  31. #31
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLudicrousBean View Post
    ...I think i would build a scace2 too, but where do we get the multimeter from.....
    Nar, by the time you build it it will be obsolete. I'd be looking at a scaseIIIa straight up. The IIIa will also have the advantage that with regular use the equipment its used with wont require descaling or retain grinds...best of all worlds


    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    .....
    What's next in this crazy world ?
    A mechanic with Eye Shadow n Lippy ?
    Hope so
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Nar, by the time you build it it will be obsolete. I'd be looking at a scaseIIIa straight up. The IIIa will also have the advantage that with regular use the equipment its used with wont require descaling or retain grinds...best of all worlds




    Hope so
    Tok, Damit... would want to get a scace pf now....

    Just cant live without getting geekier about it......

    And another reason is that the pf just looks plain cool...

    :drool: :drool:


  33. #33
    TOK
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    with only a little tweaking you could modify it to make coffee at the same time it's scasing....



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