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Thread: Coffeesensor on ECM Technika IV

  1. #1
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    Coffeesensor on ECM Technika IV

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I'm a novice espresso hobbyist and have owned my Technika for about 3 year.
    During my time with the Technika I've had difficulty getting consistency.
    I'd pull two shots; same beans same grinder and settings; one would be great the other would be horrid.
    I put it down to learning a flush routine.... but after 3 years I never "got it" perfect.

    I found a coffeesensor group head thermometer on sale so I thought I'd give it a try. (I have no affiliation with the company; and think all the group head thermometer would do the job).
    I now have much better, more consistent, coffee. And if it goes wrong; I normally know about it before I taste it.

    The other thing I now believe is that anyone who can operate a HX machine without a thermometer is a Magician.
    The amount I need to wait and flush varies in such a complex way; with the brew water sometimes being pulled up by the group; sometimes down.
    Sometime I go up to my machine after idling 3hour and the grouphead its cooler that what its is after my normal 1hr warm up.
    (I do descale regularly; and have checked the mushroom and its clean).

    I just thought I let anybody with a Technika (can't talk for other HX machines) and is having trouble with consistency give one of these devices a go.
    The only down side is its ugly; I think ECM should make a nice polished stainless version and it would sell like hotcakes.
    In fact they should fit them as standard on all there HX machines; but then nobody would pay the extra grand to get the synchronika ( sort of wishing I did; but I've made my bed)
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by maltur View Post
    I'm a novice espresso hobbyist and have owned my Technika for about 3 year.
    During my time with the Technika I've had difficulty getting consistency.
    I'd pull two shots; same beans same grinder and settings; one would be great the other would be horrid.
    I put it down to learning a flush routine.... but after 3 years I never "got it" perfect.

    I found a coffeesensor group head thermometer on sale so I thought I'd give it a try. (I have no affiliation with the company; and think all the group head thermometer would do the job).
    I now have much better, more consistent, coffee. And if it goes wrong; I normally know about it before I taste it.

    The other thing I now believe is that anyone who can operate a HX machine without a thermometer is a Magician.
    The amount I need to wait and flush varies in such a complex way; with the brew water sometimes being pulled up by the group; sometimes down.
    Sometime I go up to my machine after idling 3hour and the grouphead its cooler that what its is after my normal 1hr warm up.
    (I do descale regularly; and have checked the mushroom and its clean).

    I just thought I let anybody with a Technika (can't talk for other HX machines) and is having trouble with consistency give one of these devices a go.
    The only down side is its ugly; I think ECM should make a nice polished stainless version and it would sell like hotcakes.
    In fact they should fit them as standard on all there HX machines; but then nobody would pay the extra grand to get the synchronika ( sort of wishing I did; but I've made my bed)
    The vast majority of online discussions on flush routines of HX machines is related to machines with the E61 grouphead, because it is a proven in use design. With flow restrictors added to the TS lines, the flush requirement is lessened, but recovery of the group temperature after a few back-to-back shots is slowed down as well. Like you stated, the group thermometer is described by many users of these machines as a necessity.

    On other Heat exchanger machines it may be a very different story, apart from the fact that a thermometer connection is not readily available. In the few discussions about the Bezzera BZ line, opinions vary if a flush is required in the first place. On occasion I tried a no-flush shot on my machine and the result tasted bitter and burnt. With the thermometer lacking, dialing in the temperature by flushing before brewing may be less accurate, but (judging by taste) quite forgiving as well. A quick screen flush vs a long flush seems to have little effect. Getting the dose and grind right plus the boiler pressure/temperature seem to have the largest effect on the final result.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maltur View Post
    The other thing I now believe is that anyone who can operate a HX machine without a thermometer is a Magician.
    Guess that elevates me to the status of magician, in eleven years of owning my HX machine I have never experienced the slightest problem pulling consistently good shots, orrrrr, perhaps I'm just naturally gifted, however I very much doubt it.

    Yes I have recently installed a thermometer thanks to Cafelotta, I find it handy to determine whether the machine is up to temp, do I use it each and every time I make coffee? no.

  4. #4
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Guess that elevates me to the status of magician, in eleven years of owning my HX machine I have never experienced the slightest problem pulling consistently good shots, orrrrr, perhaps I'm just naturally gifted, however I very much doubt it.

    Yes I have recently installed a thermometer thanks to Cafelotta, I find it handy to determine whether the machine is up to temp, do I use it each and every time I make coffee? no.
    Wouldn't be without mine. I use for the exact same reason, what temp is the water when I want to pull the first shot of the day??

    Going by recollection of my previous habits I reckon I may have been pulling first shots with water at 98+ degrees! With the thermometer I run a flush until I know the temp is going to be somewhere between 93 and 95. The fun bit was profiling the temp for the duration of the shot, knowing whether the temp was on it's way up or on it's way down. My technique FWIW is to start at 95 (93 indicated) with the temp reducing by 2+/- degrees over the duration of the shot.

    This procedure is repeatable so once I've got the temp heading down during the flush, when it hits 93 indicated I stop the flush, load up the p/f and pull the shot. It's so consistent that I only look at the temp when I remember.

    I find if I pull a second shot, once I've gone thru the initial procedure, and don't leave it more than 2 minutes, the temp is petty stable on my ECM Mechanika V Slim. Haven't had the need to pull a third shot yet.

    So for me the investment is worthwhile, and I did go through a few litres of water getting there
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Going by recollection of my previous habits I reckon I may have been pulling first shots with water at 98+ degrees! With the thermometer I run a flush until I know the temp is going to be somewhere between 93 and 95. The fun bit was profiling the temp for the duration of the shot, knowing whether the temp was on it's way up or on it's way down. My technique FWIW is to start at 95 (93 indicated) with the temp reducing by 2+/- degrees over the duration of the shot.

    This procedure is repeatable so once I've got the temp heading down during the flush, when it hits 93 indicated I stop the flush, load up the p/f and pull the shot. It's so consistent that I only look at the temp when I remember.
    Sounds like your machine is running pretty hot, mine can be on for hours and not get to 98°, most of my shots are pulled in the high 80's low 90's.

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Wouldn't be without mine. I use for the exact same reason, what temp is the water when I want to pull the first shot of the day??

    Going by recollection of my previous habits I reckon I may have been pulling first shots with water at 98+ degrees! With the thermometer I run a flush until I know the temp is going to be somewhere between 93 and 95. The fun bit was profiling the temp for the duration of the shot, knowing whether the temp was on it's way up or on it's way down. My technique FWIW is to start at 95 (93 indicated) with the temp reducing by 2+/- degrees over the duration of the shot.

    This procedure is repeatable so once I've got the temp heading down during the flush, when it hits 93 indicated I stop the flush, load up the p/f and pull the shot. It's so consistent that I only look at the temp when I remember.

    I find if I pull a second shot, once I've gone thru the initial procedure, and don't leave it more than 2 minutes, the temp is petty stable on my ECM Mechanika V Slim. Haven't had the need to pull a third shot yet.

    So for me the investment is worthwhile, and I did go through a few litres of water getting there
    A 2 degree change in temperature during the shot seems excessive to me. We're talking about a few millimetres of water flowing through a stable group in some 30 seconds.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Sounds like your machine is running pretty hot, mine can be on for hours and not get to 98°, most of my shots are pulled in the high 80's low 90's.
    Yes I believe it does run “hot”. The boiler appears to run the temp up to near boiling, when listening to the machine warm up I can hear the water appear to come nearly to the boil before the thermostat shuts off.
    a flush of water through the group can initially send the temp to 98 or so. As the flush continues the temp will slowly reduce.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    A 2 degree change in temperature during the shot seems excessive to me. We're talking about a few millimetres of water flowing through a stable group in some 30 seconds.
    Lots of people have measured it and found declines of 2 to 3 oC. See for instance any thread on grouphead thermometers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Sounds like your machine is running pretty hot, mine can be on for hours and not get to 98°, most of my shots are pulled in the high 80's low 90's.
    After an hour my is always at 100.5 (group) and when I start to flush it goes up to 103.5 with spluttering(flash boiling).
    I now flush about 150ml which brings it down to 94ish; as soon as I stop the group starts climbing.
    I grind and tamp and then a short flush to bring it back down to 94.
    Load and go and it normally sits a 92ish and doesn't move much if at all.

    The next bit I never would have predicted; but depend on how long until I pull the second shot here is what happens.
    The group temp starts dropping; but the water in the HX recovers quickly (because if I flush it still comes out spluttering.
    So I wait until the group gets back to 92; give it a short flush (which brings it up) and load and go.
    It then normally drops back to 92.

    Things I was doing wrong before I got the sensor is.
    I interpreted the inital spluttering to be the same as the second spluttering and flushed the same amount in both cases ( which was about 30ml past when the spluttering stopped)
    So I wasn't flushing enough in the initial case and to much on the second.

    The second shot case is where I still need the sensor; as its time dependent; it I'm quick (not doing milk for the first shot) I probably don't need to flush at all.
    I don't need to tell me the machines ready to go as its pretty consistent at warm up and I can turn the machine on before I need it.
    I don't need it anymore for the first shot as I've got that sorted.

    The other case which I've only seen a couple of times is that when the machines beening idling for along time; I've noticed it sitting at 98; and it I flush no spluttering.... weird I can't explain it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    What happens if you turn down the pressurestat?
    Last edited by robusto; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:02 PM. Reason: Missed word "down"

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Could be that the thermosyphon circuit could do with a little tweaking...

    Mal.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    What happens if you turn down the pressurestat?
    haven't tried that... its stock.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Could be that the thermosyphon circuit could do with a little tweaking...

    Mal.
    I have wondered about that; I've seen a few technika posts with the opposite problem ( of not enough heat); being caused by the teflon tube in the HX being too long.( As its tuned not restricted).
    Not sure what could cause the too hot case. I guess I could add a flow restrictor; but I fear making it worse ( As I'm no expert).
    I did like the other suggestion of turning down the p-stat a bit; as its easy and easily reversible.
    But right now I'm good anyway because of the sensor.
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  14. #14
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    I found a coffeesensor group head thermometer on sale so I thought I'd give it a try. (I have no affiliation with the company; and think all the group head thermometer would do the job).
    I'm interested to know where this sale was? ...I hope this doesn't violate forum rules/site sponsorship etc

  15. #15
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    Thought I should just point out there is a parallel thread on the Coffee Sensor here:
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-e...tml#post661607

    I've just posted a piece on the new Pro version, but thought it relevant because I too use an ECM Technika.
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  16. #16
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    A 2 degree change in temperature during the shot seems excessive to me. We're talking about a few millimetres of water flowing through a stable group in some 30 seconds.
    Everything I’ve read suggests the thermometer is measuring group head temperature at the start of the shot and water temperature about 10 seconds in.

    There is no water in that chamber prior to the shot starting. As the HX water flows into the portafilter it is now influencing the sensor as it flows past.... and is giving or taking heat from the great lump of brass it is flowing through.
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