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Thread: Help with ECM Giotto

  1. #1
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    Help with ECM Giotto

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi experts out there. I have recently purchased a Giotto machine and am experiencing some difficulties with shots. Up until yeaterday, I was able to get decent shots out in around 30 seconds.

    Yesterday I cleaned the machine for the first time with the blind filter and cleanser (long story, but basically the Blind filter went missing). I did this about 10 times to clear out all of the muck. Since doing this, I am not able to get a shot out in under 60 seconds and even then it is light on volume (and overcooked!). The shower screen looks clear of any rubbish, however I do not know who to pull the showerscreen off without dismantling the Group head. It would appear that there is not enough pressurised water coming thru the Showerscreen, but I cannot be certain. The pressure guage shows 1 bar, so that is normal.

    I have switched off the machine this morning and will fire it back up tonight to see if this resolves the problem, however I am not hopeful. Any ideas as to what else to look out for, how to remove the showerscreen etc?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Quote Originally Posted by Woolly Bugger link=1186978812/0#0 date=1186978812
    Hi experts out there. I have recently purchased a Giotto machine and am experiencing some difficulties with shots. Up until yeaterday, I was able to get decent shots out in around 30 seconds.
    How old is the machine? You say you recently bought it, was it new or used when you bought it?

    Yesterday I cleaned the machine for the first time with the blind filter and cleanser (long story, but basically the Blind filter went missing). I did this about 10 times to clear out all of the muck. Since doing this, I am not able to get a shot out in under 60 seconds and even then it is light on volume (and overcooked!).
    What sort of grinder are you using, and what setting (if applicable) are you using? It sounds like it could be set too fine.

    The shower screen looks clear of any rubbish, however I do not know who to pull the showerscreen off without dismantling the Group head. It would appear that there is not enough pressurised water coming thru the Showerscreen, but I cannot be certain.
    Have you tried to run the pump without the portafilter attached? That way you can check if the pump is working properly.

    The pressure guage shows 1 bar, so that is normal.
    That is normal, that guage only indicates the boiler pressure, not the pump pressure.

    I have switched off the machine this morning and will fire it back up tonight to see if this resolves the problem, however I am not hopeful. Any ideas as to what else to look out for, how to remove the showerscreen etc?
    I wouldnt worry about removing the shower screen yet, check to see if the pump is working and where the water is flowing out, which will give you a better idea as to what to check next.
    Let us know what the results were and Im sure that youll get some assistance.
    Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Yep, as Lovey said, run some water through the Group head without the PF.
    Measure how much come through in 30 seconds unrestricted.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    How old is the machine? You say you recently bought it, was it new or used when you bought it?
    The machine was purchased brand new, however it is a 200606 serial number, so I guess in reality it is 14 months old, albeit never used.

    What sort of grinder are you using, and what setting (if applicable) are you using? It sounds like it could be set too fine.
    The Grinder is a Sunbeam EM0480. Prior to my problem the grind setting was about 12 (or just below half). I thought this was even a little coarse, however the shots seemd to be ok. Since cleaning with Blind filter and the start of my problem, I have had to adjust up about 3 notches. Yes, the grind may be a bit fine, but that does not explain why when nothing else has changed apart from cleaning, the shots were taking too long to come thru.

    Have you tried to run the pump without the portafilter attached? That way you can check if the pump is working properly.
    Yes, this seems to be ok, albeit the water seems to come from a few streams, not evenly across the whole screen.

    Yep, as Lovey said, run some water through the Group head without the PF.
    Measure how much come through in 30 seconds unrestricted.
    Yes, I did try this and while I cannot remember the exact quantity, it did appear to pour a fair bit of water. How much should I expect?

    Another bit of useless information / observation:-

    I believe that when I originally turned on the machine after purchase, the pump ran and was quite noisy for some minutes. Now when I start the machine from cold, the noise only lasts for about 5 seconds. Is this significant? The process I use to start from cold is as per manual ie. open the steam wand valve, turn on the machine and allow the boiler to fill and then shut down the steam wand valve.

    Thanks for you comments thus far. May be I do not have a problem at all and just need to get used to the machine and its nuances - however I am not convinced!


  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Woolly,

    I am sorry to say that the Sunbeam is not up to the task of the role required. It sounds to me like youre experiencing significant grind variation. In addition, your dose may well not be consistent. I hope that your machine vendor advised you that the grinder would struggle. Youre trying to run your ferrari on diesel...

    You have purchased a great machine. Pair it with an appropriate grinder and you will get the consistency you require.

    2mcm

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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Woolly,

    if you are around Bondi, may be you can bring your machine and I can tell you what wrong with it. if is the grinder problem we sell different grinder here so you can see and compare

    regards

    Renzo

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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    I am sorry to say that the Sunbeam is not up to the task of the role required. It sounds to me like youre experiencing significant grind variation. In addition, your dose may well not be consistent. I hope that your machine vendor advised you that the grinder would struggle. Youre trying to run your ferrari on diesel...

    You have purchased a great machine. Pair it with an appropriate grinder and you will get the consistency you require.
    You may well be right, however I did not have the additional funds to purchase a Rolls Royce grinder and based on research on this forum, went ahead with the Sunbeam. There seemed to be enough positive feedback to indicate that this was a good entry level grinder. In fact the vendor did suggest the Sunbeam.

    I still have trouble understanding why the problem only started after I cleaned my machine. Grind variation does not adequately explain this for mine.

    if you are around Bondi, may be you can bring your machine and I can tell you what wrong with it.
    Sadly, I live no where near Bondi, although may be worth a trip down to have a chat! Thx.

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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    You are welcome.

    we have a Giotto in our bench, may be we can do the same that you did and we can understand better the problem. As well I could learn something new

    Renzo

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Gday WB,
    I just checked out an article on Alan Frews website in relation to setting up an espresso machine. After initial set up he suggests testing the water debit and reccomends that somewhere between 60-100ml in 10 seconds is the normal range. If its less than that, youve got problems, more than that isnt really a problem.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that the water in the HX (brew water) is flash heated to about 120 degrees and will hiss and spit when you first activate the lever after the machine has been idling for a while. Perhaps this might account for the slow flow from the loaded PF (not knowing your espresso prep routine, you might like to give us a step by step description).
    Could you also give us a description of how you back flushed the machine? Every little details helps :)

    An observation in relation to your observation ;).
    The pump noise you heard, and are still hearing on the machine starting up, is the boiler autofill. When the level in the boiler gets too low, as indicated by the water level probe, it activates the pump to re-fill the boiler to the correct level to stop the element from burning out. If you use a lot of steam or use the hot water tap, the boiler will need to re-fill more often. I find that mine seems to autofill periodically when the machine first starts up in the morning, as I dont use a lot of steam.
    Hope this helps.

  10. #10
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Hi Lovey (where did you get that moniker), thanks for your input.

    My machine is generally used twice a day (morning and night). I leave it switched on permanently and fill the tank daily. After filling the PF, I flush some water thru the group head, wipe around the Group head with a damp cloth, and then position the PF prior to activating the lever. When the shot has finished, I remove the PF and flush some more water thru the Group head and again wipe down with a damp cloth.

    At the end of the day, I may not have a real problem. With the grinder setting a couple of notches up, it seems to be worknig ok. It is taking about 8 - 10 seconds for the shot to start appearing and within 30 seconds or so, I have a decent shot. I just could not understand why I had to make the adjustment to the grind after cleaning.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Hi Woolly. I just love the way we each have our own little rituals! Could I suggest that rather than leave your machine on 24/7 that you might consider plugging it into an electronic timer.

    In my opinion, leaving the machine on for extended periods without using it may have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of the componentry.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Quote Originally Posted by Woolly Bugger link=1186978812/0#9 date=1187131660
    Hi Lovey (where did you get that moniker), thanks for your input.
    Its just a nick-name Ive had since I was about 10 and its stuck all those years, and youre very welcome, Im happy to help out if I can.

    My machine is generally used twice a day (morning and night). I leave it switched on permanently and fill the tank daily. After filling the PF, I flush some water thru the group head, wipe around the Group head with a damp cloth, and then position the PF prior to activating the lever. When the shot has finished, I remove the PF and flush some more water thru the Group head and again wipe down with a damp cloth.

    At the end of the day, I may not have a real problem. With the grinder setting a couple of notches up, it seems to be worknig ok. It is taking about 8 - 10 seconds for the shot to start appearing and within 30 seconds or so, I have a decent shot. I just could not understand why I had to make the adjustment to the grind after cleaning.
    The routine seems fine, but I would second Denniss suggestion not to leave your machine turned on 24/7. Theyre not designed for that and certain parts will wear out a lot quicker as a result of being left on for extended periods of time.
    About the grinder adjustment, who knows. It could be just one of those things that happen after a good clean, like when machinery seems to rattle/squeak/groan more, as the dust was filling up the gaps in it prior to being cleaned ;D.
    I wouldnt entirely rule out a grinder problem, albeit a slight one in this case. They have had some problems in the past in relation to reliability and consistency of grind.

  13. #13
    Flo
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Hi there Woolly.

    Removal of the shower screen is really quite simple.. use a small flat bladed screw driver or similar implement and carefully prise the shower screen down a little at a time as you move around its circumference (you should notice the edge of the screen assy up near the group seal). The shower screen is only an interference fit and is not screwed on. You will also need to remove the shower screen prior to changing the grouphead seal.

    The three or four streams of water you notice coming from the shower screen when you lift the lever is quite normal.

    I do support the previous comments about pairing your Giotto with the sunbeam..start saving! I have a Mazzer Mini performing the grinding duties for my Giotto and it does a really great job, but Im sure a Macap or Compak would perform equally well.

    Oh another thought.. Were you using the same beans before and after the cleaning?

    Edit: I just re-read your post and you said nothing changed except the cleaning so the beans were the same..

  14. #14
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    Re: Help with ECM Giotto

    Thx for that into - I will have a look.

    All seems to be working fine for the moment and I have some useful tips generated from the forum, so tkx to all contributors.

    You are correct, nothing else changed, including the beans.



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