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Thread: E61 idle temp?

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    E61 idle temp?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I purchased one of EricS E61 group thermometer adapters. Nice kit by the way and very easy to order with quick postage.

    I always thought from what I had read that the E61 group runs hot at idle but after an hour to get warmed up mine is sitting on ~87C, which seems to put it in the "running cold" group. A short flush sees temp instantly bounce to ~90-92. Pulling a shot saw a quick momentary spike to 92 then sat on 90.5 for the rest of the shot (~30 seconds).

    Is this normal? My Machine is a Giove II and I have left the PID as it was set, which is 91 for the brew boiler.

  2. #2
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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    The trouble with buying & fitting instruments like this is they draw your attention to stuff that isnt relevant in real life.

    Waiting now for all the experts to chime in and rag the statement Ive just made :D

    If the machine is working well and making nice coffee, that is all that is relevant. The rest is for endless academic discussion that in the end makes some owners very insecure about whether their eqiupment is working as it should or not.

    That kind of insecurity is bad....really bad, and these forums see a great deal of it when people should otherwise & simply be enjoying their kit and their coffee

    Apologies if this sounds a little blunt, but very often the truth is.....and there certainly is no malice intended.

    My advice is first...dont buy this kind of stuff OR once it has been bought, to put it away in a draw where it cant do any harm.

    For the rest of it. Is that behaviour normal? Most probably, if the machine is working as designed and built.

    I genuinely hope that helps.

    Attilio very first CS site sponsor and
    Equiment Psychologist.


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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Hi Masuta, Ill chime in here and while I agree with Attilio above, I dont think you need to throw the thermometer in the drawer just yet. Youve paid good money for it so at least keep it in for a few weeks just for the fun of it and to get some visibility on how the temperature jumps around when idle and during a shot. I had one of these in my drawer from my previous HX machine and I put it in my VBM DB for a while to see what was happening with the temp. Although I doubt the accuracy of this thing as a gauge of brew temperature, I did note compared to the HX the idle temp is lower on the double boiler (mine idles down to 88.8C when its been sitting for a while). So its probably normal what youre seeing and nothing a quick cleansing flush wont help before you pull a shot.

    More importantly than watching the numbers, how is your coffee tasting at the set PID temp of 91C? As an experiment why dont you try to increase the temp up to 94C, let it settle for a while and see if you can taste any difference in the cup. Thats the fun of having a PID.

    FWIW Ive taken my thermometer out and put it back in the drawer as it became an unnecessary scientific distraction not to mention I think the thermometer looks quite ugly sticking out of the E61.


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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Attilio is a true honest professional in the coffee industry and it is great to read his accurate answers to some of the posts on this site he takes a lot of the misconceptions out of technical issues and makes the process seem simple and enjoyable.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    The important distinction with your machine Masuta is that the group/thermosyphon/boiler is PID controlled - so you will never have an overheated group, there is just no way for the group to be hotter than the water in the boiler - thats what is heating it up.

    Having said that, the display on your PID is not an absolute indication of true boiler water temperature its a measured value that is filtered through first the thermal losses between water, the brass body of the temperature probe, then the thermocouple itself, the wires in the thermocouple, the temperature offset in the controller, smoothing algorithms, etc etc.... you get the idea.

    As Attilio and others have said, the important thing is the result in the cup - you then have the benefit of being able to change that result by taking the PID set point up or down :)

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Attilio - I agree that sometimes we should just concentrate on the important things, but im a self confessed "gear head" and love a good gadget ;D

    Thanks for the explanation Rick, it makes sense now why the group is not running hot. I havent as yet played with the PID temps but I will start to put them up 1 degree at time and see where the coffee tastes better! Now I just have to figure out how to set the PID *where did I put that manual!*

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Hold down both buttons until T1 comes up on the display, then press up to display the set point. Adjust via up or down keys, when you are happy with the value wait a few seconds, then T1 will display again. Now press down a few times till the current temp. is displayed. The PID will now heat to the new value, but it might take a little while for the group to catch up.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Thanks for that Rick :) Ill see what the coffee is like tomorrow morning.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I now have the brew boiler on 93 and i am amazed at what a difference this has made. With out changing my grind or dose this has significantly reduced the sour/acidity of the shot. I had thought that it was my grinder/dose that was problem and had been fiddling with it for a while. :-[

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Thats great. Nothing like a sunday morning coffee revelation, and it makes you appreciate your equipment on a whole new level :)

    The other good news is that it sounds like your brew set point is a very good indication of the shot temperature. This is not always the case...

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5240464752330 link=1339112093/8#8 date=1339290707
    I now have the brew boiler on 93 and i am amazed at what a difference this has made.
    so what does your group thermometer show now at idle ?

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Quote Originally Posted by 333D343F356463510 link=1339112093/10#10 date=1340184404
    Quote Originally Posted by 7E5240464752330 link=1339112093/8#8 date=1339290707
    I now have the brew boiler on 93 and i am amazed at what a difference this has made.*
    so what does your group thermometer show now at idle ?

    Its now sitting between 88 and 88.5

    When pulling a shot its between 92.5 and 93.5 if I have dosed and tamped correctly. I have noticed that if I have overdosed or my grind is too fine which results in a slow pour (>>30secs) that the temp is lower (as low as 89-90). Im not sure if thats important but those slow shots taste awful, but I had expected that from the pour.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Just FYI..
    E61 "Group temperature"* is a vague subject since it can vary considerably depending on which point you actually measure at.
    Your "EricS" probe will be measuring* temperature in the brew water feed gallery..halfway between the dispersion screw and the valve chamber.* That area will always idle below brew water temperature* (as it id remote to the heated recirc chamber at the top of the group) and as you have seen, will increase in temp when you flush or brew..
    I have a temp probe on the top of the group ( behind the "mushroom"), and at idle this indicates a high temp ( ~102-105C ) and REDUCES to ~94 C during a flush.
    Note .. this is on a single boiler Isomac HX at 1.2 bar.
    There is a lot of discussion on HB ref this subject.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Another ???
    ..Do you know if your PID is set up with an "offset" on the reading ?
    Its common for these units to be calibrated to display a reading different to the actual temperature being sensed..termed an "offset".
    There will be an "offset" setting in the PID menu to check.
    It could be that your PID is calibrated to display a temp of say 93 C to reflect the temp of the water at the puck , whilst the actual boiler water is several degrees hotter.
    Alternatively , i know some PID controlled machines are set up with a "zero" offset, and supplied with a calibration table which shows the difference (offset) between the true boiler water temperature readings, and the brew temperatures at the puck. Did yours come with a calibration chart ?

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Quote Originally Posted by 626C656E643532000 link=1339112093/13#13 date=1340321492
    Another ???
    ..Do you know if your PID is set up with an "offset" on the reading ?
    Its common for these units to be calibrated to display a reading different to the actual temperature being sensed..termed an "offset".
    There will be an "offset" setting in the PID menu to check.
    It could be that your PID is calibrated to display a temp of say 93 C to reflect the temp of the water at the puck , whilst the actual boiler water is several degrees hotter.
    * *Alternatively , i know some PID controlled machines are set up with a "zero" offset, and supplied with a calibration table which shows the difference (offset) between the true boiler water temperature readings, and the brew temperatures at the puck. Did yours come with a calibration chart ?

    I have no idea how the PID is setup and the only things that are able to be changed in the PID user menu is the brew and steam temps (this is probably a good thing as I would have no idea how to setup up a PID and would probably make things worse if I could fiddle with its finer settings :P ).* There is probably a different menu to setup the PID, and I very briefly did some reading on the background theory of PIDs and tuning them and it seemed quite a complex area.* I suspect (hope?) that either the manufacturer or the reseller (site sponsor 9bar) have setup the PID with correct offsets.* Maybe when its due for a service I might get Chris from talk coffee to check and calibrate if needed.

    Main thing is that since bumping up the brew to 93C I have been enjoying the coffee more than before* ;D*

    As an aside when I set the temp to 94C it made awful coffee, although from what I have been told it will vary from one type of coffee to the next.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Hmm ?
    I suspect yours is programmed with an offset reading since boiler temp is usually several degrees above brew (Scace ) temps . Especially if there is no "offset table" in the manual.
    Offset changes should be operator adjustable since there is some evidence that this can /will change depending on individual machine environments. Making changes to an offset on most PIDs is no more complex than changing the set point in the menu system..but i dont know your specific model.
    You may like to read up on the debate about offset calibration pros & cons.
    1st line equipment has a good article to start off.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6775737267060 link=1339112093/14#14 date=1340326219
    Main thing is that since bumping up the brew to 93C I have been enjoying the coffee more than before Grin
    And that is the bottom line..Taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6775737267060 link=1339112093/14#14 date=1340326219
    As an aside when I set the temp to 94C it made awful coffee
    :o.... but that would worry me if such a small temp change made a change in taste from good to "awful" . :-/ :(

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Quote Originally Posted by 79777E757F2E291B0 link=1339112093/15#15 date=1340330748
    Hmm ?
    * ** ** * I* suspect yours is programmed with an offset reading since boiler temp is usually several degrees above brew (Scace ) temps . Especially if there is no "offset table" in the manual.
    Offset changes should be operator adjustable since there is some evidence that this can /will change depending on individual machine environments. Making changes to an offset on most PIDs is no more complex than changing the set point in the menu system..but i dont know your specific model.
    You may like to read up on the debate about offset calibration pros & cons.
    1st line equipment has a good article* to start off.
    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6775737267060 link=1339112093/14#14 date=1340326219
    Main thing is that since bumping up the brew to 93C I have been enjoying the coffee more than before* Grin
    And that is the bottom line..Taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6775737267060 link=1339112093/14#14 date=1340326219
    As an aside when I set the temp to 94C it made awful coffee
    :o.... but that would worry me if such a small temp change made a change in taste from good to "awful" .* :-/ :(

    Ill definitely have to have a look for that article that you mentioned. As far as I know the PID unit in my machine (Giove II) is a Gicar unit which seems to have been used by a few other machines as well. The manual that came with the machine was basic at best and only briefly went over the PID. At the moment I have misplaced that manual anyway, so there might have been a bit more in it than I recall.

    As for the 1 deg making such a big change, I am only at the start of my learning curve and it is also highly likely that I changed (read wasnt consistent enough) something else. I will have to go back and try to change the temp again at some point.

    I would have to agree with you that there would have to be an offset somewhere as I would fully expect some thermal loss between the boiler and the group. How much is what im unsure about.

  18. #18
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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    As the person that most probably set up your machine, I can tell you that there is an offset in the PID for the brew boiler, but you do NOT need to be changing it! Thats why we bench test a machine prior to sale and make a small adjustment to the offset, as the temperature variance through the components changes from machine to machine.

    There may well be a small variance of a couple of degrees between the indicated brew boiler temp. and the temperature measured at the puck due factors beyond our control (think usage patterns, ambient temperature, flushes, etc etc.), but this is as good as it gets when you have a group that is passively heated.

    If you want +/- less than 2 degrees C. temperature control at the group both during and between extractions, time to go saturated. Also, you better check that your thermometer calibration certificate is still valid* ;)

    I feel like were getting into silly territory here though - its all very well to debate these things, but let the taste be your guide. Numbers are useful, but secondary.

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Rick, sorry if my questions or comments came across as negative or offensive.* I am very happy with both the machine I purchased (Giove II) and 9 bar who sold me the machine and would (and have been) happily recommend them both.

    I just like to know a little about why things are the way they are and the theory behind things.* I have no desire to play with the PIDs finer settings.* From using the group head thermometer I was actually quite happy, that while pouring the shot, that the temps were very close to what the PID displayed.* As you can see from my posts above the group head thermometer was withing +/-1 deg of the PID setting.* The thermometer that I am using is by no means a finely calibrated piece of equipement (Eric does send his measurement with it, and mine was apparantly read a touch high by his measurement).* My initial question were to do with the temp that the group was idling at, as I thought that the E-61 was suppose to idle hot and require a cooling flush, but I have since found out (I actually think it was your comment that pointed me in that direction :) )that that happens mainly (only?) with Hx machines and not with a dual boiler.* It makes sense now that I think about it but at the time I must have been having a blonde moment.* I would also suspect that the groups temperature varies as only the top chamber is heated by the water from the boiler and the rest of the group has to be heated by conduction from that point.

    It took me me a couple of months to be willing to change the temp on my brew boiler and I am happy that the small nudge up a couple of degrees has improved the coffee for me.* My taste buds are not as well developed as many of the people here, but I have been happy to have reduced the number of sour shots that im getting.* As for the rest of the shots that are not quite right, I am the first to admit that the answer most likely lies on this side of the pf handle* ;D

    Its after 3 pm now, so time to go and practice again :P* Coffee break time :D

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    Re: E61 idle temp?

    Quote Originally Posted by 684456505144250 link=1339112093/18#18 date=1340341944
    Rick, sorry if my questions or comments came across as negative or offensive.*
    Not at all! That post was written in haste and on reflection comes across as a little snarky. That wasnt my intention, just trying to get across that all these parameters have been adjusted to the best of our experience at the workshop prior to the machine entering service.

    Thats not to say that you shouldnt attempt to explore the various options that the PID makes possible - after all whats the point of paying for that adjustability and never using it!



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