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Espresso Shot Flow Fluctuating

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  • Espresso Shot Flow Fluctuating


    I recently acquired a new second hand Faema Carisma (Vittoria competition machine) and A Cunill Tranquilo grinder (someone had in storage never used). Everything is mainly working well with some decent shots, except some minor issues I'd like to sort out.

    Firstly starting with the shot itself, the flow can get a nice mouse/rats tail with constant flow for the first third but then fluctuates, with the tail flickering back and forth, to tiny bit of splatter toward the end. I was wondering if this is due to some channelling? If I end up with a slightly slow flow/over extraction (35s say) it is q more consistant flow, but then I taste only the deep (tangy) tones in a cappuccino and slightly bitter/burnt in espresso, so not as balanced.

    Ok, the one mechanical main thing I need to sort is the brew pressure. The gauge will hit 14-15bar and the OPV doesn't seem to be active (I'm sure it must have an OPV...??). Will this high pressure be expected to be causing the above results? I see up to 15-16 bar sometimes in idle for line pressure, is this a major concern?

    Before I dive into investigating myself, can anyone confirm there is an OPV, know where the OPV is exactly on the Faema and how easiest to get to it and adjusting it correctly? There isn't much info on these machines, I have found a sales/service presentation (pdf) but it doesn't seem to mention the OPV.

    I still want to eventually test the pressure to confirm the gauge is correct and working fine. I noticed Jetblack have a portafilter pressure gauge on their site at reasonable price. However, I could do as others and make my own or put my name on the list to rent Greg Pullman's.

    Also, while I'm at it, in peoples opinion is a rockingham 200ml cap cup a bit large for a strong single shot cappuccino? My caps seem a bit week, so I cut back the milk ratio and then not fill the cup.

    PS. Before people mention the bean freshness, it has done this with fresh beans, within a week old. The beans are now a few weeks old (ended up with more than intended due to being gifted some beans). I am due some more beans next week so will be trying some fresh snobbery beans again.

    Thanks for any advice/feedback

  • #2
    I saw one of these machines for a decent price on gum tree. Was really tempted to buy it but snoozed too long. I read up on them and they seem to be the business. Will be interested to hear how it goes once you've sorted this issue out.


    • #3
      Might have been the same one, it was in qld and got my father to check it out and pick it up as I am in Melb. Then took ages to get it when my parents next visited.

      I got upgraditis from my Breville and was scanning for good second hand HX on low budget. I then saw this at a good price and stretched the budget a little as it was still new. It's a nice machine and should be great once I get opv sorted, and the operator fully dialed in....


      • #4
        Just had a look and there are a few about now. The one I initially saw was in Sydney. Well done on a great find.


        • #5
          If you're a bit concerned about whether it's performing properly I'd take it into a site sponsor around your area for a quick look over and test, you'll then have it working correctly/or piece of mind that it was fine. And if you need it, get a few tips and tricks.


          • #6
            Yeah I might have to do that and get the opv sorted and some feedback/sanity check from someone who's experienced with many HX machines in south east melb