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Quick Mill 0996 Achille

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  • Quick Mill 0996 Achille

    Hi,

    There's been a few mentions about this machine on the forum, and I just thought I would start a thread about it. I purchased on together with a few other forum members, and I've been very impressed so far.

    Specs are

    -Leverprofessionalgroup (It's a Bosco lever group 58mm which means parts and group handles are easily sourced)
    -Copper boiler4.5lt.
    -Automatic reloadingof the boilerwithelectronic levelprobe
    - Glasslevel
    - Lanceantiburnsteam
    - Lanceantiburnwater
    -Rotary pump
    -Certifiedsafety valve
    -Automatic shut-offresistance
    -Automatic shut-offpump
    -Safety thermostat withreignition
    -Thermalprotectorpump
    -Steelcup warmer
    -Manometerto control theboiler pressure
    -Water tank:3lt with mains connecting switch and fittings.
    - Plumbable drip tray

    Here's few photos I took recently of my machine. Sorry about the iDevice photos.

    QuickMill Vs Ponte Vecchio Lusso

    Front, I've raised my bench now to level with the blue ledge at the back, which has improve useage.

    Shiny!

    These appear to be machine stainless steel?

    Plumbable drip tray, which can be change back to move the machine and switch back to tank.

    I had to relearn how to tamp, after getting very lazy with my Ponte Vecchio Lusso's 45mm baskets. I love the wands, because they are cool to touch and the taps only take just over 1 turn to fully open. Steaming tip only has 2 holes which means steaming is a little slower but very controllable. I might try a 3 or 4 hole tip later. It's a great machine to use, very easy, just pull the lever down, and prefuse for 6-10 secs. Then lift the lever and watch that beautiful coffee pour. Shots seem to be around the 40ml size.

    Here's a video (my very first). It was very early days with the machine, and I've improved significantly since.



    The finish is nice and shiny, but I did have to rub of a few marks around the edges. They looks like residue from the cutting process. It just rubbed off with a cleaning cloth so no biggy.

    The only issue I have experienced with the machine is a slightly noisy pump. I think the issue is really that something is touching the case, and causing a vibration but considering it only runs for a few seconds to fill the boiler, I haven't found it a massive issue so far. Heat up times, can be as low as 25mins with a flush to start the thermosyphon, but I've had it on a timer and it's nice and warm at the group handle at 40-45mins anyway.

    If your considering a Londinium I, I think you should also have a look at this machine. They both use the same group, a Bosco group.

    The machine was purchased from Jack at Sorrentina Coffee, he's a great guy to deal with. I purchased my Ponte Vecchio Lusso from him around 18months ago, and found Jack to be very responsive and helpful. Please contact Jack directly if you are interested in the Quick Mill 0996 Achilles. I'll be happy to answer any questions about the machine should you have any.

  • #2
    Very interesting machine! Does the flex of the Group to Body bother you? What else moves around inside the machine to accommodate the flex when you are pulling the lever?

    Very nice looking machine! Thanks for sharing :-)

    Stephen

    Comment


    • #3
      Advising that Jack is sending one over to take up residence on the Talk Coffee bench.

      We expect it to arrive in the next week and yes, it will be on demo for any interested.

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        I purchased one of these a couple of weeks ago from Jack at Sorrentina, who, as always, has provided excellent service.

        Like Lacehim, I am very impressed with the machine. I've actually found it quite easy to pull decent shots, but took Jack & other's advice to grind a lot finer from the start. I am only using the standard basket and PF at the moment, so it may be horrific channelling is being hidden by the PF & spout, but I don't think so. I'm also using a blend at the moment, so it may be with a single origin grind things get a little trickier. I've just invested in a couple of EP baskets & Bogav tamper from Chris @ Talk Coffee, and will see how they go.

        It's a big thing - and has a strong spring. You can see there's a bit of squat in the frame and flex in the front metal in Lacehim's video, but I'm not worried about it. The steam power is impressive, and the cool touch wands are a bonus. Oddly, the steam tip has only 2 holes pointing in opposite directions which makes it tricky to get a whirlpool going, but it does mean good control in terms of it doesn't boil your milk in a matter of seconds! The boiler is big and keeps the steam coming without losing too much pressure. The taps themselves are easy to use.

        The only disappointment has been the noise of the rotary pump. The drip tray buzzes when it's on and there's another buzzing in the machine somewhere. It isn't a major thing though, and Jack is speaking with Quickmill to see if there is any way it can be addressed.

        The other thing is that I was surprised at the total volume of shot. With a double basket and a single pull, you get 35mls. I was hoping to get a double's worth (ie 60mls) from a single pull. Instead I've reverted to making two separate shots. Which means I'm getting a very rich shot in my latte each morning.

        I've got mine on a timer to come on about 45mins before I use it and once up to temp it seems very stable in the group.

        Sniff

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your thoughts sniff,

          Ours is due tomorrow and my intention is to get it up onto the bench asap.

          I am not overly concerned about the rotary pump noise. More often than not it's just vibration and is generally just a matter of making sure that the motor mounts are suitable and that nothing is touching. I think it would be pretty easy to quieten your machine.

          I'm really looking forward to seeing this one.

          Chris
          Last edited by TC; 11 November 2012, 10:01 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello fellow Achille enthusiasts- sorry I haven't posted here to date- I have been too busy and haven't had time to jump on the forum.

            thanks for the micro-review Lacehim- like you I am also enjoying my own achille very much. I will adress a few of the issues raised here before I go into detail anout my own daily use of the machine.

            Concerning the shot size: I think it is normal for a commercial lever group to pump out a shot in the 30ml range as the shot size is tied to the capacity of the piston chamber. Indeed I think the standard 30ml shot size was determined by the first Gaggia and other lever machines. Today's standard is a direct reflection of the original piston capacities of those groups.

            However there are two ways to increase shot size: passive (leaving the lever in the down position before initiating the piston) and non-passive per-infusion (aka the fellini maneuver). I think if you are using double or jumbo baskets a fellini maneuver could be the way to get larger volume shots. Also I often leave the lever down for as long as 15 seconds preinfusion with larger doses.

            Next issue the pump: on my own sample machine it was quite noisy and caused a few vibrations. I greatly reduced this by tightening the four mounting screws that you can access at the rear of the machine on the bottom. These four screws have rubber mounts above that secure the pump. Two of them are at the edge of cabinet and have washers on them. I think on my machine one of them was a little loose and this caused most of the vibrations. The pump now runs smooth however it is not exactly quiet. I am not sure how it should sound- as being a lever man I have no real experience with rotary pumps. Mine now sounds a bit like when my washing machine activates and starts filling with water... for what that is worth. I think as Chris mentioned that with some tweaking of the mount and perhaps the flow rate adjuster the pumps could be quietened.

            as to shots I found early: grind fine and tamp light- and that works very well for me. Originally I dialed down the p-stat to 1 Bar as that works well on my Lusso lever. However after some testing I put it back to the factory 1.1 bar- which seems better for the Bosco type group. Today I got some precision baskets from talk coffee and my first shot with one was absolutely the perfect pour- maybe 35 seconds with oodles of thick persistent 'tiger striped' crema... Having used the machine for a little over a month I have found it very easy to use- ticks over all day maintaining the ideal temp.

            Comment


            • #7
              Is it on your bench yet Chris? It would be interesting to see what you think of it considering you've used/stocked a few bigger levers before.

              If you get any tweaks that will improve the machine in any way please share them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes Lacehim, it arrived a couple of days ago and we pulled a few shots yesterday.

                Initial impressions:
                There is work to do. The pump is NOISY- but I think we'll be able to make a significant difference to that. I am 99% sure that most of the water is being diverted to bypass as the initial fill was slooooooooow. It shouldn't be like this as I have never heard any pump vibe or rotary which is as loud. I am unsure whether this is a QC issue or design. I am certain we can make a dramatic improvement to silence it.

                Without having had the covers off it, it seems to be a dipper style setup. This means that the group will cool when the machine is at idle and requires a shot to warm things. Rick Bond aka The Coffee Machinist had his Scace on it and this confirms 93.5 deg C after the blank shot. Thereafter, you're fine back to back in a shot session.

                The lever spring appears to be the 10 bar version (there is a 12 bar version as well) and the pressure profile is a beautiful classic lever profile. The lever does require a little more force than our Pompeii, but it's not onerous.

                Steam performance is fine, but the tip porting is wide. I intend to try a Giotto tip (which should fit).

                One of the surprises was the finish of the machine. It's a whole lot better than I had hoped.

                We'll have the covers off it on Saturday and I'll come back to this thread with more observations.

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the update Chris - reassuring to hear that your initial fill was slow too. Please post some pics after Saturday!

                  Sniff

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                  • #10
                    Indeed- thanks Chris for the initial analysis.

                    I think you may be wrong about the group connection- I am pretty sure it is a thermosyphon connection to the boiler. There are two water pipes that enter the group at the back- and the group heats up faster than I would expect if it was a dipper type. Also the group does not really cool significantly when the machine is left at idle- it stays quite hot to the touch. But I am not 100% sure yet- when I had the cabinet off I neglected to look at this area of the machine really closely and I didn't remove the water tank assembly to get a better look.

                    On another note my precision baskets arrived (thanks Chris) and they are indeed better to use than the stock baskets that came with the machine. Tamping and dosing is a little easier and overall improved pours were noticeable straight away- a good investment.

                    as I mentioned I was able to reduce the noise and vibrations from my pump by simply tightening the four bolts that secure it to the base of the machine. I only tightened them a small amount but it made a significant difference. I look forward to seeing if you can achieve more by adjusting the bypass. I will be passing this information back onto QM so hopefully they can improve the pump issue at the factory next time...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jack, did you have to change the group handle spring to fit the EP ridgeless baskets? Also what size did you get?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the information Jack.

                        I am always happy to be proven wrong!

                        We'll have a look see on Saturday

                        Chris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sorrentinacoffee View Post

                          On another note my precision baskets arrived (thanks Chris) and they are indeed better to use than the stock baskets that came with the machine. Tamping and dosing is a little easier and overall improved pours were noticeable straight away- a good investment.
                          Jack, if you have a moment, can you please post pictures of the precision baskets next to the stock baskets that came with your machine. It would be nice to see the differences side by side.
                          I believe basket design can make a difference to your pours (especially with levers). Sometimes, it makes getting the dose and distribution right, a very simple process. This in turn makes the process of "getting acquainted" with your machine, more enjoyable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lacehim View Post
                            Jack, did you have to change the group handle spring to fit the EP ridgeless baskets? Also what size did you get?
                            No, they fit in without any trouble. No new spring needed. The triple can also fit! Although I haven't tried it to pull a shot.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alrighty- today we pulled the covers off...

                              The noise- was coming from just about everything! We found at least 10 contributors- the most significant being part of the HX circuit hard against the base of the chassis and the saftey valve hard against the top cover. There were also other contacts and the braided to and from the pump- also weird. We intend to work on that during then next week. At this point I would estimate we have reduced the noise by about 60-70%. Motor mounts are fine...

                              I think that when they went for a 4.5L boiler, it was always going to be tough to cram everything into the chassis. A little more forethought would have made for a better solution. The machine would have been just as good with a 3L boiler and a whole heap of the gotchas would also have been solved.

                              In a hydraulics sense, there is nothing of concern which can't be attended to. There are also a couple of electrical issues which were "surprising". Again, there are easily fixed, but they do need to be done for the sake of all parties.

                              At this point, we are estimating 3-4 hours of testing and calibration plus an electrical test and tag will be required for each machine. Most of the issues which need to be attended to really just relate to somewhat careless QC on assembly. Early adopters, you have received an absolute bargain. I was supplied with a RRP of $4.1k yesterday. Given the sophistication of the machine and the pump/motor and extra electrics over similar competitors, that sounds about right.

                              Progressing on this, we will be providing Jack with a fair few recommendations for revisions which could and should happen during assembly.

                              This is a really nice machine and the componentry is top notch. It just needs to be "tidied up" to make it right.

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