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ECM Technika V - Weak steam pressure

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  • ECM Technika V - Weak steam pressure

    Hi guys - new to forum and need setup advice for my new machine.

    I recently upgraded to the ECM Technika V Profi PID and I'm a little disappointed with the steam pressure. This is me comparing to my previous machine which was the Brugnetti Viola which was a much cheaper machine.
    Straight out of the box the streaming temp for the ECM is pre-set to 120°C. (Extraction temp at the brew group = 93.4°C and sitting 1.0 bar). With the factory setting, takes way too long to steam milk in comparison to my old machine. Even after turning it up a few degrees I still found the pressure be quite weak I’m not getting a nice whirlpool/microfoam. The instruction manual recommends placing steam tip in middle of the pitcher, I’m not having much luck by doing this.
    Any advice/tips from other ECM owners? Has anyone else found that the steam pressure on the ECM Technika / Mechanika to be mediocre?

    I’ve read on this forum that another owner had done a $250 modification to his Technika IV. He had a thermosyphon restrictor put in, meaning the steam pressure can be higher (sits at 1.4 bar over the stock 1.2) while the brew temperature is still ideal.
    I was wondering if this might be necessary to the ECM machines. (I really don’t want to spend another $250, wife will kill me lol) Still need to get a need to get a plumber out to my place to create a new water line for the machine.
    Last edited by Pete7; 7th November 2019, 06:20 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome Pete7...

    Steam boiler set at 120C is a bit low in my experience.
    Try adjusting the PID setting for Steam up to 130C, where it should be able to produce loads of quality, dry steam...

    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dimal View Post
      Welcome Pete7...

      Steam boiler set at 120C is a bit low in my experience.
      Try adjusting the PID setting for Steam up to 130C, where it should be able to produce loads of quality, dry steam...

      Mal.
      Thanks Dimal, my PID maxes out at 128C. But this will also mean the extraction temp at the brew group would be at 100C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pete7 View Post
        Any advice/tips from other ECM owners? Has anyone else found that the steam pressure on the ECM Technika / Mechanika to be mediocre?
        .
        I have the mechanika running at 1.1 BAR produces lovely microfoam. I have read other Technika IV users replacing the steam tip with a 4 hole tip with good results??

        Having said that, and noting the manual states clearly set the temp @120, I wonder if there is something else going on that's causing the low pressure??

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah, sorry. I didn't realise that this was a HX machine...
          Yes, it sounds like the t/syphon gicleur needs to be reduced in size to accommodate a more realistic PID setting. 128C should be Ok, mentioned 130C since it's a nice round number...

          Mal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by flashpixx View Post
            Having said that, and noting the manual states clearly set the temp @120
            Hmmm, that temperature is definitely at the low end of what I would consider reasonable. Maybe this setup has been idealised for a region other than Australia.

            Yes, playing around with alternative Steam Wand Tips is a worthwhile thing to try but only goes to further indicate that the setup hasn't been optimised for our conditions, in my opinion.

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Pete. i'm a new owner of the same machine & experienced the same disappointment. Fortunately the solution is simple. Contact your supplier for the 4 hole steam wand tip. Done. Different as chalk & cheese to the supplied 2 hole steam wand tip. the 4 hole tip has BIGGER holes as well as double the number. Not only that, the 2 holes are adjacent & make swirling difficult where the 4 is much easier.
              Also found that adding a little full fat milk to Trim milk made life easier.
              My supplier not only supplied the replacement tip in short order but gave feedback to ECM directly when at a coffee show in Italy recently [that the supplied two hole tip is daft].
              Re group head temp from PID setting... while there is a direct correlation between PID setting & group head temp, this is not a constant during brewing. I have just installed the Coffee Sensor today & it is a revelation. Still have soooo much to learn but initial impressions are that if you want an average of, say, 94.5 then you might need to set the PID to 127 so that the water starts out higher but goes below the ideal. Very early days....thank goodness for this forum & its contributors!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the responses guys!

                Looks like I'm off to my supplier to get a 4 hole wand tip! I'll let you all know how I go once I swap over to the new wand tip.
                Glad to find out that this is an easy fix

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Pete7 and Quester.

                  I have also just bought this machine after a 10 year run on a Sunbeam EM6910 and I’m finding the exact same experience. I wonder if any users have reported a similar issue on the previous model, the Technika iv or on the Profitech Pro 500? If not what has changed. It’s certainly disappointing for $3K+ machine to need to alter it out of the box. Pete7 if you don’t mind let us know how the 4 hole tip works out for you. Guessing I’ll have to try the same.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cfnovice View Post
                    Hi Pete7 and Quester.

                    I have also just bought this machine after a 10 year run on a Sunbeam EM6910 and I’m finding the exact same experience. I wonder if any users have reported a similar issue on the previous model, the Technika iv or on the Profitech Pro 500? If not what has changed. It’s certainly disappointing for $3K+ machine to need to alter it out of the box. Pete7 if you don’t mind let us know how the 4 hole tip works out for you. Guessing I’ll have to try the same.
                    The Profitec Pro 500 has a higher default boiler pressure (1.4 BAR), different steam valve (rotary wear-free) and comes with a 2 and 4 hole tip in the box. So the steam performance can't be compared to the Technika.

                    charlie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pete7 View Post
                      Thanks for all the responses guys!

                      Looks like I'm off to my supplier to get a 4 hole wand tip! I'll let you all know how I go once I swap over to the new wand tip.
                      Glad to find out that this is an easy fix
                      Hi Pete7. How did you get on? I have my PID set to 125 and steam is running at about 1.4 BAR. btw My wife likes her flat white at circa 50 degrees, so that is what I was heating it too. However, it was missing the sweetness (naturally!) so now take it to the 60 degrees required to sweeten the milk and dump in 2 ice cubes....perfect. I haven't timed it but the stretching phase happens very quickly and it is up to that temp quickly. I have also managed to sweet talk her into using A2 Lite milk instead of the Trim milk. Cheating, I know, but it is making a hell of a lot nicer tasting flat white and foaming more easily and lasting longer.
                      Oh, and a visitor did the same thing with a Soy milk and found that he no longer needed to add sugar to his flat white.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Same machine, same problem (but in Ontario, Canada). I’m not a physicist, but obviously Changing to a 4 hole wand will not increase the steam pressure, although it might produce better results (I ordered a 4 hold tip just to see). On advice from my dealer I have also increased the PID temperature to 124, haven’t had a chance to evaluate that. Remember that doing this will increase your extraction temperature as well, to about 96 degrees C. So I am interested to see if there is a negative trade off there (more bitter extraction). I will report. Roger, Kingston, Ontario

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm very intersted to see your findings Aintmissb. I've talked to 3 different suppliers and the ECM rep and had multiple answers.

                          The rep assured me using his scace device that his machine measures around 93 degrees and gives 1.3 bar of pressure (I forgot to ask what the pid was set to). This seems like it would be plenty? He told me that the two hole tip is supplied so that it's basically a happy medium for average users, and that the 3 or 4 hole tip can be ordered for more steam power.

                          Another reputable supplier has recommend a tune up to keep the group at 93 and steam at 1.4 bar. This is what was done to my Izzo before purchase and it doesn't need a cooling flush even when set to 1.4bar, which is ultimately what i want.

                          Two other suppliers have told me the steam pressure is more than sufficent and it doesn't need messing with.

                          Video's ive watched online have shown the gauge at .9bar for this machine, albeit using 110v so not sure if this can be compared. Another italian video shows 1.5bar when the pid is turned to to 127, but this is above what the manual recommends for the brew temp...

                          It shouldn't be this complicated.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My experience with the Synchronika was that the original supplied two hole tip had small diameter holes which affected the steam pressure. I upgraded to another two hole tip (larger diameter holes) which improved the steam pressure markedly. No doubt it could be further improved with a 3 or 4 hole tip but for steaming a couple of large milk coffees back to back I'm finding it OK. The tip needs to be cleaned regularly too as this can impact the pressure.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's not complicated if you know where to look

                              From the user manuals:

                              ECM Technika V PID
                              Boiler temperature at the measuring point/display °C 120.0 121.0 122.0 123.0 124.0
                              Extraction temperature at the brew group °C 93.4 93.9 94.8 95.5 96.2

                              Profitec Pro 500 PID (aus spec)
                              Boiler temperature at the measuring point/display °C 122 123 124 125 126 127
                              Extraction temperature at the brew group °C 89.9 90.4 90.9 92.3 93.4 93.9
                              and to convert steam temperature to pressure: https://www.tlv.com/global/AU/calculator/steam-table-temperature.html?advanced=on

                              which yields:

                              Steam boiler temperature °C 120.00 121.00 122.00 123.00 124.00 125.00 126.00 127.00
                              Steam boiler pressure* BAR 0.97 1.04 1.10 1.17 1.24 1.31 1.38 1.46
                              charlie

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