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VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

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  • VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

    Perhaps we should just call it a "Domobar" to simplify things, as opposed to the "Domobar Super".  
    Anyways...my newbie questions is...how long do you normally let the VBM flush for after its been preheating for 45 minutes to an hour before pulling a shot?  

    If you do pull a shot, steam some milk, then decide to pull a another shot 5 or so minutes later how long do you need to flush for? Thanks

  • #2
    Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

    hey Buschy you missed a couple names ive been calling my machine since ive had it :

    #@%$!#
    *&#%$!@#&

    there you go your list is complete ;D

    i cant give you any advice but will be watching for any info posted by others

    Darren

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

      Hey Buschy

      If you follow the steps as per the steaming guide (link to PDF file has been posted a few times on CS), then you should be able to use the #@%$!# (stealing one of Banjos names for it) pretty much straight away. I generally prime the boiler via the steam nozzle (as described in the guide) and then run water through the group head for a few seconds as well or until there is no steam issuing

      I wonder, this being the start of Mental Health Week there should be a Levetta Owners Support Group as well. The first meeting should be
      1. How to stop wishing you had bought a HX instead and learn to love your Levetta

      I swear I miss my Gaggia Baby. It didnt make the best coffee Ive ever tasted but it was less fussy than the Levetta. Still, Im kind of enjoying the challenge and Im sure the results will be worth waiting for.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

        flynnaus wrote:
        I wonder, this being the start of Mental Health Week there should be a Levetta Owners Support Group as well. The first meeting should be
        1. How to stop wishing you had bought a HX instead and learn to love your Levetta
        ah yes, but i get enough weird looks off people when i tell them i spent X amount let alone having them reach for the straight jacket if i was to tell them i spent an extra X amount

        Darren

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        • #5
          Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

          I called my Corretto "#@%$!# " and a few other choice names yesterday. My little cooling fan wouldnt start and then the fan that I did end up using fell on top of my heat gun assembly half way through my roast and knocked it over. At the end of the roast I forgot to bring along the oven mitts so I burned my fingers while attempting to get the beans from the bread pan to the colander for cooling, and then I spilled the beans all over the kitchen counter and floor while transferring them from the colander to the storage bag.  

          But enough whining and back on topic... Yes, I do use the procedure for steaming that is illustrated in that PDF, it works well and will hopefully protect the machines heating element in the long run. My machine is always "primed" but I wonder how long to let water run through the group so that it is not too hot after sitting around for an hour. Right now I "freshen" the machine for about 7 or 8 seconds just before use. Like you I only run water through the group for a couple of seconds between shots after steaming (after hot water has started to run through wand again, tap is turned off and boiler has refilled).

          The support group is an excellent idea!  

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

            hahahaha ;D

            that gave me a pretty good laugh Buschy

            well take this with a grain of salt but i find if my machine has been sitting for a while and i run water through the group it spits and splutters and carries on so my way of thinking is i dont want this hitting my puck so i keep warming cups/shot glasses(training wheels) and whatever else needs a bit of hot water in it until the boiler light comes on, i usually have the portafilter loaded and ready to go and lock it in and either there are high fives to myself or swearing and cursing over the sink

            Darren

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            • #7
              Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

              hey banjo,

              sounds like a short flush might be a good idea if youre getting steam and spitting from the group head. I wonder if your thermostat is running a little hot. I think this is often the case when they are used off the shelf. Someone else can confirm...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                I have only had steam from the group head when the machine is first turned on. If it has been warming up for 30 minutes or more I never get sputtering.

                I usually pump about 2 seconds of water before a coffee to warm up the head, rather than cool the water! and only if it has been sitting a while.

                When I make 2 coffees within minutes I dont flush at all. After each milk stretch I refill the boiler.

                Greg

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                • #9
                  Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                  With a top notch machine like the Levetta, why speculate about the temperature?

                  http://users.rcn.com/erics/DigThermAdptr1.pdf

                  A simple addition like this would tell you:

                  a) When the machine is warmed up
                  b) Whether or not the thermostat is properly set
                  c) When things are ready to go again after steaming

                  Im not sure if any site sponsors offer this gadget, but if not try here:

                  http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/home/espressoaccs/thermometerkit

                  Jim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                    Hi there,
                    The "Domobar" shouldnt steam and spit if it has been idling for 45min or more, as its a single boiler. This is something more symptomatic of a HX machine. However I like to do a 2sec flush to before pulling a shot just to make sure the water is fresh and the group head is stable. To pull a shot after steaming and refilling the boiler, just flush the group head in 3sec intervals until it stops spitting/steaming, usally its ready in about 2min, if I depress the steam button and refill the boiler immediately (theres alot of metal to cool down) or just leave the machine alone after refilling and you can pull a shot in about 8 min without a cooling flush.



                    I love my whatever you call it,
                    Rancho.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                      I HIGHLY recommend Erics adapter. The thermometer alone with the adapter is probably all you need. it allows excellent repeatability because whether the machine has been sitting for five minutes or five hours you can get the extraction started at the same temperature very time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                        A quick thought - would a flush after starting up also serve to warm up the grouphead ?

                        The boiler on my machine heats up pretty quickly - the heating lamp goes out in about 5 mins after power on. The recommendation is to leave it for at least 30 minutes before pouring a shot. I imagine that is to allow the group head to reach the correct temperature but if you flushed water through the group head after the boiler has heated up, would this reduce the reciommended waiting time. Commonsense says it would but is there more to it than that

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                          Yes it would reduce the start up time.
                          I had to do exactly that this morning as Id forgotten to adjust the timer for daylight savings and my machine wasnt on as long as usual this morning when I was ready for my morning cuppa.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                            So taking it further, would it be a better idea to do this every time for any E61 machine: rather than waiting for up to 1 hour while the machine warms up, as soon as the boiler heats up flush a small amount of water through the group head.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: VBM Vashetta/Levetta/Piccolo Cooling Flush

                              I apologize in advance for mixing a little bit of educated guess in with some actual observations  8-)

                              A flush through the group will probably result in only a temporary departure from the "natural" warm up curve.  Or, at best, a small improvement in the waiting time.

                              OTOH, CafeIKE (in a recent H-B thread) points out that draping a dry cloth over an E-61 group makes a dramatic reduction in the time required to reach "flat line" temperature.  I tried this myself and found it to work as advertised.  This is now my standard procedure when I need to shortcut the warmup on an E-61.

                              Alternatively, turning on the steam switch for, say, 5 minutes should make a pretty signficant difference, too, especially if a flush done when the boiler is at steaming temps.

                              I think either of the latter choices would probably be more effective than only flushing water.

                              Jim


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