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  • Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

    So, before I ask anything, heres the story so far. Because all questions are better answered in context.

    Ive had 2 EM2300s, the first of which I picked up in college (5 or so years ago) at a swap meet for $10. It was my first espresso machine, and is still going strong, although it now lives at my parents, for the occasional coffee when I visit. It started my love of home espresso coffee.

    Since then, my coffee budget increased marginally, and after my second EM2300 gave up around a year ago, I upped the stakes slightly, and purchased an EM3600. I found this a great little machine creating tasty and easy coffees. It served me well, up until about a month ago when my girlfriend gifted me a Espresso Mastery course at Epic Espresso, in Perth.

    After going to the fantastic 3 hour Saturday morning course (I highly recommend this!) my coffee at home tasted and looked immediately better! But unfortunately, my little Sunbeam was simply not enough for my new found coffee hobby, (something it seems many on these forums would be able to relate too!) so after spending some time over the last few weeks perusing these forums, Ive finally decided on the much discussed EM6910, which Im combining with my existing EM0480. (A lucky find at a garage sale!)

    Needless to say, my girlfriend is quite aware at this point that she may have created a monster... hehe.

    I picked it up last weekend from The Good Guys, Osborne Park, for $675, including the extended 2 year warranty. Ive set it up on the bench, and havent looked back since. So many factors are so far above my previous machines, theres too many even to list.

    Oh, and in case youre looking for my usage habits, I tend to make 2 coffees at a time, once or twice a day. Im using 5 Senses or Fiori coffee, fresh roasted. (there any others I should look out for in Perth?)


    So, thats my background, and heres my questions:

    Where do I buy the coffee cleaning tablets, and how much do they cost? Ive seen them mentioned in the manuals, but I havent got around to finding these yet.

    Based on my above mentioned usage, how often should I run the full machine clean/flush process?
    At the moment, Im just purging the steam wand, flushing and wiping the group head, and rinsing and wiping everything thoroughly, but I know once I get hold of these cleaning tablets, I should probably use them on a regular basis.

    Ive searched for this on the forums, but Im not sure if Im seeing everything. If Ive missed any obvious existing threads or guides, please feel free to link me in the right direction!

    Whew. Well, I have many more specific questions, but that will be enough for this thread! Any other general tips, or comments would be appreciated though.

    Cheers,

    Dave.

  • #2
    Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

    Hi dave and welcome to CS - the only place to be 8-)

    The cleaning tablets I have only been able to get from a Sunbeam service agent. Lucked out getting some descaling tablets from HN, but dont use them anymore anyway. I use the Bombora triple action.

    For cleaning, we water backflush after every coffee session or in the evening on weekends when it stays on all day, chemical backflush once a week, usually Sunday night, and descale once a month.

    Probably completely over the top but, whatever, it takes very little time and has very little cost attached to it.

    As I said we use the Bombora for descale as the SB tablets CANNOT be run through the steam arm - tells you in the book. Someone here did and got into all sorts of grief...

    Bombora can be run through all parts, so a far better choice IMHO.

    Unfortunately you cant use Bombora for chemical backflushes as the 6910 doesnt have a proper blind basket, rather, a blinding disc. Bombora Triple Action is a liquid so the SB cleaning tablets are used for that.

    As for acquiring a proper blind basket....DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!! ;D

    Someone else here did that and blew off internal pipes... :

    As mentioned, this is way more frequent than the instructions suggest but I dont really care. I want to get up in the morning, turn it on and shortly after have a great coffee. I think this regime can only help.

    Follow the instructions in the manual for each type of cleaning and you cant go wrong. You choose how often you do it.

    Also book yourself in for the free course. Great machine specific tips to be had and they were the ones who told us/showed us about the daily water backflush. Makes a huge difference when you look at your shower screen each month, trust me.

    Any other stuff we can help you with, fire away

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

      Thanks for the info Chris!

      So, a good system would be water backflush after every use, then chemical backflush on weekends, and descale once a month. I think that seems like a pretty reasonable regime.

      And Sunbeam tablets are needed for the chemical backflushing and by water backflush do you mean just running the cleaning cycle with the supplied rubber stopper thingi, and no sunbeam tablets?

      Now that I think about it, I think they may have had the tablets at Good Guys. Ill check it out tonight, I assume that theyre these ones: http://www.sunbeam.com.au/Pages/Browse/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=1105

      Which Bombora product would you recommend for the descaling? I had a look at the online store, but I was a little overwhelmed with choices.

      I better look into the Sunbeam course too, I cant afford to miss a freebie like that.

      Thanks again,

      Dave.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

        Originally posted by 626770636F6865060 link=1245902160/2#2 date=1245908693
        So, a good system would be water backflush after every use, then chemical backflush on weekends, and descale once a month. I think that seems like a pretty reasonable regime.
        If you are crazy like me

        Originally posted by 626770636F6865060 link=1245902160/2#2 date=1245908693
        And Sunbeam tablets are needed for the chemical backflushing and by water backflush do you mean just running the cleaning cycle with the supplied rubber stopper thingi, and no sunbeam tablets?
        No, what they said to do is drop the blinding disc into the double basket, lock handle in place and hit the manual button until pressure builds up, then release. The needle on ours nearly redlines when we do it.

        Then hit manual again, then off when pressure is up. Pressure comes up faster on the subsequent goes as the pf is already full of water courtesy of the blinding disc.

        Do this 5-10 times quickly, like on/off, on/off, on/off.....

        This will push clean water back up and then down the pressure relief pipe, cleaning most residue out. The benefit they said is that when you make espresso, you are extracting coffee oils, and these can be mostly washed away while still warm and moist.

        I hope that made sense... :-/

        Originally posted by 626770636F6865060 link=1245902160/2#2 date=1245908693
        Now that I think about it, I think they may have had the tablets at Good Guys. Ill check it out tonight, I assume that theyre these ones: http://www.sunbeam.com.au/Pages/Browse/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=1105
        Yep, thats the ones. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

        Originally posted by 626770636F6865060 link=1245902160/2#2 date=1245908693
        Which Bombora product would you recommend for the descaling? I had a look at the online store, but I was a little overwhelmed with choices.
        http://www.bomborasupplies.com.au/product.php?productid=289&cat=0&page=1

        Chris


        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

          Originally posted by 292139332E4A0 link=1245902160/1#1 date=1245907558
          Unfortunately you cant use Bombora for chemical backflushes as the 6910 doesnt have a proper blind basket, rather, a blinding disc. Bombora Triple Action is a liquid so the SB cleaning tablets are used for that.

          As for acquiring a proper blind basket....DONT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!Grin

          Someone else here did that and blew off internal pipes... Roll Eyes
          cksyd -
          For normal backflushing with the rubber disk (which at the Sunbeam course they tell you to do every day) I dont usually (but maybe occasionally) get any water coming out underneath, so I would have thought that it was doing exactly the same thing as a blind basket???

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

            Originally posted by 342F2630333E470 link=1245902160/4#4 date=1245910193
            cksyd -
            For normal backflushing with the rubber disk (which at the Sunbeam course they tell you to do every day) I dont usually (but maybe occasionally) get any water coming out underneath, so I would have thought that it was doing exactly the same thing as a blind basket???
            Hey shawty,

            Well yeah I get very little water coming through as well, but when you do the programmed backflush you get a reasonable amount.

            Dont forget the disc has a hole in it so you will get some and that will also relieve max pressure...

            Anyway, have a read of here and on a bit with what beanmonkey said/did

            http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1243404653/6#6

            You might want to have a look too Dave  

            Chris

            No blind filter for me thanks!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

              Thanks cksyd
              Very enlightening - I wonder how the Cafetto backflush that ozscott does with the rubber insert is done :-?

              P.S. Im pretty new to this so please forgive my ignorance

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                Hey no probs,

                Im only regurgitating stuff I have heard with reasonable authority and other stuff/problems I have read.

                Dont know about the Cafetto, but would like to find out as well. Think we should hassle ozscott ;D

                The Bombora I just assume would not work for a backflush as it is liquid. Maybe it would but the hole in the blind makes me wonder...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                  Ok, Chris, so from reading that other thread, and here, the consensus seems to be that a proper blind is a bad idea. Not that matters anyway, because I dont have access to one.

                  Ill find some sb tablets for the chemical backflushing, and when I get home today, Ill try the water backflush as you described.

                  Cheers!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                    Hi Dave

                    Yeah just use the disc, thats what they give you - a no brainer really.

                    I just hope I explained the water backflush well enough. Would prefer you see them do it on the course in case anything gets lost in translation.

                    As they say, a picture is worth...

                    Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                      Well the good news is that I found a some cleaning tablets at good guys, although for $19, theyre not cheap. I havent done a chemical backflush yet, I thought Id leave it to the weekend.

                      I also tried to do the water backflush, but with the blind in, pressing manual, my machine doesnt seem to even get close to the redline before the pressure seems to release... Which is odd, because when you have coffee in it, it seems to get higher pressures.
                      :-?

                      Ill try it again tonight, and see how I go. Was a little rushed yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                        Hmm, seems it may have got lost in the translation.

                        Book yourself in for the Sunbeam course Dave, they will show you how to do it and you will be set. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

                        In the meantime, start building your bean roaster ;D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                          Ill do that as asap Chris. Just Found the link: http://www.sunbeamcoffeeschool.com.au/
                          Unfortunately it looks like asap will be a few weeks time, as Im away the next few Saturdays.

                          That said, I had another go at it this morning after sending that message, and it seemed to work ok, although sometimes the blind seems to hold more pressure than other times... And the most pressure my machine seems to want to build up is about mid way into the dark brown area on the pressure gauge... Its a little odd, but then I guess every machine is a little different.

                          On a different note, I see in your sig you have the em0480, the same grinder as me.
                          While Im aware that the grind required for a perfect shot is dependent on many different variables, bean blend, moisture content, tamp pressure, and the quantity used, etc etc, but Im curious.
                          (also, as a low-ish end domestic grinder, I bet theyre all calibrated differently...)

                          But comparisons are fun... I think mine at home is currently set to 9. Not sure if there is a unit of measure associated with that, maybe we call it 9 sgu. (Sunbeam Grider Units*  ;D)


                          *Please note that Sunbeam Grider Units have no accurate correlation to coffee particle size, and will vary per machine. Comparison of these numbers is not recommended, but can be entertaining...




                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                            ;D ;D ;D

                            Love the subtext ;D

                            You are right, they are all a little different, even the gauges on the 6910.

                            With the backflush, so long as you hear the pump quieten down, then it has back pressure. Turn it off, do it again.

                            Dont pay too much attention to the gauge at all.

                            With the grinder, many in here have had to get extra spacer washers to put under the bottom burr. Sounds like you didnt which is cool. We didnt either.

                            Can imagine these spacers, along with burrs wearing over time so it is really hard to correlate grind numbers, but having said that, we are currently on 10 with Mexico Tapachula El Tacana @ CS buggered if I know - dark ;D

                            Moved it down to 9 this morning but was touch and go at coming out too slow.

                            Probably really needed to be on 9.5 SGU ;D

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Another Newbie wt EM6910 - Tips & Cleaning?

                              Weird. Were both at similar SGU measurements. I would have expected these to be vastly different, but trust my first comparison to directly oppose my previous subtext on the definition of the SGU.

                              I guess its a little reassuring though, that Im on the right track... Although, if our machines are really different... Then it could just mean that Im way out!  ;D

                              Would anyone else like to add their SGU setting?

                              Anyway, Id be curious to see a comparison of all the settings people use on the em6910. I can see them sprinkled though many threads, but no single comparison. Am I missing it? Or should we start a new thread EM6910 Owners: Compare your settings. or something like that.

                              Ive just added mine as they currently stand, to my sig.

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