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Cleaning a Lelit PL041 - water coming out tastes foul

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  • Cleaning a Lelit PL041 - water coming out tastes foul

    I was trying to figure out why the coffee I make tastes so bad even having fresh beans, so I drank the water that came out of the machine and it tastes really bad. How do I clean the inside of the machine?

    I have a feeling that there is some stale ground coffee stuck inside from trying to pour shots with beans that were ground too fine.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Cleaning a Lelit PL041 - water coming out tastes foul

    [useless post]I was going to suggest washing it out with chicken stock, so it would taste FOWL...
    (my POULTRY sense of humour)[/useless post] :-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by double-o-latte View Post
      I was trying to figure out why the coffee I make tastes so bad even having fresh beans, so I drank the water that came out of the machine and it tastes really bad. How do I clean the inside of the machine?

      I have a feeling that there is some stale ground coffee stuck inside from trying to pour shots with beans that were ground too fine.

      Thanks
      Are you maintaining the machine daily, assuming you use it daily? Back flushing and rinsing the screen after use? Also use a machine detergent/agent. Plenty of info around about this.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bernsbrew View Post
        Are you maintaining the machine daily, assuming you use it daily? Back flushing and rinsing the screen after use? Also use a machine detergent/agent. Plenty of info around about this.
        That's the problem. I didn't start backflushing it until after a few months of ownership, and now no matter how many times I try to backflush there is always stale ground coffee present after the backflush, so it's my bad

        I just wanted confirmation that a descaler/detergent is safe (and which is best) to use with the PL041, don't want to put the wrong cleaner in and destroy the machine.

        I have looked through the manual

        Comment


        • #5
          Do you want to descale or backflush? These are totally different things, requiring different approaches and products.

          If the hot water tap supplies water that tastes all right, but water via the group head tastes bad, then a detergent backflush is your best first step. There are many choices around, I personally use Cafetto Espresso Clean and have done so for over 6 years.

          If the water that comes out via the hot water tap tastes odd, then it is unlikely the taint is caused by coffee. The issue may be in the boiler, and that could require a descale or service.

          I would suggest doing the backflush first as it is a far simpler procedure. Then see if you think it made a difference. Please ask more questions if you are uncertain on the process as doing it badly can cause damage to a machine.

          Brett.

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          • #6
            Have a look at sponsor Bombora's site. You can order cleaning products on-line. If the problem is any more serious than a basic back flush with a cleaning agent, then I would suggest having the machine fully serviced and professionally cleaned.

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            • #7
              Do not attempt to descale the machine, leave that to an expert.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bernsbrew View Post
                Do not attempt to descale the machine, leave that to an expert.
                Hey Bernsbrew, how's the minore going? Actually a regular simple descale once every 4 to 6 months is recommended as normal use maintenance. Perhaps you are thinking of an extensive descale where components are pulled apart and boiler is forcibly filled etc which takes several hours to do.

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                • #9
                  Hi mate,
                  The Minore is a really big step up, but I'm making giant strides with the e61 group, and getting some tasty brews. I understand descaling DBs and HXs is tricky. So far, water from the hot water tap tastes fine, as does water from the group. Just waiting on a benchtop filter from Bombora so I can stop using Brita filter jug water.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What kind of taste is it? is there any risk you've sucked up milk through the spout back into the boiler which has turned?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fatboy_1999 View Post
                      Do you want to descale or backflush? These are totally different things, requiring different approaches and products.

                      If the hot water tap supplies water that tastes all right, but water via the group head tastes bad, then a detergent backflush is your best first step. There are many choices around, I personally use Cafetto Espresso Clean and have done so for over 6 years.

                      If the water that comes out via the hot water tap tastes odd, then it is unlikely the taint is caused by coffee. The issue may be in the boiler, and that could require a descale or service.

                      I would suggest doing the backflush first as it is a far simpler procedure. Then see if you think it made a difference. Please ask more questions if you are uncertain on the process as doing it badly can cause damage to a machine.

                      Brett.
                      I've tried the backflush many times now but the water still tastes bad, and there is constantly some stale ground beans around the edges of the blind filter afterwards, no matter how many times I do it.
                      Is it safe to use descaling solution for the Lelit? Thanks for your help, just wanted to make sure because didn't want to ruin (and void warranty on) the expensive machine by cleaning it wrong

                      Originally posted by AtomicGrog View Post
                      What kind of taste is it? is there any risk you've sucked up milk through the spout back into the boiler which has turned?
                      I would say it's a metallic sort of taste. Haven't turned the machine on through winter so I could be wrong

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by double-o-latte View Post
                        I've tried the backflush many times now but the water still tastes bad, and there is constantly some stale ground beans around the edges of the blind filter afterwards, no matter how many times I do it.

                        Have you cleaned the group using a stiff group head brush? Shouldn't explain the taste of the water coming straight through the shower screen, but might explain why you get some grounds on the blind filter?

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                        • #13
                          Here's a video I made today of backflushing on a machine equipped with a 3 way solenoid valve. You only need to backflush with water daily and only backflush with cafetto every now and again. Remember to use the correct powder for backflushing. Do not confuse descaler for backflush powder.

                          ECM Giotto backflush, backflushing, cleaning, maintenance - YouTube

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                            Have you cleaned the group using a stiff group head brush? Shouldn't explain the taste of the water coming straight through the shower screen, but might explain why you get some grounds on the blind filter?
                            Originally posted by saoye View Post
                            Here's a video I made today of backflushing on a machine equipped with a 3 way solenoid valve. You only need to backflush with water daily and only backflush with cafetto every now and again. Remember to use the correct powder for backflushing. Do not confuse descaler for backflush powder.

                            ECM Giotto backflush, backflushing, cleaning, maintenance - YouTube
                            Great ideas, I shall try that. My machine doesn't have a place for the blackflush fluid to go, do I open the steam wand instead?

                            Is it possible for very fine grinds to get stuck into the boiler?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Lelit definitely has a 3 way solenoid. It's a tube that's directed to the drip tray. It's just not visual as the Giotto. You will hear the sound of the water come out. If you are not sure what you are doing, I suggest asking someone who does to show you. Read up on back flushing.

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