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  • Get rid of ECM giotto? Help!

    First post here guys but have been reading for a while.
    So, after attending the aroma festival in sydney a few weeks ago I made an impulse buy on gumtree. My em6910 pump was playing up so I thought instead of fixing that I would just look to see what was around.
    Ended up with an ecm giotto that I found on gumtree for $600 which was already stretching the budget.

    I completely dismantled it and citric acid bathed the boiler and associated pipes along with mushroom nut. There was some scale in there but not too bad I thought.
    Pressurestat was playing up so replaced that.

    Every shot I pulled on it had thin crema no matter what, horrible watery taste too. The pump didn't have a nice quiet hum when extracting so I dismantled that and cleaned it,put it back in and there was an improvement but only minor.

    Ordered a new pump and put that in yesterday and now there is a definite improvement in taste, however, still thin crema.

    So this is the problem now, prior to the new pump and pstat there was some hissing/flash boiling once heated, but now there's only about 1 second of hissing and then nothing. So now I'm thinking the temp is too low.

    So I need some advice! I'm pretty tired of it and don't want to put too much money into this as it was a stretch already.

    Could it be a heating element problem? It seemed to boil alright before the pump change.

    I'm thinking of just selling it as I've had enough but thought I'd see if anyone has some ideas?

    Btw, grinder is a mazzer mini, fresh beans weighed to a tenth of a gram.

  • #2
    Hey saywhat,

    Yeah your giotto is completely stuffed. You should sell it to me for $50 ;-)

    Nah just kidding. Ok, a few things:

    Dose: your em6910 would have loved a nice high dose because the shower screen was way high. If you're dosing the same into the giotto you'll be in a world of channelling (where the water finds a crack in the puck and shoots through there instead of going through all the coffee picking up yums along the way)
    Your dose should be just below the notch in the basket. I'd love to give you a weight as to how much you should put in, but it all depends on what size baskets you're running with. See photo below for approximate volume post tamp (may even be a touch high in this photo):


    Also, do the 5c test to check as well. Search for it here

    Can you grind fine enough to choke the machine on the sort of dose described?

    Steam boiler: Once it's been on for 20 minutes or more, what does the steam boiler pressure sit at? It should sit around 1.1-1.2bar. You said you put a new pstat in yeah? If so, your boiler pressure may well be different now to before which is probably what is causing not as much flash boiling of the group. BUT if it's getting to 1.1ish bar, then this should be fine.

    Brew temp: If you're getting any flash boiling from the group, the brew water is definitely hot enough. Technically too hot.
    It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds and then brew as that should be about the right brew temp.
    But do this test... Try purging for about 5 seconds past the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds, and then do a 2 second purge. Do you get any flash boiling after 30 seconds?
    If no, wait another minute and do another 2 second purge to check for flashing.
    If no, wait 1:30, purge for 2 seconds, and so on.

    It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, then wait for about 3 minutes and you should start to get a little bit of flash boiling again.

    But brew temp definitely hot enough. If you're not purging for a bit after the hissing stops, you'll be burning your coffee and this could account for the bad taste.

    Brew Pressure: This could be where the problem lies. When you said you pulled everything apart, you would have seen a part like the one in the photo:


    OR



    Did you disassemble and descale this? If so, when you screwed it back together, you may have done it back up either too tight or too loose, producing pressure that is either too high (if too tight) or too low (if too loose), and this could well result in thin watery bad tasting coffee. If you didn't disassemble, you could well still be brewing too high or too low.
    Only solution really is to get a pressure gauge. You can borrow one here - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...auge-road.html

    E61 group: Did you descale this? It would likely have scale inside it too, that the naked eye can't see. You need to run descaler through the machine to get it into the head.

    Did you try making espresso before you did the work to get a benchmark or starting point?

    Comment


    • #3
      What is the manometer reading when at temp? I'm guessing you are getting the usual 30ml between 25 to 30 seconds? I definitely prefer a vibe pump sound compared to the thermoblock sound. If you want quiet go a machine with a rotary pump.

      What is "fresh beans"? My rocket Giotto gives me all crema from pulling 30ml and then settles to 1/3 crema for up to a 2 week roast. Do you notice any water escaping from the group head around the portafilter? When I got my bargain Giotto and pulled the first shot I could not understand the watery shots and on closer look realised hot water was actually travelling outside and under the portafilter making it look like a shot but in fact the group seal was well and trully brittle and I was mostly bypassing the basket and putting just hot water into my cup with some coffee = watery shot with no crema.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great advice above - I would also add do a GOOD chemical backflush. When I got my E61 I wondered why the first few shots were terrible given that water backflushes came out clean, then I put some cafetto through it and saw a whole lotta gunk come out... including a couple of ants! How the hell did they get in there?

        Congrats though, I'm sure you won't regret the purchase down the road. $600 is a sweet price for a Giotto.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bames View Post
          Hey saywhat,

          Yeah your giotto is completely stuffed. You should sell it to me for $50 ;-)

          Nah just kidding. Ok, a few things:

          Dose: your em6910 would have loved a nice high dose because the shower screen was way high. If you're dosing the same into the giotto you'll be in a world of channelling (where the water finds a crack in the puck and shoots through there instead of going through all the coffee picking up yums along the way)
          Your dose should be just below the notch in the basket. I'd love to give you a weight as to how much you should put in, but it all depends on what size baskets you're running with. See photo below for approximate volume post tamp (may even be a touch high in this photo):


          Also, do the 5c test to check as well. Search for it here

          Can you grind fine enough to choke the machine on the sort of dose described?

          Steam boiler: Once it's been on for 20 minutes or more, what does the steam boiler pressure sit at? It should sit around 1.1-1.2bar. You said you put a new pstat in yeah? If so, your boiler pressure may well be different now to before which is probably what is causing not as much flash boiling of the group. BUT if it's getting to 1.1ish bar, then this should be fine.

          Brew temp: If you're getting any flash boiling from the group, the brew water is definitely hot enough. Technically too hot.
          It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds and then brew as that should be about the right brew temp.
          But do this test... Try purging for about 5 seconds past the flash boiling stops, wait 30 seconds, and then do a 2 second purge. Do you get any flash boiling after 30 seconds?
          If no, wait another minute and do another 2 second purge to check for flashing.
          If no, wait 1:30, purge for 2 seconds, and so on.

          It should work that a purge of 5 seconds after the flash boiling stops, then wait for about 3 minutes and you should start to get a little bit of flash boiling again.

          But brew temp definitely hot enough. If you're not purging for a bit after the hissing stops, you'll be burning your coffee and this could account for the bad taste.

          Brew Pressure: This could be where the problem lies. When you said you pulled everything apart, you would have seen a part like the one in the photo:


          OR



          Did you disassemble and descale this? If so, when you screwed it back together, you may have done it back up either too tight or too loose, producing pressure that is either too high (if too tight) or too low (if too loose), and this could well result in thin watery bad tasting coffee. If you didn't disassemble, you could well still be brewing too high or too low.
          Only solution really is to get a pressure gauge. You can borrow one here - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...auge-road.html

          E61 group: Did you descale this? It would likely have scale inside it too, that the naked eye can't see. You need to run descaler through the machine to get it into the head.

          Did you try making espresso before you did the work to get a benchmark or starting point?


          Wow, thanks everyone so much for the informative and helpful replies, especially bames!

          Dose: I'm using a 15g VST basket and weigh out just under 16g. Here is what it looks like after tamped and after the 5c test. (Btw please let me know if these photos don't show, it's my first try)





          Maybe a little bit high?

          Steam boiler: Prior to the new pstat the gauge sat quite high, just under 1.5. It would constantly play up, I'd take water from the hot water wand until it was in the green zone 1-1.25 and then brew.
          Currently with the new pstat I've got it so that it peaks at about 1.3 and then slowly it goes down to 1.1 and then pushes back up to 1.3 (dead band?). There is a bit of hissing going on, is this normal? I've read maybe the anti-vac valve.

          Brew temp: I did the 5 second purge after flash boil then waited three minutes. After three minutes there was a little bit of flash boil again. So that sounds good!

          Brew pressure: I thought this might be quite likely the problem which is why I changed the pump.
          Yes I did take the OPV off, and descaled it, and then..........put it back on as tight as I could!!
          Can the OPV be taken apart because I just took it off soaked it in some citric acid and then put it back on.
          I will contact Greg, that is really great.

          E61 group: Apart from taking the mushroom nut out and soaking that, I blocked the shower screen and filled the chamber up with citric acid. I will run descale through the whole machine assembled.

          Yes I pulled some shots before and they were horrible as a benchmark.

          So.......I loosened the OPV tonight seeing as it was so tight and pulled some shots. Definite improvement. Loosened it some more and even better!! I will have to measure the pressure though, I just don't know where I stand.

          Something that I did omit from the original post, I've never seen this before but when extracting on some shots it looks good at the beginning and then there are some really large bubbles that come out and roll down the two spouts. Any ideas?

          Saoye, I have replaced the group head seal because it was hard as a rock! There is no water escaping, it's nice and tight!
          Beans were roasted on 30.7 so nearly finished but I was pulling shots a few days ago and there was very thin crema and bad taste. I used to get more from the old sunbeam.

          Burr, I used a couple of the sunbeam backflush tablets on it. First one the water that came out was so brown it was gross! Second came out clean. You think more backflushing? I don't think the previous owner backflushed at all. When I asked her if she had she just stared at me blankly and you should've seen the gunk in the shower screen. Water was spraying out it was that blocked up!
          Last edited by Javaphile; 16 August 2014, 03:32 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by saywhat View Post
            Prior to the new pstat the gauge sat quite high, just under 1.5. It would constantly play up, I'd take water from the hot water wand until it was in the green zone 1-1.25 and then brew.
            Currently with the new pstat I've got it so that it peaks at about 1.3 and then slowly it goes down to 1.1 and then pushes back up to 1.3 (dead band?). There is a bit of hissing going on, is this normal? I've read maybe the anti-vac valve.

            I used a couple of the sunbeam backflush tablets on it. First one the water that came out was so brown it was gross! Second came out clean. You think more backflushing? I don't think the previous owner backflushed at all. When I asked her if she had she just stared at me blankly and you should've seen the gunk in the shower screen. Water was spraying out it was that blocked up!
            1.5 is way too high! 1.3 is ok but 1.1 to 1.2 is what works for me. hissing is the anti-vac but should not be that noticeable. May mean there's something not allowing it to seal. I'm not sure how great the sunbeam backflush tablets are but for the Giotto grab 500g of cafetto espresso clean which will last you a lifetime since you'd only use it occasionally and less than 1/4 teaspoon each session.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I've tried playing around with the OPV a bit but shots always seem to be the same. Just quite thin crema, very watery looking. I will wait for gregs pressure gauge and see how that turns out.

              Just a question with the pump. When extracting with the sunbeam the pump would start quite loud and then once under pressure would quiet down to a nice hum.
              With the giotto, it's quite noisy all the time and doesn't go down to a nice hum at all. Just constantly loud, is this ok? I just feel like maybe not enough pressure is forming.

              Also, even though it's a brand new pressure stat every morning without fail it gets stuck! I have to move the screw everything to free it up otherwise it just keeps building pressure. Could I have put it in wrong? I must say I'm pretty disappointed with the quality of it. Just has a plastic screw!

              I'm thinking of just taking it to a service centre, getting a bit fed up with it.

              Comment


              • #8
                As a newbie I have an ECM Giotto Premium 2006, had a lot of teething problems related to pathetic servicing in Brisbane that I need to share in another post, so if you are in Brisbane IMHO there is only one place to take your machine and that's Bezzera Coffee located in Coopers Plains

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about a video to show what you mean in terms of sound and extraction.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just found out we are moving next week. I have put the coffee machine away for now but am waiting for Greg Pullmans pressure gauge to arrive. I will let you all know how it goes, if there is still trouble I will post a video and get your feedback. Thanks so much for all your comments.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bames View Post
                      Hey saywhat,

                      Can you grind fine enough to choke the machine on the sort of dose described?
                      +1 Agreed.
                      Did you do that? and adjust back to coarser grind to get 60ml in 25-30s? from your 2nd picture I doubt it's little coarse. anyway waiting for your video

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok, so we finally moved and got gregs pressure gauge, tested the machine and........ Pressure was exactly 9 bar!
                        So I figured if it's not pressure and it's definitely hot enough it must be me.
                        Shots were just really bitter all the time so I decided to flush longer and brew straight after. Wow! What a difference. I'm not sure if the machine is running hot, I have the pstat set to peak at 1.1, but I flush a whole cappuccino cup and then go straight away and it is much much better. There is more crema and no bitterness so that's great. I'm very happy with the result. I still need to play around more with how much time to wait after flushing.

                        Anybody have any suggestions as to how long to wait after flushing? I tried the 30 seconds before but the bitterness comes back.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm far from an expert but maybe a sponsor could install some restrictors in the hx setup for you so you don't have to do this massive flush. Try contacting Chris at talkcoffee sure he will know if it can be done and could help out if so.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So frustrating! Put some insulation on the boiler and gicar box and assembled the machine. Assembled the machine back together again and switched it on and the boiler pressure just keeps building once again.
                            So I turn the machine off, take the top off and adjust the pstat.

                            Now, when I turn the machine on the heating element kicks on and then one second later there is a click and it stops. Then the machine just sits there dead. I pull the lever and nothing happens. Anyone have any ideas??

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You insulated the control board? Why??

                              My advice? You purchased your machine for the price of a Silvia. I think it might be a good idea to pay a competent tech who knows what he's doing to repair your machine.

                              In all likelihood, you need a control module and probably some other bits and possibly a rewire as well.

                              Sorry for the tough medicine!

                              Comment

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