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  • Tips - home use Rancilio S27

    Hi everyone,
    Ive just recently acquired a second-hand Rancilio S27 (4lt boiler, HX, rotary pump, automatic water dosing, plumbable) and Id like to know if anyone has any tips or tricks to suggest that will make using it in the home environment easier (and increase the wife acceptance factor)  
    I plan on running it off a water tank/container but will probably try draining to the sink as its home will be close enough and not in the way. I may swap to a S24 drip tray if the drain tube becomes a hassle.

    The machine is going in this week for a service - so it should be in tip-top shape by the time it gets home. I hear that the reliability of this series is very good.

    Ive read the review at HomeBarista on the Cimbali Jnr and will be programming my function buttons along the same lines - "spritz" flush, small flush, big flush, double shot etc.

    I think Xpress/Pete has an S26 (HX boiler insulation thread) that he has put some boiler insulation in - has that made a noticable difference in power usage or in shot temp stability or warm up time? Any other tips?

    What do people set their boiler pressure at?
    Has anyone experimented with the pump pressure or with different injector sizes? For that matter, are different size water injectors available? (I will also Ask Mocopan this when I drop the S27 off and post results here).
    Does it need much temp/HX surfing or, like the Cimbali Jnr - it just needs a quick flush and go?
    Whats the warm up time like? I guess most people run the boiler at 2L or so on the water level probe?
    Did it need a dedicated power circuit? It should only draw 6 amps at full load but did that cause anyone at home any power problems? The grinder will be running on the same circuit.
    Its come with a 3 hole tip - does this work well for steaming enough milk for 1-2 drinks or should I look into a 2 or 4 hole tip? (Ill report on this after Ive had a play myself too)

    Just for reference - Im not quite a total NooB - but near enough.  
    Ive had a Gaggia Classic for the last 2+ years on which Ive done the Silvia wand and OPV mods. This was paired with a Lux grinder initially - which has been replaced with a Mazzer Super Jolly. The SJ may start to feel inadequate though - its been used to dwarfing the Classic but will look small next to the S27.  ;D

    Frankie

  • #2
    Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

    Hey Frankie,

    Just had a quick look around and I think that the s27 has the same group as the silvia - basically a big chunk of meta. ecause its a bit bigger, its going to take longer to heat up. If I were you, Id definitely either put it on a timer with a few hours warmup or leave it on 24/7 ... I presume that a graph of group head temperature would have a temperature asymptote, so you would want to be pulling shots when the group head reaches it, otherwise your shot temps are going to be all over the place. I have used some Rancilio commercial machines ... name eludes me, but they looked like S somethings, that were real firebreathers, so you might want to try a lower pstat setting rather than a higher one. Maybe that will calm down the need for a cooling flush.

    You should be able to get different preinfusion gicleurs, but I dont know how easy they will be to fix. The marzoccos are great with 0.6mms or 0.7mms.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27


      Hi Frankie,

      Id just get the machine and get it in place and see how it works before attempting any surgery. Even though it is getting a service, it may not be in top condition. From some experience with older commercial machines, they can get so gunged up and dirty that a simple seal change wont really get it running well. It just depends on how the previous owner treated the machine. So you wont really know until you get it. These machines can be restored to near-new condition, but it takes a lot of time and effort and, if you hire someone to do it, a lot of money.

      Rancilio commercial machines have a reputation for running hot. This can be fixed by restricting the thermosyphon flow. Just how you do this, Im not sure. I know a tech you regularly mods Rancilio machines this way and reckons they perform brilliantly afterwards. But before embarking on this route, just get it home and operational and see how it performs.

      Good luck with it.

      Mark.


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

        Thanks Luca/Mark.
        I couldnt resist pulling it apart when I got it home after the auction.

        The outsides/covers/drip tray etc were only dirty - covers had a film of oil/dust that had dried to a nice hard shell that took some effort to scrib off.
        The steam want had some dried milk gunk on it that came off easily and the portafilters/shower screen etc needed a double soaking in Evo to get them sparkling again.

        The insides were in suprising good condition - the stainless boiler was shiny and the brass top and all plumbing was in (visually) great condition. There was little evidence of misuse luckliy. Ill see if I can attach a few photos when I get home tonight.

        Im getting Mocopan to service it as they gave me a price <$100 for a basic service and that should identify any areas that will need more (read expensive) work. It should also be quicker and easier than doing it myself. I can then get it on the bench and in service sooner with the peace of mind that the experts had given it the once over - especially on the electronic side.

        If it does need more extensive work - I will make the decision then whether I get them to do it all or whether it is any better value to buy parts and do it myself.

        Luca - youre right - the group is a HUGE lump of metal bolted to the boiler. I think itll need both time and some boiler flushes to stabilise temp. It is meant to be a true thermosiphon - so I dont know how that compares to a Cimbali that is supposed to have great group temperature control.

        Mark - Ill ask the techs about the hot-running issue and see if they do any mod to it - otherwise it might be worth talking to that tech you mentioned. I can see myself doing lots of data logging when its up and running in my home-mode.

        Frankie

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

          Here are some photos

          1. after I cleaned the outside



          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

            Innards viewed from above - basically as it arrived.
            You can see how clean the top of the boiler is and how neat the piping is.


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

              Last one for now.
              Side on view showing the boiler again as well as the brain controlling it all.

              Frankie

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                Very nice condition inside. Beware that beauty is only skin deep though. The insides of the boiler may be in terrible shape and need serious descaling. The main boiler looks to be nickel plated copper, rather than stainless steel. This is a good thing, as stainless steel isnt necessarily the best steam boiler material.

                I cant see the heat exchanger unit or any sign of a thermosyphon loop. If it uses a conductively heated group, then the comments about running hot wont apply. A conductively heated group can also simplify the temperature management, with much simpler flush routines. In any case, it looks like a great machine.

                Cheers,

                Mark.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                  Yep, thought it wouldnt have a thermosyphon. Let the pstat tweaking begin!

                  Wonder why the tubes going to and from the flowmeter are so long?

                  The pstat looks to have two adjustments for deadband and actual setting. Nice!

                  Cheers,

                  Luca

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                    Originally posted by luca link=1159753387/0#8 date=1159845642
                    Yep, thought it wouldnt have a thermosyphon. Let the pstat tweaking begin!

                    Wonder why the tubes going to and from the flowmeter are so long?
                    Its the cold water end, so it doesnt matter how long the pipes are. You dont put hot water through a flow meter if you can get away with it (like in some LM machines where all group heads are fed by the same brew boiler).

                    Originally posted by luca link=1159753387/0#8 date=1159845642

                    The pstat looks to have two adjustments for deadband and actual setting. Nice!
                    One is just the screw that holds the top cover on. The other is the pressure adjustment. No adjustable dead band here.

                    Cheers,

                    Mark.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                      Originally posted by Sparky link=1159753387/0#9 date=1159846062
                      Originally posted by luca link=1159753387/0#8 date=1159845642
                      Yep, thought it wouldnt have a thermosyphon. Let the pstat tweaking begin!

                      Wonder why the tubes going to and from the flowmeter are so long?
                      Its the cold water end, so it doesnt matter how long the pipes are. You dont put hot water through a flow meter if you can get away with it (like in some LM machines where all group heads are fed by the same brew boiler).
                      *slaps forehead* Too used to complaining about the flowmeters on Lineas!

                      Originally posted by Sparky link=1159753387/0#9 date=1159846062
                      Originally posted by luca link=1159753387/0#8 date=1159845642

                      The pstat looks to have two adjustments for deadband and actual setting. Nice!
                      One is just the screw that holds the top cover on. The other is the pressure adjustment. No adjustable dead band here.
                      Probably doesnt make that much difference, anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                        The service was done on the spot this morning - it took about 90 minutes all up.
                        The boiler was squeeky-clean - and youre absolutely correct Sparky - its electroplate on welded copper.
                        Good eyes too - the pstat adjustment is only 1 screw and one for the cover plate.
                        They checked and adjusted the pump and pressurestat as well and the group gasket was pronounced as in good shape. They even had a portafilter pressure guage to double check the pressure.
                        All told - they gave the machine the thumbs up and were able to tell me its service history as they were the service agents for it.

                        They couldnt explain the colour change though. Its a non-standard, non-factory paint job - that wasnt done that well either. I may decide to get it bead blasted and powdercoated a different colour/properly later.

                        All I need to do now is get a water bottle set up and I should be ready to play.  ;D

                        The S27 is definately HX - see here
                        http://www.partsguru.com/RancilioEspressoMachines.html
                        However - the issue about it being thermosyphon or not is still there.
                        The literature from Amate says it is a thermosyphon
                        http://www.amantecoffee.com/Italian_Espresso_Machines/Rancilio_S27_Single_Group_Espresso_Machine.cfm
                        But Im having trouble identifying the thermosyphon loop from the parts diagram at parts guru.
                        Ill have to have another poke around and see if I can identify it myself.

                        Frankie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                          man that machine makes my bezzera look super grubby, but then it was free and makes smoooooooooooooth coffee!
                          is it rude to ask how much you paid for it?
                          Brett

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                            Originally posted by gz20tt link=1159753387/0#11 date=1159862384
                            The service was done on the spot this morning - it took about 90 minutes all up.
                            The boiler was squeeky-clean - and youre absolutely correct Sparky - its electroplate on welded copper.
                            Good eyes too - the pstat adjustment is only 1 screw and one for the cover plate.
                            Actually I have a couple of identical Sirai pstats kicking around, so it was from experience, rather than good eyes.

                            Originally posted by gz20tt link=1159753387/0#11 date=1159862384
                            They checked and adjusted the pump and pressurestat as well and the group gasket was pronounced as in good shape. They even had a portafilter pressure guage to double check the pressure.
                            All told - they gave the machine the thumbs up and were able to tell me its service history as they were the service agents for it.


                            The S27 is definately HX - see here
                            http://www.partsguru.com/RancilioEspressoMachines.html
                            However - the issue about it being thermosyphon or not is still there.
                            The literature from Amate says it is a thermosyphon
                            http://www.amantecoffee.com/Italian_Espresso_Machines/Rancilio_S27_Single_Group_Espresso_Machine.cfm
                            Okay, that clears things up. Its definitely not thermosyphon heated as there is only one hole entering the group assembly. So a conductive bridge then, so no worries with a thermosyphon loop running too hot.

                            The HX unit is well hidden, but looks like a nice design. The entire unit has a similar design to the Bezzera BZ99/02 machines with an vertical boiler/HX unit and conductive heating of the group head.

                            It looks like a great machine. It should easily draw water from a tank, as long as the tank is not too far below the machine (like 2 metres or more).

                            Let us know how it goes when you fire it up.

                            Cheers,

                            Mark.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tips - home use Rancilio S27

                              Well,
                              shes up and running now and Im more than happy with the results Im getting. ;D

                              I programmed the dosing along the same lines as the Home Barista review on the La Cimbali - 30mL mini flush, 60mL flush, 90mL for a double shot (30mL absorbed by the coffee), 120mL large flush and the free pour as is.

                              The machine heats up suprisingly quickly IMHO.
                              The cup warming area gets to 45oC fast and the group head is hot within 15 minutes or so of startup.
                              Its running off a 10L water tank that sits up higher on the breakfast bar behind the machine.

                              I get the impression that the dispersion pattern or flow of the water is better in the S27 than in my Gaggia Classic. Im using the same 16g Rancilio basket that I used to use in the Gaggia.

                              I dont use the portafilter spouts for my morning double, giving a quasi-naked effect and I think the pour is much more like the beautiful naked shots you see on-line, viscous, with striping and almost no evidence of twisting or disturbances in the stream indicating channeling. I will be getting the second Rancilio portafilter cut to make a true naked soon in order to verify this.

                              Enough talk - on to the photos 8-)

                              Pic 1 - poor little Gaggia and the two commercial-sized bullies.



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