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  • New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

    Gday all
    I mentioned in my other thread about choosing a machine that I ended up going for an Isomac Mondiale. The local retailer said theyd calibrate it for me but made a comment that there was only limited adjustment that could be made on these machines.

    Anyway the guage for brew pressure went to 10 bar with almost no flow (ground too fine on that shot), otherwise sits around 9.5 bar. my research on the forum suggests that the machines guage will often read about 1 bar high, so until I get it properly measured, is it likely that its ok?

    I think the coffee tastes a bit thin and burnt though, although it might take more than a couple of days to get the hang of the new machine (used to use a sunbeam 6910).
    Im new to the world of cooling flushes, and I think I may not have been flushing long enough. I worked out just now that after sitting idle for about an hour, it takes about 20-25 seconds before it stops fizzing and spitting, but I was only running about 5 seconds or so through it. 20 seconds is a bit long though isnt it?

    The boiler pressure guage sits between 1.31 and 1.5 bar (mostly sits on the lower end of that) but reading some other threads suggests it should only be about 1.1 bar? Is that correct? can/should my machine be adjusted? will that adjustment affect the brew pressure?

    thanks
    Geoff

  • #2
    Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

    Originally posted by 7955554A5F480C03693A0 link=1256380339/0#0 date=1256380339
    Gday all
    I mentioned in my other thread about choosing a machine that I ended up going for an Isomac Mondiale.  The local retailer said theyd calibrate it for me but made a comment that there was only limited adjustment that could be made on these machines.

    Anyway the guage for brew pressure went to 10 bar with almost no flow (ground too fine on that shot), otherwise sits around 9.5 bar.  my research on the forum suggests that the machines guage will often read about 1 bar high, so until I get it properly measured, is it likely that its ok?

    I think the coffee tastes a bit thin and burnt though, although it might take more than a couple of days to get the hang of the new machine (used to use a sunbeam 6910).
    Im new to the world of cooling flushes, and I think I may not have been flushing long enough.  I worked out just now that after sitting idle for about an hour, it takes about 20-25 seconds before it stops fizzing and spitting, but I was only running about 5 seconds or so through it.  20 seconds is a bit long though isnt it?

    The boiler pressure guage sits between 1.31 and 1.5 bar (mostly sits on the lower end of that) but reading some other threads suggests it should only be about 1.1 bar?  Is that correct?  can/should my machine be adjusted?  will that adjustment affect the brew pressure?

    thanks
    Geoff
    So does this mean you got it from a non sponsor ?

    Yes the boiler does have a flow on effect but with out knowing how it was set-up/ calibrated, can not say much more. My first thoughts is that it may require a little more setting up; but not being an owner or user... Can not say..

    See here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163234999/20#20


    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

      Hello Geoff,

      At 1.3 to 1.5 bar, your boiler pressure is way too high and the group temp is probably more like 98+ deg. If youre not getting thin, bitter and disappointing shots Id be very surprised.

      The pressurestat in your machine needs to be set to more like a max of 1.2 bar and Im surpised that the guy you purchased from hasnt delivered that. You can do it yourself, but you have paid for that in the machine price and your supplier might void your warranty if you open the machine up.

      Perhaps it might be a good idea to ask your vendor what (if anything) he actually does in a bench test? I suspect that it may simply consist of lifting the box onto the bench so that the purchaser doesnt have to bend over to pick it up... :-?

      To me, the OPV setting sounds fine and most likely, this is how the machine was shipped to your supplier. Sounds to me like he got a nice margin for simply lifting a carton... :

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

        I
        Originally posted by 4F60696B7C436F606F696B636B607A0E0 link=1256380339/1#1 date=1256394871
        So does this mean you got it from a non sponsor ?
        the joys of living in a regional area... If I still lived in Perth, theres no question that I would have bought a VBM or Giotto from a sponsor (in fact I almost did) but in the end the idea of sending the machine to Perth for service pushed my decision back to the local non-sponsor Isomac supplier.

        Chris thanks for the info.  Yes the shots are quite thin, bitter and disappointing - shots from my 6910 tasted better.

        they were slightly hesitant when I asked them about calibrating the group pressure (didnt think to ask about the boiler pressure at the time), so on the off chance that the supplier disputes the fact that the boiler should be adjusted down to 1.1 bar, is there a non-forum technical resource I could show them to back it up?  otherwise Ill have to point them to CS  
        hopefully theyll agree to adjust it though - I dont want to void my warranty but you dont buy a machine of this level and then just put up with poor shots...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

          Originally posted by 517D7D627760242B41120 link=1256380339/3#3 date=1256432193
          I
          Originally posted by 4F60696B7C436F606F696B636B607A0E0 link=1256380339/1#1 date=1256394871
          So does this mean you got it from a non sponsor ?
          the joys of living in a regional area... If I still lived in Perth, theres no question that I would have bought a VBM or Giotto from a sponsor (in fact I almost did) but in the end the idea of sending the machine to Perth for service pushed my decision back to the local non-sponsor Isomac supplier.

          Chris thanks for the info.  Yes the shots are quite thin, bitter and disappointing - shots from my 6910 tasted better.

          they were slightly hesitant when I asked them about calibrating the group pressure (didnt think to ask about the boiler pressure at the time), so on the off chance that the supplier disputes the fact that the boiler should be adjusted down to 1.1 bar, is there a non-forum technical resource I could show them to back it up?  otherwise Ill have to point them to CS  
          hopefully theyll agree to adjust it though - I dont want to void my warranty but you dont buy a machine of this level and then just put up with poor shots...
          You dont say where your now located ??

          And your right... Sometimes there is not a sponsor close by.... Howevre with the high end machines; if their set up correctly, there should be little if any after market service required.. Note: Should.. Not always possible or if like me LUCKY.

          I would follow up with the supplier as not unlike many cafes... They provide an unpack and over teh counter service; but may not be fully edumudicated ;D

          Hope it all work out for you..


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

            Originally posted by 725E5E415443070862310 link=1256380339/0#0 date=1256380339
            it takes about 20-25 seconds before it stops fizzing and spitting
            Hi Geoff,

            Thats a LOT of fizzing! Dropping the boiler pressure will help a little, but I doubt it will substantially get rid of the fizzing. My advice is to ask your retailer about the fizzing and see whether they can address the problem rather than just one of the possible causes.

            charlie

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

              Originally posted by 04313C3B0F133F36363535500 link=1256380339/2#2 date=1256405230
              Hello Geoff,

              At 1.3 to 1.5 bar, your boiler pressure is way too high and the group temp is probably more like 98+ deg. If youre not getting thin, bitter and disappointing shots Id be very surprised.

              The pressurestat in your machine needs to be set to more like a max of 1.2 bar and Im surpised that the guy you purchased from hasnt delivered that. You can do it yourself, but you have paid for that in the machine price and your supplier might void your warranty if you open the machine up.

              Perhaps it might be a good idea to ask your vendor what (if anything) he actually does in a bench test? I suspect that it may simply consist of lifting the box onto the bench so that the purchaser doesnt have to bend over to pick it up...  :-?

              To me, the OPV setting sounds fine and most likely, this is how the machine was shipped to your supplier. Sounds to me like he got a nice margin for simply lifting a carton... :

              Chris
              Fair comments!

              Cheers,
              Luca

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                I spoke to the retailer, who gave me a number for the distributors technician. he talked me through dropping the boiler pressure - very easy job - but warned that my steam pressure would suffer.
                ive dropped it to max 1.3 bar and the cooling flush required has shortened a little.  it still needs about 10 seconds flush between consecutive shots.  i think ill need to get something to measure the temp so I know what its actually running at.
                also it now takes me over a minute to steam 300ml of cold milk to 60 deg C. is there a way to get the temp to behave more nicely without killing the steam power? i think i might need someone to set it up properly. should have trusted my instinct that buying off a sponsor would be a better experience.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                  Originally posted by 6C40405F4A5D19167C2F0 link=1256380339/7#7 date=1256792270
                  I spoke to the retailer, who gave me a number for the distributors technician. he talked me through dropping the boiler pressure - very easy job - but warned that my steam pressure would suffer.
                  ive dropped it to max 1.3 bar and the cooling flush required has shortened a little.  it still needs about 10 seconds flush between consecutive shots.  i think ill need to get something to measure the temp so I know what its actually running at.
                  also it now takes me over a minute to steam 300ml of cold milk to 60 deg C. is there a way to get the temp to behave more nicely without killing the steam power? i think i might need someone to set it up properly. should have trusted my instinct that buying off a sponsor would be a better experience.

                  Hindsite is a great thing but frustrating as it only ever comes after the fact.

                  Now forsight would be good... But lining the two up is not so easy...

                  Greg W has his item moving around for a small cost... Suggest you follow up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?


                    Hi Cooper

                    To begin with, you shouldnt need a 10 sec cooling flush between shots, and 1.3 is still too high a setting.

                    A minute to bring milk up to temp isnt right and Gregs group gauge is not the answer at this point in time.

                    Making one adjustment eg. pressure stat., can lead to the need to make adjustments to other components eg., opv. Without the right gear making changes can be hit and miss.

                    Im sorry to say that I think you need to take it back to the retailer and put the onus on them to make it good.

                    All the best!



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                      I have to go with Cuppacoffee--it is a warranty issue and needs to be sorted.

                      Just to give you a rough baseline--my machine tops out at 1.1 bar and takes about 8 seconds to steam 100 ml of milk. My standard cooling shot is about 30 ml of water and only when the machine has been idling for half an hour or more. Consecutive shots need no flush and even after idling, a no-flush shot tastes good.

                      Greg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                        I suppose my main question at this point is this - is it likely that theres there anything technically wrong with my machine?

                        I suspect that the retailer could just say that its set up the way its supposed to be and that Im requesting a non-standard configuration that theyre under no obligation to provide.

                        I think that the services the sponsors offer in calibrating the machine before delivery to perform at its best are above and beyond what can be considered their obligation. If that is the case, Ill probably be expected to pay for the services of a "custom tune" on my machine. luckily I got the machine for a very good price, so if I have to pay for it to be tuned up, thats ok.

                        Ill just need be clear in explaining precisely what I want them to do (in the correct terms) - or they might get the impression I have no clue what Im talking about and tell me theres nothing wrong with it. If anyone can advise precisely what I should be asking them to do that would be appreciated.
                        thanks
                        Geoff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                          a bit of an update...
                          After speaking to a couple of other owners and retailers of these machines, it seems I was correct in that there is nothing wrong with my machine, so theres no use demanding that the retailer do warranty repairs to it.
                          Apparently these machines are known to run a bit hot, one theory I was given being that they are designed for commercial constant-use environments.

                          The tweaking the sponsors provide could probably resolve at least some of the issues. As far as Im aware, the Mondiale doesnt come with a thermosyphon restrictor, which may be one reason for the higher temp??? if this information is incorrect please let me know (also for the benefit of anyone reading this thread...)

                          as for the retailer helping to modify the machine to be more temp stable in my very non-commercial environment, I had little joy with their technician.

                          If I have to live with long cooling flushes, thats ok. I ended up winding the boiler pressure back to its original setting and steam performance didnt change that much - I think I wasnt measuring accurately when I said before it took over a minute to do 300ml, so Ill try winding it back down again later and test again. In response to Gregs post, I tried steaming 100ml of milk (in the wrong size jug - I dont have one small enough to do it properly) and it took roughly 12 seconds. I usually steam about 250ml in about 35 seconds which I suppose is still ok even if its a fair way short of class-leading.
                          The one issue I need to resolve before Ill start feeling comfortable with the Mondiale is the temperature - in that I have no real idea what its running at.

                          Five Senses Coffee - a roaster in Rockingham - sells Isomacs and has a Scace that theyre happy to test my machine with if I take it up there next week.
                          They can work with boiler and group pressure and at least then Ill have a better idea of its temperature without it being a vague guess every time.

                          Failing that making a big difference, Im seriously considering packing up my machine and shipping it east for some modding if that will come with a reasonable guarantee of having a machine thats nicer to live with.

                          Geoff

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                            Originally posted by 4864647B6E793D32580B0 link=1256380339/12#12 date=1260788861
                            I usually steam about 250ml in about 35 seconds which I suppose is still ok even if its a fair way short of class-leading.
                            That is seriously slow going Geoff for a machine of this class. Should be capable of texturing this volume of milk in less than 15 seconds....

                            Originally posted by 4864647B6E793D32580B0 link=1256380339/12#12 date=1260788861
                            a roaster in Rockingham - sells Isomacs and has a Scace that theyre happy to test my machine with if I take it up there next week.
                            This would be seriously worth doing and should enable any functional problems to be identified and fixed - Providing their Tech(s) know what theyre about of course...

                            Originally posted by 4864647B6E793D32580B0 link=1256380339/12#12 date=1260788861
                            Failing that making a big difference, Im seriously considering packing up my machine and shipping it east for some modding if that will come with a reasonable guarantee of having a machine thats nicer to live with.  
                            Dont think this will be necessary Geoff. If the roaster referred to above can not improve things for you then the original vendor has the obligation to get things running satisfactorily for you. Its not your fault that they may be espresso machine klutzes.... Stick to your guns mate and make sure they stand behind the product.... >

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New HX machine - boiler pressure too high?

                              Hi Geoff,

                              One of the big problems with the coffee internet is that we cant taste whats on the other end. I think that it would be irresponsible of us to encourage you to spend lots of time and effort getting your machine modified if you havent really done your homework to eliminate all of the other possible causes. I dont want to sound patronising, but I think that its worth running down a checklist to see if we can save you some money. The first question in the checklist is always if your coffee is any good. Next, is your dosing up to scratch? Most of the time when I ask this people say that they are great, but if you watch them pull shots there are actually subtle variations inbetween them that influence cup quality and have the potential to make things like temperature adjustment moot. The test that I like is to pull five shots back to back. Stop them at the same volume and measure the time. You pass if all of the shots are within, say, a three second window. I suppose that the next question for you would be if the grinder is up to snuff. If thats the problem, your money would probably be much better spent towards fixing that.

                              Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that your machine doesnt have any restrictors in the group head. You could pull the plumbing apart to find out, but then be prepared to damage your machine and possibly yourself. If you are comfortable adjusting your machines pressure, you could try doing that, though, again, any tinkering inside your machine comes at the risk of possible damage to yourself and the machine. If you want to do this, at the very least make sure that the machine is unplugged. Not off; unplugged. Maybe drop it so far down that it tops out at 0.9 bar, let the machine idle there for a while and see if that gets you the result you are looking for from your espresso. If it does, then thats good evidence that brew temperature is actually the problem and that having someone tinker with your machine is not money down the drain. If it doesnt, then it suggests that brew temperature might not be the problem.

                              The horrible thing about the whole situation is that restrictors tend to be simply teflon disks with a hole drilled in them. Cost to install appropriate restrictors at factory: $0.50, maybe. Cost to you to get appropriate restrictors installed: $hundreds! This is the sort of scenario that has plagued consumers in the US of A for quite a while, but, fortunately, seems to have been corrected a lot in Australia.

                              Hope that helps,
                              Luca

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