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Thread: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

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    Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Learned CSers!

    Ive started getting a pronounced metallic taste in my shots and seek help diagnosing the problem. Having progressed though water, coffee and extraction (PEBFAG) possibilities, Im left with the machine (La Scala L1 Butterfly) being the source.

    I flushed the rinsed and empty (no group handle) group till the cup below filled, let the water cool a little and *bleearck*! Clearly metallic. Input water is filtered Everpure (my inline Bombora filter is offline for the moment) and taste wise is flawless. The reservoir is clean and the gicleur chamber shows no visible signs of problems (just very VERY light pitting/scale).

    Thanks in advance guys.

    Epic76

  2. #2
    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    How old is the machine and when was the last time it was descaled?

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    A_M
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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E7B62683C3D0B0 link=1274173790/0#0 date=1274173790
    Learned CSers!

    Ive started getting a pronounced metallic taste in my shots and seek help diagnosing the problem. *Having progressed though water, coffee and extraction (PEBFAG) possibilities, Im left with the machine (La Scala L1 Butterfly) being the source.

    I flushed the rinsed and empty (no group handle) group till the cup below filled, let the water cool a little and *bleearck*! *Clearly metallic. *Input water is filtered Everpure (my inline Bombora filter is offline for the moment) and taste wise is flawless. *The reservoir is clean and the gicleur chamber shows no visible signs of problems (just very VERY light pitting/scale).

    Thanks in advance guys.

    Epic76
    Give us some time... Am sure you will get swamped with any number of options..

    Binary division.

    Day or night time... Any other triggers ?

    1: Separate the two main components.. YOU Vs Machine

    Ie. Go and drink water from other sources etc.. The metallic taste can be a symptom of some interesting shit..

    Last time I had that... I decided Russian roulette was not a good past time.... Some here should try it.. Gets the hart rate up a bit.

    2: If can get a supply of good stuff (water) ya happy with...

    OH... Assuming it not a health issue...

    Start using it and slowly split ya machine as per teh rules of binary division (and one thing at a time) and see where it all leads to..

    So many variables...

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Hi Luke,
    * * Thanks for your response.
    It would be approaching 4 years old now. *
    Its never been descaled as its lived on filtered water exclusively and the shroom shows minimal scale.

    Think its required anyway?


    Hey AM,
    Have applied said principle to get to where I am (ie great water in, metallic water out). *Will swap back to the Bombora filter to ensure its not an undetectable component of the Everpure water (pre-machine) thats reacting with heat/boiler/etc to become the metallic taste (post-machine).

    P.S. *The possibility of it being a symptom of a brain tumour has been eliminated! *(ie. others can taste it too) **phew*

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Drop the top burr carrier out of you grinder just to make sure you can eliminate that too as a possible source, metal on metal rubbing should be easy to spot. I did have a bearing issue on one of mine a while back that was allowing the burrs to touch occasionally which was giving a metalic taste. Bearing wasnt obviously noisy but it had end float. Good chance for a proper clean while you are going even if you eliminate it ;)

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 76595052457A56595650525A525943370 link=1274173790/2#2 date=1274174749
    Am sure you will get swamped with any number of options..
    when I had a two group, I used to get this problem if I didnt move enough water through each group. In the end I used to use one side only, and flush the other side in advance when i knew I would be using both sides. It used to take a fair few cups out the the group to get rid of the taste. id try flushing lots out your group to freshen it up.

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4245414E464C59494E47200 link=1274173790/4#4 date=1274175290
    Drop the top burr carrier out of you grinder
    Hi BF,
    *Im hoping that flushing water only (ie no coffee) through has eliminated this possibility but like you say, a good excuse for a clean so will do - just in case! *Thanks *:)

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Could using the kyocera assist with eliminate the possibility of the grinder adding metallic taste?

    Have you had others taste it to make sure it isnt your taste buds?

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    A_M
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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 60554C461213250 link=1274173790/3#3 date=1274174964
    P.S. *The possibility of it being a symptom of a brain tumour has been eliminated! *(ie. others can taste it too) **phew*
    Had to cover all bases... Ya too great a guy ;)

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 53565A5E565906370 link=1274173790/5#5 date=1274175448
    move enough water
    4L flush complete. *Not as strong now....but still present :(

    Quote Originally Posted by 04514259370 link=1274173790/7#7 date=1274176769
    possibility of the grinder
    Thanks 3Fun. *The flush water is metallic so that eliminates the possibility of it being the grinder but keep the suggestions coming. *Gotta fix this!

    Quote Originally Posted by 67484143546B47484741434B434852260 link=1274173790/8#8 date=1274178510
    all bases
    Aww shucks!

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    All bases..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste

    After that I am confused..

    A: Remove the head / manual clean / Flush / of teh group head... Restrictor etc etc..

    Considering how often ya fly and the amount of time it might sit with water in teh system... A good chance ya have some crap in one of those little places...

    Now after some heat and flushes it may go away... Another flight and some time away and what ever it is get a chance to mass produce once again.

    How long you had this unit ?

    A good excuse to strip back to the very raw components

    1: Bleach / wash ya water tank ..

    2: Strip the E61 head - group jet etc...

    3: Remove the group and replace teh large O-rings etc..

    Not much else I can come up with... :-X

  12. #12
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Throwing a curve ball
    Sumatra Blue beans sometimes have a metallic taste

    KK

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    yeah but.....
    Quote Originally Posted by 03362F257170460 link=1274173790/9#9 date=1274183632
    The flush water is metallic so that eliminates the possibility

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Update:

    Theres been minimal change in scale on the shroom but it now has a pretty obvious green tinge to it - something it didnt have 9 months ago (around the machines 3rd bday). If Im not mistaken, copper oxide is green so that would suggest Ive got some corrosion in the boiler?

    What to do??? :-[

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Descale? How old are the filters in your system?

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B5E474D19182E0 link=1274173790/13#13 date=1274198783
    Update:

    Theres been minimal change in scale on the shroom but it now has a pretty obvious green tinge to it - something it didnt have 9 months ago (around the machines 3rd bday). *If Im not mistaken, copper oxide is green so that would suggest Ive got some corrosion in the boiler?

    What to do??? * :-[
    Na... just a *breed of bio hazardous / non hazardous material that inoculates you agents low copper in the system *:o

    AND

    Quote Originally Posted by 797D5B424247584F402E0 link=1274173790/14#14 date=1274219793
    Descale? How old are the filters in your system? *
    At the risk of shooting self in foot...

    Vinegar opps a vinaigrette wash and soak of the bits in question

    OR

    A good strip and de-scale and full system flush..... *A good days work to do a fully top to tail.. *While ya there insulate the boiler..


    PS. Not a bad machine if one has a look here absolute-clarity web pages (tasy coffee drinker) and all so search term in google*" Why I Like the laScala Butterfly" Some great internal shots....

    PPS. See ya mate and work out a trade in... Give it 6 months the latest DCM is being released and I understand Big names have been brought in as consultants.. *Flick a coin as to which way it will go...

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 447168623637010 link=1274173790/13#13 date=1274198783
    Update:

    Theres been minimal change in scale on the shroom but it now has a pretty obvious green tinge to it - something it didnt have 9 months ago (around the machines 3rd bday). *If Im not mistaken, copper oxide is green so that would suggest Ive got some corrosion in the boiler?

    What to do??? * :-[
    Green is a strong indicator of copper. Its not conclusive proof however as iron can also be green but either way its pointing at some corrosion. Im not familiar with your machine but Im guessing its either got copper or brass internals. Descale will fix the metallic taste from corrosion but it will not completely remove the green tinge :( You need very little dissolved metal to change the taste of water so dont be overly alarmed, If the internals look good, they are :)
    Only be concerned if you can see obvious pitting or cracking of the metallic surfaces.

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 744158520607310 link=1274173790/13#13 date=1274198783
    Update:

    Theres been minimal change in scale on the shroom but it now has a pretty obvious green tinge to it - something it didnt have 9 months ago (around the machines 3rd bday). *If Im not mistaken, copper oxide is green so that would suggest Ive got some corrosion in the boiler?

    What to do??? * :-[
    You said the metallic taste is coming from the brew water

    Q
    Is the metallic taste noticed from the boiler water as well ?

    If not, you may just need to de-scale / clean the HX part of the system

    If metallic taste is coming from both boiler & HX sections then its a full de-scale

    You love it ::)

    KK

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Thanks gents.

    WSully,
    All brand spanking (<3 months). The only thing thats changed recently is I disconnected my plumbed supply (Bombora) and started manually refilling with my drinking water (Everpure).

    Brewman,
    Thanks for putting it into context. I can confirm its copper internals. Ive removed the over-pressure valve to take a look into the boiler and it looks quite good. A thin dark coating all over, no obvious scale or pitting. Ill manually pour/syphon some citric acid into the boiler while its open.

    KK,
    Good point! I didnt check the water from the boiler, only the HX. I can now confirm its HX only. Will descale the HX and report back. Now....were you taking a little too much pleasure in the thought of me having to do a full descale?? Hahahaha.

    Epic76

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 06332A207475430 link=1274173790/18#18 date=1274242507
    *I didnt check the water from the boiler, only the HX. *I can now confirm its HX only. *Will descale the HX and report back. *Now....were you taking a little too much pleasure in the thought of me having to do a full descale?? *Hahahaha.

    Epic76 *
    What a Pilot actually getting his hands dirty...

    Thought it might have meant a great excuse to invite one of the hot air frame fitters over for dinner and post activities.. *;)

    What NO Coffee.. Ya want me to do WHAT *:D ;D :o *8-)

    Go on Casy... And get a pic... I would pay to see that *;)

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    machines running too hot can also cause a pronounced metalic taste - do you temperature surf by dropping say a cup of water through the group head immediately prior to inserting the handle and running the coffee through?

    this could help to drop the water temperature and potentially reduce the metalic taste - worked for me when I had a Gaggia Classic on my work bench!

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Thanks for your advice everyone. *A full descale and a cleaning OCD style and were back on track. *:)

    AM,
    * * These delicate hands have been known to get dirty in between touching control yokes, glasses of shiraz and vestal virgins. *:P (And no, youre not getting pictures!)

    ATCG,
    * Thanks. *Though it is a HX so no surfing, just a cooling flush.

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A2F363C68695F0 link=1274173790/21#21 date=1274328508
    touching control yokes, glasses of shiraz and vestal virgins
    Vestal virgins, Epic? That I would look to see:


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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Flynn: * *:P

    <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAkzW1MuQOk

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by 42776E643031070 link=1274173790/3#3 date=1274174964
    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!
    Reply #3 - 18. May 2010 at 19:29* Hi Luke,
    * * * * * Thanks for your response.
    It would be approaching 4 years old now. *
    Its never been descaled as its lived on filtered water exclusively and the shroom shows minimal scale.

    Think its required anyway?
    Yeah...smash it mate!

    I try to do any machine i come in contact with at least once a year so by my standard, its in need of a descale :)

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    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 19203E300A12550 link=1274173790/24#24 date=1274347108
    Quote Originally Posted by 42776E643031070 link=1274173790/3#3 date=1274174964
    Re: Metallic tasting espresso - help please!
    Reply #3 - 18. May 2010 at 19:29* Hi Luke,
    * * * * * Thanks for your response.
    It would be approaching 4 years old now. *
    Its never been descaled as its lived on filtered water exclusively and the shroom shows minimal scale.

    Think its required anyway?
    Yeah...smash it mate!

    I try to do any machine i come in contact with at least once a year so by my standard, its in need of a descale :)
    Agree... Filtered water is just that... It manages but does not fully eliminate..

    Bloody good thing I was not on hols and dropping in for a coffee..

    Would have offered teh frame fitter a night out and left you to get dirty... We would need a GOOD coffee when we got back...



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