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Thread: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

  1. #1
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    Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey fellow coffeesnobs! Long time reader here just wanting to get some clarity on what I can do to improve my shots.

    Here is pretty much a step by step process of what I go though every time.

    1) Pre-heat machine. Pump water through group handle/basket to heat up.

    2) Dry group handle/basket and grind coffee straight into it (Using Sunbeam Conical Burr EMO 480 - Setting 10)

    3) As I have "de-pressurised" the group head by removing the spring I then tamp the coffee with a firm pressure.

    4) Lock handle in - turn machine on for 3 secs then off.

    5) Wait 5 secs then shoot 60ml into pre-heated espresso cup. Enjoy.


    Now my main query is that from reading these forums most people have their Sunbeam EMO480s set somewhere between 11-15 and then it apparently takes somewhere between 20-30 secs to get 60ml. However my 60ml using setting 10 takes about 7-8 seconds. From my reading I believe that it should be taking me twice as long to extract my coffee. Just wondering what am I doing wrong? I am hesitant to reduce the grind any finer as I am worried the coffee will start to taste bitter.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 163A27213C36550 link=1334273176/0#0 date=1334273176
    3) As I have "de-pressurised" the group head by removing the spring I then tamp the coffee with a firm pressure.

    Hi there Cortic.

    What do you mean by this?* Do you mean youre using an unrpressurised basket?* Does your portafilter basket have lots of holes on the inside but only one hole at the bottom?*

    In that case youre still using a pressurised basket.* Adjusting your tamp pressure or grind wont make much difference.

    If youre not using a pressurised basket, then you might need to take the grind finer on your Sunbeam.* Try it and see - it may not be bitter.* Theres another thread being commented on fairly regularly suggesting that tamp pressure isnt going to make a huge difference to extraction speed, but adjusting the grind will.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1332222307/33#33

    Cheers

    Sniff

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    You cant compare grind setting between grinders, as they are all different. Clearly you need to go finer than 10. Or use a larger dose of coffee, assuming you have enough clearance to the showerscreen to do so.

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 736D75786E6D7677190 link=1334273176/1#1 date=1334275628
    What do you mean by this? Do you mean youre using an unrpressurised basket? Does your portafilter basket have lots of holes on the inside but only one hole at the bottom?
    Saecos dont have pressurised baskets. They use a device built in to the portafilter to do the same job. Its easy to remove, as Cortic has done.

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Hey thanks for your replies!

    Sniffcoffee - The handle (which has two holes at the bottom) was dismantled to remove the spring mechanism inside as the Seaco Via Venezias come with a ppf. I followed the guide on this website to remove the spring. Did I misunderstand something here? The basket which goes into the handle is solid all the way around the sides and has hundreds of tiny holes on the bottom.

    Bill - I cannot add any more coffee to the basket ive got it down to a fine art about how much I can put in and still lock it in haha. I will try a finer grind but I cant see it changing from an 8-10 sec extraction to a 25-30 sec one (or will it?)

    Thanks again!

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage


    Okay thanks Bill.

    In that case Cortico, try adjusting the grind finer.

    Cheers

    Sniff

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Am I correct in the assumption that a 60ml extraction should take between 25-30ml? Is that what I should be aiming for?

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 5975686E73791A0 link=1334273176/4#4 date=1334276322
    I will try a finer grind but I cant see it changing from an 8-10 sec extraction to a 25-30 sec one (or will it?)
    It probably will. But you might need to wind it down 2 or 3 notches.

    Theres only one way to find out. :)

    As Bill said you cant compare the grind settings. A lot of users will have added/removed "shims" on their 480s. Which will alter the grind setting a lot.:)

    Edited to fix a typo ;)

  9. #9
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 715D40465B51320 link=1334273176/6#6 date=1334277016
    Am I correct in the assumption that a 60ml extraction should take between 25-30ml? Is that what I should be aiming for?
    Yep, thats correct. But sometimes around 22secs can produce a beautiful shot anyway. I drink lattes, and aim between 22-32. Anything else gets dumped.

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Ill make myself an espresso in about 45 mins and keep you posted.

    David8 - What do you mean by "shims"? Is this something I can easily do myself?

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 163A27213C36550 link=1334273176/9#9 date=1334280220
    Ill make myself an espresso in about 45 mins and keep you posted.

    David8 - What do you mean by "shims"? Is this something I can easily do myself?
    Theyre the thin washers/spaces that sit under the bottom burr on the Sunbeams and some brevilles. If the grinder isnt grinding fine enouhg, you can add a shim to lift the bottom burr up to grind finer. Likewise, you can remove a shim to allow it to grind coarser. Sunbeam often provides these for free, if you give them a call. But Ive heard people have had success with thin pieces of aluminium foil.

    However, you have 10 settings to play with. You may not need to adjust the grind using the shims.

    David

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    I agree with the advise so far - you cant compare numbers between grinders, and you wont need a shim until you hit the end of the adjustment on your grinder.

    Yes grinding finer will make a difference. Sometimes one or two notches is enough to go from 10 seconds to choked (nothing comes out).

    Just to clarify, a single should give you about 25mL in 25-30s and a double should give you about 50mL in 25-30s. Note the timing is the same. Always cut it short when it starts going pale or nears the correct volume, dont wait till 30s just for the sake of it.

    :)

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A6F78676A360E0 link=1334273176/10#10 date=1334280622
    you can add a shim to lift the bottom burr up to grind finer. Likewise, you can remove a shim to allow it to grind coarser. Sunbeam often provides these for free, if you give them a call. But Ive heard people have had success with thin pieces of aluminium foil.
    * Not criticising, but foil is not the best option.* Its too thin (<0.01mm) so you will need several layers to effect a useful change, and because its so thin its very difficult to handle without wrinkling it which will throw the burr allignment off....not what you want. !
    * A better substute for OEM shims is* thin , hard , plastic film ( EG:- the type that is used for screen protectors on smart phones etc) . This is thin enough ( 0.075mm) to give small adjustment, hard enough not to "compact",* but wont wrinkle and can be easily cut to size & shape.

  14. #14
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B555C575D0C0B390 link=1334273176/12#12 date=1334289277
    Not criticising, but foil is not the best option.* Its too thin (<0.01mm) so you will need several layers to effect a useful change, and because its so thin its very difficult to handle without wrinkling it which will throw the burr allignment off....not what you want. !
    * A better substute for OEM shims is* thin , hard , plastic film ( EG:- the type that is used for screen protectors on smart phones etc) . This is thin enough ( 0.075mm) to give small adjustment, hard enough not to "compact",* but wont wrinkle and can be easily cut to size & shape.
    Thats alright... Ive never used foil, just heard others have used it. Glad you pointed it out. :)

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Okay so after doing some research I dismantled the grinder - removed the shims and went down to the local hardware store. They didnt sell shims but they did sell a stainless steel washer the same diameter as the shims but about 5x the thickness. So now ive removed all three shims from the EMO 480 and replaced them with 1x washer. Got the grinder on setting 22 and my espresso took about 19 secs to get to 60ml. I am thinking I may need to now bump up the increments slightly however the grinder already struggled to spit the grounds out at its current setting. Any suggestions? Or is this normal?

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 426E73756862010 link=1334273176/14#14 date=1334291659
    Okay so after doing some research I dismantled the grinder - removed the shims and went down to the local hardware store. They didnt sell shims but they did sell a stainless steel washer the same diameter as the shims but about 5x the thickness. So now ive removed all three shims from the EMO 480 and replaced them with 1x washer. Got the grinder on setting 22 and my espresso took about 19 secs to get to 60ml. I am thinking I may need to now bump up the increments slightly however the grinder already struggled to spit the grounds out at its current setting. Any suggestions? Or is this normal?
    Give it a go on 21? Maybe 20...

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage


    More importantly, how did the espresso taste? If its tasting good, dont worry about getting to 30 seconds.

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Yeah was quite thick and strong but I wouldnt call it bitter.

    Thanks for all your help guys!

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F534E48555F3C0 link=1334273176/14#14 date=1334291659
    a stainless steel washer the same diameter as the shims but about 5x the thickness. ....
    ....the grinder already struggled to spit the grounds out at its current setting. Any suggestions? Or is this normal?
    :exclamation :o Ohh !.. 5x the shim thickness is a big change. !
    approx how thick is this washer ?..1.0 mm,..1.5mm ?
    i trust you were very careful to ensure the burrs are not contacting now ?
    do you know how to "zero calibrate" the setting ? ..if not look it up and make sure your setting is "safe".

    Its also strange that such an adjustment was needed when there were already (3) shims fitted ?

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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by 555D5552585E3C0 link=1334273176/11#11 date=1334281503
    you wont need a shim until you hit the end of the adjustment on your grinder.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7F534E48555F3C0 link=1334273176/14#14 date=1334291659
    Okay so after doing some research I dismantled the grinder - removed the shims and went down to the local hardware store
    why? why didnt you just go finer without dismantling the grinder?

  21. #21
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    Re: Need advice on Saeco Via Venezia Usage

    Hi Cortic,
    I have a Via Veniza and a EM0480. The little machine lasted me about 5.5yrs before it packed it in - great little machine. Your issue is the shims. Replacing the washers is the correct way to improve the grind on this grinder. However, if you were on step 10 you had heaps of adjustment available to you without having to pull the machine down. I had to put in an extra washer (a small brass one) as my grinder was on 0 and was only just giving me a fine enough grind to make a decent espresso (if you read the forums it is a pretty common issue with the sunbeam). With the standard washers in place (they have 2 in as standard - mine did at least) I would have dialled it in finer until you got the correct extraction time. Others have posted here that you bring the grind down 2-3 numbers lower than the grind you want (I dont use numbers because every EM0480 seems to be a bit different) until you can choke the machine and then click back 1-2. In practice this has worked well for me at keeping the grinder consistent at the grind I want and also minimising the amount that the grinder "wanders" in grind consistency. Hope that makes sense? Good luck with it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cortic View Post
    Now my main query is that from reading these forums most people have their Sunbeam EMO480s set somewhere between 11-15 and then it apparently takes somewhere between 20-30 secs to get 60ml. However my 60ml using setting 10 takes about 7-8 seconds. From my reading I believe that it should be taking me twice as long to extract my coffee. Just wondering what am I doing wrong? I am hesitant to reduce the grind any finer as I am worried the coffee will start to taste bitter.

    Thanks in advance.
    I have the same setup as yourself with the Saeco Via Venezia and the Sunbeam EM0480. The Via Venezia portafilter has been depressurised and the Steam wand replaced with a Breville 800ES Steam wand.

    Originally I was brewing as soon as the brew light came on as I had read to do elsewhere. To avoid bitter coffee using this method I was grinding at a setting of 9. The problem was the brew time was too short for 60ml. If I brewed with a finer grind as soon as the brew light came on I got a bitter brew.

    I experimented to get a longer brew of around 30 secs for 60ml and this was achieved on a grind setting of 3. To avoid the bitter brew I started experimenting with delaying brewing by different intervals (10,20,30,40 seconds) after the brew light comes on. I finally settled on 20 seconds to achieve a very slightly bitter brew which I like. At 30 seconds I found the taste slightly sour. I haven't checked the water temperature coming out of the group head but have been working purely on my taste preference.

    My procedure is now as follows and seems to produce a fairly consistant result -

    1/ Switch on machine and run 1/2 cup water through steam wand by turning steam knob without steam or brew buttons depressed. This flushes and primes boiler.
    2/ When Brew light comes on, depress brew button and run water through empty Portafilter/filter basket until light goes out. Press brew button to stop.
    3/ Wait until brew light comes on. Depress steam button. When steam light comes on steam milk. Press steam off and run water through wand until steam/brew lights are off.
    If not steaming milk, press steam button off when steam light comes on and turn on steam knob to clear steam and run water through until steam and brew lights go out then stop.
    4/ When brew light comes on depress brew button, run water through empty Portafilter/filter basket again until brew light goes off. Press brew button to stop.
    5/ Remove Portafilter, dry filter basket, grind 18gms coffee into filter basket and tamp (30lbs pressure approx.).
    6/ Depress brew button without Portafilter in place to run water until brew light goes out. Press brew button off.
    7/ Install Portafilter and when brew light comes on wait 20 secs then depress for 4 secs and press to stop. Wait 4 secs (preinfusion) then depress and brew for additional 25 secs.

    This seems long winded but once I got into the routine it worked really well for me. Boiler temp came up quickly by steaming before brewing. The group head and portafilter were also preheated before brewing.

    I haven't tried it yet but once the brew light comes on you can then depress the steam button for 10, 20, 30, 40 secs etc. to raise the brew temperature even higher if so desired.

    I have read that when the brew light comes on indicating that the boiler is supposedly up to the correct temperature and the heating element is switched off, temperature still rises for a brief time due to the residual heat still in the element even though it is off. This is where delaying brewing for a few secs may pay dividends by brewing slightly hotter or even cooler if you wait longer. Commonly referred to as temperture surfing, I found it does pay to experiment.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 24th July 2012 at 09:27 AM.

  23. #23
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi guys,
    I've had a via venezia machine for about a year now and have made some adjustments also bought a bcg800 on sale as I only had a little blade grinder. With the via venezia I attached a breville steam wand with a smaller hole for better micro foam and also when I picked up the vv it didn't come with the original porta filter so again luckily had an old cheap machine in which the filter works great. Have found a combo of great beans, preferably medium roast as it shouldn't be bitter, grinding at the finest setting and a nice firm tamp should give you a nice brew. Alot of it is common sense you can get a feel for it watching some videos online. You will pick it up the more you use it and it all part of the enjoyment. I'm not doing milk for a while so just an expresso with cream basically takes me about 3min to do a shot from turning it on. This is a great little machine for the money. Good luck.



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