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Thread: Expobar Office watery extraction & way too fast

  1. #1
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    Talking Expobar Office watery extraction & way too fast

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have just noticed on my machine after watching a video of the
    Expobar Office in action that mine is extracting much faster &
    I have timed it producing approximately 175mls in 25 seconds
    instead of 30mls as I understand it should be.
    I am only using supermarket coffee at present but I have had better
    tasting coffee from the machine before.
    My machine is approximately 3.5 yrs old.
    I am using a Sunbeam EM0480 which I realize is not the best but
    the extraction should still not be as fast as this.
    I have turned down the brew pressure by 2 bar & made coffee taste better
    but still has not slowed the extraction rate.
    I read on the forum somewhere that there is a restrictor in one of the tubes
    just wondering if my machine doesn't have this or is it some other problem?
    Any help would be most appreciated.

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    Assuming you haven't changed your dosage or tamping pressure, has it always flowed at this rate or did it gradually get worse or suddenly get worse?

    The normal advice would be to reduce your grind size until you get the correct volume but I'm not sure if this is the problem.

    Do you have a dual wall basket, that can help with supermarket coffee.

    Edit: btw I wouldn't be playing around with bar pressure until you've covered off on the basics, ie grind size, dosage, tamp pressure, fresh beans

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    Supermarket coffee (shelf stored and on sale promo specially) and espresso machines seldom work well together in terms of proper flow and timing. I did get some supermarket coffee recently but it was from a vendor concessionaire with an onsite 2KG Diedrich coffee roaster in Manila. They roast 3 times a week. The Tanzanian Kilimanjaro turned out much better than I expected.

    It's not a good idea to focus on machine and grinder settings when using stale coffee beans. They will flow like your setup is on laxative.
    KizZ84 likes this.

  4. #4
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    I haven't changed the dosage or tamping pressure I don't think and I have set my Sunbeam onto the finest grind possible & yet the extraction is still motoring out.
    The machine did make nicer coffee before so it could have been slower then but I suspect it has always been fast. It has never been just dribbling out (except maybe at the start like I saw on the video)
    I cant grind the beans any finer at present & its a single wall basket with standard PF.
    I am not too concerned with adjusting the brew pressure as its easy enough to turn the screw back again 2 turns.
    I'm no expert on Expobar but it seems more like more than coffee grind size and tamping pressure to get over 5 times the extraction it seems I should be getting in 25 seconds.
    I am going to get a Macap M4D grinder so that will make a bit of a difference but it will be a waste with fresh beans as I feel its extracting way to fast and there is some other issue.

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    Yes JojoS it is flowing like its on a laxative but will fresh beans slow it down by 5 times the amount?

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    Only 1 way to find out. Get some fresh ones then we can start sorting out whatever issues you may have with your setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muso44 View Post
    I haven't changed the dosage or tamping pressure I don't think and I have set my Sunbeam onto the finest grind possible & yet the extraction is still motoring out.
    Possibly your grinder has not been shimmed correctly/at all and cannot grind fine enough.

    As with the other posters, address your bean issue first and source some fresh beans but it would also be an idea to check your grinder and see if it has been shimmed.
    To do this, remove the hopper, grind adjustment collar and outer burr and undo the nut holding the centre burr in place.
    You will need a 10mm socket or spanner to remove it. Remember, it is a left hand thread so is removed clockwise and tightened anti clockwise.

    Lift out the centre burr and see if there are any small metal washers underneath it. This would indicate it has been shimmed, possibly you need to add another shim to make the grind even finer.
    If there are no metal washers in place, you need to add some. Call Sunbeam and they should be able to supply some for you. If not, they are readily available online and are cheap.

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    Hi Noidle22 I could shim the Sunbeam and get the grind finer but its only a Sunbeam so I will probably just buy a Macap M4D
    The Sunbeam looks like its choking now on its lowest setting. I will be very surprised if its not something else that is the problem
    rather than just fresh beans and grind size as the grind is very fine even now.
    I did use fresh beans before & I dont remember it making that much of a difference over supermarket beans that's why I went back to
    the supermarket stuff.

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    You mentioned you adjusted the brew pressure. What was it originally?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    What are you calling 'fresh beans'? If they weren't packaged in an airtight or sealed one way valved bag shortly after roasting and you got them with-in days of being roasted then they're not fresh. Beans roasted and then left sitting in jars or bins on a counter which they're bagged from when you buy them are odds on already stale. Which would explain why you're getting the same poor extraction from them as you are from the supermarket beans.


    Java "First verify the beans!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Though you may disagree, the current consensus is the issues are related to either using stale beans and/or too course a grind. Eliminating the first is easy, go to your local roaster and buy fresh beans.

    The second is harder though you say it is already very fine. Shimming it still seems like a very good idea as it will give you more latitude to help diagnose the issue. If the grinder has seen lots of use the burrs themselves may be the issue and need replacing.

    I'd still like to know how much you dose and your tamping pressure before ruling those out. Tamping doesn't make that much difference as long as it's enough and done consistently. Dosing will make lots of difference. Place a 10c piece on your puck and insert PF into group heap. Then take it out and it should have left a slight impression. No impression = underdosing, large impression = overdosing.

    My comment regarding brew pressure is not related to the ease of changing it. It is just unlikely it will be that. Better to keep that at the default setting until you have eliminated old beans, poor grind, dosing and tamping issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    What are you calling 'fresh beans'? If they weren't packaged in an airtight or sealed one way valved bag shortly after roasting and you got them with-in days of being roasted then they're not fresh. Beans roasted and then left sitting in jars or bins on a counter which they're bagged from when you buy them are odds on already stale. Which would explain why you're getting the same poor extraction from them as you are from the supermarket beans.


    Java "First verify the beans!" phile
    I got the beans from Simply Beans in Underwood I understand that Joe is a reputable roaster. I just got some from there today not sure the bag has a one way valve on it though. I always store beans in an airtight container.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Though you may disagree, the current consensus is the issues are related to either using stale beans and/or too course a grind. Eliminating the first is easy, go to your local roaster and buy fresh beans.

    The second is harder though you say it is already very fine. Shimming it still seems like a very good idea as it will give you more latitude to help diagnose the issue. If the grinder has seen lots of use the burrs themselves may be the issue and need replacing.

    I'd still like to know how much you dose and your tamping pressure before ruling those out. Tamping doesn't make that much difference as long as it's enough and done consistently. Dosing will make lots of difference. Place a 10c piece on your puck and insert PF into group heap. Then take it out and it should have left a slight impression. No impression = underdosing, large impression = overdosing.

    My comment regarding brew pressure is not related to the ease of changing it. It is just unlikely it will be that. Better to keep that at the default setting until you have eliminated old beans, poor grind, dosing and tamping issues.
    Yes I am yet to be convinced that stale beans will make an almost 600% difference in the rate of the pour, Sure they may not taste that good but I don't see how fresh beans will slow the pour down that much.
    I have used the finest grind setting on the Sunbeam grinder which may not be as good as some better grinders but should be ok.
    I have been dosing and tamping pretty much the same over the last 3 years. It wont be overdosed because with the single basket if it is overdosed you cant fit the portafiilter onto the group head.
    I have tried tamping really hard and not so hard does not make any significant difference to the rate of the pour.
    The Expobar baskets have a ring inside them which I guessed is the correct level for the dose. I will try the 10 cent piece.
    I don't see why I shouldnt try adjusting the brew pressure as it is probably the simplest thing to adjust on the whole machine & now I have eliminated it.

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    I now have some fresh beans so will try later tonight to see if that makes a difference to the rate of pour and next week I should have the Macap M4D grinder that I have ordered so will see if that makes a big difference to the pour & at this stage I am still not convinced it will turn the flow I am getting that is like a river & turn it into a trickle. I still have the feeling that a part needs replacing or adjusting somewhere.

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    You're right of course, fresh beans won't account for 600% though it will/should account for a fair portion. With your new batch of beans, what is the roasting date? Fresh is a relative term so knowing the actual date is more useful that someone claiming it is fresh.

    I've got a brand new BCG820 grinder and even on it's finest setting it's not fine enough. I had to do some Breville authorised mods before I could get a sub 30sec pour. Point being just because you have it at the finest setting doesn't mean it is fine enough.

    Once you are tamping "hard enough" further pressures has minimal effect. BTW what do you mean by "really hard"? Tamp on a set of scales and measure it. The most commonly quoted amount of tamping pressure is 30lbs/15kg though I personally use a lot less than that but I dose differently to most people.

    Wrt to adjusting pressure, google how to get the perfect shot and count how many times people suggest changing pressure verses changing grind size, dosage, tamping & freshness. Simply put, it's not necessary.

    BTW I had a similar issue with my BCG800 grinder. We never solved the issue but believe it was due to static buildup, possibly due to the grounding wire breaking within the grinder.

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    It's very unlikely to be a problem with brew pressure, because if you're getting those kinds of flowrates you probably don't have enough resistance to even reach 9 barg (I'd have to see the pump curve but I don't think a vibe pump will do 420 mL/min at 9 barg).

    Flow and flow resistance drive the pressure, it's NOT the other way around.
    Dimal and readeral like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Flow and flow resistance drive the pressure, it's NOT the other way around.
    Particularly with a positive displacement pump...

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    You're right of course, fresh beans won't account for 600% though it will/should account for a fair portion. With your new batch of beans, what is the roasting date? Fresh is a relative term so knowing the actual date is more useful that someone claiming it is fresh.

    I've got a brand new BCG820 grinder and even on it's finest setting it's not fine enough. I had to do some Breville authorised mods before I could get a sub 30sec pour. Point being just because you have it at the finest setting doesn't mean it is fine enough.

    Once you are tamping "hard enough" further pressures has minimal effect. BTW what do you mean by "really hard"? Tamp on a set of scales and measure it. The most commonly quoted amount of tamping pressure is 30lbs/15kg though I personally use a lot less than that but I dose differently to most people.

    Wrt to adjusting pressure, google how to get the perfect shot and count how many times people suggest changing pressure verses changing grind size, dosage, tamping & freshness. Simply put, it's not necessary.

    BTW I had a similar issue with my BCG800 grinder. We never solved the issue but believe it was due to static buildup, possibly due to the grounding wire breaking within the grinder.

    Yes you are right it did account for a fair portion with fresh beans. I checked today and they were roasted 5 days ago. The flow has come down to 120mls in 25 seconds
    I have had my Sunbeam EM480 since new but I know its limitations I am not expecting it to provide the same quality as a Vario or Macap it seems to be grinding fine enough though
    I set it on 4 & I just poured a shot about an hour ago and it is the best I have ever made on this machine and definitely cafe quality. So there is nothing wrong with this machine.

    It helped me watching this video
    How to make the perfect espresso at home

    I also found that the single basket I was using could have added to the problem as it is tapered at the bottom and the screen at the bottom is about half the size at the top
    (maybe creating channeling) so I am now using the double shot basket which is parallel & the screen is virtually the same size as the top. With the single basket there is a big chance of underdosing.

    At a guess I was tamping somewhere around 20kg.
    I cant wait to get the Macap M4D to see if I can get the pour down to 30mls
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    I had a similar issue with the pour from an em480 suddenly increasing. Re seating the upper burr housing helped, but I didn't get it to grind as fine as it used to. Still got me stumped. Your new grinder will no doubt fix things. be mindful of distribution though, as channelling may creep in, and make you wonder what is going on all over again.

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    There must be a standard flow rate that can be measured with no group handle on place.
    Finding that out and checking it would be a good start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    There must be a standard flow rate that can be measured with no group handle on place.
    Finding that out and checking it would be a good start.

    That's a very good idea Trentski If I can find the spec of the the pump that would be a very good place to start to make sure the flow rate is as it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobeanornottobean View Post
    I had a similar issue with the pour from an em480 suddenly increasing. Re seating the upper burr housing helped, but I didn't get it to grind as fine as it used to. Still got me stumped. Your new grinder will no doubt fix things. be mindful of distribution though, as channelling may creep in, and make you wonder what is going on all over again.
    Mine seems to be grinding fine enough as I am using it on 4 sometimes on 3. Coffee taste doesn't get any better by going finer so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by muso44 View Post
    That's a very good idea Trentski If I can find the spec of the the pump that would be a very good place to start to make sure the flow rate is as it should be.
    Ulka or Fluid-o-tech?

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    Quote Originally Posted by muso44 View Post
    Mine seems to be grinding fine enough as I am using it on 4 sometimes on 3. Coffee taste doesn't get any better by going finer so far.
    Why does the fact your grinder is set to 4 (or 3) mean that it is grinding fine enough? Maybe grind a small amount, scatter it on some white paper and take a photo?
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    Expobar Office watery extraction & way too fast

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Easy way to rule out the grinder:

    Go to your local roaster, buy whatever the minimum is (eg: 250 grams).

    Have the roaster grind them for you in their bulk grinder on the espresso setting.

    Take it home and test.

    Based on what you've told us to date, I think there's something amiss with your grinder.

    Another option is to use the grounds from your grinder in a French press. If you can push the piston down, then it's not fine enough. An espresso level fineness will stop a French press in its tracks.
    Last edited by herzog; 23rd March 2016 at 06:08 PM.



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