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Beginner Extractions
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

That will change, I rarely toss a drink now.  I did a lot more at the start. Even my "bad" ones are ok to drink.  I tossed one this morning but it was a new blend of beans and I was way off on grind.   The 2nd one was not right either but close enough on a week day morning.  Saturday I might have tossed it.  It was plenty drinkable.

Posted October 29, 2013 link

+1...especially if it's going in milk

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Hey Wayne,

I read in one of your replies to a different post that you really like the Klatch Belle and WBC blends...I just got some Belle and am liking the flavor a lot.  Had the Klatch House Espresso (not the Organic FT House Espresso), and it was okay, but definitely like Belle better.

What is it about Belle and WBC that you like?  I'm thinking I'll probably stay with the Belle for a while, but might be interested in trying WBC...still also want to try Velton's Bonsai Blend sometime too.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 10:14am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Oh yes!  Another issue!!!

This time, I think it was my fault...I ordered the Bestcup filter from Chris Coffee and installed it...

(by the way, I can't seem to find an optimal position in the water tank for the filter and mount...there's a stock suction cup as part of the tank, but the angle of the mount's input/output nozzles makes it awkward at best)

...anyway, the instruction booklet was horrible, and didn't mention soaking it first, but I'm sure I should have thought about that in any case.  I've had Pur filters and have always had to do that.

Almost immediately after installation, once the pressure ramped up for extraction, I would lose pressure after a couple of seconds (would drop from 9 to about half that at best) and the noise from the vibratory pump also dropped significantly.  So I also tried this with the regular backflush procedure, as well as unhooking the water softener and trying again.  Still getting the pressure drop.

Called Chris Coffee this morning, and the tech guy said it sounds like there's just air in the vibratory pump, and that I should try to get the air bubbles out by trying to flush water through the system multiple times.  Will have to do that when I get home tonight, but curious if any of you have had this experience, or have any comments on this.  Sounds reasonable to me, but I'm also slightly paranoid that my machine might already be developing bigger issues.

So people, help me out...ease my fears...lie to me, whatever.  Hahaha...
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 10:41am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

I've used a couple of different "in reservoir" filter, including the one you got from CCS.  I stopped using them for a couple of reasons...1) I found I didn't take the time to test the effectiveness of each cartridge or keep a good schedule, and instead just changed them on an estimate of about how long ago I remembered doing it last, 2) I found it extremely difficult to get the dang unit on and off the suction cup without dislodging it, 3) I had more than one episode of my machine going to safety shut off without warning, because of that dang filter - in fact, one time it's shuddered and then shut off, but the alarm didn't beep (I thought the pump had gone out on me 4) I bought a GH/KH test kit, and found the filtered water from my refrigerator dispenser was actually just fine for my machine, and 5) (regarding an ion exchange resin type that just attached to the line and sunk to the reservoir bottom by gravity) I didn't recharge it often enough.

I highly recommend you pick up a GH/KH test kit and use it to test your water supply.  you may not even need additional filtering (like me).  There are many vendors, including any aquarium shop.  I bought mine online from a site called aquacave...and this is the one I have... Click Here (www.aquacave.com)

A great resource to read about water quality and espresso machines is Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ  You should be able to find it quickly by copying and pasting that title into a Google search, or I can email you a pdf of it from my home PC.

 
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

I actually did test my water with strips, and the best I was able to approximate based on the visual scale was a hardness of about 7 grains...supposed to be best below 5, right?  I'm just using filtered water from my fridge.

Yeah, thinking down the line that this setup might become more of a pain than anything, but we'll see...I just want everything working properly!

Have a call into Baratza regarding the grinder calibration issues, hopefully will be able to get that straightened out also.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

The strips aren't very accurate. I really think you'll be better off with the kit, where you actually perform a titration counting drops, then look up the results on a chart.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 8:29pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Okay, will get a better titration meter for eval soon...

In the meantime, I took video of two situations on the pump issue I'm seeing...going to talk to Chris Coffee tomorrow, but thought I would post in case anyone has any idea...

First link is w/ the backflush disk in the PF/pressurized single basket.  I know when the pressure ramps up, the vibratory pump sound does decrease, but I want to emphasize that the sound is DEFINITELY not the same as the normal functioning...way lower sound, hopefully you can pick it up in the video.  click here

Second link is a crappy, coarse grind (didn't have it dialed in but just wanted to show effect) in the naked PF/double basket...shows it putting full pressure and then cutting out...and repeating the cycle.  click here

I did try what the Chris Coffee tech said to do, which was press the extraction button repeatedly to try to get the (possible) air bubble out...tried it, with quick repeated pushes, with slow repeated pushes, by releasing pressure after buildup w/ backflush and quickly hitting the button again...all to no avail.

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPP!!!  Maybe I need Wayne to help fix it...lol!  Though I'm not really laughing inside... =(  I want coffee so bad right now, I'm drinking wine.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 8:30pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Oh, and found a couple of different posts on forums where people might be seeing the same type of thing I am, though these are old...

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

http://www.s1cafe.com./viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1025

I'm just not smart enough to know what's really being said...
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 8:51pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

According to the Chris Coffee techs, it sounds like the vibe pump is dying...so I had to order a new one...should be a simple install, and the machine will be back in business.  *crosses fingers*
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Nov 1, 2013, 6:03am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

branmuffin17 Said:

According to the Chris Coffee techs, it sounds like the vibe pump is dying...so I had to order a new one...should be a simple install, and the machine will be back in business.  *crosses fingers*

Posted October 31, 2013 link

Interesting. Granted, I'm no expert, but in all my reading and research on these forums, I've never seen anything about a vibe pump dying. I've heard of rotary pumps failing, but I thought one plus of the vibe was its longer life span. Good luck on the installation. I'm sure your machine will have a long life with the replacement. (That's the great part about machines in our range - user serviceability).
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