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NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > NS Ellimatic...  
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 2:00am
Subject: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

Hello all,

I've spent the last (way too long) few months slowly rebuilding an NS ellimatic.  I've got it all cleaned and back together, complete with adjustable OPV and vacuum breaker fitted.  Now I've not got any pressure gauges, but I do have a thermometer.  Me and a buddy tried playing around with shots last weekend to see what we can do, and got consistently bitter shots.  Using a styrofoam cup and thermocouple they measured close to 100 degrees C, sometimes over.  Eventually we adjusted the pressurestat WAY down, and now the shots are somewhat cooler and nicer, but now there's no pressure left for steam.  We did around 5-8 seconds cooling flushes, but after reading the hx love article (http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html) on HB this week, I started to doubt that timing.  They refer to an E61 grouphead, which the ellimatic does not have, but should I also be doing 30 second flushes, or was my pressurestat setting indeed way too high, and there's another problem I should look at?

As background info - I've cleaned pretty much everything I could, there's no scale, the valves all work well, the element was tested by a shop and found to be good, and all appears to work.  There's no black stuff coming from the wand any more after my cleaning spree, and there are no leaks.  The pressurestat also clearly reacts to adjustments made.  It's a Mater.  

Anybody that has / had an Elli or Ellimatic that can possibly comment on their experience / routine?

Thanks!
Jan
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 864
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 6:35am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

I find that if my Ellimatic has been sitting more than 15 minutes, I have to flush 6-8 oz. (200-250ml) to get the temp right. If it's been sitting 5 minutes, it's about a 2 oz. flush. Pulling back to back shots, it's just long enough to flush the screen from the last shot.

Congrats on the rebuild. I'm quite fond of mine. Not the flashiest or most modern machines, but it pulls a fine shot and has been very reliable since I rebuilt mine.
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Sat Sep 28, 2013, 11:01pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

Thanks GVDub!  I'll work on that timing, and play with the pressurestat to get it closeish to those values.  One other (very related) thing: the boiler liquid level.  When I had the boiler open I noticed that only about half the hx coil was submerged in the boiler water if the probe is in its default position.  Did you mess with the probe level at all, or should I just leave it as is?  I did lift it at some stage, but with the overheating brew water it went back to default fairly early on.

It is a nice, small machine, and although indeed not flashy, it looks good to me.  I plan to stick with it for a while still, especially now that i know it inside out!  :-)

Cheers!
Jan
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NSElliIterator
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Location: Surrey, BC
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Ellimatic
Grinder: NS MDXA
Drip: Bodum
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 2:36am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

Congrats on the successful overhaul, so great when you finally get a chance to start pulling shots again!

Now using a thermocouple in combination with a styrofoam cup???  Did you consider improvising a "Scace" using your pf???  Of course I shouldn't talk cause I've based all my decision making on measurements taken from a styrofoam cup with a $5 meat thermometer which were in the ball park but low for espresso extraction, say 87 deg C.  Until I had overhauled my machine I had been satisfied with my sour extractions.  However, once I started following my contemporaries like GVDub on CoffeeGeek and mimicked their routines, I was able to raise my extraction temperatures and my espressos improved quite a bit.  That said I'm amazed that your machine was running so hot.  Its a long way from the boiler to the brew head and my machine needs a long "heating" flush to raise the brew head temperature enough to pull a decent shot.  So my routine with a warm machine and a long idle period is to flush at least 8 oz which heats the brewhead and cools the brew water simultaneously, prepare a shot, flush about 4 oz , lock the pf, wait a few seconds and pull the shot.  My pressurestat is set for high boiler pressure and lots of steam cause steamed milk drinks are important to my crew.  I have played with the boiler levels too and it was with an eye towards raising my extraction temps so that they were more in the ballpark.

All the best and enjoy your espresso!
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 864
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 6:04am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

If I'm remembering correctly, steam has a higher thermal transfer coefficient (something on the order of 15% or so higher) than water, so raising the water level in the boiler would actually reduce the rate at which the water in the HX heats, leading to your extraction flow cooling off faster, so leaving the probe at default level is probably best, especially if you're running a lower pressure. Rasising the water level will also reduce the amount of steam available, especially with a lowered pressure. I figure that since, presumably, Simonelli did some engineering to figure out stuff, unless there's a compelling reason otherwise, to keep the plumbing relatively stock (though adding a vacuum breaker and adjustable OPV aren't really affecting the water path).
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 8:08am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

Congrats on the rebuild, it sounds like you are being taken care of pretty well.
I have found that there can be a fair difference between machies. My ECM A1 can go 5 minutes without much need for HX cooling while my M32 needs to flush 5 or so oz after a couple minutes.

 
In real life, my name is
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 71
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & few...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Tue Oct 1, 2013, 1:35am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic cooling flush question
 

NSElliIterator Said:

Congrats on the successful overhaul, so great when you finally get a chance to start pulling shots again!
Now using a thermocouple in combination with a styrofoam cup???  Did you consider improvising a "Scace" using your pf???  Of course I shouldn't talk cause I've based all my decision making on measurements taken from a styrofoam cup with a $5 meat thermometer which were in the ball park but low for espresso extraction, say 87 deg C.  Until I had overhauled my machine I had been satisfied with my sour extractions.  However, once I started following my contemporaries like GVDub on CoffeeGeek and mimicked their routines, I was able to raise my extraction temperatures and my espressos improved quite a bit.  

Posted September 29, 2013 link

thanks!  Hmm, one of the measurements I did I would actually fit the thermocouple into the portafilter to try take measurements.  I was under the impression that the styrofoam cup might be more accurate, but haven't played around enough to really know.  Well, I'll try find a standard NS portafilter and mod it to do pressure and temperature for these sort of things.  Thanks for the tip!  (Pulling shots "again"....well...this is my first proper machine....so I'll just settle for starting to pull shots)  :)

NSElliIterator Said:

That said I'm amazed that your machine was running so hot.  Its a long way from the boiler to the brew head and my machine needs a long "heating" flush to raise the brew head temperature enough to pull a decent shot.  So my routine with a warm machine and a long idle period is to flush at least 8 oz which heats the brewhead and cools the brew water simultaneously, prepare a shot, flush about 4 oz , lock the pf, wait a few seconds and pull the shot.  My pressurestat is set for high boiler pressure and lots of steam cause steamed milk drinks are important to my crew.  I have played with the boiler levels too and it was with an eye towards raising my extraction temps so that they were more in the ballpark.
All the best and enjoy your espresso!

Posted September 29, 2013 link

The issue is that the water coming out of the HX is essentially boiling when it reaches the grouphead.  Increasing my flush to around 250ml has helped quite a bit there, as it cools down towards the end, and the water coming out no longer sputters.   Yes, this also raises the grouphead temp to something decent, but my main problem is the water itself being too hot when it touches the coffee.  Then, during the flush, the pressurestat clicks on and starts heating the boiler, so by the time I'm tamped and ready I do another flush to get it cool again, and then pull the shot.  So many variables I've still got to figure out...one at a time...

GVDub Said:

If I'm remembering correctly, steam has a higher thermal transfer coefficient (something on the order of 15% or so higher) than water, so raising the water level in the boiler would actually reduce the rate at which the water in the HX heats, leading to your extraction flow cooling off faster, so leaving the probe at default level is probably best, especially if you're running a lower pressure. Rasising the water level will also reduce the amount of steam available, especially with a lowered pressure. I figure that since, presumably, Simonelli did some engineering to figure out stuff, unless there's a compelling reason otherwise, to keep the plumbing relatively stock (though adding a vacuum breaker and adjustable OPV aren't really affecting the water path).

Posted September 29, 2013 link

Interesting!  Well, if you're running yours with the probe in standard position, I'll leave mine there as well.  Agreed, the OPV and vacuum breaker didn't change the path - esp the breaker is in the steam line...so not at all.  I'll post pics on the rebuild when I find a gap, complete with the mods.  Fitting both wasn't that much of a mission, esp the OPV is child's play.

calblacksmith Said:

Congrats on the rebuild, it sounds like you are being taken care of pretty well.
I have found that there can be a fair difference between machies. My ECM A1 can go 5 minutes without much need for HX cooling while my M32 needs to flush 5 or so oz after a couple minutes.

Posted September 29, 2013 link

Thanks!  Indeed, it's always great to post here and get such good and encouraging responses.  My wife has not enjoyed having me spend this much time on a machine, but hopefully will change her mind once I can start producing proper shots (I hope!)  :)  Shows you...an hx vs an hx vs an hx....none ever the same!

Cheers,
Jan
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