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NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > NS Ellimatic...  
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NSElliIterator
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Surrey, BC
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Iso Millenm, NS Ellimc
Grinder: NS MDX
Drip: Bodum
Roaster: 1500W AirGun
Posted Mon Oct 14, 2013, 4:02pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

One of the service techs at the local Nuova Simonelli Repair depot had previously owned an Ellimatic.  IIRC he claimed that his Ellimatic ran too hot, "burned his espresso".  I couldn't believe him due to my personal experience.  For whatever reason my machine runs cool.  

I hope that your temp probe is correctly calibrated.  I know that many E61 thermosyphon brew heads idle above 100 deg C but I almost envy your hot running passively heated brewhead.  Your pressurestat setting seems normal enough if not low, 0.9 off 1.1 bars peak.  I wonder if your system would measure differently if you flushed empty your tank and then loaded it with icy cold water followed by a simulated a flush and shot before the HX had a chance to recover.
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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 15, 2013, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Well, tonight I bit in and adjusted the pressurestat.  It's now sitting at about 1080 to 1240mbar, so the deadband is slightly improved from what it was at 1 bar more.  

temperature measured on the portafilter is somewhat more variable, but vastly lower and more around 93.  I'll play more tomorrow when it's wake-up time and I can -drink- the espresso!  :-)

I'm under the impression that a 150 - 200mbar deadband is 'ok'.  It sounds pretty wide, though?  Is it ok because of the damping effect of the grouphead etc, or something else, or is it not ok and I should try improve it?
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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 15, 2013, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

NSElliIterator Said:

One of the service techs at the local Nuova Simonelli Repair depot had previously owned an Ellimatic.  IIRC he claimed that his Ellimatic ran too hot, "burned his espresso".  I couldn't believe him due to my personal experience.  For whatever reason my machine runs cool.  

I hope that your temp probe is correctly calibrated.  I know that many E61 thermosyphon brew heads idle above 100 deg C but I almost envy your hot running passively heated brewhead.  Your pressurestat setting seems normal enough if not low, 0.9 off 1.1 bars peak.  I wonder if your system would measure differently if you flushed empty your tank and then loaded it with icy cold water followed by a simulated a flush and shot before the HX had a chance to recover.

Posted October 14, 2013 link

Sorry, I missed your comment when I posted earlier.  Previously my pressure was about 1 bar too high, as I was using gauge pressure, not absolute pressure.  Apologies for my ignorance there.  :)  Either way, as you can see from my post last night, I ended up more in range after some adjustment.  Still have to play with the temps to see what works.  

GVDub Said:

Just a stray thought, but brass holds heat pretty well, and once the flow of overheated water has the portafilter up to temp, the pf will be retaining heat. It does look as if, with a basket in, you might be reading metal temperature as much, if not more, than water temperature.

Posted October 14, 2013 link

Fair enough, I will keep an eye out for that.  I will also try it without the basket.  Thanks for the tip!
From my experience last night, it does look as if the machine was just way more stable at high temp....  Closer to 93 deg C it was somewhat more variable.  :(  I'll try some more tests just to be sure, and see what works.

This all brings a new problem - I've got very little steam pressure!  Previously there was plenty, and foaming was easy, now I'm ending up with hot milk with almost no microfoam.  Heck, just can't win....what is the obvious thing I'm missing this time, anyone?  :)
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,456
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Oct 16, 2013, 8:10am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Step 1 - Develop a set of performance parameters which allow you to control the process and get the SAME TEMPERATURE EVERY EXTRACTION.
Step 2 - Adjust those parameters to taste.

It is also all interdependent. Grinding just a little more coarse and using just a little more coffee can make a WORLD of difference in the cup. The difference may be as small as one-half step on the SJ and going from 16.5 to 16.7 grams in the portafilter. From what I have glanced over here, I think you are close enough that further testing needs to be done with the palate and not tools. You seem to be over-thinking the technical aspects. If you can get the same taste in the cup, say, four times consecutively, then change ONE parameter (grind or dose, or flushing technique) and get a slightly different taste four times in a row, then you are on your way. At that point the gauges and thermocouples can be put away and your taste buds will be a far more accurate method for improving your espresso.

For example, grind two "steps" finer then usual, brew, and taste the shot. Now  grind two "steps" more coarse than normal and again, taste. The first should be quite "in your face" and overpowering. The second should be lacking in body and weak in taste. So somewhere in between is approximately the "correct" grind. The same can be said for the boiler pressure. Pressurestat adjustment sets the baseline, but fine adjustments are "controlled" (or, more accurately stated, adjusted) by the flush technique and time between extractions. Brew pressure the same way. Too high means a finer grind is needed or more coffee is needed per extraction. The inverse of that is also true.

See THIS SHORT ARTICLE of mine as an example... sort of.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Wed Oct 16, 2013, 10:36am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

For the metric challenged like me, 1080 to 1240 mb is 1.08  to 1.24 bar? If that is true, that is a perfectly acceptable dead band 0.2 bar.

Normal operating temp (pressure) for the boiler is 1.1 to 1.4 bar so you are at the low end of the range and as such, I would expect that the steam would be weak. The lower the temp, the less steam you have. I keep my machines at about 1.2 bar

Really, absolute pressure/gauge pressure isn't a big deal, what does the gauge say, you are measuring the pressure in the boiler and like I said above it should read 1.1 to 1.4 bar for most machines.

I also suspect that you were reading the temp of the portafilter, not the water. Depending on where ou start reading the temp (before the cooling flush, or after it) the range of temp should be near boiler temp to no less than 195F. If you do a cooling flush then lock the PF and pull the shot, you should read (depending on your flush) right at 205F and over the time of the shot while brewing I suspect it would not change more than a deg F or so as the flow from the HX is slow and constant. If watching the brew temp without coffee and just the water flow, you will see it run from the high temp to something like 150F give or take as you empty the HX system and it has to heat every bit of water entering it.

I too feel that you are getting caught up in numbers and missing the forest for the trees.

If your boiler is idling at 1.2 bar, flush until the water stops flashing to steam and go another oz or so then lock in your prepared PF with coffee and pull a shot. Start with 14 to 18g of coffee to pull 2 fl oz in ~25 seconds and adjust the grinder as need to get this weight/time. From there tell us what you are tasting. You can go a little cooler if need, you can use more/less coffee grounds. You can use more or less coffee but only change ONE thing at a time otherwise you will not have any idea what change did what.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
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 Mon Oct 21, 2013, 3:51am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Hi frcn & calblacksmith,

Firstly, apologies for disappearing for a few days!  I read your comments on my tab, but ran into some trouble before I was able to reply.  Glad to finally rectify that.
Thank you VERY much for your comments, you have indeed opened my eyes to what should be done next.

Just as quick background - I've learnt that somehow my boiler has overfilled itself - figured that out when it just never auto-filled during a half-hour testing session.  I suspect that an earth problem MIGHT be the root cause.  Will have to look into that.  Also, my water reservoir cracked by the seam when I took it out, mended that yesterday...  And lastly, my pressurestat just stopped working all of a sudden.  When I took off the covers to investigate, it started working again, so I'm considering replacing it.  It looks pretty original, so it might be time for a new one (what year was the ellimatic manufactured?).  On the other hand, bad contacts might be responsible for that as well, as with the overflow.  All contacts look ok, though, so I'm a bit perplexed.  Needless to say the above might have a lot to do with all my problems!  

frcn Said:

See THIS SHORT ARTICLE of mine as an example... sort of.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

An excellent explanation!  :)  Something that opens your eyes to the amount of skill and practise required, very cool.

calblacksmith Said:

For the metric challenged like me, 1080 to 1240 mb is 1.08  to 1.24 bar? If that is true, that is a perfectly acceptable dead band 0.2 bar.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

Correct, and good to hear that I'm within spec.  :)

calblacksmith Said:

Normal operating temp (pressure) for the boiler is 1.1 to 1.4 bar so you are at the low end of the range and as such, I would expect that the steam would be weak. The lower the temp, the less steam you have. I keep my machines at about 1.2 bar

Posted October 16, 2013 link

Ah, I've upped my pressure just a bit after reading this.

calblacksmith Said:

Really, absolute pressure/gauge pressure isn't a big deal, what does the gauge say, you are measuring the pressure in the boiler and like I said above it should read 1.1 to 1.4 bar for most machines.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

:)  All I'm trying to do is get my terminology correct, after the messup my side that lead to this whole discussion.  Accoring to wikipedia, absolute pressure is referenced to a vacuum (which is what I now understand should be used for an espresso machine boiler), and gauge pressure is referenced to atmospheric pressure.  In my case, atmospheric is pretty much 1 bar as I live almost at sea level, so I take my measurement with the gauge referenced to atmospheric pressure, add the current atmospheric pressure, and end up with something  very close to absolute pressure.  Technically I may measure 0.3 bar, I add 1 bar for atmospheric, and end with around 1.3 bar absolute pressure.

calblacksmith Said:

I also suspect that you were reading the temp of the portafilter, not the water. Depending on where ou start reading the temp (before the cooling flush, or after it) the range of temp should be near boiler temp to no less than 195F. If you do a cooling flush then lock the PF and pull the shot, you should read (depending on your flush) right at 205F and over the time of the shot while brewing I suspect it would not change more than a deg F or so as the flow from the HX is slow and constant. If watching the brew temp without coffee and just the water flow, you will see it run from the high temp to something like 150F give or take as you empty the HX system and it has to heat every bit of water entering it.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

makes sense, and indeed something I shall keep an eye on....another reason why my previous reading was so "perfect 102.2deg C" might be that the flow of water was unrestricted, and the incredibly hot boiler was just hot enough to keep it there at full unrestricted flow.

frcn Said:

Step 1 - Develop a set of performance parameters which allow you to control the process and get the SAME TEMPERATURE EVERY EXTRACTION.
Step 2 - Adjust those parameters to taste.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

calblacksmith Said:

I too feel that you are getting caught up in numbers and missing the forest for the trees.
If your boiler is idling at 1.2 bar, flush until the water stops flashing to steam and go another oz or so then lock in your prepared PF with coffee and pull a shot. Start with 14 to 18g of coffee to pull 2 fl oz in ~25 seconds and adjust the grinder as need to get this weight/time. From there tell us what you are tasting. You can go a little cooler if need, you can use more/less coffee grounds. You can use more or less coffee but only change ONE thing at a time otherwise you will not have any idea what change did what.

Posted October 16, 2013 link

There is what opened my eyes to part of my problem.  Firstly, thanks for the instructions on roughly when to lock and load, etc.  Then, the "flash steam" thing - I can't seem to hear it (noisy pump!), nor can I see it....  With the portafilter on there's no way of telling, and with the portafilter off  the easiest is to check if the screen dries almost immediately after shutting off the pump.  Is the water supposed to "obviously" boil and hiss as it exits, or is it a subtle thing?  Looking at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSZeGSXpWDI, is it the spot around 18 seconds when the streams start moving into one?  I know it's not my machine, but I figure the "look" should be similar for all hx's?  That's a good place to start I guess, so that I can get my repeatability to a proper level, and get to the point where I can change one thing at a time..

Thanks for all the helpful comments!
Jan
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Mon Oct 21, 2013, 11:21am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

I never saw the water flash at all in that video, ever. When he (I'm guessing) first turned the flow on, it was ready to brew.

With the PF off, it is very clear the water is sputtering and hissing, it then clams down to a stream as it turns to "hot water" not steam. I guess I will have to do a video, there is just so much miss information out there by people not understanding what they are doing.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
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 22, 2013, 3:31am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

calblacksmith Said:

I never saw the water flash at all in that video, ever. When he (I'm guessing) first turned the flow on, it was ready to brew.

With the PF off, it is very clear the water is sputtering and hissing, it then clams down to a stream as it turns to "hot water" not steam. I guess I will have to do a video, there is just so much miss information out there by people not understanding what they are doing.

Posted October 21, 2013 link

Good grief...now I'm really confused.  My water never gets to anything sputtering and hissing, even after the machine has been standing for a while.  Am I not double-correcting my pressure or doing something else horrendously stupid?  

I'll take the machine apart as soon as I can to check what the reason was for the overfilling and pressurestat failing, but now I'm really perplexed as to what's going on.  :(
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Tue Oct 22, 2013, 6:44am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

I said I would and here it is. The water in the HX is the same temp as the water in the boiler, in my case about 245F, as water boils at 212F it will flash to steam at any temp above boiling. As soon as it stops flashing to steam, it is below 212F, a little more to hit your brew temp and you are done.
I hope the video helps.
Click Here (www.youtube.com)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
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 22, 2013, 6:55am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

(Thank you sir!  :)  Yes, that is pretty clear.  Heck...I'm going to relook my temperatures, something is not well on my side.  One question, though - if you're sitting at 245F, it means your pressure is at about 28 psi (1.93 bar) according to the charts (Click Here (www.engineeringtoolbox.com))?  This is somewhat higher than the 1.3 bars (19psi) where I am at the moment...!

PS:  That is one good looking machine you got there!
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