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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > NS Ellimatic...  
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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, 9:15am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Your welcome!

Actually, I am warmer than that. I used to keep my ECM machine at 2.1 bar so the conversion for it was stuck in my head, this machine is about 2.5 to 2.6 bar. When I finished going through it that is where the Pstat was set so I just got used to it. All it means is that there is more steam to use and a little more flushing to do.

The machine was on for about an hour from cold, I run it on a timer so it turns on before I get up.

About the machine, well yes, thank you, it is one of several that I have. You can see the rebuild thread on it here.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/642550

All HX machines work the same way. The shape and size of the HX system can and will be different between makers and models but to use the machine, they all work the same. The water needs to be hot enough to cause the system to work as designed. This means that most machines should be operated in the 2.0 to 2.5 bar range. The boiler needs to be hot enough so that it is able to heat the water in the HX fast enough. If the water is too cold, it takes too long to heat the water and your production rate is very slow and you are at serious risk of cold shots.

The flush is perhaps the most misunderstood and confusing thing for people to understand. It is not temp surfing. Temp surfing is done on SBDU machines, you play games with the click thermostats, the steam switch and time to try to get a brew temp you desire. On the HX, you are simply dumping over temp water from the system so it can work as designed.

The boiler temp is easily maintained by the use of a Pstat. The swing of + or - 2f in the STEAM boiler will not affect the transfer of heat to the water in the HX system enough to give a second thought to. That is not true in a DB machine because the temp of the water IS the water you are using to brew with and those few deg F DO matter. The same is true on a SBDU which is why a PID works wonders on both of those machines but on a HX, the steam boiler simply does not need a sub 1deg F stability.

 
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: 62
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & OLD Via...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 1:00am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Hi Wayne,

calblacksmith Said:

Your welcome!
Actually, I am warmer than that. I used to keep my ECM machine at 2.1 bar so the conversion for it was stuck in my head, this machine is about 2.5 to 2.6 bar. When I finished going through it that is where the Pstat was set so I just got used to it. All it means is that there is more steam to use and a little more flushing to do.
The machine was on for about an hour from cold, I run it on a timer so it turns on before I get up.

Posted October 22, 2013 link

Ok, now I'm puzzled...so your pressure is WAY higher than what I'm led to believe it should be?  I actually tried in the meantime, and if I'm sitting by the 1.9 bar mark my machine never stops sputtering out boiling water that flashes to steam.

calblacksmith Said:

About the machine, well yes, thank you, it is one of several that I have. You can see the rebuild thread on it here.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/642550

Posted October 22, 2013 link

I remember reading the thread as you posted, quite a lot of work done there!  :)

calblacksmith Said:

All HX machines work the same way. The shape and size of the HX system can and will be different between makers and models but to use the machine, they all work the same. The water needs to be hot enough to cause the system to work as designed. This means that most machines should be operated in the 2.0 to 2.5 bar range. The boiler needs to be hot enough so that it is able to heat the water in the HX fast enough. If the water is too cold, it takes too long to heat the water and your production rate is very slow and you are at serious risk of cold shots.

The flush is perhaps the most misunderstood and confusing thing for people to understand. It is not temp surfing. Temp surfing is done on SBDU machines, you play games with the click thermostats, the steam switch and time to try to get a brew temp you desire. On the HX, you are simply dumping over temp water from the system so it can work as designed.

The boiler temp is easily maintained by the use of a Pstat. The swing of + or - 2f in the STEAM boiler will not affect the transfer of heat to the water in the HX system enough to give a second thought to. That is not true in a DB machine because the temp of the water IS the water you are using to brew with and those few deg F DO matter. The same is true on a SBDU which is why a PID works wonders on both of those machines but on a HX, the steam boiler simply does not need a sub 1deg F stability.

Posted October 22, 2013 link

Indeed a very good explanation, thanks very much!  I am however still puzzled as to what is going on my side...  Am I right in saying that approximately the right spot for an HX machine (in terms of boiler pressure) is where it flashboils when you start flushing, but after getting the overheated water flushed, it should settle.  So, if my machine NEVER flashboils (even after sitting for 10-20mins), the pressure is too low.  On the other hand, if I have to flush the entire contents of the water reservoir and can't get it to stop spewing out boiling water, pressure is too high.

I'm having a hard time finding that balance... 1.3bar is too cold, there's almost no steam and the water doesn't seem to be up to temp, but 1.8 bar is too hot again, although the steam is nice.  (Playing around 1.6 bar now, but with a 0.2bar deadband it's just too fine a balance to my liking?) I'm suspecting that my possibly still overfilled boiler might be part of the steaming problem, but my pressure is very different from what you've got.  I would have expected an entry level machine like mine to have a less efficient HX, needing a hotter boiler for it to work properly, however it seems to be the other way around?

My shots at the moment are pretty much consistently too bitter, which I gather to quite possibly be caused by too high temperature?

I guess a good pointer would be if someone with an ellimatic or maybe an oscar can point out what value absolute pressure their boiler sits at?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 8:55am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

2.5 bar is 127.4C or 261F
1.3 bar is 107.1C  or 224.7F
1.9 bar is 118.6C or 245F

As water boils at 100C or 212F, it is not unusual that at 1.3 bar you barely have any steam.

We are setting the temp of the steam boiler, the pump is not on.

We brew at ~9 bars of pressure, supplied from the pump.

All pressures are what the gauge should read as it is attached to the machine. Do not try to make any conversions to true/pressure etc, just what the gauge reads on the machine.

You should not be too hot at 1.9 bar. The Elli is the older Oscar, it should be fine with that temp. I suspect that if it NEVER stops flashing at 1.9 bar then there may be a crack in the HX system and you are getting boiler water into the HX system. Just because it is a lower priced HX, it is not less efficient just different parts.

A cracked HX will cause the problem you say you have. This happens sometimes when the machine is put into storage with water in the boiler, if it gets too cold, the water can freeze and cause problems. Most often it is the boiler that breaks but it has been known to affect the HX system too.

That is just my best guess as to what you are seeing as I understand the problem from what I have read. Repairing machines without seeing them, is a little hard to do :D

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 845
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 9:21am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

calblacksmith Said:

2.5 bar is 127.4C or 261F
1.3 bar is 107.1C  or 224.7F
1.9 bar is 118.6C or 245F

As water boils at 100C or 212F, it is not unusual that at 1.3 bar you barely have any steam.

You should not be too hot at 1.9 bar. The Elli is the older Oscar, it should be fine with that temp. I suspect that if it NEVER stops flashing at 1.9 bar then there may be a crack in the HX system and you are getting boiler water into the HX system. Just because it is a lower priced HX, it is not less efficient just different parts.

A cracked HX will cause the problem you say you have. This happens sometimes when the machine is put into storage with water in the boiler, if it gets too cold, the water can freeze and cause problems. Most often it is the boiler that breaks but it has been known to affect the HX system too.

That is just my best guess as to what you are seeing as I understand the problem from what I have read. Repairing machines without seeing them, is a little hard to do :D

Posted October 25, 2013 link

Wayne, I have to wonder about your figures here. Every reference I find says that a gauge pressure reading of 1.3 bar is 126C or 258.8F. Perhaps the confusion is that the gauge readings are usually pressure above normal atmospheric. i.e., when your pressure gauge reads 1.3, it's actually 1 (normal) plus 1.3 or 2.3 total, since the gauges don't read relative to vacuum, but read normal atmospheric pressure as 0.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 9:36am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

My pressure to deg C calculator.
http://www.efunda.com/Materials/water/steamtable_sat.cfm
Type your pressure next to "Absolute Pressure (P) " then press "Go"

The Deg C to Deg F converter
Click Here (www.metric-conversions.org)


It seems that if you do "too many" conversions on their chart, they insist that you sign up. I can no longer do conversions there.

Also, I need to get going, I am out of time to do any more right now, I can do more later.

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 845
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 10:00am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

calblacksmith Said:

My pressure to deg C calculator.
http://www.efunda.com/Materials/water/steamtable_sat.cfm
Type your pressure next to "Absolute Pressure (P) " then press "Go"

The Deg C to Deg F converter
Click Here (www.metric-conversions.org)


It seems that if you do "too many" conversions on their chart, they insist that you sign up. I can no longer do conversions there.

Also, I need to get going, I am out of time to do any more right now, I can do more later.

Posted October 25, 2013 link

Yeah, but the point is that the 1.3 bar reading on almost every machine's manometer refers to the relative pressure above atmospheric, not absolute pressure. So, while 1.3 absolute is what you say it is, that's not what the gauge on the machine is indicating or what the p-stat setting is providing. To get absolute pressure on an espresso machine, you add 1 to the gauge reading. Gauge pressure is zeroed against 1 atmosphere, not against vacuum.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 11:47am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

LOL!

George,

There was no need to carry on further! As I was doing my other thing (work at work, how  droll is that?) I was thinking about it and yes, you are right, so just subtract one from my bar and shift everything over a bit :D

As I was cogitating on this issue, like lightning it struck, I even typed absolute yet it did not sink in! Heck, it is Friday, only 2:45 and I am out of here for the weekend!

:D

Now, at 1.6 bar everything should be just fine, provided that the mythical crack does not dwell in the HX system. At 1.9, it still should have cleared eventually.

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 845
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 12:18pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

Wayne,

I think I've simply gotten too used to having to explain technical stuff two or three times to many of my co-workers when such things come up. I'm in the Lewis Carroll camp "Anything I tell you three times is true."
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jannus
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 62
Location: South Africa, Cape Town
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS ElliMatic & OLD Via...
Grinder: mazzer sj
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: yup
Roaster: nope
Posted Sat Oct 26, 2013, 10:38am
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

:) Good to see that the absolute vs gauge pressure confusion got to more people than just me!  

Way I figured it - if the gauge on your machine reads 0 when the machine is off, you're referencing against atmospheric pressure, and hence using "gauge pressure".  If your machine reads 1 bar when it's off (assuming you're close-ish to sea level), you're using absolute pressure.  I gather from everything I've seen so far that the gauges on espresso machines give "gauge pressure", not absolute.


calblacksmith Said:

You should not be too hot at 1.9 bar. The Elli is the older Oscar, it should be fine with that temp. I suspect that if it NEVER stops flashing at 1.9 bar then there may be a crack in the HX system and you are getting boiler water into the HX system. Just because it is a lower priced HX, it is not less efficient just different parts.
A cracked HX will cause the problem you say you have. This happens sometimes when the machine is put into storage with water in the boiler, if it gets too cold, the water can freeze and cause problems. Most often it is the boiler that breaks but it has been known to affect the HX system too.
That is just my best guess as to what you are seeing as I understand the problem from what I have read. Repairing machines without seeing them, is a little hard to do :D

Posted October 25, 2013 link

Wayne, I think you hit the nail on the head with your diagnosis.  It explains the extreme temperament of my machine temperature, it explains why the pressure appears to vary so much (I didn't even mention that), and the giveaway for me is the fact that my boiler is filling itself all the time........obviously via the crack in the HX.  Whenever I brew under pressure, the brew water runs into the boiler, and fills it up.  That explains my wet, and relatively poor steam.  My guess is that with the extreme amount of effort I had to take the machine apart, the HX coil got damaged, and it took a while for the problem to get noticeable.  Me not having any experience with HX machines didn't help, I just blamed the bad coffee on my lack of experience and lack of knowledge.  

So, I'll disconnect the element (I built in  a shortcut for that), drain the boiler, fit the blank basket and let the pump run.  If the boiler fills with water after a bit, it's without a doubt the problem.

Thanks a million for all the advice and tips!  I'll confirm once I've got positive ID on the problem.

Jan
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 845
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 Oct 26, 2013, 5:57pm
Subject: Re: NS Ellimatic temperature way too high.... :(
 

If you end up needing a new HX, check witih Good Coffee Company in Seattle. Joe Kittay there loves the Ellimatic and has many spare parts, as he also restores them.
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