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Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Le'Lit PL41EM:...  
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ihaveanidea
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Mar 2010
Posts: 49
Location: US
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Nov 1, 2010, 6:02pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
 

I don't have one either, but I've helped a friend dial his in, so I'll offer my experience...

A cooling flush is def. needed, somewhere around 2 oz, maybe 3. (It's been a while so I can't remember)  
I usually looked for the "dance" to stop and the water stream to stabilize.

The limitations of the boiler size only seem to come into play if you're trying to pull larger than 2oz doubles.

As for the OPV, like Ron said, I'd look into swapping one in. The Silvia's could work...
Click Here (www.1st-line.net)
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h3yn0w
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h3yn0w
Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 158
Location: Canada

Posted Mon Nov 1, 2010, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
 

I'm happy to hear that any OPV will work should I choose to go that route.

That said, I'm still questioning whether or not it's needed. I should be able to simply dial in a grind/tamp that yields 9 bar and get good results. That's the plan, for now:)

In general, is there any difference between a cooling flush at the group head vs releasing steam from the wand?
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Rob55
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Rob55
Joined: 6 Oct 2010
Posts: 110
Location: Canton, Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Wed Nov 10, 2010, 5:45pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
 

ok.... well guess I will take another shot .. LOL ...

The point is to reduce the temp... so cooling flush/open steam wand nets the same thing IMHO. I would also say try both and see which works the best for you. I like using the steam wand. I can tell just by cracking it open a little if its close to the heater kicking on... if it just finished ... or somewhere in between.

Why not try a coffee that likes higher temps? In an earlier thread someone told me that maybe I should avoid Vivace Dolce because it needed higher temps .... so I got some.. partly because telling me I should avoid it was sort of a challenge LOL .... and because the Lelit temps are a bit high.... Best straight shots I have had so far are from the Dolce.... TRY SOME.... you can get it from Roaste for 16 a LB ...free delivery if you buy 2LBs...... and comes in 1/2 bags Maybe someone who has been doing this for awhile can tell us other coffees that like the higher temps
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h3yn0w
Senior Member
h3yn0w
Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 158
Location: Canada

Posted Wed Nov 10, 2010, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
 

I'd like to give the Vivace Dolce a try, but I'm in Canada and not sure where I can get some at a reasonable price.

That said, I think I've sorted out the temp issue. I ended up trying the styrofoam cup method and a fast read thermometer to play around with different cooling flushes and check my brew temp at the group head. Here is what works for my machine (i'm guessing every machine will be a bit different).

1/  I flush out a bit of water, again and again until the heating element kicks in.
2/  Once the heating element turns off, I do a quick cooling flush. Maybe 2 seconds, and about a 1/2 to 3/4 ounce of water. I flush it into a cup so I can be consistent with it.
3/ I then wait for 5-10 seconds for the water to mix together in the boiler and the boiler temp to stabilize (keeping in mind there is still energy being released by the heater at this point), then pull the shot.  When I do this , I get a temp of between 201 and 204, consistently.

I'll likely try similar experimentation but using the steam wand instead.

Regarding my other concern...pressure...well I've now got the grind dialed in to give me a nice 9 bar pull showing on the manometer. I still make the odd mistake, but more and more of my shots are coming out really nice. Some VERY good ones.
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h3yn0w
Senior Member
h3yn0w
Joined: 28 Oct 2010
Posts: 158
Location: Canada

Posted Mon Nov 22, 2010, 4:34pm
Subject: Re: Le'Lit PL41EM: Machine limitations or is it just me?
 

Just thought I'd provide a quick update (perhaps Rob is still interested:) ) on my results using the steam wand to release pressure prior to a shot.

Once again I use the styrofoam cup method.

1/  I flush out a bit of water, again and again until the heating element kicks in.
2/  Once the heating element turns off, I open the steam valve and let all the steam / pressure release. It's open about 2-3 seconds I think before it stops.
3/ Pull the shot right away.


Using the above, I am reading about 202 in the cup. Pretty much in line with my previous procedure using the cooling flush. The good thing about the steam wand method is to me it seems a bit easier to be consistent. The downside, as I think I mentioned is it introduces a 2 or 3 second lag before water is produced when brewing. Just something to keep in mind if you are timing your shots.
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