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Oscar help!!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Oscar help!!  
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javajueckstock
Senior Member
javajueckstock
Joined: 25 Sep 2002
Posts: 114
Location: Sunfield, Mi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: na
Drip: aeropress,
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:13am
Subject: Oscar help!!
 

Hello,
I bought a used Oscar and my espresso quality has been degrading for the last few months. No matter which espresso beans I use, I am getting very fast extractions.  It starts nice, then turns to a blonde gusher in about 5 seconds.  I descaled my machine, thinking maybe it is not getting up to temperature, but it didn't help.  I finally gave up and took it apart.  Here are two photos of the boiler, you can see how there is a crust around both sides, is there a way to take this apart and clean it, or am I beating a dead horse?

javajueckstock: boiler1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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javajueckstock
Senior Member
javajueckstock
Joined: 25 Sep 2002
Posts: 114
Location: Sunfield, Mi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: na
Drip: aeropress,
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

here's the other photo

javajueckstock: boiler2.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,147
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:24am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

Since you have it out it will be easy to clean with some citric acid or packaged descale solution.

Generally if a machine is producing gushers I personally would start with adjusting the grinder finer, the Vario might need to be recalibrated finer.you should be able to chock the Oscar with a Vario if it is calibrated correctly.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:25am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

Yes, you could take it apart and clean or replace if needed.  Look at the Oscar parts diagram on espressoparts.com or NS USA site.  Both will sell you the boiler and heating element.  I think you can find photos of full Oscar descales on this site or H-B.  Your machine probably needs a good cleaning.  Re-insulation of the boiler as well.

However, a blond gusher is normally grind or puck handling.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:35am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

Your Vario pry needs to be calibrated or not on a setting for good espresso grind like German said. Did you check the calibration on it? Boiler wouldn't really be causing that issue though it does need a good cleaning and insulation.
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javajueckstock
Senior Member
javajueckstock
Joined: 25 Sep 2002
Posts: 114
Location: Sunfield, Mi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: na
Drip: aeropress,
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

Thanks, I adjusted the vario as tight as I could and ground it down to baby powder consistency, but it just dribbles, then gushes.  I thought maybe it was my tamping, but I have always had good espresso and I haven't changed anything in how I tamp or distribute.  I agree, I would always start with the grind and the tamp...I have only had the Vario for a year, I have cleaned it twice, I don't think I should have to change the burrs yet...


The machine is trashed on the inside, rust, debris, I can't even take the ABS cover off...sigh.  That is why I finally just took it apart, I figured I would never know if it was leaking or where unless I disassembled it.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

javajueckstock Said:

Thanks, I adjusted the vario as tight as I could and ground it down to baby powder consistency, but it just dribbles, then gushes.  I thought maybe it was my tamping, but I have always had good espresso and I haven't changed anything in how I tamp or distribute.  I agree, I would always start with the grind and the tamp...I have only had the Vario for a year, I have cleaned it twice, I don't think I should have to change the burrs yet...


The machine is trashed on the inside, rust, debris, I can't even take the ABS cover off...sigh.  That is why I finally just took it apart, I figured I would never know if it was leaking or where unless I disassembled it.

Posted August 5, 2012 link

Sounds like you ground it fine enough to almost choke if it's dripping, but the gushing part right after is odd. No way you have to replace the burrs, those are ceramic flat burrs, ton of life and durability in them. How old is the Oscar if it's that trashed?

How fresh are the beans your using?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 10:21am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

Mine did that dribbling and gushing right before I replaced my pump.  But it sounded funny also.  I suggest you clean the whole thing and insulate the boiler. Clean and check all the valves and then put it back together and give it a shot.  I think your Oscar is probably worth fixing.  If nothing leaks, clean and rust coat the frame.  I had to do that on a 2 year old Oscar.  It was just drips filling the tank in the back I believe.  Use pipe sealant goop.  Not tape.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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javajueckstock
Senior Member
javajueckstock
Joined: 25 Sep 2002
Posts: 114
Location: Sunfield, Mi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: na
Drip: aeropress,
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 10:24am
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

I just got the beans in the mail Friday, the Oscar is old, can't tell from the tag.  Here is a photo of the inside, minus the boiler

javajueckstock: Oscar1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Aug 5, 2012, 9:19pm
Subject: Re: Oscar help!!
 

so, so does the boiler have a reset button and what Pstat do you have?  Mine is 3 years old and it has the new pstat and no reset button on the boiler.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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