Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
LavAzza Espresso Machines
Awesome capsule espresso machines. Perfect for home, office and restaurant applications.
www.espressozone.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > NS Oscar - Weird...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,134
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 Wed Oct 10, 2012, 5:51am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Most likely. I keep my PS set so the water dance is about 2-3 sec on an idle Machine then flush another 5 sec to be around 200f, this also keeps my steam power good enough for 4-6 oz of milk steaming. For large gatherings I will turn up the PS which makes for a very long cooling flush when idle but allows for easily steaming 8-12 oz of milk.

There is a chance when you descaled recently some debris was left behind and recently got lodged in the steam path. I had a problem about a year ago with the brew path after a descale, I did not run enough solution through the HX and some scale restricted my flow to where I was getting only 2 oz of water in 30 sec with no puck. I had to run 2 more packets of descale just through the group to free up the clog. Now I make up enough solution to fill the boiler then enough to fill the reservoir again for just descaling the HX system and brew path.

So if you have the smaller hole tip I would poke the holes then steam some water until boiling and poke again, this method keeps it running at its optimum for me.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 7:46am
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Markarian,  Turning up the pstat to compensate for something isn't a "fix" really.  There's likely something else going on; Rob's suggestion of a blocked path seems very possible. Obviously something had changed in the machine. You mentioned descaling, did you mess with the water level probe at all?  If this was moved to a higher position, you'd have more water and less volume of the head of steam.  does the pstat cycle seem the same as before or does it seem to cycle faster now?

You'd mentioned you also noticed some "interesting behavior" during brewing and you never really expanded on that.  You mentioned a lot of clicking; is this the Pstat clicking or something else?    I have a few ideas, but I don't know that turning up the pstat was the correct solution.  If you could explain more about the odd behavior that's arisen in the brewing process, that might shed some light here.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 12:00pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Yes, you have to flush more if the Pstat is higher and that explains why your first cup was bad.  I am concerned that it changed suddenly.  That could be a leak or fleck of scale as suggested.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

I descaled almost three weeks ago, and never noticed any change of steam power before or after (just that the steam smelled better after the descale). After descaling it, a repair guy actually took the heating element out and rinsed out the boiler. I checked the steam tip, it seems free and clear. I've got a Silvia 1-hole tip on my Oscar, because it's easier for me to steam with it. I don't think there's any scale issues because when I descaled I drained through the steam wand. Plus, as I said, it was several weeks ago and haven't had any problems until the last couple days.

The interesting behavior I noticed was that, during brewing, I hear relays clicking occasionally and the pump sound (and pressure) changing, almost like a car changing gears. Before this adjustment, I do want to mention, that I suspected my brew temp was actually cooler than it should have been. I haven't measured this specifically yet, but aside from my first cup being bitter as all hell, it seems to be working perfectly. I just need to figure out how to cool it enough to where I can brew straight out the gate. Another thing I should mention is that this machine is on 24/7, since I brew at odd times and haven't installed a vacuum breaker or timer.

The boiler probe contact was removed briefly to test something in the shop, but was put back and I don't think was adjusted. I watched the tech do the repair work (this was the rattle that ended up being a teflon hose and the rinsing of the boiler).

This machine is used, and wasn't well taken care of at all when I got it. Isn't it possible that, as the NS tech said, the Pstat is just getting stiff and needed a couple turns in the first place?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Markarian Said:

The interesting behavior I noticed was that, during brewing, I hear relays clicking occasionally and the pump sound (and pressure) changing, almost like a car changing gears. Before this adjustment, I do want to mention, that I suspected my brew temp was actually cooler than it should have been.

Posted October 10, 2012 link

Did this happen everytime (prior to adjusting the pstat)?  Without actually being there, my guess would be the autofill kicking on.

Markarian Said:

The boiler probe contact was removed briefly to test something in the shop, but was put back and I don't think was adjusted. I watched the tech do the repair work (this was the rattle that ended up being a teflon hose and the rinsing of the boiler).

Posted October 10, 2012 link

If you feel comfortable taking the cover off, maybe looking at the probe and see if it looks like it's pulled up some.

Markarian Said:

Isn't it possible that, as the NS tech said, the Pstat is just getting stiff and needed a couple turns in the first place?

Posted October 10, 2012 link

Yes it is possible.  My curiosity is if the pstat was perhaps sticking or if the pressure truly needed to be ramped up.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

The Pstat "sticking" seems like it would make a lot of sense. I did two full turns and the steam pressure seems more than adequate now, but I'm concerned like you guys said that I might be barbecuing my coffee in return. Maybe I should kick it back down a little bit, say one turn back?

I'm not sure how the boiler probe works, but I might be okay messing with it. I've taken the cover off plenty of times, so by this point I'm fairly comfortable with it.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Wed Oct 10, 2012, 6:29pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

I think backing the pstat down might be worthwhile. Certainly to see how it perform and how it changes the coffee.

The probe is just that, its a metal "stick" that fits into the top of the boiler. When the water hits it then auto fill shuts off.  More that probe is pulled uonthe more water will fill into the boiler.  Don't know about the Oscar specifically but all machines I've seen has the probe pulled up just slightly. If much more than 1/4 to 1/2 of the metal probe exposed you might want to push it in.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 6:35pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Okay, so the problems are back with a vengeance. Every time I try to make microfoam--which I was able to do effortlessly for weeks---it comes out with large bubbles, watery, and generally unacceptable. I can't get the "kissing" noise anymore, even with the milk spinning. I can hear the steam blasting bigger bubbles into the milk, no matter how I try. When I DO get it to spin and make some foam, instead of smoothly rolling into the milk when I plunge the wand deeper, I just get this horrible screeching noise and the milk just kind of sits there.

Now keep in mind I've watched videos on how to steam milk, I've mastered it with this machine. I'm a pro, and can make art-worthy microfoam. But something has changed and has made it almost impossible to get decent results, and I have no idea what's wrong.

I use a 50%-50% mixture of half-and-half and water, due to my low-carb diet. I use about three ounces of each, half-filling a standard 12oz stainless pitcher. This has worked for me beautifully for a long time--same brand, same water, same amount, etc. The steam does seem a bit sputtery, but it doesn't look that bad. I'm wondering if I should take a video so you guys don't think I'm going crazy. Any ideas? Joel, I took the contact off the probe and just saw a flat contact sticking up. I also backed the PStat off by a full turn. My shots are coming out fine, so I don't want to mess with it. I'm kinda stuck here.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

It's quite clear what's gone on; you're going crazy and only a you tube video will disprove it! Lol

OK, regarding the probe sounds like if its only the contact showing you should be fine.  When you purge the wand before steaming your milk, does it seem wetter than before?

I don't mean this to sound harsh but if you're getting large bubbles it's probably not the machine. I've steamed milk With very low pressure; the size of bubbles has to do with how you introduce air into the milk.  I don't know what steaming diluted half and half is like but it may be a difficult thing. Are you sure you're consistent with you ratios? For instance I know egg nog is a beast to steam and will screach like crazy. I believe it has to do with the thicker consistency.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 7:49pm
Subject: Re: NS Oscar - Weird Steam Problems
 

Hah, okay. Yeah, I can confirm the probe is all the way in. The steam does seem wetter. In exasperation, I decided to just pull the milk pitcher away while it was screeching and blew half-and-half all over my countertop, but in the process I confirmed that it was pulsing/sputtering while steaming. I know my technique isn't perfect, but I shouldn't see this much of a drastic change in results two days after three weeks of microfoam nirvana. Here's what I tried that has not worked:

1) Probe, all the way in
2) Replacing the teflon tape that we used to affix the Silvia single-hole tip to the wand--there was no loose tape in the first place
3) PStat--Same problems before and after adjustment, even after kicking it back one whole turn
4) Milk--Different brands, different mixture ratios, sweetened and unsweetened, no dice. Even tried actual 1% milk (my roommate doesn't diet) and it still was miserable.
5) Adjusting the angle of attack of the wand
6) Adjusting the initial steam pressure
7) Adjusting the time from foaming to rolling (the latter of which is almost impossible. Three days ago, I would get a nice kissing sound when steaming, then plunge the wand into the milk and get a quiet, quick roll to incorporate the foam into the milk before shutting the steam wand off. A bad pitcher of milk was a rarity at that point. Now I can't get decent microfoam at all and I really think the steam consistency is the culprit.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 2 of 3 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > NS Oscar - Weird...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Espresso Makers
Premium stovetop espresso makers, electric moka pots, machines & accessories.
www.espressozone.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.462766170502)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+