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Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
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pea_berry2
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Zassenhaus
Vac Pot: Press Pot
Drip: For guests I don't like
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 5:13pm
Subject: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

I purchased my Andreja Premium around December 2005.  She's been pretty well maintained and has never had any major issues.  Recently, over about a two week period, I noticed the shots were getting noticeably weaker, and finally she wouldn't heat up enough to pull a shot at all.

I did a little research and decided to replace the heating element.  I had already replaced the pump and lots of gaskets, so she was otherwise in pretty decent working order.  

I replaced the heating element and for a few days everything seemed back to normal.  But it seems the quality of the shots has gone a bit downhill.  She still seems to heat up OK (the grouphead gets to hot to touch), but the shots seem to have weakened some.  I'm not getting that nice dark crema that I used to get, instead it's kind of a milky brown or tan.  I haven't changed the beans or roast profile, and the Mazzer Mini grinder is still at the same setting.   I thought maybe my 30 amp timer might be the problem, so I removed it and plugged the machine directly into the outlet.  That didn't help, either.  

Any ideas on what else might be going on?  Are there other things besides the heating element and pump that could cause these symptoms? Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks!
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Jul 9, 2013, 9:18pm
Subject: Re: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

Scale?

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,025
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 Jul 10, 2013, 4:54am
Subject: Re: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

I know you state you have not changed any of the old things, it sure sounds like beans to me. As long at the machine is producing the proper temp and pressure, the only other thing is in the beans and shot prep.

 
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pea_berry2
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Zassenhaus
Vac Pot: Press Pot
Drip: For guests I don't like
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Jul 10, 2013, 5:50am
Subject: Re: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

Hi Coffeenoobie

Thanks for the response.  I'm pretty meticulous about using the right water and cleaning.  And the boiler looked pretty decent when I changed out the heating element.
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pea_berry2
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Zassenhaus
Vac Pot: Press Pot
Drip: For guests I don't like
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Jul 10, 2013, 5:53am
Subject: Re: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

Hi calblacksmith

I have been wondering if perhaps my grinder burrs are worn, or maybe the springs are weak.  I'm not really sure how to check that, tho.  The other thing is, I must admit I haven't done a rigorous check on pressure and temp.  I will do that, plus fiddle with the grinder.  Thanks!
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pea_berry2
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Jan 2007
Posts: 34
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Zassenhaus
Vac Pot: Press Pot
Drip: For guests I don't like
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Fri Jul 12, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Andreja Not Quite Her Old Self?
 

calblacksmith Said:

I know you state you have not changed any of the old things, it sure sounds like beans to me. As long at the machine is producing the proper temp and pressure, the only other thing is in the beans and shot prep.

Posted July 10, 2013 link

Well, I've followed up on this and the pressure and temp are fine.  Then I went to check the grinder, which I haven't touched in at least a year (talk about set it and forget it!).  I was quite surprised by how much the adjustment was out.  After resetting it properly, I started pulling much nicer shots.

I didn't suspect this as a problem, primarily because the speed of the pulls were pretty normal, around 25-30 seconds.  I thought that if I made the grind finer, the shot times would increase, but this was not the case.  Pull times remained about the same, maybe slightly slower, but the extraction level was WAY better.

In this case, I think the problems I was having with the espresso machine, even after they were fixed, distracted me to the point I couldn't properly analyze this new problem.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, calblacksmith!
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