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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Brewtus IV not...  
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 625
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Nov 2, 2013, 3:50pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Had this issue and I resolved it by cleaning the OPV. You can temporarily fix this by tightening and loosening the OPV a few times all the way in each direction then resetting it with a blank. This resolved my issue for about 2 weeks.

I finally caved and pulled the OPV apart, (not that bad to do) and gave it a thorough clean with a pipe-cleaner. Instructions can be found Here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qwMSfYfPdojH JAcNdtoii2CdhTdwuTnBPMp8x2bIfjA/edit?usp=sharing

This is also helpful information


Be aware your machine, like mine,  may not have the "glass ball," OPV mentioned in some online resources. This is a good thing and seems to show they updated the design to a better product. Accessing it is still the same, and its definitely easiest to do from the bottom rather than pulling out the side.

On a side note, I cant figure out why my OPV was clogged up, I always use very soft bottled water and the resin filter. I cleaned the OPV several months ago, and haven't had an issue, in any regard with the machine, since.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling: Whatever Sweet Maria's sends me :D
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Todd Salzman, from wholelattelove, was kind enough to email me his cell number, I have an appointment to call him in a couple hours. I'll let you know what he comes up with.
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Nov 4, 2013, 2:20pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

acasabla,

This url:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qwMSfYfPdojH JAcNdtoii2CdhTdwuTnBPMp8x2bIfjA/edit?usp=sharing

... returned this error:
"Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist.
Make sure that you have the correct URL and that the owner of the file hasn't deleted it."

Thanks for the additional details on the OPV. This machine has not consistentlty reached max pressure since it was brand new, so maybe the OPV is defective.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 625
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

acasabla,

This url:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qwMSfYfPdojH JAcNdtoii2CdhTdwuTnBPMp8x2bIfjA/edit?usp=sharing

... returned this error:
"Sorry, the file you have requested does not exist.
Make sure that you have the correct URL and that the owner of the file hasn't deleted it."

Thanks for the additional details on the OPV. This machine has not consistentlty reached max pressure since it was brand new, so maybe the OPV is defective.

Posted November 4, 2013 link

hmm, Im sharing from google docs, but here is what it says:

Pump, Deairator, Over Pressure Valve (OPV) Replacement
Applies to: Brewtus, Office Lever, Office Pulser, Office Control

Removing and replacing all three of these parts is fairly straightforward.  Please be sure to power the machine off, unplug it from power, and let it cool to room temperature before proceeding.  Make sure you are in an easy-to-clean area where a mess due to water is not a hassle to clean up.

Remove the drip tray, removable top panel, and water reservoir from your machine.  Set these aside for later.

With the machine off and cool, remove the metal housing from the machine.  It is held in place by between five and seven Phillips-head screws.  Be careful, this part is heavy.  Set it aside with the other parts.

Inside, you will see the large metal boilers, copper plumbing, and other small components.  A large, stainless steel panel may be installed (this is the water reservoir seat) and can be removed with the help of an allen wrench to simplify this process of working in the machine
The pump, deairator, and OPV are at the front of the machine.  They are held to the bottom plate by a pair of rubber brackets, each attached to the baseplate with a removable bolt or two.

Remove the water supply hose by tugging it off of the nipple sticking out of the pump.  The hose leading to the boiler is attached to the OPV by a screw-on connector.  Loosen this fastener and tug this connector off of the OPV.

Remove the wires attached to the pump by pulling them off of the metal connector.

Two hoses will be attached to this assembly.  Lightly pull both of these to remove them.

Loosen and remove the bolts holding the pump brackets to the baseplateYou should be able to lift the entire pump-deairator-opv assembly out of the machine.

Dismantle the old pump-deairator-opv assembly and transfer the rubber brackets to the new parts.  Assemble the new pieces in the same manner, making sure to seal the fittings with teflon tape.

Re-assembly is the reverse of removal.

If your machine has been failing since its purchase it may just be defective as you said..
Of course I cannot help but give the typical checklist before encouraging you to replace the part:
  • what grinder are you using and is it adjusted properly? obviously the most crucial element
  • how fresh is your coffee?
  • how do you tamp?
  • does your machine reach full pressure against a blank PF?

If your machine is reaching ~10bar to a blank, the OPV may just need a cleaning. If not, adjust it until it does. If it cannot move at all, get your replacement.

Best of luck!

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling: Whatever Sweet Maria's sends me :D
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Nov 15, 2013, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Thanks a lot for all the details acasabia!

I'm still waiting on a couple replacement parts from wholelattelove. I'll update after I get / install them.

Todd, at wholelatte, said he'd send me an OPV valve, and one other valve whose name I cannot remember (I think the name of it started with a vowel though).
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 4:00pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Todd Salzman sent me a new pump assembly, deairator, and OPV. I just replace them all. I'll let you know the results after I run it for a week or two.
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Sadly, I didn't have to wait for a week or two.

Last night, after the "shotgun" parts replacement, I pulled 2 shots, that were as good as they can get. Both brewed at 9 bars, and pretty much all crema. This morning I watched my girl brew 2 shots, which both also brewed perfectly, mostly all crema at 9 bars.

About an hour later, I pulled a double shot, and the pump never went past 6.5 bars.

It seems this has to be a key. When the machine brews at 9 bars, the pump has a real smoothed-out sound to it. When the pump never makes it past 6 - 7 bars, the machine / pump is vibrating real heavily.

During the brewing cycle of a shot that reaches 9 bars, as the pressure transitions through the 5 - 6 - 7 bar zone, the machine vibrates real heavily, so much so that I have to hold the mug in place or it will move / vibrate its way from under the coffee flow. Once the pressure gets a little over 8 bars, the motor sound completely smooths out.

At this point - I've spent so much time on this machine, it's ridiculous - I'm close to being done with it. I might give it to my homie, and buying a different brand of machine. Any recommendations?
:D
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 511
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 7:10pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

It seems this has to be a key. When the machine brews at 9 bars, the pump has a real smoothed-out sound to it. When the pump never makes it past 6 - 7 bars, the machine / pump is vibrating real heavily.
Any recommendations?
:D

Posted December 4, 2013 link

If the pump is terribly loud, the problem is before the pump...
You know how the pump gets really mellow and purrs at the blind filter at 10 Bar?  Well the opposite is true when it's sucking air or drawing a vacuum.  Check everything from the water-reservoir to the pump inlet.  If you can run it with the body shell off, look at the hoses.  Look for air (Vacuum) bubbles.
If there's air in there, the pump will be weak (As evidenced) and noisy.
It will be a matter of seeing where the bubbles are getting in and'or removing the restriction where the reservoir sits in the machine... Possibly a filter.
If there aren't visable bubbles at the pump inlet, pull the hose off the pump and see if the reservoir drains freely out through the hose... If flow is good (And there weren't bubbles) then ignore this whole suggestion.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 625
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

Sadly, I didn't have to wait for a week or two.

Last night, after the "shotgun" parts replacement, I pulled 2 shots, that were as good as they can get. Both brewed at 9 bars, and pretty much all crema. This morning I watched my girl brew 2 shots, which both also brewed perfectly, mostly all crema at 9 bars.

About an hour later, I pulled a double shot, and the pump never went past 6.5 bars.

It seems this has to be a key. When the machine brews at 9 bars, the pump has a real smoothed-out sound to it. When the pump never makes it past 6 - 7 bars, the machine / pump is vibrating real heavily.

During the brewing cycle of a shot that reaches 9 bars, as the pressure transitions through the 5 - 6 - 7 bar zone, the machine vibrates real heavily, so much so that I have to hold the mug in place or it will move / vibrate its way from under the coffee flow. Once the pressure gets a little over 8 bars, the motor sound completely smooths out.

At this point - I've spent so much time on this machine, it's ridiculous - I'm close to being done with it. I might give it to my homie, and buying a different brand of machine. Any recommendations?
:D

Posted December 4, 2013 link

This is what my machine was doing, exactly. Clean/replace the OPV, and heck, clean your reservoir and filter just as an extra measure. I dont think you have anything to worry about.

side note on cleaning the filters...
buy yourself some distilled water pour some in a bowl with salt, a lot of salt.
rinse the beads out in there for about 10 minutes with some stirring. Then wash them in distilled water until you feel certain theres no salt left. Shouldn't require much. Then put everything back together.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling: Whatever Sweet Maria's sends me :D
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Thanks a lot for the replys, guys.

On the filter, there is not a filter on the inlet line. The water source is from an Aquasana filter. (Which I have been using with the old Brewtus 2, as well.) I took the filter off on the Brewtus 2, and it ran perfectly that way for quite a few years.

I was on a tech support call with wholelattelove, soon after getting the Brewtus 4, with a some sort of vacuum / locked up problem if I remember right, and Kathy told me to just take off the filter. I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not, but we eventually got the thing running water / up to pressure again.

=========================

On the possible air bubbles in the lines, if that was the problem, would the pump not:
"... the pump gets really mellow and purrs at the blind filter at 10 Bar?"

Because with the blind portafilter it goes up to 10 bars and purrs smoothly, every time.

The only time it doesn't reach full pressure (stops at 6 - 7 bars, and vibrates heavily) is with coffee in the portatilter.
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