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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Brewtus IV not...  
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BrianEnos
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Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Update... For several days in a row, it pulled 4 or 5 shots a day - the best shots ever, brewing consistenly at 9 bars. Then it pulled 4 shots in a row, sadly, with the max pressure of between 4 - 6 bars. Then this morning it was back to perfect, with 3 shots in a row at 9 bars.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Fri Dec 13, 2013, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

what have you tried thus far?
are these your results after replacing the OPV? if not, have you tried opening and cleaning the OPV? On my machine I had these results because the OPV was getting stuck, perhaps due to a small piece of scale inside it, and preventing the pressure from rising properly.

It occured less than 6 months after I bought the machine, but since I removed and cleaned it, it has not happened again.

The fact that your machine doe get up to full pressure and is pulling good shots is encouraging, and a sign that there is probably nothing vitally wrong. The OPV is a really easy fix, the change in pump pitch is most likely due to it working against a different resistance and not some conflict there.


Any chance of a video showing the brew manometer during a shot?

best of luck.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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BrianEnos
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Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014, 4:22pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Thank you for the continued follow up.

Todd, at WLL, sent me a new  pump, opv, air remover. Which I replaced. At first, it seemed like that fixed the problem, but it didn't. The machine started occassionly not reaching full pressure again. So Todd asked me to watch the return line, to see if I could see any difference in the water flow, when the machine reached full pressure, and when it didn't.

I reported:
===============
I watched the return
line during 3 perfect shots, and from when I lifted the handle to when the
pressure reached 9 bars, there was a steady dripping at the return line.

Then I pulled 2 more shots, that paused for 6 - 7 seconds at 7 bars,
before going up to 9 bars. When the pressure was paused at 7 bars, instead
of a steady dripping, there was a continuous flow of water. Then when the
pressure went up to 9 bars, the steady flow changed to a steady dripping.
===============

Todd said that the only thing it could be was the pump, opv, air remover. So he said he'd send them to me more time. Which hasn't happened yet (that was in mid-December).

Since then however, the percentage of times the machine does not reach full pressure has gradually diminished. It used to not reach full pressure at least 50% of the time. Today, it reaches full pressure about 90 - 95% of the time. So I think I am done with it.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Fri Feb 7, 2014, 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

Thank you for the continued follow up.

Todd, at WLL, sent me a new  pump, opv, air remover. Which I replaced. At first, it seemed like that fixed the problem, but it didn't. The machine started occassionly not reaching full pressure again. So Todd asked me to watch the return line, to see if I could see any difference in the water flow, when the machine reached full pressure, and when it didn't.

I reported:
===============
I watched the return
line during 3 perfect shots, and from when I lifted the handle to when the
pressure reached 9 bars, there was a steady dripping at the return line.

Then I pulled 2 more shots, that paused for 6 - 7 seconds at 7 bars,
before going up to 9 bars. When the pressure was paused at 7 bars, instead
of a steady dripping, there was a continuous flow of water. Then when the
pressure went up to 9 bars, the steady flow changed to a steady dripping.
===============

Todd said that the only thing it could be was the pump, opv, air remover. So he said he'd send them to me more time. Which hasn't happened yet (that was in mid-December).

Since then however, the percentage of times the machine does not reach full pressure has gradually diminished. It used to not reach full pressure at least 50% of the time. Today, it reaches full pressure about 90 - 95% of the time. So I think I am done with it.

Posted February 7, 2014 link

I should mention that since my last post I had to completely disassemble, clean, and reassemble my OPV. I had a similar pressure sticking issue, the same problem I had about a year ago.

My return line had a bit of a drip during shots, but too much. Since in your case it sounds like the OPV isn't closing all the way and allowing too much backflow, I would dissasble it by turning off the machine, removing the casing, turning it onto its side and unscrew the OPV adjustment screw until it comes off.

Make sure you have something to collect water from the lines. I actually blew through the return line to send any excess back into the boiler before I opened it up.

Inside is a spring with a little cap, clean those, use a pipe cleaner on the inside of the OPV valve and components, add a touch of food safe grease or vaseline to the rubber tip of the cap to help it seal, and reassemble.
This process took me about 30 minutes, should take less time if you let the machine cool down first.

I doubt its the pump, Im not sure what the air remover could be doing (where is that?).. if its sending it back in the return line its probably the OPV.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


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

Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 4:53pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Since the machine intermittantly would not reach full pressure when it was brand new, and it still would intermittantly not reach full pressure immediately after replacing the OPV with a new one - do you think cleaning it, as you described, would be of any help?

Again, thanks for the continued follow up.
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steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 900
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

I will take a stab at this, with the variance of things coming and going, I would bet there is an object stuck somewhere but is free to move about, So it may travel to a point that allows free brewing, then due to water flow over a period os shots, it finds its way to clogging the system, then falls back when the pressure is removed. Kind of like a flapper ball in a toilet, every so often it will stay off the valve to allow flushing other times it stops the flow into the bowl when it closes.
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


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

Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

steamer Said:

I will take a stab at this, with the variance of things coming and going, I would bet there is an object stuck somewhere but is free to move about, So it may travel to a point that allows free brewing, then due to water flow over a period os shots, it finds its way to clogging the system, then falls back when the pressure is removed. Kind of like a flapper ball in a toilet, every so often it will stay off the valve to allow flushing other times it stops the flow into the bowl when it closes.

Posted February 13, 2014 link

Having a mechanical / troubleshooting background, I thought the same thing. On a car, I'd know where to look. But on the Brewtus, I'm not sure where to start...
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


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

Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

In this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKDvJUxrXDo

... Watch the pressure gage when he has the handle in the brewing position, w/o even a portafilter in the machine. It goes up to 7 - 8 bars! With no back pressure, I don't understand why the brew pressure will reach 7 bars. My machine will never go past 3 - 3.5 bars, without a portafilter in the machine.

:perplexed:
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Feb 13, 2014, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

In this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKDvJUxrXDo

... Watch the pressure gage when he has the handle in the brewing position, w/o even a portafilter in the machine. It goes up to 7 - 8 bars! With no back pressure, I don't understand why the brew pressure will reach 7 bars. My machine will never go past 3 - 3.5 bars, without a portafilter in the machine.

:perplexed:

Posted February 13, 2014 link

they're using a rotary pump model machine in that video. It will reach 9 bar no matter what.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
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 Feb 13, 2014, 5:17pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Also, I know this is probably redundant but Ill ask anyway. How old is your coffee, and have you tweaked your grind at all? I notice you say that the machine reaches 9bar with a blank PF, my guess then is the pump and OPV are fine. I find that once certain coffees gets past 3 weeks, I cant get consistent pressure without tightening the grind significantly.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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