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Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


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

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 5:02pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

acasabia Said:

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

Posted February 13, 2014 link

Ohhh... Thanks.
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BrianEnos
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Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

acasabia Said:

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 find that once certain coffees gets past 3 weeks, I cant get consistent pressure without tightening the grind significantly.

Posted February 13, 2014 link

For many years now... I order 4 bags of Dolce at a time from David Schoomer's website - it's never any older than that. This intermittant problem is definitely not bean / grind related.


acasabia Said:

I notice you say that the machine reaches 9bar with a blank PF, my guess then is the pump and OPV are fine.

Posted February 13, 2014 link

With no portafilter in the machine, the pressure will reach 3 - 3.5 bars. With a blind portafilter, it reaches 10 bars, every time.
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acasabia
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acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 614
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 Feb 15, 2014, 8:59pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

BrianEnos Said:

With no portafilter in the machine, the pressure will reach 3 - 3.5 bars. With a blind portafilter, it reaches 10 bars, every time.

Posted February 14, 2014 link

This all sounds fine then. With a blind does it reach 10 and then drop? If the machine is able to reach the pressure and hold it every time, there should be no issue.

You say this is an intermittent issue, how does it correlate with your ordering schedule? I know it takes me a 3weeks to go through 24oz of coffee. By the end of that month I have to tighten my grind to hold pressure/timing. The sensitivity here of course will vary with coffee. With older beans the pressure may be much slower to rise, or just stick at 50%. If you order 4 bags at a time I'd expect with 18g shots you to have 75 drinks per order or about 6 weeks (assuming two drinks per day), well beyond a useful age for espresso.

The way I see it, you already replaced the pump, the OPV, and air remover, so there shouldn't be a problem there if its installed properly. It's reaching the limit pressure without issue using a blank, and revving up to 3 when open. Assuming no leaks (not likely without you noticing) the only variable missing is the coffee.

Do you have a bottomless PF? That would clue you in to obvious defects in grind and tamp. I haven't spent too much time with a vario, though I know its a small but capable grinder, can you choke the machine?


Important side note
When I did have an issue with my OPV specifically, I found that if I pulled a blank first, and then made my drink it had no trouble reaching the desired pressure. I guess this unstuck the valve. Eventually I realized it was better to just open and clean it out.

Try this with your machine. From what it sounds like its not the OPV, but who knows. It seems like a lot of these machines were made on a friday at 7:59pm.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Malongo Café (Paris, Fr) Single source Mexican.

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 Thu Feb 20, 2014, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

With a blind, the pressure never drops once it reaches 10 bars.

There is no correlation between the age for the beans and when it doesn't reach full pressure. I'm sure on that.

It's not the beans, or the age of them that is the problem. With my precious machine (Brewtus II) and the same beans and age factor, there was never any incosnsitency in the brewing pressure.

I have a bottomless PF. And there is no relationship between how the coffee appears on the screen and the brewing pressure.

Pulling a blank shot before brewing has no affect on inconsistent brewing pressure.

Thank you for your continued follow up on this issue.
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BrianEnos
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Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
Location: AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 3:25pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

Update - new weirdness occurring.

For about the last 6 weeks, very intermittantly... With a blind portafilter / running a cleaning cycle, right after the pressure has max'd out at 10 bars, the pump gets real quite, and the pressure drops down a bit. Sound-wise, it sounds like the pump is "barely running." When you release the pressure, the water shooting out of discharge value looks to be maybe under about half the pressure as it would normally be.

Until today, I've only observed this behavior with the blind portafilter. Which it did when runnig a cleaning cycle after making this morning's shots.

Then just now while a shot was extracting, the pressure went up to about 8 bars (normally would have reached 9 bars), stayed there for a second or two, then the pressure dropped to 6 bars, stayed there for a second or two, then back up to 8 bars, stayed there for a second or two, then back to 6 bars... repeated that sequence until the 25 seconds was up. (The shot tasted like crap - real bitter up front.)

The running a cleaning cycle, the same deal... The pump almost went slient after it reached max pressure.

(I clean the machine at the first of every month with Cafiza.)

I'm starting to believe that this machine is never going to work properly.
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BrianEnos
Senior Member


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

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: Brewtus IV not consistently reaching maximum brew pressure
 

I emailed this Todd Salzman (Whole Latte Love)...

I tested the machine by watching the discharge line, with the blind portafilter, and observed what should be diagnostic.

For the first 3 backflushes, when the pump sounded normal and the pressure was at 10 bars, there was a steady stream of water coming out of the discharge line.

The on the 4th backflush - the pump went into "almost silent" mode, and the pressure dropped down to 9 bars - there was not any water coming out of the discharge line.
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