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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Brew Pressure...  
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easyrotor
Senior Member
easyrotor
Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: LaCimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sun Aug 8, 2004, 7:31pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

I installed the regulator today and almost got the gauge in as well. The bad news is that the gauge may have metric fittings. The good news is that there is a dramatic change in the way my machine works with the pressure set at 9.5 bar instead of 16+ bar.   I actually have no clue how high the pressure was as it pinned the gauge. I have to use my temporary gauge setup up until  I resolve the fittings issue on the fancy dual gauge I got from EPNW.

       The Swagelok regulator is plumbed in to the line after the pump between the boiler fill solenoid juction block and the heat exchanger input port.  Yes, thanks to the kindness of several of this forums members who posted excellent pictures I can actually identify some of the parts of my machine.  It took me a while to decide how I wanted to do it, but once I got started, it was only a few hours work. This included  doing the plumbing for the new dual gauge.   I will write the project up in some form and make it available for anyone who wants it.

       WARNING (Will Robinson) don't do this mod unles you have your waste tray plumbed to a drain.  The excess water pressure is fed into the tray and when backflushing the amount of water released into the tray is substantial. It would overflow a non-plumbed tray in a very short time.  The majority of this mod involves plumbing using copper tubing.  You need to be aware of your own abilitys before doing this.   I have no doubt that I have no warranty anymore and you can't really expect  a vender to cover  a machine that  is modified.  The kind of pressure that lives in an espresso machine not to mention the high temperatures  means that you need to be careful.  

       Adjusting the regulator is easy: Install the blind PF basket and turn on the pump. After the preinfusion delay, the pressure comes up and you just  turn the head of the regulator (part with yellow band) CCW which lowers the pressure. Run the lock nut up  and your set. The regulation is quite good and it stays solidly where you set it  during shots and backflushing.

       OK, you want to know why I am so excited, and whats different? Allmost everything. I'm gonna leave the bitterness issue go for a while as I want to do more tests.  I can now pull the shot at a pressure I set with the regulator as long as I provide enough resistance with the puck.  I started at 9.5 bar but will be trying a lot of settings to see what I like. The pump is not laboring as it pumps because it is no longer blocked. It sounds much better now.  The machine now runs smoothly even  when backflushing as the wild changes in pressure are gone. My guess is that the pump will have a much longer life now. The way it was laboring before can't have been good for it.  The 6 oz flush  to bring down the temperature of the group after it has been sitting idle for a long time now flows out in a nice calm manner and does not spalsh everywhere as before.  Crema is reduced but the color is now more brown and not the cinnimon color I was getting. The too early change to white of the flow is now gone.  I did a full 25 second pour and it stayed brown the to the end. This is a first for me. I am sure that the high pressure was causing extraction to go too quickly.  The taste is definitely changed but  I need to do some more controlled tests before I talk about it.

       I will feed this information back to Salvatore  and I hope he will use it find out what is really happening. He is obviously in a better position to figure this out  than me.  However,  there is no doubt in my mind that I have made an improvement in the way my machine works.  

-Howard

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dspringston
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2003
Posts: 47
Location: Fairfax Virginia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Pasquini Moka...
Drip: Old Braun
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sun Aug 8, 2004, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

That's great.  Where did you purchase the regulator?

David
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easyrotor
Senior Member
easyrotor
Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: LaCimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sun Aug 8, 2004, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

The Swagelok #SS-RL3M4-S4 regulator (they called it a relief valve) came from R.S. Crum & Company in Mountainside, NJ. Their name popped up when I was on the Swagelok site  and looked for the closest place I could buy it. Uhh... it's expensive. $133.50 plus tax and shipping got it to my door at $155.71.  I probably could have found something cheaper but Salvatore loaded this machine with grade A parts and I wanted to keep the theme.  I will put a complete parts list in the write up. The rest of the parts were fairly cheap if you don't count the fancy dual gauge. Just some 1/4" copper tubing and a few brass fittings.

-Howard
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dspringston
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2003
Posts: 47
Location: Fairfax Virginia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Pasquini Moka...
Drip: Old Braun
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Aug 9, 2004, 5:33am
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

Wow, that is costly but from other threads here at CG most of these pressure regulators are not easy to adjust or probably as accurate.  So the bottom line is if Sal makes a much better shot then it is worth it :-).  I often wondered about the taste of the espresso but as I said earlier I have tried shots at several different venders, both chain and private and found that the shot from the Salvatore was at least as good.  But I was never able to fully understand what folks here were talking about as sweet, not bitter or sour.  It just seemed I was never able to get it quite right.

David
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jim_schulman
Senior Member
jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Aug 9, 2004, 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

I'm sorry I missed this thread's start; I was away on vacation. Howard, that's a beautiful job on the install.

The old line Italian firms never worried much about vibe pump pressure on home machines. Presumably they figured that the coffee and grinder being used wouldn't be too good, and if the pour volume/timing was in the ballpark, the pressure would be too. Even the Cimbali Juniors, which did come with adjustable pressure relief, were set to 15 bar from the plant. In bars, the tech would set it down and plumb the drip tray or reroute it back to the tank (for pourovers).

Italian roasters have bulletins that specify the temperature and pressure they want on each commercial machine model for their blends (Jolly's is somewhere on their site, but I can't find it anymore); so they take a lot more pains with the commercial market than they do the home market. But there really is no home espresso geek culture in Italy like in many other places; for instance, we don't have any Italians posting here, and I'm not aware of any Italian language ngs or forums for home espresso (there are some in almost every other language). So I don't believe they are aware of how their small one group machines are being used almost everywhere else in the world.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Mon Aug 9, 2004, 1:46pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

jim_schulman Said:

So I don't believe they are aware of how their small one group machines are being used almost everywhere else in the world.

Posted August 9, 2004 link

That would explain why some Italian machines are not easily regulated (as I lamented in "Re: How to adjust the brew pressure of a Giotto Premium?" ).  But Salvatore's machine is made in the USA and they certainly spared little expense choosing components.  So why would they omit an expansion valve?  I can't think of a disadvantage of installing one (well, other than cost and filling the driptray faster for plumbed units).

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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easyrotor
Senior Member
easyrotor
Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 63
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: LaCimbali Junior
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Mon Sep 6, 2004, 2:02am
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

I finished a rough document that describes the pressure relief valve mod that fixed my machine. I don't know the best way to make it available as it is a 214KB PDF and cannot be attached  to this post. I guess I could put it on some space my ISP provides but at the moment, I am short of time due to an impending business trip. I will  try to get that done when I return in a few weeks.  If you email me, I will send it to you. In my opinion, the mod is a success as it addressed almost all of the issues that were bothering me. There is a taste difference in the espresso but as my skill in preparing espresso has also progressed,  I can't be sure how dramatic a change it made.  The change in consistancy and machine performance is more than enough to make me think it was worth it.

Please advise me of any mistakes or ways to improve the document and I will incorporate them in an updated version. The dual gauge is is in and working but a little cleanup is needed before I will be comfortable sharing it.

-Howard

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ace202
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Idaho
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Salvatore
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Bunn Commercial
Posted Thu Jan 31, 2008, 5:09pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure and Salvatore
 

I have had the Salvatore semi for 2 years. The only problem was the pump quit. A call to Salvatore got the new part on the way. I called them for install instructions. They said they would call rifght back to guide me through it, which they did. Works great still. It's a direct plumb in. As far as steaming and drawing shots, no problem. Since I have this unit in my small coffee shop in my video store, I have taxed the boiler a couple times. Doing two 16oz Americanos is about the limit. I have to wait to pull shots about 2 minutes for the pressure to come back up. Otherwise, the machine is fantastic and the customer support is excellent.
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