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Low brew pressure.
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Low brew...  
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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 Fri May 3, 2013, 2:50pm
Subject: Low brew pressure.
 

So my brewtus iv just starting giving me issues. Today I noticed the coffee struggling to make it out of the PF. After playing with my grind to no avail I tried a blank basket. Using a blank I noticed the brew pressure coming up to about 4 bars than slowly creeping (over the course of about 30 sec) towards 8 bars. Normally this machine meets 9 bars after about 5 seconds. What could be causing this? How would I go about ruling things out.

  • There does not appear to be any water leaking from the 3 way relief into the drip tray during the pull (probably not a leaky gasket?)
  • I notice quite a bit of water traveling back to the reservoir via the OPV relief. I've never had to adjust my OPV so I find it strange it would suddenly drop out on me.

I use only bottled water, through a resin bead softener filter in the reservoir.

The problem originated in suddenly between shots. Could a tube/valve/gasket have failed?

Progress today:

turning the OPV during a blank pull had little effect, I believe this means the pressure is being limited somewhere ahead of the OPV. When the machine was standing by/reheating I watched the brew boiler pressure climb to 10bar (the OPV setting).

This would all have me believe the pump is the culprit.

I pulled a shot today, got up to 8bars, took a dip, then back up to 8 bar.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling: Whatever Sweet Maria's sends me :D
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feistygoatcoffee
Senior Member
feistygoatcoffee
Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Interwebs
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Sat May 4, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

Is your water from a line or the brewtus iv reservoir? Pressure variation makes me always think of the water filters (if you do have separate filters for your machine).
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 510
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 Sat May 4, 2013, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

If you have flow over your relief valve (OPV), then either the pressure is exceeding the setting or the relief valve is sticking open.  Directly descaling your relief valve, and/or physically removing, opening and cleaning it would be a worthwhile first step. Once you can confirm that your relief valve is functional and set to 10.5 (Or your preference) you can see whether there is flow across it when brewing.

If you have decent flow over the relief valve at 8Bar pressure, your pump is probably in fine shape.
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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 May 4, 2013, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

SStones Said:

If you have flow over your relief valve (OPV), then either the pressure is exceeding the setting or the relief valve is sticking open.  Directly descaling your relief valve, and/or physically removing, opening and cleaning it would be a worthwhile first step. Once you can confirm that your relief valve is functional and set to 10.5 (Or your preference) you can see whether there is flow across it when brewing.

If you have decent flow over the relief valve at 8Bar pressure, your pump is probably in fine shape.

Posted May 4, 2013 link

By directly descaling, you mean removing and cleaning outside of the machine?

 
Anthony C

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


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue May 7, 2013, 12:20pm
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

hey ny med,
how do you like your machine?
Thinking about getting the brewtus iv-R.
desacle usually means inside....

I think if you do go md/phd track, your tuition is free, at least for the phd portion.... but i maybe mistaken too...

good luck at school.  Coffee lab is your friend, used to be mine.
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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 May 8, 2013, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

didiee Said:

hey ny med,
how do you like your machine?
Thinking about getting the brewtus iv-R.
desacle usually means inside....

I think if you do go md/phd track, your tuition is free, at least for the phd portion.... but i maybe mistaken too...

good luck at school.  Coffee lab is your friend, used to be mine.

Posted May 7, 2013 link

Im debating pulling out the OPV and soaking it over night. I solved my issue (at least temporarily) by tightening and loosening the OPV all the way a few times back and forth and then resetting it. I can't figure out where this scale build up is coming from; I use bottled water with low hardness through the resin filter.

I love the Brewtus. Its a tank of a machine and when you open the bonnet its all copper and easy to access nearly everything. It's much larger than other dual boilers, but whether or not you'll notice having a 1.7L steam boiler is debatable. That said, it's a vibration pump machine and is a quite a bit louder (who really cares). Its heavy, and if you get a plumbable model, pretty tall (17.75 in) making it difficult to place on a counter with cabinets above. It is also much cheaper than those rotary models. Though you can get a plumb-only rotary brewtus, I opted for the plumb/reservoir vibration model, and got a pretty good deal. ($1600ish). I had to replace my thermoprobe recently, and I probably could have just cleaned the old one and reinstalled had I not broke it....  Being an e-61 and fairly simple internally, all parts are easy to find, and pretty inexpensive to replace if not in the warrantee. The problems I am having seem to be related to scale build up and nothing in particular about the machine itself.

It pulls consistent shots and the PID is pretty accurate and easy to program. I would probably buy this machine again, if not the Alex Duetto III.

--

 
Anthony C

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


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 8, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

Thanks for that detailed description.
Thinking about getting the rotary model and run it on a jug for a little bit. Cannot plumb in right now.
As I document in my other thread, at some point the look of the machine may trump anything else, because they are all very similar in function.



Edit for TMI.
email me if you want my opinion.
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FinnFelton
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Australia
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 2:06am
Subject: Re: Low brew pressure.
 

Hey there angryamy,

I have gone through your blog. It has very nice articles. I'm thinking to buy two gadgets for myself this week. First one would be coffee machine and second would be Google's nexus 7.

 
http://cluwak.com/kopi-luwak-cluwak-aboutus
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