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WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > WEGA Lyra /...  
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Sat Jan 1, 2005, 3:19pm
Subject: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

Welcome fellow WWDP members (and wannabes).

As some may know, WEGA vibe pump machines seem to have a peculiar pressure regulation system that is different from those found on most (if not all) other pro-sumer machines.  The system uses two OPV (overpressure valves) in series to regulate brew pressure.

The first is at the top of the inside of the machine, and it vents excess pressure to the water inlet line (leading to the pump intake).

The second is near the bottom of the boiler, and this OPV vents to the drip tray.

Details about previous discussions of this system and some experiments I conducted using a PF mounted pressure guage can be found here:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/46475


My latest experiment was as follows:

OPV1 closed
OPV2 closed
Maximum pressure of 13 bar

OPV1 adjust
OPV2 - closed
Initial pressure can be regulated to 8 to 9 bar, but slowly creeps up to 11 bar.
Adjusting OPV2 acts to limit the creep

OPV1 closed
OPV2 adjust
The system pressure cannot be regulated below 11 bar even with OPV2 wide open.

Current setting January 1, 2005 closed OPV2, adjusted OPV1 to 9 bar initial pressure, adjusted OPV2 to eliminate a pressure creep past 9 bar.

I will do some taste testing later today.

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Sat Jan 1, 2005, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

OK - just brewed a shot with the adjustments made per the above post.  I kept all other variable the same (dose, tamp, grind, flush amount, and rebound time before brewing).

Two interesting results:

1 - The shot was a little too short - less than 1 oz.  Usually, I get approx 1.5 oz.
2 - There was a noticeable burp of espresso at the end of the shot when I disengaged the pump.  I have seen this burp on occasion before, but never this pronounced....

Taste was quite good.  I will reevaluate when I adjust the grind a little more on the course side.

 
- Sean
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krzyhobo
Senior Member
krzyhobo
Joined: 8 Dec 2003
Posts: 353
Location: Shoreline, WA
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: FB70/Wega
Grinder: Rio/Mazzer
Drip: Pourover
Posted Sun Jan 2, 2005, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

Interesting findings.  I had adjusted what you call OPV1 down to 9 bars but left OPV2 alone.  I suppose I didn't let the pump run long enough while I was measuring to notice the creep.  I'll do some investigating.

Thanks for publishing your results and keep us (me) informed.
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Sun Jan 2, 2005, 4:34pm
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

Hey Karl,

Long time no see.

Depending on where your OPV2 was set initially, you may be ok.  The initial setting before I started adjusting everything was pretty much where I have it set now.

Anyways, my pressurestat is acting up on me (overshooting to 1.4 bar every three or four cycles), which is making it pretty much impossible for me to regulate my brew temperature right now.  Until I get a replacement PS next week, I will be holding off on any further pressure experiments.  Look for an update next weekend.

 
- Sean
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Mon Jan 3, 2005, 10:21pm
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

Update Jan 3
Noticed shots were very thin and did not taste good.
I popped the PF pressure gauge on the group and the reading was approximately 7 bar.
Very strange I set up for 9 bar yesterday and I engaged the pump multiple times to ensure it was consistent.  I can only hypothesize that pressure does not stabilize immediately after making an adjustment.
After engaging the pump with the PF gauge on, I adjusted OPV1 so that pressure was 9 bar (again).  I will check it again tomorrow to make sure it has stabilized.

I pulled a shot after making this latest adjustment and there was a noticeable improvement in taste and texture.

Also, after discussing my Pressurestat woes with Terry at Espressoparts, he recommended I upgrade to the Sirai Pressurestat.  He told me that the standard Pstat in most prosumer machines (Mater is the name of the manufacturer) is prone to getting clogged with scale buildup.  The buildup prevents the Pstat from cycling off, resulting in excessive boiler pressure.  My new Pstat should be arriving later this week.

 
- Sean
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krzyhobo
Senior Member
krzyhobo
Joined: 8 Dec 2003
Posts: 353
Location: Shoreline, WA
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: FB70/Wega
Grinder: Rio/Mazzer
Drip: Pourover
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2005, 12:53am
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

That's really strange, the whole overpressure setting changing drastically overnight.  Unfortunately I'm in the middle of a move and don't have much time to spend with my beloved Wega, but I'd like to check my machine to see if it has changed since the initial setting.  Hopefully I haven't been pulling shots at 7bar, though that might be a good excuse for my lack of talent :)

I'll definietly be investigating an upgraded pstat as well.  What kind of excessive boiler pressure are we talking here?  Enough to spring a leak or cause other permanent damage?  I'd like to prevent a problem like that before it occurs.

Thanks for the updates.

Off Topic:  Is your machine plumbed in?
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2005, 1:09am
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

krzyhobo Said:

That's really strange, the whole overpressure setting changing drastically overnight.  Unfortunately I'm in the middle of a move and don't have much time to spend with my beloved Wega, but I'd like to check my machine to see if it has changed since the initial setting.  Hopefully I haven't been pulling shots at 7bar, though that might be a good excuse for my lack of talent :)

Posted January 4, 2005 link

The pressure change was probably more to do with me screwing around with both OPV's a million times.  The good news is that I got a feel for how a shot tastes that is at less than optimal pressure - quite terrible.


krzyhobo Said:

I'll definietly be investigating an upgraded pstat as well.  What kind of excessive boiler pressure are we talking here?  Enough to spring a leak or cause other permanent damage?  I'd like to prevent a problem like that before it occurs.

Posted January 4, 2005 link

Details about my Pstat issues are here:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/99750


krzyhobo Said:

Off Topic:  Is your machine plumbed in?

Posted January 4, 2005 link

Yup - best home improvement project I have done to date.  I do NOT miss filling reservoirs and dumping drip trays.  Did you plumb your WEGA?

 
- Sean
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krzyhobo
Senior Member
krzyhobo
Joined: 8 Dec 2003
Posts: 353
Location: Shoreline, WA
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: FB70/Wega
Grinder: Rio/Mazzer
Drip: Pourover
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2005, 1:26am
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

I haven't plumbed mine yet, primarily because I didn't want to drill through the counters at my apartment.  Now that I'm moving, I plan to get it plumbed first thing.  Do you use a softener and a filter in the line?  Is it much trouble or very expensive to replace/recharge them?

*Sorry for the semi-hijack*
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strugs
Senior Member
strugs
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vincent Wega (Wega Lyra)
Grinder: Jules (Mazzer Mini)
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Tray
Roaster: 49th and/or Intelly
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2005, 1:39am
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

krzyhobo Said:

I haven't plumbed mine yet, primarily because I didn't want to drill through the counters at my apartment.  Now that I'm moving, I plan to get it plumbed first thing.  Do you use a softener and a filter in the line?  Is it much trouble or very expensive to replace/recharge them?

*Sorry for the semi-hijack*

Posted January 4, 2005 link

I use a double filtration system consisting of two 10" filter housings.  Stage 1 is a cheap 20 micron carbon fliter that lasts approximately 4 months.  Stage 2 is a 1 micron ceramic/carbon fliter that is supposed to last a year (but needs to be removed from the housing and cleaned every month or so).  This filter only lasted for 8 months so I must use a lot more water than the average household (system fliters the direct line to the espresso machine as well as a fresh water tap that I added next to the sink).  After this filter expired (the cleaning process involves using an abrasive piece of mesh to scrape off the ceramic material - after a certain amount of scraping, the ceramic becomes too thin), I replaced it with a much cheaper 2 micron carbon filter and I did not notice a change in taste of the water).

I bought some water test strips before buying the filter system to determine if I needed a water softener.  I had heard that my area had very soft water, but I wanted to make sure.   The test strips confirmed that water hardness barely even registered on the measurement scale, so I did not need a softener.  If you do need a softener, the best bet would be to go with the filter/softener system at Chriscoffee.  I could not locate anything locally that could touch the price of that system.

Good luck with the plumbing - let me know if you want any help.  I am not an expert by any means, but I made lots of mistakes when plumbing my system in, and would be happy if others could learn from my follies.

 
- Sean
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Rick
Senior Member
Rick
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 773
Location: North Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Mininova Inox Auto...
Grinder: Macap M4 stepped
Drip: Melitta #2 cone filter
Roaster: Stir-Crazy/Infinity Turbo...
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2005, 10:44am
Subject: Re: WEGA Lyra / Mininova Brew Pressure Adjustments
 

krzyhobo Said:

I haven't plumbed mine yet, primarily because I didn't want to drill through the counters at my apartment.  Now that I'm moving, I plan to get it plumbed first thing.  Do you use a softener and a filter in the line?  Is it much trouble or very expensive to replace/recharge them?

Posted January 4, 2005 link

I didn't want to drill through my countertop so I removed a tile from the backsplash and drilled a hole through the backsplash at countertop level. I drilled a matching hole immediately below it through the back of the kitchen cabinet.  I then looped the drain and water lines around the back edge of the countertop.  It's easier to patch the hole at the backsplash than to replace the countertop should I decide to move or (gasp!) to quit drinking espresso.

I use two GE Smartwater filters in parallel.  They're cheap, effective, available in many stores, and require no maintenance.  I used 2 in parallel because the max flow rate of one filter is 0.5 gallons per minute, a bit low IMHO as the flow rate drops week by week as the filter fills up with sediment. But running two in parallel doubles that.   I have 3.5 months on this setup so far and it's working fine.  

Like Strugs, I don't use a softener because we both get our very soft water from the same reservoirs.
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