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UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > UNIC Espresso...  
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Sun Jul 1, 2012, 1:38pm
Subject: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

Well I thought Id post this information for discussion anything UNIC and espresso... since I have a 1986 1G UNIC DIVA - "rotary vane plumbed in" that is one awesome espresso machine! not the vibratory phoenix illy pod machine made for them but the full commercial machine! ( UNIC Phoenix of  machine of that time is great also I hear, if your into pods, but there is an adapter to convert it to standard )
I have had this machine for about 5 years and when I say trouble free I mean it!  The only thing Ive had to do so far besides clean it constantly to keep it all polished looking like I like it, is change the group gaskets and a dual manometer on the way! anyway Im about to restore it ( disassemble and restore frame that is a little rusty in spots... and why not! everything else is GREAT! for a machine made in 86!

Anyway, one thing I was curious about is back flushing group... I use a stainless backflush disk and for the most part once I hear it pressurize with my  cleaner in basket locked in group, I just switch it off and back on and it releases the 3 way valve and back flushes machine... however sometimes I can press the button for a shot and it releases.. but not always... since no useful manual in my possession, I just make due.. anyway, id like start a thread about UNIC machines if anyone is interested ...


NOTE...MODERATOR MOVED TO ESPRESSO MACHINE FORUM

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lacoupole
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Washington DC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Aug 14, 2012, 9:26pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

Thanks for starting this post. I don't have an answer for you but find it curious why UNIC machines are not more prominently mentioned.

I recently bought a slightly used UNIC Stella home machine and am very pleased with it. It is a dual boiler (2 x 1-liter boilers), volumetric, automatic, programmable machine that can be used as a pour-over but can or plumbed in.  It seems to be built like a tank and has so far been very consistent.  

I would be very interested in getting others' feedback on why this machine seems to fly under the radar and isn't getting the recognition it deserves.
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TRUgEEk
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Joined: 6 Aug 2012
Posts: 20
Location: east coast
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

I am refurbishing a 97 Diva pro and can see that this machine was never backflushed! When you perform this manuever on your machine, where does the backflush go? Out of the drain behind the faceplate? Do you install the disk and start a brew cycle that you interrupt by turning it off? I'm interested in the details because I replaced the failed doser / control box with one of my own design and have no reference to how it should act. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Bill
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

on your machine all the DIVA groups are the same... the solenoid is on to right top under the black ( maybe chrome) cover over group held on with 2 screws and seals over the group... once cover is pulled down and off you can see the 3 way solenoid... you can now also access the gulcier on the right side of group... if its never been back flushed then seals are also probably bad... get a new group gasket and screen, and there is one other big oring usually comes with kit... parts guru or Chris coffee has em... maybe even EP... anyway... on back flushing at least with my 86 Diva ( basically same machine with updated control boxes on yours) on the back right side if facing machine you can see the OPV and it drains into right side of drain pan, and the 3 way travels down behind the chrome faceplate where the gauge is... it comes off of the side of the group and down... hope that helps :D  also yes.. I put in blind basket with detergent in it, then push to activate shot... the wait til I hear the pump cycle up then I press the off switch then back on and it releases the valve... I have occasionally been able to reselect the shot button and it release but there seems to be no method I have figured out .. and since no one seems to have a manual or knows... I do it by the on off switch ... lol
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TRUgEEk
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Aug 2012
Posts: 20
Location: east coast
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

Thank you Dennis! I just happen to be headed to Partsguru tomorrow to pick up the group screen and gasket. I'll check the gicleur seals before I go. The group currently has a dispersion washer rather than a screen. It kind of looks like a washer that has been ruffled if that makes sense.

I'm wondering if I could implement the backflush by running a short (2-3 second) shot followed by de-energizing the group solenoid. The beauty of designing my own controller is that would be dead simple to do.

My machine is missing all of the drain boxes. I plan to make some after I get everything else going. I have it setup on the bench with a flojet. There isn't any drain at this point. I have noticed a small amount of leakage from the balanced pressure valve of the pump. Have you seen that on your machine? Is there a drain pan under your entire machine?

Thanks again.
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 7:04pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

hmmm do you have the rotary vane pump or the vibratory? mine is the Rotary Vane... If im understanding right, that is usually on the vibe pumps... unless its the pressure regulator on the rotary....  yeah thats cool your making a controller :) If your using vibe, I have heard an inline pressure regulator  between pump can smooth out the vibes pump, just an idea...
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TRUgEEk
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Aug 2012
Posts: 20
Location: east coast
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 7:37pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

It's the rotary vane pump and I meant to say the balanced bypass. I think it has to do with the flojet water bottle setup. It came with a 1/4" output line that I think was starving the pump. I've since upgraded to 3/8" but haven't tested it yet since I now have the group apart. I'm hoping to have it back together in an improved state by the weekend (fingers crossed).

I've also made a bottomless portafilter. The brew pressure gauge is shot and I don't know if I want to replace it. I'm going to put a thermocouple into a brew basket to calibrate temperature and probably a pressure gauge as well.

Have you measured any of that stuff to get an idea where you're operating on the temperature/pressure spectrum?
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

on mine i have brew pressure around 9.5 on the portafilter gauge (adjusted at pump) and pressurestat dialed down to .9 bar ( low side of identified acceptable range but that I adjust depending on the beans Im using .... not much change if needed but a reference point... also I use mostly my triple basket and dose 22grms... Im also using naked portafilters...
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TRUgEEk
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Aug 2012
Posts: 20
Location: east coast
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 19, 2012, 4:11am
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

Do you make milk-based drinks or straight espresso? I ask because I have been getting very consistent shots, but they are a bit bland with milk. Not sour or bitter - just bland. I'm using beans from a local roastery and they get a much different result when they pull shots with them so the difference has to be in my process. The crema was kind of pale so I turned up the temp with the pressurestat, but haven't measured what it is exactly. I'm at the upper range on the pressure gauge's "good" zone. I have been using the double basket and have tried doses anywhere from 14 to 17g and extract 2oz in 25-30 sec. I thought I may have been using too much and that the puck was breaking when I locked in the PF giving me an artificially weak pour due to some sort of channeling but the puck appears to be intact after the shot regardless. What is the extraction volume for your triple?
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Wed Sep 19, 2012, 6:46am
Subject: Re: UNIC Espresso machines- backflushing and more!
 

I usually make espresso and Americanos. When you make shots with the other baskets, do they also give same effect? It seems from your post the shots are too long either pump pressure is too low forcing the shots to take too long... Id shoot for 20seconds max on a double ( rule of thumb) just doest seem like enough pump pressure and when have you last descaled brew line ? If your using the rotary vane pump then the adjustment screw is easy.. Does your gauge work on the machine? EP sells an economy one for around $40 or you can buy the factory one for 90.. OUCH lol also Id think you should turn down pressurestat but youll need gauge working...
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