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Steam not as strong as before
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laythss
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 46
Location: California
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M23
Grinder: La Cimbali junior
Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 3:16pm
Subject: Steam not as strong as before
 

I can not pin point when this happened, but it was sometime within the last week.
we own a La cimbali M27 machine for the last year and a half. Last week after we adjusted the brewing pressure from 8.5 to 9 (or sometime around that) I noticed that the steaming power got less somehow. It takes a bit longer to steam milk now, and I am not getting the same micro foam I used to get with the same technique.

I am slowly getting to understand the insides of the machine since I noticed the service people here in Riaydh, Saudi Arabia are not that great, and I was wondering if anyone knew if there was a way to increase the steam power to bring it back to what it was.

BTW I thought perhaps it was a clogged a wand or something of that sort, but we mainly use the right steam wand, yet both the right and left ones have the same wand, so it is obviously not the problem.

Thank you in advance.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 9:17pm
Subject: Re: Steam not as strong as before
 

I would check the pressurestat. Stat.

Does the machine have a boiler pressure guage? It should be reading roughly 1.25-1.5 bar for normal steam pressure after each heating cycle.
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laythss
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 46
Location: California
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M23
Grinder: La Cimbali junior
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 1:13am
Subject: Re: Steam not as strong as before
 

the boiler pressure reads 1.0-1.15 (abouts) and
when I do first purge the steam wand drops to .9 then when I close it goes to 1 then 1.1 then I close it
when I do a second purge 3 seconds later it drops from 1.15 to 1 and stays there while steaming.

I guess this could be my problem. How do I increase that back to where it is supposed to be.

laythss: pressure.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,468
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 4:03am
Subject: Re: Steam not as strong as before
 

I have a pic of the pressurestst on my M32 rebuild thread  in the mod and restoration forum, just adjust the nut on the spring a little tighter to raise the pressure. I will post a copy/link here when I get to an easier computer to do it with.
Pressure is related to temp and by rasing the pressure you will be adjusting the machine warmer at the same tile.

Another thing, while these machines have large boilers, when was the last time it was descaled and cleaned inside? It is common to get a buildup of "sludge" for lack of a better word, inside the boiler. The M32 I am working on, had a fair amount, say 1 cup or so of this sludge (minerals in a heavy solution displacing water) this cuts down the volume of water in the boiler and in theory, can affect steam but the steaming should be a function of surface area not just water volume so as your boiler is horiz (well both of mine in my machines are anyway) there should be a fair amount of area to evaporate steam from.

On my ECM, I have also noticed a reduced output of steam but I know the machine is due for a very deep cleaning/descaling so it will be disassembled soon, after the M32 is there to take it's place.

Another thing, I am just wondering how much of this perceived drop in steam volume is really true and is it possible that it was there all the time and we have just become used to the higher volume of steam  over time and notice the drop more? I say this because, the M32 has the same size boiler as my ECM 2.5l and both seem to have about the same volume of steam production and I know the M32s boiler is clean, I just had it open.

I run my ECM at about 1.1 bar for temp, a little low perhaps but I like the coffee that results. The theory is the higher temp, the more steam...

http://www.coffeegeek.com/images/62834/pressurestat1.jpg

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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