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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Pressure...  
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dabcan
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Joined: 14 Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 6:12am
Subject: Pressure questions....
 

So I've been using my Brewtus IV for about a year, just had it serviced a few weeks ago so it should be running in tip top shape.  I'm not clear on what the pressure gauge should display?  I've read that 9 bar is what we are aiming for, but what I'm wondering is when should it hit 9 bar?  Does it slowly ramp up throughout the pour?

What generally happens to me is when I lift the lever, it starts at 1 or 2, then slowly ramps up hitting it's peak around 10-15 seconds.  This peak can be as high as 8, but more often than not it is only 4.  I'm using about 18 grams of espresso and the pour is taking about 25 seconds, grinding is on a Vario.

Thanks!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,058
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

If you re plumbed in, it should start slightly higher than 1 or 2 and then if you're using preinfusion, it may take a little longer to reach 9 than if not, but in either case, it should get up to 9 faster than 10 seconds.  

Perhaps this thread will help you?...

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/647999

Otherwise, more info is required...
Are your beans fresh? (roasted within the past 2 weeks or so).  
Please descxribe your extraction a little more.  For instance, if it's kind of watery near the end, you may just not be grinding fine enough.
What does the gauge read when you do a water backflush?
When "serviced af few weeks ago",  what exactly did they do?
Has it been performing as you describe ever since the "service"?
How was it performing right up until you had it serviced?
What was the reason you had it serviced?
Are you certain that whoever serviced it knew what they were doing?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,217
Location: Monrovia, CA
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Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
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Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:09am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

Its not uncommon to get these sorts of problems very shortly after a service.  Pieces of scale get dislodged, move and create a clog; seals fail; valves stick; hoses are replaced with kinks; etc., etc.  Your problem may have been caused by the service -- or not.  The timing might be sheer coincidence.    

Rotary pumps are different than vibratory pumps in the way they come to pressure.  The Brewtus IV can have either.  The IV R (line only) has a rotary, while the IV P (convertible, line or reservoir) and plain IV (reservoir only) have vibes.  

Rotary pumps are set to run at a particular pressure, and when turned on come (almost) instantly to it.  A vibratory pump ramps up to a pressure which depends on the load, but is limited by the pump's maximum -- and sometimes by other things in the pressure circuit like an OPV.

Ron's (emradguy's) list is on the money.  But I'd like to break it down a little bit into the few things you should do first.  

If you have a rotary pump, you probably have some sort of mechanical problem somewhere, and we'll either need to help you isolate it so you can repair it, or you'll need to take the machine back to the shop.

If you have a vibratory pump we need to know how it responds to load.  So, the first thing you should do is run the machine with a blank basket in your pf.  That will tell us the max pressure the pump can reach.  If the pressure comes up slowly without reaching 9 bar minimum then you've got some sort of mechanical issue somewhere.  If you do get the good pressure quickly, the problem lies with your beans or techniques.    

Rich
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dabcan
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Joined: 14 Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:09am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

thanks for the reply, I read that thread and I wonder about my opv valve.

just to be clear, the return line from the opv valve to the reservoir should only have water coming out of it if the pressure is above the Max setting like when a blind filter is in?

to answer the questions:

not plumbed in
fresh beans
back flush gets to 11
service replaced the screen and gasket on group head
it has been inconsistent for a few months now
it was serviced as it is a year old and it is used semi cpomercially, so thought it was prudent.

thanks again.
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dabcan
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Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:28am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

I have the IV with reservoir, so I guess it is a vibe pump?  backflush gets to 11 or 12
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dabcan
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Joined: 14 Feb 2014
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Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:32am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

one more thing, I just ran the machine with NO ports filter attached, just letting the water run, and the return hose from the opv to the tank had a steady stream of water coming out of it,  seems like this should not be happening?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,058
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:05am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

That's a post pump issue then. Given the group gets good pressure with the blind basket, I suspect it's beans/grind.  Your beans are fresh?  See if you can choke the machine, then back off until your flow is good.

I suppose I ought to ask...the group is getting hot?  I once had my heating element go out (years ago on a Silvia). It took me a few shots to realize the water was cold...and no matter what I did grind/dose/tamp -wise, I couldn't get anything but a very fast stream of black water out of the pf basket.  Fortunately for me, resetting the boiler safety got the heating element going again, and then all was back to normal.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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dabcan
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Joined: 14 Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

group is definitely hot and beans are fresh, still concerned that the opv seems to engage without a ports filter attached
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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Sierra
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Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 11:12am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

dabcan Said:

........ still concerned that the opv seems to engage without a ports filter attached

Posted February 14, 2014 link

Spot on; there should not be flow from the opv until pressure reaches 9 or so bar.
Open the opv and inspect for what is holding it open or bad seal, etc.
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dabcan
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Joined: 14 Feb 2014
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Pressure questions....
 

is there a good tutorial on the net on how to take the OPV apart?  I read somewhere someone just undid the adjuster screw until the spring, washer and ball bearing came out?

Thanks again to all for the help!
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