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Brew Pressure too High? Adjusting the OPV
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Brew Pressure...  
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Jun 15, 2014, 3:12pm
Subject: Brew Pressure too High? Adjusting the OPV
 

Wow, so I've been gone a while but I just thought I would pop back on here and question the collective wisdom once more. About three months ago, I plumbed in my Technika for the first time and have really been enjoying it. However, I've noticed my brew pressure gauge now hovers around a little under 4 bar when the machine is at rest and nearly 10.5 when brewing and backflushing. Despite my technique and my grind, it's hard to pull a shot that isn't spattering everywhere so I am going to assume this is caused by too high a brew pressure. My questions are:

1) Is this likely the culprit of the messy shots?
2) Is my brew pressure too high?
3) Will adjusting the OPV fix this
4) How do I adjust it?

Thanks everyone. Other than this, I am loving this machine nearly a year later. It just keeps on pulling.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Thu Jun 19, 2014, 10:05am
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure too High? Adjusting the OPV
 

Bump. Seriously, no ideas after three days?? There must be someone out there who's got experience in plumbing in E61 machines :D
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gophishin
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 54
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Jun 19, 2014, 1:01pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure too High? Adjusting the OPV
 

although I don't have experience with your machine in particular, I will give this a shot because I am getting very close to buying the same one and have been doing a lot of research on it.  

From what I understand, the reading on the brew pressure gauge when the machine is at rest is irrelevant.  I would assume the 4 bar reading at rest is the line pressure from your incoming water supply. 10.5 bar while brewing is on the high side, but I'm not sure it would cause a ton of uncontrollable sputtering, especially given the forgiveness of the E61 group and preinfusion (provided your technique is good).  The expansion valve (the rotary pump's equivalent to an OPV valve on a vibe pump machine) can be adjusted from the underside of the machine.  You get a quick glance of it on WLL's overview video.  Directions in the manual are found on page 27 of the manual (page 28 of the PDF)   click here

So, you should be able to drop the pressure a bit and that should assist in making the machine slightly more forgiving, but like I said, it's not such a crazy high pressure that I would think you would get consistently poor results.  The typical conversion is that 10 bar with the backflush disk will provide 9 or so when pulling a shot.

How are you enjoying the machine otherwise?  Any quirks or nitpicks after extended use?  It's seemingly perfect from everything I've seen, read, or watched so far.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
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 Wed Jun 25, 2014, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: Brew Pressure too High? Adjusting the OPV
 

Sorry for the delayed response. I will definitely see about adjusting the valve. I need an extra pair of hands to lift the machine so I can get to it! I wonder why ECM moved the valve to the bottom instead of keeping it under the cup warmer where it was before.

The Technika is fantastic in most respects except the following nitpicks:

-Steam/Water levers sometimes don't stay open so you have to hit them again. This is a rare issue.
-Bottomless PF was not available for sale in the US and I had to order from Canada
-Aforementioned pressure issues when plumbing in
-Case is a Chinese puzzle box held together with hex bolts, very hard to get the reservoir fascia out so you can actually service the machine
-Machine overheats and shuts off sometimes after being left on for long periods, but is probably due to its dual, redundant High Limit Thermostats. This can be annoying when you stumble downstairs, eager for your morning latte and find your machine on but your group is stone cold.
-Steam pressure seems slightly less than the Oscar, but is more consistent

I'm really happy with the machine overall and would recommend it highly. The combination of stainless boiler, rotary pump, E61, steam lever, and switchable between plumbed and tank were a sure bet for me. I think the only contenders I had were the Duetto III and the Domobar DB, but I heard DB machines were harder to self-maintain, so I stuck with HX. I haven't regretted it. When I bought mine, it was only $1999, so that was especially attractive. Hope this helps and thanks again!
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