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Blue water and BITTER!!!!
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Blue water and...  
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,410
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 25, 2012, 5:12pm
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

You've descaled absolutely correctly (it's a great handbook ;-) and shouldn't be getting a problem. I am surprised it's taking so long to get all the blue out.....I suspect you're not in a very hard water area? Normally 4 rinses gets it all out for most people, although I (personally) can still taste the sour for perhaps 8-10. If you want to kill any acid completely safely and quickly, simple dissolve some bicarb with water and draw that into the steam tank. Probably around 3/5 teaspoons in around 500ml (empty steam tank with machine heated then switch off). Then let it sit for a while, 30 mins...after this drain and flush it a couple of times. You can also push some through the brew circuit as well. This will kill any remaining acid and will tend to remove taints and odours.

But remember what I said about cleaning behind the shower screen.....so, so important on all machines!

Click Here (coffeetime.wikidot.com)

I cannot emphasise how important the above is and that backflushing mainly cleans the vent mechanism and does very little to clean the areas that make coffee. It could well be the source of a lot of the off tastes.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 475
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:00pm
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

Sorry I don't know your machine well, so I have to ask.
Does your machine have an inline water-softener/filter on the intake hose?
If you descaled through that, it will be nearly impossible to flush it. Throw it away and put a new inline softener on, then do another boiler flush.
If you don't have an inline softener, sorry for the above BS, you need to fully drain the boiler. This could be as simple as tilting the machine before opening the hot water valve, if the hot-water pipe comes the very bottom corner of the boiler. or might be as intrusive as actually removing your boiler-level probe and inserting a flexible hose all the way to the bottom of the boiler to siphon the boiler out.
And then give it a complete flush.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,040
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:02pm
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

SStones Said:

... Does your machine have an inline water-softener/filter on the intake hose?
If you descaled through that, it will be nearly impossible to flush it. Throw it away and put a new inline softener on, then do another boiler flush ...

Posted December 28, 2012 link

Interesting thought.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Chivalry
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2004
Posts: 33
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Vivi
Grinder: Eureka Mignon
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 4:58am
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

thanks for the reply.... no it has no filter i am aware of...    i just fill the tank from a brita filter jug,,,

i shall have a look to see where the water outlet  is on the tank and see if thats the problem...

But.. as a HX machine the water from the grouphead comes directly from the clean water tank and doesnt mix with the boiler..  so im beginning to get a bit disheartened as to whats causing the adverse taste.. :0(    although the stuff coming out the steam wand is still blue tinged as well so i suppose it would effect the taste of the milk...

*sigh*   so much for great coffee over the xmas holiday.. lol... just had a delivery from hasbeen as well and loathe to use it until i can lock down the problem...
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 475
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 2:57pm
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

But.. as a HX machine the water from the grouphead comes directly from the clean water tank and doesnt mix with the boiler..  so im beginning to get a bit disheartened as to whats causing the adverse taste.. :0(    although the stuff coming out the steam wand is still blue tinged as well so i suppose it would effect the taste of the milk...

Yes, you're completely correct there. The reason I focussed on flushing the boiler water is that so long as there's residual water in there, flushing it through the water-wand is only getting rid of a certain percentage of the water.  Take for instance the difference between a Giotto and a Cuadra.  The giotto water-wand intake is in the very bottom corner of the boiler, so lifting the steam-side legs up onto a cutting board or anything an inch and a half thick, allows at least 98% of the boiler water to be blown out through the water wand. The quadra's hot water pipe is a fitting in the top of the boiler with a pipe descending inside to just below the middle of the boiler. When blowing out the Cuadra's boiler, even with the steam side raised, you only dispense about 50% of the water (Because, of course, it is only filled to the probe, not the top).  So after one flush and refill it is 50% as acidic as it was. After two, 25% acidic. Third flush 12.5% etc...

Flushing the brew-circuit will be far quicker as when running the brewer with no portafilter in place, all water is progressing toward the grouphead and out of the machine. There is (almost) no residual water left behind.

Anyhow, I wish you luck.  Once you get the brew circuit clean, you can at least enjoy an espresso while considering multiple more flushings of the boiler.
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Chivalry
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2004
Posts: 33
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Vivi
Grinder: Eureka Mignon
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 8:10pm
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

well   .. the good news is tonight for the first time.. and after around 35+ flushes!!  i cannot see any blue tinge to the water any more...   i also pulled off the shower screen and gave it a good clean.. although it was suprisingly clean back there!

So..  tomorrow shall be the day  i get really depressed when  i realize that its something else thats throwing the taste off.. lol

With some luck i might even get a cup thats drinkable!

i just cant think what else it may be....  im getting perfect pull times... colour looks right...  i even turned the pressure down to around 1.1 / 1.2 bar to reduce the boiler temp slightly...   i just cant seem to eliminate this bitterness...  


the joys of espresso eh?  :)
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Chivalry
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Apr 2004
Posts: 33
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Vivi
Grinder: Eureka Mignon
Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012, 3:28am
Subject: Re: Blue water and BITTER!!!!
 

right then... Panic over it seems...   :)
Water seems to have cleared so dared to open the pack of Brazil Fazenda that arrived yesterday from Hasbeen...   it was only roasted 3 days ago so still a little early for me.... i tend to wait 4 / 5 days  usualy but the suspense was killing me :)

Well the bitterness seems to have gone... finaly a nice coffee!   not quite the depth i like but with another day or 2........

ahhhh   panic over... you can all breathe again... lol   as i know you were all glued to your computers awaiting the outcome!   :)

thanks again for the help and support in this time of crisis...  Cheers!
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