Hi guys, I’m still struggling with this machine, the espresso is a bit shit to be honest and I’m at a bit of a loss now I’ve ordered a naked PF with a 21g basket which should arrive tomorrow cause I think I might be having issues with channeling but despite buying fresh coffee beans from various different places I don’t get any crema, ever and the coffee isn’t great as I said in my OP because I drink mainly milk based drinks I don’t really notice it much but in an Americano or an espresso the coffee would be sent back if I was buying it in a cafe.
Basically I’m not managing to pull decent shots within a 25/30 second pull despite the grind then I either get long times ie around 60 seconds from when the coffee comes out of the spout until I get about 28 g in the cup (I’m using the stock 14 g double basket) so if I go coarse the coffee stream starts blonding almost immediately and if I go fine it takes ages and drip drip drips out of the spout no steady stream, no honey like constancy just basically poor coffee.
Last week I replaced the solenoid valve (part number 18) after having a word with the guys at espresso services in Govan they also gave me some Jaguar phosphoric acid descaler which I used to descale the top part of the group head by removing the hex nut (part no 1) and pouring some descaler in and leaving it for about an hour then flushing.
The problems have gotten less with the new solenoid valve (a bit of an improvement) but it’s still not right the guys at ES thought that the issues might be 1) SV 2) pump head 3) scaled up HEX but I checked the pump with a blank disc in the PF and I’m getting 8/9 bar on the left hand gauge but I know that the gauge could be faulty but it does seem to be working fine ie 2.5 bar without the pump engaged and 9 bar with it engaged.
The boiler pressure up to temp reads about 1.3bar as I previously adjusted the pressure stat which did make the coffee in the cup hotter and I videoed & timed the water coming through the group head at about 60 seconds/90g and temp of the water from the group head is around 94/5 degrees C.
So obviously I’m going to take the machine into ES for a proper service and have them look at it properly as there’s only so much advice they can offer from my descriptions of what’s going on but I want to try to eliminate a few things first or at least be able to provide more information so I’ve gone back to basics ie fresh beans freshly ground, tamping, distribution and hot cup and flushing the machine which is why I’ve ordered the naked PF but I don’t think it’s operator error it may be that I’m not flushing the machine properly but I’ve started flushing it for around 25 seconds before a shot and again no difference to the coffee from before when I was maybe only flushing it for about five or six seconds.
The only other variable is the grinder which is a La Cimbali Magnum grinder with 73 mm burrs which I bought second hand from a member on here about four years ago the burrs were brand new as I recall when I got the machine and I grind about a half a kg of beans a week but I’ve no idea if the grinder is faulty certainly the grinds look okay to me but who knows and I don’t have another grinder to try however my son has a cheap Delonghi KG89 grinder that we bought him for Christmas so I could probably try that in order to rule out the grinder.
Apologies for the length of this post but any advice & suggestions etc would be appreciated.