Troubleshooting Significant steam differences between the Lucca A53 Mini and S1 Vivaldi II Mini?

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jalspaugh3
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Troubleshooting Significant steam differences between the Lucca A53 Mini and S1 Vivaldi II Mini?

Post by jalspaugh3 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:34 pm

So, I thought these machines were pretty much the same thing with some cosmetic differences in the panel. However, the steam on my machine (The Lucca A53 Mini) is significantly harder to work with then the steam on my friend's machine (The Vivaldi II Mini). I am trying to pin down why this is, and what I can do to tweak my machine.

With the Vivaldi II, I can consistently get beautiful microfoam. It's easy to get that tearing sound and the whole process is both "smooth"-feeling and smooth-sounding. Nine out of ten cups come out great.

However, with my Lucca A53, I can NOT get microfoam. Nine out of ten cups come out garbage. Instead of a tearing sound, I get this kind of slurpy bubbling, and the surface tension of the milk goes crazy almost immediately. Same technique, same steam wand tip, but just a completely different interaction between the steam and milk.

Comparing the two machines side by side, the Lucca A53 purges a significantly larger amount of water before the steam begins. Also, the steam is quite a bit stronger and "wetter" if that makes sense.

Could anyone fill me in on why this could be the case, and what could be the solution? Could the grouphead boiler temperature be an issue here? His machine is set a few degrees lower than mine, I believe (mine set at the factory default of 95, I think... I'm not in front of the machine at the moment). I am unaware of any console options to change the steam boiler's settings.

I'm going crazy not being able to microfoam on my own machine. :(

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chas
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Re: Troubleshooting Significant steam differences between the Lucca A53 Mini and S1 Vivaldi II Mini?

Post by chas » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:00 am

1) There is absolutely no linkage between the group boiler settings and the quality of the steam from the steam boiler.

2) If you still have access to both machines, have you tried swapping the steam tips between machines? There are two styles of four holed steam tips in use. One has slightly smaller holes than the other. I know that the V2 Mini comes standard with the smaller holed tip. Not sure about the Lucca. Originally the V2s came with the larger 4-hole tip until there were too many complains about the steam.

3) Also if you have access to both machines, you may want to pull the water level sensors from both machines and see if they are the same length. A small difference in length can change the wetness of the steam. If this is your problem, the sensor from the Mini will be slightly longer than the one in the Lucca.

4) You can adjust the temperature of the steam boiler. This is documented on pages 16-17 of the Mini User's Manual found here. https://www.s1cafe.com/s1v2/MiniV2Manua ... l_RevG.pdf
Once again, if you still have access to both machines, you may want to use the method covered in the manual on both machines to check their current default settings before making any changes. Though you can also gauge it by comparing the steam pressure gauges on both machines.

Good luck and happy steaming.
Chas
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