A few beginner questions

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KimH
Latte
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Location: Denmark

A few beginner questions

Post by KimH » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:52 am

Hi,

I just got my Andreja Premium replaced by a brand new Vivaldi II a few days back :-) There is a lot of new things to consider regarding setting up the machine..... So far I have just plugged in the machine and used it as it came from the factory. I hope you guys can guide me in the right direction to setup the machine to a good starting point before I start tweaking for my own preference.

1. I have noticed that the pre-infusion setting from the factory was set to 0 seconds. What would you reccomend as a starting point. And should the 25 second 'shot time rule' be timed with or without the pre-infusion time to get the best result.

2. The steam boiler pressure is set to 1.3 - 1.4 bar. I normally steam milk in a 0.35L (12 oz) pitcher for 1 cappa, so the amount and speed of steam is overwhelming. What is your recommend pressure for normal home use steaming for 1 drink each session? So far I am using the stock tip with 1.3mm holes, but I have a steam tip with 0.9mm holes on order.

3. The brew pressure is in the low end of the recommended 8.2 - 9.0 bars (By the chriscoffee manual) . I have noticed that I am brewing at approx. 8.2 bars. What would you recommend as a good starting point)

4. The group temperature is set to 93 degrees which I think is OK, because the coffee taste great. I haven't played around with the offset temperature yet. But I guess that would not make sense without having a Scace device around. Is that correct? And what are the most common settings for group temp and offset.

5. LaSpaziale told me before i bought the machine that a water pressure regulator is not neccesarry because the pump has some kind of restrictor. But does this means that an external restrictor Will have no impact at all, and can I set the pressure in the 'buil-in' regulator myself. Does this pressure influence anything like pre-infusion etc.?

6. Anything else worth mentioning to a Vivaldi II newbee?

Regards
Kim
- La Spaziale S1 Dream
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JohnB
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by JohnB » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:25 am

1/ Others may disagree but I start timing my shots when the pump kicks in not when the p/i starts. I'm not married to the 25 sec rule as I seem to prefer the taste of longer pours. As for what duration to use I find it depends on the dose & the coffee. Ive used some light roasted S/O beans that taste better with no p/i in 14g doses. For blends & darker roasted S/Os I like 3 seconds for 15g doses & 6 seconds for 17-18g doses. Best thing is to try 0-3-6 ect with each dose & see what you like best.

2/You will find the .9mm tip works much better for small amounts of milk.

3&5/ I would recommend an adjustable inline pressure regulator w/gauge as you want to know what your line pressure is + you can play with it as part of your P/I adjustments. I run mine around 30PSI measured with the machine drawing water.
Set the brewing pressure to 8.75-9b.

4/ If you were in the U.S. the factory offset would be checked & adjusted (if necessary) by CC but if you aren't then you will have to run some temp checks to see if the factory setting is correct for your machine. Have you checked to see what the programmable offset is set to? (see manual) Mine was left at 0 by CC as the factory built in offset was correct. Others have different settings & are usually in the -1, -2 range although until recently (last July) positive settings were not available.

The correct group temp depends on what you are using for Espresso. A light roasted S/O might like 91-92C whereas a full city roast would be better around 94C. It also depends on which flavors you like. Its best to get a temp recommendation from your roaster & then try that as well as one C lower & higher to see what you like.

6/ Have you tested your water for hardness?
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MDL
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by MDL » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 am

JohnB sent you in the correct direction.

You will find that you learn to utilize the steam power to prepare your small quantity of milk quickly. It took me a bit of time, but I have learned to steam the same quantity of milk that you use without any issue. The smaller hole tip will slow things down and make it a bit easier for you; don't lower the pressure.

In terms of a pressure regulator on your input water you want it. It gives you a cheap bit of insurance to protect from pressure variations in your water line pressure and gives you a view of what the input water pressure is.

I found that 92 was low for the coffee that I routinely use; best shots for me are around 94, but again, as JohnB says you have to experiment with the coffee you are using.

Enjoy your new VII!
Mark

spaceman3
Americano
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by spaceman3 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:42 pm

I'm also a new owner, and appreciate all the feedback. I had posted here a couple of weeks ago, got a few responses to my post, but the site when down after the first few posts and lost all that great info.

As far as the steam goes, it is fast and takes a lot to get used to. I'm going to have to order the other tip from CC to help me out as well. I'm getting foam, but it seems to happen right when the temperature hits 150 and I need to stop. I've been on the fence about ordering the ESPRO TOROID pitcher - I like the idea behind it, and the shape of the spout. I also only want to make enough micorfoam for 1 drink...

I've been a little confused regarding cleaning the machine. It seems that I do need to backflush every few weeks, but I have read where some people don't do it at all. As a novice, what does the backflush process actually do for me, and if I drink only 2-4 drinks a day, when should I do it? I notice coffee buildup above the portafilter, but I can wipe that away for the most part. I also have been running a couple of seconds of water through the empty hole, cleaning out the leftovers. Good or bad thing to do?

I got a Compak Touch grinder from CC, but it broke after the first day and I've had to send it back. I've been forced to use pre ground espresso (I grind it at the place) until I can decide on the right grinder, but man, it's a hard decision. I've been trying to hold out for the new VARIO as it seems to be just what I'm looking for as far as simplicity, specifics, size and price.

MDL
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Location: San Diego

Re: A few beginner questions

Post by MDL » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:00 pm

You will need to do a detergent backflush regularly to keep oil residue from accumulating in the OPV and system. I routinely do this every 2 to 3 weeks. If you wait too long (even though you are not making a lot of shots/day) the residue can build up.

You can do plain water backflushing as often as you like. This will help to blow out coffee or particulates that may be in the system.

I routinely flush some water before and after each shot. The before flush both insures that the screens are clean and gets the group heater going so that the system is up to temperature and recovers quickly after the shot. The after flush clears off coffee that is on the screens after the shot.

Enjoy your VII,
Mark

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JohnB
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by JohnB » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:21 pm

spaceman3 wrote: I've been a little confused regarding cleaning the machine. It seems that I do need to backflush every few weeks, but I have read where some people don't do it at all. As a novice, what does the backflush process actually do for me, and if I drink only 2-4 drinks a day, when should I do it? I notice coffee buildup above the portafilter, but I can wipe that away for the most part. I also have been running a couple of seconds of water through the empty hole, cleaning out the leftovers. Good or bad thing to do?

I got a Compak Touch grinder from CC, but it broke after the first day and I've had to send it back. I've been forced to use pre ground espresso (I grind it at the place) until I can decide on the right grinder, but man, it's a hard decision. I've been trying to hold out for the new VARIO as it seems to be just what I'm looking for as far as simplicity, specifics, size and price.
Its a good idea to do 3-4 plain water backflushes after you are done pulling shots for the day. CC suggests doing detergent backflushes no more often then every 3 weeks. My experience is that once a month is all that is needed as even then very little brown smooge comes out. I've gone 6 weeks several times & still it wasn't that dirty. One reason for this is the dual screen setup L/S uses to catch the grounds that otherwise would end up in your 3 way valve. You want to remove those screens & the diffuser block at least once a week using the factory tool you received with your machine. Clean the block & reinstall your clean spare screens after scrubbing the exposed grouphead with your Pallo brush. Soak the dirty screens in Cafiza along with your dirty baskets.

After every shot I run a short flush & clean the screens with the Pallo brush. To bad about the Compak. What broke? If you pre order the Vario from CC you get a nice discount.
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Endo
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by Endo » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:52 pm

I think the backflushing is done way too often in our low usage situations. LaSpaziale didn't design or intend it to be backflushed that often, especially in the home environment. It has two screens for that reason so you need to trust the knowledgable engineers on this one.

I simply pull an empty shot at the end of my session and give the screens and gasket a little wipe with the Pallo brush while the water is coming out.

I'll do a water backflush only once a week.

I'll do a chemical backflush only once every two months from now on. I did one today after one month and nothing came out (the screens really do work).

Notice that LaSpaziale doesn't even mention backflushing in the manual, so I don't plan on getting too hung-up on it.
Endo

LaSpaziale Mini Vivaldi w/progressive p/i
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mtrdude
Freeze Dried
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Re: A few beginner questions

Post by mtrdude » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:40 pm

I have a vivaldi II and I am a newbie. it went 2yrs with no issues and unfortunately no cleaning. I recently had problems with the three green lights and three yellow lights flashing with only drips of espresso coming out. I cleaned it with joeglo per chris coffees recommendation. The next day my first cappuccino was great no probs. But the 2nd one i made back to the lights flashing. any help would be appreciated. tx to all :)

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