Blooming on E61 with no Flow Control Device - using the lever

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#1: Post by Ursego »

The blooming profile (described here) can be done on any E61 machine - even without the FCD (Flow Control Device).

The algorithm:
  1. Start brewing with the faucet completely open.
  2. When the timer shows 5 seconds, lower the lever E61 to the moment when a click is heard and the pump stops working, but the water valve is still open (in the picture below, this position is labeled Pre-infuse). It's very important to stop moving the lever immediately after the click - if you continue to move it, the pressure release valve will be triggered, and the puck will be destroyed. By this time, pressure has built up inside the system (from the pump to the group), so dripping from the basket will be more active than with the paddle, so that by the beginning of the brewing there will already be a few grams in the cup (up to 7-8). But that's totally fine. Scott Rao has said in some video that this kind of blooming is even better, and I experienced that many times getting more sweet taste (but not always).

  3. When 35 seconds are on the timer (i.e., 30 seconds of blooming have passed), raise the lever all the way up, with the pump resuming.
  4. Perform the usual extraction until the desired weight in the cup is reached.
I use 30 seconds blooming with dark roast, but if you love light roast, do it 45-60 sec.

The method is shown in the following "short" where it is called pre-infusion (this is true because blooming is the best form of pre-infusion, but it is still better to keep the existing terminology: blooming - with full flow closure, pre-infusion - without):

One more video (copy the link to your browser - by some reason, the forum engine removes "?t=269" from the link if I use the "youtube" BBCode or place the link as plain text):
Note that lowering the E61 lever takes time, because you have to move it "gently" in order not to miss the moment when the pump turns off. If you hesitate and the pump is still running after 6-7 seconds, the normal extraction will start - bye-bye, blooming! It's very important that the lever turns completely freely, without the slightest effort, for accurate positioning. If you feel that it is even a little stiff, be sure to lubricate it with a food grade lubricant (instructions on YouTube).


This topic is about blooming profile on E61 without FCD. But even if your machine has FCD, you can still shut off the pump for the duration of the blooming. That's how it looks: close the needle valve after 5 seconds, then lower the lever to the click position (no rush, move it gently and slowly - the flow is already blocked by the paddle anyway). When the timer shows 34 seconds, turn the pump back on by raising the lever, and immediately open the faucet.

At first glance, this doesn't make sense - the paddle shuts off the water just perfectly without the lever. But turning the pump off gives you some extra advantages:
  • If the OPV on your model drains the excess water into the tray (rather than back into the tank), you won't have to fill the tank and empty the tray more often.
  • With long (45-60 sec) blooms for light roast, you don't have to worry about a lot of hot water leaving the boiler (especially if it's small), and the main brewing at a too low temperature.
  • You enjoy extra seconds of silence! :lol: