Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
DaveC

#11: Post by DaveC »

another_jim wrote:It appears that my PID is lazy; while everyone else's works fine (is there a "why me" emoji?). I was wondering why the machine was delivered set at 95C, and I had to set it up to 98C based on taste. So instead of a temperature study; you'll get a trouble shooting guide over the next few days. That's good for the review, a PITA for me.
I am sure you have done this, but make sure you check the PID settings. The default (factory) should be all my recommended settings except for 1 setting, unless they decided to only do this for the UK machines (I never asked)?

It's possible for the thermosyphon to airlock if there are leaks in the brew circuit and then you might get a "cold nose" as you put it. When I am involved in a machine design early enough, I always ensure a boiler with the top plate thermosyphon pipe has a dipper tube around 3cm in (ACS Minima), or like the Duetto has a side tube around 20% down from the top. The Bianca tube comes right out the top (common in lots of dual boiler machines), so any drop in brew boiler level can airlock it.

After so many years of experience, I can usually tell instantly if a group is too cool with a touch on the edge of the saucer and definitely the Bianca doesn't run a cold group, it also has a temperature offset that's the lowest I've ever needed on an E61 dual boiler (a good thing). Normally they are up at 12-15C offset.

I purchased the prototype for my collection, but it's in storage at the moment as I already have 3 running machines. I wish I could share all the videos I have done for the UK user guide, but I can't. What I can say is; there is a lot of depth to using the machine, much more than Lelit have mentioned and at least 8 different shot techniques they don't even touch on. The best method of making a shot is absolutely not even mentioned by them. I think I have hinted at it a lot in my review, so there will be some free guidance there in the videos.

Someone else asked about brew pressure. I recommend setting it at 10 bar....simply close the paddle completely, run the pump and from underneath adjust the screw to 10 or 10.5 bar. This gives the ability to profile up to and from 10 bar. Remembering the 8-9 bar standard is just an idealised pressure averaged out. I found some excellent shots from a 10 bar max and then dropping down.

Also remember to set (normalise) the paddle position, hugely important to get the correct flow profile from the machine. You basically want all the way to the left to be "just" off, giving the widest range of flow possible within a limited arc of movement. Again some hints in the review videos, the review was of the final production model, not the prototype I purchased..

https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpres ... /#more-301

It's a really good machine Jim, something is probably not right with yours. No way would I have purchased the prototype for my collection if it wasn't and with 3 dual boilers I didn't actually need a 4th machine!

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another_jim
Team HB

#12: Post by another_jim »

Thanks for posting, Dave. I referenced your excellent internal tour on the main review, and I did set the max brew pressure to 10 bar.

As to flow and pressure recipes. I'm sure we'll get a lot of different ones as people gain experience. So far, I've just been traditional, with long, low pressure preinfusions, and declining pressure at the end of the shot to maintain even flow rates. As a lever user, I really appreciate how easy this is on the Bianca.

I've goosed the factory set PID parameters per Lelit's recommendations, as rapidly conveyed to me by 1st Line; and that has helped -- the PID is responding fast enough now to maintain flat-line brew temperatures (rather than the gradually rising ones I saw yesterday). I'll report on the programming later when I have more info -- the Lelit PID has the usual two button programming, but it does not use the same codes as those I've seen on other DBs.

I have a surface mounting TC on the E61 to check the thermosyphon and see if it shows signs of stalling.
Jim Schulman

solarium_rider

#13: Post by solarium_rider »

DaveC wrote: Someone else asked about brew pressure. I recommend setting it at 10 bar....simply close the paddle completely, run the pump and from underneath adjust the screw to 10 or 10.5 bar. This gives the ability to profile up to and from 10 bar. Remembering the 8-9 bar standard is just an idealised pressure averaged out. I found some excellent shots from a 10 bar max and then dropping down.

Also remember to set (normalise) the paddle position, hugely important to get the correct flow profile from the machine. You basically want all the way to the left to be "just" off, giving the widest range of flow possible within a limited arc of movement. Again some hints in the review videos, the review was of the final production model, not the prototype I purchased..
Thanks, I adjusted the brew pressure tonight to 10 bar. Was actually a bit easier than I expected after watching the Lelit video. There was a perfect amount of clearance underneath to fit the wrench to adjust it, even with the water reservoir fitted to the right side.

Also adjusted the paddle. There aren't really that many options since the splines are relatively coarse, I tried to move it over two notches, but that resulted in the paddle hitting the side before it was at 0 flow rate. Therefore I ended up at 1 notch over from the factory setting for off which was pretty much at the 9 o'clock position.

DaveC

#14: Post by DaveC »

another_jim wrote: the Lelit PID has the usual two button programming, but it does not use the same codes as those I've seen on other DBs..
It is a bit different...I actually did a video covering all the settings for the UK user guide, unfortunately it's no longer mine to share.

jacy.clare

#15: Post by jacy.clare »

Hello everyone! I thought I'd chime in with my experiences.

I followed Dave's guides to set the pump pressure to 10 bar, but I may need to go back and adjust it again, as I'm seeing some higher pressures at the manometer on the group. I also followed the instructions for calibrating the paddle, but I noticed the other day when I had the portafilter off that the flow wasn't starting until it was opened quite a bit, so I think I'll double check that as well.

Aside from that, I've been getting some lovely shots, but I definitely need some more practice with the paddle before I feel comfortable replicating profiles.

DaveC

#16: Post by DaveC » replying to jacy.clare »

Be careful when adjusting for pressure that you don't let water expansion think you're getting a higher pressure than you are! With the paddle closed the gauge on the machine would be the one to follow...because no water is entering the brew boiler, no expansion on heating is taking place. If you put a blind filter on the group and use the group gauge, water expansion on heating becomes a factor. Just close the paddle and set it to 10 bar on the machines gauge in the body....that will work out fine.

The group gauge should only be used for profiling the shot.

jacy.clare

#17: Post by jacy.clare »

Aah, that makes sense. I did initially set it with the blind filter and the machine gauge, so it's probably fine as is.

Graham J

#18: Post by Graham J »

I originally posted this in another thread :"My long and rambling path to preinfusion-pressure profiling" by Jake_G.
There's a graph of Bianca flow rate, which I hoped would be useful for Jake's build of a paddle controlled flow/pressure valve in an E61.

Image


I'm liking the Bianca a lot and it has proved reliable, repeatable and well constructed, thus far! Still pretty early in our house sharing though!

It's an easy machine to set up and use initially, as one can just replicate an existing workflow onto it and get the grinder and basic brew dialled in, while leaving the paddle alone. Next step then is just adding some preinfusion via the LCC (Lelit control Centre) which is a simple and neat interface. Its equally possible to use the paddle to control preinfusion flow, pressure and time, but the LCC is useful to lock a p.i. setting down, or when the erstwhile barista is bleary-eyed or distracted!
Once some pleasing espressos and other beverages are in place, then it is time to bring the paddle into play and add some slow ramp-ups and/or early pressure reduction, varying taste by changing extraction and extraction rate. This latter process has taught me more about the differences between sour and bitter and fast or slow extracting flavours, than I previously understood. Reading the erudite posts and reviews by DK, another-Jim et al, becomes a lot more meaningful when a home barista can conduct some taste-trials and experiments of their own!

The UK Lelit distributor, Bella Barista, retained DaveC (Dave Corby, who did some test work for Lelit on the prototype machines) to write a very useful 26 page Userguide, which sits alongside Lelits own handbook and adds more detail, including eight useful shot profiles in detail. These have supporting videos of the profiles in use. Using these, alongside Lelits own Bianca shot profile videos, are enough to get a new user familiar with how to profile and the anticipated outcomes.
Regarding taste experiences, I'm reluctant to launch into the pseudo-poetic descriptions we all no doubt read, but I will say that using the pre-infusion and shot profiling options, I can more closely match the tasting notes of the two Roasters I use, than ever before. They both make their tasting notes using La Marzocco saturated-group machines, which are too large and too costly for me. To replicate their tasting notes, I use their basic preinfusion and brew settings, but ignore the temperature - I find so far that the Bianca needs maybe 2-4 degrees C higher than the LM reference.
The same LM machine type, LM Strada with grouphead gauges, was used by Bella Barista to supply tasting references when I was making a purchase choice between Bianca and other E61 DB machines. It was pretty clear that the Bianca could arrive closer to the intensity and clarity of the LM shots than comparable machines, which mostly have limited or no profiling. I was not that interested in a number of well-finished machines from various quality manufacturers that are all very similar in components and design and function. The ability to easily change and adjust profiles and various other parameters makes this machine quite different and a lot of fun, for me.

The LCC has some other useful functions, such as programmable standby and separate adjustment of steam and brew boiler temperature. A deeper dive allows heating (PID) and pump parameters to be edited, with an easy reset to original profiles, if you screw up! There is another DaveC video on this and its unlikely to be something owners often need. Pump pressure adjustment is set up for easy access under the machine and all the gauges track quickly, zero out any residual and hold levels without flicker. The detail and thoroughness around the moveable water tank, tracking of the filter life and some other details, shows that some conscientious development has been allowed to take place.

Tonefish

#19: Post by Tonefish »

Flitzgordon wrote:You can get an aftermarket pressure gauge sitting on the grouphead.
That would be great. Any links?
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

Graham J

#20: Post by Graham J »

Graham, Jake is mod'ing an S20 which I don't think is an E61 machine. There are others working that though.
True, it's not an E61 grouphead that Jake is working on. I had a closer look through a couple of other HB threads on the S20.
The main point though is around flow rate through an adjustable "gicleur" based valve above the puck, ala Bianca and this parallels Jakes work on the Rancilio S20 midi cd. He checked my Bianca flow rate data and found it matched his own calculations.
Best wishes with your own Mara based project on this front! Happy to help with information if that's useful.