Lelit Bianca User Experience - Page 7

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Nov 01, 2018, 3:13 pm

iggles_and_espresso wrote:Has Lelit said that it isn't trying to patent the paddle group?


Nope. The needle valve or paddle don't show up on a patent search; but it might be in the works. Their brilliant movable/removable tank has been patented. It may make it the most counter friendly machine in this performance class.
Jim Schulman

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » replying to another_jim » Nov 01, 2018, 3:22 pm

Could you not simply remove the entire mushroom assembly in any other E61 machine and replace it with the one from the Bianca to achieve the same profiling abilities on a machine we already own? I know another user is working on having the needle valve created like this but I would think that as long as it is a standard group, it should be a swap-able add on. And it may be that while it is swap-able, Lelit / 1st Line won't sell the replacement part unless you have proof of purchase.

I know it's all user preference, but I think an ECM Syncrhonika with the paddle and manometer on the group would be the 'perfect' E61 machine.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Nov 01, 2018, 4:02 pm

It's very likely that after market profiling kits can be built; but their being built and being available will depend entirely on popularity of the Bianca itself. I come from a lever background, and by now the idea of making a shot that I can't control "in flight" seems absurd. So I don't need to be convinced that this is absolutely the way to go for anyone who wants a more sedate way of getting everything a lever will give, plus a few extras like temperature control and very long shots.

I am not an expert om premium DB E61s, and can't compare the fit and finish of the various machines; and maybe Dan will chime in on that. But I've been very impressed with the Bianca's interior values, its fit and finish, as well as all the extras it comes with.

I'm also a sucker for compact machines; and this one delivers a lot of performance for a small and configurable footprint. There is a good deal of variation in the boiler sizes of DB machines, especially the brew boilers. The Bianca's steam boiler is only 1.5 liters; but since the pressure can be jacked up, it performs better than my 2 liter HX machines. The wild range of brew boiler sizes (think of LM putting 1.5 liters on the GS3 and 0.17 liter on on the Linea Mini) suggests that this is not a quality decision, but an engineering one. The Bianca's 0.75 liter brew boiler has been traditional on E61 single boiler machines since the mid 1990s. It delivers excellent temperature stability, in line with other DB E61s, but not as stellar as machines with saturated groups, where the offsets between boiler and brew temperature is a lot lower than on thermosyphon groups.

However, I think ultra-precise temperature control might be less important for profiling machines, since they can achieve their target extractions and flavor balances via flow control as well as temperature control. I used to to a lot temperature tuning with variable flushes on my HX machines to get the taste right. On the lever and the Bianca, I let the temperature sit a middle value and work the flow. I'm wondering if this is also the exprerience of others with profiling machines.
Jim Schulman

Graham J

Postby Graham J » Nov 01, 2018, 5:52 pm

Jake_G wrote:Thanks Graham,

Were you able to get a read on the thread pitch?


I didn't establish that Jake. I'm going back in there to check a couple of other things, next week. So I'll make a DTI or zero point setup then and establish the metering travel and thread pitch. I have 1mm step readings for the metering zone, if you want them, but as I already wrote, they are linear between those I gave
Because I want Bianca back in action at 7 am every morning I keep the strip and rebuild areas quite localised in each session :) . I've worked through quite a lot of it so far so feel free to ask for any info. that will help your build.

Graham J

Postby Graham J » Nov 01, 2018, 6:41 pm

another_jim wrote:Thanks for posting these pics; I'll link to them in the bench review.

If I'm not mistaken, I can see why they didn't patent their paddle group, it looks a lot like the prototype E61 with needle valve.

<img>

Feel free to use them as you wish.There are some other interesting variations in the Bianca flavour of E61, so I'll add a few more photos and notes later.

That Valente patent app. is a fine thing, if you are a coffee aficionado! However, as you've pointed out he was a proper steampunk engineer. That valve on top of the E61 group would never work as drawn, as a per se flow/pressure metering device for shot control purposes. He doubtless had such a device or similar in place on his test rigs, to calibrate the gicleur sizings, or assess rate changes, etc.
In my engineering R&D experience, company patent lawyers would insist that you include all possible variations in patent submissions, often delaying development by months while we had to check and rewrite far-fetched variations for the application. Why? Shuts down the opposition of course, but if claim is too wide it's less likely to be accepted. So stick every possible variation in the drawings but don't necessarily elaborate in the text.

Meanwhile, for people who are thinking of obtaining some Bianca metering valve parts and adding them to their proprietary E61, I'd say don't go there - it's a carefully engineered system that is unlike the other E61's I've seen in several internal respects. Don't be misled just because E61 castings and raw shaping emerge from only a couple of places. Proprietary machining, tolerancing and design detail are important and hard to replicate without facilities.
Jake_G has a better approach mapped out for understanding the modifications needed to add pressure/flow control to an existing machine, along his Long and Rambling Path and Tonefish is moving an E61 add-on development, elsewhere on H.B.

Tonefish

Postby Tonefish » Nov 01, 2018, 9:17 pm

Graham J wrote:That Valente patent app. is a fine thing, if you are a coffee aficionado! However, as you've pointed out he was a proper steampunk engineer. That valve on top of the E61 group would never work as drawn, as a per se flow/pressure metering device for shot control purposes. He doubtless had such a device or similar in place on his test rigs, to calibrate the gicleur sizings, or assess rate changes, etc.

If you look at the Valente patent you will see that he calls-out that valve for cleaning.

Graham J wrote:In my engineering R&D experience,....

Meanwhile, for people who are thinking of obtaining some Bianca metering valve parts and adding them to their proprietary E61, I'd say don't go there -

In my Engineering Sciences R&D experience people who think like that aren't very successful and wouldn't be around long.

My project may or may not be successful, but everything will be above board, and the data won't lie. You also won't hear shady comments from me about other peoples projects. I only wish success to all.

I'd been thinking about this project, and commented in other threads, before even knowing what Lelit was cooking up with the Bianca, and certainly before anything was announced. I'd own a Bianca if I could get one for the prices I see where you bought yours. The US dealer is charging a lot more than what you can buy them for, even when they put them on sale, thus encouraging the kickoff to my project. Putting a valve up there is simple. The Bianca has a lot more to it, but the valve is all I need to do anything it can (within the realm of making an excellent pull of espresso).
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

User avatar
Jake_G
Team HB

Postby Jake_G » Nov 01, 2018, 11:13 pm

Tonefish wrote:If you look at the Valente patent you will see that he calls-out that valve for cleaning.

Yes,
Ernesto Valente wrote:Said chamber communicates with the cavity 3 only by means of an opening 2, in which is engaged a cleaning pin 1, which may be operated by pressure from the outside.

Image
But...
Ernesto Valente wrote:It is evident that, by regulating the opening 2, the spring 8, and the volume of the chamber 9, it is possible to obtain the desired period of the phase of infusion with the desired pressure of infusion.


Which leads to...
Ernesto Valente wrote:...a first inlet orifice communicating with said first chamber and...

... and an adjustable needle valve for varying the size of said first inlet orifice.

So I'd say you're both right :P

Graham J wrote:...and Tonefish is moving an E61 add-on development, elsewhere on H.B.

Jim,

I think this is an endorsement of your project, and in no way a "shady comment" regarding the probable success of it. I believe what Graham was implying was that ordering up a valve and orifice from Lelit and expecting it to "drop in" to your "standard" E61 is not likely to be met with success. The level of detail you are putting into your project is not lost by many...

Hoping we can all get along,

Cheers!

- Jake

Tonefish

Postby Tonefish » Nov 02, 2018, 9:58 am

Jake_G wrote:Which leads to...
So I'd say you're both right :P

But he says it won't work.
Hoping we can all get along,

That would be nice, but this wasn't an isolated poke. I had just come from another thread where he quoted my observation of a video from days ago, and says "Nope," and then turns around and says the same thing I did. I said it takes time to boil, and he says slow boil. I said aggressive (boiling) and he says flash steam and turbulent energy. Geesh ... it looks like the guy seeks to challenge me. That's okay for a noble reason but he doesn't appear to have one.

BTW I don't seek to perpetuate this declination.
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » Nov 02, 2018, 10:14 am

Back to the topic:

1) How 'dry' are Bianca pucks? Easy to knock out or a mess?

2) Are the PF handles glued on? I prefer La Marzocco style.

3) Is the 'spout' on the spouted PF easily removed? I find it very unattractive and would remove it for the more traditional style.

4) Both portafilters appear to be angled. Can you confirm the pitch (i.e. compared to a standard and a La Marzocco, how 'angled' is it?)

5) If the water tank is moved to the side and the machine is under a cabinet, can it be refilled without moving the machine (standard depth and height cabinets are in mind). In other words, one of the more unique things about this machine is the exterior and movable water tank. If moved to the side it 'looks' like you have much more convenience to refill if using under cabinets.

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Nov 02, 2018, 1:59 pm

JayBeck wrote:1) How 'dry' are Bianca pucks? Easy to knock out or a mess?

2) Are the PF handles glued on? I prefer La Marzocco style.

3) Is the 'spout' on the spouted PF easily removed? I find it very unattractive and would remove it for the more traditional style.

4) Both portafilters appear to be angled. Can you confirm the pitch (i.e. compared to a standard and a La Marzocco, how 'angled' is it?)

5) If the water tank is moved to the side and the machine is under a cabinet, can it be refilled without moving the machine (standard depth and height cabinets are in mind). In other words, one of the more unique things about this machine is the exterior and movable water tank. If moved to the side it 'looks' like you have much more convenience to refill if using under cabinets.


1) The 3 way works fine, like on every E61, and there is no excess water on the puck. Like on every espresso machine, the finer the grind, the soggier the puck. So Turkish grind, extreme profile shots do result in messier than usual pucks. I don't have enough experience with other profiling machines to compare. 2) Screwed on. The handle is solid wood with a make screw at the end which screws into the PF; it is not hollow like some lever handles. 3) It screws on, you'll need a wrench and a plastic sheet for scratch proofing. 4) There is a subtle angle, maybe 10 degrees, it seems less (and less annoying) then the ones on LMs and Elektras, which are designed for machines sitting on higher commercial counters. 5) The movable water tank is very cool. If mounted on the side, the part at the front of the machine will usually clear the cabinet, so pouring in water is easy.
Jim Schulman