Lelit MaraX - Page 27

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

#261: Post by expert »

DaveC wrote:Pump sounds funny, and the flow from the portafilter looks slow and thin. What's the flow like from the group with no portafilter? If there is some obstruction to flow might be a kinked hose, or something not allowing the pump to draw water. If it's not that and the espresso is good...,then it might be a failed gauge, although I think it's unlikely.
"not allowing the pump to draw water" made me guess what's the culprit. When I received the machine I installed water resin filter per documentation. That was it. Thank you!


#262: Post by jayy42 »

Are people having success simultaneously pulling shots and steaming on the MaraX? If not, is it a limitation of the machine, or just a workflow preference?


#263: Post by Eres »

bbjwvr6 wrote:I had a situation this morning where after finishing pulling my shot, I went to steam and noticed that rather than ramping up during the shot, the steam pressure was down at .4 bar. I had to do a quick flush to get the boiler to kick up the steam pressure.

I was under the impression that under this circumstance the boiler should be between 1 and 1.5 bar. Has anyone else encountered this?


#264: Post by bbjwvr6 »

Yes, this seems similar, but I guess I don't understand what he's saying. Is the cause of this using the hot water wand while pulling a shot?


#265: Post by Eres »

in case the water in the boiler drops below the set level during pulling a shot, the heating element and boiler fill solenoid will not turn on, only after brewing is finished


#266: Post by bbjwvr6 »

ah...here is a longer video on the same subject. He starts out with the Mara, then moves on to the MaraX...


#267: Post by holybean »

jayy42 wrote:Are people having success simultaneously pulling shots and steaming on the MaraX? If not, is it a limitation of the machine, or just a workflow preference?
That's not my typical workflow, but when I've done it there's been plenty of steam. I think I'm right to say that steam power is more robust if the steam boiler has been ramping up for a short time.


#268: Post by Efrain »

If you register your Mara X on the Lelit "care.lelit.com" you find a PDF version of the same manual that comes with the machine and also the technical drawings with all the parts. No additional user manuals.


#269: Post by 1st-line »

Bluenoser wrote:.. Maybe this isn't quite a pull and forget machine in all situations.. E61, HX designs still have some gotchas.. ..

So, again, with an HX, you really want to do some homework to develop a proper workflow. If you notice that your boiler pressure is up to 1.5 and you've not made a drink in 5 minutes, you can't pull a shot for another 10 minutes or so until the E61 cools. (I'm not sure how'd you develop a flushing technique without external monitoring equipment .. at some point, someone can try flushing for 10 seconds and see the effect .. maybe that would be a quick fix) The MaraX is really good at making back-to-back shots.. but it *is* possible to make a shot that is 10F higher than you wanted.. that might have a slight effect on taste.. .. it would be a shame, if you were entertaining to have to wait 15 minutes to pull the next shot.. Now, I've used a cold dishrag and thrown that on the E61 to cool it down and that works well when my group is overheated, rather than flush a lot.. Sort of an interesting problem on the MaraX.. A group that is too hot.. I'm not sure if a group thermometer would help in these situations or not, since you'd never know the temp differential between the thermometer and the screen exit.
Years ago, I tested the VBM dual boiler at 16 different simultaneous touch points (different boiler sections, different grouphead sections, on thermosyphon tubes, water tank temp, incoming water temp, body temp, and several others) during an extraction. I even tested the machine in a cooler basement, by a window with a draft, in a hot environment, different voltages ranging from 108 to 124 volts, etc. The data was mind puzzling.

My learnings were

a) Every environment is different from ambient temp, to actual voltage, to incoming water temp, to heat dissipation from drafts, etc. etc. and these affected temperature stability at the 16 different points.
b) Monitoring at one touchpoint, ie grouphead was not always the holy grail as I found different temperatures within the different areas of the grouphead as well as the pipes.
c) Usage, meaning back to back shots, and the timing between the back to back shots, or leaving the machine on for hours without use, can have a significant impact on the temperature stability, including dual boiler espresso machines.
d) To make matters worse, how one uses the SCACE can impact the measurements. Left on machine heating (with or without water on probe), start from cold, etc.

With this in mind,

a) Testing temperature has so many variables just in the test itself.
b) There is no home, nor prosumer machine, with temperature stability that will fit every usage pattern and every environment. I have even tested competitive machines, including ones we do not sell, that have videos of perfect temperature stability and they fail as well with a SCACE. I even had a customer bring in a competitive machine into our showroom, and we spent 2 hours trying to replicate the temperature stability he saw on a competitive video. Please do not ask as I will not mention any manufacturers, nor models.

My first premise. There are three types of temp stability. One is during espresso extraction. One is machine usage pattern. One is machine sitting idle. Again, no prosumer machine hits any combo of these perfectly.

My second premise. Does 'every' coffee need 100% temperature stability at the group dispersion. With an open mind, the answer is not always. I have my Bianca prototype with a PID setting to increase the temperature of the SCACE reading during the shot. I have pulled many shots for many customers who have visited us. I have used the Bianca on a flat line temp, as well at trade shows.

Personal Testing
My belief the Mara X was designed for a simple user to power up the machine, wait for warm up about 25 minutes, pull your 1 or 2 shots, and steam milk, if necessary. Shut machine off. As mentioned, the Mara X was designed for ease of use, not really for the techies. I 'believe' if it was for the techies, then we would have a PID display on the unit.

The extractions I have pulled so far with the above technique have been very close to that of dual boilers in terms of flavor profiles, but with less warmup time and less 'techie' effort.

I have tested the machine with a SCACE with the Mara X temp switch positioned at the 90-92 d C in coffee priority (X) mode. 25 minute warm up. First shot pulled at 90.7 and second immediate subsequent shot pulled at 91.6. After the second extraction, the back to back 3rd and 4th shots increase at the SCACE. Again, results may and will vary with the SCACE and at different touch points if measured.

I had the very original Mara X prototype, and it was the worst steaming HX machine when it came to steaming - it did not have the switch on the right side by the drip tray. I even tested the machine when it was outside in 45 d F weather. So, my belief is the PID algorithm on the current production version is to maintain temp stability for 1-2 shots with a rapid increase in temp for steam right after the first shot or two. The purpose is for those who need to steam milk for 1 or 2 cappuccino and lattes. Again, with the simple user in mind.

For entertaining, I think it is best to position the right sided switch to the steam mode and operate as a normal heat exchanger whereby the PID aggressiveness is reduced. After the cooling flush in steam mode, you should be able to make back to back shots. Last night, I tested with the Scace in steam mode, and I did NOT notice the rise in temperature on literally 20 back to back pulls with no rest period between. In fact, the temp at the Scace started to decrease as I was pushing the limitations with relation to my first premise above.

This is why the second mode for steam was created. One can SIMPLY enjoy both worlds.

Growing with Mara X
I am still learning on this machine. Lelit sent me some data. The machine operates best at about the 25 minute mark after warm up and about 60 minutes after startup. Between the 30 and 60 minute mark, there is up to a ~2 d C overshoot. However, I am not publishing this data because i have not tested it and a different environment may produce different results.

Please note all of my statements above are my own personal opinion. There will be some who may disagree and some who may agree.
Jim Piccinich
1st-line Equipment, LLC


#270: Post by 1st-line »

jayy42 wrote:Are people having success simultaneously pulling shots and steaming on the MaraX? If not, is it a limitation of the machine, or just a workflow preference?
Although it can be advertised as such for many heat exchanger espresso machines, I strongly suggest not doing this on any espresso machine with a boiler size less than 4 liters or any with a vibration pump. The reason is that temperature in the grouphead 'can' be affected. The keyword is 'can'.

Second, on many machines, if the boiler needs to fill, a vibration pump may lower the pump pressure.

Third, in some cases, people complain that the pump pressure is reduced when the heating element kicks in to absorb voltage/amperage. In some cases, ther eis not enough voltage/amperage in the outlet. In some cases, it is inherent in the machine to do this.

Again, advertising will says it is possible, because it is, but they do not share the technical detriments.
Jim Piccinich
1st-line Equipment, LLC