OPV adjustment question - QuickMill Alexia

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AUSTINrob

#1: Post by AUSTINrob »

So I've had my Alexia/Macap M4 combo for about 2 weeks now and it has been amazing, and I'm slowly learning some of the the necessary steps to make a good espresso.

One adjustment that I am planning on making tonight is lowering the brew pressure...I don't know what to expect when I do lower it, but from what i've read I should be pulling shots at approximately 9-10 bars and right now my machine is pulling at 10.5. Can anybody offer me guidance on what pressure I should shoot for? I believe that in the HB Alexia write-up 9.5 was selected - has this been the "sweeter-spot" for others as well?

So, just to get an idea of what to expect, when I do go to adjust the OPV tonight, I plan to remove the rubber hose on the OPV before adjusting, and then will turn the nut counterclockwise...If I want to lower the machine by 1 bar of pressure, will this be an approximate 1/4 turn of the nut, or closer to a couple of full turns of the nut?

Thanks folks!
-Rob

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TimEggers

#2: Post by TimEggers »

Hi Rob,

Adjusting the OPV is quite simple and I also found that 9.5 bar (against my blind basket) was a great setting for exceptional espresso on my Quickmill Anita.

The OPV has a pretty fine thread on it so it will take a few turns to see the adjustment change. I would make a few quarter turns then test. Also I don't think you'll need to remove the tube (I don't) actually I did once on accident and it was a major pain getting it back on.

Best of luck with the adjustments your espresso should become more balanced and less harsh/aggressive. Oh and after the adjustment you'll need to adjust your grind as well (less brewing pressure will require a slightly coarser grind size for same shot time/volume).
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
LMWDP #202

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jesawdy

#3: Post by jesawdy »

Rob-

FYI, the Alexia and the Anita have different OPVs.

Pull the outer shell of the case off (6 screws) and leave it off for a bit while you play with it. Facing the business side of the machine, the OPV adjustment nut will be on the left side of the machine. The OPV adjustment on the review machine I had turned easily by hand, no wrench, YMMV. Pull against your blind basket and adjust it down a bit, you don't have to turn it very much.

If your patient enough, pull a couple shots and see what you read against an actual puck. Adjust as needed before you button it back up.
Jeff Sawdy

AUSTINrob

#4: Post by AUSTINrob »

Cool, I'll do that. Thanks for the input guys!
-Rob

AUSTINrob

#5: Post by AUSTINrob »

All Right! I got my pressure dialed in now...it took about an hour going back and forth between too much and too little pressure, but now that I got it and reset my grind, the espresso is looking a little darker and caramely, and the flavor is definitely less bitter....VERY COOL! I love this espresso machine. 8)

So right now the pressure ramps up slowly at first (obviously) but then peaks at about 9.75 bars, but then after 2-3 seconds, it creeps back down to about 9.5. where it brews the rest of the cafe'.

Please let me know if I am doing anything considered wrong or unorthodox...(I am using Black Cat Espresso Blend) So I start with turning on the grinder, and then:
-pull a heating flush over my portafilter,
-and then pull it off, give it a quick wipe off,
-dose till just mounding over portafilter,
-use a chopstick to level it off,
-then pre tamp lightly,
-tap the side of the portafilter to push loose grinds back to center of basket,
-and then do my #30 pound tamp (I'm using the Epsro click tamper),
-insert portafilter back into Alexia,
-and pull a 1.75 oz shot in 25seconds...
-dump puck (sometimes i then rinse out the portafilter and sometimes i just wipe it out dry with a rag (I'm not sure -if it is making a difference)).
-add a cube of sugar, stir and enjoy.

Anything that I should consider doing different?

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HB
Admin

#6: Post by HB »

AUSTINrob wrote:Please let me know if I am doing anything considered wrong or unorthodox... <snip>

-tap the side of the portafilter to push loose grinds back to center of basket,
-add a cube of sugar, stir and enjoy.

Anything that I should consider doing different?
Tapping is a ritual many seem to enjoy, but I think the risk of disturbing the puck adhesion isn't worth it. And I'm not into sugar for espresso. :wink:
Dan Kehn