Profitec Pro 600 Owner Experience

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PIXIllate
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#1: Post by PIXIllate »

With great help here in the Buying Advice forum I finally bought a real espresso machine. I had a Gaggia Classic for a few months last year and it was a very frustrating experience. My new Profitec Pro 600 with flow control arrived this week.

The first task was to spend some time measuring out flow rates at different positions of the flow control knob. I have been told the "stock flow rate" with the original mushroom on a Pro 600 is something like 7-8g/sec. This corresponded to a setting of 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 rotations of the flow control knob with the stock shower screen (IMS screen is on the way). I wanted to set this and leave it alone while I get use to the machine and dialing it in. I don't think it matters too much if it is set to 7 or 8g/sec in this case as long as it is not changed. I plan to dive into flow profiling once I have a handle on a straight 9 bar extraction. Speaking of this, the machine read dead on 10 bar with a blind filter from the factory which should be 9 bar with coffee.

My unit came with a blind filter, cleaning brush, single and double portafilters and single and double baskets. Also, it came with a REAL tamper. It's even a 58.4mm one. The base is thin so you can't use you fingers against the top of the basket to level but with a light (strong fingertip pressure ~4-5lbs) it seems to work well.

After a couple of days pulling 2 shots each morning I'm feeling like things are starting to come along pretty well. There are no WILD swings in extraction time like with the Gaggia as long as I keep all of my variables (18g VST basket, weight in, WDT, surface distribution, even tamp, weight out) the same. One thing I did notice is that 18g doses seemed to be leaving a fairly deep nickle impression on the bed so I backed it off to 17.5 for the time being until I can investigate further.

Starting with a 200F temperature setting I got some coffee I'm familiar with and I am getting okay results after 3 days but I knew something was off. So tonight I went through the time consuming process of dialing in my temperature offset (E1) by means of Jim's flash boiling method:

Getting accurate shot temperature displays on PIDed double boilers without a thermometer

It's been said that you should adjust this with the machine set to Celsius. You change this by turning the machine off and then holding down the + and - buttons while turning the machine on. This give you a service PID menu and the first option is C or F. This is also where you find the E1 temperature offset setting. Mine came from the factory at 15C.

I started the flash boil test at 97C and went up in 1 degree steps all the way to 104C with a 40 minute break between each adjustment. I wasn't really surprised to find this setting was off. In my case the lowest flash boiling temperature was 103C so I went back into the PID and changed my E1 to 18C. I have video of all of this that I could post if anyone is interested.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see how the 3 degree change effects the shot time and taste.

Bluenoser
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Joined: 6 years ago

#2: Post by Bluenoser »

Still am amazed that we can spend $3700 (cdn) on an espresso machine and have to calibrate it ourselves.. but it's a great idea to learn as much as possible about use and maintenance.. +1 for the tamper.. -1 for no bottomless. I went with a VST 18g basket (Barista Pro I also like) but found that I had to do more puck prep to prevent channeling. (Basically lots of stirring with a needle like tool). I'll be interested in how you like the steaming.. It should be great, but I haven't read much on steaming from 600 owners.

PIXIllate (original poster)
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#3: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

The offset dialing in process was time consuming but straightforward. I didn't need to start so low but I'd rather be sure by using a large bracket. Like I said I have video of all of the steps if it would help anyone. I wasn't sure if I would be able to accurately judge the LFBP but it became pretty obvious when looking at the clips back to back. There is something to be said for final calibration in your own environment and you are right, part of owning an E61 is knowing how to service it yourself. At least to some degree. In truth I kind of enjoyed the process and at least now I know 197 is 197 or 205 is 205.

Bottomless portafilter arrived today along with the IMS Screen and silicone gasket. I've not had issues with the VST up until now. Put in the screen and heated up the machine. Swapped the stock triple basket that came in the BPF with the VST 18g. Pulled three shots. All looked great and only the third one had a tiny spurt right at the beginning of the flow. I guess all the puck prep practice I put in on the old Gaggia paid off.

As I've said I'm not much of a milk guy so I haven't even tried the steam. I did buy some milk so hopefully I'll have time this week to give it a shot. All of my coffee arrived from IDC today so I've got some beans to work with.

GreavesManchu
Posts: 59
Joined: 4 years ago

#4: Post by GreavesManchu »

My wife and I have a 3 month old 600 (no flow control). We drink milk based drinks exclusively. The feature that sold me on the 600 was the steaming. After 19 yrs steaming with a Silvia, the 600 is awesome. When I got the machine the steam pressure was set to produce about 1.7 bars but I wanted the promised 2 bar. Turned the temp up to 270°F and Bob's your uncle . Often, if I leave the machine on for a while, the pressure creeps up to 2.1 bars.
Is there a significant difference between starting your steaming at 1.7 bars vs. 2? YES. If steaming is important to you, consider the 600.
If milk drinks aren't your thing consider this, properly steamed milk with lots of microfoam makes wonderful hot chocolate for the Gkids.

Shadowgate
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Joined: 4 years ago

#5: Post by Shadowgate »

I'm having issue with my Pro 600 shots being VERY sour. I'd love to see your calibration videos if you could post them, I suspect a temperature problem because the shot parameters don't seem to have much impact on the sourness.

PIXIllate (original poster)
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#6: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) replying to Shadowgate »

My offset was 15 from the factory and I assessed my LFBT (lowest flash boiling temperature) to be 103 after doing the tests so I raised my offset to 18. I switched the machine to C to do the test and waited 40 minutes between each 1 degree increase.

Hope this helps.

evillalon
Posts: 18
Joined: 4 years ago

#7: Post by evillalon »

I got my Pro 600 back in April. I didn't mess with any of the settings until now. I had no idea how to access the service menu of the PID until yesterday. I found out that the offset was set at 27F. The boiling point of H2O at my elevation is 209F. I was getting flash boiling at 205F (as indicated on the PID). I lowered the offset to 23. Now I'm getting flash boiling at 209. Pulled a few shots today and have very positive results. I'm using Cafe Lusso Lionshare and I can say the calibration made a pretty big difference.

Bluenoser
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#8: Post by Bluenoser »

Shadowgate wrote:I'm having issue with my Pro 600 shots being VERY sour. I'd love to see your calibration videos if you could post them, I suspect a temperature problem because the shot parameters don't seem to have much impact on the sourness.
Are you letting it warm up for 40 minutes? Manual is wrong for warm up for an E61. If you turn on and only wait 10-15 minutes the E61 is not hot and it will drag your brew water temp down, no matter what the brew PID says.

Other than that.. check your offset and then do the flash boil test from the video.

PIXIllate (original poster)
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#9: Post by PIXIllate (original poster) »

A little update. A few weeks in and I'm very satisfied I've made the right choice. The machine has worked perfectly everyday and other than having to calibrate the PID offset it has delivered as promised. I've still not begun to play with the flow control as I've been trying to sort out some issues with grind consistency.

1 and a quarter turns gets me a 7-9 second first drop and 9 bars if my grind is dialed in. Once I sort out the grinder I'm looking forward to trying 10-20 second 2-bar pre-infusions and a 7-bar declining pressure profile.

danp
Posts: 2
Joined: 4 years ago

#10: Post by danp »

Thanks for this! I too just got a Profitec 600 with flow control, here in NS. Didn't know about the offset calibration, will have to give that a go.