Vibiemme Domobar Super/E-61 tips

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Randy G.

#1: Post by Randy G. »

A couple of quick observations and tips on the VBM (which probably are relevant to most all E-61's). I think these have been covered here and there, but I thought I would reiterate:

- Backflushing is a good thing, but not sufficient on its own. The shower screen has to be removed occasionally. If you have the original screen (the one with the spot-riveted retaining ring around the perimeter of the screen itself) you cannot pry against that ring or it will peel off damaging the screen assembly. To remove it, use a slot screwdriver as a lever, but turn it so the tip is perpendicular to the screen's body and using the brewhead as a fulcrum, pry against the side of the screen's body itself so that the edge of the screwdriver's tip digs into the body just a bit. This will cause a small dent in the body of the screen but will leave it very much reusable.

I finally got to that this morning and although there was less crud up there than I generally experienced with Silvia, there was still some crud on the inside of the screen and a thin layer on the brewhead.

- I know it has been dealt with over and over, but if you are using the stock double basket, "under dosing" results in such improved taste when compared to filling the basket to capacity I can't overstate its importance (Thanks, Ken!). This should be more accurately referred to as "correct dosing." Leaving sufficient headspace allows the coffee to expand and allows fines to migrate downwards before the coffee can possibly run out of expansion space by hitting the shower screen (which is a bad thing anyway, if for no other reason than the mess it creates).

I clicked one finer on Rocky and dosed a bit less than usual and pulled a couple of doubles this morning that really tasted great. Overdosing is an old habit I have from years with Silvia and it is taking some doing to get over that, but "proper dosing" is making a difference that is dramatically noticeable in the cup.
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pauljolly65

#2: Post by pauljolly65 »

Randy,

I couldn't agree more on both counts. I've settled in on 14g in the stock double basket & the espresso is marvelous: as bright and smoky as I would wish, with surprisingly thick chocolate and full body (this is a home-made blend I've been roasting).

I too backflush every couple of days and do so with GloJoe every couple of weeks. Then I pried off the screen...only to find the gunk you've referred to lurking both on the topside of the screen as well as on the showerhead. A good washing with a sponge cleared things up. It reinforces the point that a clean machine makes significantly better espresso.

However, I'd like to hear about cooling flushes from those of you who have Eric's grouphead-mounted thermocouple. I don't have one, and I've been watching the water dance to gauge when to stop the flush. Dan's earlier reviews of the Domobar gave a good insight into just how stable the temperature is and how excessive flushing would/could work to one's detriment. Let's hear from those of you who've watched the temps AND the dance...where have you found a sweet spot?

Cheers,
Paul