Why Reduce Inlet Water Pressure? - Page 3

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erics
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#21: Post by erics »

Here is the brass version of the one that Chris' Coffee sells - https://www.watts.com/pages/_products_d ... p?pid=3428 . While I agree with John as regards the trouble-free operation of the plastic version (and the reduced cost), I kinda like brass.

The regulator should be set to the desired control pressure (30-35 psi) during normal machine operation of making espresso. When the machine is simply idling, this pressure will rise; if you are flushing, the pressure will be lower. This is inherent to the operation of a pressure regulator in this price range.

As regards your initial question of "why?" - one additional reason other than the ones spelled out on the Watts website is that subjecting your boiler fill solenoid valve to a CONSTANT 80 psi would not be a healthy environment for maintaining proper boiler water level :) . For sure this valve is subjected to brew pressure every so often but that is a ~30 second adventure.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

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DigitalDave (original poster)

#22: Post by DigitalDave (original poster) »

Wow, that's a lot of information. Thanks. The only regulators I can get locally are whole-house w/1" inlets for $60 to $75. And with reducers and such, well, it gets pricey. Even the 1/2" one pointed out needs the reducers & such... Plus, this is actually for a different location, so it is a temporary installation so I can "learn". And, I am simply impatient. I suppose I could fill a 5gal bucket and put that in the kitchen too, though my wife already doesn't like the machine taking up her counter space, and the orange bucket won't look half as nice as the machine. I will wait until my CC regulator arrives sometime Wednesday.
DigitalDave

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DigitalDave (original poster)

#23: Post by DigitalDave (original poster) »

Update: Got the regulator in, and the machine works as intended. Well, somewhat as intended. Now I have to figure out the grind and the tamp, but am making stuff that looks and tastes like espresso. Funny thing, this LaSpaziale uses a 53.2mm basket, and the 53mm tampers don't quite fit. I assume lots of channeling is going on, my pours take 12 to 15 seconds. I know an older gent who was a machinist, I will see if he still has a lathe and get him to turn down a 58 to fit this basket. That seems to be the best way to get a good fit. Thanks for all the advice. I am sure to be back sooner rather than later with another duh question:)
DigitalDave

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shadowfax

#24: Post by shadowfax »

The tamper fit of a 53.0mm vs. 53.2 mm diameter piston isn't going to make a difference. For more discussion, see here and here. If you're having channeling, it's because you're either not tamping level or, more likely, you have grind distribution problems.

What grinder/coffee are you using? 12-15 second pours are beyond just channeling problems, they seem more likely indicative of a grind that is too coarse or coffee that is very stale. Can you keep tightening your grind?
Nicholas Lundgaard

wookie

#25: Post by wookie »

Your shot time should be closer to 25 seconds. Nicholas' advice is good. Having a slightly undersize tamper is not an issue. It's possible that you simply need to grind finer or that you have stale coffee. But most likely you have uneven distribution.

There are many good distribution techniques. IMO, the easiest to master is the nutating tamp which combines distribution and tamping into one step.

.

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DigitalDave (original poster)

#26: Post by DigitalDave (original poster) »

Thanks. The grind was too coarse. I went (much) finer, now takes too long (40secs), but I figured it would be easier to go coarser in small increments. Not using great coffee:) Costco. But is a great price. But we seem to have digressed from the original topic. So, to go back the original question, there is no doubt that espresso machines do not work well with 90psi of water pressure, at least this LaSpaziale that I have. They do, however, work just fine with 30psi. So, I am making progress, mostly from making mistakes and asking you all for help. Thanks!
DigitalDave

wookie

#27: Post by wookie »

DigitalDave wrote:Not using great coffee
The coffee that you are using is probably at least 3 - 4 weeks old.

How it tastes aside, it's going to be harder to get a proper pour with compared to fresh coffee. Fresh coffee is more forgiving and easier to learn with.

.

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DigitalDave (original poster)

#28: Post by DigitalDave (original poster) »

Well, I am all for that. I am, however not in a good location, I think. I am in Barstow, CA (or close enough) in the Mojave Desert. Any recommendations for an reasonable-cost fresh source that either ships or is not in LaLa land?
DigitalDave

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HB
Admin

#29: Post by HB »

Klatch Coffee (San Dismas), Ecco Caffe (Santa Rosa), and Intelligentsia Coffee (Los Angeles) are just three possibilities within one day shipping. There's plenty other west coast or near west coast roasters within two days shipping (e.g., Zoka Coffee (Seattle), PT's Coffee (Topeka), and others from List of our favorite Roasters).
Dan Kehn

westland

#30: Post by westland »

Ben Z. wrote:Don't get that crappy plastic regulator - get a good brass one. Costs are the same and you won't get a flood from a cracked body like I did.

I agree ... you can get one on eBay for around $50 (see the image, and the gauge comes with it, and connectors come in all sizes and configurations) ... they are much more reliable and robust than the plastic ones, which malfunction with regularity in my experience.



If you don't use a pressure regulator, what will happen in short order (I speak from experience) is that the plastic hose on your vibratory pump will pop off ... this is not a big problem, since you just slip it back on (after you've opened up the machine) but you don't want to do this too many times (like more than zero times)