Faema Lambro Brew Temperature

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#1: Post by vberch »

I have been playing with the thermosyphon and boiler pressure on the Lambro all weekend. I ended up with rotating the thermosyphon adjustment rod half a turn and lowered boiler pressure, so it cycles from 0.65 to 0.85 Bar. I borrowed a Scace from a friend of mine and pulled over 200 shots (some with coffee to confirm data with my taste buds). Whew! :)

It was very time consuming since I had to wait until the group cools down and has no water in it until you can adjust the thermosyphon, otherwise it spits boiling water all over the place. I ended up lowering extraction temperature 4.5 degrees. It starts with pre-infusion at 202, starts at 201 - 202 and goes down to 196 at the end of the pull.

Here are my 16 shots I just pulled (I don't have a datalogger with Scace, so I videotape it and then record the data):

So bottom line, as long as there are 6 minutes or more between shots, it maintains this profile (pre-infusion at 202, pull starts at 201 - 202 and goes down to 196 at the end of the pull), shot after shot all day long. If you pull back to back shots, temperature raises 1 - 2 degrees per shot.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I wonder if it is possible to adjust thermosyphon, so it rebounds (meaning group cools down) faster.


#2: Post by Miami_AJ »

very interesting...Looks like you dialed the machine to your specific taste bud.

And in a home setting, it would be rare to be pulling more than one shot within the 6 minutes.

Very well done


#3: Post by Kfir »

Tell me about time consuming temp measurements ;-)

Very nice work and impressive performance!

Regarding the group temp recovering after a shot, 6 minutes seems a lot of time if I compare it to the 2 minutes recovery the Londinium.
I guess it's very much related to that TS restrictor, with the flow reduced it probably affects the recovery time.

With such low boiler pressure I think you can open it up more and the see what happens.
I also suggest to attach a TC to the side of the group like we did on the Londinium thread to monitor the group temp.

From what I have seen on my machine an idle temp in the range of 82-85c gives the best results.
Your machine may require a different setting but I think it's a good place to start.


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#4: Post by vberch (original poster) »

Thanks Kfir!

I am going to attach a thermometer to the group, I just have to remove it from my Cremina.

There is conflicting information about the way thermosyphon is adjusted on Faema Lambro/Zodiaco group. Some say, you can rotate the restrictor rod (slotted rod) behind the group and some say that this accomplishes nothing and that Faema used to make different sizes of restrictor rods to control the flow. Hmm...

Does anyone have any experience adjusting the thermosyphon on the Zodiaco group? Come on guys, it's been in production for the last 60 years. Someone knows how to adjust it :).

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#5: Post by erics »

I do not believe the thermosyphon, by itself, is adjustable. That "adjustment rod" controls the rate at which the group will fill during the pre-infusion segment.

See this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6CWzFDHKXM

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

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#6: Post by vberch (original poster) »

Hi Eric,

I think you are talking about the adjustment behind the group on the bottom. I am talking about the screw behind the group on top.

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#7: Post by orphanespresso »

I have been working on a Faema with the same Lambro group (Zodiaco) and have been trying to figure out the Faema design logic for that top nut and brass "metering rod " that is attached to the nut. As you know there is no mechanism to actually adjust the nut and rod. The lower part of the rod is 1/2 round and no matter what orientation it is installed the functional opening of the passage between the upper and lower TS pipes in the back of the group is the same. The nut can be shimmed higher and lower but again, when looking at it this seems to not make any difference. So I don't think the TS is adjustable with this rod and can't find any other smaller rods to install to allow a faster flow. The metering rod seems to act as a restrictor and I assume it is remove able mainly for descaling/service or replacement if it gets corroded.
Also, it may be that to manufacture the group they may have drilled from above to create the passage for the TS service and then added the restrictor rod and top cap to finish the drill hole. Just a theory.

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#8: Post by vberch (original poster) »

Doug, in your opinion, what is the optimal boiler pressure for the Lambro? What is your modus operandi for the Lambro? How long do you warm up the machine before the first shot? What maintenance schedule do you recommend for the Zodiaco group?

Any and all words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!

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#9: Post by orphanespresso »

As far as the day to day workings of the Lambro....pstat setting, warmup time etc...I am not the best source since I restored the machine and used it a few days before that feeling of falling in love set in. It now lives in South Carolina and I think that the owner has used it for a few years and could likely have a lot more to say about these things than I could.

but generally about the Zodiaco group and the old Faema group in general: The dispersion screen is shaped in such a way that it is amenable to updosing quite a bit. I usually get the best behaviour when compacting the coffee bed against the screen, leaving no space between the screen and the puck. I usually wipe out the cylinder and lubricate about once a month and change the piston seals about once every 6 months more or less. I change the portafilter gasket when the portafilter locks in at about 5;30 instead of the 6 o'clock position. These seal and gasket renewals are easy for me of course since I have a whole drawer full of them, but overall the seals are not expensive. You can tell when you need new piston seals because there will be a drip on warmup or even a leak out the top so I change them just to avoid breakdowns. Also, when I change the seals I check all of the piston face holes (clean them out) and do a general wipedown and cleaning of the piston face and body.

the original vintage portafilter is often too shallow to accommodate triple baskets but the new manufacture of the old style bumpy grip pf is deep enough to take a triple basket, which we prefer since we split the shots into two cups.

We have used the same Faema Velox for about 4 years and have never replaced the dispersion screen. I have wiped off the grease on the bearings and upper part of the piston rod once and relubricated the bearings and upper parts but not as usual maintenance. I have used the same lever top bumpers for the 4 years as well.

Overall there is very little maintenance to do but to keep an eye on the piston seals and pf gasket.

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#10: Post by vberch (original poster) »

Thank you very much, Doug! I really appreciate it!!!

Everyone else with Lambro experience, please chime in! I know there are more of us out there! :)

How do you use yours? What are your boiler settings? What temperatures do you prefer, anything else you feel appropriate...