Major Bellman stovetop steamer breakthrough! - Page 6

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
DaveB

#51: Post by DaveB »

Not to belabor the point, but the early La Pavoni machines had no means to regulate pressure when switched on high, other than a relief valve which operates as the Bellman's does. For me the sudden "singing" of the La Pavoni when it's ready has always been a key part of its immense charm.
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samuellaw178
Team HB

#52: Post by samuellaw178 »

DaveB wrote:but the early La Pavoni machines had no means to regulate pressure when switched on high
Hi Dave, I would agree the way you use it is similar to how the early Pavoni works and it can pretty safe for the Pavoni to work that way. The Pavoni's designer clearly intended it to be a pressure-relief/regulating valve and it opens at 0.8-1.0 bar (measured). On the Pavoni, the valve is a spring-balled mechanism (the higher the pressure, the more it vented). So the pressure never got much higher above 1 bar. Even if the element is left on high, the heat output from the element could not catch up with the rate of the pressure relief, hence maintaining the pressure at 1 bar (the element would fry itself first from water evaporation loss).

The valve on the Bellman on the other hand seems to be a overpressure safety valve, and safety valves tend to open at a higher pressure, likely 3 bar and above (as I said there was no hissing at 2 bar with the CX25P). If only I still keep my CX25P I could verify that. :lol:

If the other part of the steamer (e.g. seals) haven't been rated to withstand such pressure or temperature for prolonged use, there is a chance that the seals could fail prematurely outside of the original designed scope (and in this case, there is no more redundant safety feature to prevent it from exploding). I am not saying it won't work, and I could be completely wrong (gladly to be wrong), but it just seems different (and potentially dangerous) based on how I understood these work.

DaveB

#53: Post by DaveB »

Thanks for the info, Sam. I found this on Reddit, which sounds nearly identical to what happened to me the other day:

My Bellman Stovetop Steamer Exploded...

A couple posters advised leaving the steam valve slightly open to vent pressure. I have to say I was quite surprised by the force with which mine "exploded". I'm going to look into this some more, but it the meantime I think I'll be turning down the heat a bit! Incidentally, my steam wand vents a very small amount of steam with the valve closed. I can't remember if it did this when new, or if it's something that developed due to the seal aging or whatnot. But in any event it's probably a good thing!
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jgood

#54: Post by jgood »

DaveB wrote: Incidentally, my steam wand vents a very small amount of steam with the valve closed. I can't remember if it did this when new, or if it's something that developed due to the seal aging or whatnot. But in any event it's probably a good thing!
Oddly mine was venting a little steam with the valve closed (after 2 years of use) and then as soon as I ordered a new wand and valve the situation disappeared - perhaps the washer wore down a little more and sealed better. Who knew we could discuss a little steamer so much!

DamianWarS

#55: Post by DamianWarS » replying to jgood »

mine is about 1 year old and it doesn't leak any steam. when it's closed nothing comes out. I'm considering buying a different product because the lack of manometer is disappointing and it has had incidences of mini-explosions where there is a quick depressurization out of the cap that I assume had a slight pressure leak through the seal as the seals almost appear like they get sucked out.

I found this off of a local (Indonesia) online shopping place like amazon. it's about $50 USD and appears to be made from the base of a mokapot with some plumbing fixtures and a steam wand. the wands fully articulates and you can hold it on the black wrap around it... i'm not so sure about the wooden knobs but perhaps they are cooler to the touch than plastic. the whole thing looks pretty ghetto... but cool at the same time.

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Beanz

#56: Post by Beanz »

The converted Moka pot steamers have been around for a few years in Indonesia. The RED Steamer was very popular. This video gives quite a good idea of what they can achieve. In theory the Bellman should produce similar results. I have not achieved great results in the past but this thread has inspired me to dig it out and try again

DaveB

#57: Post by DaveB »

DamianWarS wrote:I found this off of a local (Indonesia) online shopping place like amazon. it's about $50 USD and appears to be made from the base of a mokapot with some plumbing fixtures and a steam wand. the wands fully articulates and you can hold it on the black wrap around it... i'm not so sure about the wooden knobs but perhaps they are cooler to the touch than plastic. the whole thing looks pretty ghetto... but cool at the same time.image
Behold the Frankensteamerâ„¢. :D

I thought the one from Thailand looked cobbled together, but this takes it to a whole new level. Still pretty cool, and I really like the idea of having a gauge. I wonder what it would take to (safely) retrofit one to a Bellman.
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DamianWarS

#58: Post by DamianWarS » replying to DaveB »

I like the gauge too, but my concern is does it have a safety relief valve? which is better, something that tells you it's about to blow up or something that vents the excess pressure so it doesn't blow up?

DamianWarS

#59: Post by DamianWarS »

Beanz wrote:The converted Moka pot steamers have been around for a few years in Indonesia. The RED Steamer was very popular. This video gives quite a good idea of what they can achieve. In theory the Bellman should produce similar results. I have not achieved great results in the past but this thread has inspired me to dig it out and try again video
I run a rep office from an outside company that is interested in investing in the Indonesian coffee market but not interested in buying $5000 equipment right now. I'm getting one of my staff trained in latte art and I want her to have something to practice with but not that expensive and something like this might do. there are better looking ones available and I've come into the name RED Steamer but there are all more money. I could also upgrade the bellman and give her the CX-25P model that's a stovetop espresso maker/steamer and with a manometer (and I'm assuming the pressure all comes from the same place). I might end up getting the upgraded bellman since it can make coffee too but it's 5 times the price but I also don't want to blow up my employees with a DIY highly pressurized unit just because it cost $50.

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SteveRhinehart

#60: Post by SteveRhinehart »

If memory serves, the relief valve in the Bellman handle should open at 1.2-1.3 bar. I will also confirm that I recommend heating the Bellman until the relief valve opens and hisses lightly. If it is vigorously spewing steam I recommend reducing the heat and maybe bleeding some pressure from the steam valve to calm things down a little. For the retro La Pavoni owners out there, I wait for the valve to hiss like it's in Min mode, not Max mode :wink:.

Here's the manual that Prima has, direct from Bellman:
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