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PD2020

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About PD2020

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  1. Hehe. Yeah, there have been positive comments about the roastery here in the forums. Well, if no one local raises their hand within a couple of days, I'll be happy to send the beans for the price of the postage.
  2. Hi I've bought Nee Caffeine Hinny decaf beans to learn about dark roast, but it turns out they're too dark for my taste. https://www.tynemouthcoffee.com/product/beans/nee-caffeine-hinny/ I've got 0.5kg to give for free to somebody who's willing to come to Bromley by Bow tube station in London. They were roasted about 2 weeks ago so should be nice and fresh. Hope you'll enjoy them 🙂
  3. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi Mexes, Thanks. And yes, it has always pumped the water, just a little bit a time, during the initial 30 min warmup and I think anytime really. It's what another_jim wrote in his review on Home Barista - that's how MaraX prevents thermosyphon stalls. My newbie gut feeling is that our problem of idling too high is either not stall related, or perhaps it is but the stall is recreated every single time by something occurring only in the initial 30 min warmup.
  4. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi Mexes, I have flushed 500ml of cool water through the group head first thing in the morning today. As expected the machine was ready to use after around 30 min and idling at 0.5-0.7 bar of steam pressure. I made myself a latte, turned MaraX off and 3 hour later I turned it back on again. It's been running now for about 2.5 hours and it's idling at 0.7-1.4 bar. That means the 0.5L flush hasn't really changed anything and I still need to flush some water every single time I turn the machine on to get to the expected idle stability of 0.5-0.7 bar. From what I understand other people don't face this, it seems it's currently just the of us. If you don't mind, please try *not to* flush 20-30 ml when you turn your machine on to, just let it start and see what happens with the steam pressure. I have a feeling the trick of running 0.5L cold water through the group head hasn't really changed anything for me, or in other words - I might have as well run 30 ml and would have achieved the same effect.
  5. PD2020

    Mara X

    Love it. Thank you so much, Mexes. I'll give it a go tomorrow.
  6. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi Mexes, With my MaraX when I turn the machine on it reaches 0.5-0.7 bar after approximately 30 minutes. That's the normal level of steam pressure stability. However if I don't do any shots and let the machine run, then after 45-60 min or so (I should probably measure the exact time point), the steam pressure weirdly auto-decides to move up and stabilises not around the expected 0.5-0.7 but instead something like 0.9-1.5 etc (again, exact values I'd have to measure). And it just sits at that higher level of pressure stability until I let some water out of the grouphead. This is in fact my workaround - to let some water out of the group head. As soon as you do that, you'll see the expected steam pressure boost (the machine is helpfully anticipating milk steaming) and you'll have to wait the usual 15 minutes for the machine to stabilise again. Whatever the steam pressure was, now it will come back to 0.5-0.7 bar, and it will stay at the 0.5-0.7 bar territory for the whole day, as expected (except of course for the temporary 15 min boost anticipating some milk steaming after every shot to come). It doesn't matter if I leave the machine on until the evening, or pull shots at random times during the day, it will always come back to the 0.5-0.7 level (eventually) and stay there. This trick seems to work at any point of time. I've done it at the 30 min time point and it came back to the expected level of stability at 0.5-0.7. I've done it at 1h time point when MaraX was sitting at the higher level of stability (0.9-1.5 bar), and it helped it to come back to the range of 0.5-0.7. I think I tried letting some water out immediately after turning the machine on and that works too (I should try that again to confirm it). You just gotta do it once and you're good. In other words as soon as I run some water through the group head, it becomes super predictable. I don't see it as a big issue because either: - I make my coffee 30 min after turning the machine on and then turn it off (weekdays when I work), - or I leave the machine on for the whole day to practise making espresso in which case I start the day by letting some water out of the grouphead and then it always eventually stabilises around 0.5-0.7 bar during the day I hope this makes some sense. Let me know if this is the same issue you're facing please. Edit: I'm happy to record a video or a timelapse of this during the weekend, if you find it would help to make things clearer
  7. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi Rira, I'm new to the world of espresso, MaraX is my first machine, Niche - the first grinder. And I am getting into similar time range as yours. Here's couple of examples. 1. Beans: Rave Chatswood (darker roast), rested 10 days, currently approaching 1 month since the roast date https://ravecoffee.co.uk/products/chatswood-blend?variant=3151005548570 18g in - 35g out - in 26s Temperature switch at 0, basket VST 18g, Niche grind setting 18 (used to be around 12 before I cleaned/calibrated it as per DaveC's video; not that the number matters really), grind into the cup, transfer the grinds to the portafilter with a funnel, stir with cocktail stick to get nice fluffy grinds, make the surface "putting green" like with the cocktail stick, 2 gentle taps on the right side of the portafilter, 2 gentle taps on the left, 2 horizontal taps on the rubber mat to collapse air bubbles, tamp evenly with the red Lelit MaraX tamper 58.5, remove the leftover grinds from the rim and the lugs of the portafilter, gently stick the portafilter into the grouphead and immediately start the shot, put the glass on my scales, observe the bottomless portafilter produce a nice even tiger-striped extraction (that tends to be the norm since I introduced WDT/stirring), cut the shot at 35g. Rinse and repeat on different grind settings to find the balanced spot between sour/bitter. I have to say that I've got some consistency now and I get repeatable taste/time out of this workflow. I don't really have a frame of reference, but I have had some lovely lattes and occasionally quite drinkable espresso, mostly with some minor bitter undertone (I'm not espresso drinker yet, so maybe you wouldn't feel that "bitter"). I think the lattes are comparable to some of my favourite coffee shops, e.g. Notes at Canary Wharf in London. They huge improvement for me has been introduction of WDT/stirring the grinds. My guess is that I grind finer that the videos on the Internet, and when I tried distributing by tapping the sides of the portafilter, the grinds were becoming really rigid and would eventually not move; you would also see cracks creating between the grinds if trying to force a move with a slightly stronger than the usual tap. It's as if they were ground too fine, and stick more easily; rather than having nice movable sandy texture. But when I move towards that coarser texture, the shot gushes out super quick. 2. Beans: Rave Decaf (medium/dark roast): rested 10 days, currently approaching 1 month since the roast date https://ravecoffee.co.uk/collections/espresso-coffee-beans/products/seasonal-decaf-blend?variant=3160903417882 15.5g in -> 31g out - in 22s Same prep-up but the basket is VST 15g, finer grind setting (currently Niche setting 15, and 9 before I cleaned/calibrated the grinder), I avoid any gentle side taps because the grind is so fine it's going to create cracks/channels, just one most gentle vertical tap on the rubber mat, the rest pretty much the same. Again mostly nice even extraction with some tigery special effects 😉 Lattes really lovely. With these beans I once pulled off my best espresso ever. It had zero bitterness and zero sourness, perfectly balanced, slightly sweet, both me and my girlfriend being latte-drinkers enjoyed the espresso on its own without milk. The time was the usual 22s but it was ground coarser at Niche's 15.5 setting. I tried to repeat it but usually 15.5 gushes too quickly. Again, once dialed in I get nice consistent results and repeatable time, so I think the technique is okay. I find the beans a bit moody however, and they need re-dialing-in every day - as opposed to Chatswood which is more constant. Maybe that depends on temperature or humidity, not sure. 3. Other comments I use Osmio Water which I slightly remineralise with sodium bicarb and epsom salts to the SCAA recommended level. Output being KH40, GH 68, TDS always around 110. The temperature switch is set to 0 (low). The eco-energy-saving mode is turned off. The machine is in the MaraX mode (not the plain HX mode). I tried reducing the pump pressure by tweaking the OPV down from 10.2 to 9.5 against a blind basket. Not sure it made a major difference. Beans are kept in ceramic Airscape containers, about 40cm away from the machine which as any E61 produces emits some warmth and I imagine humidity. I'm using IMS35 Shower screen and the red Cafelat silicone gasket (because it's meant to be better for cleaning). I clean all the baskets and the shower every day with liquid soap and toothbrush, follow my series of shots with a water backflush, last weekend I performed my first Cafiza backflush after a month of using the machine; followed up by re-lubing the cam with Molykote 111. My goal now is get the clarity of flavour and balance that I have once managed to pull off with the Decaf beans. Not sure why shot times are shorter to what, for example, DaveC reported (around 35-38s). Big question mark is why I struggle with palm tapping on the sides on the portafilter because the grinds seem to stick...
  8. PD2020

    Mara X

    Thanks Dave. Will do. Remember this post when you see your bank account balance unexpectedly jump up somewhere in a year from now - that's me buying Puly.
  9. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi, I remember DaveC saying somewhere that he recommends PulyCafe for chemical backflush. I still have a nearly full tube of Cafiza left. Would it be OK to use it up on MaraX or should I rather switch to PulyCafe? Cheers.
  10. PD2020

    Mara X

    Hi Jason. It's compatible and in fact one of the recommended ones. I've been using VST with my Marax too :-)
  11. PD2020

    Mara X

    After draining the steam boiler this way and refilling it with fresh Osmio water, the TDS is now just under 100. Before the draining it was 180-220 and I've been using this new MaraX only since Tuesday (mostly practising making espresso and not using steam or water taps) It seems that the TDS increases really fast. Makes me wonder how often I should be repeating the draining procedure...
  12. PD2020

    Mara X

    Thank you MediumRoastSteam 🙂 May I ask why water has to be heated up first? You're right about the pump kicking in if machine not switched off. I did that today (oh, joys of being a newb ;-))
  13. PD2020

    Mara X

    1) Do you recommend to drain the boiler every now and then to prevent the mineral build up? I'm using Osmio Zero water but if I make mostly non-milk based drinks, I imagine I will end up with much higher TDS water in the boiler, is that right? 2) If so, how often should I drain it? I remember Rob1 said he's drinking his ACS Minima boiler every couple of weeks or so. Not sure if it's relevant but that's a dual boiler machine. 3) Also, what's a good way to drain the boiler? Just using the hot water tap all the way until empty and then let the pump refill? 4) How can I test the water in the boiler? Is it ok to use the hot water tap and use a TDS reader on the sample? Edit: I have just checked my hot water tap sample had a TDS of 220 (originally Osmio water I put in had around 60-70). And I only received the machine on Tuesday.
  14. PD2020

    Mara X

    What is the difference between the pressure on the Marax's built-in Pump Pressure Manometer vs the pressure on the Group Manometer (I understand that's the one from the Profitec or Lelit Profiling Kit, a.k.a. the paddle)? Are the values of Pump Pressure or Group Pressure identical for the out-of-box Marax? I've seen in videos demonstrating pressure profiling that Pump Pressure and Group Pressure have different values, but is that the case only for machines with the profiling kit installed? Thank you
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