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I recently bought a new Fracino Heavenly

 

I gave it a quick clean and then filled it (it's a hand-fill machine)

 

I have used pre-ground stuff*, and ground fresh beans (*I know this is undesirable - but it's Illy stuff, fresh and kept in an air-tight, freezer-based, tin...)

 

I regularly wipe the various components and run water through the head/portafilter to keep it clean, I have also backflushed (is that what you call it?) with water on a fairly regular basis...

 

BUT...

 

There's a weird taste to the espresso, it's a sort of bitter taste with the smell of stale coffee (but the coffee that goes in is definitely not stale smelling).

 

All I can think is that it's something in the water, or the machine, or I am doing the whole thing wrong. All suggestions gratefully received...

 

Thanks in anticipation

 

Please note: I have posted on multiple forums to try to work this out as quickly as possible!


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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Hello,

 

How recently was the machine bought?

 

I had a similar experience to this last weekend, my machine had been idle for 3 weeks, I set it up, used fresh coffee, but the espresso was disgusting...I tried a few different things but could see my technique was the same.

 

In the end I flushed about 6 litres of water through the machine and this solved the sour taste, I came to the conclusion that watter sits and stagnates in the boiler if left too long.

 

I'm pretty sure this was the simple case for me, however you'd have to find out how much water your boiler holds and assess how much water you've put through the machine. (Other guys here will have a better idea of boiler capacities)

 

Failing this, you said you've back flushed with water, maybe try something with detergent and a descaler (all depending on the material of your boiler)

 

Good vid on how to keep everything clean plus some other great vids.

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Firstly, welcome to Coffee Forums UK

 

A few questions to help identify what the issue may be

 

Are you using water straight from the tap or running it through a Brita Filter or similar?

 

Have you descaled the machine at all since you have owned it?

 

Have you used any cleaning solution such as Puly Caff, Cafiza, Full Circle or Joe Glo in the baskets?

 

Have you removed the showerscreen and cleaned behind it?

 

Have you left the steam wand in milk or water at any stage?

 

Lastly, where are you based?


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I had a similar experience to this last weekend, my machine had been idle for 3 weeks, I set it up, used fresh coffee, but the espresso was disgusting...I tried a few different things but could see my technique was the same.

 

In the end I flushed about 6 litres of water through the machine and this solved the sour taste, I came to the conclusion that watter sits and stagnates in the boiler if left too long.

 

Failing this, you said you've back flushed with water, maybe try something with detergent and a descaler (all depending on the material of your boiler)

 

 

Thanks, that's a brilliant, v. helpful response, just run 5/6 litres through and it seems better though not perfect - I'm going to get some cleaner I think - I don't suppose you have any recommendations on a good (simple to use) cleaner, do you please?

Edited by Jon

The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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Are you using water straight from the tap or running it through a Brita Filter or similar?

 

Have you descaled the machine at all since you have owned it?

 

Have you used any cleaning solution such as Puly Caff, Cafiza, Full Circle or Joe Glo in the baskets?

 

Have you removed the showerscreen and cleaned behind it?

 

Have you left the steam wand in milk or water at any stage?

 

Lastly, where are you based?

 

Thanks for your response!

 

I have a Brita filter and only use filtered water

 

No descaling

 

No cleaning with solutions (yet)

 

Er, is the showerscreen the gauzy bit? If so, no I haven't...

 

I always blast the steam wand through with water and wipe it down when I've used it, once a day I blast it into a glass of cold water too...

 

I'm in Maidstone, Kent


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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So would I just add these cleaners to the water tank and run through the machine, please?


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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Thanks for your honest answers

 

How To Guides can be found here (disclaimer: I wrote them)

 

Products that will be of use are;

Descaling (something like this or this)

Backflushing (something like this or this)

 

Take off all metal parts and soak in the backflushing solution - then rinse very well with warm water before adding back onto your machine

 

Hope this is of assistance to get you started

 

You'll notice the difference immediately after cleaning


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You'll notice the difference immediately after cleaning

 

Thanks - even though it's a new machine you'll think I'll see a difference? It may have been sitting in the shop for some years I think...

 

If so, great, thanks for your help...


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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It should do. Was it an ex-demo? Was the boiler emptied before storing it?


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Not ex-demo (as far as I know) but could be...

 

Erm, again, not sure... It was dry when I got it I think (but that could be uber-evaporation?)


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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Whilst waiting for the cleaning products to arrive (assuming you have ordered them already), pop out and pick up some Volvic mineral water and run that through your machine.

 

See what the taste is like after using that (after flushing / drawing all the previous water out)

 

This way you are giving yourself a fighting chance of solving the problem, by eliminating one of the problems.

 

If this works, you'll still need the cleaning products as part of the routine should be rigorous cleaning


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Thanks again Glenn...

 

Ordered Cafiza and Puly Baby.

 

Ta.


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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Hi

 

I picked up some Cafiza and Dezcal from Coffeehit today (I was nearby and was hoping to be able to make nice coffee this weekend...!)

 

Alas, much cleaning and passing water through the machine my coffee is still coming out horribly bitter.

 

This is most distressing: the worst coffee I have ever made is coming out of the most expensive machine I have owned, which shows it's more about the skill of the owner than the machine (and I'm sadly lacking!).

 

Please help me if you can!

 

Thanks.


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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A little update: I've read a few posts, and realised that the single filter is a no-no amongst many of you lot...

 

I've tried the double, but if anything it tastes worst, more bitter and face-screwingly unpleasant. Go figure.

 

All suggestions welcome and gratefully received.


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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What temperature is the group set at?

Perhaps it's set too low?


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No idea, some of the shots (the second to last, for example) came out insanely hot, to the point I was pondering whether it could have been burnt, so I don't think it would be too low (but to be fair I have no idea!)

 

Is the temperature something I should be able to control, there's nothing external to tweak (would it be inside?)...


The Artist Formerly Known As 'jonc' | All the gear, almost no idea.

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A little update: I've read a few posts, and realised that the single filter is a no-no amongst many of you lot...

 

I've tried the double, but if anything it tastes worst, more bitter and face-screwingly unpleasant. Go figure.

 

All suggestions welcome and gratefully received.

 

Keep and eye out for blonding. Using the double over the single will require a slightly different technique.

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Can you tell us a bit about the shots you're pulling?

 

What coffee are you using? Is it the Illy (and is it tasting worse than your previous results?)

 

What kind of weight of coffee are you using each time?

 

How long does it take from switching the pump on to switching it off? (total shot time)


Mahlkonig Vario, Dualit grinder, V60 (paper & cloth filters), 1-3 cup Chemex, Porlex Grinder, Kantans, Kalita Wave, Bodum French press, Various Ibriks, Turkish Coffee Hand Grinder, Bialetti Mini Express, Moka Pot, AeroPress, TCA-5 syphon and lots of tasty coffee :drink:

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Just had an idea, could be a stupid question BUT,----do you purge the grouphead before putting on the portafilter and are you getting water out not just steam. I'm thinking maybe you burn the grounds with steam!!!!!!!

 

Ian


Minima ma ma ma Eureka Zenith

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