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43 minutes ago, Alex_L said:

Hmmmm. When I first noticed the dripping I hand tightened it which stopped that but could still notice a hiss after steaming so used a wrench to tighten about half a turn further. My assumption being it shouldn’t be hissing by design (I asked Bella baristas opinion but never heard back). Given how new it is I assume the o-ring can’t have gone already (taking account obviously that I haven’t lubricated it in the 4 months I’ve had it)?  

Well yes it can have gone if you never lubricated it, and played it like a fiddle when cold...of course it could just be dry...you whip that nut off and ave a good look, give it a good lube including any nylon white washer at the top, the top of the ball joint and see how you go after a bit of TLC

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I think there's this post which already has done a great job for the MaraX - I am quoting a bit of it at the bottom of this post, which details what tools are needed. Essentially, the same would apply

awesome to see the level of assistance on the forum 🙂 

Here it is, pride of place in a new kitchen.

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6 hours ago, DavecUK said:

Well yes it can have gone if you never lubricated it, and played it like a fiddle when cold...of course it could just be dry...you whip that nut off and ave a good look, give it a good lube including any nylon white washer at the top, the top of the ball joint and see how you go after a bit of TLC

It’s on from 5am - 11pm everyday so never touched cold so will see how it’s looking. 

It’s a great machine but the manual is somewhat lacking on maintenance instructions. I’ve noted the following from my own reading and looking at the lelit YouTube channel: 

- cleaning and sterilising the water tank

- disassembling and lubricating the e61 after chemical back flush

- Shower screen cleaning  

- NEW: ball joint lubrication for steam / water taps

Are there any other regular maintenance tasks I should be completing? 

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@Alex_L a few, I'm a bit busy with manufacturer feedback at the mo, but have a look at my morning coffee series on YouTube, specially about the shower screen.

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@DavecUK Thank you. I’ll take a look but I’ve been following the shower screen one regularly since I got it. I will for my own sanity put together a list of maintenance tasks for the Bianca as there doesn’t seem to be a consolidated one. 

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5 minutes ago, Alex_L said:

@DavecUK Thank you. I’ll take a look but I’ve been following the shower screen one regularly since I got it. I will for my own sanity put together a list of maintenance tasks for the Bianca as there doesn’t seem to be a consolidated one. 

Oh just remembered, maintain the paddle system I did a review of the paddle system on my review site an linked to a video as well.

Very important.

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Hi Bianca owners... 

After much research I’m thinking of pulling the trigger on a Bianca. 
 

im aware it’s well stocked with ‘extras’ as standard but wondered what other upgrades/accessories current owners would recommend please?

e.g. are IMS screens/VST baskets worth it?

also heard a wifi plug is essential. 

anythjng else?

Also... I won’t plumb the machine in for a while. Therefore my water option at the moment is a Peak Water jug - anyone know how good this is vs. bottled water vs. RO system like an osmio? Conscious I feed the machine decent water from the outset. (I live in Bristol which has relatively hard water). 
 

thanks for any advice/thoughts folks 

chris 👍🏼

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Hi Chris

I would suggest using the stock screen and baskets to start with as they are very good and you'll get excellent results with those.

Wi-Fi plug is handy but not required.  I've often forgotten to start the machine after getting distracted but fortunately the heat-up time is very good on the Bianca.

Decent grinder, a set of scales that measure to 0.1g accuracy (I have the inexpensive Brifit ones), knock box and optionally a leveller and you're good to go.  Oh and an old takeaway container when cleaning the shower head and unused paintbrush to clean baskets after de-puck (tips from watching Dave's videos).

In terms of water I'm using bottled Volvic.  There's a few topics on this forum with other recommendations.  I'd go the Osmio route but counter-space in the kitchen is becoming limited.

Hope that helps.

Alpesh

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@benoit3000: I swapped the shower screen for an IMS screen. Probably it compensates a bit the lack of my technique. I also use 18 and 20g VST. But they do require a precise workflow. The stock basket for the start worked perfect. For my personal use a WiFi Plug isn't needed. It heats up fairly quickly. I use a BWT filter jug.  

Tamper etc. come with the machine. I only purchased a Lelit distribution tool and a WDT-Tool of Etsy. Last one matches the wood of the machine nicely.

 

 

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9 hours ago, benoit3000 said:

Hi Bianca owners... 

After much research I’m thinking of pulling the trigger on a Bianca. 
 

im aware it’s well stocked with ‘extras’ as standard but wondered what other upgrades/accessories current owners would recommend please?

e.g. are IMS screens/VST baskets worth it?

also heard a wifi plug is essential. 

anythjng else?

Also... I won’t plumb the machine in for a while. Therefore my water option at the moment is a Peak Water jug - anyone know how good this is vs. bottled water vs. RO system like an osmio? Conscious I feed the machine decent water from the outset. (I live in Bristol which has relatively hard water). 
 

thanks for any advice/thoughts folks 

chris 👍🏼

Shower screen - not convinced it makes much difference , may last longer ? I swapped mine out . In general depth and height of screen has a bigger effect with headroom than nanotechnology. 

VST baskets - more holes bigger surface area , allows for a finer grind and longer low flow ( if you are doing that ) . Will you taste a difference, entirely subjective. I have used nothing but VST baskets for about 8 yeas now , so know no other . 

WiFi plug, - i have mine in Eco mode , takes what 1-2 mins to get to stream power so dont use it. 

The Bianca with its paddle is as hard or easy as you want to make it. The pre programmed pre infusion is a waste of time , I’d skip using that, all you are doing it turning the pump on and off. 

 

Edited by Mrboots2u
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1 hour ago, Mrboots2u said:

. The pre programmed pre infusion is a waste of time , I’d skip using that, all you are doing it turning the pump on and off. 

 

How come? Surely it can all be done (and more)via the paddle, but in case you couldn't be fussed on some days (or, if you wanted to use the paddle to focus on other aspects such as declining pressure towards the end of a shot), wouldn't you benefit from having a long "pump on" electronic preinfusion anyway, also considering that it would be far more "repeatable" than using the paddle?

Apologies if the question is silly as I'm rather inexperienced, I would've thought that the electronic preinfusion could be very useful to be used in conjunction with the paddle.

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38 minutes ago, Baffo said:

How come? Surely it can all be done (and more)via the paddle, but in case you couldn't be fussed on some days (or, if you wanted to use the paddle to focus on other aspects such as declining pressure towards the end of a shot), wouldn't you benefit from having a long "pump on" electronic preinfusion anyway, also considering that it would be far more "repeatable" than using the paddle?

Apologies if the question is silly as I'm rather inexperienced, I would've thought that the electronic preinfusion could be very useful to be used in conjunction with the paddle.

 

The paddle is repeatable , people seem to get hung up on trying to hit the same pressure and the gauge , what the paddle does is controlling flow , not pump pressure . They assume If they dint hit the same pressure in the same position than its the paddles fault. The 

You can put the paddle in the same position for two shots, but if you are using different grinds and doses it will register different pressures on the group head gauge as this is a fucnction of the flow versus resistance the coffee and the puck produces . 

Turning the pump of on and off is only doing so at 9 bar and with the flow set to one flow so are you setting it to a long low flow all the way through the shot ? You can use it but i don’t find it an easier but give it a go. 

If you want a loving preinfsuion stick a low flow on with the paddle then open it up when you want. 

 

Edited by Mrboots2u
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10 hours ago, Alpesh said:

Hi Chris

I would suggest using the stock screen and baskets to start with as they are very good and you'll get excellent results with those.

Wi-Fi plug is handy but not required.  I've often forgotten to start the machine after getting distracted but fortunately the heat-up time is very good on the Bianca.

Decent grinder, a set of scales that measure to 0.1g accuracy (I have the inexpensive Brifit ones), knock box and optionally a leveller and you're good to go.  Oh and an old takeaway container when cleaning the shower head and unused paintbrush to clean baskets after de-puck (tips from watching Dave's videos).

In terms of water I'm using bottled Volvic.  There's a few topics on this forum with other recommendations.  I'd go the Osmio route but counter-space in the kitchen is becoming limited.

Hope that helps.

Alpesh

Thanks a lot @Alpesh - I have scales and a grinder so all set there. Knock box a good shout though. 

ive heard mixed things on the leveller - you got one? Recommend it?  

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I noticed by using a leveller only, it creates a flat surface on the top but not through the entire coffee bed. I often had the problem with levelling and tamping only that dry spots occurred or the flow rate was different on various spots. By including WDT (stirring the grounds), it mixes up nice and fluffy and solves that problem.

At least this is my personal preference. I am sure barista professionals will have mixed opinions. From tapping, levelling, nutating etc. I personally think levelers are a bit waste of money. I bought 2 expensive ones but only really use them to create a flat bed for tamping. But without them, it's harder to tamp evenly.

Once you are on the gear, I am sure you'll go through all the stages and investing in some sort of leveller will be a path one considers at some point. 

I would go for a leveller instantly and leave the WDT for later. If you do struggle with distribution and extraction problems followed by it, you can look into WDT. 

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40 minutes ago, benoit3000 said:

Thanks a lot @Alpesh - I have scales and a grinder so all set there. Knock box a good shout though. 

ive heard mixed things on the leveller - you got one? Recommend it?  

I was skeptical at first but then bought the Lelit leveller 58.55mm from Bella Barista and see less channelling and greater consistency as a result.

I also tamp very lightly with finger tips only and polish after levelling - the tamper that comes with the Bianca is good in my opinion. Mixed opinion of whether there is a need to tamp as well but I prefer to.

I don’t do WDT (yet) as I’m getting pretty consistent results without but let’s see still early days.

This is the leveller I bought (mid-priced😞

https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/brands/lelit-58mm-levelling-tool-1.html

Regards

Alpesh

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On 18/02/2021 at 00:05, Alex_L said:

@DavecUK Thank you. I’ll take a look but I’ve been following the shower screen one regularly since I got it. I will for my own sanity put together a list of maintenance tasks for the Bianca as there doesn’t seem to be a consolidated one. 

@Alex_L - if you do pull together a maintenance list could you share it - i just pulled the trigger on ordering a Bianca and it would save me a job 🙂  

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On 19/02/2021 at 11:54, jonr2 said:

@Alex_L - if you do pull together a maintenance list could you share it - i just pulled the trigger on ordering a Bianca and it would save me a job 🙂  

I think there's this post which already has done a great job for the MaraX - I am quoting a bit of it at the bottom of this post, which details what tools are needed. Essentially, the same would apply to the Bianca. We can use it as a starting point. It lays down what to buy (Puly Caff, a wrench, lubricant), and has a few links. 

@DavecUK YouTube's channel has a few videos that cover routine maintenance items that apply to all machines, such as Removing & Cleaning E61 shower screen (he suggests it be done every couple days) after-shot cleaningE61 cam lubrication (every 4-8 weeks I assume, depending on how often you backflush with detergent). And in general plenty of videos about cleaning such as this.

The below + the above is probably covering most if not all bases. But probably:

After every shot: brush grouphead and pf (I'm lazy so probably would do this at the end of every day)

At the end of every day: backflush with water only

Every 2-4 days: clean shower screen. Dave will cringe at the "4 days" scenario, so let's pretend I said "every other day". 

Every few weeks: backflush with detergent and then lubricate cam lever. Immerse PF in hot water with detergent as well. @DavecUK, would you say this can be stretched to 8 weeks or more, provided that daily water backflush is adhered to?

Every few months: probably so many other things other than the steam ball joint lubrication.

Ideally either this could be edited into the initial post, or a similar could be created with a "starter guide". 

 

Maintenance

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