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Singing flow control's praises


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I am genuinely surprised at how few posts I see around the forum (or have I just missed them?) on the benefits of flow control in general (independent of pressure control). I've had the ECM flow control kit on my Classika PID for the past week or so and it's been nothing but a game changer. 

My ristrettos (1:1, Mediterranean Mocha from Compass) used to be pretty decent but variable on my modded and PID'ed Gaggia Classic (intensely sweet and praline-forward shots were fairly sporadic). Upgraded to the stock Classika, and as expected, no significant difference. Bought the flow control kit, popped it on, and pulled shots starting at the stock flow rate (6-8 ml/s) with a ramp down - this made a small difference but nothing to write home about. Next, started my shots with half the original flow rate (3-4 ml/s) but still full pressure (9 bar) and a ramp down. Total game changer. Every single shot since then's been (1) the sweet and praline shots I lust after and (2) incredibly repeatable with very little variation in taste.

Now very curious to see how February's Niche (upgrading from an SJ) is going to improve things.

Long story short - if you're on the fence about picking up a flow control kit, go for it! If it suits your shots, it may just be one of the most impactful machine-related upgrades you can make.

Edited by islandlad
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New owner or used ECM Mechanika IV and demo S64 plus all the other sundries needed. But on my next list is the flow kit. Great to read this and thank you for the Coffee and recipe and flow method used. 

Might exist already but I'd like to see a Flow database of coffees and method used like you've described for other UK available coffee's. I know WHL did a few profiles but you're one with actual Coffee roast 1:1, Mediterranean Mocha from Compass would be great, Perhaps does and time all thats missing. 

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3 hours ago, Sean ASA said:

New owner or used ECM Mechanika IV and demo S64 plus all the other sundries needed. But on my next list is the flow kit. Great to read this and thank you for the Coffee and recipe and flow method used. 

Might exist already but I'd like to see a Flow database of coffees and method used like you've described for other UK available coffee's. I know WHL did a few profiles but you're one with actual Coffee roast 1:1, Mediterranean Mocha from Compass would be great, Perhaps does and time all thats missing. 

With a paddle a flex data base would be quite hard to do, you need a decent for that .

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got the flow control on my Profitec 700. The main gauge shows 9 bar, but the flow control gauge never exceeds 8 bar. is that normal?   Can you tell me what is the standard flow on a dual boiler machine with rotary pump? Is a gradual ramp-down the basic technique that works best?  Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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It was on my next purchase list until I found that I can do a pre-infusion by stopping the pump (by lowering the lever to mid-position) a few seconds into the shot and letting the puck saturate and swell (and hopefully seal any cracks), lifting the lever back up shortly after the first drops hit the cup (which are registered as a beep on the Acaia Lunar scale.

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20 minutes ago, CaffeeX said:

It was on my next purchase list until I found that I can do a pre-infusion by stopping the pump (by lowering the lever to mid-position) a few seconds into the shot and letting the puck saturate and swell (and hopefully seal any cracks), lifting the lever back up shortly after the first drops hit the cup (which are registered as a beep on the Acaia Lunar scale.

Interesting technique , not quite the same as the flexibility that flow control gives you. 
@DavecUKks this stopping the pump 

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2 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

Interesting technique , not quite the same as the flexibility that flow control gives you. 
@DavecUKks this stopping the pump 

 It may or may not stop the pump depending on the adjustment of the pump switch behind the lever. However in the mid position the top group valve and the lower valves are closed....so nothing will flow, almost at the mid position (just past it) and the top valve will be open a bit, but most likely the pump will not be running.. depends on the exact set up of the group really.

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Nothing here...

 

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Yeah I could do that with the Expobar but the shots were inconsistent and the control is rubbish in comparison to a flow control valve on the group. You're wetting the puck and letting water seep through while pressure drops; I find shots are much better when the pressure is consistent or very slowly rising. I thought the inconsistency was likely due to allowing the puck to expand where usually it would be compressed fairly quickly under pressure. 

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On 26/12/2020 at 20:05, CaffeeX said:

It was on my next purchase list until I found that I can do a pre-infusion by stopping the pump (by lowering the lever to mid-position) a few seconds into the shot and letting the puck saturate and swell (and hopefully seal any cracks), lifting the lever back up shortly after the first drops hit the cup (which are registered as a beep on the Acaia Lunar scale.

Interesting! Never thought of trying that. Will have a play. 

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