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Bezzera

Author Topic: descaling your machine with vinegar  (Read 37594 times)

askthe coffeeguy

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« on: 26/04/2011, 01:27 PM »
yesterday I added 40mls of white vinegar to the water tank of my Rancillio S24, which i then flushed through the machine, leaving a small residue of the vinegar infused water overnight, and then I flushed my machine with 5lts of water this morning, before turning the machine off and leaving it to stand for several hours, then repeating the flushing process until there was no trace of the vinegar taint

thankfully not too much scale on the shower screen, and the water smells and tastes sweeter, as does the steam

anyone else tried this process and were you happy with the results?

p


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Koffee Kosmo

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #1 on: 26/04/2011, 03:28 PM »
Because my BZ40 is plumbed in
I rely on a special coffee filter for commercial applications

KK
Bezzera Strega Lever: Mazzer Robur conical grinder Pullman Barista Tamper Convex:  Designer of the KKTO Home Roaster:

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E61

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #2 on: 26/04/2011, 03:40 PM »
"cleaning a coffee maker these days is the equivalent of sweeping the steps of a cathedral--coffee has become a sacrament rather than a supplement."

I read this somewhere on the internet once and I think many mere mortals tend to agree.

Coffee is meant to be enjoyed and however you brew it, and maintain the equipment you use, shouldn't be onerous or distract from the pleasure of drinking it.

There are heaps of espresso cleaners on the market now and many, many purveyors (me included  ;) )

But keeping an espresso machine clean doesn't require a degree or secret knowledge.

A regular maintenace (but not obsessive) routine is good practice.

Sometimes a specialised chemical is necessary to help restore an unloved or neglected machine, however, there's always a small risk of a boiler, screen or steam wand being tainted.

I think it's a good rule of thumb to try and avoid putting anything in, or using anything on, your espresso machine or coffee equipment that you wouldn't  put in your mouth.

Vinegar on chips and in espresso machines - YES

Silvo on sandwiches and espresso machines - NO

This way making and savouring coffee will be exactly what it is meant to be - ENJOYABLE!


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Koffee Kosmo

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #3 on: 26/04/2011, 04:07 PM »
I have never de-scaled my machine
I do backflush it on regular occasions

The screen is flushed & the seal is cleaned on every occasion I make a round of coffees

Every now and then I will also flush out the boiler via the water tap

KK
Bezzera Strega Lever: Mazzer Robur conical grinder Pullman Barista Tamper Convex:  Designer of the KKTO Home Roaster:

Blog - http://koffeekosmo.blogspot.com

Green Bean

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #4 on: 26/04/2011, 08:38 PM »
Very similar to KK: backflush after each day's use, flush showerscreen and gasket.  We also use white vinegar or citric acid in the water tank regularly to descale.  We've not really had problems with scaling.

Attached photo is a 5-year old machine that's never been descaled or properly maintained.  When we got a hold of it, nothing would come out - completely blocked.  After flushing litres of white vinegar thru it, it only started dribbling.  The photo is what happened when we flushed the steam wand: 5-year old caramelised milk and lime-green liquid !

Incidentally, does anyone have any idea what else we can do to try to unblock the machine ?  Its electronics and everything else are still sound - just constipated is all  :P
I'm just someone who enjoys a good coffee in good company.  I'm here to learn.

Green Bean

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #5 on: 26/04/2011, 09:09 PM »
The machine in the photo is a Bodum Granos.  The constipation is total - all it can do is spit or dribble out the showerscreen or steam wand.  It's most likely that it's got more scale than coffee crud.

What heavy duty de-scaler would you recommend ?

Thanks for the suggestions on what to do with it - and I'll leave that for Wotb to read and digest :D  I'm not sure if we have the right tools to work on the machine either  ???

I'm just someone who enjoys a good coffee in good company.  I'm here to learn.

Green Bean

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descaling your machine with vinegar
« Reply #6 on: 26/04/2011, 10:52 PM »
You're allowed to be judgemental coz we're not the original owner of the machine  ;D

Yeah would've been nice to be able to tote the thing around and have a play.  At the moment it's on our dining table aka workbench with its covers off.
I'm just someone who enjoys a good coffee in good company.  I'm here to learn.

Bezzera

 

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