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Brew Steady: Rancilio's Group Head Redesign
February 8th 2022
Steady Brew is the feature you’ll find on the newest generation (2022) of Rancilio espresso machines. This latest upgrade was designed to improve Rancilio’s brewing temperature stability. If you are currently working with Rancilio espresso machines, you already know their machines have superior thermanl stability within the industry. From a technical point of view this current re-design is exciting.
Limiting Temperature Fluctuation
Temperatures on many espresso machines fluctuate, some more dramatic than others. This swing can affect the flavor of coffee and become noticeable to consumers. The more stable the temperature of an espresso machine is, the more an equipment owner can entrust it to produce a consistent product if all other factors are in place. Many manufacturers, not just Rancilio, work to limit brewing temperature fluctuation on their espresso machines. The temperature of a group head can dramatically heat up when randomly used or significantly drop when a commercial espresso machine is excessively pushed. Rancilio asserts that their new steady brew design will keep the temperature stable no matter what state the machine is in and they accomplished this by modifying their group head.
Group Head Redesign
To begin, they added a third tube off the top of the heat exchanger which holds a two (2) millimeter flow restrictor. This flow restrictor can be removed or capped. They moved the main flow restrictor so that it is now vertical above the brew valve. This new flojet or giggler assembly is .6 millimeter in size, however it can be ordered in the traditional .8 millimeter depending on a business’ preference in pre-infusion. Rancilio created a vertical chamber for the additional new tube and flow restrictor; then ported a hole into the flow restrictor chamber where the new top tube meets with the thermal siphon chamber. The thermal siphon chamber is horizontal as it always has been. The ported hole allows a blend of water between the two chambers for more consistent temperature especially in high volume situations.
Thermal Stability but not Temperature Precision
The Steady Brew feature is available on Rancilio's traditional espresso machine’s utilizing a heat exchanger system, which are the Classe 5, 7, 9, 11 and 20. The brew steady feature is not incorporated in the designs of their Classe 11 Xcelsius or Rancilio Specialty machines which are multi-boiler machines. The multi-boiler machine is designed for those serving single origin coffees or operating at consistently high volumes. These types of machines are typically more costly but not always necessary for businesses who need thermal stability but not precise or spontaneous control of their brewing temperatures. Businesses serving multiple roasts and operating at low to fluctuating high volumes will often turn to more cost-effective machines designed with a heat exchanger system. These types of businesses will often rely on the skill of their service technicians for mechanical support when addressing the temperature of their group heads.
Fine Tuning Group Temperatures
It is important to note that not all commercial espresso machines work well or in a way that allows technicians to improve or adjust group temperatures. Rancilio, however, in their new design has provided technicians with some additional strategies to offer businesses when concerned about their brewing temperature. Among other strategies, service technicians may remove or cap the two (2) millimeter flow restrictor found in the new tube. If capped, temperature at the group will lower. If the flow restrictor is removed, temperature will increase. Although a technician cannot do this on the fly and this mechanical adjustment will come at a cost because of equipment down time, it certainly provides technicians the ability to be of great assistance in helping businesses fine tune their coffee flavor. To learn more about the variety of features available to you by Rancilio espresso machines, you can reach out to us here or your local service provider. You can find their contact information on our National Espresso Service Directory.
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