Francis Francis X1 internals
This post is actually from January 2012 originally written by Hendrup, but I have rewritten it quite a bit and thought it would be a great read for people who struggle with their X1s in producing balanced shots.
Not many know that you can actually adjust the temperature on a Francis Francis X1. While the little machine isn't the greatest machine, being a really bad steamer and it's the lack of a three way valve, it's really not that bad at all. With a little tweaking and experience it is capable of brewing some delicious shots. Some Francis Francis machines are equipped with a PID (Proportional–Integral–Derivative) controller. In simple terms a PID is capable of controlling the temperature with a much tighter dead band (dead band being the top and low of the boiler temperature), than a traditional thermostat is. A thermostat in for example the Rancilio Silvia varies up to 20 degrees, while a PID only varies a degree or two. Some top of the line espresso machines have a adjustable PID control on the front of the machine, while that isn't the case on the X1, you can actually adjust the temperature.
I have searched the entire web (THE ENTIRE WEB) and haven't found a single solution on how to adjust the temperature on the X1 model, so I popped the hood on my own espresso machine and got going. I found my shots being overly sour, so I located the internal PID and adjusted the temperature up to about 95 degrees, which gave a much better balanced espresso. If you got a Francis Francis X1 and are brewing some sour or bitter shots it might be because of the water temperature. Here is a guide on how to adjust to temperature on a Francis Francis X1.