New La Peppina owner

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
lino
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:21 am
Real Name: lino
Location: Creedmoor, NC

Postby lino » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:14 pm

Hey all,

I'm the new (proud?) owner of a la peppina lever machine. Anyone know anything about them?

I don't have it yet, still needs to be shipped. I expect it will need help. At very least a power cord.

Also, anyone know anything about the MicroCimbalis?


thanks

lino

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srobinson
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:04 pm
Real Name: Steve Robinson
Equipment: Custom Olympia Cremina 67, La Pavoni Europiccola, Rancilio Rocky DL
Location: Raleigh

Postby srobinson » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:52 pm

I believe that another_jim is an owner of a La Peppina. Sure he will get to any questions posted. With regards to MicroCimbalis, I was doing some research on them last night. They seems to have an Achille's heel with their boiler construction. Anything specific you needed?
Steve Robinson

LMWDP #001

lino
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:21 am
Real Name: lino
Location: Creedmoor, NC

Postby lino » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:46 pm

Yeah, I'd read about the aluminium boiler issue. I can't say I'm terribly concerned about that. I'm thinking it's nothing a good cleaning and an anodize job wouldn't fix (though I've been wrong before).
I saw mixed reviews on the coffee it could make... do you have any experience?

Jim, what's the basket size for the La Peppina? Looks like I won't have one of those either... Are there any current models that could act as a replacement?

Can't really think of any other specific questions right now except one that applies to all levers...

What is the volume output for one "pump" on a lever?
I'm sure that varies by brand, if not model. I'm just curious about that in general, say, what's a pavoni, a elektra, and a olympia put out per pump?

Thanks,

ciao

lino

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srobinson
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:04 pm
Real Name: Steve Robinson
Equipment: Custom Olympia Cremina 67, La Pavoni Europiccola, Rancilio Rocky DL
Location: Raleigh

Postby srobinson » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:45 pm

As Dan introduced the new lever forum I was described as the keeper of all things historic on these machines. So I have to live up to that or will lose my LMWDP number.

Here is the schematic for you new toy

Image

and here are links to the two page manual

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b279/robinsonsj/FE-AR_La_Peppina_manual_1.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b279/robinsonsj/FE-AR_La_Peppina_manual_2.jpg
Steve Robinson



LMWDP #001

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luca
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:13 am
Real Name: Luca Costanzo
Equipment: Maver Marte, Mazzer Kony, Hario TCA-2
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby luca » Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:27 am

Rather than starting up a new thread, I thought I'd shove my photos of my newest setup here. There is precious little information available on the machine, so if anyone wants any specific photos taken, please speak up and I'm sure that Jim, Lino or I will be able to oblige.

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The machine arrived only an hour or so before I was due to leave for my Spanish exam. Any thought of studying went out the window as I unwrapped it and poured over it. I could see a lot of white lime scale in it, so I decided to just give it pride of place in Luca Central until I had it fixed up.

Image

I thought that it would require all kinds of work, especially when I was completely unable to force any water through. So I just mixed up a few relatively strong batches of citric acid to descale and ... tada; functional, just like that. The thermometer seems to fit in nicely like that, for the time being.

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Hint/Warning: We often mix up batches of acid and other solutions in the lab. When using hot liquids to dissolve powders, we are always advised to mix a little bit of water, preferably relatively cool, with all of the powder, then top it up slowly. The rationale for this is that if the physical change is exothermic, adding the powder to a large mass of hot water might result in it bubbling and splashing. If it is endothermic, then you've lost nothing. It was then a curious convergence of my degrees when I learnt that one of Australia's landmark product liability cases was the result of a guy trying to unplug his drain with caustic soda by tipping the whole container down then chasing it up with several litres of boiling water!

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It seemed to require a finer grind than my Silvia. This shot ended up being probably about 30mL from two pumps of the lever (droplets starting to appear after the first pump). I was impressed ... incredibly smooth. I pulled the shot with my thermometer reading 93C, which might have been a tad cold at the group. Like Jim said, La Peppina makes temp control almost trivial!

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Apologies for the lack of focus ...

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... these photos are just to show the dispersion screen setup. Note the pitting in the puck and the clinging texture of the espresso in the cup. The mouthfeel was really something ...

Cheers,

Luca

LMWDP #34

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luca
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:13 am
Real Name: Luca Costanzo
Equipment: Maver Marte, Mazzer Kony, Hario TCA-2
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby luca » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:29 am

Quick question for lino: I took a look and noticed that there is actually still quite a lot of scale buildup on the element of my machine. On the PID lever machine thread, you posted a photo where you had removed the kettle to expose the element. Any chance of a 'how-to'? I'd love to be able to just sandpaper the bulk of the scale off ...

Cheers,

Luca

lino
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:21 am
Real Name: lino
Location: Creedmoor, NC

Postby lino » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:57 pm

Hey Luca,

It's quite easy.

If you look in the kettle, there is a rod sticking up, the one the lid screws into. About 1/3 of the way down there is a hole thru it (sideways). The rod screws into a stud in the base and holds the kettle in place by clamping it down with the metal disk/screen that you see at the bottom of the kettle.

Mine was hard to unscrew (not possible by hand). I put the short side of a small allen wrench thu the hole in the rod and used it for leverage. Ta-da!

Then it all kindof falls apart...

Also be careful because there is a 30 yr old o-ring between the kettle and the base.

All my scale came off with cafiza, didn't need to sand. There is a thin coating on the elements, and the base is chrome plated aluminium, so be careful if you do sand it. You don't want to cut thru the coating.

Did that make sense?

ciao

lino

lino
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 10:21 am
Real Name: lino
Location: Creedmoor, NC

Postby lino » Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:00 pm

Hey,

while I'm posting here...

Anyone know where I can get a plug for La Peppina?
I think I remember Jim saying that it was a waffle Iron standard, but after some searching I cannot find a match...

Mine is "hotwired" right now, I'd love to change that...

ciao

lino

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luca
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:13 am
Real Name: Luca Costanzo
Equipment: Maver Marte, Mazzer Kony, Hario TCA-2
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby luca » Thu Oct 27, 2005 9:05 am

lino wrote:Anyone know where I can get a plug for La Peppina?


I remember seeing the exact part in the hardware store where I bought my euro -> australian adapter (yeah; cop-out; should've just rewired the plug ;P). It was on my way today, but they were closed, so I couldn't snap a photo or anything. I think that it was literally labelled 'old-fashioned appliance lead' or something like that! I'll try to check next time I go past. Who knows; maybe only Australia is backwards enough to still have them!

lino wrote:All my scale came off with cafiza, didn't need to sand


Sure enough, an hour or so with a few different batches of citric acid and some scrubbing with a skewer did it. Sparkling clean. Not even any need to remove the top part, but I can see how that would work now from the parts diagram - thanks, Lino!

Funny thing was that we had a winemaker over for my stepfather's 51st yesterday whilst all the descaling was going on. He was fascinated by it, so just before he left I had a quick go with some Timor Maubese that I'd roasted the other day. Of course, I was careful to warn that I'd only had the machine working for a day or so, seeing as he has a sensational palate :shock: Anyhoo, turned out to be as good an espresso as I've ever had from anything! ... so I'd better quote Jim's initial review (a must-read for anyone who is interested in these, or similar, machines):

Jim wrote:I got very nice shots from the get go. Since I sincerely doubt I'm any sort of lever prodigy, I'm guessing this is a fairly simple machine to use.


I had some really excellent Sulawesi Kalossi from a newly-opened local roaster the other day. Can't wait to try it through this machine! Might be that a less chocolatey and full-bodied coffee might be in order ... like the Australian Mountain Top from last year's WBC ...

Cheers,

Luca

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luca
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:13 am
Real Name: Luca Costanzo
Equipment: Maver Marte, Mazzer Kony, Hario TCA-2
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby luca » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:25 am

I sent Lino a brief PM about this and he pointed out that, of course, this would be something better just posted on the forum.

La Pep. is a perfect candidate to be PIDded. The only problem is that there is nowhere to put the PID, like in the empty-shell-with-a-boiler that is Silvia. I thought that an elegant solution might be the gooseneck mount idea. The photos below are directly from the webpage - go take a look.

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The question, though, is where do you put the SSR? Maybe jam it in the box with the PID? Drill a hole in the base for the gooseneck, another hole at the back of the base to run the power cord and the probe through ... I'd love to see a mutant peppina with a gooseneck on the opposite side of the lever and a brew pressure gauge ...

Cheers,

Luca