DIY from spare/repair parts: make a recommendation - Page 2

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#11: Post by Jeff »

There is some good experimental work on managing E61 group-head temperature with a fan. Controlling the heat loss from the group head near the brew chamber seems a good idea to me. With several pounds of brass involved, the E61 is not a good choice for agility.

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#12: Post by Luftmensch »

Marcelnl wrote:I beg to differ in the notion that levers are believed to be good simply because of nostalgic sentiment, you do have a point in saying that modern roasts may not be best suited for a lever.
Hey buddy! :wink:

Let me add a little nuance to what I said.... I don't mean to be dismissive about levers! It is clear levers were a solution of their time and continue to have a place in the espresso community. But I prefer first principle explanations. "Replicating a lever" is less compelling to me than: "A low flow at the beginning allows a puck to wet and expand before full pressure is applied. This helps mitigate channeling and can allow you to grind finer".

Perhaps the first explanation assumes the second?? Either way.... once you understand the principle, the delivering technology doesn't matter.

Marcelnl wrote: I guess the debate is similar to the good old transistor versus tubes discussion in audio, transistors were not invented because they are soudning better they are lighter, consume less power and last longer. Extracting espresso works under pressure, how the pressure is created does not matter but the method comes with advantages and disadvantages and a pressure profile, and you have to pick your poison. I'd recommend you put together a list of things you want the machine to be able to do starting with what coffees you like, more tick boxes increase complexity/price.

BTW; your grinder may have all to do with varying results in the cup and does more in the cup than your espresso machine, what are you using, is it aligned, what burrs, how old?
I upgraded my grinder about 3-4 years ago (age of the burr set). An ECM 64 - partly purchased for functionality... partly purchased because of aesthetics. It matches the machine! I single dose through it... the retention isn't too bad, about 0.5g.

My main reason for wanting to upgrade is moving away from HX. It has been good to me but I'd like to control steam pressure (temperature) and brew temperature independently. The HX is a clever compromise but I'd prefer not to do cooling flushes. So dual PID is the big ticket item.... flow control is looking interesting but not the primary motivation for the project!!

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#13: Post by Marcelnl »

that helps me make sense out of what you are after! Dual boiler certainly has its merits, I cannot be bothered as with 1.2 or so Bar my microfoam is micro-ish enough and my staple is double ristretto's for which the Urania works quite well (the Faemina does them better).
LMWDP #483

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#14: Post by Luftmensch » replying to Marcelnl »

It is definitely a "want" instead of a "need". I could live out the rest of my days on the faithful HX. I got the machine second hand for a really good deal. As I understand it, the ECM Giotto was designed at a time when the home pro-sumer market was budding (perhaps that version of history is wrong). You don't need much more in an espresso machine. A small touch I have missed over the years is more diagnostics. The boiler temp is a mystery and you don't know what the pump pressure is set to. I went a long while without gadgets for measuring these; life was fine! Eventually I got some gadgets to measure these parameters. Whether or not the coffee has improved, I feel like I understand the machine/coffee better.

Minimum upgrade:
- Dual boiler with PID (temperature control and display)
- Pump pressure indicator
- Good steaming pressure

The rest is a bonus... Even leaving room for future upgrades would be great:
- Flow control (experiment a bit more... I do like to preinfuse and 'pulse' the pump for the first little bit of extraction)
- Pump profiling (automated flow/pressure profiles - need to couple with flow and pressure sensors)

Roasts... Medium to dark. I don't roast my own beans. I haven't gotten that deep into the hobby. There is plenty of choice from cafes in my area. Given we have piccolos and flat-whites, we use beans that aren't drowned by the milk. That said, at one of my favourite cafes, their flat-white is so smooth and mild, you can easily have a couple in a row. So i'd like to explore the lighter side of medium more!

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#15: Post by Luftmensch »

rktcyntst wrote:Or this project could be completely overcomplicated by addinng an active cooling loop including cold water source and radiator in order to bring down temperatures on command through a separately controlled valve! Is it unnecessary, absolutely! Would it make this Frankenstein machine more interesting, absolutely! Want to make it more interesting? Add a water chiller to your cooling loop.

Plus I think it would be the first instance that I know of where both heating and cooling aspects could be incorporated. Just more stuff to control, and more stuff to break!

And who knows, this might give birth to the first temperature profiling machine during a shot pull! We've already got pressure profiling.... :) (I should go patent this)
Any amount of ludicrous over engineering for a hobby hey? :twisted:

Hehe... I will gracefully decline the recommendation :wink:

... but now that you have me thinking....

Jeff wrote:There is some good experimental work on managing E61 group-head temperature with a fan. Controlling the heat loss from the group head near the brew chamber seems a good idea to me. With several pounds of brass involved, the E61 is not a good choice for agility.
No... but nor is a saturated group. Small thermo-blocks or ring groups have less heat capacity, you might describe them as more agile. The ultimate in agility might be something like an 'on demand' inductive heating loop for the brew water. It wouldn't heat the group though...

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#16: Post by pizzaman383 »

I would use one of the Bezzerra cartridge-heated group with PID control separately from the boilers much like the B2B.
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“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

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#17: Post by Luftmensch » replying to pizzaman383 »

Definitely worth thinking about - thats why I mentioned the profitec pro 300.

It is pretty cool seeing how various manufacturers have found methods around a large mass for thermal control/stability. Cartridge-heater groups... ring groups... they are pretty neat ideas.