This little PID went to market...

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
AlexFrost

#1: Post by AlexFrost »

For the hell of it I decided what I really needed at this very moment was a Saeco Aroma with a PID.

Installation went surprisingly smoothly even though the kit was designed for the Barista and doesn't include instructions for the Aroma. Mostly it was a lot of checking and double checking to make absolutely sure I didn't fry something. There was one WAG towards the end but it turned out alright. The job might have actually been easier because I didn't end up needing to drill any holes. I could just feed the cables out the back where the water tube exits the machine.

I haven't decided where to mount the controller but that can be decided later. All and all I'm happy with how it turned out.



Update:
Oh, and the shots are delicious.

User avatar
NeedBeans

#2: Post by NeedBeans »

Nice job. Hey, I like the cups on the top of your machine! I have the same ones and they are my favorites to use. My wife originally received them as a gift a number of years ago; not sure where they came from.
Update:
Oh, and the shots are delicious.
Great to hear!
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." —Oscar Wilde

Cerini Coffee & Gifts: official US importer for Olympia Express
Sponsored by Cerini Coffee & Gifts
AlexFrost (original poster)

#3: Post by AlexFrost (original poster) »

They're Bormioli Rocco Verdi espresso cups from Amazon. Cheap but very nice for what they are.

AlexFrost (original poster)

#4: Post by AlexFrost (original poster) »

My roommate just took a header into my machine and ended up knocking two of the glasses onto the floor. The metal bit on one of the glasses snapped off but it popped back on with a minimum of fuss, apparently the design of the handle tensions the base.

Since installing the PID shot quality has been steadily improving. The Nostromo Deep Cello I just pulled was heavenly and rich. Knowing that everything is at temp makes pulling a good shot a lot easier. As a fringe benefit steaming has also improved now that I can tell what temp the boiler is at. Start steaming before the boiler kicks off and you're golden.

I would also recommend the bottomless portafilter from seattle coffee gear to anyone that owns an Aroma. It's much easier to use than the stock plastic one that comes with the device and as an added bonus a full sized coffee mug will fit beneath.

Lastly, sliding down the O ring on the steam wand to limit the flow of air into the milk helps tremendously.

User avatar
Randy G.

#5: Post by Randy G. »

I have a set of the espresso and the caapa Bormioli glasses. The glass is borosilicate ("Pyrex" to us mortals and other art majors) and are quite tough.
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
*20th Anniversary 2000-2020*

User avatar
NeedBeans

#6: Post by NeedBeans »

Knowing that everything is at temp makes pulling a good shot a lot easier. As a fringe benefit steaming has also improved now that I can tell what temp the boiler is at. Start steaming before the boiler kicks off and you're golden.
Alex, this has been my experience exactly using a PID controller. I've been running one for over 5 years and I rarely even consider it; it just works. I used to hate temperature surfing as it was time consuming and I felt like I it went through a lot of water.
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." —Oscar Wilde

LeSyphon

#7: Post by LeSyphon »

@ AlexFrost ; I know this post is old, but can you help me ... I do have a Aroma and planning on buying a pid and everything else and I need some advice!!

If anybody else could help me too it is greatly appreciated!!!

BPlus: turning your coffee spirit
Sponsored by BPlus
AlexFrost (original poster)

#8: Post by AlexFrost (original poster) »

Auber sells a PID for the "Barista" but it will work for the Aroma since the two more or less have the same internals. However you won't get your money's worth unless you also have an excellent grinder (Pharos, Vario, Super Jolly, etc) a true non-pressurized portafilter, and the technique to back them up.

Honestly it probably isn't worth the money to put a $160 PID on a $145 espresso machine. For me it works because I rarely use my machine and don't see myself upgrading anytime soon. I just needed something capable of making an acceptable latte with the minimal amount of fuss, something "good enough".

If you have any questions PM me and I'll do my best to help.

Beenbag

#9: Post by Beenbag »

FYI .. you could source a PID, SSR and TC from Ebay for less than $50 total !
but you need to know what to buy and what to do to install it because there wont be any instructions.

Actually, if you realy want to save $$'s,... for <$20 you could alternatively use an "Electronic thermostat" as used by the homebrew guys. Plenty on Ebay.
It wont have full "PID" functions, but they do control the temp within 1 C and come with an internal 30 A relay, a TC, and a digital readout.
Very effective.

User avatar
beer&mathematics

#10: Post by beer&mathematics »

AlexFrost wrote:For the hell of it I decided what I really needed at this very moment was a Saeco Aroma with a PID.

...the kit was designed for the Barista ...
Oh, and the shots are delicious.
Hi Alex, great to hear your shots are delicious! I just got a Via Venezia in January (ie newer $B Barista), and have been steadily working on my technique and upgrading parts (I changed the panarello wand and put in a traditional steam wand by Brevil, naked PF etc). I still need to buy a grinder since I am using a Baratza Encore, but am saving for a Pharos.

Since I don't see myself having the income to buy a new machine, I am interested in buying a PID. Will installing a PID eliminate the need to temperature surf? Thanks in advance.
LMWDP #431