Food safe grease

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#1: Post by Chert »


A wee thread about grease. As I was rebuilding the CMA lever (still a work in process) I was looking for some thick grease to replace the nigh impervious stuff that I found in the bearings. Someone who works with espresso machines suggest Triflow grease, but that was not easy to come by. I ran across Chevron FM Grease EP NLGI 2 which fits the bill as far as water impermeable, high melting point (-40 to 300F) and appropriate for food processing (at least according to the label). Well I should have stuck with the "Sanitary Petrol-Gel Lubricant" I picked up from Espresso Parts I suppose. The EP product claims to be odor free and I use it in the group of my pavoni and the CMA and find it to be odor free. It is relatively runny however. I used the Chevron stuff sparingly on the outside of seals and fittings. The machine works great and I don't think the smell affects the flavor of the coffee, but that grease smells and I will have to go back through and remove any visible and see if the odor resolves. If not, then I'll end up dismantling again and going with another product.

Any recommendations for grease/lube for different espresso machine uses? One that makes no odor when the machine comes up to temperature, please.
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#2: Post by caeffe »

Dow 111 comes to mind - get it from Orphan Espresso - ... _1348.html
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#3: Post by frankmoss »

Dow 111 worked very well in my restoration. It's very thick

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#4: Post by sweaner »

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#5: Post by orphanespresso »

That tube of Dow 111 will last forever actually. I still prefer the small packets you can cut the tip to control the application and not overlube.....the first swipe of the piston will push what is above the piston seals up and what is below down where it just sits, or fouls the seal lip....overlubing is likely not as bad as underlubing but too much has it's drawbacks. They actually sell the stuff in 5 gal buckets as well as 55 gal drums...frightening thought.
As for lubricating the external lever roller bearings I use blue chain saw bar grease, made in Germany for Oregon chain saw bar greasers....comes in a small handy size and is easy to use with a built in pump gun and pack the bearings just like on our odor and very sanitary application for the outer upper parts of a commercial group.
I am not a big fan of the thin Italian creamy stuff for inside cylinder lube, but it has a nice Aqua Velva we all know there IS something about an Aqua Velva man.


#6: Post by Nik »

I have purchased two of the small packets of Dow 111 and lost both of them. The crazy part is that I seldom/never lose anything. I have no clue where they went. I bought tube from Grainger Supply for around $16.00 and while it will probably live longer than I do I don't think I will lose it. I also use it on my Hottop as well.


#7: Post by randytsuch »

I have a can of this stuff ... hitefoodgr
(go to the bottom of the page if it doesn't show up)

I have used this in a grinder and roaster, but never in an espresso machine, so I don't know how well it will work in that application.

PM me if you want to try it, I will never use up the can I have, and I am guessing you don't need very much.


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Chert (original poster)

#8: Post by Chert (original poster) »

orphanespresso wrote:I am not a big fan of the thin Italian creamy stuff for inside cylinder lube, but it has a nice Aqua Velva we all know there IS something about an Aqua Velva man.
Ha ha, that's rich. I'm not trying to throw out the Aqua Velva man, but he ain't invited either.

The stuff I picked up is more likely to raise the question of which internal combustion engine I'm tinkering with in my house. But I will clean it away and see if the odor issue resolves. I also have some Dow 111 but had not considered it for bearings. I'm hoping I can leave some in the bearings without persistence of petrochemical smells.

Thanks for the input, all. Now someone who wants some information about grease has a thread.
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Randy G.

#9: Post by Randy G. »

orphanespresso wrote:That tube of Dow 111 will last forever actually. ...
I bought two of the little packets.. Have done two lubes of my E-61 group and both steam and hot water valves once, and it looks like very little has been used from the first tube.
They actually sell the stuff in 5 gal buckets as well as 55 gal drums...frightening thought....
I sure would like to see the brewgroup that would necessitate the 55 gallon drum size! :shock:
Imagine what one drum of that would do if it spilled on a busy freeway!
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#10: Post by yakster »

Another vote for the Dow 111. I've bought the little packets from OE, and was pleased and surprised to find some at work for weathersealing connectors.

The latest use I found for it was applying a little bit to the O-ring that seals against the N02 cream charger cartridge in my MyPressi Twist V1... so far it seems to have improved the seal and the number of doubles I get per charger.

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