Grouphead Thermometer for La Pavoni Europiccola

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martinlhoff

#1: Post by martinlhoff »

Background - my EPC is my daily workday driver. I keep it on for 5-6hrs a day, to get my 4-6 espressos throughout my workday. It's not what an EPC is made for, puts the machiner under extra wear and tear... and temperature control is a bit of a challenge.

In other words, the grouphead gets plenty hot. Too hot. And the stick-on temperature strips "burn out" after a few months.

So I scouted a bit, and ordered one of these https://coffe.kazak.com.pl/en/product/t ... -milenium/ .

Used it for a couple of days. Quick notes

- Not expensive - $38 USD shipping included from Poland to US/Florida
- It works!
- It works _much better_ once you put a dab of thermal paste (couple $$ from your hardware store, or from amazon)
- The mount is a bit wonky, with a cable ziptie. I'm going to tighten it up once again, I think the zip tie is not handling the heat. Might need some heat resistant tape. Without the thermal paste, the gaps (as the zip tie gets looser) between the grouphead and the metal block are meaningful.
- The readout is not calibrated - at least not to the grouphead temp - but you can get a reference reading. In my case, good coffee is at around 80C in the dial.
- The readout lags quite a bit - the lag is much reduced with thermal paste
- It looks reasonably good :-)

Cost seems roughly similar to the digital thermometers on offer. I could have gone either way.

Are you using a grouphead thermometer with your EPC? Which one? How is that going?

jtrops

#2: Post by jtrops »

I like the heatsink on your thermometer. Is the thermometer sitting in a well, or is it fixed in place? If it is set in the well you may be able to find an instant read thermometer that would fit the hole.

I have a cheap $6 digital thermometer that uses "K" type thermocouples. The thermocouple is attached to the bell of the grouphead with an old portafilter gasket, and the unit sits behind the machine.

It reads instantly. My target is 85c.


User avatar
lassepavoni

#3: Post by lassepavoni »

martinlhoff wrote:- The mount is a bit wonky, with a cable ziptie. I'm going to tighten it up once again, I think the zip tie is not handling the heat. Might need some heat resistant tape. Without the thermal paste, the gaps (as the zip tie gets looser) between the grouphead and the metal block are meaningful.
Try to get a stainless steel hose clamp: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hose_clamp

Kapton tape might work as well, but probably won't look as nice, won't be as sturdy, and might not even come cheaper.



This is what I have just assembled and tried:



The advanced idea was to place the thermometer gauge into the base of the Europiccola, right where the logo is sitting now. I'd have run the capillary tube down the back of the boiler and then inside the base through a small opening in the plastic sub base.
Unfortunately I have just determined that my brand new thermometer is not working properly :( . Barely 40°C seems a little too cold, while the shot was quite tasty. So I removed it from the Pavoni, put the probe into the water kettle and fired it up. After a minute of boiling away it didn't even reach 50°C, and now that it had ten minutes to cool back down it's still stuck at 40°C. Bummer. Guess I'll have to order another one, as I really like the ''manual'' aspect of not needing any batteries.
Regards,
Lasse