(20190602: I have renamed this thread to encompass a variety of ongoing temperature experiments for the Cafelat Robot. All feedback, ideas and mods welcome in relation to controlling temperature on this remarkable lever machine.)
The Cafelat Robot User Experience thread keeps telling me that I should consider starting a new thread, so I am actually going to do that. This is a quick report on my Pink Spout Mod (PSM) for the Cafelat Robot:
I made the PSM this using Smooth-Sil 940 Food Grade Mold Making Silicone Rubber. (The mixed pourable compound is distinctly pink, hence the mod names.)
The reason I went down this path is domestic harmony. I make flat whites with my Cafelat Robot, steaming milk separately with the Welhome MS-130D. My favourite lady had consistently been complaining that the second drink that I make for myself tastes better than the first drink that I make for her. And it really does. When the Robot is heated up (such as after pulling a shot), it produces a better espresso to our mutual tastes. So I wanted a method to get the Robot preheated for that first flat white.
The PSM seals the spouts of the portafilter spout attachment. Thus when attached to the portafilter, it allows you to fill the portafilter with hot water. This mod is used without a basket installed in the portafilter. You fill the portafilter halfway with hot water - any more and it spills over the top as the piston enters the hot water when you attach the portafilter to the Robot.
You install the sealed off portafilter on the Robot with the Robot's arms down. The PSM thereby immerses the piston in hot water for direct heating.
The PSM is removable. (So, for example, you can still use your spout attachment with the pressurized basket.) After removing, I trimmed the plugs to allow for easier reinsertion. A bit of Dow Molykote (included with the Robot) eases the reinsertion and produces a good seal.
So how does it work? Brilliantly! Complaints that the second drink is better than the first have gone away.
I am actually using the PSM on both the first and second drinks. There are a few minutes in-between them as I steam milk and prepare the first flat white. If I do not use the PSM again, the first flat white is actually better than the second. I posit that if you are preparing two espresso shots back to back, the second PSM preheating is probably not necessary.
I highly recommend this mod if you want consistent heated shots on the Cafelat Robot.