Strega-fying my Brugnetti Aurora, AKA a non-invasive way to add group heater to any lever machine - Page 3

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samuellaw178 (original poster)
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#21: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

An update : I've received the hollow bolt (with 5mm diameter through hole) per above recommendation and finally got around to install it. Easy peasy and perfect fit! Once I get a shrink wrap to cover the wiring and I will be all set!


#22: Post by Madman13 »

Much cleaner! You prob don't see the wires hidden behind the group unless you look for them

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#23: Post by pizzaman383 »

That does look very clean. One thing you might consider is that having the thermocouple very close to the heating element gives you a less accurate picture of the actual temperature than if it were closer to where the water flows in the cylinder. You might be better off with a surface-mount thermocouple located on the side of the cylinder. I found these to be affordable and work very well: ... UTF8&psc=1
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”

samuellaw178 (original poster)
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#24: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) »

Thanks Josh, the hollow bolt is a brilliant idea, it does look a lot cleaner now!

I had the same concern about the probe location, but it seems to correlate quite well with the temp strip mounted 1-2 cm away from the band heater. It was not obvious in the photo but the probe is located within the band's dead-zone that does not contain heating element. I thought about swapping out the probe eventually but laziness/convenience won out! If I were to do this from scratch again, I would get a surface-mounted RTD so I can get 0.1 deg resolution on the PID.

Costs around $14 from Aliexpress:

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#25: Post by pizzaman383 »

I am glad that placement is working for you. My group is different so it behaves differently with the sides, rim, and flange all running different temperature profiles.thanks
LMWDP #551
“Taste every shot before adding milk!”


#26: Post by fredgab »

This mod look great, might do it on mine one day for experimentation's sake!

How have been the shots with it? And what setting do you settle with mostly?


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samuellaw178 (original poster)
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#27: Post by samuellaw178 (original poster) » replying to fredgab »

Hi Fred,

Thank you! I can't say I've tried every combination of temperature out there, and at my current pace, it's going to be a slow long term test. :P So far what I've been doing : Set a new temp profile, try it for a week or two before moving to the next temperature combination. Currently I am preferring the low boiler (113C/0.6 bar) and high group temp (81C). But I do plan to compare them more rigourously eventually. I would love to go even lower in boiler temp (I've gone down to 0.1 bar at some point), but the steaming capability can take a toll (I still need to steam some milk for her flat white).

Overall, I don't think the installation has changed the shot all that much (the original config is pretty good), but maybe the celing of shot quality is a tiny bit higher and the bulleye is certainly much easier to hit. Changing brew temp is a cinche since I can set the group head temp to where I wanted with confidence, with just the click of a few buttons on the PID controller (whereas before it's mostly guess works). I just love the fact that the group is 100% up to temp with a 30 minutes warm up time. I felt that that my first shots of the day are more consistent as a result of that.

I might be biased but yes I think all levers should have this! :lol:

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#28: Post by Paolo »

I couldn't help myself..I have just finished this addon to an Aurora myself.

When I ordered the silicone heater band, I opted for the maximum wattage given the size needed to go around the bottom lip of the group. For the 230 volt application this came to 80Watts (actually measured with a powermeter at 83Watts).

In use, this translates to a sub-20 minute from cold group warmup, ready to go. Prior to this the warmup was 60-90 minutes.

It has only been a few days of operation but so far the performance has been flawless.

The reality hit for me yesterday when I returned from a long day in Sydney. I wanted a quick coffee (or two!) and turned on the Aurora... and was drinking the first one in 20 minutes! Normally this would have been a job designated for the Cremina.

I really like that this modification is completely reversible... but I cannot see why I would ever take it back to the way that it was.

I thoroughly recommend Sam's conversion and commend him for thinking of it, planning it out and for not keeping this a secret. :lol: