Whats the verdict on the Grouphead/Bong Isolator for La Pavoni?

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Ultimatelegacy99

#1: Post by Ultimatelegacy99 »

Its been a good few months since the release of the Bong isolator. For anyone who has installed one on their unit, has there been any improvements when it comes to temperature stability over multiple shots? Personally, Im rehabilitating a 17 tear old La Pavoni Pro and Im thinking of installing one but I havent seen any in depth reviews from users.

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guijan12

#2: Post by guijan12 »

I have been using it for more than 4 months now and it makes temperature management much easier.
I use my machine for 3-4 times a day, for 1-2 espresso's.

Only if I pull 4 or more espresso's in a row! I still install the heatsink first, to assist in temperature management.

Downside of the Bong isolator is that the grouphead bends much more.
As a result the Bong isolator is being pushed out out between the boiler and grouphead.

I understood from Coffee-Sensor the new series are made from Nylon and much stronger.

Regards,

Guido

ECM Manufacture: @ecmespresso #weliveespresso
Sponsored by ECM Manufacture
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redbone
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#3: Post by redbone »

FB member feedback has been positive. Believe this only functions with the 2nd gen group.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

LObin

#4: Post by LObin » replying to redbone »

It works on the 3rd gen group as a heat break.

You're right, the real magic happens with 2nd gen group since it allows it to be water heated only.
LMWDP #592

jtrops

#5: Post by jtrops »

I don't have one, and on a millennium model it really seems moot. As was said the real benefit is converting a v2 machine to a water heated group.

The heat barrier isn't worth the engineering problem of adding length to the lever between the group and the boiler. The picture included 2 posts earlier confirms what I suspected when I first saw the design. As far as a heat barrier you might be better off cutting a thin teflon shim to fit into the space between the boiler and group.

toolate

#6: Post by toolate »

i never do more than 2-3 shots in a row so likely no reason right?

ojt

#7: Post by ojt »

Been using it since the release and it really does work. On a millennium machine it changes the temperature mangement from working your grouphead temperature down to desired point to working it up. Even with 2-3 shots per session I find it better than having to cool down the grouphead.

The downside is the bending and the deforming. Though the deforming is minimal if you can keep your pressure to max 8/9 or so.

They are now changing the material from PTFE to nylon, if I remember correctly, because of the deforming issues.

I will most likely take the piece off as soon as I can make myself order a new grouphead to L-pipe connector, because as others mentioned it isn't that huge of a change for a millennium machine.
Osku

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drgary
Team HB

#8: Post by drgary »

I see a potentially serious safety hazard. If the Bong Isolator old or new version fails catastropically, the user could be blasted with live steam if it opens at the top. There are other mods that don't have this risk, including this fix, which makes the 2nd gen group water heated instead of steam heated. Add to that a thin PTFE heat break gasket and you're not extending the lever or risking steam burns.

Heat control mod for 2nd Generation La Pavoni Levers
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

boren

#9: Post by boren »

For those who only drink espresso and don't need to steam milk, wouldn't it be easier to change the pressostat and reduce the pressure so that brewing temperature is optimal and consistent between consecutive shots?

For those who do need to steam milk, just get another machine and set its pressure high enough so that it's optimal for steaming ;-)

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guijan12

#10: Post by guijan12 »

boren wrote:For those who only drink espresso and don't need to steam milk, wouldn't it be easier to change the pressostat and reduce the pressure so that brewing temperature is optimal and consistent between consecutive shots? ....
;-)
That does not work; optimal temperature is appr. 88C (0,7 bar).
No water will enter the grouphead at that pressure.
Regards,

Guido