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Thread: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

  1. #1
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well I have done it… jumped onto evilbay and bought myself a “real” coffee maker. A single group semi-auto Boema. The café that owned this recently changed hands and the new owners had a bigger better coffee machine so no longer needed this little beauty.


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema15b.jpg


    First thing to do is pull it to bits for the mandatory inspection and clean.


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema20b.jpg


    To clean you need cleaning product... :) CLR is a great acid for cleaning umm... errr.. CLR (Calcium, Lime and Rust) and this was used as the first level of gunge-stripper for most of the parts. Mostly I like to use what I call "edible acid" which is two litres of cleaning vinegar (acetic acid) mixed with a container of citric acid. The beauty of using edible acid is that although tasting like sour fish and chips it shouldn’t harm you if ingested and has the additional bonus of being nice to the planet too.


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema25b.jpg

    Get three containers, the first with the CLR mixed to a fairly strong solution. The second with the edible acid and the third filled with water with a cup of bi-carb soda added to it. (The bi-carb will neutralise the previous acid baths). A toothbrush, paint brush, scotch-brite and a sponge are great to clean with.


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema30b.jpg


    See if you can get a volunteer from the audience to help you with the water/bi-carb wash. A 3 year old or a monkey that wants to splash when bored is a fine choice :)


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema35b.jpg


    More bits missing, some clean ones are back


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema39b.jpg


    Getting prettier...


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema40b.jpg


    Ohhhh... even have reflections now!


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema41b.jpg


    In our kitchen we had a microwave oven built into a hutch... this was clearly a waste of space and needed to be replaced with a real coffee machine. :)


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema44b.jpg

    I needed to make a new side for the machine because I didn’t need or want the "cup warmer". Because the whole machine was effectively being built into an enclosure I took the opportunity of improving the design. The boiler has now been wrapped in a 1/2 a fibreglass "pink bat", well it was a yellow one donated to the cause by Dave who enjoys the spoils of a good coffee at my house)
    (For readers outside of Oz "Pink Bats" are insulation material used in ceilings.)


    http://mediapix-australia.com/coffee/boema45b.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Andy,

    Very informative and intreresting.
    However, the thing I noticed out of all the pics is that you seem to have a Kiss pinball machine and others.

    I think wed get on well.
    I have 3 pinnies myself. ST-TNG, Sinbad and King Pin.

  3. #3
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    hee hee hee... Yes I have Kiss, Genie and Speakeasy 4 down in the "boys" shed where all good things are created.

    We should do a study of the effects of drinking too much good coffee vs reaction times and high scores in pinball * ;D


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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Andy,
    Ive been thinking of doing the same sort of thing. Could say what the Boema replaced, and if you noticed any significant difference in what you turn out?

    Cheers,

    Boris

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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Any welcome to the world of BOEMA Owners.... like a Big stick, you just cant break them.......... GREAT TO SEE!!!!1

    just an unbiased opinion from another Boema Owner.

    BTW if you contact Boema they might have a manual and a spare parts listing for you.

    French....Boema..... Bean

    :-)

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    well guys... the coffee out of it is great.

    Boris - The line of coffee machine has been something like... a handful of drip coffee machines and a plunger followed by espresso machines including Breville, Krups, Quickmill (fully auto machine with a grinder), Breville (bought while chasing parts for the Quickmill) and now the Boema.

    Rich -- The microwave got downsized and put in the pantry. The original microwave will either get given away or will become an inside-out coffee roaster ;)

    French Bean -- I knew you were a Boema user... What a great machine the semi auto is. No timers and circuit boards of stuff to fail, just simple solinoids, boiler, motor, pump and element which are all repairable and sourced locally (not in Italy).


    All--

    To be honest (and not the least bit snobby) the little Breville that I bought as a "fill-in machine" after the Quickmill died makes an espresso as good as any machine anywhere. You have to run a phantom shot through it to get some heat into the machine and also have to put good coffee into it and the result *when used correctly" is awesome.

    True! I would like to see a blind taste test of the same shots out of different hardware to see if the average taster could tell the difference.

    What the little home machines dont do is make steam and this is where a "real" machine will win hands down every time.

    The Boema makes oodles of steam, more than I will ever use.

    So now I need to learn how to use the steam to make fuzzy moo juice that I hear some strange people like to dilute their good coffee with. :o


  7. #7
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    A job well done but look out for distortion / cracking / swelling of material of cupboard over time due to containment of heat / moisture from building in. Hope you have left some ventilation at the top rear of cupboard.

    Also, lagging of boiler is not recommended. It is not uncommon for commercial esp machines to have the occasional overfill and this results in flooding out the safety valve with water all over the place. The lagging will saturate causing more problems, including electricla problems. IN addition anti-vacuum valves spit steam and condensation almost continually so an area of lagging may stay moist all the time....the lagging may well be an ideal breeding ground for vermin (roaches).

    Make sure all inlet / drainage / power cords have plenty of slack so machine can be easily moved around for cleaning, maintenance etc.

    Regardez,
    FC

  8. #8
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    "FC"...
    The ventilation slats on the rear of the cabinet do a great job of NOT containing the heat... in fact they are doing a far better job of letting the heat out than a "cup warmer" full of cups (which would be blocking most of the vent holes) and because the boiler is now insulated the amount of heat required to escape is very minimal.

    “Lagging the boiler is not recommended”…. by whom sir?
    I ran the idea past a local machine repairer (with nearly 30 years experience as an on-site repairer/contractor to nearly every machine seller in Australia) who thought that insulating it was a great idea.

    “The ideal breading ground for cockroaches” is actually NSW/ACT ;D ;D ;D I have never ever had one in Geelong and will be very surprised if the addition of a coffee machine will act like the pied-piper and start a stampede towards my house.

    What insulating the boiler has done is that it contains the heat, reheating times have more than halved, the power usage is also halved and the operating temperature has become far more consistent. I couldn’t be happier with the result. I understand that it will require more monitoring but should it ever become a problem I can remove or redo it quickly, cheaply and easily.

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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Andy,

    relax. This was meant only to help, not hinder or upset. Did I not preface my post with ...."A job well done..."?

    My experience in the business of coffee machines is no less authentic and authoritative than that of the person from whom you apparently sought advice.

    In addition and with regard to your question "lagging...not recommended by whom...?. You will find that if you telephone Bo-Ema direct that this is most probably the advice that will be given. The reasons are already noted.

    Both yourself, as well as others, need to be aware of the possible consequences of the things that you may do to change a machine away from the standard configuration.

    Glad you live in a roach free area!

    Regardez,
    FC.

  10. #10
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    I am relaxed 8)

    You didnt upset ;)

    You did preface with "A job well done but" (there is always a but) ;D

    In my opinion... calling Bo-Ema would result in the answer that you suggest but (there is that word again) they are coming from a wholesale/retail perspective and not the greenbean hobbiest angle. "Us" home green bean bakers are mostly tinkerers and very hands-on in routine maintainance. Boema and others need to keep the variables simple to reduce the labour costs of running a machine in a cafe. Their answer to slow heat-up times would be to turn the machine on earlier, with insulation I can have the unit ready for use in under 10 minutes (down from the original 25). The cafe and coffeesnobs are two different markets and I believe can run different rule-sets, the "standard configuration" is also the "average installation" and mine is neither.

    I also doubt that in a society obsessed with litigation that the heatgun, vacuum cleaner, BBQ, portable oven and popcorn machine manufacturers would give a public blessing to modifying their products for coffee roasting and cooling.

    Having said that, I do appreciate your experiance and opinions and understand your good motives. Keep posting your thoughts!

    Yes, roach free is good! :D

  11. #11
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    I have had a few private messages about the prices/costs and will answer it here for others who have similar questions...

    THE HARDWARE:
    The Boema was bought on Evilbay (sight unseen) for $530.

    FREIGHT:
    The owner was nice enough to box it up so I could get a courier to pick it up. I dont know the freight costs as I used our work courier (TNT) and we get invoiced monthly(ish). When I get the actual costs Ill edit this post. Guessing about $70 for road freight.

    CLEANING:
    I bought 6 litres of cleaning vinegar and 3 containers of citric acid for about $10 in total. I bought two 750ml bottles of CLR at about $12 each and a couple of scotchbrite sponges at about $3 each. Elbow grease, $Free. A grand total of $40 in cleaning "stuff"

    REPAIRS / MODS:
    one of the connectors to the boiler leaked and appeared to have a fine crack in it, it had been over tightened at some stage in its life and the soft tapered thread damaged. The best fix for this (after attempting a few different reducers and fittings) was to silver solder it directly into the boiler. A local radiator repair place did that for $25 and pressure tested the vessel too. The piece of steel plate for the side cost me $5 and is only gal... stainless to come at a later date.


    So a grand total of under $700 and it is happily making coffee for all.

    I was lucky that the element, motor, pump, pressure switch etc were all in good condition else I could have had an additional $500 odd added to the bill in getting the motor rewound or the pump rebuilt etc... please allow for some hidden expense when buying the "works fine" second-hand coffee machine.


  12. #12
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    $700 and isnt that much really for what you have... ours needed a new motor and pump and a few seals etc $750 was our final price... the hardware in these is quite interchangeable which really allows you to continue many many yeras of upgrade options.

    Keep an eye on the 3 way solenoid that shuts the water flow to the grouphead, as they get older they start to drip, this can be replaced for about $80-90.

    $350 was very cheap.. you got a Very good buy, its a much newer model than ours, but the internals are relatively the same, except ours has the 12.5 litre tank.

    The lagging idea is a good thing to do, especially in a home enviroment,Ive been concidering this for quite a while, let me know what you use and I will try it as well.

    I would sugest that a tray be made avail for any accidental water overflow, (but in 12 months ours hasnt leaked, if it does it means that the control module has problems)

    Enjoy!!!!!

    FB

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1108007340/0#7 date=1108334714
    Also, lagging of boiler is not recommended. It is not uncommon for commercial esp machines to have the occasional overfill and this results in flooding out the safety valve with water all over the place. The lagging will saturate causing more problems, including electricla problems. IN addition anti-vacuum valves spit steam and condensation almost continually so an area of lagging may stay moist all the time....the lagging may well be an ideal breeding ground for vermin (roaches).

    FC
    Hi,

    I think it is still a worthwhile consideration to "lag" the boiler. In my experience, where venting of the Safety Valve will cause problems of the nature you describe and others, it is entirely reasonable to "pipe" the vent of the Safety Valve to a drain or other suitable site. It may be necessary to call in the expertise of a suitably qualified person to do the mod for you but well worth it in the end.

    Also, it should be possible to leave a hole in the lagging that allows the Safety Valve to protrude through without prejudicing the integrity of the overall lagging job per se. This would allow the piping of the Safety Valve vent at some post date.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  14. #14
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Boema Semiauto Single Group - Reno/rebirth

    A few weeks in and all is well. I have bought a big 1.5lt stainless jug from a local catering supplier to learn milk techniques... having fun so far too.

    I got the invoice from TNT couriers... cost a whole $35 to get it from the central coast of NSW to Geelong. It was sent road freight (3-5 days) but arrived overnight. Awsome service and far too cheap but Im not about to complain. :)

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    Hi all, couldn't find anywhere on the etiquette of posting on an 8yr old thread, so here goes...

    Long time voyeur of the CS forum, first time poster...

    I know this is from a long time ago, but I don't suppose you still any pics of this resto do you Andy? The above links have obviously timed out :'-(



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