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Thread: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

  1. #1
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    Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi - despite the mixed reviews I read out there, I have just purchased a second hand kitchenaid artisan espresso machine on ebay and am learning how to use it.* I notice that its been some time since anyone has talked about them on the forum - interested if anyone out there has much knowledge on any DIY servicing or improvements/modifications, any good service outlets in Melbourne (better to take it to a licenced kitchenaid service centre or gaggia people?), any fixes to potential problems or how people are enjoying their machines generally.*

    Ive upgraded from a basic sunbeam which I was getting reasonable results from, and now I need to learn how to make coffee again it seems!

    Any hints, tips or general banter on this topic would be much appreciated!

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Re: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    Dont know the kitchenaid, but I know the little gaggias quite well. If it has gaggia components, you should be able to get good results.
    If you are moving from pressurised to non-pressurised baskets as I suspect, there will be some relearning involved. You will need to grind finer and probably tamp harder. What sort of grinder do yoy have? What beans are you using?

    For servicing, 9bar are often recommended for service and if they cant help, will know someone who can.
    For bits and pieces like tampers, milk jugs, thermometers etc., coffee-a-roma are just down the road from you in camberwell.

    Best upgrade would be to install a PID controller, but it would ruin the look. You may want to research temperature surfing.

  3. #3
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    Re: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    Hi soyflatwhite,

    I had a Kitchenaid for 6 years. I changed the froth enhance with a proper steaming wand. Howto

    I also disconnected the micro switch which allows the steam boiler to fill when ever the steam knob is closed. This allowed me to vent the condensed water in the steam nozzle, then start coffee extraction, then start steaming more easily. If you dont, when you start extracting the first thing that happens is the steam boiler starts filling, which I found an annoyance. Of course this means that you must manually fill the steam boiler, which I just did out of habit as I cleaned the nozzle. Just make sure you tell your house sitters though. I didnt and the boiler ran dry and overheated! No damage expect the boiler temp gauge broke.

    Also, one of the plastic tubes in the machine burst at one stage. I attempted to fix it myself however I could not find fittings small enough. Unfortunately the attempt also voided my warranty and cost around $100 to fix. The repair was done by an authorised agent who replaced the tube with copper* :)

    Also the thermal fuses on the steam boiler have blown, easy fix, buy some more from Jaycar and replace them (sorry no how to).

    I would certainly consider a PID upgrade, I never thought of it myself. The boilers are thermostat controlled so there is a bit a variability in the temp (although I have never measured it).

    I also "plumbed in" the Kitchenaid

    The machine served pretty well for 6 years, but now i have upgraded.

    Good luck
    dp.


  4. #4
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    Re: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by 232B252D2F353529252D460 link=1308295341/1#1 date=1308299546
    Dont know the kitchenaid, but I know the little gaggias quite well. If it has gaggia components, you should be able to get good results.
    If you are moving from pressurised to non-pressurised baskets as I suspect, there will be some relearning involved. You will need to grind finer and probably tamp harder.* What sort of grinder do yoy have? What beans are you using?

    For servicing, 9bar are often recommended for service and if they cant help, will know someone who can.
    For bits and pieces like tampers, milk jugs, thermometers etc., coffee-a-roma are just down the road from you in camberwell.

    Best upgrade would be to install a PID controller, but it would ruin the look. You may want to research temperature surfing.
    Ive got a sunbeam cafe series conical grinder and I normally go for 5 senses beans I pick up weekly from the Collective in Camberwell.* Will have to check out Cafe-a-roma. Can you direct me to some good information on temperature surfing? ::)

  5. #5
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    Re: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67626364797B7F7676100 link=1308295341/2#2 date=1308361914
    Hi soyflatwhite,

    I had a Kitchenaid for 6 years. I changed the froth enhance with a proper steaming wand. Howto

    I also disconnected the micro switch which allows the steam boiler to fill when ever the steam knob is closed. This allowed me to vent the condensed water in the steam nozzle, then start coffee extraction, then start steaming more easily. If you dont, when you start extracting the first thing that happens is the steam boiler starts filling, which I found an annoyance. Of course this means that you must manually fill the steam boiler, which I just did out of habit as I cleaned the nozzle. Just make sure you tell your house sitters though. I didnt and the boiler ran dry and overheated! No damage expect the boiler temp gauge broke.

    Also, one of the plastic tubes in the machine burst at one stage. I attempted to fix it myself however I could not find fittings small enough. Unfortunately the attempt also voided my warranty and cost around $100 to fix. The repair was done by an authorised agent who replaced the tube with copper* :)

    Also the thermal fuses on the steam boiler have blown, easy fix, buy some more from Jaycar and replace them (sorry no how to).

    I would certainly consider a PID upgrade, I never thought of it myself. The boilers are thermostat controlled so there is a bit a variability in the temp (although I have never measured it).

    I also "plumbed in" the Kitchenaid

    The machine served pretty well for 6 years, but now i have upgraded.

    Good luck
    dp.
    Thanks dp - youve given me some food for thought. I think my first priority is to get used to the machine and get it serviced - the seller claimed to have looked after it but clearly never removed the shower screen and was completely blocked. I have noticed that the steam pressure dial goes over the optimum range, the coffee boiler stays in the mid range. 15 shots pulled and Im starting to get the hang of it - the steam wand without the silly attachment seems to work ok for now.

    The PID upgrade sounds interesting!

    Thanks for the info!

  6. #6
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    Re: Any KitchenAid Artisan aficionados out there?

    For temp surfing a search here or on the interweb will do the trick. You could look at Silvia temp surfing as lots of people with the Silvia find it helps a lot. Same basic principle for your machine. I never bothered - a PID controller eliminated the need, but then I am pretty capable at DIY and electrickery.

    Hope ya got the beans.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrstikoff View Post
    Hi soyflatwhite,

    I had a Kitchenaid for 6 years. I changed the froth enhance with a proper steaming wand. Howto

    I also disconnected the micro switch which allows the steam boiler to fill when ever the steam knob is closed. This allowed me to vent the condensed water in the steam nozzle, then start coffee extraction, then start steaming more easily. If you dont, when you start extracting the first thing that happens is the steam boiler starts filling, which I found an annoyance. Of course this means that you must manually fill the steam boiler, which I just did out of habit as I cleaned the nozzle. Just make sure you tell your house sitters though. I didnt and the boiler ran dry and overheated! No damage expect the boiler temp gauge broke.

    Also, one of the plastic tubes in the machine burst at one stage. I attempted to fix it myself however I could not find fittings small enough. Unfortunately the attempt also voided my warranty and cost around $100 to fix. The repair was done by an authorised agent who replaced the tube with copper*

    Also the thermal fuses on the steam boiler have blown, easy fix, buy some more from Jaycar and replace them (sorry no how to).

    I would certainly consider a PID upgrade, I never thought of it myself. The boilers are thermostat controlled so there is a bit a variability in the temp (although I have never measured it).

    I also "plumbed in" the Kitchenaid

    The machine served pretty well for 6 years, but now i have upgraded.

    Good luck
    dp.
    Probably too much time has gone by since the above, however I'll post this in hope: Having just purchased a KA which had been virtually unused, I wondered about how the steam boiler got filled unless I did it manually, which I do. I realised there was a microswitch attached to the steam dial, but was uncertain what it did. I assumed that it might trigger the pump to fill the steam boiler, or does it work in reverse, ie. stop the steam boiler from filling unless you either (a) press the hot water button or (b) having dispensed hot water, start extracting. If the latter is the case, how would I be aware that the steam boiler was filling, and why would it be an annoyance? I'm sort of confused. The instruction booklet does not stress that the steam boiler has to be filled manually after use, so I kind of assumed there was an automatic system. But I was unaware of how it worked, I have been cautious and always topped up the boiler manually.

  8. #8
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    Are you sure the microswitch doesn't trigger the heating element?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrJack View Post
    Are you sure the microswitch doesn't trigger the heating element?
    Ah! Is it the heating element the microswitch triggers? I understood from the post by wrstikoff that what he was saying was that it triggered the pump to fill the steam boiler. But I was puzzled because I doubted that it could fill it if the boiler was under pressure. And I certainly couldn't see that the pump could possibly extract coffee AND fill the steam boiler at the same time. However, if the steam boiler always needs to be filled manually (after steaming) so that it never runs dry, this extremely important point is not made clear, as far as I can see, in the AK instruction manual. It should be in BIG RED LETTERS! Perhaps this is why so many people have had problems with leaking gaskets and 'O' rings in the steam boiler. Yes, it certainly seems more likely that the microswitch turns on the heating element.

  10. #10
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    To be honest I don't know; it would seem logical though. Especially if you have a smallish boiler.

  11. #11
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    OPV Adjustment: my KA Proline was set at 14 bars, so I found in another forum that the OPV could be reached from the back after taking out the water reservoir. Very easy, 3/4 turn anti clock wise and now 9.5 bars and lots of crema. The opv is located where the water tubes come out, there is a hole there where you put the allen hex key.

  12. #12
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    I know this post is old but I have just finished renovating an old Kitchenaid machine my wife said "would look good in the kitchen, much better than that clinical stainless steel one we have (sorry Rancilio).

    In modding the machine I found the answer to the question above - the microswitch drops the solenoid valve on the steam boiler but only if coffee switch is closed. What this does is stop the steam boiler filling and pumping hot water out the wand when drawing off steam, only necessary when pump already running due to dispensing coffee.

    The machine is not that bad - all Gaggia inside - 2 boilers Gaggia classic standard. The problem is the steam boiler runs all the time and it is just not designed to run at 160+ deg constantly. This destroys the o rings fast causing leaks which if not caught will cause all sorts of problems.

    The machine I picked up had coffee side working perfectly but no steam. Steam thermostat was permanently closed, thermal fuses blown and signs of a fairly significant leak from where the solenoid valve seats on the steam boiler. To cut a long story short I stripped it down, cleaned up the steam boiler (re-surfaced all the o ring seats with 240 wet and dry working down to 800). Reassembled with new longer bolts - both boiler to bottom plate and valves to bottom plate as the threads were beginning to strip - had some Gaggia o rings hanging about so no issues there.

    The next issue was the steam thermostat - in the plumbing junk box I had an old cylinder thermostat - adjustable 30-90 deg - but seemed to have a set screw adjustment also. The sensor was a standard copper tube remote sensor. After experimenting I found that the stat could be adjusted to operate up to over 180 deg - with hysteresis of only a couple of degrees. Ended up setting it at 155 deg max that gave about 80 deg at min setting. The thermal sensor was fitted in the top of the steam boiler where the sensor was for the (faulty) steam temperature gauge. I mounted the stat itself so the adjustment shaft protrudes through the back of the upper housing of the machine and pushed the knob back on. Now I can turn up boiler temperature when I want steam (takes about 1 min to heat from 80 to 155).

    This worked OK - however found steam not enough for my liking. There seem to be 2 issues here.

    1. The steam boiler is disconnected whenever the coffee boiler heats. This is annoying as normally I froth the milk after pulling the shot - so just when you need power to the steam boiler the coffee boiler is re-heating and power is cut to steam.

    2. There is no way to force the steam boiler to power up when steam is being used - I believed this would be a big help.

    So started looking at the wiring diagrams. The boilers are prevented from working together to limit the current pulled by the machine - however after some calcs it was clear that for a 220/240 volt machine both boilers on together should not be a problem - less than 3Kw together. For a 110 volt machine this would be a problem as it would draw too much current so do not try this on a 110 volt machine. Enabling both boilers proved fairly easy - just a bit of rewiring to take the relay that disables the steam boiler out of circuit. The existing cabling is big enough to take the load. Then realised I could maybe use the relay coupled with the microswitch on the steam valve to power the steam boiler during steaming - this required changing the Normally closed microswitch for a changeover type (easily available from any good electronics shop) so it still drops the power to the solenod valve but now applies it instead to the relay that was used to cut the steam boiler - with a bit of further (simple) rewiring the relay now powers the steam boiler.

    So far the results are very good - I can turn the steam boiler temp down after using so it "idles" at 80 deg - should ensure the boiler lasts longer between seal changes - coffee boiler no longer interrupt power to steam boiler - steam boiler powered while pulling steam (have not seen temp on steam boiler above 175 deg which is well below thermal fuse threshold (I fitted 200 deg fuses) and does not cause steam over pressure valve to blow (I know from an overshoot while setting thermostat this is about 185 deg).

    Finally set the brew pressure from over 11 bar (top end of my gauge) to 9 bar (my preferred setting) and it pulls a great shot if you vent the boiler before fitting the portafiller which usually causes the heater to kick in - stat on coffee boiler is good and keeps temp fairly constant.

    All in all a success - especially with my wife as it is a "pretty" machine which was why she wanted it in the first place.

    I am now very happy with the machine - I know the purists will say it suffers from all the gaggia classic issues of temp surfing etc. However if that is important to you then all the Gaggia mods up to and including PIDs will work on this machine.
    Dimal and RexChan like this.

  13. #13
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    Good work 'M'...

    One thing though - The maximum power that can be legally supplied from a standard Australian/NZ 10A Power Outlet is 2.3KW (with a 230V AC Supply), not 3.0KW.

    Need to be careful there...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Good work 'M'...

    One thing though - The maximum power that can be legally supplied from a standard Australian/NZ 10A Power Outlet is 2.3KW (with a 230V AC Supply), not 3.0KW.

    Need to be careful there...

    Mal.
    Thanks for the very important input - was not aware of that - I know this is an Australian forum - but I am English and live in Poland - I joined as it is the best forum around on the subject.

    Shame you have the 2.3kW limit as that does make this mod a no-go for Aus/NZ users.

    So please do not try it unless you also have your wiring changed to accommodate an outlet that can supply the necessary nearly 3kW of power (a lot of effort for a bit more steam).

    In UK limit is 13A @ 240v and in most of Europe it is 15A @ 220 which means appliances up to 3kW can be used from a normal wall socket.

    The Classic is rated at 1300 watts - not clear if that is boiler only or boiler plus pump etc. in either case it rules out 2 boiler simultaneous use in Aus/NZ.


    I must say this has transformed the machine - it delivers steam very reliably now. The main improvement in steam is I am sure is supplying power to the steam boiler when the steam valve is open - it should be possible to make this happen while ensuring only one boiler at a time runs - would need to work out how to connect the steam microswitch and coffee boiler relay so that when the steam valve is open the coffee boiler is inhibited so only the steam boiler is powered. Sure this must be possible. The only drawback would be that you would have to time your frothing between shots so as not to pull a shot when coffee boiler not up to temperature.
    Dimal likes this.

  15. #15
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    Hi All, I know it’s been awhile since the last post, but this thread seems like the most up to date on the KitchenAid.

    i Just picked up a used grey machine in Bundoora, Melbourne, off gumtree for $100. The switches have been modified to toggle switches. The seller didn’t mention anything about them, but I’ll have to ask more about the history.

    Anyway, I’m trying to figure out how the steam boiler gets refilled, as running the hot water button seems run the pump, which changes tone (assume it’s filling the steam boiler, then gets full). This is with steam knob closed.

    Does the steam boiler automatically get refilled as well?

  16. #16
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    Hi all,

    Thought I'd update how it's been going: the steam boiler doesn't seem to get refilled automatically, so I make a habit of refilling it after steaming milk.

    The temp dials don't work & have condensation (common issue that will investigate when I open it up), and there seems to be no indication when the brew/steam boiler heating coil is active.

    I still have the original steam wand, with plastic tip removed, so it's a short, single hole tip. I plan to swap to a Silvia wand soon.

    I got a Brevile SmartGrinderPro as well, and getting decent crema shots with Aldi medium roast Lazzio beans (roasted in Richmond, Melbourne according to reddit). I'm struggling with steaming milk, but hoping it comes with practice.

  17. #17
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    Hi lads,

    I recently acquired a black KitchenAid and instantly found myself reading this forum.
    Steam and brewing boiler is working fine, however i'm struggling to get the wand to project water using the steamer once the machine has heated up (works when I initially switch the machine on)
    Can anyone shed any light at all?

    Also really want to upgrade the wand to the Silvia. Can anyone tell me how difficult it is?

    I found this version where the nut has been replaced with one that looks like it should theoretically make it easier?:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modified-Ra...via+steam+wand

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

  18. #18
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    I was just given a Kitchen Aid KES2102ER 0 and it has a bad hot water pump.
    Kitchen Aid just looks at me funny when I try to get a spare part
    Anyone know if I can substitute something else easily?
    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Welcome D'42...

    Are you able to grab the details from the pump?
    Or, maybe post up a photo of the pump itself with the nameplate in view?

    Mal.

  20. #20
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    There is no independent hot water pump. The machine only has one pump, an Ulka EP5, which is shared between the boilers when needed.

    The main cause of no hot water in these machines is a failed momentary switch which operates the hot water function. They aren't readily available and are a unique size, often some modification is needed to get it working again.

    Just to make sure, as the machine is new to you and they aren't the best designed, you need to open the steam tap then press the hot water switch otherwise the pump will be trying to pump against a closed valve and nothing will happen.
    Dimal likes this.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphin42 View Post
    I was just given a Kitchen Aid KES2102ER 0 and it has a bad hot water pump.
    Kitchen Aid just looks at me funny when I try to get a spare part
    Anyone know if I can substitute something else easily?
    Thanks
    Find your local service agent for Gaggia. Hopefully itís an independent as they should be happy to sell you parts and do work on your KitchenAid. The KitchenAid uses mostly parts that are found in domestic Gaggia machines.
    Dimal likes this.



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