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Thread: Aplimont MiniGaggia

  1. #1
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    Aplimont MiniGaggia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Not really sure where this thread should sit but here it is.
    I have recently purchased a Minigaggia Lever machine from Spanish manufacturer Aplimont. Its an interesting little machine with a saturated open boiler and a commercial sized 58mm portafilter. On the whole its in very good nick, just needs some new seals and (hopefully) away I go.
    One thing that I do also need is a new shower screen. I was thinking as the group is already 58mm, that there might be something out there that will fit. Id love to hear from any other owners out there that might have experience with this machine.
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    Just for the sake of completeness here is the shower screen removed from the group. Anyone recognise this that can point me in a direction to start looking.
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    This might be it - it's for commercial lever group head (Astoria, Faema, Aurora etc) with clip on screen. Measures about 57mm (for 58mm basket):

    Shower screen - spare parts | Coffee Parts

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    Hey Samuel, your right that does look a lot like it.
    Funny thing is I had contacted Coffeeparts and sent them photos of the group, the screen and the machine and they were totally dismissive, saying they had nothing for a domestic machine, even after i had explained that the group was commercial sized and sent them all the dimensions.

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    Another very strange thing about these machines is that there is no provision for a seal on the boiler lid. Everyone just seems to glue the boiler shut with silicon. Problem is that they suck a bit of coffee back into the boiler so need to be disassembled and cleaned regularly. It seems funny to be having to scrape off the old silicon and re-glue every time you want to look in the boiler. I ordered some high temp silicon sheet and i'll see if i can cut a reusable seal. There is no pressure, its an open boiler but the seam of the joint between the lid and base sits right at the water line.

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    If it helps, I measured mine the OD came out to about 56.6mm and ID about 54.8mm (similar shower screen to link above).

    About the boiler seal, I supposed that wasn't meant to be opened regularly? I think the design was meant so that you fill and remove the boiler content via that small hole in the top rear. I can foresee it's not very ergonomic though.

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    Hey Samuel, thats a great help, thanks.
    Your OD seems a little smaller that the one thats on there. I think mine is more like 58mm but its totally beat to hell so that measurement may not be accurate. I will measure the bottom of the group cylinder when i get home and see if it could accommodate that screen. The ID seems perfect. What height is the screen? mine is about 7mm

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    No worries! ID is what matters because you want it to grab onto the inner sleeve of the group. If your basket is 58 mm, the shower screen has to be <58 mm otherwise it'd be binding to your basket every time you lock in your portafilter. 1-2 mm smaller wouldn't matter too much. So pretty sure the screen would fit right in. Height is about right (but away from the equipment at the moment).

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    Where did you get yours? Seen them on ebay internationally but none locally.
    Will be very interested to see how you go with it. I was considering one as an introduction to lever machines without breaking the bank.

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    I got mine from Spain. I have never seen one here in Australia. they were manufactured in Spain so it stands to reason that most of them are there. There seems to be quite a few around for sale at the moment. I had been looking for a while, most were beyond my budget but this one came up at a more realistic price.
    I have heard good things and bad things about them. I have heard that the shot temp is great and very stable but i have also heard that they are quite picky about grind and tamp. I have examples of most of the more common small domestic lever machines and I am quite a fan of the La Peppina. Its not the prettiest but it makes a very nice shot. Im also a fan of the Caravel but these are getting a bit harder to find for a reasonable price. Lever machines are great and provide quite a different flavour profile to a pump machine. They are also fun to work on without being an epic project - most can be stripped, cleaned and put back together in a weekend or two.
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    OK so i have received the shower screen double checked all the dimms with callipers and it seems to b the right size. The old shower screen was brass and the new one is stainless. Its claws are very stiff and I'm really having trouble getting all the claws over the lip of the group. I figure there must be a trick or technique to do this properly to make sure that no claws get caught and bent under. just pushing really hard doesn't seem to work. Anyone have any ideas?

  12. #12
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    What's the new one look like Aaron?

    Mal.

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    Its the one in the link posted by Samuellaw178 and purchased from Coffeeparts. It looks just like the old one but its made of stainless steel and the claws are not as splayed out.

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    Oki-doki...

    Not knowing how accessible things are under the group, do you think it would be possible to utilise a large-ish hose clamp to compress the tabs over after putting the screen into position? Might work...

    Mal.

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    Is it possible to spread the leg slightly using a plyer (carefully!)? I can't remember exactly but I think I might have done (just a little) that when I installed mine. No problem with loose screen and it clips on and off just fine.

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    Just received this interesting technique from someone. I will have a crack at this tonight and report back:
    "Regarding the loose shower screens, there's a trick to installing these and once they are bent in any way I find they're never the same again. Luckily they are neither expensive nor hard to find,
    Firstly, with the machine shut off pull the lever/piston groups up and out of the group barrels. Remove the old screens.
    Take a new screen with teeth pointing down and set it on a table. With your two thumbs, starting from the edge and rolling toward the center, press gently, carefully, but firmly until the convex curve snaps inward to become concave. If you press too hard, you can permanently bend or crease the screen and ruin it so here's where it's nice to have extras. If you get it pressed in properly, this will expand the teeth on the other side. Now you can easily turn them around and press the screens home in their groove. Now holding the screen in place by the edges, grab a lever or a wooden hammer handle and press down on the screen from inside the group until it snaps out again. This will lock the screen in so tightly you shouldn't be able to rotate it in its groove. You'll want them this tight so water is less prone to gushing around the outside of the screen when pulling a shot."
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    Just a little update from this. There was no way i could pop the screen to concave with my thumbs but i did it by putting a blind filter basket, which was slightly convex, on the convex screen and using a tamper, pushed down until it popped. Once on the group i used a screw driver handle to pop it back to convex.
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  18. #18
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    Where there's a will, there's a way...

    Good one Aaron...

    Mal.



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