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Thread: Gaggia Classic, steam and gurgling during frothing. Normal?

  1. #1
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    Question Gaggia Classic, steam and gurgling during frothing. Normal?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have a second hand Gaggia Classic and I'm a bit worried there may be an issue with it. I only pikcked it up a week ago.

    The issue I'm having is I'm noticing steam and a gurgling noise coming through the group head when the machine is in steam mode. It does this once it has heated up to 160 dgrees and then continues even while I'm steaming and the boiler temp goes down to 145. I know the temperature due to the PID sensor. I have not used a pid before and so i dont know if it affects the operation during steaming.

    Could it indicate one of the vavles not operating correctly such as the opv or 3 way.

    If this isn't an issue then thats great.

    The reason I ask all this is that my Gaggia Classic of 4 years cracked a boiler and it was making these noises also. I don't want another cracked boiler.

    Lastly i would like to thanks the users on here for helping guide me toward my original Gaggia as it made a great coffee until it cracked.

  2. #2
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    My PID is set to 150 for streaming. I would have thought 160 to be a little excessive.
    The head will have water around the dispersion plate and shower screen that will boil off when steaming, so a degree of steam and gurgling is expected, which my machine does.
    I'm impressed you cracked a boiler! I've never seen or heard of this happening except in America if the boiler froze in transit!

  3. #3
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    I'd be a bit worried having it set on 150C too...

    Never found it necessary to have the Steam Setpoint higher than 125C.
    When texturing milk, the PID Controller was good enough to 'clamp' the boiler temperature right there during the entire texturing procedure. Always produced copious amounts of powerful, dry steam...

    Some of the bubbling and gurgling sounds could be due to an insufficiently primed boiler too I s'pose. Is this side of things being attended to?

    Mal.

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    I call it boiler fart and it is the main reason why I remove the portafilter after pulling a shot before steaming milk. Agree that 160C is a bit too high and very close to the thermofuse threshold. My PID for brew and steam from Auber Instruments uses the alarm function for steaming and configured to turn off at 149C and turn back on at 148C. It will overshoot to read as high as 153C.
    LeroyC likes this.

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I'd be checking your parameters if you're getting performance from your PID Controller as lousy as that...

    Mal.

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    Using the default PID values set by Auber would behave exactly the same way for steam function. I suppose it will be different if one were to use 2 SSR and 2 RTD. The single RTD is connected to replace the brew thermostat. Readings from where the steam thermostat is located would most likely different. The performance of the brew function with my current PID setting is stable and responsive within the limits of a 100ml boiler.

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much for the responses.

    How do I know if my PID has steam control? If it does, is it hard to change this setting as I don't have a manual for the PID. I had a bit of a look on the Auber site but couldn't find a manual.

    I guess the other option if I don't have steam control is to replace a thermostat, I assume that is what controls this function in the Gaggia.

  8. #8
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    I assume with the large temp differences I am seeing indicates that perhaps I don't have the PID controlling the steam perhaps.

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    Pop the top off and take a few pics of the inside and a pic of your PID controller/display unit. Maybe we can help you from there.

  10. #10
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    Do you have an Auber brand PID, or something else?
    Edit- I'm too slow!

  11. #11
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    Photos I just took.

    DSC_0027_1.JPGDSC_0028.JPGDSC_0029.JPG


    Quote Originally Posted by JojoS View Post
    Pop the top off and take a few pics of the inside and a pic of your PID controller/display unit. Maybe we can help you from there.

  12. #12
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    I just saw a 'how to replace a thermostat' video and it would appear that the wires are not connected to my steam thermostat as I can now recognize it within the spaghetti of wires. I guess this means my setup has a steam function. Now I just need to work out how to adjust the steam temp on the Auber.

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    Yes you have steam function via PID alarm.

  14. #14
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    PM me your email address and I will share the Auber files with you from my Google Drive.

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    Cool thanks for that JojoS. I will do some hunting around to see if I can find a manual to work out how to change the setting on the PID.

  16. #16
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    Good luck with the tinkering of the PID settings. Keep us posted with your settings and experience with it.

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    Interesting. You have steam control but only a single SSR? I don't have experience with the Auber, but all the DIY ones have one SSR for switching brew and one for steam.
    Dimal likes this.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyjj21 View Post
    Interesting. You have steam control but only a single SSR? I don't have experience with the Auber, but all the DIY ones have one SSR for switching brew and one for steam.
    That is how Auber Instruments designed the kit they made for Gaggia. The steam control is via the PID alarm and just an on/off electronic switch and the default setting is 149C off/148C on and you will learn soon enough how to best use it with some sort of temp surfing to ensure having dry steam to froth your milk. My most reliable technique is to open the steam wand by half a turn and turn the steam switch on. Upon reaching 120C, I close the wand and wait until the ready light turns on and I purge the steam until the ready light turns off indicating the heaters are active. When the temp reaches it's lowest downswing at around 141-142C, I start steaming my milk and I will get to my desired milk temp of 62C without the heaters turning off. I have weighed my steamed milk and the added weight is always around 10% compared to other techniques that I previously used that added as much as 17%. How much steam water do you add to your steamed milk?

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    I went through and checked the values in the PID now that I have some instructions on the use of it. I have changed some of them back to the suggested default settings according to Auber. Settings shown below.

    However this has not made any difference as the steam temp on the display still went up to 160 before dropping down again down to the mid-140's. As the settings for the steam were already at the suggested defaults then I guess I can only expect the same. I will try to lower these say 10 degrees and see how it goes.

    P - 4.0 (changed)
    I - 60 (changed)
    d - 15 (changed)

    SV - 102 (stayed the same)
    AH1 - 148 (stayed the same)
    AL1 - 149 (stayed the same)

    Inty - 4 (I tried the suggested PT100 but it didn't show temp on the display anymore so I put it back to 4)
    Corf - 0

  20. #20
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    Ahh so the thermocouple you are using is not RTD PT100. What you have is most likely a DIY. You have the option to lower the AH1 and AL1.

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    Is it worth adding the RTD PT100 to complete it perhaps?

  22. #22
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    Nah! Just make use of it. Do you remember the old PID settings before you changed them to Auber's default values? Just compare performance for brewing. Nothing to do with the steam function. The wild swing during steam function is not really a big deal.

  23. #23
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    Bugger. I didn't note the values before I changed them to default. I'll see if I notice any difference tomorrow when I brew.



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