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Thread: Setting up coffee carts

  1. #1
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    Setting up coffee carts

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Quick question for the unitiated

    Why do mobile coffee vans need to have inverters in them?

    If they run off a gen-set that has an inverter - do they still need one?

    Cheers
    Melbuurn

  2. #2
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    I reckon its mainly in case you cant use the generator, you can still run the van off battery (leave the van running).

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    so what happens when there is 240v available....would the inverter simply act as a filter for dirty power?

  4. #4
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Inverter really is a DC -> AC converter. So the inverters would be irrelevant in that case, and the van should have some sort of switch to accomodate you simply plugging into mains power.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Depends on how it setup. Fridges may be run off the inverter or in some cases LPG. That way on the way to and from the job they keep cold.

    In most cases the machines need power from mains or a gen set but some are also LPG fired and just need the inverter for control s like boiler feed etc.

    In that case the inverter may be used for running the grinder, pump etc.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    thanks guys, im still confused.

    the way i see it, it would be 240v feed in, run through a RCD for safety - then tap off this the machine, grinder, fridges etc.

    The only time i see the need for an inverter is if there is no gen set or 240v, rather a heap of batteries to run everything. this is where the inverter would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0205010E060C19090E07600 link=1270821026/4#4 date=1270822554
    control s like boiler feed etc.
    When you mention boiler feed, what do you mean? Wouldnt the boiler be primed by the pump inside the machine?

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    A_M
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 676F66687F7F78640A0 link=1270821026/5#5 date=1270822894
    thanks guys, im still confused.

    the way i see it, it would be 240v feed in, run through a RCD for safety - then tap off this the machine, grinder, fridges etc.

    The only time i see the need for an inverter is if there is no gen set or 240v, rather a heap of batteries to run everything. *this is where the inverter would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0205010E060C19090E07600 link=1270821026/4#4 date=1270822554
    control s like boiler feed etc.
    When you mention boiler feed, what do you mean? *Wouldnt the boiler be primed by the pump inside the machine?
    No.... As BF said some times you have a mix and other times noise or the gen may not be able to be used...

    There is no one way to do it... It depends on ya needs.

    Besides... Ya run out of fuel... Ya stuffed.. When ya charging batteries the load is easer to manage on the generator... Not so many surges etc and if shit happens... Ya can still provide power to the critical products until ya get back to base.

    In some cases the machine may have an external pump and you may also have other pumps for washing and rinsing down etc..

    Lots of variability and ya have to always have a plan B... Those that dont suffer the fallout and the losses, as well as loosing clients.




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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Each setup will be different as to how the switchover from inverter power and whatever it is running to mains/generator power. A few of the smart carts have some fancy auto switch over electrics.

    Also I think you may be considering that the inverter is running the machice, this is VERY unlikely as at 3000W+ you would need 3-500 kg of batteries for a days work :o

    Quote Originally Posted by 545C555B4C4C4B57390 link=1270821026/5#5 date=1270822894
    Wouldnt the boiler be primed by the pump inside the machine
    Not all pumps are internal to the machines and in the case of gas fired even if it is internal then the power has to come from somewhere even when it is on gas but the electric element is disabled.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    thanks for the tips guys...im starting to understand

    so, in essence it is quite possible to simply run the machine and grinder, fridges etc with one leg off the boiler from a 10amp household GPO - but if youre busy suffer the downtime of waiting for it to reheat....

    So, if you didnt want to have DR in place as BF mentioned with the batteries and simply ran it from mains power then you should be OK....

    Failing that, the mains power could quiet easily comes from a gen-set - again at the mercy of breakdowns?

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    i dont think im overly comfortable with gas fired. also, the van im thinking of building wont be going into building sites, rather static at markets etc that can provide power

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Why then have the expense of a van, either a cart that rolls on and off a trailer or one built into a trailer. Much cheaper and easier (trust me).

    And if you want to run a generator later down the track you can incorporate it into the design.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    I am with Moto with this. A cart is a more versitile option especially when teamed with a good easy to manage trailer. Couple of things for you to consider, especially as your in Melbourne.

    Corporate work, trade shows, exibitions, etc. A cart will fit into a standard indoor 3m x 3m show space and will go into elevators and through standard doors. A trailer mounted or van mounted unit wont work for any of this unless outdoor.

    Some market sites are smaller at 3x3 as well so your van wont fit or in some cases you may need 2 sites or a larger one so more unfront costs.

    Just a few more bits to "help" your thought processes :D

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    thanks for all the tips guys.

    The attraction of the van was that everything is on board and can be done reasonably cheaply (i.e. around $10k), park it during the week, Friday night reload stock and then head off to work Sat morning.

    With a trailer, there is one for sale in Bendigo for 30k which is a bit rich.

    On carts, the corporate market is attractive and good coin, but I am planning on keeping my day job for the fore-seeable future, so this may not be. There is a cart I know of for around 10k but have been told by their tech that it is a bit rich.

    I dawdelled and missed 2 vans up for auction in QLD earlier this year.

    Just wondering - have any of you seen a cart setup as I am curious to know how you get them to stay-put in the trailer, whether you need to take the machine off during transport etc.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Depending on the setup, 10k is cheap. Think about it.

    -Coffee machine, around 3.5k depending on what one you got
    -the cart itself is around 7.5k assuming you got one custom made and made to the mobile food vending code. The code requires hot water via a mixer tap so it can be used to wash hands, so youll need a small hot water heater, a pump, also a fridge to keep milk cold. It also needs to made of an impervious material such as food grade stainless steel. MVU sell theirs for around 8.5k (google MVU or mobile vending units)
    -trailer would cost around 2 to 3k, particularly as youll require one with a pivot so as to allow it to be winched up.
    -generator for the kind of power you need will require around 5.5kva, so youre looking at a Honda EM65is or similar which cost 5.5k to 6k

    It quickly adds up

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Courtesy of the bay of evil this pic is a MVU based set up going up on the trailer. This one is way over the top on price too ::)


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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    thanks Acog

    Ive done the maths, had some very lengthy chats with Craig from 9Bar (Ithe guy is an absolute legend) and have chatted with my electrician and stainless engineer.

    The biggest hurdle with any trailer or van setup will be that everything electrical needs to be double poled which is no biggie, just more expensive.

    A decent second hand van goes for around 4k, reco machine and grinder is 3k, electrical fitout including RCD is around $600, hot water service is $400 new, stainless bench fitout is $400, associated bits and bobs around another $1500. Im lucky enough that the bulk of the work I can do myself apart from the stainless folding and the electrics, for which I have tradie mates.

    The 65si generator is the best on the market, sits around 6.5k and would be the next logical step.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 232B222C3B3B3C204E0 link=1270821026/12#12 date=1270988311
    Just wondering - have any of you seen a cart setup as I am curious to know how you get them to stay-put in the trailer, whether you need to take the machine off during transport etc.
    Even with an electric winch, loading the whole thing on to a trailer is going to be work enough, youd want something that doesnt need removing from the cart beforehand.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B69656D6D6364790A0 link=1270821026/13#13 date=1270989231
    MVU sell theirs for around 8.5k
    There big one comes in at $18k without the trailer :o

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 54535758505A4F5F5851360 link=1270821026/17#17 date=1271036332
    There big one comes in at $18k without the trailer

    Holy Cow Batman!

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    so...if thought is rights, i dont need an inverter?

    Is there a need to a 6.5kva gen set? A 2 group and grinder, with one leg off the boiler and a couple bar fidges for milk should run off a 5kva?

    There s a huge price drop from the 65si down to the 5kva honda silent.

    Does it need t be inverter? Everything in the van (or cart) will be 240v...

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    The inverter if your going generator or mains power is to keep the fridges going while going to and from the gig in most cases or maybe lighting while setting up etc. 500W should cruise in two small fridges but check first. When your set up and on mains/gen the fridges then go onto that source.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    If you are setting your van up on second hand gear then you will run into trouble as old gear always comes with issues IMHO. Dont forget you will probably have to get the van lined with an "easily cleaned material" (1-2k), and I would would increase your "bits and bobs" by quite a bit as there are all these annoying little things (fire extinguishers for a start) that pop up.

    When I am talking about carts I am talking about the easily moved ones for markets and conferences not the ones that are semi permanent.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Thanks Guys

    Craig at 9Bar has a couple nice machines I can choose from. There is a Wega compact, 3 months old for around 4.5k, or a rancilio 2grp for a little over 3k all recod.

    This easily cleaned material that you speak of - what is it, and where???

    The next thing I need to do is find out from the councils the requirements that will keep them happy.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    I think you will find more and more the Melbourne City guidlines getting used by all councils as the defacto standard in Victoria at least. http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ente...Guidelines.pdf What this means is that once you go beyond just doing coffee and basic prepacked food you need a second sink plus some other stuff.

    Easily washable means impervious to water or product so no exposed untreated *timber no nooks and crannies for bugs etc. So you will find a lot of Stainless Steel (304 grade) and in some cases fiberglass inserts in Van setups.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F676E607777706C020 link=1270821026/22#22 date=1271051475
    This easily cleaned material that you speak of - what is it, and where???
    That is up to the interpretation of the person doing the inspection. Get friendly with your council to find out what they will and wont allow.

    As for the 2nd hand gear Im not really talking about the coffee machine, they can be put in and out easily. It is the van, if there is any issues you are off the road and not making money, but only you know what level of risk you are prepared to take with these sort of issues.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    thanks for that, just printed it and will read it during my evening latte

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 717F727D6A7C7D130 link=1270821026/24#24 date=1271052503
    As for the 2nd hand gear Im not really talking about the coffee machine, they can be put in and out easily. It is the van, if there is any issues you are off the road and not making money, but only you know what level of risk you are prepared to take with these sort of issues.
    thanks moto - i am acutely aware of these risks and have factored them into my business plan. There is some other options I am looking at, but figured this open discussion was an appropriate place to start.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 585059574040475B350 link=1270821026/26#26 date=1271053052
    thanks moto - i am acutely aware of these risks and have factored them into my business plan. *There is some other options I am looking at, but figured this open discussion was an appropriate place to start.
    Excellent to hear, the quote I lived by when starting my business is that it will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think, which worked out about right too.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 434D404F584E4F210 link=1270821026/24#24 date=1271052503
    ....., if there is any issues you are off the road and not making money,
    Speaking of similar things Moto do you leave the machine on top of your Cart when you are using it or do you truck it around seperately then lift it on? Also looking at my Izzo if it goes mobile what bits can shake loose, Pressurestats drain and warmer trays etc. Any special treatment such as rubber mounts etc?

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Nope just bolted on, but there isnt too much jarring as the trailer is sprung correctly for the weight so the suspension works well. Wouldnt hurt to put in some rubber mounts though.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    hey moto...i am curious to see your setup

    can you post a pic or 6?

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    There is a couple of pics in this thread http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1261426907

    but I normally work out of a van which I dont have any recent pics handy.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 0007030C040E1B0B0C05620 link=1270821026/23#23 date=1271051815
    What this means is that once you go beyond just doing coffee and basic prepacked food you need a second sink plus some other stuff.
    Most council health officers Ive spoken to suggested you need it regardless. They consider milk a risky food product (any dairy) and hence the need for a second sink.

    All councils to my understanding are going off the national food safety guidelines.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Melbuurn,

    Heres some pics of a cart I have kicking about which might whet your appettite.








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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    That was my understanding too the local guy said one sink was fine here but I am going 2 sinks anyway and thinking of putting in foot operated taps too.

    The other cool thing I am considering is a jug washer from Espresso parts. A bit exe but it should save water while rinsing so it might be worthwhile. also will do for one of the sinks or they have one I could cut into another sink.

    TIME TO RENAME THIS THREAD TOO I reckon ;)



  36. #36
    Wine_of_the_Bean
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Careful with that jug washer BF. It will become the talking point of your entire operation. I dont care how shiny and impressive the rest of your equipment may be, it will be completely overruled by that jug washer.

    Beware...

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 21232F2727292E33400 link=1270821027/33#33 date=1271062752
    Melbuurn,

    Heres some pics of a cart I have kicking about which might whet your appettite
    Hey Acog...i like

    Interested in selling? How much for cash (sorry, the Italian coming out in me)


    And which cheeky bugger renamed the thread!

  38. #38
    TC
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C444D435454534F210 link=1270821027/36#36 date=1271076281
    And which cheeky bugger renamed the thread!
    I did....The thread was so far OT that the original title was pretty much irrelevant *:-?

  39. #39
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Naah Im kind of attached to it.

    That one Beanflying put a picture up of is very similar to mine and its pretty much a Walk in Walk out purchase. Might be worth considering?

    Then again, if you reckon you can construct most of it with the help of friends, give it a shot.

    BTW, to get back on the original topic, mine has a Honda EM70is generator (6.5kva max) with an inverter. You could practically power your house with this beast.

  40. #40
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    just out of curiosity....what size trailer and suspension setup do you need to carry this beast around in?

    Was there any reason why you bought an inverter model genset?

    I quite like the Honda EM6is generators. Looking at the setup that Atilio from Cosmorex had it was a handheld size generator....

  41. #41
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    I bought this all set up, so I had no hand in deciding things. My understanding of electricals is pretty rough, but I believe that an inverter is required to change the DC current of the generator to AC - I could be completely wrong.

    Off the top of my head, the trailer is an 8 footer, similar to the picture beanflying posted above. It has a winch mounted to allow the cart to be pulled up on to the trailer. Before I got the electricals done for the winch, my arms were getting quite the workout winding it manually.

    Im not sure which picture of Attilios you had, but I know the mobile van set up his son had for sale a while ago ran completely off deep cycle batteries with an inverter. Expensive to set up and if you run one battery down, it can kill the entire bank of batteries, requiring replacement.

    Honestly, the 12litre boiler Milano/Wega on my cart is probably overkill and if money werent an issue at this point, Id probably downgrade to something smaller with a 10amp element. It means organisers are more likely to lend you a power circuit and you probably have a larger option of generators to choose from.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    10amp machines are only good for small events and cant keep up with big crowds. 15 amp power points are fairly common at events.

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 373F36382F2F28345A0 link=1270821027/39#39 date=1271112150
    what size trailer and suspension setup do you need to carry this beast
    With suspension in particular you need to work out the weight you want to carry first then engineer the trailer suspension last.

    Running a 3 grp on 3000W we happily managed 2 of us on steam and pulling shots as well, part of this is due to the big reserve of steam from the large boiler. A 2 group compact on 10A will die a death with more than one good operator and even then you will be waiting from what I have seen. Go LARGE 8-)

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A747976617776180 link=1270821027/41#41 date=1271132779
    10amp machines are only good for small events and cant keep up with big crowds. 15 amp power points are fairly common at events.
    Thus far no event organiser Ive spoken with is willing to supply power, even when the generator is a source of noise pollution. >:(

  45. #45
    A_M
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 25272B23232D2A37440 link=1270821027/43#43 date=1271147934
    Quote Originally Posted by 7A747976617776180 link=1270821027/41#41 date=1271132779
    10amp machines are only good for small events and cant keep up with big crowds. 15 amp power points are fairly common at events. *
    Thus far no event organiser Ive spoken with is willing to supply power, even when the generator is a source of noise pollution. *>:(
    If only you guys knew...

    Tis a simple mod with a xxxx xxxxx zzzzz mod to allow your 15 amp system to work with ease off a double gpo.


    I gave up trying to run the KLIIB system off a single element and made a simple mod and now have it running at full power ofs 10A ccts.

    Piece of cake.. In addition it is almost 100% fool proof... [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

    Necessity is the mother of invention.

    I just need to make it into a kit... Have parts for 4 / maybe 5 units and would suggest about $75 a kit plus an electrician to install.

    Totally electrical safe; if installed by a licensed / qualified person.....

  46. #46
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Are you trying to suggest running 3600W through a 10amp power point? (I dont think you are) If not is the kliib system just using less power hence not creating as much steam power?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D7F737B7B75726F1C0 link=1270821027/43#43 date=1271147934
    Thus far no event organiser Ive spoken with is willing to supply power, even when the generator is a source of noise pollution. *
    Really some organisers need to realise the level of service supplied by coffee vendors and get with the program. Have dealt with some who realise the rewards arent that huge and cant do enough, some however think you are going down to buy a new car after one days work so they put their hand out for a big cut!!!!!

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 38363B342335345A0 link=1270821027/45#45 date=1271150810
    Are you trying to suggest running 3600W through a 10amp power point? (I dont think you are) If not is the kliib system just using less power hence not creating as much steam power?
    Out side the square people... Thats why some of us are in the fields we are.

    In fact it runs at 4000W


    Secondly even at a reduced rate the steam power is the same.. It is the recovery that is the issue..

    But mine now performs the same as if connected to a 20A cct....

    Kits could be available on request and after a non disclosure */ prenup has been signed off *;D


    AlexTom *ya need to get over here next week.. Will mod ya Feama for ya.. No more *Waiting 45 min plus to get a head of steam... *Full-bore and thus ya parties will rock... And one less child to manage.

    It will only cost ya one new born *;)

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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 735C5557407F535C5355575F575C46320 link=1270821027/44#44 date=1271149791
    If only you guys knew...

    Tis a simple mod with a xxxx * xxxxx * zzzzz mod *to allow your 15 amp system to work with ease off a double gpo.

    I just need to make it into a kit... Have parts for 4 / maybe 5 units and would suggest about $75 a kit plus an electrician to install.

    Totally electrical safe; if installed by a licensed / qualified person.....
    AM, can we get more info on this. maybe start a thread or "by request" rather than have every one with a pair of pliers and some wire making one.... (me included)

    I am very interested in hwo you go about it.....

    Thanks
    Leeham

  49. #49
    A_M
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    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A464F42424B270 link=1270821027/47#47 date=1271155334
    Quote Originally Posted by 735C5557407F535C5355575F575C46320 link=1270821027/44#44 date=1271149791
    If only you guys knew...

    Tis a simple mod with a xxxx * xxxxx * zzzzz mod *to allow your 15 amp system to work with ease off a double gpo.

    I just need to make it into a kit... Have parts for 4 / maybe 5 units and would suggest about $75 a kit plus an electrician to install.

    Totally electrical safe; if installed by a licensed / qualified person..... *
    AM, can we get more info on this. maybe start a thread or "by request" rather than have every one with a pair of pliers and some wire making one.... (me included)

    I am very interested in hwo you go about it.....

    Thanks
    Leeham
    Thats what I am concerned about.... Cowboys and 240V... No offence but that is the fact.

    Some start a thread.. Ask and I will request information and MAY provide further advice as to if the mod can be performed for YOUR particular need.

    Not all machines are the same and thus may not lend themselves to this ability.

    As I said.. About $75 for the raw parts if gotten at the right price.


  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    239

    Re: Setting up coffee carts

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 51535F5757595E43300 link=1270821027/38#38 date=1271109681
    That one Beanflying put a picture up of is very similar to mine and its pretty much a Walk in Walk out purchase. Might be worth considering?

    BF - wanna sell?



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