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Thread: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

  1. #1
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    Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Everyone,

    I dont believe there are many people modifying their HX machines - I thought I would start some discussions on the topic. See what everyone has done and any suggestions.

    Here are my current modifications of my Giotto. The list so far is:
    - Heat wrapped boiler
    - PID and pressure control selectable via toggle switch (both SSR)
    - Better on/off switch, re-setable fuse & bigger feet
    - Heat deflector between boiler & electrics
    - X-cap on element & ceramic cap filter on electrics

    Usual stuff:
    - Restricted flow through head
    - Modified drip tray
    - Plumbed into 1/4" push-in fittings

    What else have people done?


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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    hmmmmmmm furry boiler 8-)

    Just the 1/4 pipe on a tap for me, with the inline scale filter, and plans to plumb in a drip tray drain.

    Could someone please explain the benefits of a PID in a HX? i get the dual purpose PID (had one) or sole purpose in a dual boiler, but HX?

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    what sully said about PID

    where are you getting the reading from for the pid? I assume on the HX line but where?

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    No you would put the PID on/in the main boiler.
    Advantages:
    - No dead band (well minute)
    - No moving parts to break down
    - Able to tweak the temp/pressure of the main boiler which will affect the temp of the HX
    - Geekiness

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Good points.

    The pickup is at the bottom of the tank line, so the sensor is covered by water all the time.

    The pressure and temp do not align (they do in your physics book - but not inside the HX boiler) so I can control using either to fine tune the water temp.

    Definitely no dead band off the PID, but the ramp up settings on the PID still need work. Oh and definitely geeky! Although I am still missing an easily variable pressure regulator.

    Also, the coolness is SSR control with nice x-caps... again only for those geeks. I had a laugh

    I would still like a variable flow control to the head - but a 1/4" ball valve in High temp SS is >$50.00 plus fitting - still need to work on that.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Ha this thread amuses me, just when i thought it was safe to stop thinking about PIDs ;D..........you start this thread!

    ha ha, ill be sticking stock for a while yet, love my GPP!

    cheers
    warren

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    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Any chance of a pic of your modified drip tray please?

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 14372E3D21580 link=1257849256/6#6 date=1257928128
    Any chance of a pic of your modified drip tray please?
    X 2, i was thinking of getting some stainless bent to replace the entire existing floor of the drip tray, so that it all runs down a 1 inch drain in the middle and out through a pipe that feeds out behind the machine, down behind teh bench and into a 20 lt bucket. kinda like this(warning crappy ms paint sketch ahead :o


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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    appreciate the warning ;D

    also interested in drip tray mod

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Ha ha how bad is it! The sketch was a thought as I finished the post, ya know when ya cant really describe what your talking about? I thought "its time to test the new windows 7 paint out!"........fail! ;D

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 6460465F5F5A45525D330 link=1257849256/9#9 date=1257939291
    I thought "its time to test the new windows 7 paint out!"........fail! ;D
    What are you talking about!? Thats an excellent drawing of a barnyard shed... ;)

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I can follow the drawing

    A fitting is installed in the depression of the drip tray & a drain hose connected to remove the water

    KK

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Re: Fitting a PID Controller to a HX machine....

    Minimum benefit (if any) over a decent quality p/stat as it only allows fiddling with the Boiler Water Temperature setpoint, not the temperature of the Brew Water as it reaches the Group. This is determined by the design of the Heat Exchanger system and Thermodynamics of the inter-relationship between all the components of this hydraulic circuit. Fiddling with the Boiler Water Temp. on an ongoing basis has many cons and very few pros. This is further exacerbated when a machine incorporates an E-61 Group as part of its design since these Groups have been engineered to maintain a stable Brew Water Temperature in synch with the Thermosyphon Circuit and HX design.

    If you have the urge to want to play around with variable Brew Water Temps, much better to save up for a Dual Boiler purpose built machine that is designed to do this, OR... buy a second hand Silvia or Lelit/Mokita/Fenice style of machine and fit a PID Controller to that. This will provide you with a practical alternative and facilitate much experimentation matching Brew Water Temp. to particular bean varietals and roast profiles.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 01252C2C2F2F1501253927254A0 link=1257849256/11#11 date=1257941777
    I can follow the drawing

    A fitting is installed in the depression of the drip tray & a drain hose connected to remove the water

    KK
    you hit the nail on the head KK, wish i could of ;D (i missed and hit my thumb :-[)

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Craig from 9 Bar Espresso Services and I are playing around with a few modifications, which Ill post about when theyre done.

    One that I have always wanted to try, but havent gotten around to, is removing the gicleur in the group, or replacing it with a much larger diameter one.

    PID for boiler ... lots of pros, cons and questions. I guess that one is that the PID only stabilises temperature at the point of the probe, so the relationship between that point and the brew temperature would be an interesting one to check out. Id love to experiment with a scace device a little more, but I have the impression that a workable rule of thumb might be that +0.1 bar corresponds to +second crack in brew temperature. It would be good to confirm it. That said, I also get the impression that most, if not all, e61 machines have a shot temperature rise of a degree or two across the first few back to back shots in a series, so thats an inherent limitation to be aware of. In any case, the pressurestat on the giotto premium plus at work strikes me as fairly unimpressive, so I think that replacing it with a better one or a PID wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing.

    Has anyone tried having their pstat switch via a SSR?

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 0E170103620 link=1257849256/14#14 date=1258029973
    I think that replacing it with a better one or a PID wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing.
    Waste of a good PID Controller in my opinion where HX machines are concerned; based purely on my professional opinion and experience gained over the past four decades working in a wide range of process control applications..... ::)

    Quote Originally Posted by 647D6B69080 link=1257849256/14#14 date=1258029973
    Has anyone tried having their pstat switch via a SSR?
    Why Luca?

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Re Giotto drainage why not investigate fitting the drainage system of the Giotto Pro.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 312E243528262A2235470 link=1257849256/16#16 date=1258055568
    Re Giotto drainage why not investigate fitting the drainage system of the Giotto Pro.
    Possible- but in a Giotto, the drip tray and chassis would need to be cut. The Premium Plus and Giotto Pro have a different chassis to the Giotto Premium.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 436E6A666B070 link=1257849256/15#15 date=1258034357
    Quote Originally Posted by 647D6B69080 link=1257849256/14#14 date=1258029973
    Has anyone tried having their pstat switch via a SSR?
    Why Luca?

    Mal.
    I have seen this on a few commercial machines and I am told that this increases the longevity of the pressurestat. Not being electrically minded, I wouldnt know. Its kind of funny to look inside a LM FB80 and see a tiny little CEME pressurestat switching the steam boiler.

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    From Paul Pratts LM site
    pressurestats
    relays

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D544240210 link=1257849256/14#14 date=1258029973
    One that I have always wanted to try, but havent gotten around to, is removing the gicleur in the group, or replacing it with a much larger diameter one. *

    Has anyone tried having their pstat switch via a SSR?

    Unrestricting the group by removing or drilling the group jet (gicleur) to a larger diameter results in slightly (depends on how much you drill out) cooler brewing water by allowing a quicker / greater flow of water to pass through the heat exchanger and into the group. The quicker flow, means it picks up less heat on the way through the hx.

    Machines are set up by their manufacturers with regard to many factors within their overall design, and drilling the group jet is only one part of the equation as Mal has pointed out somewhere above in one of his posts. If you drill out the jet, you may well end up chasing your tail around other parts of the machine trying to modify something else in order to "counter" the result of drilling the jet out....

    What is an SSR please. If it is some kind of relay, some of the better manufacturers have already been doing that. Some in fact have already gone past that and onto electronic relays that do the same job but dont have any working parts in them.

    These manufacturer supplied innovations (part of a good manufacturers R & D) do extend the working life of mini pressurestats so no reason why they wouldnt do the same for a regular sized pressurestat.

    That said, a sirai will last a good year in large cafe use so it could be said that to switch through some kind of relay is not necessarily *required when there are other things to service or replace annually (or even twice annually depending on the situation) the sirai being just one of them.

    Just returning for a moment to comment that a machine is a "total" *design, *someone above mentioned heat wrapping the boiler. I wouldnt do this unless prepared to spend considerable time and effort trying to cool the machine back down to an acceptable level afterwards. *Different machines will respond in different ways.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 10313A3D271E19540 link=1257849256/20#20 date=1258267357
    What is an SSR please
    Solid State Relay.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Fantastic, thank you. Its elementary really!

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A736567060 link=1257849256/18#18 date=1258254539
    I have seen this on a few commercial machines and I am told that this increases the longevity of the pressurestat. *Not being electrically minded, I wouldnt know. *Its kind of funny to look inside a LM FB80 and see a tiny little CEME pressurestat switching the steam boiler. *

    Cheers,
    Luca
    I had a laugh....

    I can imagine mate ;D

    Yep, thats a good reason to fit one. Easy to do as a retro-fit too if you know someone with the requisite quals and license.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D3C37302A1314590 link=1257849256/20#20 date=1258267357
    Just returning for a moment to comment that a machine is a "total" *design, *someone above mentioned heat wrapping the boiler. I wouldnt do this unless prepared to spend considerable time and effort trying to cool the machine back down to an acceptable level afterwards. *Different machines will respond in different ways.
    I appreciate what youre saying Denis but so long as the Boiler only is insulated, there will be no temperature increase of the Thermosyphon Flow as the Boiler Water Temp will not be altered, just become a lot more stable. For someone who relies on the Cup Warming Tray to keep their cups warm though, its not to be recommended.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Hi Greg-

    I recently puchased a Rocket Cellini Premium Plus, and am kicking myself for not purchasing the plumbed in version. I didnt realize how much I would use this machine, nor did I understand the whole flushing concept before purchasing.

    Would you mind sharing the details of how you plumbed yours in?

    Thanks!

    Steve

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I flush mine into a cup to help warm it, would only be 60 or so mls anyway.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    HI Everyone,

    Cheers for your comments.... a few points from my experiences.

    PID - What it does well:
    the PID is perfect for maintaining the machine on for longer durations. Less fluctuation, less energy and better water stability. The water temp remains constant once the machine has been on for a long time, ie. over 30min as there is little heat loss to the head/base/frame/etc hence the PID and steam pressure works well.
    1) Hence, I use the PID for keeping the machine warm;
    2) as a thermometer to the water temp, as you know the pressure does not translate to a temp well so you need a constant to work out your water temp out of the head. So now I can control my tank temp and hence brew head temp.

    PID - What it doesnt do well:
    On a cold or warm machine water temp =/= pressure, so steaming with a PID is no good. ie in the mornings when the machine is barely at temp and I need a coffee - I use the pstat it reacts better to steam pressure & gives a round about water temp.
    Once the machine is a stable temp over 30min then it acts very similar to the PID anyway and there is little benefit to a PID.

    Summary (for those who dont want to read the garble):
    Is a PID worth it? No its not worth it.
    Why do it? it will improve your coffee & consistency for au$60 & a few hrs effort.

    The drip tray mods:
    I have rounded the corners and adjusted the rubbers inside and I can actually fit the tray without scratching the base. Can you fit waste - yes BUT a) you will need to cut the frame/base b) there is little room between the base and tray - so the hole will need to be large to fit the catcher + piping.

    Plumbing in:
    This is tricky if you want a perfect frame mount finish.
    Easy if you want to lead the pipe inside through the pre-made hole in the base. This is easy and they come with fitting instructions.

    I purchased a plumb-in kit + installed a brass fitting and drilled into the base. The kit allows you to tap a John Guest fitting 1/4" press-in tube to the back of the pump with a fitting.

    What I did different was add a brass 1/4" fitting under the machine for easy access, then I added a solenoid to stop mains pressure on the pump by opening only when it is drawing. Plus I re-plumbed over-pressure to the water tank (which now fills UP and needs to be emptied). This is more complicated as there is very little room - I needed to move the controller module to fit the solenoid.

    The up side is an unlimited water supply, easy removal, and no chance to damage the pump :-)

    Cheers, Guys!

  29. #29
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 534651534E340 link=1257849256/27#27 date=1259101550
    Summary (for those who dont want to read the garble):
    Is a PID worth it? No its not worth it.
    Why do it? it will improve your coffee & consistency for au$60 & a few hrs effort.
    For a HX machine, that is very debatable Greg....

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 1233383F251C1B560 link=1257849256/20#20 date=1258267357
    Quote Originally Posted by 4D544240210 link=1257849256/14#14 date=1258029973
    One that I have always wanted to try, but havent gotten around to, is removing the gicleur in the group, or replacing it with a much larger diameter one.

    Unrestricting the group by removing or drilling the group jet (gicleur) to a larger diameter results in slightly (depends on how much you drill out) cooler brewing water by allowing a quicker / greater flow of water to pass through the heat exchanger and into the group. The quicker flow, means it picks up less heat on the way through the hx.

    Machines are set up by their manufacturers with regard to many factors within their overall design, and drilling the group jet is only one part of the equation as Mal has pointed out somewhere above in one of his posts. If you drill out the jet, you may well end up chasing your tail around other parts of the machine trying to modify something else in order to "counter" the result of drilling the jet out....
    Maybe. I dont know that thats necessarily right, though. The flow rate through the group is in part determined by the grind, dose and tamp, isnt it? If so, I dont think that it will actually have much of an effect on brew temperature. The restrictors that people usually fool around with for brew temperature are the larger diameter thermosyphon restrictors, not the smaller diameter group jet. In any case, the better shots that I have had have mostly been with less preinfusion and faster rampup. Removing that jet seems to be pretty straightforward and fairly easily reversible, so Im willing to give it a go.

    These manufacturer supplied innovations (part of a good manufacturers R & D) do extend the working life of mini pressurestats so no reason why they wouldnt do the same for a regular sized pressurestat.

    That said, a sirai will last a good year in large cafe use so it could be said that to switch through some kind of relay is not necessarily required when there are other things to service or replace annually (or even twice annually depending on the situation) the sirai being just one of them.
    The thing is that I dont actually like the sirai stats. Everyone seems to ooh and aah over the fact that they are "commercial" and rebuildable, but I think that the mater and ceme stats just do a better job. My home machine has a mater stat that tops out at just below 1.3 bar and bottoms out at 1.2 bar and has done so since I set it to do that a year or two ago. In contrast, Im led to believe that the Giotto Premium Plus that I have at work has a Sirai stat and over the past few months I have seen it top out at anywhere from 1.1 to 1.3 bar, with a deadband of maybe 0.15 or 0.2 bar. This might be because the sirai stat membrane gradually hardens. So Id probably rather have a mater or ceme stat switching through a relay than a sirai stat, regardless of whether we were talking about a commercial machine or a domestic machine.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  31. #31
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Re: the Sirai p/stat Luca....

    I think its gained a reputation for "desirability" because of its general open design and solidity that, in turn, lends itself to simple ongoing maintenance. Its design though, does not lend itself to producing a tight dead-band or low hysteresis; if this is considered important...

    Im with you as it happens, currently own one machine with a Sirai and the other fitted with a Mater XP700.... The Mater exhibits excellent control of the Boiler pressure with a hysteresis of less than 0.1 Bar and a resulting temperature differential envelope in the Boiler of roughly 1.5C. An excellent result in any terms.... 8-)

    As you touched on elsewhere, a low hysteresis p/stat in combination with a suitable SSR to switch the actual heating element(s) current, would be a very reliable and almost maintenance free proposition. Coupled with relative simplicity as a retrofit, its something worth considering too.

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 55787C707D110 link=1257849256/24#24 date=1258276487
    I appreciate what youre saying Denis but so long as the Boiler only is insulated, there will be no temperature increase of the Thermosyphon Flow as the Boiler Water Temp will not be altered, just become a lot more stable.
    something I havent seen any mention of, is the effect that insulating the boiler will have on the temperature of water in the tank, especially when its left idling for several hours...
    It seems to me that a lower ambient temperature inside the machine = lower water temp in the tank = lower shot temps. would that be right?

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 507C7C637661252A40130 link=1257849256/31#31 date=1266210478
    something I havent seen any mention of, is the effect that insulating the boiler will have on the temperature of water in the tank, especially when its left idling for several hours...
    It seems to me that a lower ambient temperature inside the machine = lower water temp in the tank = lower shot temps.would that be right?
    I was thinking you were wrong.....then i had better think.....

    Im no expert.....but, the temp in the boiler will remain constant regardless of what insulation is packed around the outside of the boiler, all it will alter is the cycle time to keep the water at temp/keep pressure, it will loose less heat there fore less requirement to activate the boiler...

    But if the water that is fed into the HX from the water tank is cooler due to the boiler being insulated....say 22C,it then passes through the HX, out the other side(prior to the e61) at eg 95C. My understanding would be the same relative with warmer water.....30C in, 103C out........

    Now this is where my brain/knowledge dies ;D does the e-61 deal with this well?

    Please someone correct me if im wrong.... and i probably am ;DI would imagine the temp of the water entering the HX would have any impact on what is passed through the grouphead.(unless the E-61 stabilises it well ;))

    My head hurts ;D


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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I have no theory for this--like WSully my head starts to hurt when all the variables come home to roost.

    On a practical level I havent noticed cold shots since I insulated my boiler, but then I did add some insulation to the casing of the machine as well.

    I do know that the tank water can get pretty warm after the machine has been on for a few hours.

    Greg

  35. #35
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 74415654645C415E525F57330 link=1257849256/33#33 date=1266222214
    I have no theory for this--like WSully my head starts to hurt when all the variables come home to roost.

    On a practical level I havent noticed cold shots since I insulated my boiler, but then I did add some insulation to the casing of the machine as well.

    I do know that the tank water can get pretty warm after the machine has been on for a few hours.

    Greg
    YEp.. Too many variables and ASSUMPTIONS.

    Boiler- Insulated. Stops heat loss.. Tis all and thus is reflected in the cycle times etc.

    As to the E-61 and other systems... Insulating the neck and other components can be an issue. *Many have already done the maths and calculated the heat losses / transfers etc for a given boiler temp.

    YEP: Too many variables and ASSUMPTIONS.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    The only evidence I have found re: the effects of ambient temperature relative to Brew Water temperature, is that rises in supply water temperature necessitates a slightly longer Cooling Flush Volume than when the supply water temperature goes the other way.

    Once the Brew Water Temperature is stable, that is where it stays until the machine is left idle once more. The net effect seems to be that higher ambient temperatures equate to drawing less heat from the HX than cooler temperatures. Only one way to identify this for yourself and that is to carry out your own experiments with your setup.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D50545855390 link=1257849256/35#35 date=1266225873
    Only one way to identify this for yourself and that is to carry out your own experiments with your setup...
    I missed the post today - had a note that a delivery is waiting to pick up at the post office - I expect its my E61 digital thermometer adapter from Eric Svendson. Ill do some experiments with "warm" tank water vs fresh "cool" water - should be close to the difference an insulated tank would make...

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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A4646594C5B1F107A290 link=1257849256/36#36 date=1266228287
    Ill do some experiments with "warm" tank water vs fresh "cool" water
    Really looking forward to seeing the results cooper69s, ill chuck a notification on this thread ;)

    cheers mate


  39. #39
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Agreed--I too will keep an eye out for the results. Id love to know about the input/output through a E-61.

    As i mentioned in another thread, my house hot water is an HX (I guess its actually closer to a thermoblock ::) ), and the output water varies in temperature almost as much as the input water temperature varies throughout the year.

    Greg

  40. #40
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    You guys do realise that you can do the test yourselves, right?

    If you have one of Andys thermo-logging DMMs, all you need is a bead t/c instead of the probe unit. Charge the basket in your normal fashion as if intending to pull a shot, and then sit the bead of the t/c about half-way between the centre and the circumference of the basket, then carefully lock in to the group.

    The insulation on these probes is very tough and will withstand the rigours of bending around the lip of the basket/Group without any problems. Plug the t/c connectors into the DMM, turn on, set up for temperature and then start experimenting. You can even use the thermo-logging software if you want to record the information for posterity.

    Since youre not going to drink the results of the pour, theres no need to keep recharging the basket since youre only looking to control the water flow-rate so that you end up with real-world results rather than free pour data which is not representative.

    Ive used this method heaps of times using the same bead t/c and it is still going strong. So, what are you waiting for? ;)

    Mal.

  41. #41
    kbc
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I havent started with any mods yet. The first will be to insulate the boiler. I have the material and hope to get to work on the weekend. Any tips?

  42. #42
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 7140544D58151115210 link=1257849256/40#40 date=1266382887
    I havent started with any mods yet. *The first will be to insulate the boiler. *I have the material and hope to get to work on the weekend. *Any tips? *
    Yes, insulate something else instead. Im at a loss as to understand why you would bother doing this and what you hope to achieve. :-?


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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Isnt the decreased cycle time enough den? water in reserviour cooler, greg did it here
    I would have thought it was a good idea, why do you think not? curious :-/

  44. #44
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I just think there are better things to do, like...get a pet.

    Its not like I feel the need to put ice blocks in there to cool the water down on a hot day. I honestly dont think a few degrees difference in the reservoir will make any significant difference to what ends up in the cup. The flip side is that the cup warming tray will be cooler, so you either pre-heat the cups with hot water, which more than negates the cost effectiveness of cycle times, or you end up with a not so great tasting cup of coffee. If there is an argument that fewer cycle times will increase life span, then an argument must also exist that the longer cool down will shorten the life span.

    One of the tweaks shown above has some foil insulation on the case and not too far away from electrical components. If it were to fall over it could blow the thermostat or worse still, electrify the whole chassis, and AM will tell you what will happen then. In addition, the boiler insulation appears to be attached with strands of wire which is again too close to electrical wiring for my liking.

    I think a very good understanding of what and why you would make these types of alteration needs to be considered in conjunction with why the manufacturer didnt do it in the first place. One also needs to have the technical aptitude, and so far in this thread, I havent read anything that reassures me that this in play.

    Much better idea would be to take a wander around the house, and see how many things are plugged in, sucking up power, that dont need to be on standby. And as I said earlier, I think it is far better to get a pet. They will add years to your life, not take them away.



  45. #45
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 537279797E64170 link=1257849256/43#43 date=1266390964
    I just think there are better things to do, like...get a pet.

    Its not like I feel the need to put ice blocks in there to cool the water down on a hot day. *I honestly dont think a few degrees difference in the reservoir will make any significant difference to what ends up in the cup. *The flip side is that the cup warming tray will be cooler, so you either pre-heat the cups with hot water, which more than negates the cost effectiveness of cycle times, or you end up with a not so great tasting cup of coffee. *If there is an argument that fewer cycle times will increase life span, then an argument must also exist that the longer cool down will shorten the life span.

    One of the tweaks shown above has some foil insulation on the case and not too far away from electrical components. *If it were to fall over it could blow the thermostat or worse still, electrify the whole chassis, and AM will tell you what will happen then. *In addition, the boiler insulation appears to be attached with strands of wire which is again too close to electrical wiring for my liking.

    I think a very good understanding of what and why you would make these types of alteration needs to be considered in conjunction with why the manufacturer didnt do it in the first place. *One also needs to have the technical aptitude, and so far in this thread, I havent read anything that reassures me that this in play.

    Much better idea would be to take a wander around the house, and see how many things are plugged in, sucking up power, that dont need to be on standby. *And as I said earlier, I think it is far better to get a pet. *They will add years to your life, not take them away.

    Fantastic answer Den.......as per usual ;)

  46. #46
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Fair enough Den...

    You dont think insulating a boiler is a good thing, then dont do it. However, for those of us from an engineering background I can tell you it is definitely worth doing. The only reason manufacturers dont all do it (quite a few do) is that of cost.

    If having an effective cup warming tray is important to you, then dont do it. The most important benefit apart from improving the efficiency of the Boiler, is to reduce the ambient temperature within the case. That in turn has the benefit of improving the longevity of all electronic and electrical components (by a considerable margin as life of these components is reduced at roughly the square or each degree C rise in temperature).

    Fair enough if you dont see the benefit mate, but unless you have the appropriate engineering background and experience in dealing with this stuff (in my case, more than 4 decades) then I dont think you should be advising people either for or against undertaking it.

    Just my two bobs worth.... ;)

    Mal.

  47. #47
    A_M
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    I think Mal and Den are both correct..

    Is that having a bob each way ?

    1: Done correctly, it has any number of merits..


    2: Incorrectly and no EST after replacing covers etc... *Assumptions and dangerous.

    Then there is the WHAT IF ?

    Again... Many variables...


    Then the question is WHY... *If to save power, then many other appliances etc can also be better managed.

    NOTE: I add significant insulation to my hot water system.. *And have a power monitor to catch those things that get left on..

    Also a reason I want a Della Corta Mini, with the extra switch ;D





  48. #48
    TC
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by 735C5557407F535C5355575F575C46320 link=1257849256/46#46 date=1266397651
    Also a reason I want a Della Corta Mini, with the extra switch
    Nar- I want an Alex Duetto with the extra switch. You can have your choice of brew, steam or both boilers on and no clunky analogue control over anything. Build quality and finish are incomparable. *8-)

  49. #49
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    Gday Mal

    I respect your knowledge and experience and am sure that in your hands, any modifications would not only be beneficial but performed admirably.

    I didnt intend it as advice (apart from the bit about getting a pet). It was intended as my opinion that there are more worthwhile things that can be achieved.

    Maybe my two bobs worth is really only worth a zac, but no, I still dont like the look of the modifications shown in the first photo of this thread.

    Cheers! :)




  50. #50
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Anyones Giotto & other HX Modifications

    No worries mate, thats fair enough...

    I wish I could roast coffee as well as you do though, still trying ;)

    Mal.



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