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  • A fun first day of the new espresso season

    Well todays the day. With the heat of summer now past and fall temps settling in nicely over the area (daytime highs hitting 15C and overnight lows of down too 7C) its time to fire up ye olde espresso machine for the new season.

    Before I fire it up though first it gets a complete going over and cleaning and a (hopefully!) simple mod.

    My Cimbali M-52 has a pressure gauge for the high pressure/grouphead side of things that is mounted on the inside of the machine. Seeing as its not really of much use there as I dont use the M-52 but rarely Ive decided to remove it from the M-52 and install it on my M-28.

    Its always bothered me that while theres a gauge showing the boiler pressure no such instrumentation exists on the machine for the high pressure side of things. So its time for a mod! ;D

    This should be a simple mod as its just a bare gauge and its lead pipe. Im hoping to mount it externally next to the hot water and steam valve knobs on the upper right of the front of the M-28 through the hole thats already there for a switch that controls an electric cup warmer which is not installed on my unit (like it needs one!).

    While they are dramatically different machines the M-52 and the M-28 both use the same valve/pressure regulator set-up. I should be able to simply remove the pressure gauge on the M-52 and install it on the same valve/regulator in the M-28. Moving the cap from the connection point for the lead on the M-28 to the M-52 so it will still be fully functional.

    The fun part will be working in the tight spaces to get it installed on the M-28 with-out kinking its lead pipe and then coming up with an aesthetically pleasing mount for it that will keep it far enough away from the knobs so it doesnt interfere with their operation nor burn any fingers.

    Ill take some before and after pictures and post them here later.

    WooHoo! Another Mod Project! ;D
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  • #2
    Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

    Originally posted by Javaphile link=1157926594/0#0 date=1157926594
    Well todays the day. With the heat of summer now past and fall temps settling in nicely over the area (daytime highs hitting 15C and overnight lows of down too 7C) its time to fire up ye olde espresso machine for the new season.

    Before I fire it up though first it gets a complete going over and cleaning and a (hopefully!) simple mod.

    WooHoo! Another Mod Project! ;D
    Hi Javaphile....

    Good to see the coffee season is coming!

    Re your mod....

    Have you thought of using a combined gauge - like the one in the M20 series.

    Assuming the original is a round gauge I think the M20 would be a perfect fit and look real neat as well....

    Would cost you a few more pennies (available from Coffee Parts) but would keep your baby looking good!! ;D


    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

      Originally posted by JavaB link=1157926594/0#1 date=1157927403
      Re your mod....

      Have you thought of using a combined gauge - like the one in the M20 series.

      Assuming the original is a round gauge I think the M20 would be a perfect fit and look real neat as well....

      Would cost you a few more pennies (available from Coffee Parts) but would keep your baby looking good!! ;D

      Yeah I debated going that route but it would cost some bucks for the parts. Not only for the gauge, piping, and connectors, but for a new faceplace where the gauge sits in back of the SS splash plate so the whole gauge would be visible instead of only half of it.

      Given that I had all the parts I needed off of the M-52 I decided to go that route.

      It turns out that the gauge is too big to fit between the hot water and steam knobs and mounting it on top of the machine looks really klunky. As a result Im mounting it on the lower panel where the main power, brew, and water fill knobs are. Theres a couple of extra holes down there with plugs in them, one of which will work perfectly for the gauge to mount to. It will mount up with enough space on its backside to prevent any water or milk from getting trapped in there but shouldnt stick out far enough to cause any problems. Viewing of it will not be as nice as if it were mounted up top but is still easily achieved. Because the gauges body is made from black plastic it should fit right in next to the black knobs. Mounting it on the lower panel also keeps it away from all of the heat of the system which should extend its life.

      It turns out that the gauge not only measures the high pressure side of the system but also the pressure on the incoming water line. Nice info to have!

      Ive finished doing the boiler flush and the test hook-up of the gauge to make sure it all fits and will work properly and now have to mount the gauge and tie its pipe (a very thin soft copper pipe) down so it wont vibrate under use and possibly wear a hole in itself or break. Then Ill fire up the machine and adjust the pressure to 9 bar (its currently at 9.5 bar) and put all its pieces back where they belong. Then Ill have to wait until everything gets warmed up before I can pull that first God Shot of the new season. WooHoo!

      Hhhmmm....Do I make the first shot from Kenya AA Thika or from the Yemen Mocha....Decisions decisions! :-/

      Java "Hurray for data!" phile
      Toys! I must have new toys!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

        Originally posted by Javaphile link=1157926594/0#2 date=1157938578

        Yeah I debated going that route but it would cost some bucks for the parts. Not only for the gauge, piping, and connectors, but for a new faceplace where the gauge sits in back of the SS splash plate so the whole gauge would be visible instead of only half of it.

        Given that I had all the parts I needed off of the M-52 I decided to go that route.
        Pity as it looks good on my M20.... but sounds like a lot of work - and expense unfortunately
        The solution sounds pretty good.... just wont be quite so easy to see.



        It turns out that the gauge not only measures the high pressure side of the system but also the pressure on the incoming water line. Nice info to have!
        Yeah... it lets you know when a solenoid in another appliance turns off... the needle does a nice little dance with the "water hammer" which results! :



        Then Ill fire up the machine and adjust the pressure to 9 bar (its currently at 9.5 bar) and put all its pieces back where they belong.

        If it is like my machine the pressure drops a bit if you use both groups so I set mine at a bit over 9 with 1 group (probably 9.1) and then it is about 8.9 for both groups.... probably splitting hairs... and is the gauge that accurate in any case? ;D Id use a group pressure gauge (one in the handle) - if I had one ... Now how do I get approval from the "boss" for that? :

        Well hope you enjoy your first of the season..... just finished one myself.... UMMM must be time for another (soon)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

          WooHoo!!!! We have da first cuppa!! Oh man Ive been missing this taste!!

          /me does cartwheels

          WooHoo!!!

          Not too shabby for the first pull in 4 months. Guessed at the new grind setting and amount of beans to compensate for the slightly lower pressure and hit blonding at 26 seconds after the first drops appeared.

          I did notice that with the pressure set at 9 bars with no load, when the portafilter is loaded up and an actual shot is pulled the pressure climbs to about 9.5 bar. Looks like Ill have to drop the pressure a bit more so that it ends up at 9 bar under load.

          In re the ease of seeing the gauge, I have to bend over to see the boiler pressure gauge on mine already, so mounting the new gauge on the bottom front panel isnt all that much of a difference. Looking at the finished mod it looks like it could have come from the factory that way if you didnt know better. Its unobtrusive and out of the way, yet handy enough to use with-out doing a contortion act. I like it!

          As always seems to happen in these cases the batteries for the cam were dead when I went to use them, so no before pics. They should be charged up here pretty soon and then Ill take some pics of the finished mod and post them.

          Java "Enjoying his cuppa!" phile
          Toys! I must have new toys!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

            Heres a pic of the finished mod. The new gauge is the one on the lower right. Fits right in I think.

            Java "Moders of the world unite!" phile

            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

              Originally posted by Javaphile link=1157926594/0#5 date=1158038463
              Heres a pic of the finished mod. The new gauge is the one on the lower right. Fits right in I think.
              Hey, that looks real good - Just like it has always lived there ;D

              Hows the group pressure adjustments going? You managed to get (and hold) the magic 9 yet?

              The max variation I get from 1 group extracting to both groups running without group handles in place is about .2 bar (probably a bit less).....

              How many coffees in the last 24 hours have you consumed??

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                Originally posted by Javaphile link=1157926594/0#5 date=1158038463
                Heres a pic of the finished mod. The new gauge is the one on the lower right. Fits right in I think.

                Java "Moders of the world unite!" phile
                Thats one really impressive piece of hardware/art there Java, and the mod definitely fits right in 8-),

                Mal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                  Hey Javaentertaining narrativephile,

                  Very cool mod!

                  On another hardware related matter - a little while ago, I became totally engrossed in a fantastic mini series of posts I stumbled over on the forum about a road trip you made to buy a coffee roaster - is there another chapter to the story now you have been the proud owner for a spell? Love to see some pics of it in situ, repainted  and roastin etc, just redirect me if you have already updated your eager fans and I have missed it! (And im still obsessing over getting some of that BBQ meat!! mmmmmm barbeque!)  :P

                  Polly

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                    Originally posted by JavaB link=1157926594/0#6 date=1158040826
                    Hey, that looks real good - Just like it has always lived there ;D
                    Yeah, Im quite pleased with its aesthetics, and its far easier to view than the original boiler pressure gauge due to its location.

                    Hows the group pressure adjustments going? You managed to get (and hold) the magic 9 yet?

                    The max variation I get from 1 group extracting to both groups running without group handles in place is about .2 bar (probably a bit less).....
                    It looks like Ive got it all dialed in for my usual one group usage. To end up at 9 bar when brewing the free flow pump pressure needed to be set at about 8.7 bar. Ive not tried it with both groups going as it rarely gets that heavy a usage. Like once in the last year. So if that need arises Ill dial it in then.

                    Changing the pressure is an extremely easy adjustment on this unit. The side panel pops right off and the adjustment screw is right there easy to access with no wires near-by to worry about shorting against.

                    On your earlier comment about how accurate these gauges are as long as theyve been calibrated accurately theyd be very accurate. On my purging shots I can see the pressure change on the gauge from the initial explosion of steam as water hits the overheated HX and then the drop off in pressure as it cools. The first purging shot after a period of inactivity will spike the pressure by as much as .7 bar.

                    How many coffees in the last 24 hours have you consumed??
                    Hhhmmm....Too many and not enough? ;D

                    Lets see. I did up two roasts of 200g each. One of some wonderful Yemen Mocha and another of a nice and spicy Kenyan AA Thika, so that would yield about 340g roasted. At this point Id say its well over half gone so probably about 10 cuppas. Each cuppa was made with Cimbalis double basket which in reality is almost a triple as it uses just under 20g per dose.

                    At this point its going to be a close race as to which will happen first: The warmer weather returns or I use up this batch of beans. One more day of cooler temps and then itll be too warm again to have the Cimbali fired up and itll be back to the CP for awhile.

                    Java "Enjoying it while hes got it!" phile
                    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                      Originally posted by Mal link=1157926594/0#7 date=1158042920
                      Thats one really impressive piece of hardware/art there Java, and the mod definitely fits right in 8-),
                      Thank ya Mal. I must say Im really impressed with this machine myself. At its base its really a barebones minimal system. Yet the design and build quality is such that it does everything it needs to do perfectly time after time all day long not just for years but decades. In fact the build quality is such that I can foresee it being passed down for generations. Its simple lines and all heavy-duty metal construction will allow it to last for many more decades of service beyond the two its already served.

                      Java "Cimbali: The end of upgraditis" phile
                      Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                        Originally posted by Baristacrat link=1157926594/0#8 date=1158048328
                        Hey Javaentertaining narrativephile,

                        Very cool mod!

                        On another hardware related matter - a little while ago, I became totally engrossed in a fantastic mini series of posts I stumbled over on the forum about a road trip you made to buy a coffee roaster - is there another chapter to the story now you have been the proud owner for a spell? Love to see some pics of it in situ, repainted and roastin etc, just redirect me if you have already updated your eager fans and I have missed it! (And im still obsessing over getting some of that BBQ meat!! mmmmmm barbeque!) :P

                        Polly
                        OMG that BBQ was wonderful!!! I still have some of their sauce that I brought back with me but the reality is that their sauce was nothing really great. It was their meats that were to die for!!!!! Oh my god that was good stuff!! Far and away the best BBQ Ive ever had!! If Im ever in Texas again I will find a way to visit them again!!!!!!!

                        In re the epilouge Im glad you enjoyed reading it. Nothing has really changed since the last update I made. Im still running only 2 barrels as the third still needs a new gear. Itd be really nice to have all three going when I do up these 3kg batches for CP but unfortunately other things have first call on the finances.

                        I thought Id posted some pics in there of the roaster in operation, Ill go take a look and get back to ya with a link to them. If I havent Ill go take some and post them up.

                        edited in later
                        The pictures of the roaster from page 12 (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1121040424/165) on show the roaster in its current home with the first one on that page showing the current configuration of the roaster itself (2 barrels).

                        http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1121040424/165#176 is the best view of the over-all set-up. On the left behind the door is a dresser I use to hold the 6 ss bowls I use during roasting as well as the scale and filling can. Beyond that on the left is a heavy-duty metal cart with the computer on it that I use to track my beans/roasts along with other roasting tools such as an IR gun, igniter, oil and the micro-drive controller for the roasters motor. Continuing around the room clockwise next we have the roaster itself and behind it in the window you can see the vent I made for the roasters exhaust. Next around is a 250w quartz worklight I use for good lighting when roasting. Coming back up the right side theres the propane tank for the roaster and then on the near side of that, but not really visible, is a cooler that my Bean Bucket Cooler (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1092462710/1#11) sits on.

                        The next time I roast Ill try to remember to snap some new pics and post them up.

                        Java "A BBQ loving, road-tripping, roasting fool" phile
                        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A fun first day of the new espresso season

                          Originally posted by Javaphile link=1157926594/0#9 date=1158049185
                          Changing the pressure is an extremely easy adjustment on this unit. The side panel pops right off and the adjustment screw is right there easy to access with no wires near-by to worry about shorting against.

                          On your earlier comment about how accurate these gauges are as long as theyve been calibrated accurately theyd be very accurate. On my purging shots I can see the pressure change on the gauge from the initial explosion of steam as water hits the overheated HX and then the drop off in pressure as it cools. The first purging shot after a period of inactivity will spike the pressure by as much as .7 bar.
                          Hey thanks.... I had never thought of looking at the guage whilst purging.... interesting- and I get the same effect.

                          Thank ya Mal. I must say Im really impressed with this machine myself. At its base its really a barebones minimal system. Yet the design and build quality is such that it does everything it needs to do perfectly time after time all day long not just for years but decades. In fact the build quality is such that I can foresee it being passed down for generations. Its simple lines and all heavy-duty metal construction will allow it to last for many more decades of service beyond the two its already served. Smiley

                          Java "Cimbali: The end of upgraditis" phile
                          Amen to that statement. The Cimbali machines are so beautifully built and well engineered I think they will go on for ever!! Whilst some might laugh at the thought of a two group commercial machine for home use- I think it is a perfect solution.

                          Not only does it look like something a real CS would have (i.e very impressive piece of kit) it works brilliantly - first time, everytime. Id probably prefer to have the semi auto rather than my full auto (well at least the full auto comes into its own for parties - wouldnt use the "Dositron" function for real espresso )..... but once plumbed in - its a fantastic home coffee machine.

                          And they are SOOOOOOOO easy to work on

                          Probably spent less than $A50 to "refurbish" (and I even at that price I didnt need to replace all the bits I did) ...... I expect it will be going strong for the next 20+ years just like it has for the last 20.

                          Javaphile and JavaB should form the La Cimbali admirers club ;D

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