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Slightly crazy idea - DIY Double Boiler

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  • Slightly crazy idea - DIY Double Boiler

    Enduring a tediously slow trip home on the bus, and a though came to me (perhaps a sign Im slowly losing it).

    How difficult would to be to take two small single boiler machines (think silvia or gaggia classic) and marry them together in one shell. One dedicated to steaming, one to espresso.

    I have never seen one of these in the metal, so Im aware I might be suggesting a huge cumbersome monster, but thought Id throw it out into there anyway.

  • #2
    Almost anything is possible, but not necessarily wise. Single boiler machines are not designed to run permanently in steam mode and without decent volume and an auto-fill system it would be just as cumbersome as a (single) single boiler with a constant need to prime the steam boiler to keep it topped up. Putting a separate brew boiler into an already spacious E61 HX machine however, is very doable.

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    • #3
      What some people will do to get a cheap twin boiler ...

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      • #4
        Re: Slightly crazy idea - DIY Double Boiler

        Cheers for the feedback. Does the problem lay with the element, pump or boiler capacity, or something else?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MrJack View Post
          How difficult would to be to take two small single boiler machines (think silvia or gaggia classic) and marry them together in one shell. One dedicated to steaming, one to espresso.

          I have never seen one of these in the metal,.
          Think... Ascaso Duo.... basicly a spanish Silvia with a steam boiler.
          Cheap when they crop up used.

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          • #6
            if I were going to do this, I'd think about trying to marry a gaggia baby, one of the low end thermoblock sunbeams, and a silvia steam arm. I'd have a custom PID controller which made sure that the elements weren't both on at the same time (through prioritising the PID boiler element's SSR but driving the steam element's SSR full on when steaming is on).

            in fact, if a low end sunbeam ever appears on PIF, I might try and do this. I'd want the dumbest thing possible (EM3600 or even more basic).

            The hardest part would be to find an appropriate frame to mount everything on, and then make an acrylic box for it.

            The Crossland CC1 (http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consum...slandcc1/weiju) is the inspiration for this crazy idea.
            Last edited by Hildy; 1 March 2013, 01:29 AM. Reason: Added link.

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            • #7
              I have a Gaggia Classic, and a spare pump and boiler salvaged from a defunct Carezza.

              They won't fit inside, but if I was to bolt one onto each side of the outside of the case, it might look just a little Frankensteinian, buut - - - - - -.

              Now who has a spare Silvia steam wand that they want to donate to a worthy (??) cause ???

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              • #8
                Re: Slightly crazy idea - DIY Double Boiler

                Now we're getting somewhere.

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                • #9
                  It has been done before I believe, somewhere there's photos of a dual-boiler, plumbed in, PLC controlled Silvia...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                    Now we're getting somewhere.
                    OK here it is almost ready to go - now where's that Silvia wand ??.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Re: Slightly crazy idea - DIY Double Boiler

                      Wild! Does it function?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                        Wild! Does it function?
                        No, and it probably never will. It's just a mock-up done with duct tape and jumper leads.
                        I have no intention of actually doing it - well not in the near future anyway.
                        In my defense, we have had a fortnight of rainy days here, and I was going a bit stir crazy. So if we get another month of rain, who knows.

                        The meter and the thermocouple in the pics are for real and fully functional.
                        I got the meter and a K-type probe for my SCR modded popper when I got serious about roasting.
                        The meter came with a free bead type thermocouple, so I fitted it to the Gaggia.
                        It is clamped to the to top of the boiler, so of course it reads the external boiler temperature and not actual water temp,
                        but it still gives a very good indication of what is happening as the brew light goes on and off.
                        Not quite as good as a PID, but it does allow very accurate surfing.

                        Cheers, Deegee.

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