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myrand
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 17
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: pavoni europicolla
Grinder: not a good one
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:37am
Subject: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

hi folks
so, i now have a la pavoni 8 cups at home. a made myself a couple fancy handles and a tamper, i guess its well started.

now, there are some issues and some ideas wich i dont know if its good or bad.

first of all, there is a pressure problem. sometimes that thing get too hot and water/steam start going trough all the gaskets, it did it once, now i leave the knob open while it heats.  is it a normal thing ?

there is a pid coming soom for the temperature, i just want to use it now and i assume the original desing is certainly good enough to make coffee.

also, there is always air in the piston group when i press down the lever. i can feel it, its spongy and there is about half of it full of air.  is there a way to have only water in there ?  i tried to play with the lever a little to help purging the air, it doesnt work quite good :(
note, i let the pressure building in there, i dont know how much pressure is ideal and maybe it could use a pressure gauge in the boiler to help me with that but i feel like there still quite a bit of pressure.

as soon as i get that pid and the scale it should help quite a bit. i manages to get the grind too fine, at least i can grind it fine enough.
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CoffeeMills
Senior Member
CoffeeMills
Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Location: USA, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: la Pavoni Professional
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Gravity Cone
Roaster: 49TH  //
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

Hi.

La Pavoni Europiccola lever machines do not require a PID, so save your money.
As the proud owner of 4 Europiccola machines, experience has taught me to get new gaskets for the piston head.
There shouldn't be any leaking during machine warm up.  If leaks occur, document where they are, and replace seals and gaskets until no leaks happen.
Keep in mind water/air expands during heat up, so open and close the steam valve to vent false air pressure.
Internally, a pressure switch regulates boiler temperature.  Please don't touch this until you have a new one in hand with installation instructions.
There should be a straw venting water that stems from top of boiler - this is an over pressure relief system designed to save your life in the event of
catastrophic failure due to overheating.  
When all of these systems work, beautiful crema will flow in small portions.    
La Pavoni also makes a 16 cup unit with a bar gauge to monitor pressure loss.    Hope this helps.

 
Coffee Mills
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russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 448
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

I'm assuming that you have a new (Millenium) Europiccola with a pressure-stat controlled boiler.  I don't think a PID will get you much, and I agree that it isn't worth the money.  The temperature of the boiler water is not the temperature that you will be pulling shots at.  The shot temp results from the mixing of maybe 30g of super heated water inside of +700g of heated brass.   Once you resolve the leaking seals, get these: Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com) and stick them on the group.  You need to find a way to get the group up to temp for the frist shot, and then kept at temp for the subsequent shots.  The "right" temp is the one that makes the best espresso.

Things are a little different if you have a non-millenium Europiccola with a 2 stage heating element...
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myrand
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 17
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: pavoni europicolla
Grinder: not a good one
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 7:01pm
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

i should have specified, i have an old one, with a brown base, the 2 position switch, black plastic handles and knobs.
i just finished the new handles yesterday, now i need 2 polished aluminium knobs. i would also like to do something for the steam, maybe a lever i can just pull on to get the steam going.

i wanted to order a rebuild kit but i didnt know wich one.

i also read something about the plastic piston, i still have a little chunk of brass wich i will keep just in case i would want to do a brass piston instead of plastic(if i have the plastic one)

myrand: 2012-08-06 06.41.21.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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CoffeeMills
Senior Member
CoffeeMills
Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Location: USA, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: la Pavoni Professional
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Gravity Cone
Roaster: 49TH  //
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:47pm
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

myrand,
Nice work on the handles.
The black knobs (steam valve, boiler cap) get pretty hot.  Replacing them with metal ones may burn hands during operation.  
Changing piston V and W gaskets require a La Pavoni piston sleeve tool.  Make sure they are facing correctly for a proper seal.  The plastic piston stays cooler than brass, as not to scorch the puck.  They both make wonderful espresso.
Europiccola's simple Italian design requires intense user interaction, and an expensive grinder.

 
Coffee Mills
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WilliamLEJA
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Chicago Suburbs, IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Professional
Grinder: Pharos #450 & Rocky
Vac Pot: Not Yet...
Drip: French Press Please
Roaster: Local Business or Internet
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 7:22am
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

myrand,

As everyone else has stated; a PID probably won't be worth the cost and energy to install. I found that buying a group temperature strip from OE:

Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)

The 90-120 degree range helped when it came to repeatability with my shots. I run water through the group to heat things up and use a rag that came fresh from the freezer to cool things down. You may want to give that a try.

The steam knob debate: I have heard two schools on the subject of leaving the knob open while heating the machine up. The first is school is that you risk damaging the machine by doing this. I have done it a few times, but after I heard this I stopped. I don't know enough about the machines as to why damage would occur, but I did not want to risk it. The other school is that you can leave it open until steam starts to come out. This will eliminate false pressure. I personally have found that you can leave the steam knob closed and bleed any false pressure by opening the knob after the machine pre-heats with no ill effects.

Your pressure problem: I have found a mushy lever on a few occasions when pulling shots. When that happens I lower just a little bit and bring it back up. This forces  some water into the puck and allows more water into the group. That tends to firm up the lever a bit.

I see by your profile that you have a grinder, but it is "not a good one". The La Pavoni is not forgiving when it comes to bad or even average grinders. I started with a Rancillio Rocky which wasn't enough grinder for this machine. I have since moved up to an OE Pharos and am finally getting some quality shots. Consider investing in a Pharos if you don't mind hand grinding coffee (I think it is fun), one of the higher up Baratza models (Preciso or Vario), or a Mazzer to get an even better shot.

I am finding the La Pavoni is more art than science so keep at it and enjoy the journey...

William
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myrand
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jul 2012
Posts: 17
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: pavoni europicolla
Grinder: not a good one
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 8:06am
Subject: Re: la pavoni, questions and problems
 

for the grinder part of it, its work in progress. i was attracted by the versa-lab so i am doing my own version of it. it will take a little bit of time but it will be bulletproof, accurate, and probably the ugliest machine ever created :)

i tried a couple things with the boiler and its comming better, that spongy lever happen when there is no pressure in the boiler. i have to close that cap earlier, and i test the pressure by raising the  lever, if there is that nice shower going out, its good enough for me. i check that temperature with a laser at the same time.

since yesterday its a working setup at least, and itt works actually very good.
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