Only if you like olive oil flavored coffee and don't mind lubing every day or two.
Don't like Dow as a company? Look for another silicone-based food-safe high-temperature lubricant from another company. Don't like chemicals? Then you're living in the wrong universe - everything here is made of chemicals.
Posted Mon Feb 24, 2014, 9:46am Subject: Re: Caravel Help
I see you roast your own beans - any recommendations on an espresso blend? Looking for another option to redbird.
As for the chemical lube alternative....quoted from Wikipedia below:
"Lubrication Early in the development of steam-driven piston engines, the hot vapors and liquids washed away most lubricants very quickly. It was soon found that tallow was quite resistant to this washing. Tallow and compounds including tallow were widely used to lubricate locomotive and steamship engines at least until the 1950s. (During WWII, the vast fleets of steam-powered ships exhausted the supply, leading to the large-scale planting of rapeseed because rapeseed oil also resisted the washing effect.) Tallow is still used in the steel rolling industry to provide the required lubrication as the sheet steel is compressed through the steel rollers. There is a trend toward replacing tallow-based lubrication with synthetic oils in rolling applications for surface cleanliness reasons......"
Posted Mon Feb 24, 2014, 10:22am Subject: Re: Caravel Help
Tallow and lard both make excellent lubricants, as does whale oil. But they are not flavorless (I love lard biscuits and pie crust, but I draw the line at lard-flavored coffee), and they wash away much faster than modern silicone-based lubricants. Reiss Gunson from Londinium has a silicone lubricant with PTFE added, so it offers some dry lube capability as well. NSF rated high-temp lubes are a whole area for exploration.
I do a lot of single origin (got an excellent sun-dried Tanzanian Mbosi that's making a superb SO espresso right now), but recently I've enjoyed the Motorcycle Diaries espresso from Cafe Demitasse, Belle Espresso from Klatch, and was very pleasantly surprised by the Fattobenne blend that 1st Line Equipment is selling (a classic Italian style, but not a super-dark roast - just a little way into second crack. Never tried Redbird, so I can't say where they sit in relation to its flavor profile. Suppose I should order some so i know what its like.
I can just hear it now… "Mmmm… this Redbird ristretto shot pulled at 201F has a great bittersweet dark chocolate and blackberry jam tone underlying the tallow! Yummy! :-)
There's a reason we use Dow 111. See this post on H-B:
I've tried only 3 other lubricants- olive oil, a mineral oil lube and a teflon zinc oxide lube- and none other than the Dow 111 lubricates as well, sticks as well or resists washing out on my Cremina. So, not only is Dow 111 rated higher for food contact it also works better than anything else I've tried. Personally I would do what I could to find some Dow 111. It shouldn't be that hard to find.
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
Well, yes I did! After a short period of getting to know each other, I'm really enjoying it. I can make more precise adjustments than on the Lido as the espresso range is wider and the shots taste even better.
Also, after months of 15g in, around 24g out (pre-infusion+ 1 1/2 pull), I'm really enjoying my 12gin 16g out single pull shots.
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 3:21pm Subject: Re: Caravel Help
Trying to get out my PF gasket is a nightmare, on the order of changing a bicycle tire - I feel like I need a set of levers to get the thing out. I'd hoped I could salvage it by using a tiny flat screwdriver, so I purchased a set of precision screwdrivers, but they're not helping. I'm destroying the gasket as I go, but I still can't get it out! It's really frustrating - just when I get some leverage and think it's about to pop out of there, it pushes itself back in. I'm hoping this is because the gasket is old and needs replacing - maybe the newer one will be more pliable. I bought the machine from Francesco and he did include a set of gaskets. If I can ever get the thing out, I sure hope the new one fits - where do you buy your gaskets just in case I tear them all up?
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 5:28pm Subject: Re: Caravel Help
Ok, just to be perfectly clear on this....reassembling the machine now....when you say the smooth side "down" do you mean that the smooth side (what I call small holes) should be facing the coffee basket and the "rougher" side should be facing the piston chamber? I took the screen and blew it out with water creating a huge mess in my kitchen, but it was interesting. When water flows though with the smooth side facing up, the shower is really fine, with the smooth side down, the shower is more scattered. The screen probably serves 2 functions - one would be to spray the coffee evenly, the other to prevent coffee grinds from filtering up into the piston chamber. The later would better explain why the smooth side would face the coffee grinds (down), but it would also be interesting to see how the finer shower spray might pull a shot. I blew out the screen with some compressed air - there were some grinds stuck in there. I don't have any Dow 111, or other lube.
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 2:36pm Subject: Re: Caravel Help
I've got two kettles with fixed (non-removable screens) and that's the way the screens are on both. Both the removable screen Arrarex Caravel and the Zerowatt CA709 Caravel Ursula came with the screens installed that way as well, and the Zerowatt was essentially new in the box.
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