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The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
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red4167
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 2:27am
Subject: The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
 

There are loads of threads about preheating water to the boiler on machines like the Gaggia classic. There are some threads where users document passive preheat mods such as copper tubing wrapped around the boiler. I have been unable to find any active preheating mods however.

I have two design ideas both of which I consider feasible and economical.

  1. Parts list - 2xGaggia classic or 1xClassic and similar boiler, 2 pids, bits and bobs for plumbing/power etc...

Basic Idea - OPV before first boiler, all other inputs/outputs blanked or modded out
                - direct link between first and second boiler and three way solenoid on second boiler
                - both boilers controlled by PID
                - Standard ULKA pump
                - modded chassis

  1. Parts list - Gaggia classic, Nespresso type thermoblock machine, bits and bobs for plumbing.

Basic idea - I am assuming that the thermoblock machine controls thermoblock temperature by thermostat and that this can be used somehow
                - similar to above but with thermoblock before in feed to boiler maybe without the requirement for a modded chassis

##################################

The first one seems the most robust to me as I would imagine that a thermoblock would be harder to control. Please also note that I am only interested in brewing espresso and not steaming.

Please shoot holes in both of these ideas.

How do you think they would fare in comparison to a high end HX or double boiler machine in terms of temp stability?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 5:57am
Subject: Re: The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
 

Please feel free to mod and make whatever you want.
My PERSONAL feeling though is that it is a lot of trouble to go through for modest gains. How does it fair to better classes of machines, well, thermal stability has a lot to do with thermal mass, the more "stuff" you have at temp, the more stable the machine will be when you run 2 oz of water through it.

the old bowling ball vs egg thing the bowling ball has much more affect on the egg than the other way around. You are talking about linking an egg to an egg to try to equal a bowling ball and in my opinion, it will not be as effective as just buying the bowling ball in the first place.

By all means though, give it a try and see what happens, that is the only way to prove or disprove your theory.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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pizzaman383
Senior Member


Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 42
Location: Roswell, GA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DDv2, KAProLinePID
Grinder: Fiorenzato Doge 83,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 6:38pm
Subject: Re: The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
 

red4167 Said:

There are loads of threads about preheating water to the boiler on machines like the Gaggia classic. There are some threads where users document passive preheat mods such as copper tubing wrapped around the boiler. I have been unable to find any active preheating mods however.

(snip)

Please shoot holes in both of these ideas.

How do you think they would fare in comparison to a high end HX or double boiler machine in terms of temp stability?

Posted July 31, 2012 link

I like the idea.  My brother and I have talked at length about this.  I have modded my VBM DD v2 to add preheat to help fix temperature drop during a shot.  He has added a preheat coil and PID to a Gaggia Classic.

One issue to consider is temperature drop from the preheated to the brew boiler.  Fitting things into the case, dealing with the Gaggia fittings, and keeping vibrations down is quite a challenge.  I think you'd need to mount the preheater away from the brew boiler and use some serious insulation on the connecting tube.

I like the idea of two boilers each having a PID.  This would ensure you have a full boiler's worth of hot water waiting to replace what goes into the shot.  It also means two of the same technology instead of adding a thermo-block.  You need to figure out how to switch from brewing to steaming and back.
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wcmocha
Senior Member
wcmocha
Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 218
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Nemox Lux
Drip: Keurig
Posted Mon Aug 6, 2012, 9:35pm
Subject: Re: The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
 

There are so many practical and efficient ways to make coffee out there because most people like it that way.  If you're like me though, you'll have fun modding and doing things to your machine even when they don't work.  That's how I have learned so much about espresso and coffee.  I say go for it and see where you end up.  

I went the coiled tube route with my Classic and it works very well.  There is only maybe 2 degrees drop over the entire shot.  I would probably try the second boiler just for fun, but power availability in my kitchen is a little tapped out thanks to all the stuff attached to mine already.  Here's an older pic of mine for entertainment in the meantime.  And no, it can't take me back in time (yet).  But I was seriously thinking about a fake flux capacitor for it...

wcmocha: PIDpanel.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Aug 7, 2012, 9:23am
Subject: Re: The Frankenspresso Concept... Would it fly?
 

You could probably start with a KitchenAid Proline, Gaggia inside.  You could plumb the 2 boilers to get what you want, but is is made to house the boilers.

You can control the temperture on Gaggia and even get a temperature rise intrashot with a PID using the alarm function, or do it manually flipping the steam switch during the shot.  You wire the steam switch or another switch so that it bypasses the 3 way and you can turn on the heater during the shot, or if you have a PID, have the PID alarm function do it.  Preheat is not needed to keep the temperature up, though that is another way.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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