Posted Thu Feb 14, 2008, 10:44pm Subject: Re: PID Isomac Single Boiler Machine
A brief update. It was impossible for me to find any Zaffiro for a decent price in the UK. I did not want to pay $ 1,200 (ca. £ 600) for a single boiler machine however good one, given that HX machines are in the same range. I had to top this up for a good grinder (why should I buy anything otherwise).
The final results is that I am now an owner of a Fracino Heavenly (UK produced) and a Cunill Space (massive grinder with very consistent performance). The Heavenly sports 2.5 l boiler and is full of high quality components such as Parker pressurestat, Gicar electronic box, high quality E61-like clone (5 hours after I have pulled the shots it would still be warm).
Very happy with its performance! The grinder produces the grind I wish, I am in the middle of the scale and I have already choked the machine several times should I move the settings one division to "fine". I am currently using Espresso Crema blend freshly roasted but I am going to explore other options as well.
I know that Fracino are not known here in the UK, but they really use only high quaility parts (I do not work there:). Frank, the founder and owner took me for a tour in the factory (in Birmingham, UK) and I was very impressed to see that they produce 90% of the parts on site. They buy the usual stuff you find in the high end commercial machines and are very keen on helping out people aftersale wise.
I am also buying the necessary accessoires such as a good quality tamper, stainless steel milk jug, thermometer. I would like to insulate the boiler, it took me a while to source out the insulating material (I am still open for suggestions).
It is interesting how things evolve, you start with something in mind and when you finish you find yourself with totally different set-up:).
bigstu44 Senior Member Joined: 16 Jan 2008 Posts: 41 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Posted Sun Mar 23, 2008, 6:25am Subject: Re: PID Isomac Single Boiler Machine
I, too, have been reading this thread with interest. I'm very interested in PID'ing my Zaffiro. I have a question for Kristi.
How do you find espresso quality on your current HX E61 (Tea) compared to your previously PID'd non HX E61 (Eliane)? For me, espresso quality comes way before the need for instant steaming. However, we all strive for the perfect solution-both together would still be great! So, can the HX match (without too much ritual) a PID'd non HX E61 in espresso quality? Now add to the equation the need for decent temp control:I find that a temp that makes great espresso with one blend makes a sink shot with another. Perhaps another reason to go for a PID'd non HX E61. Unless there is an easy, accurate way to control temp on a HX that I don't know of?
And, yes, before anyone mentions it, I know I could get a twin boiler machine! But let's stick to one question at a time!!
An HX machine (home machine) can't match a PIDed single boiler in terms of temp consistency which translate directlt to espresso quality, never.
Modern commercial machines with HX adopted very complicated measures to control brew group temp.
PID-ing an single boiler Isomac is quite easy. I searched the web and found no kit for my Zaffiro, may be it's reputation in temp stability make people think it is not necessary. I opened up the zaffiro and traced out the circuitry, got a PID from Auber and put into it with no problem. If you can understand the operation from the PID manual, you can probably figure out how to fit it in. Of course please make sure you have the knowledge on handling an electrical appliance. It can kill you if you've done something wrong.
Adding a PID is necessary to someone who want to control the brewing temp. Unlike a HX machine, there is no way to control the brewing temp when using a single boiler.
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