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AndyZap

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Everything posted by AndyZap

  1. Mind you that this one is not covered by MrShades' support, which is priceless
  2. Thanks! Will send you PM
  3. I have upgraded my coffee machine, so want to give away the bits from my Gaggia Baby Class (all fit Gaggia Classic as well) for FREE. Just pay me for the postage. The first one to go is MrShades PID. MrShades made some custom modification for me, as I could not fit all the parts inside the machine. Also I had multiple AC SSR failures (probably because of the bad steam switch), so MrShades send me an a little AC/DC power supply which is used instead of the AC SSR. This is to say that you need more skills to fit/adapt this one into your machine compared to the original MrShades kit. I will send you the original (really good one!) manual with all the details how to install the original MrShades kit. But, of course, it would not be fair to expect that MrShades will help you with the install! So do not take it if are not sure that you have skills/time understanding how it works.
  4. John - are all your machines v1.1 now? When I looked at the build queue on your site, it had some DE1+ v1.0 listed...
  5. The resistor looks correct. Also make sure that you have a bypass switch, to switch the pump off completely - I have found this is very useful. Some dimmers has this feature, if you do not have it - just add the standard light switch, as on the picture you refer to in your post. Also regarding the pre-infusion pressure. To to mimic a lever machine profile, I used the pre-infusion at the lowest dimmer settings (about 2 bar, flow about 1mL/s), then after 7-10 sec increased the dimmer setting to go to 7-8 bar. If you do not change the dimmer setting, the pressure will naturally decline as the puck gives less resistance to water, so you have nice lever profile. Well, as I realised recently, this is not what the lever machines do.The flow needs to be very high at start. This helps to saturate the puck with water quickly, but what is most important, this compresses the pack and thus reduces the channeling, So now I do the following: run the pump at max flow for a few sec, then switch off the pump, or set the dimmer to min settings. This gives about 3 bar pressure. Wait a few (5 ... 20) sec, Run at 8 bar, declining to about 3 bar (do not need to change dimmer setting to get that, as I mentioned before). Seems give much better tasting shots. Another recent change (not related to dimmer) - I use two IMS shower screen (the mesh and GA200IM) on the top of each other, the mesh outside. This calms the flow at the start of the shot, again seems helps to avoid channeling.
  6. The plastic OPV is hard to adjust without getting a leak. Installing a proper OPV is far better option. I did this mod for my Gaggia Baby Classic. This is a bit different machine, but might be useful for you as well. In addition to the OPV itself you might need to buy the Gaggia Classic teflon tube + connectors as well. These are the parts which I bought: https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/35358-gaggia-classic-spares-opv-the-pump-connector But try fitting the existing teflon tube to the OPV first, it might fit and this makes the overall task far easier. Also you might need a low-pressure tube for the "overflow" water from the top of OPV to the 3-way connector at the pump inlet.
  7. Did you get the brass screen holder as well? I have not tried using IMS screen with the original Gaggia holder, but with the brass one it works fine.
  8. Thanks for the link! Has anyone compared it to VST? I guess the important question: does it gives the same results?
  9. While browsing through all Decent products https://decentespresso.com/cart?show=all I have come across a refractormeter. Could not find any info on the web site. How does it compare to VST? Would it be a good alternative for a careful home user?
  10. Agree. BTW, very impressed by your solution to use two pumps running out of phase. I guess we both agree that the IMS screen will not do any harm for DE1+. Would it be better/easier for you to have a single version of the screen for all DE1 versions and simply increase the price of DE1+ by the price difference?
  11. I am also thinking about DE1 and which model to go for. I prefer to get a cheaper version provided that it could be upgraded when needed (a kind of a Gaggia Classic route when you can add PID, etc later). It is a great idea to add a mirror strip to DE1+. Another option which I do not like on DE1+ is the mesh shower screen. I have both for my Gaggia (IMS mesh and "competition"), and seems the competition "taste" better. This is probably because it restricts the water flow less, given that the vibration pump does not provide good flow in the first place.
  12. I am thinking about getting a VST, to use for espresso. The syringe filters seems expensive (£160 for 100 pack on Hasbean). Can I use any cheaper alternatives? How long does a single filter last, do I need to replace it after every measurement?
  13. Indeed, you need to get the correct size to match PF and the gauge thread sizes. I bought mine from Screwfix (mainly because I wanted to try that it fits), but there are plenty online
  14. Scott Rao' post https://www.scottrao.com/blog/2018/7/18/advanced-mode-on-the-de1 inspired me to try repeating this with Gaggia Baby. My dimmer switch can be switched off completely, so I can do pre-infusion with the pump off. Also Scott Rao used paper filters to boost the extraction (this was also mentioned by @Colio07), so I decided to get Whatman filters to use under the pack and aeropress filters about the pack. The beans are Rocko Mountain by @foundrycoffeeroasters.com I recorded the weight per sec in the cap (from Acaia scales) and pressure from T549i bluetooth pressure sensor. The red curve is the standard shot, no paper filters. I use this for FW (the dimmer does not go all the way up, so the pressure drops naturally similar to a lever machine). This one is really nice in FW, but not very interesting in americano for this beans. The blue curve is my attempt to replicate DE1. This one is with the paper filters and finer grind. I do the pre-infusion at the lower dimmer setting (this gives about 3 mL/s flow), then switch the pump off for 30 sec. Then rump the pressure to about 7 bar. What can I say? ... the best americano I ever had, so much flavour. And I do not usually drink americano, but with such a nice one it is easy to convert .
  15. AndyZap

    Bean rating

    As I go along my coffee journey, I would like to assign some rating to the beans I tried. First I tried to give "stars" or "likes", but then most of the beans was given 4 or 5 stars. This is not very informative. So I had a idea to have a Coffee Cup (I mean "cup" as in "World Cup"). The rules are the following: I pull two drinks with two different beans and have a "battle". The winner bean gets the usual 3 points, or 1 point each in the case of a draw. The competition can run in different categories, e.g. flat white or americano. So far I had a battle between Rwanda Huyo Mountain Natural vs Kenya Karumandi. It was a draw in FW and Karumandi had 3 points for a "short americano with a drop of cold milk". Will see how it goes ...
  16. if it fits and the water does not leak around the edges, then this is fine. Do not tighten the center screw too much, as it should be some space behind the screen for the water to flow. I use a little stub screwdriver, and hold it by the shaft (not the handle) - this gives just the right amount of force
  17. To be fair to Dennis (Kafatek) he does a good job for the grinder price in the USD terms. This is the taxes, shipping and the post-brexit exchange rate which makes the grinders so expensive in the UK. Re the ordering: if you start 5 min before "the time" and have a reliable internet connection, you have a very high change to put the grinder in the shopping basket. Remember to press (in Chrome) F5 or Shift-F5 to refresh the page while waiting for the sale to open. Then use Paypal (esp linked to your bank account, not the credit card) to pay the deposit - I have not heard about Paypal transactions been rejected.
  18. I have the same IMS screen as yours, and a brass holder (do not remember the site I bought it from although). The holder has a small lip/edge, and the screen fits perfectly inside. It has to fit well, BTW, as you should not screw it too tight to avoid deforming the screen, tight just enough to avoid water escaping around the edges. Your holder looks different. Maybe it is not for Gaggia? The screen has "GA" markings, this this one seems the right one. Cannot comment re the VST basket
  19. I have finally managed to decipher the Acaia Bluetooth protocol, and wrote my own app for Windows 10 to collect the data from the scales: https://github.com/AndyZap/AcaiaLoggerWin10 Apparently it was not too difficult, as the support for Bluetooth Low Energy devices (this is the standard which most of the Bluetooth sensors follow nowadays) is build into Win10. Basically you need to figure out just a few byte sequences to send to the scale to get the measurements started, and to receive back with the weight data. I enjoyed solving the acaia bluetooth puzzle, so decided to solve another one: Testo 549i pressure sensor. This worked out fine as well. Check the Github link if you are interested in the details.
  20. I have a similar story: first half of a Rio Magdalena bag went unnoticed, probably because it was sandwiched between two other great coffees from Foundry, Karumandi AA and Rocko Mountain. Pulled the second half from the freezer recently, and discovered that it is delicious with long lasting choc/caramel aftertaste even in FW. With a dimmer I tied to do a kind of a lever profile on my Gaggia: first 10 sec keep the dimmer at the minimum setting, this gives a low-pressure pre-infusion. Then rump the pressure to around 8 bar and keep the dimmer at this setting. As the flow increases with time, the pressure drops to about 2-3 bars at the end of the shot. I use 18.5g -> 39g in 45 sec, incl 10 sec pre-infusion.
  21. You can also warm up the end of the tube to help forming the "flange", as mentioned here https://www.mrbean2cup.co.uk/gaggia-teflon-tube-4x6-l50-cm E.g. dip it into just boiled water for a minute
  22. I decided to go for these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008BSILN6
  23. No signs of scale. I've heard that the aluminium boilers need to be descaled frequently, to remove the alu oxide - this is the reason I decided to descale every 2 months
  24. @Rob1, @DavecUK - thank you both for the replies. Would you have a link to the Minima user manual? I use Volvic and descale my machine every couple of months (takes about 30 min). Every week I remove the shower disk and the brass holder and clean them with a descaler (a couple of mins). It makes sense that the Minima stainless boilers require less frequent descaling (esp when using Volvic). Also good to know that the larger service boiler is easy to descale and the E61 group is not difficult to clean. Have not looked at the videos yet, thanks for the link.
  25. I am thinking about Minima as well, mainly because of the small size (important) and simple design. How often it needs descaling / cleaning? And how long it take on average? I make 5-6 cups a week (and on weekends mostly), so worried that the extra time I need to spend maintaining a bigger machine is hard to justify (leave money aside). Also I like 2 bar and 6 bar shots (I have a dimmer attached to Gaggia pump). Can I attach a dimmer to the Minima pump to get a low-pressure shot, or it has an easy accessible handle to set the shot pressure? Sorry for a stupid question, spent too much time on Gaggia mods
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