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MrShades Gaggia Classic PID Kit - Complete PID kit with full guide - £89


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Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers are used to control applications to regulate flow, temperature, pressure, level, and many other. PID control provides a continuous variation of outpu

In this context - It's the name of a type of 'intelligent' electronic temperature controller that can accurately and properly keep the boiler of an espresso machine at the temperature you desire.

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Very interesting thread, and definitely MrShades delivers a great solution for Gaggia owners. But from all the enthusiastic responses I can't make out what the real, actual benefit is. I read 'a big improvement' a couple of times but what is this improvement precisely? Is it instantly delivering a better espresso or is it the possibility to better control consistency?

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I bought this kit about 5 months ago

The improvements are :-

More powerful steam for milk drinks

Ability to brew shots at different temps

improved temp stability

these in my opinion put the classic above its basic state and put off upgraditus

- I'm useless at Diy and mr shades showed limitless patience and help to me over a weekend

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I bought this kit about 5 months ago

The improvements are :-

More powerful steam for milk drinks

Ability to brew shots at different temps

improved temp stability

these in my opinion put the classic above its basic state and put off upgraditus

- I'm useless at Diy and mr shades showed limitless patience and help to me over a weekend

 

Thank you, these are surely improvements and it definitely upgrades the Classic but in the end it's about what's in the cup and I'd like to learn if you experiences a better taste.

In most replies I read about better temp stability and of course it is great not to be bothered with temp surfing and such, you want to be in control, not just influencing the taste.

Temp stability is surely a very important condition for a better result but will the PID deliver the great taste one is looking for?

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My idea of a better tasting shot may not be yours

pulling a shot at 90 degrees vs 96 may make an ok drink to me become a great one

But it's not blind tasting - I'm pulling my own shots - I'm sure I influence myself

but I enjoy constantly playing with grind / recipe / beans etc

And to me the temp makes big difference to the taste

But you can not under estimate the grinder or your own technique/ beans etc all have a big influence on the taste

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Excellent, I do think we're on the same page. It's all about playing with all the variables and of course this influences how you value the results. But when you say ¨... And to me the temp makes big difference to the taste...¨ then this is what I was looking for.

Just wanted to be sure that the enthusiasm was also coming from the taste and not just from a minor temp drop during the pull.

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I taste every shot and think

can I improve the taste ?

What can I do that will help ?

I think about the temp ( recipe/grind / tamp/ beans / roaster ..)

For me this pid is integral to this

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Just to say that I've signed up to the forum today on the back of reading this wealth of information. I've had a Classic for a while and often considered PID but it just seemed too much like hard work... from the other posts here it looks like this kit would be perfect for me!

(just got to get the post count up now, then I think I'll be sending MrShades a PM....)

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I'm also glad to see on reading the entire thread that people recommend taking the boiler out… I got the machine second hand and it had clearly not been cared for too well (was filthy), and I live in a very hard water area; despite now-regular backflushing and descaling I've never been inside the boiler so it'll be a good excuse to take the boiler out, open it up and get somewhat medieval on the limescale…

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Getting the boiler out is easy...

 

However, don't underestimate how tough it can be to separate the boiler on an older/well used machine. Just sayin'

 

Order a new set of seals (eBay) before you start and be prepared to have a tough time with the hex bolts holding it all together!

 

Good luck!

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Haha, thanks for the warning (I think!). Just checked and it's dated May 2000 on the sticker on the bottom. Prior to my acquiring tenure in 2012 I doubt it had ever been cleaned, let alone descaled. Now it makes a decent brew. Looks like I might have my work cut out…

 

Although to bring it back on-topic, I'm looking forward to it making a much better brew once I have a PID :-) PM incoming....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Received my PID kit from Adrian earlier this week, and fitted it last night. (this is what passes for a fun Friday night nowadays. I think I'm getting old...)

Just running an auto-tune now, but a quick query that sprung to mind: when auto-tuning, should I leave the portafilter in the group or remove it? Seems like it would affect the thermal capacity of the system, and when I'm pulling a shot it's obviously there, so I've left it in place. Any thoughts, or does it make very little difference?

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Good question.... I'd say leave the PF on there. As you say it would normally be there, so it's more accurately representing real use.

 

In practice it probably makes v little difference.

 

Glad you have it all fitted - and I hope you enjoyed doing so, and you're looking forward to a better cup of coffee this morning.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Great stuff. I've now had a good few coffees from the newly-PIDed machine, and it's surpassed expectations.

The consistency is right there, and the shots taste consistently good. (I never bothered with temperature-surfing before so it was very hit-and-miss).

Really glad I bit the bullet and installed! Thanks MrShades for a fantastic kit.

 

Random question: I keep my coffee stuff in our uninsulated lean-to on the side of the house, (not ideal I know but it's not allowed in the kitchen!) so the ambient temperature varies during the course of the year. In the mornings in winter it can get down to single digits Celsius, and in summer it can be a greenhouse.

 

I'm guessing the ambient temp has a bearing on the PID's calculations, as on a cold morning the system will lose heat a lot quicker, so in the forum's opinion should I re-autotune depending on the season?

 

Second question: what dictates the illumination of the 'heating' neon in a PIDed classic? Previously I'm guessing it was just inline with the bimetal thermostat, so I expected once I PIDed that it'd be flicking on and off a lot quicker, or even just looking dimmer, with the duty cycle of the PID (I'm assuming the PID does some kind of PWM to the boiler to hit the desired temp). But it seems to go on and off seemingly at random still. I'm ignoring it and instead staring at the digital display but it'd be good to know what's causing it to light.

 

Thanks all!

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You're full of fun questions!

 

Yes, in theory a large swing in ambient temp will create issues - but if the machine has properly warmed up then you could probably assume that the boiler (inside a warm case) was probably a similar heat capacity come what may 'outside' the case - so I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Brew ready light should still be a reverse of the power being applied to the heating elements - so the opposite of the OUT light on the PID (ie when the elements are on, the ready light goes off; and vice versa).

 

Thanks for the positive report and I'm glad it's all going well for you!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Just a quick FYI for anyone interested in this kit, there's now an additional option - of a smaller (slightly more expensive) controller, that looks like this:

 

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Full details are here: http://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?31342-MrShades-Gaggia-Classic-PID-Kit-%281-32DIN%29-Complete-PID-kit-with-full-guide-%A394&p=417906#post417906

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I was thinking about upgrading to new machine, but now I am thinking about upgrading my Classic. Can you send to Slovakia?

 

I'll send anywhere if you're happy to pay the postage!

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Whats the waiting time for these at the minute?

 

I'm on holiday until Monday, but could post on Tuesday via Royal Mail 1st Claas

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