ChrisInked Senior Member Joined: 10 Jan 2014 Posts: 16 Location: Montreal Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Isomac Tea v1 Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 4:35pm Subject: Breville BES820XL pimpin'!
I started a little fun hobby recently wich is tryin to improve that little machine i got used on internet, by switching some parts inside and see if it's possible to get a solid espresso machine with an entry level one, some bucks and knowledge...
Fifteen years ago I studyied electromecanics at college, and I'm gonna try recall what I've learned there to put in this box..
First thing I did was changing the filter for a single wall, basic but when you don't know... and then cut through the portafilter to make a naked one. After that I then wanted a tamper, so I made one with a wood handle and a piece of ¼in. thick alu plate...and some bike tools... Hehe (honnestly I'm not gonna spend any money on a 51 mm tamper knowing it won't take me more than a year to get a dual boiler beauty with 58mm PF)... With all this I started pulling shots like I've never taste before!!! And with the naked PS I begin improve my tamping skills...
And then the geek in me wanted more... always frickin' more!! hahah!!!
So I started ripping the sides and cover of my machine, to find a ton of shitty plastic!! fisrt thing done was changing the manometer for a real one, with numbers on it, not a super usefull "optimum" zone...
After that, one thing was bottering me wayyy to much... the water issue thing... like filling the everempty dwarf water thank and emptying the everfull drip tray!! .. Why's that always full anyway!?! ho yeah beacause the steam purging goes right there!!! so, to recapitulate, I put water in that small tank, and each time i'm powering the machine on, or finishes steaming some milk, the machine drain like 100something ml of water from the tank straigh in the drip tray... BRILLANT!! Doh!!
So I changed some tubing and i put a 5L tank, and the purging tube now dumps in the water tank..!! :)
For the next steps, I planned changing the teflon tubing inside for copper, and that way be able to change the plactic "securyty valve" for a brass Expobar adjustable OPV and also changing the plastic fitting on the solenoide valve, or replacing it... don't know yet... After, a friend of mine is a machinist so I'll ask him to make me a stainless steel thermoblock collar... And then why not PIDied it!! :)
SO I'll keep you guys in touch and i'll post pics soon!!
À bientôt, Chris
And I want to remember you poeple that this is a hobby project, I dunnot pretend reinventing the wheel, I just wanna have fun and understanding the basics of a strong and steady espresso machine..! Cheers!!
I like your enthusiasm I have a rebuilt BES830XL and can pull good shots as I have a Gaggia mdf grinder with decent burrs. I also modded a Kitchen Aid burr grinder which has 58mm burrs. I put Mazzer mini 182D burrs in it and now can get very decent grinds all the way to Turkish fine. The origional Kitchen aid burrs are very dull when new. They actually smash the beans rather than cut them. This renders them useless for espresso grinds.
I would love to replace the group head with the BES840XL group to get the better coil heating and wattage as well as the 58mm Portafilter. I don't know if it would fit though. If this is possible it would really make a much better machine out of the BES830XL machine. A PID would also make very repeatable shots a reality. I am a retired tool and die maker and have a lot of machinery in my garage. :)
I though of that too but I don't think it'll fit either, the 840 seems to be built higher and narrower... But having the parts I would definitely try as it does'nt seems to be that off size...and the 58mm PF would be a great step up...
And since I started this side project/hobby, I'm dreamin' of building my own machine from scratch with all the great features like dual-boiler, hx61 head and rotary pump... With a wooden and brushed stainless casing, flip switches, mano and themometer. For that i was thinking of getting some old used machine on class. ads... I know in the end I might spend more on it than buying a Rocket or QM67, but pride is something you can't buy!! The only thing that's bugging me is the hx61 head, that's retailing for a thousand bucks...
And before PID I think I'll put copper tubing instead of teflon, it might help keep water hotter, wich seems to be a bit cold, from what I read... and taste... :)
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