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Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
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tina
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Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Nov 25, 2005, 11:11am
Subject: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

So...the steps to do it would be...

:-)
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krazy_crane
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krazy_crane
Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 322
Location: new yawk
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Espresso: Astra Pro(home), Gaggia...
Grinder: Mazzer Major & Super Jolly...
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Drip: Bodum French Press, Barista...
Roaster: Stir Crazy/Sunpentown...
Posted Fri Nov 25, 2005, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

I am going to imagine it is similar to the Astra Pro.  For the first time remove back panel/ cup warmer tray.  At the top of machine you should see round p-stat hooked to the top of the boiler, it will have a small adjustment screw on top should have "+" and "-" marked, move in small increments.

Kevin
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tina
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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2005, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

NO WAY!  That sounds just way too simple!!  COOL!!!!!!!!  :-)

Thanks Kevin!!  :-)

I'll be trying it later today as I am forcing myself to sit in my chair and enter a YEAR"S worth of historical transactions for the biz into my quickbooks...which I just set up.

Oh the joy....*NOT!*  :-D
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rcs914
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rcs914
Joined: 30 Jul 2002
Posts: 530
Location: Tucson
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar OC, PID'd Silvia
Grinder: Lux & Cimbali Jr
Vac Pot: E-santos,Santos, Hario
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Roaster: Turbo Crazy
Posted Fri Nov 25, 2005, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Well, the Gourmet has a Sirai pressurestat rather than the smaller (ceme or mater)  one that the Pro has (at least it sounds like one of those from what Kevin described).  At least this is the case with mine, but it is 10 years old.  The cover is very easy to get off, and then it is still an easy adjustement with a screwdriver.  IIRC, it is pretty clearly marked with a + or -  as to direction.

Chris

 
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Motorcyclegeek
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Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 16
Location: St. Paul, MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Gourmet
Grinder: Looking...probably Macap M4
Drip: Bodum French Press
Posted Sat Nov 26, 2005, 7:04pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Tina, what year is your GAP? Is it common to have to adjust the pressurestat?

I'm getting my used Astra GAP on Mon and I can't wait but I'm a bit nervous on what I'll need to do to it. Maybe nothing??

I just got done updating my computer accounting system for 3 months worth of data what I pain so I can relate. It's nice to have it though

Colleen
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tina
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Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Nov 26, 2005, 8:18pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Mine's brand spankin' new!  Actually only like 3 weeks old!  :-)

If I was using it solely for home use, I wouldn't have to do anything to it.  BUT, I am using it for my espresso catering business, so I am 'working it' by making one drink after another, not to mention chais and americanos (uses hot water...big drain on the pressure).

I had this prob with my other machine (a conti...hooks up to a water system for my bigger events - the astra is a pourover and I plan on using it for my smaller events...under 50 people).  the conti issue was fixed by simply adjusting the pressure up...so, I'm gonna see if this is also the simple fix (hopefully!) for the astra to be able to 'keep up' with me  ;-)
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tina
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Joined: 6 Oct 2005
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Location: San Diego
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Nov 26, 2005, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

If the Astra can't keep up, I'm gonna be soooooooo disappointed!  I LOVE that machine!!!

The chick at Astra said, however, that this thing is a 'workhorse'...so I'm pretty confident that it will keep up!!!!  And a 4.2 litre boiler for a pourover!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  :-)
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SquareH
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Espresso: AstraPro
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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005, 9:56am
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Hi Tina:

I dropped the following on the tail end of the other thread--maybe it's better here:

If the machine is hot to begin with (ours stays on all the time) is should "keep up" without a problem. Since you're having problems with your new GAP and your old machine ( I don't remember what that was, sorry) it leads me to speculate about other possible causes.

If it starts out cold and you start pulling shots and steaming milk as soon as the pressure rises it may never be able to really reach proper operating temperature. Basically, it starts out in a hole and stays there. When I operate remote with my Pro, I either get there early enough to let it warm up thoroughly or I "pre-warm" it by running it at home before I setup.

Another possible cause of problems is running off an extension cord. If you are, it should be at least as heavy as the cord coming out of the Astra (something like 1/2' diameter) and only as long as absolutely necessary. Thin, long cords result in a voltage drop which will decrease your machine's performance. Voltage drops will also burn up electical motors since they draw more amps at lower voltage which will eventually heat them up and burn them out.

If you need a "real" extension cord, try an electrical supply place that caters to commercial -industrial accounts or an RV store. they should be able to make up a cord for you. It wouldn't hurt to have a GFI outlet on the cord too.

FYI: Here are some timing tests from my GAP.

1) Steam wand open: it ran for 5 minutes without dropping below 1 bar. I think this is steady state or pretty close. Recovery to element off took slightly less than 60 seconds. It overshot the normal idle boiler pressure of 16.5 psi (18 or so).

2) Steam wand open, pump running water out the group head continously for 3 minutes without the dropping below 1 bar.  I suspect this is steady state too. I could have gone longer but got bored waiting for a drop. Recovery to element off took less than 80 seconds.

3) Steam wand open, boiler tap wide open. This ran for 90 seconds and dumped nearly a quart of water before the pressure dropped. Pretty harsh duty.  Recovery to element off took 110 seconds.

Steady state performance (1&2) is a function of the heating element--2000 watts in the GAP. For situation 3, the boiler size contributes too. Raising the pressurestat setting is a little like increasing the boiler size--it will help a little for the non-steady state situation but shouldn't have any impact on a true steady state situation.  If you need more performance than this, I suspect that you'll either need multiple machines or a 240 volt rig. 2000 watts, btw, is pretty much as large as you can go from a standard 20A/120V circuit  so that's the upper limit for a portable catering setup.

Hal
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rbh1515
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Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,282
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Hal,
That's pretty impressive performance.  I've not done these tests on my Astra Gourmet, but I have never lost pressure, and this machine seems to have power to spare.  Rob
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tina
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Nov 29, 2005, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: Increasing pressure on my Astra GAP
 

Wow!  Thanks Hal!!  I will have an opportunity to test the machine in a different location other than the church when I take it to a gig on the 7th of December.  I'll be mostly cognizant of the warm up time as I was aware of the other issues, but thought once it was up to pressure, it was set to go.  (which it is for A drink, but not 15 in a row  :-D

I'll let you know how it turns out!!!!!

thanks again!

Tina
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