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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > which machine to...  
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Getting my learners permit...
 

artmanr Said:

However, wouldn't all of this be easier if the machine simply controlled the temperature on its own?  Yes....yes it would.  The PID is an electronic contraption that overrides the factory thermostat on your coffee machine and makes the machine cycle "heat on" or "heat off" much more frequently to allow for the optimal temperature to be achieved consistently for long periods of time.  Therefore, when you are ready to brew....the machine is ready too.  No timing, no waiting, no fuss, no muss.  But expensive.  Unless you are a DIY type person, the kits can cost upwards of $200.  So, I'm not planning on a PID any time soon.  Though it appears to be useful.  I do wonder about the effect on the overall longevity of the machine though.  With all of the additional cycling on and off, does that take a toll on the boiler and other internal parts?  I don't know.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Great full post, sorry to see that you Copyrighted it :).  It would make a good introduction for may readers starting with the same questions.  I note the above portion as I do not believe that the cycling off of PID and heater will have much wear.  Flipping of the switches for temperature surf will wear the switches.  The heater is an element and I am not sure that it will be harmed by cycling on and off.  The PID and SSR portion are pretty much designed for this.  They are also easy to repalce and fairly inexpensive depending on the brand.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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tdifraia
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 78
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM67
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bunn
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Just remember lots of milk drinks is where single boilers are so slow that most people want to upgrade right away.  CC1 Should handle multi milk drinks a bit better.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Would that be because it has a thermoblock, as opposed to the Lelit? Wouldn't the better heat transfer via the brass boiler in the Lelit, opposed to the SS boiler in the CC1, equal the steaming ability CC1 with its thermoblock? Or does the thermoblock actually improve its steaming ability that much?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,040
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:19am
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

It has a block just for steam so changes back and forth much faster than a normal plain single boiler.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:46am
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

The change back and forth is more about having a boiler that is single vs dual use.  If the boiler actually has to heat to steam and then cool for another shot, there is a lot of time involved.  With a thermoblock for steaming, the boiler does not have to heat to steam.  I would not be too concerned about comparing metals for heat transfer in these machines.  Wattage also comes into play.  The Gaggia with external heaters on a small boiler is almost a small thermoblock.  It heats quickly for steam, but still has to cool for another brew.

I am not sure where you read about the Boiler leak problems on Gaggia.  Some of the machines have had hose and connector leaks and the Twin has had leaks, but I have not heard of boiler leaks with the Classic being noted as a frequent or noted problem.  I would be happy to read those.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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tdifraia
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 78
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM67
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bunn
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 6:33pm
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

D4F Said:

The change back and forth is more about having a boiler that is single vs dual use.  If the boiler actually has to heat to steam and then cool for another shot, there is a lot of time involved.  With a thermoblock for steaming, the boiler does not have to heat to steam.  I would not be too concerned about comparing metals for heat transfer in these machines.  Wattage also comes into play.  The Gaggia with external heaters on a small boiler is almost a small thermoblock.  It heats quickly for steam, but still has to cool for another brew.

I am not sure where you read about the Boiler leak problems on Gaggia.  Some of the machines have had hose and connector leaks and the Twin has had leaks, but I have not heard of boiler leaks with the Classic being noted as a frequent or noted problem.  I would be happy to read those.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

On the Gaggia Boiler leaks I read one post on Amazon.com from a chemical engineers review heres the link:

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Ill try and find the other I read and post it.
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tdifraia
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 78
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM67
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bunn
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

tdifraia Said:

On the Gaggia Boiler leaks I read one post on Amazon.com from a chemical engineers review heres the link:

Click Here (www.amazon.com)

Ill try and find the other I read and post it.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Heres the other: Click Here (www.toomuchcoffee.com)
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

Interesting links.  The one at Amazon was rebutted by others under that post, seemingly with equal standing.  The toomuchcoffee post seemed to ramble a bit as to the actual cause.  If taken at face value that is 2 negative posts, ignoring the comments under the Amazon one, with many good reviews including here on CG.  

I have no specific desire to sway your opinion, but to be informed if there is really a problem with the Classic.  Still not convinced, the Classic has been around for many years.  I can probably find a couple of specific conmplaints on most brands and types.  The Baby and Twin have had leak problems with hoses and clamps, but not the boiler.

From what I have seen on your list, quality should be fine on all.  You are more deciding features and price.  Decision, decisions, the fun part :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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tdifraia
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 78
Location: Boston
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM67
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Bunn
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:58am
Subject: Re: which machine to buy
 

D4F Said:

Interesting links.  The one at Amazon was rebutted by others under that post, seemingly with equal standing.  The toomuchcoffee post seemed to ramble a bit as to the actual cause.  If taken at face value that is 2 negative posts, ignoring the comments under the Amazon one, with many good reviews including here on CG.  

I have no specific desire to sway your opinion, but to be informed if there is really a problem with the Classic.  Still not convinced, the Classic has been around for many years.  I can probably find a couple of specific conmplaints on most brands and types.  The Baby and Twin have had leak problems with hoses and clamps, but not the boiler.

From what I have seen on your list, quality should be fine on all.  You are more deciding features and price.  Decision, decisions, the fun part :)

Posted December 18, 2012 link

These negative reviews on the Classic are far and few in between, and are ONLY 2 out of 100s of 1000s of MOSTLY positive ones. From these many positive reviews I perceive the Classic as one of the best lower priced machines out there, and I am seriously considering it as my first espresso machine. If my posts put a negative spin on the Classic in anyway it was not my intention.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Getting my learners permit...
 

artmanr Said:

Enter the electronic thermometer attached to the boiler and having an electronic display on the outside of the coffee machine.  This can be done cheaply for under $20.  Or so I've read.  I haven't actually done it. I might though and soon.  By having this relatively inexpensive modification, you can measure the temperature and understand the cycles thereby allowing you to more accurately manipulate the machine controls to achieve the desired temperature.  There are some good videos of this technique on youtube.  If I can, I will post a link later.

There are many great reviews of the Classic here and elsewhere.  I love that it is supported on this and other forums and that parts are easy to find.  I will enjoy the 3 way solenoid and probably tweak the OPV.  What I do with temperature is not yet decided.  I am sure I could DIY the PID, but I don't think I want to spend the $$.  If someone can show me how to DIY for less $$, I would be most appreciative.  The pre-made kits are over $200 though.  Ouch.  But, I might try the thermometer on the boiler modification.  I need to do more research on where to buy the parts and how to do the modification though (help appreciated).

Posted December 18, 2012 link

The easiest thermometer to use, that I know of, is the Polder below.  It is easy because the wiring and thermistor slide out to the stainless sheath and then can be used on the boiler.  Many have the components glued into the stainless tube.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=16921963

Modded Polder

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/588424

PID for less than $200 can be done DIY similar to below

Click Here (www.thedomesticbarista.com)

PID controller SYL 1512 or 2362 for $37 or $43, RTD sensor PT100M4 for $25, or a K thermocouple for about $5 and SSR for $15 for the Auber 25A, or less from Ebay, etc.  If you want a box to fit, then $15 - 25 from Auber.  I would skip the box and save that money, or DIY on the box.  You make up and figure the wires.  You will need to be decent at soldering or crimping.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/571792

In the Youtube, the 1/32 din is boxed, the 1/16 not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluei1-IkTw

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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