Monday, March 22, 2010

Quest for the best espresso Pt. 1

Happy Monday to you all! I will be taking the blog from Luke for a couple of Monday entry to detail the transformation of a common household Rancilio Silvia into a double boiler machine. This all started when Luke and I were reading David Schomer's book. We have always approached our coffee with the strictest of procedures, but when it comes to espresso the tolerance for error is practically non existent. Our goal was to create a machine that could be used at home or in a small commercial environment, and to do it on the cheap. At the end of all of this you will see our total cost for all the parts, but for starters the Rancilio cost about $350 used.

Once we got to looking around at the machine we realized something, espresso machines are far less complicated then most people would like to think. The whole machine can be broken down into 3 parts: the pump, the boiler, and the head group. So staying true to the tinkerer ways, the next step was to totally disassemble the Rancilio and make it better, faster, stro.... hehe, sorry wrong project...

The Rancilio Silvia espresso machine is commonly modded (granted its usually minor mods), so we did the first thing that every modder does at the start and voided the warranty.

With the pieces that were in front of us, we were able to start planning the extras that were going to be added, how all the wiring and plumbing was going to work out, and how not to turn this pressurized boiler into a steam bomb(editors note: I was not happy about the odds I was given that my garage may have a hole in it, so caution, do not try this at home!!). After having all of this layed out in front of us, we knew that this was going to be an exciting project.

Stay tuned for week two as the project comes together, wrong parts come in, and circuits are broken!

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