Monday, April 26, 2010

Quest for the best espresso Pt. 5

We left off with the completion of the first of three phases last time. With this blog I will be starting the second phase the "steam vessel" this will be dedicated to the creation of wet steam for steaming milk. No more sharing the brew chamber with the steaming function or any wait time to cool down after using the steam. This will also let us control the steam pressure as well as the the temperature of the steam will be created. Depending on how this works the steam phase will need to be revisited and a one way valve my need to be placed on the line to keep the water and steam from flowing back into the brew chamber.

So to star this phase I got all the fittings I needed together and made a quick dry build to ensure that I had all the part and that they fit properly. The parts that are show are: a 2nd Rancilio boiler, a modified base to match group head fitting with out the group head, a site glass build, and misc piping fittings (these will depend on the size of you site glass and boiler).

Once I was happy with the dry build I was ready to set the parts together with pipe sealer. I didn't use Teflon tape. Teflon tape is entirely to easy to tare when you are trying to seat the fittings properly. For this I used a putty and PTFE mixture to seal the pipes from leaking steam and water. Don't worry this sealant is rated for 350 degrees and 1000 psi for gas (i.e. steam). It is also food and potable water safe. So with the putty in hand I built the hardware side of the steam boiler.

Now that the hardware was together I started shaping the soft copper piping that will form the steam line to the steam wand and serve for the bottom of the site glass connection. I had the left over copper pipe from the main boiler (remember I use the pipe to attach the pressure gauge). While as I was curving the end back around to meet the fitting, I did the worst thing you can do to copper pipe... I crimped it. To top it off I had not realized that there was so little pipe left so I had to call it at night at this point because Lowes was closed at this point.
Next time I will be attaching the soft piping and placing the boiler inline with the system. So join me next week when I attempt to mold copper piping again. Dan ~

The Old Wwworld Cafe

1 comment:

  1. Did you ever complete this project? I'm very interested.