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  1. #1
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    Outdoor espresso serving in inclimate weather.

    How does operating in colder weather affect espresso machines operating ability and quality of the pulls?

    Say if the machine was located on a cart at a football stadium in late fall / early winter. I don't fully understand, but am aware that ambient temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure affect your espresso pulls.

    What do I need to know, be aware of, or prepare for operating in colder temperature, *30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit*

    What necessary precautions or setup considerations need to be addressed ahead of time?

    Thank you,

    Jay Raz

  2. #2
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    The environment will affect the grind you use, but if you are grinding fresh, those adjustments should not take any special thought from you once you get close since it is what you should normally be doing anyway.

    Cold weather should be a minor factor. If the machine is sheltered from cold wind, the effect would be negligible other than a pressurestat cycling faster then normal, proportionate to the ambient temperature. If the machine is getting good use frequency then the group should stay warm enough to counter the air temperature's effect on it.

    So really, all you need to do is keep the machine sheltered from the wind. Maybe in extremes if you hd a way to preheat the water to around 60 or 70 going into the machine would be the only other thing I might consider.

  3. #3
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    Great idea about keeping the storage water at a higher temperature, hadn't thought of that one. Blocking the wind wouldn't be too hard to accomplish. Could accomplish both of those suggestions at once with the proper design/setup. Create an enclosure shared by the water supply and espresso machine, the operating heat from the espresso machine could help itself and water storage "warm".

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay_Raz View Post
    ....the operating heat from the espresso machine could help itself and water storage "warm".
    You could even have a temporary hose that slides over the steam wand to "steam" the water for fifteen or twenty seconds in your eternal water storage container to bring the temp up. An insulating sleeve or cover around the container would also work- just some foam rubber would do it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy G. View Post
    The environment will affect the grind you use, but if you are grinding fresh, those adjustments should not take any special thought from you once you get close since it is what you should normally be doing anyway.
    Really depends on weather patterns/trends in your area, but fluctuating temperature/humidity can be very challenging in an outdoor operation. It's something I deal with on a daily basis. Home/coffeeshop baristas simply have it made when making minute changes to compensate for these changes. They don't have a clue!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #6
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    Hey Shadow,

    May I ask what kind of outdoor operation you're running? Any weather related issues that have occurred that you weren't expecting?

  7. #7
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    Mobile espresso van operation. Some mornings here in NC can be as low as 10 degrees with less than 20% humidity, causing all sorts of static wreaking havoc on grinding. Then you have the days that are 95 degrees with 95% humidity. I have noticed many times if ambient temperature gets 80 degrees or higher the espresso will start running quite thin/fast. You can only go so fine before it ruins the integrity of the spro, so I have gone to great lengths to keep the internal temps of the van in the mid 70s most of the time on these really hot days. Makes a huge difference too.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #8
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    What do you mean by "static wreaking havoc on grinding" Are you referring to the grinds clogging up the grinder? One other question, do you find the operating heat from the equipment alone to be sufficient enough during the winter or do you see a need to provide additional heat?

  9. #9
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    Too little humidity leads to grounds spraying all over the place. That is the case with drip/bulk grinding as well as grinding/dosing for espresso. It's better to have humidity in the 40-80% range based on my experience being mobile and I'm able to control this for the most part with the A/C during warmer months. Too high and you will have clumping issues, but for me that is better than the static associated with low humidity.

    Our van is rather large, but I find the equipment heats it rather nicely with outside temps as low as mid 20s. The espresso machine I use daily is a 2 group NS Aurelia, which has a 14 liter boiler and keeps the cup warming tray in the 125-130 degree range. Also have heat radiating from the air cooled icemaker to help out. Of course this is a curse when it's 100 outside with humidity at 99.9%.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

 

 

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