Espresso machine in converted horse trailer.

tomsteetley

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May 4, 2017
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Hello,

I'm new to the forum and I was hoping someone here could help me out.

I'm right in the middle of converting an old horse trailer into a mobile bar/coffee trailer.

My original plan was to have a compact 2 group machine that I could take out the trailer when I was running an event where it wasn't needed. However the more I look into it the more i'm realising that these machines aren't really designed to be moved about, disconnected, reconnected etc etc. First, if anyone has any input on this that'd be great?!

I've attached a picture of my layout below. I won't have mains water obviously. I'll have a 25 litre barrel under the sink for fresh water and another one next to it for waste.
I'm planning on cutting a hole in the countertop under the espresso machine to run plumbing to the barrels under the sink. What connections, pumps and adapters etc do I need in place and does this seem like a feasible plan?

Many thanks for taking the time to read all this!

Best,

Tom
 
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tomsteetley

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Horse trailer design
 

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Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
You are correct... I think it would be difficult to continually connect/disconnect. Not only are they typically pretty heavy (especially when full of water) you have to disconnect water supply / drain & power. I've seen people use a small two head machine (typical) or run two single head machines (i.E. Rocket 58). Pros/cons to both setups. Obviously a single head would be easier to move but your probably still talking 40-50+ lbs.

Regarding water supply... 25 liters seems small to me. I don't see any plans to do provide batch/drip brewed coffee - are all of your drinks going to be espresso based? If so, plan on plenty of storage for milk. I sample my coffees (batch brewed) in 2 oz cups at a farmers market on Saturday and go through 3-5 gallons in a day. You would also need a grey/waste water storage.. check with your local health dept. Typically it needs to be 15% larger than your fresh water supply. You will also need a 3 compartment sink / heater and account for water use in washing dishes / hand sink.
 
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tomsteetley

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You are correct... I think it would be difficult to continually connect/disconnect. Not only are they typically pretty heavy (especially when full of water) you have to disconnect water supply / drain & power. I've seen people use a small two head machine (typical) or run two single head machines (i.E. Rocket 58). Pros/cons to both setups. Obviously a single head would be easier to move but your probably still talking 40-50+ lbs.

Regarding water supply... 25 liters seems small to me. I don't see any plans to do provide batch/drip brewed coffee - are all of your drinks going to be espresso based? If so, plan on plenty of storage for milk. I sample my coffees (batch brewed) in 2 oz cups at a farmers market on Saturday and go through 3-5 gallons in a day. You would also need a grey/waste water storage.. check with your local health dept. Typically it needs to be 15% larger than your fresh water supply. You will also need a 3 compartment sink / heater and account for water use in washing dishes / hand sink.

Hello,
Thank you for your response!
I can very easily adjust my plans to have 2 x 25 litre containers for fresh water and I will always be trading close to a water source. I might do pour over but I'll mostly be focussing on espresso based drinks due to the size of my unit. I have factored in plans for a waste water container under the sink as well. I was planning on having a 2 part sink, why would I need a 3 part? I'll definitely be installing an over sink water heater. I have a 208 litre fridge and coolers in my truck so plenty of room for milk.
Thanks again!
 

sidg

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Jun 7, 2011
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You have to have a 3 bay sink to wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes. Also every place that I know will require a separate hand washing sink.
It's best to check with your local health department before you get started to avoid having to redo every thing.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 
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tomsteetley

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You have to have a 3 bay sink to wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes. Also every place that I know will require a separate hand washing sink.
It's best to check with your local health department before you get started to avoid having to redo every thing.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

I don't suppose you have the answer to my original question do you?
 

sidg

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Jun 7, 2011
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To the question can you get espresso machines that you can take in and out. The answer would be yes. You could put in a couple high quality home machines that could be portable. There are major downsides to that in how quickly the recovery time is between drinks and I would not recommend it as it is going to be very limiting in how many people you can serve at an event.
As far as connections that will depend upon the machine you choose. Just make sure you get a quality, easy to change filter between the water sourse and the machine.

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Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
To better understand the connect/reconnect issue... most people use a pump like the video to pump water from your tank to espresso machine. You obviously have power and drain. Certainly you could move/in and out but I would think it would be a pain.

https://youtu.be/CDqIvP8tosA

And like sidg said... get with your local Health Dept. They are much much easier and friendlier to work with when you are proactive. Any food service opp will need a 3 compartment sink for dishwashing plus a hand sink that can only be used to wash your hands. You also need to understand that your surfaces must be cleanable (again a issue with Health Dept)... that may dictate what you use for floors/walls/counters.

Regarding waste water... I'm not sure where your located but in the US there is typically required sizing of grey water based on your fresh water source. So, 10 gallon fresh / you need 12 gallon grey/waste. You know your market best if all espresso is going to work. You use either lots of water with batch brewers or lots of milk with espresso based drinks.
 

sidg

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Jun 7, 2011
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Don't know anything about the machine being demonstrated in the second video but it looks like it is using an interior pump to fill the machine rather than established water pressure to automatically fill. In the first the set up is assuming your machine needs a constant water pressure to work and thw machine is controlling gow much of that water to let in depending on what it needs at the moment.

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Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,508
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Kansas City
Thank you for all your help!

Could someone possibly explain why on this video a pump and an accumulator is used

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDqIvP8tosA&feature=youtu.be

and on this video they seem to go direct from the espresso machine to the water barrel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsDq8aCkztI

Accumulators are used so your pump is not constantly turning on/off... essentially like a small 'buffer'.

Regarding your second question... the machine must have a internal water pump. Not all water pumps can create enough pressure to suck water from a tank.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,592
4
Central North Carolina
I can add a bit of info as my wife and I operated a full blown mobile espresso setup for a handful of years.

An accumulator tank acts like a pressure tank with a well/pump. As stated above it maintains line pressure so the pump isn't constantly running, but I don't think it's necessary. The setup we had was fed by 115 volt ShurFlo pumps that had pressure switches built into them. They did a great job of maintaining pressure. Had 3 of them... one for the sinks/hot water heater/2 group espresso machine, one for the icemaker and one for filling the TWO 40+ gallon fresh water tanks. The 2 group machine had an internal rotary pump and the entire setup just worked well.

All the counties we operated in weren't very picky on inspection, nothing compared to a food setup, but of course this will vary state to state. All they really looked at was being sure the dairy products were kept at 40 degrees, the icemaker was clean, which I ran through a wash/disinfect cycle 3-4 times yearly and check the 3 bowl sink (wash, rinse, sanitize). You must have hot water as well.
 

TheGreenJoe

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Nov 8, 2014
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Albuquerque, NM
Thought I would chime in on this one. I have both a 110v 1 group espresso machine and a 220v 2 group espresso machine. I did a video on the difference between the two. There is pro's and con's to both machines....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymJa95_uD1Y

You can get all 4 sinks to be relatively small. Use the keywords, "concession sinks" when you search. I think I found one on ebay for a little over 100 bucks.

Have you talked with your local inspector? I would strongly suggest it. They can save you tons of headaches...

Also, have you calculated your power needs. This will also tell you which equipment you can afford and which not...2 groups are usually pretty high power needs.

Hope it helps!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,592
4
Central North Carolina
In a commercial setting where you MUST be able to keep up with demand a 2 group is really what is needed. I wouldn't say it's necessarily going to consume more power if you think about it this way... a 2 group is going to have a lot more thermal mass/boiler capacity and won't have to work nearly as hard to keep up compared to a 1 group that is constantly heating to keep up with heavy use.

Our van had the following equipment... a 2 group NS Aurelia (220v), 3 grinders (2 espresso, 1 bulk/drip) a BUNN VPR drip machine, Hoshizaki icemaker, full size refrigerator/freezer, 2 BlendTec blenders, a Bosch hot water heater, overhead A/C unit that was used nearly every day unless it was rather cold outside, a Sanyo toaster oven and 3 ShurFlo water pumps (115v models). All of that running pretty steadily throughout an 8 hour day/5 days weekly (daily vending spot) costs us an average of $55/month for a 220v electrical connection/meter. When we did have to use the Generac propane generator (13-14kw running) it costs quite a bit more and of course a fair amount of noise.

Regarding inspections... of course this depends on where you plan to operate. I would suggest following general state guidelines as each county can be somewhat different with regulations and if you build to at least a state standard that will have you covered if you vend in numerous counties, which is what we did. All we did was contact each county, let them know what events we were going to do in their area and they were welcome to swing by for an inspection any time as we were always in compliance. Good thing is we didn't have to pay for an inspection to be done at events because we were a beverage vendor and not handling raw product onsite like other vendors.
 
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