Hello all this is my first post. I am a newbie when it comes to espresso, coffee etc. I bought a Rancilio Silvia last year and then recently a Rocky grinder. I have been using the Silvia for approx. 8 months when I felt the urge to upgrade. I came across an Astra Gourmet GS on Vancouver on Craigslists. Anyway in the end I got the unit for free: the seller did know anything about the unit or even if it worked. The unit was given to them and they nothing about it.
There is no portafilter handle or basket. The unit is a plumb in. When I got it home it was evident that the procon rotary pump was ruined as water spewed from the end. So as of now I am looking to get a new 1300 series Procon pump. It looks? as though everything else is in working order. Does anybody have any expertise with these machines or which portafilter will work?. I tried the silvia it fits but just.
Thanks Colin, I will be getting the Procon pump from Espressotec great guys to deal with. I am in Kamloops so I am looking locally for an Astra dealer, I know there is one in Kelowna ( Interior Beverage?).
The boiler looks to be in good shape. I cleaned the hot water and steam valves the other day, minor scale. I hope the element is working though.
Great site Colin.
Keep us posted as to the progress - These machines are pretty straightforward - as long as you pay due respect to the electricity that powers them... and the fact that you are dealing with hot things...
Well, you are pretty much in the clear.
I contacted Astra today and the year when the unit was manufactured was 1996, November and it was the 35 unit produced that month. I have located a rotary pump that will work: Fluid O Tech. The double portafilter (handle and basket) is 82.00 USD + shipping+ border fees = 200.00???
Hopefully I will have it up and running by the end of this week.
I managed to fix the Procon rotary pump today although it is a bit leaky in places, all that it need was to replace the o-ring behind the backplate-not leaking from the backplate).
Well I finally powered up the Astra good new is that the boiler fills-the element works great-no leaks in the boiler. Huge amounts of steam and hot water. At this point I don't have a a portafilter to see if I can pull a shot. I also need the brew group gasket. The entire brew group head heats up very nicely, when you toggle the brew switch the pump comes to life. The only thing is the gauges don't work it is giving me a 200psi pump pressure and variable boiler pressure-or does not move at all.
There is a pressure valve that lives beneath the group head-when I toggle the brew group switch (as I would to pull a shot)- at the end of the brew there is a small amount of water that is released from that valve is that normal?