Henk – this page is just for you 🙂 Thank you for purchasing the very first Lapera DS.
This is the quick start guide (draft version 1.0) to installation and use of your new lever machine. Please read it at least once before you start playing 🙂
Before anything else, please note that this device, like sharp knives and hot stoves, can be dangerous if misused. Please do not let anyone unfamiliar with its operation use it without prior instruction.
1 – Plumbing. The water inlet is 3/8 G thread (also known as 3/8 BSPP) and is under the drip tray on the left side (all descriptions are from the barista’s point of view). I recommend using 6mm potable water polyethylene tubing and adapters for this purpose but I can only get 1/4″ in North America, so I didn’t ship you any. The water line to the machine must have it’s own dedicated shut-off valve. In addition to being a good idea, this is also happens plumbing code. You knew this of course.
2 – Drain. The sump under the drip tray requires a connection to a drain. But you knew this also. A flexible hose with an approximately 17mm interior diameter and a hose clamp (neither of which are in the box, so don’t bother looking) are ideal for this purpose. Prepare the drain hose but don’t connect it just yet.
3 – Electricity. Electrical code in North America mandates the use of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles in areas where appliances are used in close proximity to water. European code mandates the use of circuit breaker GFCIs in the electrical panel. Wherever you are, this would definitely qualify as an “appliance in close proximity to water” and you should definitely use a GFCI. Even good coffee isn’t worth the risk of not doing so. Please consult a qualified electrician if you are unsure.
The machine is supplied with a 16AWG (1.0mm2) cable with a Schuko plug for operation on single phase 220-240V. The receptacle for the plug is underneath the machine at the back right hand corner. Locate the cable and the receptacle but don’t plug it in just yet and definitely don’t turn it on.
Presumably this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: the cup warmer is like the hood of a car, once it is removed there are lots of potentially dangerous bits exposed if you really go looking for them. After you plug in the machine, don’t touch anything inside other than the control interface.
4 – Before you complete steps 2 and 3 and install the other bits and pieces that came in the pizza box, you should burp the machine. What?
Burping the baby:
1 – This is a bit tricky and best done with some extra hands. Because of inconvenient things like gravity, there is an air pocket that forms inside the heat exchanger (HX) which, in order to get optimum thermal performance, ideally needs to be purged when the machine is first installed and before filling the boiler. It is possible that this air pocket may diminish over time as water condenses inside the HX, but I don’t know a) if this is true, or b) how long it would take. So, take my advice and find someone to help you. You will also need some kind of shallow plastic bowl or other container (about 1 litre and made of something soft that wont scratch the nice shiny stainless steel and that fits comfortably under the group) and a soft pad like a towel to protect the paintwork on the case.
2 – I know that you have already opened the box and screwed the lever handle in place before reading any of this, but if you didn’t, now would be a good time to do so. You might also want to put the portafilter in place. Carefully pull the lever and rest it on the lever stop in the down position.
3 – With the plastic container in place under the group, crack open the water supply valve and wait for water to fill the heat exchanger and exit the group. Shut off the water supply valve and discard the water from the container.
4 – Now, still with the water supply to machine turned off and the lever in the down position and with a towel in place to protect the paint work, lift the front of the machine upwards and carefully rest the whole machine on its back on the towel.
[Note 2021 3 14- this step of the procedure has not been completely tested. The case is not designed to support the weight of the machine and thus far I have put a block under the frame to avoid putting load on the case. It will probably be fine, but I haven’t checked yet.]
5 – With someone else holding the plastic container. Gently open the water supply valve to get as slow a flow as possible and purge the last remaining air from the heat exchanger and the group. Ideally with the water still running, carefully rotate the machine back into an upright position. Now you can turn off the water supply again – the gravity operated check valve in the group will stop any air getting back into the heat exchanger. Taking great care to resist the force of the spring (use both hands and hold on tight!), raise the lever and return it as gently as possible to its up position.
6 – You are done. Whew. Beer?
7 – Now you can finish steps 2 & 3 of the installation and install the drip tray.
First Time Startup:
1 – Locate the switches – there are two: a “soft” power button on the left front panel and a “hard” power rocker switch just above the frame under the cover at the back right corner.
2 – With the cup warmer removed, locate the three-button control interface at the top of the machine on the front left of the interior compartment. The interface tips upwards for easier viewing.
3 – Turn on the main “hard” power switch at the back right hand corner of the machine. The controller will boot and show the Lapera logo, followed by the firmware version and then the current day, time, temperature, boiler set point and mode on the screen. The screen saver will shut off the display after a short period of inactivity. If the screen goes blank, press any key to wake the display.
4 – Press the right hand button repeatedly to enter the menu mode and navigate through the menus until you reach “Autofill Timeout”. The Autofill Timeout is the maximum length of time that the valve that controls the flow of water to the boiler will stay open before the machine goes into error mode and shuts down. Ninety seconds should be long enough to completely fill the boiler from empty if the flow rate of the water supply is adequate. However, certain filtration or water conditioning systems may reduce the flow rate. Press the center button once (briefly) to edit the setting (the value will start to flash to indicate that it is ready to edit). Press the left button twice (or the right button a whole bunch of times) until the setting reads “90 secs” (i.e. ninety seconds). Press the center button once again to confirm the change. The value will stop flashing to indicate that it has been confirmed.
5 – Press the “soft” power button on the front of the machine – it will latch in position. You should hear the solenoid open and the water begin to fill the boiler. It should run continuously for about a minute and then click on and off slowly a few times while the water level settles in the boiler. If the flow rate is too slow and it takes more than ninety seconds, the machine will go into error mode (indicated on the controller screen and by a series of 3 blinks on the LED status light on the front panel. If this happens, soft power-cycle the machine (i.e. press the button on the front panel to turn it off, wait a couple of seconds, and then turn the machine back on). The fill cycle will begin again and should complete successfully.
6 – If at this point there is water on the floor or the machine keeps going into error mode, throw it away and order a new one. Otherwise, it should now be heating up and the front panel status light will start glowing from off to full.
7 – Edit the Autofill Timeout value again to return it to a low value. 15 seconds is recommended, but you can make it longer if required.
8 – Keep an eye on it for a half hour or so while it builds its first head of steam – its had a long journey after all. You can monitor the boiler temperature with the controller interface – just navigate forward through the menus till you reach the “Exit” option and then press the middle button once – this will return you to the operating display.
9 – In about 45 minutes or an hour, once the cover of the group is hot to the touch, you are ready to make your first coffee 🙂
Or just call me…