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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Coffee not...  
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Clinty_
Senior Member
Clinty_
Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: NW London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Drip: ...Coming Soon!
Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 6:15am
Subject: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

Hi Guys,

This is my first post on Coffeegeek although I have used the site for awhile, thank you in advance for your help.

I have a problem with the coffee not flowing through my portafilter.

I have gone from using pre-ground coffee, to grinding my own the beans are fresh, the problem is my Gaggia Classic isnt/can't push the water through my portafilter when the grinds dialed in fine.

Im using a Hairo hand grinder and grinding the beans a fine as the pre-ground stuff, I tamper correctly and recently backflushed and cleaned the group heads of my Classic. However if I set the grinder to one step-up (more corse) the coffee flows but it flows to fast and the flavours nasty if drank as a straight espresso.

Beans: Nude Espresso, Fresh, 16-19g
Grinder: Hario Skerton Hand Grinder (set to 3 notches)
Espresso Machine: Gaggia Classic (cleaned, backflushed using fresh water)
Portafilter: Non pressurised basket (coffee.hit)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,025
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat May 18, 2013, 10:11pm
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

By fresh I hope you mean roasted within the past two weeks.

I have a Skerton, but actually haven't used it so I'm not sure but don't recall it being stepped.  You can't set it in between where you're too fine and too coarse? I wouldn't try to replicate the fineness of pre ground with fresh beans. As beans stale you need to go finer to get them to pull right, so using fresh beans you need a coarser grind. You gave a wide dose range and it's not clear what your actually using...or have you tried it all with the fresh beans. A problem of stepped grinders is that one must compensate for not being able to dial in the proper grind by either down-dosing a too fine grind or updosing a too coarse grind.  I'll take a closer look at my Skerton on Monday and see if there's a way to help you with the adjustment.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Clinty_
Senior Member
Clinty_
Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: NW London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Drip: ...Coming Soon!
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 3:40am
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

Hey guys,

By fresh I mean roasted within a week.

The Skerton is deferentially a stepped grinder, I have gone for the coarse grind as it actually allows the coffee to flow and my beans are fresh therefore work on a coarse setting (thanks for that tip, i'm always learning)

When I stated 16g-18g, what I meant was I have tried both weights, the results were the same.

After tasting an espresso from my local coffee shop i've realized my setting are as spot-on as i'm going to get, that is until I get my Mini-E that is.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,025
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 12:41pm
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

hmmm...I just went and played with the adjustment mechanism on my Skerton and it doesn't seem stepped at all to me.  I wonder if there was a production change at some point?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Clinty_
Senior Member
Clinty_
Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: NW London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Drip: ...Coming Soon!
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 10:41am
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

Hi emradguy, please explain or post a photo of how your ginder is adjusted?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jun 3, 2013, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

emradguy Said:

hmmm...I just went and played with the adjustment mechanism on my Skerton and it doesn't seem stepped at all to me.  I wonder if there was a production change at some point?

Posted May 21, 2013 link

Thats weird, the Skerton and Mini both have the similar stepped capped thing to adjust, there are step-less mods though. Both are definitely stepped grinders.
Have you tried upping the dose in increments (i.e. 16, 16.5, 17, 17.5 etc)? I've used my Mini to pull some decent shots, like you, you usually find a setting that's either too coarse or too fine, so I played with dose to get it at least within range. I like mine more though for coarse use when traveling. But if you search online there are ways too make them step-less, someone on here had posted which nut to buy at a store to make the Skerton stepless.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,025
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jun 12, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

I just got back from a week in the Caribbean and took my Skerton with me.  Now that I've actually used the dang thing, I see how it's stepped...and am ready to get rid of it.  Though I'll probably keep it while I consider getting something stepless like a Zass Turkish-style or a Rosco for air travel.  I'm not sure I want to take my Lido on a plane as my backpack tends to get kicked a lot and dropped occasionally.

Sorry for the mis-information.  I now completely understand your problem.  It reminds me of when I had a Rocky for espresso (glad to be able to say, "been there, done that")...and so, my advice to you is get a stepless grinder.  It'll make you much happier.

EDIT: Just re-read the entire thread.  I had forgotten you're planning on getting a Mazzer Mini.  You're going to LOVE the improvement!  Until you do, you're going to have to modify your dose for being unable to get the grind just right.  So, you either updose a coarse grind or down dose a fine one, there's no other way to fix problem extractions from a stepped grinder...you just have to play with it until you get it to extract properly.  Remember to focus primarily on what ends up in your cup, not how the extraction looks or how long it runs (though watching those factors will certainly help you).  Once you get it all dialed in (if you haven't already), you'll be able to keep up with small changes on a daily basis.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Clinty_
Senior Member
Clinty_
Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: NW London
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Drip: ...Coming Soon!
Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 9:16am
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

Thanks for the info guys,

I have my grinder dialed in but this is a quote to remember; "focus primarily on what ends up in your cup"
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,025
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013, 4:06pm
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

Hey Clinty,

I thought of you when I saw this thread where people are talking about modding the Skerton to make it stepless...

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/608220

Thought it might help you out.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Thecoffeenerd
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Posts: 215
Location: N/A
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: N/A
Grinder: Baratza Encore, Bodum Bistro...
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Bunn Phase Brew 8 Cup, Hario...
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 9:35pm
Subject: Re: Coffee not flowing through portafilter...HELP
 

So....have tried to maybe grind coarser? If the grind Is too fine It won't flow through the portafilter. Sorry If this has already been discussed...

 
"You can't make good coffee, without good coffee" -Thecoffeenerd
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