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Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
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OUiDEAUX
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 4:16am
Subject: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

Hey guys! New to the forums, so here's a little intro about how I ended up here. I've loved coffee for many years, but I never had the equipment for making the perfect espresso at home. I've had the cups/pads machines, but I never liked the coffee from those things. Last year a friend of mine came up with a Moka Express and I really liked it, simple device which makes great coffee. But you have to cool it down for 15 minutes before you can make a new espresso - not a good idea if your friends come over and they all want coffee.

So after reading a lot on the internet, I bought a used Gaggia Classic last weekend. The guy who sold it to me explained a lot about backflushing, desclaing, doing regular maintenance, good for a beginner.

But here's my question. When I remove the basket from the portafilter, there's some kind of brown residue which smells awful. I tried to clean it with hot water and a brush but that didn't work. I bought Cafiza at the local barista shop (trying not to talk about a coffee shop - that's something else around here) and I tried to remove the brown residue. Poured about 200ml/8oz of hot water with half a tablespoon of Cafiza in a glass jar and I let the portafilter soak in there for about 15 minutes. The water was brownish afterwards, it definitely removed some of the brown residue. But there was still a lot of brown residue left in the PF. However, the espresso's were much better already!

I don't exactly know what Cafiza is and I don't want to mess up my portafilter by soaking it in Cafiza for too long. How long can I soak the PF in cafiza, and what mixture would you recommend? Thanks for the replies!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 4:40am
Subject: Re: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

Hi, welcome to the board.

You will not hurt anything by doing what you are doing. What you have is just a soap that works well on coffee oils, which is what you are cleaning.

Congratulations on stepping up your gear. Remember, the most important part of your setup is the grinder. If you think there was an improvement with washing your PF, a good grinder will be 50 times the improvement that you have seen with a clean PF.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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OUiDEAUX
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 5:35am
Subject: Re: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

Thanks! I'm working on a deal for an used Ascaso i2 grinder. I'm excited and hope it works out well!

About the cafiza, if it's just soap, I'll leave the PF in there for a night, to clean it. I thought it was some kind of industrial chemical acid.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 474
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 6:01am
Subject: Re: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

Cafiza has TriSodium Phosphate, quite a lot of it. That's what makes it so effective at removing the organic tars left by brewing espresso.  It works best with very hot water.   Get your dish-brush and portafilter well soaked in the hot Cafiza and scrub away.  You should have no trouble getting it back to shiny.

Note to others reading this thread.  If your portafilter is plated aluminum, don't soak it in Cafiza and don't diswasher it, the TSP will un-plate your aluminum and leafe it a nasty, powdery grey.
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OUiDEAUX
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

Well after letting the PF and the basket soak in the Cafiza for a couple of hours, it still wasn't clean enough. I could still smell the leftovers from the coffee, so I ended up polishing the PF with scothbrite. After a hour or so, the PF was completely odorless and looks like this.

OUiDEAUX: i6-photobucket-com-albums-y230-home-barista-purearabica-clean-pf.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Cleaning the portafilter - my first attempt
 

:-)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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