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The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Thu Sep 12, 2013, 12:08pm
Subject: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

When I pull a shot (sorry if the terminology isn't 100% kosher) and flick the switch off, the water doesn't cease totally.
There are little runnings and drips, so to speak.
This irritates the bejesus out of me, as it disturbs the beautiful crema.
Which of the probably several things I'm doing wrong would anyone point the finger at, please?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,032
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 Sep 12, 2013, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Is the 3 way valve operating properly? Do you get a WOOSH of pressure at the end of the shot? The job of the 3 way valve is to release pressure on the brew system. If it has failed, you can still brew espresso but it will not open and the pressure will need to bleed off, through the coffee puck.

 
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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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,477
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Fri Sep 13, 2013, 5:26am
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Could be a lot of things, several perfectly normal.  

As Cal noted it's possible your three-way solenoid is sticking.  When's the last time you cleaned it by backflushing with an appropriate detergent in a blind pf?  Normal schedule for a home machine in daily use is at least once every other week, and once a week is better for non E-61 machine.  You should backflush without detergent daily.

In the meantime, the solution to preserving your perfect crema is to move the cup when you turn off the flow.  It may seem obvious in retrospect but simple things like knowing when to cut the flow (not according to time or volume), and moving the cup are the most frequently ignored aspects of the barista's geek's art.  

BDL
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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Fri Sep 13, 2013, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Um. A WHOOSH, eh?
:-\
Seems I must make a fearful confession, which I had hoped to avoid uttering ... Sighh ...
When I say "pull a shot", I'm grossly overusing the term: my Gaggia Classic produces espresso such that I count to 7 and switch it off.
There now! aren't you appalled? ... . . .... .. . .......  ..... . Yep, thought so.
It's done this for its entire life (2 years and 2 months).
Back in the early days of CoffeeGeeking, I attempted to solve the problem, but had to give up because the input was so technical as to make my head swim (not that it takes a lot to do that).
When my husband was alive, I never needed to think at all, lucky me: he was one of those amazing blokes who could do absolutely anything no, that's not strictly true: he would never have made a brain surgeon.   :-)   Were he still with me, you lot would be spared my apparently incessant and foolish questions, together with ditto confessions, and I would be continuing on blissfully without need of input from another soul.
Alas for us all ...
But it was cleaned professionally less than a month ago, as per another of my hideous threads; and I do a clean backflush at least once a day.
I LOVE your solution, boar_d_laze, and I also love your sauce! <grin>

M.R.
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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Fri Sep 13, 2013, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

And I'd forgotten to tick the 'email notification' box, which is the only reason I didn't thank you fellers before now.
:-}
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,032
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 Mon Sep 16, 2013, 5:41am
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Perhaps, if I say it a different way.

When you stop the shot, do you hear the pressure being released? This often sounds like a woosh or a sudden pulse of water into the drip tray. The job of the 3 way valve is to let the pressure off the puck. With no pressure, there will be no more water flowing through the puck and thus, no more out of the porta filter.

If your shots are running that fast, adjust the grinder so it grinds more finely. The time for about 2 fl oz of espresso from apx 18 g of coffee should be in the 25 second range. These are all just starting points to be sure but they are about what you should be seeing. If the grinder is not able to grind fine enough to match the above times/weights/volume then either it needs to  be serviced or it is not able to grind properly for espresso.


EDIT,
I spent some time looking at info on your grinder. In the U.S. Sunbeam is almost never seen, I do not remember ever seeing one in person or hearing about one so I had to google for it.

It seems that from what I read at CoffeeSnobs (a down under board) your grinder is not able to properly grind for espresso. This is the reason that even when fresh beans are used, you count 7 and stop. It is not YOUR fault nor that of the espresso machine, it is the grinder. Most people under estimate the value and import of the grinder to the process of making espresso. If you were to purchase a grinder that WAS able to grind for espresso, you would see a HUGE improvement in the quality and taste of the shots you get from the Gaggia!

 
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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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

CRIKEY!!!
Are you a saint?
:-|
Wayne, it's quite impossible to express my gratitude to you.
But on top of that, I'm going to ask yet another question, believe it or not: do you have a solution for me?
Ridiculous, ain't I? I mean, how in the name of all the gods could you know what grinder I can buy in Oz?
So I guess that ... well, mebbe I could buy one from the northern hemisphere?
And you would recommend, keeping in mind the absolutely HIDEOUS shipping costs from the US to Oz (I have never understood this) as well as my being an ancient who lives on the age pension ...?
Nah, forget all that: just tell me what you reckon someone who lives alone and drinks 56 coffees a day [M.R. goes red] should rely on, if you will ...
Please?
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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 12:48pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Just been doing some research of my own, Wayne - believe it or not ...
I've spent a while on the grinders reviews pages, and come up with one that seems to fit the bill all 'round - the Le'Lit PL53 Espresso grinder.
Would you care to continue to be saintly and comment on its relevance to me?
:-D
I almost forgot to add: I can buy it here in Oz!!!
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M_R
Senior Member
M_R
Joined: 7 Aug 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Lelit PL043MM
Posted Mon Sep 16, 2013, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: The Gaggia Classic Halfwit: should water flow stop instantly?
 

Baratza Virtuoso Preciso - anothery I found in the reviews, and that I can buy in Oz.
Vich vun iss bedder? - all comments welcomed (as always).
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