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Bottomless PF fine jets problem
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Bottomless PF...  
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Birket
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Oxford
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Gaggia RI8121/60
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 2:46am
Subject: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Hi y'all.

I have a Gaggia Classic and have just been given a bottomless PF as a birthday present. I am trying to get my technique right using this bottomless PF, but I always get fine jets of coffee spraying all over my kitchen (obviously, my wife - a tea drinker - isn't happy!).

I have taken the grind out of the equation as now as I didn't trust my little Gaggia grinder. I am buying pre-ground Lavazza coffee from Tesco. I know, I know. It isn't goping to be as good as the freshest ground beans, but I can only dedicate so much of my life at a time to my espresso drinking habbit!

My general technique is to over fill the basket and then use the back of a knife (which is flat), to tap or chop along the top surface of the basket, making sure there are no holes/gaps. I then scrape excess coffee with the back of the knife back into my jar. The top surface of the grinds is now flush with the top of the basket.

I then rest the PF on the edge of my worktop and give a light tamp. I then tap the edge of the PF with my tamp and re-tamp with a lot more pressure. The puck of coffee looks good - I tip it upside down and any ramaining few loose grinds (very few) tip out. The puck, of course, remains nicely.

I attach the PF to the Gaggia Classic, switch on and then duck for cover! Spray goes everywhere.

Can anyone give me some more tips? It seems straightforward, but obviously it isn't. I assume my normal PF is doing the same, but the jets are hidden from view.

I have tried around 10-12 times and I always get the same thing happening.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 8:43am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Birket Said:

I am trying to get my technique right using this bottomless PF, but I always get fine jets of coffee spraying all over my kitchen. I am buying pre-ground Lavazza coffee from Tesco. I know, I know. It isn't goping to be as good as the freshest ground beans, but I can only dedicate so much of my life at a time to my espresso drinking habbit!.

Posted March 21, 2012 link

So get use to the "sprites" (what the spray streams are called). It is not only a matter of not fresh, it is also a matter of not being able to match the grind to the situation.
No grinder = No real espresso.
If you are going to use preground, then get a pressurized (enhanced) portafilter. The only other alternative its to get a quality grinder and do it right.
The better order would have been to first buy a good grinder and a more affordable coffee-making method, and then, later, get an espresso machine when you can afford it.

 
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Birket
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Oct 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Oxford
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Gaggia RI8121/60
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Your reply certainly depresses me! The drinks I have been getting from my Gaggia with a normal portafilter certainly look and taste like espresso to me. Perhaps not the best in the world...

You honestly think it is down to the grind/coffee then?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Taste is certainly a relative thing, and if you have been enjoying what you have been making, that is great. But espresso is a never ending quest. If you have ever tasted a really great espresso that flows on the palate like melted butter, with rich, sweet, smooth taste, that lingers on the palate for twenty minutes and makes you want to not even swallow your own saliva for fear of losing that taste, it will haunt you and you will strive to duplicate it for the rest of your life.. Not tat I take espresso seriously or anything...

But to be of some assistance, your problems might include:
a - distribution
b - dose
c - tamping
d - all the above

On my website www.EspressoMyEspresso.com, check out this article: 12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME as it is written for the home baristas, in fairly plain language, and concentrates on diagnosing and curing problems.

I would assume that the sprites were always present but could not be seen. The bottomless portafilter allowed you to see what has been going on. It could be worse. From the Vibiemme Domobar Double owners manual:

frcn: sprites_small.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 685
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded Oscar
Grinder: Grindmaster 875, WTB...
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, Counter...
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Birket Said:

Your reply certainly depresses me! The drinks I have been getting from my Gaggia with a normal portafilter certainly look and taste like espresso to me. Perhaps not the best in the world...

You honestly think it is down to the grind/coffee then?

Posted March 21, 2012 link

I can tell a difference in the speed a shot runs at when It's ground and brewed in under a minute and one that was ground, sat 4 minutes and then brewed. Hint: the one that waited 4 minutes before brewing runs faster

Your pre-ground Lavazza was roasted somewhere in Italy, ground, canned, and palletized, the pallet was loaded onto a semi truck, the semi truck took it to a warehouse for storage,a couple weeks later the grocery store ordered 5 cases of the lavazza, which were picked from the warehouse and placed on the back of another semi, the truck driver drove three days and dropped off the coffee at the store's loading dock, the stockist placed the cans on the shelf several days later as needed, then you came in and bought one two days later, It sat on your counter for one day til you made a very fast running shot, causing sprites.

See what I mean? You might think I'm just being dramatic, but this is actually what happened.

Oh and replace "semi truck" with "Lorry" I was speaking American there. ;-)

- James

 
Load and Lock.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

I can tell a difference in the speed a shot runs at when It's ground and brewed in under a minute and one that was ground, sat 4 minutes and then brewed. Hint: the one that waited 4 minutes before brewing runs faster


This is absolutely true. You personally may not be able to see the difference in 4 mins at first. You can always take it to extreme and grind a shot let it sit all day like 8 hours then brew and watch it, grind one fresh all things being equal you will see quite a difference. it will give you a frame of reference and you will soon be able to tell little differences. It works with brew temp, pressure dose amount etc. Pick one thing and change it dramatically while keeping everything else the same and learn the difference. From there just do a binary search until you get were you like it. Then you will change something else but and mess it all up but hey nirvana is never easy and this i a hobby after all, you just get to drink your success.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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tracerbullet
Senior Member
tracerbullet
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

I guess I still have work to do then. I buy local fresh beans, grind with a Rocky, stir with a needle to distribute before tamping, etc and I get sprites too. Well I wouldn't call them sprites, but it's not a perfectly clean counter-top after I'm done.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,774
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 Mar 22, 2012, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Randy:
Wow, that is a REALLY nasty shot in your pic!

Any time the coffee does not flow evenly from the complete bottom of the basket and makes a mess it is called a sprite, regardless if you want to call it that yourself or not.

Rocky was OK in it's day but there are better options for the same or less money today. I NEVER WDT, I just evenly distribute the coffee from the mound in the center of the basket, tamp and pull. Then again, my grinders do not need extra work to declump the coffee.

 
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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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Thu Mar 22, 2012, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

calblacksmith Said:

Randy:
Wow, that is a REALLY nasty shot in your pic!

Posted March 22, 2012 link

I did three for the manual;- one proper, one ground overly-five, and that one. I purposely ground about ten or fifteen  "steps" too fine on the Kony. That pic was taken within the first two or three seconds of the extraction! I hit the shutter, took a quick photo or two and immediately shut off the machine, fearing for my lens as the espresso was going EVERYWHERE! Once I stopped laughing, it took a while to clean up the mess on the machine and the counter.  The very slow shot looked like something from the La Brea Tar Pits.

 
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,042
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Mar 22, 2012, 9:46am
Subject: Re: Bottomless PF fine jets problem
 

Hi Birket, welcome to CoffeeGeek.

Once you have your grinder sorted, I'd suggest modifying the below a bit.

Birket Said:

I then rest the PF on the edge of my worktop and give a light tamp. I then tap the edge of the PF with my tamp and re-tamp with a lot more pressure. The puck of coffee looks good - I tip it upside down and any ramaining few loose grinds (very few) tip out. The puck, of course, remains nicely.

Posted March 21, 2012 link

There's really no need to tap the edge of the PF after the light tamp, you can end up fracturing the puck and causing problems this way.  I usually tap my portafilter on a tamping mat to settle the grounds a bit before leveling and tamping.  I'd also skip flipping the portafilter upside down as the stray grinds on top of the puck are really no issue, I'd just brush the portafilter ears and filter basket rim off with my finger to get rid of any stray grounds there before locking in an pulling.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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