We have a winnah! A free no-prize to you, sir (sorry, it's all that's in the budget). I'd also read other threads stemming from misunderstandings of how much detergent to use. (I use about 500 mg. Really. Hey, five grains is enough for a .45 ACP; seven grains ought to be enough for a coffee machine.)
I worry about the consequences of overcleaning, too. My machine has a solenoid 3-way valve, not a straight mechanical valve, and I don't know how that would react to too much detergent. It has an automatic cleaning cycle, but I'm not certain how that works -- it's supposed to be used with a small cleaning tablet and a rubber disk insert. I don't know if the cycle is appropriate for a blind basket, or if putting Cafiza in the rubber insert does anything except waste detergent. One of the developers of the machine published a cleaning schedule that's a good deal less aggressive, so I wonder.
I guess if you backflush that often, a pinch is all you should need.
I myself actually waited 30 minutes to use my machine, AND I did a water backflush after I pulled the shot. *gasp!* Perhaps my laziness is on vacation. ;)
As for the rule of 15s.. anyone know what the 15 second rule is? Start pulling your espresso shot within 15 seconds of prepping your puck? Drink your espresso within 15 seconds of finishing the shot? Yeah, that one sounds right.
My service technician has a name for people for whom maintenance laziness is a way of life, "Golden Grubs." Grubs because of their filthy machines, Golden because they change a 5 minute $15.00 gasket replacement into over an hours cleanup and a $150.00 service fee.
dtlord Senior Member Joined: 13 Mar 2009 Posts: 99 Location: Wisconsin Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Bezzera BZ07sde Grinder: Super Jolly, Virtuoso Vac Pot: Silex Victory, Cory, Sunbeam... Drip: pour over w/ mesh or paper Roaster: A nice guy named Roy
Posted Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:24am Subject: Re: Maintenance Laziness
I'm still new to this, so the laziness probably just hasn't set in yet. However as I cannot drink a shot right after I pour, I use that time to do a quick cleaning. This includes a 3 second flush, followed by a 10 second wiggle, then 2 5 second back flushes. After that a quick wipe-down and I ready to drink my nectar. So in less than a minute I'm done and ready to move on. Now before you start to consider me overly retentive, I do not actually time anything. That's just about how long each bit takes and because I use a bowl the drip tray doesn't get emptied as often.
I felt guilty and went and cleaned my machine. Less bitter espresso. I use a stainless insulated glass when I take an Americano on the road. I noticed that the inside of the container just did not shine any more. I of course had washed it out. I tried letting it sit a few minutes with a little bleach added. Very quickly it was sparkling clean. I have repeated this with Oxiclean and it also cuts through the stain and residue. Water is at about 190 from an instahot, like the water backflush. I can taste a difference every time I clean it with bleach or Oxiclean, which is after several uses. I can see the sheen has dimmed, and I start to get some coffee smell even after rinsing. This makes me wonder about just using water backflushes and how often I should use cleaner. Not advocating cleaner every day, I don't do that to my container and I can see the inside of it. There is probably an interval where I will taste the difference, and it is about taste...
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