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Descaled my Starbucks Barista (Saeco Via Venzia?) and now it won't pull shots
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Joined: 3 Sep 2012
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Location: Rhode Island
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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2012, 5:56am
Subject: Descaled my Starbucks Barista (Saeco Via Venzia?) and now it won't pull shots
 

We've owned a Starbucks barista for 5+ years now (the ESE pod version).  Throughout that time the machine was "descaled" maybe twice because it was used rather sparingly after the first 5 months or so of ownership.  Started to use it daily about two months ago and decided to descale it.  Purchased a 7oz packet of Everpure Scale Kleen Boiler Descaler and mixed it with a gallon of carbon filtered water.  It about filled the water reservoir and after a few runs of descaling solution, the machine was working great, also ran the steam wand a few times.  We had an issue with steaming prior to descaling where steam would flood through the group head when the button was pushed and the pressure was building.  It stopped happening a few runs through the descale.  The machine was run till the descaling solution was just about gone, then flushed with about a half a tank of water.  The water was coming out pretty clear soit seemed as though the process was complete.  No shots were run after descaling.  This morning, after we woke up we tried to run a shot through the machine.  We noticed the metal catch tray was rusty in appearance....? it has always been very shiny and still looked as new as the day it was purchased until today.  The grouphead screen (the old Saeco version non-pod screen) was just purchased yesterday as well and was now rusty in appearance.  After trying to run some water through the group head, we were only hearing the pump turn on and no water was coming out of the group head.  Tried to run the water through several times, the ready light would stay on the whole time.  Finally, after screwing the portafilter on the group head we had some water going through the portafilter.  The water was dark brown though and after a few empty pulls we decided to see how the espresso shot would do.  Filled the portafilter and ran a double shot, no crema, dark brown, horrible taste.  A few more empty shots and it seemed as though we were still getting descaling solution?  Did I use too much descaler?  The next two espresso shots came out the same way, no crema, horribly sour and awful.  We would always get very respectable shots through the machine.  The steam wand works great so the pressure in the boiler and temp is working.  We turned the machine off and let it cool down, changed the water in the tank again to fresh water and tried running an empty portafilter....NO WATER AGAIN!?  After reading through a few posts we gather maybe the descaler solution hardened and clogged a line?  Or we didn't rinse enough?
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