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Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
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evandsays
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 6:58am
Subject: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

Hi everyone.  First post here (been lurking for years), so be easy on me!

I have been having very serious issues with my < 1 year old Gaggia Classic machine with a Baratza Precisio grinder.  When I first got the pair, I was pulling perfect shots without issues.  Now I am unable to pull a shot that is slower than 7 seconds for 3 ounces (yuck!).  This is still true if I set the grinder on the finest setting (i.e., I can no longer choke the machine).

Here are the steps that I have taken to try to troubleshoot, with no luck:
  1. Cleaned the grinder with Grindz
  2. Cleaned the grinder manually with brush and can of air
  3. Used coffee roasted the day before
  4. Cleaned the Gaggia Classic with Durex
  5. Cleaned the Gaggia Classic by removing the shower screen
  6. Tried to choke the machine with no luck (moved the grinder to the finest setting and put 18 oz of coffee in the portafilter so I cold barely make it fit in the group head)

Since it used to work before and I have not changed my tamping technique, I have come to the conclusion that it might be one of the following, but I have no idea how to isolate the issue:
  1. Gaggia Classic is broken
  2. Baratza Precisio is broken
  3. My portafilter needs to be replaced

Any ideas?  My tab at my local coffee shop is growing each day I don't fix this!

- Evan
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,021
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

Usually the Preciso ought to be able to grind fine enough for espresso and even choke the machine. How old is the grinder and about how many pounds of coffee beans have you run through it so far? Have you ever had any stones among your beans that might damage the burrs? Maybe the grinder just needs to be recalibrated. I guess it's pretty unlikely that it's a machine issue.

By the way, beans that were roasted the day before are usually too fresh! Most beans need to rest about five (up to ten days) before they reach their peak.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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evandsays
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

Thank you for the quick reply!  I bought both machines less than a year ago.  I have run ~10 pounds of beans through the grinder at this point (about one pound per month).  I have not noticed any stones and the burrs look pretty healthy when I clean them.

I have not tried to re-calibrate the grinder.  I'll do some google'ing to figure it out and will report back with results.

I have tried beans that have been roasted 1 day ago, 3 days ago, 5 days ago, 10 days ago, and 14 days ago... with no luck
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,021
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 7:17am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

In that case the burrs should not be worn. Try recalibrating. Here's a step-by-step instruction (pdf-file from Baratza) on how to do it: click here.

I don't think that the age of the beans is part of your problem. My remark was just an afterthought.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 9:17am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

IIRC the Gaggia pump, and other similar pumps, flows about 10 cc/sec unobstructed of unpressured.  You seem to have a healty pump.  If you look at the screen without PF if there even flow?

Some Preciso grinders have had calibration problems and there is a whole series of things to look at.  Look at Baratza.com

http://www.baratza.com/troubleshooting/

The Preciso should easily choke the machine as you are aware.  If you go through the list and do not find a simple solution, call Baratza on Monday.  They are great at helping.  I have found that when set properly that I grind about 17 - 18 grams of beans in about 10 - 11 seconds.  While time to grind is not a specific problem, it should be in this range.  If much out of this range is suggests that the grinder is having a problem, but does not give the specific.  Helps point to the grinder, not Gaggia.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic with Baratza Precisio: Super Fast Shot
 

The burrs of the Preciso might not be worn, but the plastic burr carrier or the plastic adjustment mechanism could be broken.  This is pretty much the prime cause of a sudden change in grind coarseness with these grinders.  Get a new burr carrier (and a spare as they are only a couple of bucks) and a new adjuster ring from Baratza and give those a try.  

You may also damage your burrs running it very fine with a broken burr carrier or adjuster, so try to minimize use at espresso type settings until you've checked out those parts.  You have to dismantle it far enough to check those parts to do a recalibration anyway.  

If you were running close to the finest setting when you had good results, then might only be that the calibration screw has come loose, but it's probably the burr carrier or adjuster I'm afraid.
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