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Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Portafilter in...  
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nkbsbl
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Joined: 11 Oct 2013
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 11:58am
Subject: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

I never attach my portafilter to the grouphead until I'm ready to pull a shot (I usually keep it in a drawer). I noticed recently in some videos and articles that it is best practice to keep the portafilter attached to the grouphead when the machine is started up and warmed. I haven't seen any reasons why this might be beneficial. I tried it once, but the portafilter got very moist and it required me to have to re-clean it before filling with grinds - which is an annoying extra step. If it provides benefit to the machine, I won't mind doing it. I just don't know why it might help.

I'm assuming the answer to this could be machine specific - I'm using an Elektra Semiautomatica. Any input is very much appreciated.

Thanks!
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halfcaf
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

I think you just want everything to be as hot as possible, so it's a good practice to keep the portafilter on the machine.

My otherwise-flawless SO sometimes forgets, and so I may run a blank shot through the portafilter before filling with coffee, just to warm it up.
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nkbsbl
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

Thanks, that's great to know. Sounds like the basket in the portafilter would be wet then - is it ok to put grinds into a wet basket, or is it best practice for it to be dry? Maybe it doesn't matter?
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takeshi
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takeshi
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

halfcaf Said:

I think you just want everything to be as hot as possible, so it's a good practice to keep the portafilter on the machine.

Posted January 10, 2014 link

^ This.

nkbsbl Said:

is it ok to put grinds into a wet basket, or is it best practice for it to be dry? Maybe it doesn't matter?

Posted January 10, 2014 link

Try it both ways and see.  I don't recall which shop it was or why this was the case but in their testing they found that they preferred the results from drying their portafilters.
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

I've always dried my pf before filling it with grounds. I just figure, any little bits of water will start extracting the grounds that hit it before I lock and load, and may also lead to clumping and uneven extraction. It's probably ridiculous though. The other thing is, my pf is never wet before I pull the first shot, and the only time it comes off the group is to fill it or clean it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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stefano65
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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 3:02pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

Your shot and your crema will be much happier and tastier with the portafilter at temp

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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flathead1
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Posted Sat Jan 11, 2014, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

I put the portafilter in the machine (loosely) when heating it up and the basket(s) stay up on the cup rack warming with the cups.The mass of the portafilter retains heat  and when it comes time to pull a shot I put the basket in the portfilter, load the grinds and pull the shot. If I'm pulling a cooling flush for the HX I leave the basket out. I must admit that I've take the retaining spring out of all my portafilters so that the baskets are easy to put in and take out.
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victoriacoffees
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victoriacoffees
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Posted Mon Jan 13, 2014, 7:18am
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

I always keep mine in the group head. A Simonelli technicial recommended it to for 2 reasons - keeps portafilter hot and ready, and extends the life of the group gasket.

A quick wipe with a towel and all is good for that first shot in the morning.

 
-John
www.victoriacoffees.com
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nkbsbl
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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 6:48am
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

Thanks everyone!! I'm now keeping my portafilter (with basket in) in the grouphead when I start and warm up the machine. I run the flush through it also, but wipe down the basket before filling.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Portafilter in Grouphead when starting up machine? Does it matter?
 

Sounds good, that is pretty much how I keep mine. The PF does not need to be tight in the GH, that can wear the seal too, I just put the PF in the GH and move the handle until I get contact with the gasket and all has been well.

 
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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