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378 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 136688 5-Dec-2013 15:58
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Hi all. Ideally, this will be an educational thread for those aficionados who like making their own Espresso.
PLEASE NO JOKERS OR OFF-TOPIC COMMENTARIES.


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378 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 946116 5-Dec-2013 16:03
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QUESTION.........
Why is my Delonghi EC820 group head puck watery, sloppy like mud after a pour?

My Delonghi Magnifica always made nice dry pucks. My new EC820 started with dry pucks now most seem to be sloppy.
I feel that with a dry puck extraction is better, and flavour is better but that could be my imagination.
Keep everything clean, just done a descale.

Comments?

8753 posts

Uber Geek


  # 946124 5-Dec-2013 16:31
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ageorge: QUESTION.........
Why is my Delonghi EC820 group head puck watery, sloppy like mud after a pour?

My Delonghi Magnifica always made nice dry pucks. My new EC820 started with dry pucks now most seem to be sloppy.
I feel that with a dry puck extraction is better, and flavour is better but that could be my imagination.
Keep everything clean, just done a descale.

Comments?


It may just be the design of the machine, with or without 3-way valve or whatever, to relieve pressure in the portafilter immediately when extraction is stopped.
But this doesn't explain why the machine used to leave you with dry pucks - now wet/sloppy.  Under-filled portafilter basket will leave wetter pucks, so if you're using un-pressurised baskets and extraction time is right, then you may need to tweak the grind a little more coarse, and dose a bit more coffee into the basket.
But in the end, it's getting the coffee to taste right, the wetness of the puck doesn't matter, unless it's so wet that you can't diagnose other extraction issues, such as channeling through the puck, which may relate to how the grinds are loaded in to the filter, leveled off and tamped, and whether you've got clumping of grinds coming out of the grinder - this depending on the grinder, the doser (if any) and method of dosing, the weather, and the coffee itself.

 
 
 
 




378 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 946164 5-Dec-2013 18:20
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I tried a pre-ground mix and that came through OK so its likely the grind. By eye my grind from the Sunbeam EM0440 looks and feels the same. I might try some different settings with the grind and get back to you.

Also I found more info from the Breville site:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wet Puck

 

 

Every time I use my Breville espresso machine, there is water left in the portafilter. Why is that?

 

800esxl_247This is actually normal* for Breville espresso machines when using dual wall filters. They will often leave a ‘soupy puck’ when immediately removed after brewing an espresso. [*An exception is The Barista Express BES860XL, which creates a dry puck even with the dual wall filters due to an internal valve. The 800ESXL is pictured here.]

 

The water does not not have time to pass through the one exit hole as it would when using a single wall filter. However, the benefit of a dual wall filter is that it creates more pressure inside the brew head and there is less technical concern for the grind size or tamp pressure, as the pressure will create luscious crema on the shot of espresso.

 

The best way to reduce the soupy puck after brewing is to leave the portafilter some time to drain through the one exit hole, or try mastering your skill using a single wall filter.

 

Breville single wall filters will eliminate the soupy puck. They’re available in parts & accessories at BrevilleUSA.com.

 


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  # 946167 5-Dec-2013 18:39
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PLEASE NO JOKERS OR OFF-TOPIC COMMENTARIES.



I note you said "please" however it is a forum so as long as people respect and follow the FUG they can post what they like, your comment, to some, may seem like a red rag to a bull.





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823 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 946185 5-Dec-2013 19:30
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It's pretty likely that there would be a build up of grime / coffee oils between the two walls of the dual wall filter, you could try soaking it in caffetto (coffee machine cleaner) and see if this helps. Under dosed group would also be a factor.

As stated above, if the taste is ok though, why worry.

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Master Geek


  # 946191 5-Dec-2013 19:43
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Apparently you can take a dremel or grinder to a dual wall basket to remove the horrible outer wall. I've always wondered though if the internal basket wall has tight enough holes to produce a nice shot. Lord knows the dual walls fill up with oodles of crud.

In Wellington, give a shout out to Espresso Ninja if you need a spare basket - heaps in stock and they're happy to dig something unusual out if you show up with a silly-sized portafilter.



378 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 946199 5-Dec-2013 19:54
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sen8or: It's pretty likely that there would be a build up of grime / coffee oils between the two walls of the dual wall filter, you could try soaking it in caffetto (coffee machine cleaner) and see if this helps. Under dosed group would also be a factor.

As stated above, if the taste is ok though, why worry.


I suppose white vinegar would be worth a try - dont have any caffetto (yet)



 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek


  # 946258 5-Dec-2013 20:59
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ageorge:
sen8or: It's pretty likely that there would be a build up of grime / coffee oils between the two walls of the dual wall filter, you could try soaking it in caffetto (coffee machine cleaner) and see if this helps. Under dosed group would also be a factor.

As stated above, if the taste is ok though, why worry.


I suppose white vinegar would be worth a try - dont have any caffetto (yet)




White vinegar is acid - for descaling not cleaning (but citric acid is better - and this is a whole other can of worms).  Cafetto is trisodium phosphate based, cuts through congealed oxidised coffee oils nicely.  It's a good product, most specialty coffee shops, roasters etc stock it,  A small $10 pack lasts a long time.  Once a week is fine for a full clean.  It only take a few minutes.  Regular backflush daily. Commercial cafes should do a full backflush/clean with cafetta or equivalent daily.  Rancid coffee oils smell like a dirty ashtray to me - and the coffee tastes like it's been stained through one.  Sadly, you get that at so-called cafes.
If wanting to be serious about home espresso, then double-wall pressurised baskets should be abandoned, but there's a learning curve to master grind and dose when using proper single wall baskets.
It becomes "second nature" after a little experience.  Many so-called baristas don't "get it".  Dosimetric commercial machines can make it too easy, press the double shot button, the machine pumps 60ml and stops.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 946365 6-Dec-2013 08:04
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Coldness is the enemy of an espresso shot. Everything in the coffee making path should be properly warmed up first.

Many domestic machines claim to "be ready" in 5 minutes or so, this is not the case. The thermoblock / boiler may have heated up adequately in this time, but none of the other components would have (group head, portafilter etc).

I generally switch my machine on first thing when I rise, placing the portafilter in the group head, then go for my shower etc. this gives plenty of time for the boiler to come up to temp and time to warm the group head, with the portafilter locked in, this is also warmed up. I also run a blank shot into the cups then leave these on top of the machine, this helps properly warm the cups, preserving the shot when extracted.

When steaming your milk, always purge the steam wand before putting it in the milk (run the steam wand), there is often a lot of water in the steam path, you don't want this in your milk. You should repeat the purge after you have finished steaming your milk, it's possible for milk to go up the wand, you don't want this getting into your machine. Always clean the want afterwards with a wet clean cloth, removing the dried milk that is in it, especially the tip of the wand where the steam comes out, this will help prevent blockages.

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