bonaparte Senior Member Joined: 19 Oct 2009 Posts: 3 Location: UK Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Babby Gaggia ER0249 Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009, 6:55pm Subject: Rescuing a Gaggia Baby
Hello coffegeek forums,
I've inherited my father's 1980's vintage baby gaggia (it's the 1986 ER0249 model) and mdf grinder.
It had been in his garage for 8 years since it "broke". I don't believe he ever(!) cleaned or descaled it. Initially whilst I got flow from the steam wand pressing the cup button just resulted in strong flow through the overpressure return pipe.
After several patient de-scaling cycles (it took 2 days) with the dispersion disc & shower plate removed (both also needed a lot of cleaning) I now get flow through the group head. With no portafilter fitted the flow is 150ml in 20 seconds.
Pulling a shot works, though there is quite significant flow through the overpressure pipe. A 30 second pull (with the 1 cup filter basket, beans ground at "6" on the mdf) produces a 20ml shot with 100ml through the overpressure pipe. Is this normal behaviour or should I be adjusting somthing (e.g the over pressure valve)?
Any advice on how to proceed from here would be appreciated. Should I try a backflush? The top surface of the aluminium dispersion disc is quite pitted, is this likely to affect coffee quality at all?
Interestingly the mdf grinder is an early version (UK serial no 199) - the notorious plastic lever arm which has had so many failure reports is made of cast aluminium in this variant (only the handle is plastic).
EDIT: Here are some photos of the diffuser, showing the pitted surface (it was completely clogged up before I cleaned it).
I've noticed that if I leave a prepared puck of coffee attached to the machine whilst using the steam wand, I seem to get some grains of coffee through the wand (image). Removing the portafilter I found the whole puck of coffee stuck to the shower plate! Could this indicate a faulty 3 way valve? Should there be suction through the group when using the steam wand?
Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009, 1:21pm Subject: Re: Rescuing a Gaggia Baby
OPV sounds like it's doing it's thing. You definitely shouldn't be getting grounds through the steam nozzle, and this sounds like faulty 3 way. Backflushing may cure it so give that a try before changing it. You can disassemble the 3 way too to clean it out.
alex Senior Member Joined: 10 Sep 2009 Posts: 42 Location: Toronto Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Super HX Grinder: Vario
Posted Sun Oct 25, 2009, 9:01pm Subject: Re: Rescuing a Gaggia Baby
i got the exact same setup but white...been doing cleanings and such but seem to get a odd tasting espresso compared to the same beans in my la pavoni.. i looked at the boiler and I see a white crystal type residue just below the seam...scared to open it up and see how much scale is in there..i did a descaler twice..but i think i can do it til the cows come home and it wont help...dam aluminum boilers...
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