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Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure- does it damage the portafilte?
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JaxMyers
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Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: houston TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 9:45am
Subject: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure- does it damage the portafilte?
 

I am about to get my new Gaggia Classic machine. I keep reading that the pressure needs to be adjusted to make good coffee, so I am ready to go out and adjust the pressure with my machine as soon as I get it. I read about screwing off the pouring spout of the portafilter and replacing it with a pressure gauge from Home Depot to do this adjustment. Seems pretty straightforward to me. However, I want to make sure it is possible to put the spout back onto the portafilter before I try to do this. Will doing this permanently damage my portafilter or is it as simple as screwing the spout back on and using it to brew espresso when I am done?
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JaxMyers
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Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: houston TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 11:00am
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure- does it damage the porta
 

Also since my portafilter will be new, and won't' have years of mineral deposits caked onto it, do you think it will be easier to remove the spout than some of the posts on here say it will be?
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jonr
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Joined: 25 Jun 2013
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Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 4:36pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure
 

You might find it easier to clamp a rubber hose with a gauge on it around the steam wand.
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JaxMyers
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Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: houston TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:29pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure
 

Would I be measuring the correct pressure if I did that?
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,878
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 10:58pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure
 

The spouts are put on with thread lock and are not fun to remove.  You need a vise with padding and something with leverage.  It is nice to have the spouts off as you have more room under the spout for a cup.

If you want to use the steam wand pressure, yes pressure equalizes in the system.  The wand fitting is not set up for that pressure as the wand is open end. The fitting o-ring can leak. You also need to consider the hose that you use for temperature and pressure rating.

You can search Gaggia and pressure and OPV and there is a Youtube on the hose method.  I took off the spout :)

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


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 45
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure-...
 

I removed the spouts on my PF today without a scratch.  Machine is less than a year old, but I did not find the thread compound/loctite to be overly difficult.  I lined the jaws of a vice with shop rags folded over a few times to make it pretty well padded, secured the spouts and rotated the PF handle.  It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.

After I adjust the OPV, I plan on applying some thread compound and screwing the original spouts back on, it seems like it will be pretty easy.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure
 

In a SBDU, the pressure is the same as the steam is tapped off the top of the boiler. Sbdu machines brew espresso by pumping cold water INTO the boiler and the hot water goes into the brew system. If you attach a gauge to the steam wand and open the valve, you will be reading the static pressure inside the boiler at idle. When you turn the pump on to brew, you will then read the pressure of the water as it is going into the brew system so, yes, you will get the correct pressure.

But then again, go ahead and modify a PF if you wish. YMMV!

 
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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JaxMyers
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 10
Location: houston TX
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure- does it damage the
 

Thanks for the info guys. I don't have a vice but maybe there is one at home depot that I can use when I am there to buy the pressure gauge? Not sure if that's the case but it sure would be nice if they had one. I was thinking of bringing the portafilter there and asking them to help me find the gauge and adapter and hopefully they might help me with the spout too. I'd like to put the spout back on when I'm done though.
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gophishin
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 45
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 7:29am
Subject: Re: Modding a Gaggia portafilter to measure pressure- does it damage the
 

I just did the OPV adjustment and put the spout back on last night, and so far so good.  It was a pretty easy process overall.  I think you could get away with not using a vice if you have a good set of channel lock / pump pliers and padding with towels.  If you have read some of the how-tos or watched any of the videos, you'll be fine.  

For the pressure gauge, I used a 3/8" to 1/4" reducer, a 1/4" male to female 90* elbow and the gauge threaded into that.  Lined all the threads with teflon tape / thread seal tape.  I liked using the 90* elbow so the gauge was pointed off to the side and I didn't have to remove the drip tray.
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