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Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
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Mikespresso
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Joined: 15 Jul 2012
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Posted Sat Jul 28, 2012, 9:05pm
Subject: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

Could anyone tell me if it is possible to use espresso machines that come with pressurized portafilters (I have a deLonghi Bar32) with a non pressurized portafilter. I mean can the pump and the accompanying machinery handle the load.
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FrankyD
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Posted Sat Jul 28, 2012, 9:31pm
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

There should be no problem running a Non Pressurized PortaFilter if you can source one or make one. The Bar32 is rated for having a pump capable of delivering 15 BARs of pressure.

Pressurized portafilters work by forcing water through a pinhole that doesn't open up until pressure is built (compensating for no tamp, coarse grinds). Running with a non pressurized PF requires a fine espresso grind and tamp to have the pump pushing water through at the appropriate ~9 BARs of pressure to have optimum extraction.
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trickydicky
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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

I have a Breville BES-860 that came with both types. Both work fine. The unpressurised ones are more fun as you dictate the shot. If you grind too fine ,or fill or tamp too much you can stop the flow with either basket on my machine. In my case (and hopefully with most machines?) there's a pressure limiter to avoid damage in this situation
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calblacksmith
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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 6:49am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

The machines can handle the change with no problem, you need a good grinder to go along with the change as without the grinder, you will not be consistent or likely fine enough to get a good extraction from a regular PF.
Tamping is the least important part of the whole process and it really does not make much difference as long as you are consistent with it. The machine brews at about 140 psi, the total pressure on the coffee is about 700 pounds (rounding things,calculate area of a 58mm pf x 140) so you can't come close to that with a tamper, all you are doing with the tamper is to try to present a consistent bed of coffee to the water so that you do not get channeling.

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

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NobbyR
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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 8:49am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

In some machines the pressurization is a plastic or rubber device located below an otherwise normal filter basket. Once removed you'll have a regular portafilter system. Other machines have the pressurization built within the filter baskets themselves, in the form of a double bottom. In order to get a non-pressurized PF, you'll have to buy fitting regular baskets.

In both cases the machine will work fine with the non-pressurized PF.

 
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"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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CMIN
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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 9:32am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

]I have a Bar32 around as well, and I get what he's asking. Other more powerful and better group head machines that come with a pressurized PF like a Gaggia Classic etc can handle a non-pressurized PF well. But the more entry level machines like the Bar32 were designed to work best pressurized, I depressurized mine and it was so finicky trying to get the right grind, don't pay attention to the "15 bar" bragging rights, these are weak pumps. Don't get me wrong I got decent shots non-pressurized, but I tasted no difference vs pressurized and it was easily to just stay pressurized and not deal with constantly playing with the grinds w/ no different in taste. Like said, if you want to try, you can unscrew the basket and pop out the pressure plate. Don't know what grinder your using though but your going to need a good one, not just for being non-pressurized, but also eventually you'll upgrade and you'll already be set on the grinder. The tamper for the machine, I believe the one I bought for it was 50 or 51mm, basket is 51mm if I remember.

Now my CC1, completely different, once dialed in I only make slight adjustments on my Preciso here and there, and shots are absolutely amazing. But your taking a much more expensive and different class of machine.

here's a pic of the Bar32 basket, that black piece up top separates from the rubber gasket, remove that to depressurize.
Click Here (i146.photobucket.com)

Started having problems with my Bar32 (reason I got the CC1), which sucks as I was going to give it to my sister or someone to play with. But parts for these machines are basically non existant, they break, you throw away lol. Steam works fine, but water doesn't come out strong from the group like theres not enough pressure.
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ecoPROge
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ecoPROge
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Espresso: Prototype
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 3:14am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

In order to make a perfect italian espresso you must follow this rule: 25 milliliters in 25 seconds.
If the brewing goes faster you might adjust coarsness on the grinder. Otherwise you can use a pressurized portafiltro (filter holder) to stabilize water flux. The pressure is the result of that balance.
The two methods are almost indipendent from the machine, but strongly depend from the coffee blend, expecially the first one.
The pressurized PF is easier to use and more consistent. The normal PF requires a good practice.
Ciao.
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Mikespresso
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Joined: 15 Jul 2012
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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 3:25am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

Thanks a lot for all your responses but I'm really confused now. I plan to modify my grinder to make grinds that can be used in a non-pressurized portafilter but then some of you have said that my espresso machine would not be able to produce what I require.
Actually, here in India, where I live good espresso machines are not available. When I order stuff from the US, I'm on my own as no servicing is offered by the manufacturers and I can only pray that nothing goes wrong. So I'm wondering if spending more on getting the non PF portafilters, improving my grinder, and the alike would do any good or not :-(
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 4:04am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

ecoPROge Said:

... The pressurized PF is easier to use and more consistent ...

Posted August 3, 2012 link

The seemingly good crema that results from using a pressurized portafilter is nothing but a fake, because it consists only of foamed coffee (fluid mixed with air), whereas real crema is an emulsion of water and aromatic oils that forms tiny bubbles around carbon dioxide released during extraction when water is pressed through finely ground fresh coffee at around 9 bar and the right temperature. The resistance for pressure built-up lies within the puck. Extraction has already taken place when pressure develops in a pressurized portafilter, therefore no real crema can arise. It may look like the real thing, but it certainly doesn't taste like it.

 
***
"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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ecoPROge
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ecoPROge
Joined: 2 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Italy, nearby Milan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Prototype
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Can espresso machines that come with PFs be used with non pressurized
 

NobbyR Said:

The seemingly good crema that results from using a pressurized portafilter is nothing but a fake,...

Posted August 3, 2012 link

you are right about the difference between the two method. I only said that the pressurized PF is easier to use by a non expert barista.
Because people taste coffee also with eyes the first look to the cup is very important.
Personally I don't like pressurized PF but I understand people that don't want to take much time to get skilled in espresso making. With a pressurized PF they can reach an appreciable result and a good repeatability. Furthermore if you want to match the household market you have to take this issue in account.

If you are a coffee lover reject a pressurised PF.

Ciao.
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