phunni Senior Member Joined: 21 Sep 2010 Posts: 22 Location: Bristol, UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 3:09am Subject: Ascaso Arc "sneeze"
I've been using an Ascaso arc for about a week and a half and, in the last couple of days, it has started to produce a powerful "sneeze" when removing the portafilter. I have tried removing the filter more slowly, but all I get is lots of steam and overflowing coffee. I've also tried venting through the steam wand for a while, which helps, but not enough.
I'm led to believe (from thr amazon.co.uk description) that it has a solenoid and therefore should not drip or sneeze - but it does both. The dripping continues for several minutes after I finish pulling the shot.
Is the machine faulty? Or is this something I just have to learn to live with? Or is there something else I can do to fix the problem?
Thanks for the reply. The thing is that I am waiting a few minutes between shots. My process is to pull the shot, do the milk and then release some extra steam to clean out the wand and reduce the pressure. During this time the portafilter is continuing to drip. I then move the drink away in anticipation of an explosive "sneeze" and then try and remove the portafilter as slowly as I can.
The other thing is that this has become worse over the time I've been using the machine. A small "sneeze" happened at first, but now it's explosive.
I simply cannot believe that the machine is supposed to work this way - both because it didn't at first and also because it's so bad that I can't understand how anyone can live with this. The drip dray gets full of coffee and, if I'm not very careful, the kitchen gets absolutely covered in coffee grounds!
Opening the steam valve has no affect on the pressure in the brew basket/Porta Filter. Your machine does not have a valve to release the pressure in the basket so you must wait until the pressure recedes on it's own, which is why you get drips from the PF. This is a drawback from lower priced machines that do not have a 3 way valve.
I suspect that your shots are getting better, your grinding is getting better and as a result, the pressure is not dropping as fast as it used to. Yes, this is what you must put up with when using a machine without a 3 way valve to release the pressure from the PF. The wait to drop pressure can be several minutes, sorry about that.
Manufacturer Ascaso Width 11.25" Depth 9.5" Height 13.25" Watts 900 Volts 120 Programmability No Case Material Powder Coated Steel & Chrome Boiler Material Brass/Copper Boiler Volume 8.6 oz. Reservoir Size 67 oz.
Solenoid Valve No
Steam Wand Type Panarello Only Cup Warmer Yes Available Portafilters Pressurized and Non-Pressurized Boiler Design Single Boiler Pod Friendly Yes - without adaptation Water Sources Reservoir/Internal Tank
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It turns out that I have been making a mistake that's been exacerbating this. The instructions say:
"It is normal for the coffee grounds to be very wet or a soup like consistency if the filter holder is removed within one to two minutes after brewing."
As a result of that I have been leaving the filter in for a few minutes, during which time it has been building up pressure. If I remove the filter fairly quickly after pulling the shot then there isn't very much of a sneeze - although the group head still drips for a while.
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