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Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
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EricJS
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 7:53pm
Subject: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

A few days ago I ordered a Gaggia Classic which is due to arrive later this week. I've read many articles about reducing the pressure to 9-10 bar by adjusting the over pressure valve, which I can easily do.

I'd like your opinions on whether I should do this right away, or work on other variables (such as grind, tamp, etc.) before making this adjustment. In other words, have others found this adjustment unnecessary?

Thank you & I look forward to sharing many conversations on Coffeegeek.

Eric
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012, 7:58pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

The machine is easier to use and more forgiving of grind and tamp if adjusted to proper pressure.  I tried briefly without adjustment before I bought connectors and a gauge.  Adjust it if you have instructions and are comfortable working on it.  Why learn to use it at high pressure and then change?

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


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,716
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA (2), Maximatic, Cremina...
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop   Huky en route
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 8:14am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

Consider adding the Gaggia Users Group (in my signature) to your list of resources for information on your new Classic.  (If it doesn't show up on your screen, check your profile to add "show signatures".

I disagree with the previous post, but only slightly.  Adjusting the pressure is a good thing to do, but....familiarize yourself with your machine's capabilities unmodded first.  Get it to do the very best you can without mods and THEN modify to further optimize your experience.  The Classic can do it.   For example, you want to be sure that you have a grinder that is doing its job before you start compensating for it by changing the pressure.  

My two cents, which are probably not worth that much anymore....

Susan
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EricJS
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

I forgot to mention that I ordered a Mazzer Mini to go with the Classic. Thank you for the feedback so far. Please keep the opinions coming!


Eric
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

Sounds like you have solved the grinder, nice choice.  Another simple worthwhile mod that I would not wait on is the steam wand.

http://www.espressoparts.com/R_1054?&search_id=1889647

You can wait on mods and learn the Gaggia as it is, but why?  Many, most users fix the OPV and wand and do not advocate continuing to use unmodded.  I did it unmodded for a while and collected info and parts and then changed technique and settings with the mods.  Might as well learn it as you will use it, other than the time to gather parts.  You have obviously already started gathering the information.

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


Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 3:14pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

D4F Said:

Sounds like you have solved the grinder, nice choice.  Another simple worthwhile mod that I would not wait on is the steam wand.

http://www.espressoparts.com/R_1054?&search_id=1889647

You can wait on mods and learn the Gaggia as it is, but why?  Many, most users fix the OPV and wand and do not advocate continuing to use unmodded.  I did it unmodded for a while and collected info and parts and then changed technique and settings with the mods.  Might as well learn it as you will use it, other than the time to gather parts.  You have obviously already started gathering the information.

Posted August 22, 2012 link

Yes, I've got a list of things including a new steam wand (and even a decent tamper.) I've seen where people have used the Rancilio Silvia wand as a replacement. Is this a direct fit, or would I need a different fitting?

Does a flat-bottom tamper work well in the Classic?

Lol, I know I'm asking a lot of questions. Thank you for your patience.

Eric
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

That piece is a direct fit except for exchange of Gaggia nut for Rancilio.  Use a little soap to help take off the Rancilio no burn strip and exchange the nuts.  The Gaggia O-ring will stay up in the fitting and seal the wand, you do not need to buy other O-rings.  The nut is not particularly tight because of the O-ring seal.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/512953

I use a flat bottom tamper without difficulty, works fine.  Probably any that fit will work, mine was made by friends lathe.

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


Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 5:48pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

D4F Said:

That piece is a direct fit except for exchange of Gaggia nut for Rancilio.  Use a little soap to help take off the Rancilio no burn strip and exchange the nuts.  The Gaggia O-ring will stay up in the fitting and seal the wand, you do not need to buy other O-rings.  The nut is not particularly tight because of the O-ring seal.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/512953

I use a flat bottom tamper without difficulty, works fine.  Probably any that fit will work, mine was made by friends lathe.

Posted August 22, 2012 link

Great! Thank you. I have a lathe too, so I guess I better get busy, lol.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,997
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012, 6:01pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

You can make a great tamper with aluminum.  Mine is made to fit and is oversized.  It fit tightly enough at first that I thought that I would have to remove the retaining spring in the PF.  It was made to fit the basket but the basket was not in the PF at the time.  It is a close enough fit that the spring pressure in the PF almost made it unworkable. After about 1 week it fit fine, and leaves no edge.

D4F: Tamper resize.jpg
(Click for larger image)

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


Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012, 3:30pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Pressure Adjustment - A Must-Do or Should I Wait?
 

The machine came in yesterday, so I put together the fittings & gauge, then lowered the pressure (I thought the portafilter spout would never break loose.)

I've set it to 10.5 bar for the moment. I decided to start high, then work my way down if needed. I adjusted the set screw approx. 320 degrees counterclockwise to get 10.5 bar - I believe one full turn would have been necessary to achieve 10 bar.

When my coffee arrives tomorrow, I'll get the chance to set the grind & have fun making espresso. It's been too long since I had a real espresso machine & I never had a real grinder. It's going to be a great weekend!

Eric
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