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Gaggia Classic problems - coffee comes out in tiny dribbles!
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FergusW
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Windsor, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Krups Burr
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 5:54pm
Subject: Gaggia Classic problems - coffee comes out in tiny dribbles!
 

Hi, I have a Gaggia classic and I don't know from one day to the next how it will perform. Sometimes I get a perfect crema and a good flow of coffee  and on other days the coffee dribbles out and would take more than a minute to fill a small espresso cup. The fault is very intermittant. I am using the same level of grind on the beans from a burr grinder.  The machine is kept clean and so on.  Any suggestions? Thanks.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 477
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic problems - coffee comes out in tiny dribbles!
 

When the flow slows can you hear the pump slowing, stalling or changing in any way? If the pump is stalling or failing at less than 10 Bar of pressure it is no longer good enough.
When the flow to the cup slows, does the flow over the relief valve increase? Or does it escape/leak/flow over the drain/3-way valve? Then it's a matter of fixing the directional or relief valve issue.

If the pump is stalling or slowing under conditions that have always worked well in the past, it is in it's final days. Replace the pump.

If the flow is getting past the relief valve or the three-way valve, clean the valves and re-adjust the relief to 10 Bar (Or 9.7 to 11 or your preference).

If you just grind slightly coarser, does it work well? Is the espresso still good? It may be atmospheric differences (Pressure/humidity) affecting your coffee, despite the grinder setting having not been changed.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,109
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Dec 2, 2012, 8:57pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic problems - coffee comes out in tiny dribbles!
 

if you're using the same coffee, ground the same fineness, ground at the time you're using it, not left over sometimes from a previous session, then I might suggest you're dose amount is varying...especially if the weather has been stable.  temperature and humidity will affect your extraction, but probably not to the effect you're describing.  Now, without seeing your extractions, it's hard to tell exactly what is happening, but another possibility is that your grind is too fine and the faster shots are due to chanelling.  On the good days, does the coffee taste good?

Try clearing your grinder of "all" grounds after each session.  also, try to use the same dose every time.  Many of us have a scale that can measure to 0.1g resolution. You can get them rather cheaply (roughly US$20-40).

Also, I'd recommend reading the "easy guide to better espresso at home" on www.espressomyespresso.com (article 12 about midway down the right hand column, under the "How To" heading).

Tamp pressure matter much, much less than most other factors, but you do want to do it the same every time.  Practice a few times on a bathroom scale, looking for roughly 30#.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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FergusW
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Windsor, UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Krups Burr
Posted Mon Dec 3, 2012, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic problems - coffee comes out in tiny dribbles!
 

Hi thanks for your help.  I grind just what I need and it's one level scoop of beans each time.  The flow doesn't escape and it doesn't seem to matter what the grind on the days that it decides to misbehave.  The pump never stalls but it sounds like it is struggling under pressure.  I have four days left before the Amazon guarantee wears out so I have to decide whether to send it back in original box - not sure they will be happy to have a machine returned after 361 days!
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