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Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
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Shawn12
Senior Member
Shawn12
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Barrie,ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario/Virtuoso...
Vac Pot: Yama 5/Balancing Siphon
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 9:11pm
Subject: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

Hoping for some wisdom or at least a best guess at my issue.

Situation.

Have had my Classic for about 2 months or so now and realized I was behind on my cleaning. So I read up about descaling and backflushing. Watched a few videos etc in order to make sure I did it right.  Ordered a blind disc and some Cleancaf, Cafiza and grindz. Cleaned my grinders and classic last night.

Tonight I have had a few issues with it.

Pucks are much wetter. Last shot was a bit better but still 10x wetter than precleaning.

Steaming builds up a lot of pressure that is only released by running water through the showerhead.  A lot of steam comes out.

Do you think I damaged the 3 way?  Water is still discharged after a shot is complete like it should.  Obviously not enough though or my pucks would be dry.

Also Shots seem to be slower.

Any help would be great. Thank you.

I would also mention that while examining my machine I realized that all 4 nuts around a the shower head were loose.  I have never loosened them. Assume they should be tightened up with an Allen key? Which I did.Any chance that is related. ? I doubt it.  Just seemed weird to me.

Also machine was working great precleaning.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 7:34am
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

I can't see how cleaning would cause any damage.

A change in the grind can cause wetter pucks (finer grind) but unless there is pressure on the PF when you remove it, the 3 way is working fine, either it lets pressure out or it does not, you said it is letting the pressure out.

Slower shots also point to a finer grind, after all, that is how you adjust the timing of the shot, you grind finer or more coarse, this would then have a more dense or more porous bed of grounds, finer grind, less water through the puck with no pressure.

Switching the machine to steam mode is supposed to build pressure, the water is hotter, above boiling so it creates pressure. The only way to drop the pressure is to lower the temp, or open a valve, either the steam valve or the brew valve, they both tap into the same boiler and the same water.

When I had a SBDU, after steaming your milk I would turn the switch back to brew,  open the steam wand to blow milk residue out, then turn the pump back on with the steam wand valve open to refill the boiler. This does two things, it drops any pressure from the system and it allows the air in the boiler to bleed out so it can be refilled with water. I don't know your exact operating instructions but all SBDU machines work the same and your instructions should be very close to that procedure.

If you follow the above, there is no way to have over temp water in the boiler as you cooled the boiler with cold water from the water tank and you turned the heater down to brew temp.

Cleaning the machine would not affect the way the machine behaves.

In short, adjust your grinder and remember to turn the switch back to brew then fill the boiler after steaming your milk.

 
In real life, my name is
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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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Shawn12
Senior Member
Shawn12
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Barrie,ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario/Virtuoso...
Vac Pot: Yama 5/Balancing Siphon
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

I really appreciate your detailed response.

So the first thing I did after the first shot struggled was go coarser. I was never at a finer setting than precleaning though.

On the steam pressure and only reason I mentioned as an issue was the pressure and steam was like 5 x more than precleaning.  Machine seemed to struggle,make new odd sounds.

All that said today things are better.  After 5 or 6 poor shots last night. Much drier puck this morning.  

My thinking now is a piece of something got stuck somewhere during cleaning? Covering something up and has now cleared. I used only the recommended 1 teaspoon of Cafiza during backflushing so don't think that is it.

Have read several different opinions on backflushing the Classic. Gaggia recommends against it but several experienced people here strongly believe you need to do it. With this experience I'm a little hesitant to continue backflushing but will likely not let this stop me from doing it regularly.

Opinion on backflushing the Classic?
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dyqik
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Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:46am
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

Do it, but use a cleaner that is safe with aluminum.  

There's no reason not to do it, and plenty to do so.  Backflushing with at least just water is required to clean out the 3 way valve and pipe as coffee will build up there after pulling shots.  Not backflushing will lead to the 3 way valve eventually getting clogged with coffee.
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Shawn12
Senior Member
Shawn12
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Barrie,ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario/Virtuoso...
Vac Pot: Yama 5/Balancing Siphon
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 9:00am
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

I took off the aluminum shower screen when using Cafiza. Good enough? Or should I be buying something else? Reco?  

Thx!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:51am
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

I backflush with water after use, and probably every week or two with cleaner.  You can get Gaggia cleaner if concerned.

Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)

I am not sure, but the screen may be stainless not aluminum.  I take it off to get a better cleaning of the group.  I have not seen a good diagram showing the 3 way path, or backflush path of the Classic.  I am not clear that backflush enters the boiler, aluminum.  The 3 way bolts to the brass group and may flow through there.  Perhaps someone has a diagram to clarify.  This FRCN site shows generically how a 3 way works, but he noted that Gaggia may be different.  The boiler bolts to the group, directly over it, not separate as the diagram.

http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/3way/intro.html

I flush with water after a detergent backflush, and have never gotten a strange taste.

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


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 1:46pm
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

The dispersion block above the shower screen is aluminum too (on my machine at least, although I replaced it with a brass one).  The shower screen itself is stainless.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 2:28pm
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

Isn't the brass block a Gaggia OEM part?  Wonder what it comes on, or which year machines that it is on?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,097
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 6:27pm
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

Shawn12 Said:

I took off the aluminum shower screen when using Cafiza. Good enough? Or should I be buying something else? Reco?  

Thx!

Posted December 13, 2012 link

If you are putting powder cafiza directly in the blind basket and flushing without the shower screen in place, that could get solid bits of the powder cafiza into the 3 way.   (I detergent flush with the shower screen off as well, but use a solution already dissolved in water.)  I'm not sure if this is a problem, but normally the screen will prevent large bits of undissolved detergent from entering the valve. A good rinsing should eventually clear it out but does not sound to me like a good routine.
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Shawn12
Senior Member
Shawn12
Joined: 19 Oct 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Barrie,ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Vario/Virtuoso...
Vac Pot: Yama 5/Balancing Siphon
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Problem with Gaggia Classic post cleaning.
 

Frost Said:

If you are putting powder cafiza directly in the blind basket and flushing without the shower screen in place, that could get solid bits of the powder cafiza into the 3 way.   (I detergent flush with the shower screen off as well, but use a solution already dissolved in water.)  I'm not sure if this is a problem, but normally the screen will prevent large bits of undissolved detergent from entering the valve. A good rinsing should eventually clear it out but does not sound to me like a good routine.

Posted December 13, 2012 link

So something was definitely lodged somewhere and is now gone. I pulled a very good shot tonight. All previously mentioned problems have disappeared. But good lessons learned.

- Backflush Classic Yes.  

- Use a different detergent. Liquid form and safe on aluminium.

Thanks everyone.
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