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Help! Slow shots
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Help! Slow shots  
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Squareandlevel
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Astoria argenta,aero...
Grinder: Mazzer super jolly,baratza
Posted Sat Dec 22, 2012, 7:11am
Subject: Help! Slow shots
 

We opened a custom cake shop/bakery with the goal of good coffee about 5 months ago.  We have been using an Astoria Argento SAE 2 which we picked up used and had "serviced/checked" before opening.  We clean the heads nightly with Cafe Lindo.  Yesterday, the right group wouldn't pull a shot inside of 30 seconds and the left head worked fine.  Today, neither group will pull a normal timed shot.  The output pressure gage is usually around 9 bar and is now climbing into red (10-10.5) when pulling a shot.  The grind settings have not changed with the exceptions of a minor morning calibration check by our opening barista.  Any suggestions?
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Dec 22, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Help! Slow shots
 

Sounds like a difficult situation!  
The first thing to do is check the water debit.  
With unrestricted flow, measure the amount of water the machine dispenses in "x" seconds.  

My fear is that the brew path may be clogging up, perhaps from coffee grime or maybe from scale.  
Checking the water debit will help to narrow the possibilities.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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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 Sat Dec 22, 2012, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Help! Slow shots
 

In addition to Jon's reply, check the brew-pressure gauge when running with no portafilter.  If it's still up near nine, your lines are clogging with something.  The fact that one group clogged first makes me suspect a lot of circulating calcium getting out of the heat exchanger and clogging your solenoid valves. So long as you still have noticable flow, you could try descaling the brew-circuit.  Or descale everything, collect the crap that comes out and share it with the "Serviced/checked" monkeys.
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Squareandlevel
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Astoria argenta,aero...
Grinder: Mazzer super jolly,baratza
Posted Sun Dec 23, 2012, 5:21am
Subject: Re: Help! Slow shots
 

Thank you for your help guys! Water debit is 5.5 ounces in 10 seconds with  the gage reading 9+ with no portafilter.  I will work on descaling.  I will start searching for a good descaling post for this machine.  If you know of one it would be appreciated.  Thank you again and have a great day!
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