Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Gaggia Espresso slow learner
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia Espresso...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
langcjl
Senior Member
langcjl
Joined: 6 Jan 2005
Posts: 156
Location: wisconsin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Cory DCU
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 11:59am
Subject: Gaggia Espresso slow learner
 

This post has been in the making since I bought my Gaggia Espresso and MDF combination in late 2004. The first thing I have to report is that both have been rock solid for my all these years. They have both been used daily. The MDF suffered a broken star cog that turns the doser just last year. That was a blessing in disguise because I found that it is much nicer to turn the doser from above with your finger. The MDF also has been modified to operate without steps and was also modified to gain easy access to the grind chute so I have zero grind retention and can grind per dose. Two excellent mods. Other than a couple of burr changes and group gaskets, maintenance has consisted of keeping things clean. A very durable and low cost package.
        Now to the real reason for this post. I must admit that I have struggled with the combo over the years. Getting the right temperature was my first hurdle. There is a lot of info out there on that and it just takes time, patience and coffee to figure it out. I have used a naked portafilter for years and it has been a great and frustrating tool. I felt that I could control all the variables pretty well but the one huge issue that I could never solve is the channeling and spritzing I got on every shot. I'm not talking about an errant spritz every now and again, I'm talking about near disaster every time. I have gone through every distribution and tamping trick out there. Every one! I up dosed and under dosed. Still I never could get a clean pour. The shots were always OK about half the time but the cup always looked like hell and of course tasted bad half the time.
  I always figured that the real problem was that the pump just put out too much pressure. The puck just could not handle getting hit with that much pressure. I never measured how much pressure the machine applied but I know that without an OPV, the pump unrestrained, put out too much. I know there are mods for this but I figured that money could be put to use for an upgrade someday and I really just wanted to master the machine as it was. I told myself I would never upgrade until I figured this machine out. I started to work with some preinfusion techniques to soften the blow to the puck. These met with very limited success. Th best is to crack the steam valve before you start the pump and then slowly close it to start the extraction. The real breakthrough came when I decided to leave the steam valve open just enough to bleed off some pressure during the whole extraction. The very first time I did this I got the best extraction that I have been able to get from this machine in the last nine years! Not one spritz. Perfect shot time and volume and great taste. It was a miracle to see the clean even extraction and the clean cup. It was so simple and it's so easy to do that I feel a bit foolish for not thinking of it sooner. I'm sure that this information is out there somewhere and if it is I sure wish I had found it sooner. I have been doing it this way for a couple of days now and it is wonderfully repeatable.
    Like the post title says, slow learner, but I guess the point is stick with it!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 Wed Apr 3, 2013, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Espresso slow learner
 

Interesting technique.  You are the adjustable valve.  You can probably quantitate that pressure and learn to reproduce it.  I am only looking at a parts diagram

http://www.partsguru.com/user/Espresso-Espresso%20Deluxe.pdf

If I understand it correctly, then the "safety valve" is your non-adjustable OPV, and your steam wand is the adjustable portion.  Looking at the ULKA vib pump output vs pressure

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

If you block the PF then output is the flow from the safety valve and your wand.  That can be "calibrated" against the pressure vs flow chart similar to doing a blind OPV adjust on a machine with adjustable OPV.  You would have to supply tank water through a small container and use a second container to measure safety valve output and combine that with steam wand output.  9 bar pressure is about 65 ml total out in about 15 seconds.  I do not know how the safety valves like a blind PF, or for how long, though you would drop the pressure enough to have most output through the wand.  Also you can search AndyPanda and pressure profiling and see how he used varied pressure on Gaggia.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 900
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013, 2:21pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Espresso slow learner
 

I have the same machine. I had mine for quite a few years, but it was just put in the garage after a while. I got back into espresso again for the past few months. I started getting my beans from a local roaster which when the end of the day comes, they taste just like my roasts. Zero in on the grind as the beans aged in a week was the challenge for me, once were I knew that would go, then the tamper sorted out. I get some nice shots, then every once in a while its either way too long with a dribble, or a 10 second shot. Anyways what I do is 60 seconds before I pull a shot, I run the pump thru the PF remove and load with the grinds, pull the shot, when its done I open the steam wand to get rid of the back pressure and not have the grounds spray across the counter when the PF is removed. My pucks are very well intact. The next step will be a new machine and sorting out which way to go. I now I'm back to roasting my own bens for espresso and enjoying it.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,277
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 9:32am
Subject: Re: Gaggia Espresso slow learner
 

I used my Gaggia Classic for five years and eventually could not escape the inevitable,which I denied for years,that I
was in need of an upgrade in order to continue my journey.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Gaggia Espresso...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.369006156921)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+