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Bottomless portafilter help needed
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Ashmaster
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Joined: 27 May 2014
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Espresso: ECM Giotto
Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 8:29am
Subject: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

Machine: ECM Giotto
Rancillo bottomless porta filter with deep basket

I purchased a bottomless portafilter several months ago and recently when brewing I am getting a light spray from the bottom of the filter basket that makes a mess all over the machine, drip tray and counter. This did not occur when I first purchased but is a recent development. Group head gasket has been replaced and has a good seal.

Has anyone encountered this issue and if so how did you resolve?

Many thanks!!
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
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Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 9:33am
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

The problem is with the grind. It's called channeling.   The bottomless filter is doing precisely what it was designed to do--expose flaws in the extraction that would otherwise remain hidden.

You need to think about what changes have occurred since this started happening.  New beans,  beans too old,  change in prep technique, new grinder, burrs fallen out of alignment, grind setting slippage, worn or damaged burrs,  etc...

My guess is that you have made no adjustments to your grinder during this time, right?
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Ashmaster
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Location: NE US
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Espresso: ECM Giotto
Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 9:47am
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

Okay - channeling...  Got it.

Yes I did switch beans which required a new grind setting.  You've given me a place to start my troubleshooting

Many thanks!!
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walkinghispath
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Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 6:03pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

You may try a finer grind with a lighter tamp.  I've gone so far as to tamp with barely more pressure than the weight of the tamper in order to reduce channeling.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 7:22pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

Hi!
Tamping has the least affect on the shot of all the steps. Just be consistent from shot to shot with the tamp and adjust the grind and dose to get the desired results but only change one thing at a time so you can see how the change affected the shot.

The grind needs to be constantly altered, thus the comment about not changing your grind. As the coffee ages, the grind needs to change too, some times several times a day.

 
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Ashmaster
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Joined: 27 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: NE US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Giotto
Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 8:16pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

Thank you all!!  Great insight and advice.  I've got the channeling down quite a bit and will continue to tweak the grind back into alignment.  Thanks again!!
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

It could be worse....

frcn: Pull_FAST.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Wed May 28, 2014, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

The problem you're describing isn't channeling, but "spritzing."  The good news is that even though spritzing is messy and annoying it seldom means that anything horrible is going on.  

Spritzing can can be the result of any of several things singly or in combination.  More good news, grind setting and tamp force are kinda way down the list as suspects.  

If the spritzing comes early in the shot, it could be because the puck has cracks, gaps, and/or is not properly sealed to the basket wall; building your puck in a wet basket can cause early spritzing; so can weather; so can overdosing the basket so the top of the puck is damaged by the screen.  

If the spritzing comes late in the shot, it's because the layer of fines at the bottom of the basket wasn't laid down evenly or shifted during the extraction.      

The best advice I can give you is that if your shots are otherwise good switch back to a spouted pf.  If you can't see it, it didn't happen.

Rich
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Wed May 28, 2014, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

without seeing a photo or, even better, a video of this so-called "light spray", I can't say whether I agree with true channeling or insignificant sprites.

You've now gotten several different things to look into, most of all which involves tweaking your interaction with your equipment and/or puck. This is the "mano" part of the equation.  Short of taking a barista training course, I highly recommend reading through Randy's (frcn) website, www.espressomyespresso.com.  In particular, look for article 12, Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home, under the how to section.  I don't think there's anything better out there to help you improve your general skills.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,257
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Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed May 28, 2014, 11:48am
Subject: Re: Bottomless portafilter help needed
 

Ron's link is broken.  Here's a live link to Randy's website.  

How To #12, EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME, is very informative and worth reading but won't supply much insight into what's going on here.  

"Spritz" is Yiddish for "spray," and in modern usage the terms are synonymous.  In the naked pf context, "channeling" is characterized by multiple streams into the cup.  If channeling it was, surely the description would differ.    

I am getting a light spray from the bottom of the filter basket that makes a mess all over the machine, drip tray and counter.

Ron, I honestly don't think we need a video to call that spritzing instead of channeling.  

Rich
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