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Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
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tvk89ef
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Location: earth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 1:59pm
Subject: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

Reposting as I got a message saying that the topic was old.

I just got a Gaggia Classic and have had coffee spray all over the kitchen.

The spray comes form the horizontal hole in the stem of the the portafilter. The
stuff is supposed to nicely drip down the two (opn!) channels. But it does not.
It flies out sideways. I see that this is a common problem as there are several
UK postings about this. For example

   coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.p hp?2362-Messy-Spitting-gaggia-classic

(The clever software seems to want to change URLs! So, after the "uk" bit
you may want to type "/showthread.php?2362-Mess y-Spitting-gaggia-classic"
to get there in case the link does not get you there. Alternatively, just do a
Google search for "gaggia classic spitting" and you will be there.)

Luckily, our kitchen is large enough and with the machine was on the island I did not
mess up the walls. The UK forum gave me ideas. I now have taped some plastic
(shopping bags, cut up) on either side of the machine to facilitate clean up.

I have managed to get coffee into a cup (and not the counter top), but without
any crema. It is just drip coffee. But every time there is some froth, most of it
goes to the shields and I get about half a teaspoon of the tail end of the drip
into the cup.

I have seen a number of totally useless videos on Youtube, none of which tell
anything that one does not already know. (What is new about that?!)

And, why is the channel open. If the spouts were closed at least the spray would
end up in the drip tray. (Hope it is not one of those clever Italian 'design' ideas!)
If only I could fashion a "splatter hood" to cover these spouts. The manual is
next to useless, too, on anything other than basic operation.

Any help in explaining what *causes* the problem would go a long way to get
the machine to work. Have about 70 days before I make a call to return it.

thanks
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,036
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 2:07pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

Welcome to CG

Please attach photos of the horizontal hole.  Is it the perfect crema device part 4?

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

Are you using a basket with a single hole when viewed from the bottom, a pressurized basket?

Regular parts diagram including normal PF and spout here

Click Here (www.partsguru.com)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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tvk89ef
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Location: earth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

I will skip the picture for the time being. But, I will describe it so that you can get
an idea of which hole I am referring to. If that does not do it, I will get a photo up.
(May require a macro lens to get to point out the hole.)

I am talking about the hole through the middle of the stem the sticks out from the
bottom of the portafilter. It is easier to go the other way! Go backwards, up
either of the channels along which the coffee drips into the cups (in a perfect world!).
These channels are fed from a *horizontal* hole in the vertical bit that sticks out
of the bottom of the portafilter.

In terms of the excellent
drawings at www.partsguru.com, it is just where the line from "76" ends. Or, to
put it differently, right bang in the middle of part no. "76". So, instead of getting
a stream flowing down the curved channels, the stuff is ejected with such force
that it flies off across the room.

A few other things. I am using the basket recommended for the US -- the one
that does not need the little plastic part -- the perfect crema device. This
basket has a number of pretty large holes at the bottom. I also so have a
the "non-US" basket and the pod basket, but have not tried them. (This is
day two). So far I
have just used espresso ground coffee from Starbucks just to test out the
machine. I am not sure about the tamping technique -- as a physicist I cracked
up when people started talking about 35 lbs, etc. -- but there must be some
technique that I may be missing. It may explain why I see two things that
should not happen:

  1. Froth/crema starting up as soon as the dispense starts
  2. Wet, slushy pucks -- I have not gotten a dry puck except when I
    sprayed *all* of the coffee.

Other than that, I have religiously followed the instructions in the manual.

thanks for the reply
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,449
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

tvk89ef Said:

.. So far I
have just used espresso ground coffee from Starbucks just to test out the
machine... Other than that, I have religiously followed the instructions in the manual.

Posted June 8, 2014 link

If you had done any amount of reading on this, or any other coffee forum, you would know that using pre-ground coffee is a waste of time and effort. Espresso starts with THE most important piece of equipment- the GRINDER! The espresso machine is an accessory to the grinder. If you told us that you had spent three times as much for a grinder as the espresso machine we wouldn't even blink at that.

 
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,036
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 3:32pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

A great read for start is here

http://www.espressomyespresso.com/

    12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME

That will give some basics of espresso.

All that said, the double spout that I have has about 1/4" or about 6mm "horizontal holes" where espresso enters the side spouts, holes in the spout.  With proper fresh coffee, does, grind and tamp, you should have espresso at the drip to slow flow stage there.  If it is close to proper, there will not be enough flow force to spray.  Even if a channel in the coffee, it will usually be deflected and slowed by the PF walls.  

The Gaggia double basket holds about 16.5 gms ground coffee.

Obviously grind must be fine enough to almost choke the machine and nearly stop any flow.  The pump output can be about 10 ml/sec and the puck willo control flow to about 30 - 50 ml in 25ish seconds.

The tamper needs to be 58 mm so that you get one even tamp. The plastic throwaway will cause channels through the puck.

Old or pre-ground coffee is stale and will not form a suitable puck.

I will guess that the spout holes are for ease of manufacturing.

Does any of this seem likely?  Happy to try to help as you supply information.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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tvk89ef
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Location: earth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

Actually, it was not pre-ground: I bought beans and had them ground for me.
Took about 6 min to get home ..... Same results as old, old coffee.

Again, what is the cause of the phenomenon? As it does not seem that
others have gone through it, I would guess that there is a solution path.

Endlessly changing parts till the problem is 'fixed' is a nice strategy if you
running a repair shop, but not otherwise. There seems to be oodles of
folklore, but very little in terms of hard information.

(As a cook, I find this amazing. One can do something with, say, a
Julia Child recipe and iterate in a couple of tries to the real thing. I
am looking for something similar -- a very rough understanding of
what is going on so that one can fix it. Incidentally, my brother-in-law
has a Breville. He also uses coffee ground at the store and then kept
that way at home. His machine never does Old Faithful imitation.
Enough evidence for me that  not using fresh ground coffee is the
reason for this.)
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,500
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

tvk89ef Said:

Actually, it was not pre-ground: I bought beans and had them ground for me.
Took about 6 min to get home ..... Same results as old, old coffee.

Again, what is the cause of the phenomenon? As it does not seem that
others have gone through it, I would guess that there is a solution path.

Endlessly changing parts till the problem is 'fixed' is a nice strategy if you
running a repair shop, but not otherwise. There seems to be oodles of
folklore, but very little in terms of hard information.

(As a cook, I find this amazing. One can do something with, say, a
Julia Child recipe and iterate in a couple of tries to the real thing. I
am looking for something similar -- a very rough understanding of
what is going on so that one can fix it. Incidentally, my brother-in-law
has a Breville. He also uses coffee ground at the store and then kept
that way at home. His machine never does Old Faithful imitation.
Enough evidence for me that  not using fresh ground coffee is the
reason for this.)

Posted June 8, 2014 link

Starbucks beans are already stale and roasted poorly anyway, when you buy a bag they can be 6-12+ months old. Grounded beans go stale in about 15 minutes so that + stale Starbucks beans = bad lol. Stale beans and stale + not grounded correctly/dialed in for your machine beans = channeling and gushing and spritizing as your seeing.

The reason your brothers is ok is b/c his Breville has pressurized portafilters (perfect crema enhancer device and whatever names different manufacturers call them. These don't make espresso, they force coffee through a tiny hole making what looks like crema but isn't (like sticking your finger over the end of a running hose and spraying/frothing the water). These let people use preground, stale/store bought beans. or have no grinder to make what they think is espresso, but isn't remotely close, taste more like a weird drip. I started with a pressurized portafilter machine, then modded and depressurized it and got a grinder, then fresh beans, then full upgrade to my current setup lol.

No grinder + no fresh beans = no espresso, or you stick to the "perfect crema" portafilter in which you can make coffee but will be nothing like espresso even with fresh beans ground right before use. And yeh as mentioned above you need a good tamper, but pry not worth it to you if you don't get an grinder or fresh beans. Preciso Tampers on Ebay builds top notch quality tampers for like $30 or so if I recall.
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tvk89ef
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Location: earth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 3:48pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

Thanks for this one. It leads me back to the tamping.

What you say makes a lot of sense. Too much pressure on the upstream
end (above the puck) which is not being "absorbed" by the puck (yes, I
know this is technically not quite the best way to put it). I think I have
to try tamping down way harder than I have been doing. Will do so
next time and try to slow up the flow. My guess it that steam is directly
escaping through the puck due to the puck being too porous. If the
steam condenses as it transits the puck it should help. (Again, this
is all a rough picture, but I will invest in a 58 mm tamper right away.)

Thanks for confirming some of my suspicions. Your reply has been a
great help.
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tvk89ef
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Location: earth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

One other thing: I live in a midsized city where getting "fresh" beans is
not quite possible. One could order stuff, but what are the reliable
places? As a wine and malt whisky fan, I am well aware of the amount
of fake stuff in fancy bottles. Provenance is always an issue. What would
be the best places to get beans from? No point going through the
trouble to only find what I really get is not much different from what I
can buy at the local supermarket.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,449
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sun Jun 8, 2014, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Gaggia Classic Spitting Coffee All Over the Landscape
 

tvk89ef Said:

Actually, it was not pre-ground: I bought beans and had them ground for me.
Took about 6 min to get home ..... Same results as old, old coffee.

Posted June 8, 2014 link

WHAT!? Preground coffee is coffee that you bring home ground. It is coffee you did not grind. It is coffee you bought because YOU DO NOT OWN A GRINDER!
Before the digital monkeys start throwing analog feces in your direction, you need to invest in a grinder. Seriously, it seems you have glossed over what everyone here has been saying, telling, everything short of commanding. GET A GRINDER or just use the crema enhancing portafilter. Tamping means almost nothing. Smash the coffee flat and move on. Anything from 25 to 75 pounds will yield about the same results IF you have properly ground, FRESH coffee. That means coffee you ground, adjusted for your machine, ground just NOW. Espresso is about the GRINDER. Without a grinder, all you will be getting is this:

frcn: Pull_FAST.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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