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Topic: more on Baby (13 msgs / 468 lines)
1) From: ginny
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makes the entire list worthwhile.<<<
Mike thanks for helping Brent. To those who do not lik ethis list...
the proof of worth is in every post.
ginny

2) From: ginny
A great way is to dump/stuff/carefully adjust in the fresh ground, tamp to whatever, tip sideways on the counter and knock off exces while keeping tamper in place, turn upright and put into machine.
works everytime.
great espresso.
ginny

3) From: Peter Zulkowski
A hand grinder we brought from MA when we moved grinds close, with a 
nice smooth flow. Unfortunately, not fine enough for espresso.
I tried some Monsooned Malabar with it and it was bitter, the shot ran 
through in about 10 seconds, no leaking around group head.
So I set the Mazzer on the espresso setting, and tried again with some 
532. Filled the pf, leveled and tamped. Pressed hard with plastic 
tamper, and twisted.
Nice and level. Tried pre infusion, ran pump until pressure built and 
stopped it.
Turned pump on again and it seemed forever for the flow to start. Group 
head dribbles through the gasket. Over a minute for a shot.
Very slow flow until about an ounce, some crema. I stopped it and 
removed the PF. WOW! Three way valve is sure a nice feature.
Puck looked a bit channeled.
Tasted it... Bitter!
Had Charlotte try it, and SHE said to 'stop wasting her Harrar on 
experiments, try steaming some milk!'
So I did. Better, very strong.
As it cooled even better yet. Would it replace morning drip brew?
"No! Stop messing with perfection!"
SHE has spoken. But I think with about 35# of Harrar left, there is room 
for some experiments.
BTW... This Baby is not plastic, it is some kind of metal, painted 
white, and has some chips in it. Weighs more than the Mazzer Mini.
PeterZ
Can't help looking for better tasting coffee, here in LHC.

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Peter, your post almost made me gringe. You've no chance of a decent shot, 
zero, never ever, pulling it for a minute! If you aren't close to your 
target volume in 25 to 30sec just stop the shot, re-grind a bit coarser and 
try again.
It may help you to review Mark Prince's Espresso Mini-FAQhttp://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide.htmlAnd you NEED a proper fitting tamper, that plastic POC is worthless.">http://www.coffeekid.com/espresso/minifaqand then The Home-Barista's Guide to Espresso by Jim Schulmanhttp://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide.htmlAnd you NEED a proper fitting tamper, that plastic POC is worthless.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Sweet Maria's Home Roasters Gathering infohttp://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmFrom: "Peter Zulkowski" ">http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/pnwgIII.htmURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmFrom: "Peter Zulkowski" 
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 11:28 AM
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5) From: Peter Zulkowski
Thanks Mike,
Just limping along here, trying to get the feel for this thing. It 
definitely needs a less fine grind than the Estro. So far I have not got 
to the place where I can just reject a shot without tasting it.
Right now, I just pull a shot.
This is tough.. grinding , getting the grind into the PF (which is VERY 
hot) and tamping, with my little plastic thingie, then learning I have 
too much coffee in the PF so it won't even go on..
digging some coffee out, dumping it and refilling with less, tamping 
(again) burning fingers putting still hot pf into group head. All that, 
and almost a stall. (maybe it doesn't need a gasket just larger grind or 
looser tamp!)
Naaaa, too soon to try *that* again. Wait until I have rested and forgot 
about all the trauma I just went through.
Tomorrow maybe...
PeterZ
Really really knows espresso making is harder than roasting coffee, here 
in LHC.
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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6) From: miKe mcKoffee
Peter,
If you do a few things it'll make your espresso challenges less, well 
challenging!
You bought a used Baby Gaggia correct? More than one of us advised to 
replace the grouphead gasket. Commonly recommended to do every 6 months to 2 
years depending on usage and how long a periods machine left on, just 
sitting there hot ages and hardens the rubber grouphead gasket. Do yourself 
a favor and replace it!
Chris and others have talked quite a bit about filling the PF. Many websites 
mentioned go over methods. Simply fill PF to slightly heaping. Tap the PF 
lightly either on the counter or I tap it from the side. Next coming from 
the outside towards the middle run your finger across the top of the PF, 
with finger level with the top PF, towards the center of the PF stopping 
just more than half way acrossed, do this from N-S-E then W continuing all 
the way past the center clear across the PF leaving level. Wait, don't touch 
it with that undersized plastic POC tamper! If you still haven't gotten a 
proper fitting tamper stop here and wait until you do! Tamp straight down 
lightly (10lb ish), lightly tap side of PF from 4 sides, firmly tap with 30 
to 50lb pressure, spin the tamper maintaining firm (20# or so) pressure 180 
to 360 degrees to polish. (Importance is to always use the same tamp 
pressure, not necessarily whether 30, 40 or 50# etc. Practice tamp pressure 
using a bathroom scale. Different people teach and use different firmness, 
most important to be consistent. A heavier 40 or 50# tamp usually not taught 
commercially because it's harder for many Baristas to do all day shot after 
shot.) After tamp you should have a bit of gap from the top of the PF. Lock 
it in and take it back out, if you can see a screen screw indentation in the 
grinds it's filled too much (assuming properly tamped). I'm not saying this 
is the only or best method of fill and tamp, it's the method I use and works 
well for me as verified with naked PF and no channeling. (and of course were 
it counts, in the demi)
If with proper fill, distribution and tamp your shot is too small in 25 to 
30sec, grind a bit coarser and try again. Do NOT change anything else. 
Consistency is the name of the game with espresso. If shot is correct target 
volume (double 2 to 3oz) but under 22sec, grind a bit finer. Very important 
to only change one variable. Later, much later after thousands of decent 
shots, the ability to change more than one variable at a time might creep in 
the psyche.
Keep practicing and just have fun with it.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Sweet Maria's Home Roasters Gathering infohttp://mdmint.home.comcast.net/pnwgIII.htmURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

7) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
miKe,
Thank you very much for posting this.  While I've done a lot of
research and reading in machine selection, haven't done much yetin
"how to" pull an espresso.  I've printed your guideline and will keep
it for when I can put it to use.
Hopefully, a new espresso machine will join the family this August. 
Now that the car's paid off, I have two months to save up for the
perfect birthday gift!
It's info like this (in addition to the family/coffehouse feel) that
makes the entire list worthwhile.
-- 
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
For a Drip/Moka/Presspot Brew
On 6/15/05, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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8) From: John Blumel
On Jun 15, 2005, at 7:11 pm, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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In my experience, this first, "leveling" tamp should be quite light  
(I've never measured how much pressure I use, so it could be 10 lbs.,  
or it could be slightly more or less) and a good rule of thumb for  
knowing whether you used too much pressure is that the second tamp  
should further compress the puck quite noticeably. If it doesn't, the  
leveling tamp was probably too heavy.
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I've found that this works best when you DO NOT maintain downward  
pressure for the "polish". Simply spin the tamper (evenly and without  
lifting) over the puck to break the adhesion between the puck and  
tamper surfaces and then smoothly lift the tamper off and you'll have  
a polished puck surface.
I also recommend doing this following the leveling tamp.
John Blumel

9) From: Jeff Oien
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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Why is a finger preferred over something with a straight edge?
Not necessarily directed at you, just wondering about this for
a while.
JeffO

10) From: Peter Zulkowski
Mike,
Thanks for your input. I will order a new gasket, and other things as 
soon as I figure out what to order. The price was right, but I hate to 
see this turn into a 'boat'.
I have been google-ing for quite a while, and have found nothing that 
resembles this machine except the new Gaggia Millenium version.http://www.gaggiaparts.com/Page4.html#Parts%20diagramIt looks the same, wedge shape instead of square, same water filler, but 
mine is quite a bit older  than that one, and does not say anything but 
Gaggia Baby on the front.
I will call in the morning, but tonight, does anyone know if all the 
Gaggia group head gaskets are the same size?
I took off the screen, and it was just about stopped up with scale, so I 
know it has been well used, and at the very least needs a good cleaning.
Also, I don't know how to get the group head gasket out. Perhaps it is 
all scaled in, but how much do I have to take apart to remove this thing?
I really don't want to mess it up if it can be saved until I get a new 
one, but is it acceptable to pry at it with a small bladed screw driver?
Thanks for all your help.
PeterZ
Still very shy with espresso machines, here in LHC.
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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11) From: miKe mcKoffee
I'd suggest calling some place that's carried them for awhile like WLL and 
talk to their service department. Hopefully they'll know the proper head 
gasket you need. Also no way would I order the tamper listed under Gaggia 
parts, most likely a "stock" undersized plastic POC seems most come with 
(including Silvia) not a proper fitting tamper. Sounds like you also should 
order a grouphead screen.
I don't know about your Gaggia, but on Siliva the gasket can be a PIA to get 
out. Pry it with a screw driver, whatever it takes to get it out. I actually 
screwed a screw into the gasket in multiple places then pulled down on the 
screws with plyers to get the gasket even started out. If you try something 
like that be careful to only screw into the gasketk, not through it or risk 
damage to the grouphead. You want to be careful and not scratch up the area 
the gasket seats into of course.
Sounds like at the minimum I'd be hitting it hard with Urnex Dezcal 
Activated Descaler. If it's noticable on the screen I somehow think the 
boiler's gotta need descaling badly.
There's ever reason to be optimistic. While WLL overcharges for grouphead 
gaskets (they wanted $12 for ONE for Silvia will other places $6 for one or 
$10 for two). So I'd also check with EPNW & 1st Line. Even if WLL ends up 
where you get it, be optimistic. A good descaling, new gasket & screen, 
backflush a few times and could well likely be good to go. $20 bucks or so. 
(PLUS Tamper!)
It's really just basic maintenance stuff. Think of it like changing the oil, 
plugs, filters etc on a car, just smaller. 'Taint so bad.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
3rd Annual Pacific Northwest Sweet Maria's Home Roasters Gathering infohttp://mdmint.home.comcast.net/pnwgIII.htmURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

12) From: Michael Dhabolt
Peter
I think you'll find that to remove the group gasket (the one the Porta 
Filter seats against) is to destroy it unless it is new enough to not need=
 
replacing. If it had been removed regularly as it became old and hardened=
 
you may be able to pry it out that way - but my bet is: Not A Chance. The=
 
Filter screen being scaled to that level argues against the gasket ever 
having been removed.
 When these gaskets are to the point yours is probably in the removal metho=
d 
that works well for me is using a sheet metal or wood screw. Get it started=
 
a thread or two in about 4 different places around the gasket (do not go 
through the gasket yet - and don't reef on the screw yet). take the screw=
 
out and thoroughly round off the pointy end with a grinder, file or other=
 
implement of destruction. Now screw it into the previously started holes in=
 
the gasket and all the way untill you hit metal and pull a bit, if you get=
 
any movement - move on to the next hole and work your way around until the=
 
gasket comes out. If you try this and the gasket doesn't move - use the 
screw to lever a chunk of the gasket out and do that in the four places. 
Then work at it with a small screw driver, chisel or something similar. 
Carefully so as not to mar the metal. Clean well. If the new gasket has a=
 
chamfer on the inner or outer diameter on one side - that should be the sid=
e 
with any molded in I D marks - that goes up into the cavity so the clean 
unmarked surface will be against the PF. After you have gone through this=
 
once - you become a believer in replacing it every six months or so. I buy=
 
three at a time so I still have a spare after the next time I change it. BT=
W 
Tri Sodium Phosphate (TSP) in hot water - throw the screen, your PFs and 
baskets in - overnight - magic. Be sure to rinse well.
 You will probably get some more posts with different methods to accomplish=
 
the above, any way you are comfortable with that doesn't mess up the machin=
e 
is obviously the best.
 Mike (a different one)
 On 6/15/05, Peter Zulkowski  wrote: 
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13) From: Alchemist John
The thought is that your finger can help "press" the grounds to the edge 
for a slightly better seal to prevent side channeling.  Both will work, it 
is a matter of what you are comfortable with.  I have tried both for 
months, and I like a straight edge,  both comfort wise (as Peter says, that 
PF is hot) and result/taste wise.
At 19:36 6/15/2005 -0500, you wrote:
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John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/


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