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Topic: Gaggia temp surfing (11 msgs / 236 lines)
1) From: Sheila Quinn
Does anyone here own a Gaggia Baby espresso machine? I'm wondering about 
the proper way to temperature surf! I've only had my machine about a 
week and I'm getting mixed results. My tamping technique is pretty good 
and I have a naked portafilter, which certainly helps to see what's 
going on. But I'm unsure how to get to the proper temperature.
Any tips???

2) From: Michael Dhabolt
I'm thinking that the thermostats on these machines may have a fairly
significant variation from one to the next, so take this with a grain of
salt.  I replaced the thermostat with a new one on a similar machine
recently.  What worked out well with it is:
   - Turn the machine on and pump a little water to make sure the boiler
   is full,
   - Let the machine warm up for about ten minutes (ready light will be
   on - most of this time),
   - Load, tamp the PF,
   - Pull a little water until the ready light goes off, lock in the PF,
   - As soon as the ready light goes on, turn the steam switch on for ten
   - Turn off the steam switch,
   - Immediately pull the shot.
With the machine I was playing with, this procedure resulted in shots at 201
degrees F (+/- 1).  I would expect this to get you into the ballpark -
manipulate the time that you have the steam switch on to raise or lower the
shot temperature (more time = hotter, less time = cooler).  The variation
between machines will undoubtedly change the time.  Taste will be your final
Mike (just plain)

3) From: Sheila Quinn
Okay, thanks for the ideas! I will be trying this next time - which will 
be very shortly. :)
Michael Dhabolt wrote:

4) From: Michael Dhabolt
Let me know how your machine reacts to that procedure, BTW leave the PF in
the group during the initial warm up period.
Mike (just plain)

5) From: b cook
My temp-surfing on my Gaggia Espresso is similar to Mike's except I wait a
few seconds after I turn the steam switch back off before pulling the shot.
On 12/15/06, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:

6) From: Sheila Quinn
Yes, I always leave it in the group while it's heating up. I'll try both 
of these methods today - yours with an immediate pull after shutting off 
the steam button, and the other where you wait just a few seconds. So 
far, so good! I just pulled two doubles with Moka Kadir and didn't wait 
at all. Tasted great! (And this time, the stupid light didn't come on 
DURING the shot as it does sometimes - now that's irritating! It fakes 
you out into thinking it's up to temp, but it really isn't, I guess. 
Grrrr.) Anyway, the taste is excellent! Didn't have to dump out either 
one this time - hallelujah! Getting sick of wasting good beans, so maybe 
this will help clear up that problem!
Michael Dhabolt wrote:

7) From: b cook
That's the thing with the Gaggias.  If you don't temp surf you will
sometimes get good shots and sometimes you won't.  It depends on whether the
boiler just happens to be at the right temp at any given time.  It's
constantly fluctuating.  Temp surfing offers at least something resembling
consistency.  The reason the light comes back on is because that little
boiler only holds a little bit of water and as it empties (rather quickly)
it causes temperature fluctuations.
On 12/16/06, Sheila Quinn  wrote:

8) From: Myron J
If you are putting on the steam temp. for a few seconds to artificially jack 
up the temperature a bit more..I would expect the green "ready" light to 
remain on during most if not all of the pull. (This is the "stupid" light 
you are referring too, right??)
Also I have seen tips of  letting the Gaggia warm up for more like 15-30 
minutes to get more temp. stability.
Myron Joshua
Kibbutz Kfar Etzion
+972-(0)2-9935 178

9) From: Sheila Quinn
Hi Myron,
No, there is no green ready light on this machine. When it's ready, the 
red brew light actually goes OFF. (It's on only while heating up to 
temp, then goes out - which supposedly means it's ready to use.)
That's the light to which I was referring. It sometimes comes on in the 
middle of a pour, indicating that's it's no longer at ready temperature. 
(??) It happens even if I've let it warm up for a long time.
I actually let the machine warm up about 15 to 20 minutes before using 
most of the time, sometimes a bit longer.
Myron J wrote:

10) From: miKe mcKoffee
The light off really does not mean it's shot "ready" simply that the boiler
heater element is off/not heating. (Regardless what the manual may say, same
for Silvia or any single boiler machine this type design using dead band
tstat.) Knowledge of the machines temperature characteristics and tweaking
accordingly is the norm until getting into much much higher end machines,
like digitally temp controlled dual boiler machines. (This includes
virtually all Prosumer HX machines needing Barista temp management, though
more intra shot temp stable as a rule.) The boiler heater element coming on
during a shot is normal and to be expected as colder water introduced to
replace water drawn during the shot. Not just Gaggia with it's rather small
boiler, but almost any machine. One difference on larger boiler and or
higher end machines is how well they maintain shot temp.
The least expensive machine that does not require some type Barista temp
management is the Brewtus II. 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

11) From: Alchemist John
As a long time Gaggia user I never used the steam switch.  Yes it 
boosts the temperature, but way too inconsistently for my 
taste.  Keep this in mind while you are "surfing".  The boiler 
temperature in reality is always going to be changing.  The "trick" 
is whether it is going higher (as it is just after the element turns 
off) or dropping (after it starts to cool after the element 
"overshoot").  You want to pull your shot on the up swing.  That your 
light is coming on in the middle of the shot indicates you are 
pulling it on the downswing.  Here is how I pulled shots.
Warm up 30 minutes.
Flush the PF to stabilize - 2-3 seconds
Grind your shot
dry, load and tamp
pull water until the element light goes on (heater is now one, 
temperature rising)
load your PF
wait for the light to go off.
Now "surf" for your way UP.  I found 3-6 seconds.
Pull your shot.
Finally, it is pretty normal for the light to come on right at the 
end of the shot.  Just remember, that is the boiler 
temperature.  There is still properly heated water in the tubing and 
in the PF itself for another 5-7 seconds.
Also, on cold days,  you may find you want to put water that is not 
icy into the machine.  I am on a well, and my summer water 
temperature is about 65 F, but my winter water can be 45F.  20 F 
difference can make a hell of a difference in the performance.  I 
never put HOT water in, but did try to put "room temperature+" water 
in to minimize the supply water cooling.  75-80 F gave a nice bit of stability.
Sort of an FYI, on my low end Delonghi, putting in 85 F gave it just 
the extra ompf to perform very nicely.
The main thing in all of this is KNOWING what the machine is doing 
and what you can do to make it perform as you want it to.
At 15:25 12/16/2006, you wrote:
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

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