HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Carezza Problems? (10 msgs / 227 lines)
1) From: Ken B
I have never had this happen before, and it was a bit shocking.  I 
finished pulling a double with tamp a bit tighter and grind a little 
finer than I normally do, using 19 grams of Sulawesi Enrakang Mt Alla.  
Note that I normally use around 18 grams, so this was not substantially 
more, and the grind setting was only a little finer, not Turkish. The 
tamp was tight because I had to push a bit harder to pack.  When I 
finished pulling the shots, I poured them into my heated cup and steamed 
the milk for a cap.  I turned off the Gaggio after I steamed the milk 
and layered the cap, and drank it.  About a minute later I removed the 
grouphead, and the puck exploded out of it all over the underside of the 
showerhead and all over the counter, getting as far as the stove, about 
2 feet away.  When I broke the grouphead loose I heard the release of 
pressure that I do not normally hear.
I have owned the Gaggio Carezza for about 20 months, and have used it 
every day or every other day. The seal and showerhead were replaced 3-4 
months ago, and the machine cleaned 2 weeks ago.  The next shots will be 
back at 18 grams with the same grind I normally use, but this was rather 
shocking to me since it has never happened before. Any ideas as to what 
is going on here?
Best Regards,
Ken B
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2) From: Les
It is called an "espresso sneeze!"  I don't remember if your machine has a 3
way valve or not.  My guess is that it does.  If your are packed too tight,
the valve doesn't release the pressure after the shot.  If you really want
to experience the sneeze, try a LaPavoni Lever machine.  They make a mess,
but they are not that unusual.
Les
On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Ken B  wrote:
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3) From: Michael Dhabolt
Ken,
I'm not personally familiar with the Carezza model but it sounds like
it is one of the Gaggia models without a three way valve.  What you
experienced is the reason that three way valves came into existence
(relieves pressure in the basket as soon as the pump stops).  It may
be that with the tighter pack in the basket it was unable to slowly
relieve pressure as you removed the Porta Filter as it had been able
to do with a looser pack previously.  What exacerbates this problem is
that when you switch the machine to steaming mode, a different
thermostat allows the boiler (and group head) to cycle at a
considerably higher temperature -- higher temperature -> steam -> more
explosive release of pressure when the Porta Filter is removed.
Probably a good plan to remove the PF with a short screen flush prior
to switching into steam mode.
Mike (just plain)
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4) From: Ken B
Thanks Mike...I figured it had something to do with the pack and/or 
order of things I did it in this time.  I will just remove the PF before 
steaming next time.  Thanks again for the ideas.  If it becomes a 
regular thing, I will worry about it.  Until then, I will write it off 
as an oddity, since it never happened before.
Best Regards,
Ken B
Michael Dhabolt wrote:
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5) From: kevin creason
I don't know the Gaggia, but if it is a two-way valve model of espresso
instead of three-way model like my Barista/Seaco, you can avoid this
explosive issue by frothing first and espress second.  You can still get a
little extra espression the wrong way, but rarely since you don't have the
explosive steam in the system from the frothing.
I'm pretty sure the manual on Barista (Saeco) said to froth first, espress
second for just this reason. Your Gaggia is probably similar but better, but
still similar enough to do it this way.
On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 7:36 PM, Ken B  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
/* Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you
with experience. */
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6) From: Eddie Dove
Oooooh ... the Sulawesi Enrekang "Mount Alla" was an exquisite elixir indeed!
On several occasions, the Gaggia Carezza in the kitchen here has
demonstrated the portafilter sneeze, but usually only when time is
short.  In general, waiting 30 seconds after stopping the shot has
served to avoid the frenetic kitchen cleaning.  Shorter or longer than
30 seconds is usually fraught with frills ... when in doubt, a damp
towel purposing as a curtain will hinder the hammer throw ...
Exquisite elixir the Carezza can extract, but when the time comes the
Carezza's replacement will have a three-way valve.
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 4:28 PM, Ken B  wrote:
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7) From: Bob Hazen
La Pavoni:  A labor of love.  I had one many moons ago.  After blowing 
grounds all over the kitchen/myself and burning myself on the hot machine 
one time too many, it became a Gaggia with a 3-way valve.
It takes a special person to love a LaPovoni, right Les?  (grin)
Bob

8) From: Les
Bob,
I don't own one (a Pavoni), but I have used one enough to know what you are
talking about.
Les
On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 10:45 AM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
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9) From: Michael Mccandless
The trick is to allow as little air as possible into the shot chamber.
McSparky
On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 1:01 PM, Les  wrote:
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10) From: raymanowen
"...allow as little air as possible into the shot chamber."
What a concept- enroute to fixing  my Capresso Luxe-Leaked, I had to figure
out for myself that it does, indeed, have a valve that exhausts pressure on
the group to the drip tray.
It responds well to cleanout with a blanked-off filter. The concept, that
the pressure relief valve does not relieve damaging pressure under
hydrostatic lock condition with the pump in operation, shocked my synapse.
I was rinsing and cleaning out the max grounds possible with a stiff brush,
rag and water flow. Still, the sultry-looking flow from a blank shot. Not
what I really wanted going into a real shot of mine. A Huge additional glut
of grounds came out with a backflush- no other way.
My error was assuming a working pressure relief valve. It's plastic and I'm
not messing with it. It's just a coupling so the real relief is the ultimate
pump pressure of the 55 watt vibe pump. It was adjustable in the HRH Lucas,
Prince of Darkness fuel pump in the XKE.
In 3 seconds, it will pump boiling water into the group/ blocked filter
without filling it to hydrostatic lock. The machine would willingly break
itself on a max cleaning cycle. It's really not new science- how many
automobiles can have the power steering turned from lock to lock without
damage of any kind? Millions. Nothing to it.
The workaround is: pull into a blocked filter for no longer than 3 - 4 sec.
Live and learn.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Migraine relief is when someone that can play the accordion doesn't...
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