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Topic: Water retained in the portafilter (11 msgs / 306 lines)
1) From: michael brown
So i unpressurized my portafilter in the Estro machine.  Took out the spring and ripped out some kind of stopper thingy.  I use a Virtuoso.  At first it was going through way too fast.  So i tightened down the grind and ended up at the finest setting before i could get it to come out at a rate that was suitable and produced good crema.  I usually tamp three times.  Now when i stop the shot (via switch) there's a lot of water that remains in the portafilter.  So much so, that after the shot is done and i try and remove the portafilter there's a suction noise and the water thats in the portafilter explodes around the edges and grounds go everywhere.  
thoughts?  should i loosen up on the grind and just tamp harder?  Maybe i need a machine that produces a finer grind that'd i'd only have to tamp twice and play with the tamp to grind ratio?  i dunno, looking for ideas.  it seems like water would be not be able to make it through at the end of the shot because tamp is too hard or not enough pressure is being produced to force it through the puck.
Michael B
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2) From: Jack M. Rogers
Why shouldn't it have water in it?  When the pump stops, that's what was there.  If you had a machine with a 3-way solenoid valve, it would be more dry (but not completely).
Jack

3) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Michael,
Hope this isn't too off-topic.
No advice re: the Portafilter, but thought I'd chime in about your Virtuoso.
You may already be aware of this, so ignore it if you are.
Each Virtuoso has a set screw inside the case that allows you to calibrate
it to favor either the fine end of the grinder or the coarse end. If you're
hitting the stops on the fine setting and would like a bit of wiggle room at
that end, check out the Baratza website for the procedure. If it's not
already set at the finest setting, you may be able to adjust your grinder to
go a little finer still.
Good luck getting your water problem solved!
Doug
On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 11:24 AM, michael brown  wrote:
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4) From: michael brown
I did not know about this so thanks for passing it along!  I just got done calibrating it for a tighter grind.  Didn't realize how little the burrs were touching until they were.  Maybe this will make a difference.
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5) From: Mike Koenig
Michael,
A few points here:
 - your Estro doesn't have a solenoid valve, so it will take some time for
the head pressure to dissipate after you pull your shot.  Give it a minute
to calm down and you won't get the "sneeze" you get if you pull the
portafilter right after your shot.  If you are still getting a sneeze after
a minute, you may be grinding too fine, and choking your machine.  A soupy
puck can be expected in this type of machine unless you give it a few
minutes to dry.  (remember that the goal is to make espresso, not nice
pucks, and you will tolerate this much better).
- Typical tamping pressure is about 30 pounds.  If you have a bathroom
scale, you can use that to train your arm to the amount of force you need.
Try to keep the pressure constant, and adjust your grind for the shot time
you are trying to achieve (I usually shoot for 25 seconds).
- I wouldn't recommend tamping more than once,  you run the risk of
disturbing the nice puck you formed with your first tamp.  A firm even tamp
the first time is the best approach.
- Make sure your distribution in the basket is even before you tamp.  In my
opinion this is far more important than the tamping itself.
--mike
On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM, michael brown  wrote:
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6) From: michael brown
more good pointers, thank you.  I didn't know about the solenoid valve.  i've got more playing to do!
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7) From: Sandy Andina
I never de-pressurized the PFs in my Estro or Saeco machines; rather, I purchased an actual non-pressurized PF and basket (designed from the ground up not to be pressurized) from Saeco. Never a good thing to monkey with something that was designed with pressurization in mind. I think you are also getting the dreaded "portafilter sneeze" characteristic of machines that lack the 3-way solenoid valve.  WAIT at least 10 sec. after your shot stops before removing the PF, and remove it slowly at that.
On Jan 24, 2010, at 1:24 PM, michael brown wrote:
<Snip>
Peace & song, 
Sandy 
www.sandyandina.com
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8) From: michael kaericher
When I had my Solis SL-90, I found that I could mitigate the "sneeze" by bl=
eeding water from the steam wand.  Since this was necessary to froth milk=
 anyway, I never found it inconvenient.
-Mike
--- On Sun, 1/24/10, Mike Koenig  wrote:
From: Mike Koenig 
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Water retained in the portafilter
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list,=
 available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 8:10 PM
Michael,
A few points here:
 - your Estro doesn't have a solenoid valve, so it will take some time for
the head pressure to dissipate after you pull your shot.  Give it a minute
to calm down and you won't get the "sneeze" you get if you pull the
portafilter right after your shot.  If you are still getting a sneeze aft=
er
a minute, you may be grinding too fine, and choking your machine.  A soupy
puck can be expected in this type of machine unless you give it a few
minutes to dry.  (remember that the goal is to make espresso, not nice
pucks, and you will tolerate this much better).
- Typical tamping pressure is about 30 pounds.  If you have a bathroom
scale, you can use that to train your arm to the amount of force you need.
Try to keep the pressure constant, and adjust your grind for the shot time
you are trying to achieve (I usually shoot for 25 seconds).
- I wouldn't recommend tamping more than once,  you run the risk of
disturbing the nice puck you formed with your first tamp.  A firm even ta=
mp
the first time is the best approach.
- Make sure your distribution in the basket is even before you tamp.  In =
my
opinion this is far more important than the tamping itself.
--mike
On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM, michael brown  wrote:
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9) From: michael brown
ah, another good idea.  i prefer a straight up shot so never play with the wand.  i'll give it a go.  thanks!
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10) From: Sandy Andina
The Gaggia Color suggests this as well. (Also make sure that whatever machine you own, the steam switch is off before disengaging the PF from the grouphead).
On Jan 25, 2010, at 4:07 PM, michael kaericher wrote:
<Snip>
Peace & song, 
Sandy 
www.sandyandina.com
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11) From: Phil Bergman


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