I've owned this machine for over three years, and I cant get a consistently good shot.
-I have thoroughly cleaned and descaled the machine carefully following instructions.
-I am using a Rancillio rocky grinder, which has clean burrs and seems to work perfectly.
-For a double shot I measure 14 grams of ground coffee, and I tamp 'about' 30lbs of pressure which i have measured by pressing on a scale.
This is what happens:
A) Either the shot comes out too fast, about 10 seconds.
or B) If I adjust the grind finer, the machine hesitates (as though unable to push the water through), and finally I get 'channeling' , spurts of pressure, and a real mess.
I had similar issues with my Gaggia Classic and it all got down to bad grinders. I had a Baratza Preciso, purchased directly from the manufacturer (refurb) and I was seeing the exact same thing. My double shoots (18 grams) were running fast in about 13 seconds. If I went to almost 0-2 setting (finest settings), I would get longer brew's but I could tell the water getting stuck for a bit and than running somewhat burned. I reached out to Baratza on the grinder and long story short (after shipping me a 3rd grinder), I finally got a grinder that performed consitant through its settings. I am now in settings 7-8 and consitantly pulling 20-30 second shots with very rich brown crema shots. The grinder makes all the difference, as it may not be working as consitant as it should, causing inconsitant grinds. My two cents, I would troubleshoot your grinder and possibly try to narrow down the problem. (assuming you're using fresh rosted coffee beans).04-28-14 02:55PM
Thanks so much Daniel- this is what I've suspected even though its been a constant problem with my Rancillo Rocky- I'll look into getting the grinder refurbished/replaced and take it from there. Good to know the machine is capable of pulling great shots.
I have had mine for about three yrs, cleaned it, it is not performing as before, coffee shots bitter, tried diferent settings on my grinder, if the setting is at the espresso number, it clogs, if I set it back to acourser grind it works, but not enough crema and sometimes bitter, what is up with the machine??, seems like i see similar problems on this blog. My less expensive model worked better till it burned out.09-04-14 06:31PM
I am on my second Classic. Many years with "Sweetheart". I just replaced my old grinder with an up grade. I am still tweaking the grinds. Among other things, I use to be a bee keeper, so honey goes in everything. I froth my milk with a dab of honey in it. Here are some things that have really up graded my shots. 1) Run hot water through the brew head, with the filter out. 2) I pull water from the refrigerator dispensor into my mug and heat it in the microwave. I am ready to brew when I have the milk in the pitcher (with honey), my mug is hot, my portafilter is hot and the coffee is packed in the filter. I pour the hot water into the Classic water tank, I take out the drip tray and place my "big boys" mug under the portafilter. I try the 30# / 20 +- thing but it is more of a guessing game since I have nothing to gauge the processes of doing business. I do pay close attention to the pull. I try to pull 2 ounces but watching the color change is when the brakes come on. Sweetheart is making some really nice shots. Lattle art with the Classic? I am as good as the demo lady from Seattle. :)03-20-15 10:42AM