[Homeroast] Bottomless Portafilter

denis bordeleau bomerlo at yahoo.ca
Sat Aug 28 13:01:13 CDT 2010


Hi everybody,      I make espresso  with a Rancilio Silvia non-pid machine (3.5 inches from the tips of the regular double PF (portafilter) to the drip grate).  I also have a cheaper Cuisinart thermobloc, pressurized portafilter machine with a 4 inches space between PF double tips end and drip grate, perfect for large coffee mug.  With the Miss Silvia machine, the 2-oz  demitasse porcelain espresso cups I use are 2.25 inches tall so that leaves 1.25 inches of exposed coffee in a room at about 72°F or less if air conditioning is on.   Furthermore, by removing the bottom of a 58mm portafilter you will now expose a surface of 4.18 square inches to the ambient air temperature and add another 1.25 inches to the exposed column of liquid to make it 2.5 inches to the rim of the espresso cup.    In this list we discuss about PID (proportional-integral-derivative) controller, about heated group, tamping,  water pressure and temperature at a two
 decimals precision, about thermocouple, software, molecules and whatsoever  to be sure we are getting the best cup as often as possible by eliminating unnecessary variants ( Think about  Mr Seth Grandeau who was using his Behmor roaster on the stove top while he put the stove on automatic clean cycle). I certainly would not put my hand on it but we all had special tricks to roast coffee in the winter, in the summer, in the garage in high altitude, etc.. and I skip all our particular  cooling methods.  All of us where thinking about very strange and complicated causes and solutions.             We used to discuss about voltage, amperage, Variacs, etc... and suddenly,  2.5 inches before the final result, we  are willing to cut a 2.29 inches diameter hole in the whole growing, processing, choosing, roasting, resting process just seconds prior to get the final result only to award us the title of roaster-barista or is it voyeurism or vanity  to
 impress others because it looks cool.  Cool indeed, if you dare make the test of measuring the temperature and the volume of your liquid coffee in the cup with a bottomless naked portafilter and a standard one (if somebody has still one left.                   Remember that in a way to make freeze dried instant coffee you only have to lower the temperature and increase the height of the exposed column of coffee.   It is not what we want, so let's keep it simple gentlemen.    Naked Portafilter are great tools to learn, to correct , to evaluate our skills and technique but they have their limits and I do not think they have advantages on the regular one on a day-to-day basis for anybody who thinks he mastered his art.            Have a good day.      Denis
 P.S.:Keep piercing, cutting, brazing and watch your hands fom dangerous edges.   Have a grinder?
--- En date de : Mar, 4.5.10, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> a écrit :

De : Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com>
Objet : Re: [Homeroast] Bottomless Portafilter
À : "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this  list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
Date: mardi 4 mai 2010 21 h 34

What Andy and Samuel and most everyone else said too. Naked is actually a great term, being that it strips off the disguise of the spouts that might make one thing "oh, i am making a great shot" and shows you what you are really doing. It is frustrating too, especially if you are like me and prefer lighter roasts for espresso than the typical kind. Dialing in espresso is hard and with all the variables of roasting as well, it's quite a challenge. I was talking to a barista at the SO brew bar at Four Barrel and even on a nice Marzocco and tons of experience, managing these variables is not easy. But the bottomless PF gives you the best feedback on your technique. I rarely toss a shot, unless it is really, really bad. I learn from tasting all of them, and every so often I really nail it...

Tom


> What Andy said. The primary purpose of the BPF (bottomless portafilter) is as a training tool, either for oneself, or for a barista, to verify that distribution, tamping and grind are correct. There are a number of videos on YouTube that illustrate this very well indeed.
> 
> In a similar fashion, at Four Barrels in San Francisco, when you order a single origin shot at the side bar, the barista uses a BPF as a means of demonstrating to the customer that he/she is getting an optimal shot. Quite convincing.
> 
> What I learned in using a BPF with my Mazzer and La Cimbali Jr. is that once you've calibrated your technique reasonably well, you no longer need it, as you can get a pretty accurate sense of the shot quality by observing the stream of coffee as it emerges from a conventional portafilter. Since BPF's are quite expensive ($70-90 for a serious machine)--whether you purchase one outright or make one by sawing off the bottom of your spare as I did--I'm not entirely convinced that they are critical to the learning process. One might do just as well by inviting someone over to help you calibrate your technique, or simply by practice.
> 
> But it certainly is fun and revealing. And it ain't no gimmick.
> 
> ---
> Samuel Goldberger, Ph.D.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On May 3, 2010, at 11:07 PM, Andy Thomas wrote:
> 
>>  Ray, Are you confusing a bottomless pf with a blank pf ? or with a pressurized or nonpressurized one? Anyway, you got "Neither a bottomless portafilter nor any other magic will turn bad technique into a good espresso shot." right. But that is pretty much what everone else said too.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>  ________________________________
>>  From: "raymanowen at gmail.com" <raymanowen at gmail.com>
>>  To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html" <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>>  Sent: Mon, May 3, 2010 10:43:43 PM
>>  Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Bottomless Portafilter
>> 
>>  "I was wondering if anyone has tried a bottomless porta  filter..."
>> 
>>  The bottomless portafilter is a gimmick.  Somehow, espresso drinks managed
>>  to get prepared well enough to gain quite the popular following before my
>>  string (2) of barista-prepared shots convinced me it was a complete waste of
>>  beans and machinery. Neither a bottomless portafilter nor any other magic
>>  will turn bad technique into a good espresso shot.
>> 
>>  As supplied, the porta filter handle of my Capresso thingy had some carbon
>>  fiber pieces that come out with the removal of a single torx-head screw.
>>  When I first got the Crapesso, my questions to Hufford about removing the
>>  pieces to make a bottomless pf went unanswered.
>> 
>>  With no answers forthcoming from the seller or manufacturer, that's carte
>>  blanche for me to find out on my own, Love it- checking how things work my
>>  own coffee pot. I already cracked the carbon fiber valve body when I
>>  followed the cleaner's directions. Ready to put some radiator Stop-Leak in
>>  it - almost. The Duesenberg hose clamp worked.
>> 
>>  The output of the 55 watt pump had an apparent pressure relief valve on it-
>>  looked exactly like one, with the relief flow plumbed to the reservoir tank.
>>  No functional relief valve on the new "rebuilt" one either.
>> 
>>  Bottomless porta filters are built-in to Crapessos. You can't thoroughly
>>  clean it unless you make it so, anyway- four complete surfaces in the pf
>>  could only be lightly rinsed before removal of the extra pieces.  P.poor
>>  performance for the clean freak that likes to see crystal clear water on a
>>  blank flush.
>> 
>>  Save your money on the blank portafilter. Spend Wampum on a better grinder,
>>  whatever you have now.
>> 
>>  miKe's right- if you already have a fire hydrant-sized grinder, replace the
>>  burrs unless you absolutely know they're almost new.  With only 400# use
>>  since new, my burrs felt wicked sharp to the touch.  *$ probably ground a
>>  lot more in the ten years on the previous burr maintenance tag. New burrs
>>  made an amazing difference after my mild home use.
>> 
>>  Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
>> 
>>  Got Grinder?
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>> 
>> 
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> 
> 
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-- -Tom

____________________________________________________________________________
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
              Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
____________________________________________________________________________
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