[Homeroast] Bottomless Portafilter

Demian Ebert coffehound at gmail.com
Sat Aug 28 13:24:45 CDT 2010


Interesting observation. Have you measured the temperature difference
between bottomless and standard PFs?

I don't expect to get past the amatur stage with my espresso anytime
soon and need all the feedback I can get. The biggest benefit from my
point of view is cleanliness. There are no odd corners and inaccesible
spots that require soaking in a harsh chemical to get clean.

Demian
In the gap between first and second cracks.

On 8/28/10, denis bordeleau <bomerlo at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> 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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>
> -- -Tom
>
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
> Roasting
>               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
> ____________________________________________________________________________
>     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
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