[Homeroast] Water retained in the portafilter

Mike Koenig koenig.mike at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 20:10:22 CST 2010


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.


On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM, michael brown <disracer at msn.com> wrote:

> 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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