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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2013
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    Is my grind too fine for my machine?

    I have an Estro Vapore (same as the Barista from Starbucks), and I just converted the portafilter to non-pressurized (per suggestions here).

    I have a Gaggia MDF that I use to grind the beans using a setting at #4 or #5 and it seems the grind is too fine as no water can go through and I'm afraid of harming the machine.

    What can I do to fix this? Should I just go back to pressurized? Should I get another machine? The pressure coming out of the machine without the portafilter is somewhat low as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Don't worry about numbers on a grinder as they are really only useful as a point of reference. Back off a bit more coarse until you get proper flow.

    How old is the machine? Do you descale often? Clean the shower screen often?

    I suggest doing a water debit test... place a cup under the group (no portafilter in place) and run the pump for 10 seconds. You should have 3-4 oz. in that time frame. Less than 3 oz. may indicate some blockage or a weak pump.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    Don't worry about numbers on a grinder as they are really only useful as a point of reference. Back off a bit more coarse until you get proper flow.

    How old is the machine? Do you descale often? Clean the shower screen often?

    I suggest doing a water debit test... place a cup under the group (no portafilter in place) and run the pump for 10 seconds. You should have 3-4 oz. in that time frame. Less than 3 oz. may indicate some blockage or a weak pump.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll try a coarser grind. The machine is about a year old (bought refurbished from a reputable tech). New pump and descaled recently. Is the cleaning of the shower screen something easy that I can do? I should be able to take it apart and clean huh?

  4. #4
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    Yes the shower screen should be removed and cleaned often. Same with the portafilter/basket. Coffee grounds/oil will accumulate over time causing bad taste and a decreased/irregular flow rate. Your machine also has a group valve that can clog over time, causing decreased flow, etc. Here's a schematic for better understanding...

    http://www.partsguru.com/user/Barista%2005.01.pdf
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    Yes the shower screen should be removed and cleaned often. Same with the portafilter/basket. Coffee grounds/oil will accumulate over time causing bad taste and a decreased/irregular flow rate. Your machine also has a group valve that can clog over time, causing decreased flow, etc. Here's a schematic for better understanding...

    http://www.partsguru.com/user/Barista%2005.01.pdf
    Thank you so much for the schematic and the tips. I remember I tried taking one of these apart (my old Barista) and I actually have to unscrew the shower cap from inside the assembly (as opposed to just unscrewing those 4 bolts)....

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    May 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    Don't worry about numbers on a grinder as they are really only useful as a point of reference. Back off a bit more coarse until you get proper flow.

    How old is the machine? Do you descale often? Clean the shower screen often?

    I suggest doing a water debit test... place a cup under the group (no portafilter in place) and run the pump for 10 seconds. You should have 3-4 oz. in that time frame. Less than 3 oz. may indicate some blockage or a weak pump.
    OK I ran it. I got approximately 2.5oz in exactly 10 seconds. If I ran it for a second longer I would be closer to 3, so I think the machine is ok.

    Also, I ran a coarser grain and it was better. I think this is going to be a trial and error thing...

 

 

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