You know I have timed my shot to perfection, my customers beam over the espresso, but I keep reading about " puck" evaluation. I have my machine producing about 9mbars and at @190deg. It kinda wierd, I load the portafilter, scrape off excess to have a level surface with the top edge of the coffe basket,and tamp. mate,pull time, and remove potrafilter after the pull, I bang the portafillter with a solid thump in the knock box...and.....crumbly "non-puck" is what I get. sota has form in some of the peices, but no definitive " puck" I'm pulling 2x shots all the time, and it doesn't matter if I hand tamp or use the MACAP. I feel like a moron asking but, I admit I have alot to learn. Thanks for any responces.

Hey nwjava.... you didn't say what type of machine you are using.

Machines w/ a 3way valve "flush" the water out when you stop the pull. The puck will tend to be dry. Without a 3way valve, the pressure bleeds off slowly, excess water has no place to go, so it stays in the puck and the puck will stay wet.

I'm not usually overly concerned with puck wetness/dryness. If you are consistent with all your other steps and are tamping to 30lbs and finishing your shot at 20-25 sec, no real need to worry about crumbling pucks.

Shoot me an email and we'll talk about this some more.
Hi folks,
Dont all the commercial machines have 3 way valves? I just assumed all did so you could backflush.
Anyway, we have a 3grp Gaggia that does the same, if you take out the portafilter right after pulling a shot, its still wet 'n sloppy. If you let it sit till you re-use the portafilter, its pretty pucky :? er its a pretty dry and solid puck (not the like non-existent NHL hockey pucks).