Do puck screens change your maintenance schedule?

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boren

#1: Post by boren »

With the advent of puck screens, do traditional maintenance tasks and their schedule need to be updated? Puck screens prevent much of the coffee (and coffee oils) from traveling from the puck to the grouphead. This makes me think that backflushing and shower-screen disassembly and cleaning probably don't need to be done as frequently, and that cleaning powders such as Cafiza might need to be used very rarely if at all.

Flushing before and/or after the shot (whichever your preference is) can also be done only for temperature regulating reasons or as a force of habit, rather than as something that helps keep things clean. Everything already is clean.

One thing that might need to be done more frequently is E61 cam lubrication, though skipping the puck screen occasionally may be sufficient to keep things in good working order.

Have puck screens changed your maintenance schedule?

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by PIXIllate »

For me I don't use puck screens or the Matrix shower screen for this exact reason. An e61 needs some amount of coffee oil on the cam to keep it moving freely. I'd rater backflush and drop the shower screen than take apart the lever and cam to relube once a week. This is what I found I had to do while testing the Matrix shower screen. I do a chemical backflush maybe once a year but do two water back flushes to start and end each morning session.

Also, for me I didn't notice any upside to a puck screen and I considered it a huge downside for my workflow. Just my take on it.

Giampiero

#3: Post by Giampiero »


bgnome

#4: Post by bgnome »

I use a top and bottom paper and toss them with the puck. No need to fish out a puck screen or clean it, no wiping or flushing the shower screen, and no residuals sucked back up in the machine.

ojt

#5: Post by ojt »

Yes, as do paper filter discs. My Pavoni grouphead requires basically zero cleaning with the screens / filters whereas before I would've cleaned it every couple of months or more often. Now I just relube every 6 - 12 months.
Osku

BodieZoffa

#6: Post by BodieZoffa »

IMBHO this sort of thing is overthought as there are so many variables involved with machines/coffee/prep one size will never fit all. I don't buy into the gadget training wheels that pop up quite often like we're all missing out if we don't adapt... Even if a puck screen helps in any actual way that's something else to keep as clean/flat as possible and I personally won't sacrifice .000005mm of headspace to bother using one as I've always been a fan of extreme updosing.

I also would never waste time/effort using paper filters as that would no doubt affect texture, which is the most important part of espresso for me. Just do what works for you and decide if it's worth the time/effort/expense.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by Nunas »

boren wrote:With the advent of puck screens, do traditional maintenance tasks and their schedule need to be updated? Puck screens prevent much of the coffee (and coffee oils) from traveling from the puck to the grouphead. This makes me think that backflushing and shower-screen disassembly and cleaning probably don't need to be done as frequently, and that cleaning powders such as Cafiza might need to be used very rarely if at all.
Correct.
Flushing before and/or after the shot (whichever your preference is) can also be done only for temperature regulating reasons or as a force of habit, rather than as something that helps keep things clean. Everything already is clean.
Also correct.
One thing that might need to be done more frequently is E61 cam lubrication, though skipping the puck screen occasionally may be sufficient to keep things in good working order.
Partially correct. It depends on what you use for cam lube. I was using Haynes Lubri-Film; it does not stay put for very long. I switched to Danco 88693, which is a much thicker, pure silicone plumbers grease and the lube stays in place for a very long time. Caution using plumbers grease; be sure to get one that's pure silicone, as some apparently have other not potable additives.
Have puck screens changed your maintenance schedule?
Absolutely. In addition to the things you mentioned, my drip tray and the sump/drain hose remain very clean. I used to clean them weekly. I now can go for well over a month, and even then, there's just a light film of oil, that wipes right off with soapy water. I've gone as long as three months without using Cafiza on anything. The pucks knock out much cleaner and dryer, slightly reducing the cleaning time for subsequent shots. Getting the sintered screens off the spent puck is trivial; just press down on the edge to release it from the puck and invert into your sink or a small bowl of water. I use the tip of a spoon or my fingernail to do this. I thought that the screens would become clogged; inexplicably, they don't. I just rinse them off and give them a rub with a microfiber cloth. Once in a while, I purge some water from my steam boiler; when I do this, I direct the boiling water over the screens (I have two). I've put them in Cafiza and also in my ultrasonic cleaner and not very much comes out. I bought these on Aliexpress for cheap, just to try them out; I was sure they're BS, but wanted to see for myself. I've been using them for every shot ever since.

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dominico
Team HB

#8: Post by dominico »

I have a vintage two group commercial lever.
A few years ago I retrofitted a couple modern shower screens to fit my 60+ year old groups.
They work great but are a PITA to remove and re mount whenever I have to clean around the piston and behind the screens; which with levers you have to do occasionally since you don't backflush lever groups.
Puck screens have been a godsend. I just rinse the screens at the same time I rinse the portafilters, and my showerscreens are still as clean as the last time I had to pull them.

Headspace has not been an issue; but I also tend to downdose frequently - I can get more shots out of a bag :-) plus downdosing makes it easier to pull balanced shots out of a highly acidic coffee. I could try to crank the temperature up real high, do some preinfusion and flow profiling magic to attempt to yank as many solubles out of a 22g dose and hope I don't get lemon juice, or I can simply dial in with a 15g dose, save myself the hassle, and get 50% more shots out of the bag.
These puck screens make it easier to downdose as well; if you have a machine that is prone to causing chanelling with thinner pucks the screens protect against that.
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Il caffè è un piacere, se non è buono che piacere è?