Removing portafilter chrome?

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grong

#1: Post by grong »

Chris Tracy mentions in the review of the Bricoletta a preference to remove the chrome from the inside of the portafilter, feeling it responsible for imparting a bright, unpleasant taste. This brass surface is then maintained by seasoning with espresso, and cleaning and polishing regularly with cleanser solution and green scrubby.

Any ideas for a good way to remove the chrome? It is sort of hit and miss on the inside of my Isomac portafilter, not the solid plating found on the bowl's outside. It would take a long time to remove with a green scrubby.

I notice that the bowl of a three-year old, well used Isomac portafilter is down to the brass. Perhaps I drank a fair amount of chrome over this time.

Well, thanks!

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malachi

#2: Post by malachi »

you can plug the drain and use acid.
or you can use an abrasive fitting on a drill press.

oh... and there is no R in my last name.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

grong

#3: Post by grong »

Thanks, Chris Tacy!

I will try the sandpaper.

As for acid, would any strong acid do, such as citric or acetic?

grong

#4: Post by grong »

I used Norton sandpaper, 220 grit, by hand, and was through the thin chrome and into brass very quickly. Then I worked through some minor pitting, and down to a smooth polished bowl. I finished up with a polish of 400 grit, and the bowl seems very smooth.

I should probably do the same to the spout, but that chrome looks like it is fully plated. Anybody else do this?


grong

Ken Fox

#5: Post by Ken Fox » replying to grong »

I honestly believe that this is absolutely crazy, and I don't care who has recommended it.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#6: Post by RapidCoffee »

Ken Fox wrote:I honestly believe that this is absolutely crazy, and I don't care who has recommended it.
Ditto. My taste buds aren't good enough to taste the chrome PF coating (compared e.g. to naked PF shots). But then I'm not Chris Tacy.

True confessions time: I even (gasp) use dish detergent to clean my PF and baskets. (There goes whatever credibility I might have had. :) )

Ken Fox

#7: Post by Ken Fox » replying to RapidCoffee »

So do I. That "cleaning" article has among the highest noise to signal ratios I've ever encountered.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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Dooglas

#8: Post by Dooglas »

grong wrote:Any ideas for a good way to remove the chrome?
I'd back up to the why question. I understand that chrome eventually wears off of brass in use or can be removed by overenthusiastic attempts at descaling. I don't agree that is a good thing. The point of chrome is that it does not corrode. Brass does. If you are going to worry about contaminating your coffee with anything metallic, I'd think it would be the oxidizing copper, zinc, etc in the brass. Actually, since copper and zinc (and chrome) are commonly used in plumbing; its probably not a big issue.

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AndyS

#9: Post by AndyS »

grong wrote:I used Norton sandpaper, 220 grit, by hand, and was through the thin chrome and into brass very quickly. Then I worked through some minor pitting, and down to a smooth polished bowl. I finished up with a polish of 400 grit, and the bowl seems very smooth.

I should probably do the same to the spout, but that chrome looks like it is fully plated. Anybody else do this?
Ken Fox wrote:I honestly believe that this is absolutely crazy, and I don't care who has recommended it.

Crazy like a fox? :-)

But seriously, the thing about removing the chrome plating on your PF is that the effect is easily tested, if you have two PFs (one with, one without) and a means to keep them both hot (two group machine, etc).

But there's another issue that I don't understand, and I could use the help of you, Ken, and the other gurus on HB. Any tips for removing the chrome on a bottomless portafilter? :-P
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

Ken Fox

#10: Post by Ken Fox »

AndyS wrote:But seriously, the thing about removing the chrome plating on your PF is that the effect is easily tested, if you have two PFs (one with, one without) and a means to keep them both hot (two group machine, etc).

But there's another issue that I don't understand, and I could use the help of you, Ken, and the other gurus on HB. Any tips for removing the chrome on a bottomless portafilter? :-P
Send it to Versalab and have Laura breath on it? :mrgreen:

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955