La Pavoni Europiccola - water coming up before I pull down the lever

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Tempusse

#1: Post by Tempusse »

I have just bought a second hand europiccola. Only 2 years old, good price. No sign of lime or of heavy use.

I plug it in, I wait for it to get hot. I heat up the group head and the portafilter then I fill up the filter with 15g of coffee and I mount it on the machine. When I pull up the lever, I need to pull the lever up to the top for water to flow in the group head. However when I reach the top water (shxxxy coffee) already start to come out of the portafilter and there is no need to pull down the lever for it to pull the shot.

Am I doing something wrong or the machine has some problems?

RobAnybody

#2: Post by RobAnybody »

Hi and welcome to HB.
first of all I would like to recommend the search option on this site, there is tons of information to be found which wil help you with this issue (and potential future problems).

so back to the question:
Tempusse wrote:...then I fill up the filter with 15g of coffee and I mount it on the machine. When I pull up the lever, I need to pull the lever up to the top for water to flow in the group head. However when I reach the top water (shxxxy coffee) already start to come out of the portafilter
what type of coffee are you using?
what you describe often happens with stale coffee.
the definition of stale is quite broad here it ranges from freshly roasted coffee ground more than an hour ago to pre-ground supermarket coffee.

the way to go would be to get a good grinder, buy freshly roasted beans and give it a go.

cheers,
Rob
LMWDP #647

Tempusse (original poster)

#3: Post by Tempusse (original poster) »

Thanks a lot I will give it a go and let you know. Also, thanks for the tip on the search function of the forum I'll use it more and more often going forward ;)

PikesTNT

#4: Post by PikesTNT »

Hi all

I've recently rebuilt my EPiccola and have the same problem. Freshly ground in a reasonable grinder and tamped down quite firmly, yet a thin watery brown liquid flows out as soon as the lever is fully raised. The machine had been out of action for a few years so my memory of its previous performance isn't great but it was definitely better than it is now and I'm using the same grinder.

Is it possible that the adjustment of the lever is allowing it to rise excessively? Probably not because I thought the adjustment for the screw and locknut were done in the lower position......Clutching at straws

I'll try further searching but any advice gratefully received

Thanks in anticipation,

Chris

User avatar
yakster
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by yakster »

So, its normal for the La Pavoni to start filling the portafilter with water once the lever is fully raised and the fineness and freshness of the ground coffee will prevent water from flowing though the coffee puck until you pull down on the lever and provide sufficient pressure to overcome the resistance of the coffee. The coffee dose will come into play as well. With a coffee puck having freshly roasted coffee ground fine enough and with a large enough dose, the water will sit above the coffee puck without dripping through, slowly absorbing some of the water for at least 30 seconds or more waiting for the pull.

If water is flowing through the coffee before you pull down on the lever, the problem is in the coffee puck and not the La Pavoni, make sure that your coffee is fresh and ground fine enough with a large enough dose to provide enough resistance to prevent water from flowing until you pull the lever. If you have fresh coffee roasted in the last week or two your grinder may not be able to grind fine enough. If you have old, stale coffee, no grinder may grind fine enough.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

bwren

#6: Post by bwren »

With the lever fully raised water is pushed up into the grouphead around 0.7-1.1 bar by the pressure in the boiler. If you have a loaded portafilter and raise the lever to the top, and "there is no need to pull down the lever for it to pull the shot", you are extracting coffee at 1/10th of the pressure used for espresso.

The puck needs to present enough resistance to counteract extraction force applied by the lever. You do not have enough coffee, or fine-enough ground coffee, or enough tamp pressure, or a combination of these.

With a proper dose/grind/tamp, when the handle is raised, boiler pressure alone will saturate the puck slowly, and you should see a couple of drops appearing within 5-30 seconds after pre-infuson, after which you apply manual extraction pressure.

User avatar
drgary
Team HB

#7: Post by drgary »

I would add to these responses that often I grind and dose fresh coffee and raise the lever and have droplets into the cup. The droplets slow down as the coffee cake gets fully soaked. This isn't a bad thing. I am preinfusing the coffee. But you don't want it just running through like you describe. If you grind it too fine or dose it too high you can choke the machine and you may need to pull down very hard to create espresso. Such espresso will not have any crema. You can also damage the machine by exerting too much force. The general guideline is no more than 30 lbs. of pressure, which can be measured by putting the machine on an analog scale while you pull a shot.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!