New to La Pavoni Professional PRG - some issues

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#1: Post by Floaty »

Hi all,

I'm Rick from The Netherlands and bought a La Pavoni Professional PRG post millenium, second hand last week, accompanied with a Demoka M203 grinder. After a long internal debate between lever or no-lever machines, I took the chance on the La Pavoni Lever machine. I once used a Elektra Microcasa on holiday in Italy and I was sold. I like the "manual" face of it and approaching the sweetspot by "feel". Although I'm far from the perfect shot, I was pretty astouned as the first shots were not terrible at all. Beforehand I expected a quite narrow sweetspot, where before and after is quickly getting awefull. Definetly not the case I experienced for now, I'm literally blown away already.

Although I got into some issues:

After pushing out 30+ shots since last week, I noticed that the portafilter gets in the group-head very difficult and I am unable to push it to the side as it used to be. When I remove the basket and put it back in, that's more the way I expect the portafilter get in place properly.
So I doubt if the Portafilter is the correct one to the make of the grouphead. The underpart of the grouphead is 60mm, so that should imply post millenium. The Portafilter got a 12mm boss for the handle, which implies a post-millenium as well.
On the schematics of the different parts, I should expect a spring-ring to keep the basket in place when knocking out the puck, but it seems mine doesn't have that option.
When using a single shot basket, coned a bit on the belly, I hardly get 10 to 11 grams in there. It feels the groupmask is touching coffee. When I put more in there, I can't even get the portafilter in the lock-sleeve. So something isn't right if you ask me. Maybe some corrosion on the sleeve ridge?

The former owner gave two 49mm tampers with it (both fancy CNC Stainless steel one and plastic La Pavoni one), where I need a 51 to 53mm tamper to cover the basket properly. That fed my assumption the kit I got was not all of the same make. Next to a tamper that fits I also need a proper scale, tamp mat/bucket, naked portafilter, etc.

Will get there, just enjoying it already while there is so much to gain.

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#2: Post by ojt »

11 grams on the single basket is already stretching it, on the limits. The "standard" would be 7-9 grams. Try your dose with the nickel test, placing a coin on the tamped puck and lock in the portafilter. If you can then see it leaving a mark you're dosing too much. The dose will depend for example on the roast level, dark roast will occupy more space per weight etc.

Otherwise sounds normal to me.. or at least can't figure out anything of your description. Did you change and / or lube the gaskets? Wondering if the grouphead to PF gasket is old / sticky. Or perhaps the grouphead sleeve might be a bit lower than normal, though this is a bit far-fetched.

Floaty (original poster)

#3: Post by Floaty (original poster) »

Ok, I just tested a 9 gram shot and seems to be working better (with a pretty dark roast). I had 12 grams in my mind, taken from James Hoffmann's Europiccola review. I'll try the nickel test as well to be sure. Still fidling around with the ground size to have the proper feedback from the lever. It's a bit too easy for the feel of it, creating OK-ish crema.

I didn't do any maintenance on it yet. Former owner said it was recently maintained. I will take it apart soon to check the gaskets and do a descale as well. I already saw some topics on that overhere.