Olympia Cremina jet destroying puck

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adamzero
Posts: 7
Joined: 2 years ago

#1: Post by adamzero »

Hi everyone,

My first time posting, though I've been lurking and learning from you all for years. I have a quite old Cremina, inherited, that was last overhauled four years ago by Cerini and which I've been happily enjoying daily ever since. Some time over the last week or two-- it took me a while to realize what was happening, I'm barely conscious in the mornings, usually rushing, and first few times I thought it was a fluke-- I noticed that the puck had a deep (1/4" or more, 1/2" wide) uneven divot in the 6 o clock position (i.e., closest to my body, furthest from the boiler). I have done nothing to the machine in the intervening time since whenever I had lovely pucks and whenever these divots started. Running water through the machine without the PF, the culprit was immediately obvious: several streams of water jabbing through the shower screen like needles, angled away from the center of the screen, at full speed as long as the handle is up. The taste of the espresso is suffering. I am suffering.

I read this lengthy thread, which was very interesting, but seems inapplicable, because nothing has changed recently about my machine. What could be the culprit? What should I do? (I am not the most handy person, though I can do things with sufficient guidance and handholding.) I would be very grateful for your help. If no one has ideas I'll take it in to Cerini but last time I called them, for another problem that I managed to fix myself, they were backed up for months.

(Will post pictures of the divot and video of the water tomorrow or this weekend.)

Thanks,
adam

LObin
Posts: 1823
Joined: 7 years ago

#2: Post by LObin »

Hi Adam,
I would simply get a puck screen and appreciate all the other benefits that it also comes with.

It immediately solved a similar issue I had with a Europiccola. Better extractions, reduced channeling, drier pucks and cleaner group.

Game changers, even more so with those smaller lever groups.

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

bakafish
Posts: 629
Joined: 11 years ago

#3: Post by bakafish »

Have you tried to take the shower screen out and clean it?

adamzero (original poster)
Posts: 7
Joined: 2 years ago

#4: Post by adamzero (original poster) »

Be kind to your neighborhood idiot. :oops: I took the shower screen off -- for the very first time -- and there was a rock hard black layer 1/8" thick covering the whole back of the screen. Basically the water was coming through some of the only holes it could.

If the mods want to delete this thread to hide my shame, that would be appreciated. Otherwise I guess it can stand as a warning to other foolish newbies to come.

ojt
Posts: 843
Joined: 6 years ago

#5: Post by ojt »

That's quite alright, we've all been there :)

Anyway I'd consider the puck screen, or simply coffee filter paper disks, as among other benefits they keep the screen squeaky clean.
Osku

CoolHandLukey
Posts: 18
Joined: 2 years ago

#6: Post by CoolHandLukey »

adamzero wrote:Be kind to your neighborhood idiot. :oops: I took the shower screen off -- for the very first time -- and there was a rock hard black layer 1/8" thick covering the whole back of the screen. Basically the water was coming through some of the only holes it could.

If the mods want to delete this thread to hide my shame, that would be appreciated. Otherwise I guess it can stand as a warning to other foolish newbies to come.
Foolish would be creating a problem or making a simple problem complex due to lack of good judgement.

Helping with simple problems is a pleasure for many. Therefore, no worries when overlooking some of the more obvious troubleshooting areas. 'Obvious' is different for some and changes for many from time to time.
Death is not evil let alone the worst of evils. 'Live free or die'

drH
Posts: 891
Joined: 4 years ago

#7: Post by drH »

Once it's cleaned up and serviced, definitely try a puck screen. I've used one but instead I typically just tamp in an aeropress filter. It also keeps the machine very clean and lengthens the time needed between service. That said, I still make it a point to remove the piston, clean the cylinder and screen and lubricate everything at least annually.

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LBIespresso
Supporter ❤
Posts: 1243
Joined: 7 years ago

#8: Post by LBIespresso replying to drH »

+1 for the paper filter route. Also, the speed that you lift the lever matters. While I need a paper filter with my CT2, I don't with the Cremina if I lift the lever slowly.

And don't be ashamed...you surely have worse mistakes in your coffee future. We all do.
LMWDP #580

adamzero (original poster)
Posts: 7
Joined: 2 years ago

#9: Post by adamzero (original poster) »

two more questions:
1.something I've been wondering: wouldn't the "Fellini" technique pull a lot more grinds and oils up past the screen, and accelerate the fouling process?

2. how do you clean your shower screen? it was an ordeal, after scraping off the thick layer, i had to scrape out each hole with a pin, and it still wasn't squeaky clean. there must be a better way. i tried stiff brushes and toothbrushes but they didn't do the trick.

(thanks for being so nice everyone)

mgwolf
Supporter ♡
Posts: 827
Joined: 18 years ago

#10: Post by mgwolf »

Soaking the screen in Cafiza or similar will help immensely.