Cleaning Note: Front flushing an E61 dispersion screen

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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another_jim
Team HB

#1: Post by another_jim »

The old style E61 screen, just wire mesh, stayed clean without any special TLC. The newer screens, with the solid button in the middle, may have a better dispersion pattern, but they crud up and require regular removal and scrubbing. Given the way E61 screens are mounted, this is a massive pita.

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One can reduce the need by "front-flushing." Stick in the blind filter, turn on the machine, let it build to 4 to 5 bar, then loosen the PF. The pressure blasts out most of the accumulated crud. You can finish with a backflush. If you let it build to full pressure, you may get more of a blast, but I can't twist open the PF against that pressure.
Jim Schulman

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Marshall

#2: Post by Marshall »

Mine (new style) have stayed quite clean with this regimen: Backflush for 5 seconds, switch off for 15. Repeat four times. I do this twice a week with water and once every three weeks with detergent (all per Chris Nachtrieb's suggestion). When I replace the stiff old gaskets, the screens are always clean on top.
Marshall
Los Angeles

rpirong

#3: Post by rpirong » replying to Marshall »

That's all pretty neat stuff, but useless info unless we know how many shots per day you pull. Just a thought while trying to keep it clean.

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Can your equipment be "too" clean? Below is an E61 dispersion screen after two Puro Caff backflushes following the instructions. The grouphead surfaces looked squeaky, but there was still a smidgen of grinds left behind:

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This was after less than 20 espressos and dozens of water backflushes (part of temperature calibration for a new E61 thermocouple adapter).
Dan Kehn

rpirong

#5: Post by rpirong »

I'm all for keeping it clean, but I'm thinking the backflush with detergent regimen outlined by Marshall should have a little history behind it. Every three weeks with detergent might be fine if your pulling 7 shots per or week or 30?

I'm interested seeing as how I recently bought a used Andrea from a private seller and in trying to determine the best cleaning schedule using backflush detergent by calling and emailing all the usual susupects, have received answers from never to once a day.

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Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#6: Post by Compass Coffee »

HB wrote:Can your equipment be "too" clean? Below is an E61 dispersion screen after two Puro Caff backflushes following the instructions. The grouphead surfaces looked squeaky, but there was still a smidgen of grinds left behind:

image

This was after less than 20 espressos and dozens of water backflushes (part of temperature calibration for a new E61 thermocouple adapter).
I'm now a believer. With Silvia anytime I took the group screen off always clean. Well, even though I've followed my same regimen of weekly detergent back flushing and water only back flushing after every session (whether 1 shot or a dozen water back flush after session) decided to take a look. First detergent back flushed (Cafiza) then tried the pressure wiggle technique in other thread to loosen remove gasket & screen, which worked quite well, thanks for the tip! (E61 Bric') The inside wall of my screen was worse than the pic Dan showed!
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Oh well, pic didn't come out too good and too late to take another, screen already Cafiza soaking.

BTW, Bric' now 'bout 8 months old on ~16hrs a day. No PF leaking or needing to "romp" the PF really tight like with Silvia. How often can I expect to need gasket replacement? (have two individually vac bag sealed to keep 'em fresh already on hand:-)
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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Marshall

#7: Post by Marshall »

rpirong wrote:That's all pretty neat stuff, but useless info unless we know how many shots per day you pull. Just a thought while trying to keep it clean.
3-4 shots a day.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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HB
Admin

#8: Post by HB »

rpirong wrote:I'm interested seeing as how I recently bought a used Andrea from a private seller and in trying to determine the best cleaning schedule using backflush detergent by calling and emailing all the usual susupects, have received answers from never to once a day.
Yes, how often to clean and what determines when it's necessary is frequently debated (by elapsed time? number of shots? both?). I agree with the recommendations in Espresso Machine Cleaning - Why, How, and When, and the comments in the article feedback echo this thread's main points.
Dan Kehn