Cleaning the portafilter between shots - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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Bob_McBob

#11: Post by Bob_McBob »

I've always done a light flush with the portafilter locked in loosely, then wiped the basket and group screen with a dry cloth after every shot. I also pull a warming flush before every session, and backflush with water at the end of the session. Is this abnormal in some way? I've tried just wiping the basket with a cloth, but the grounds quickly make it very dirty (especially if the puck didn't knock out cleanly), and there's almost always coffee stuck to the screen after flushing, anyway.

I still flush the portafilter between shots with my lever machine, doing a couple of quick shallow pulls. No backflushing, of course.
Chris

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michaelbenis

#12: Post by michaelbenis »

I also just wipe between shots and only flush/clean thoroughly at the end of the day - apart obviously from when I'm changing to different beans.

I find the biodegradable Skoy cloth which Orphan Espresso sells great for this. It picks up grounds very effectively without staining easily, lasts for ages and cleans up nicely. In my opinion it's definitely one of the unsung heroes in their line up.

Cheers

Mike
LMWDP No. 237

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Peppersass
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#13: Post by Peppersass »

After a shot, I knock out the puck and run hot water from the wand into the basket to rinse it out, giving the inside and bottom of the basket a quick scrub with a Pallo brush (easy with a naked pf.) Then I run the group, waiting for a second or two for any loose coffee to fall off the screen, then scrub the screen with the Pallo brush. Then I rinse both sides of the basket again, do a PF wiggle (or is it wriggle?) and wipe the basket dry with a cloth. I'll have to try wiping the screen, too, to see if anything was left behind by the brush.

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Marshall

#14: Post by Marshall »

I have realized over the past two weeks that people's happiness or dissatisfaction with the GS/3 driptray cover arises even more from their cleaning rituals than from the availability of a nearby sink. Even though mine is plumbed in, I continue my water saving habits of relying mainly on brush and rag. I think flushing lots of water through the brewhead still leaves gunk on the screen and that "portafilter wiggles" are useless. If people want to really clean out the gasket and adjacent wall between shots, try the new Cafelat brushes. They do it with a couple of motions.
Marshall
Los Angeles

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JonR10

#15: Post by JonR10 »

My machine is plumbed in but not near a sink, so I rinse my basket using water from the group after knocking out the puck. Then I remove the (ridgeless) basket from my (bottomless) portafilter. I lock the PF back into the group and wipe the basket with a towel.

So when I prepare a shot, it's always in a clean and dry basket
Marshall wrote:If people want to really clean out the gasket and adjacent wall between shots, try the new Cafelat brushes. They do it with a couple of motions.
I love the cafelat gasket brush, and it has become part of my daily routine...

But I also do a PF wiggle both before and after after brushing. My PF wiggle technique may be more useful than some others because I hold the PF just under the group and allow the blind basket to fill with water to overflowing just before I lock in to the group to wiggle. This creates a very effective flushing action and you can see the gunk being rinsed out (much of it rests on top of the GS3 drip tray cover until rinsed or wiped away).

To finish my cleaning routine, I backflush with a skosh of detergent (maybe 1/8 tsp.) followed by the autoclean cycle (15-ish cycles of plain water backflushes) and finally wipe the screen with a towel.


Offtopic...even though I intentionally flow quite a bit of water throughout my sessions and when cleaning this does not cause issues for me with the drip tray grate. I made a *slight* modification to mine, raising the front edge so that it has an almost imperceptible lean downwards from front to back. Small amounts of water now tend to roll off the backside of the grate and into the tray instead of sliding off the sides or front of the tray and flowing onto the counter.
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, Texas

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jammin

#16: Post by jammin »

Marshall wrote:If people want to really clean out the gasket and adjacent wall between shots, try the new Cafelat brushes. They do it with a couple of motions.
JonR10 wrote:I love the cafelat gasket brush, and it has become part of my daily routine...
I got one a while ago and never really fell in love with it. I only used it with my BZ07 though, maybe I'll have to give it a try again on the my GS/3. The two machines have very different geometery to the gasket area.

I'm still a big fan of the Palo Tool and feel it works very well. Better yet(for me), is a nice stash of micro-fiber towels. I get a new one out every night when I toss the dirty one in the wash at the end of the day. I put a lot of miles on those towels. I use them for wiping the shower screen, wiping out baskets between/after shots and the machine itself. A quick blast from the steam wand onto the towel makes for a great hot/moist rag to wipe the machine down for a nice shine.

bgn

#17: Post by bgn »

I realize that I'm ready for the switch to bottomless portafilter, but not for the visibility of the pour, but for the ease of clean up. The portafilter belly under the basket gets really nasty fast. Thanks for the tip about wiping the shower screen with a rag after every shot. Very good idea.

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Peppersass
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#18: Post by Peppersass »

JonR10 wrote:Offtopic...even though I intentionally flow quite a bit of water throughout my sessions and when cleaning this does not cause issues for me with the drip tray grate. I made a *slight* modification to mine, raising the front edge so that it has an almost imperceptible lean downwards from front to back. Small amounts of water now tend to roll off the backside of the grate and into the tray instead of sliding off the sides or front of the tray and flowing onto the counter.
I guess you didn't like my ugly chopped cooling rack :(

Seriously, I'll have to give this one a try. I'd love to put the pretty cover back on. How did you raise the front edge? I'm thinking a sliver or two of Dynamat might do it.

Back on topic, I scrub the screen with a brush between shots, but I don't do more than a cursory swipe around the gasket, and I don't dig the brush in the space between the gasket and wall. It's just a couple of quick scrubs to get any loose coffee off the screen. I save a more thorough group cleanup for the end of the day, when I remove the screen, rinse and brush it thoroughly with a small amount of detergent, do the same for any baskets I used, and do a plain water backflush.

Once a week, I do a 30-minute detergent soak of all the metal parts and a detergent backflush. For that, I put one Pallo scoop (1/2 tsp, I think) in the blind basket, mix with a tad of hot water, backflush a couple of times to distribute the detergent, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I rinse out the basket, put in another 1/2 tsp of detergent, dilute it, and set the machine on automatic backflush. After that, I do two plain water automatic backflush cycles to make sure all the soap is cleaned out. Finally, I check the flow rate (a hangover from my bad experience with my first GS/3.)

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Peppersass
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#19: Post by Peppersass »

Marshall wrote:I have realized over the past two weeks that people's happiness or dissatisfaction with the GS/3 driptray cover arises even more from their cleaning rituals than from the availability of a nearby sink. Even though mine is plumbed in, I continue my water saving habits of relying mainly on brush and rag.
My cleaning rituals and the non-availability of a nearby sink definitely figure into my dissatisfaction with the driptray. So does dumping out cup-warming water, doing a sanitary flush before pulling the shot, rinsing out used cups, cleaning the screen and pf, etc., etc., etc. One of the great things about plumbing in the machine has been the ability for it to serve as a convenient sink.

I don't worry a lot about saving water because we have a well and septic system. With the amount of mountain snow melt we get, I don't believe the aquifer is in any immediate danger of depletion, and the waste water ends up back there eventually anyway. No energy is expended recycling our water.

But I still subscribe to the old motto: "Save water, shower with a friend" (at least that's what I tell my wife :mrgreen: )

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#20: Post by cannonfodder »

Knock out the puck, pulse the pump for a few seconds to clear the screen, wipe the screen with a bar towel, pulse the pump again to rinse out the portafilter, wipe it out and put it back in the group. If I am pulling multiple shots, then I will wipe the portafilter out, a very short pulse to rinse the shower screen of grinds and prepare my next shot.
Dave Stephens