Help: Bottomless Portafilter Spitting All Over Creation - Page 5

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Jeff
Team HB

#41: Post by Jeff »

I would also agree that the Vario is a competent grinder. I used one for several years, without issues with channeling.

daviddecristoforo

#42: Post by daviddecristoforo »

No matter how much we know, there's always more to learn! I was having similar problems and, like you, I was trying everything. Then I read that if you don't dry the basket, you will see channeling! I immediately realized that I was using a wet basket as I started out by heating the pf in hot water and rinsing it out in between shots but not drying it. So I started drying the basket out and my shots came together! So simple but one of those things you have to know!
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GEGIJr

#43: Post by GEGIJr »

I've used an Breville Infuser since 2013 along with a Breville Smart Grinder Pro. Up until last 4-5 months never tried using a NPF But in effort to improve my game I bought a NPF along with a Vario-886 (new) back in February 2021. I first used the NPF with the SGP and had no cosistentency getting non-spurting pulls and I tried it all from changing dose to charging grind. Occasionally I could get a clean NPF pull but most had at least some spurting. Eventually I phrased out the SGP and began using the Vario-886 exclusively. Well, that was a complete nightmare! First, Baratza had to send me a new grinder because the original one just stopped grinding on any setting! Even with the 2nd Vario-886 I have had nothing but trouble dialing it in to suit the Infuser even using the stock double spout pf. I'd get a good technical shot and a few minutes later get an awful shot either too long or completely clog the machine. Believe me, I did everything correctly between shots. Even when I'd get the grind and dose dialed-in pulling a non-spurting NPF shot was more miss than hit. The Vario-886 has been a nightmare when it comes to changing back to espresso from pour-over or even when just opening a new bag even if the same coffee. Getting a consistent non-spurting NPF pull from the Infuser is also a nightmare.

GEGIJr

#44: Post by GEGIJr »

I know this old post.
You have got to be kidding. You all consider almost $600 as upper low end? That is not what I read and view on manufacturer websites, coffee equipment retailers websites, or in YouTube videos. Also, I always read to spend 40-50% of cost of espresso machine on the grinder. I'm just a middle class retired baby boomer consumer that enjoys making an espresso for Long Black and occasionally for a cappuccino or for use in a cocktail. Please tell me I can get a decent traditional espresso at home without breaking into my retirement fund?

CSME9

#45: Post by CSME9 »

Don't have to break the bank on a grinder, I pull very good shots with 2 run of the mil grinders. Fresh beans, grind, tamp and pull on a bottomless 58mm. No tricks, or special events to go through.

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#46: Post by baldheadracing »

GEGIJr wrote:... You all consider almost $600 as upper low end? ...
Yes - well, I do, when looking at MSRP's and electric grinders. "High-end" seems to start at around $2500.

To me, a Vario plus a hundred dollars or so for steel burrs and some Forté parts plus a half-day of work produces a very decent grinder for pourover or non-traditional (lighter-roasted) espresso ('or,' not 'and').
- bigger flat burr makes always better grinding result than smaller one - H. Lee

GEGIJr

#47: Post by GEGIJr »

CSME9 wrote:Don't have to break the bank on a grinder, I pull very good shots with "2 run of the mil grinders". Fresh beans, grind, tamp and pull on a bottomless 58mm. No tricks, or special events to go through.
What is meant by "2 run of the mil grinders"? Please elaborate.

CSME9

#48: Post by CSME9 »

"GEGIJr Wrote:

"What is meant by "2 run of the mil grinders"? Please elaborate.

A Rancilio Rocky, grind settings are not as tight as newer grinders, syrupy shots w/good mouthfeel, a workhorse... and a Quamar 80e.

Nate42

#49: Post by Nate42 »

GEGIJr wrote:I know this old post.
You have got to be kidding. You all consider almost $600 as upper low end? That is not what I read and view on manufacturer websites, coffee equipment retailers websites, or in YouTube videos. Also, I always read to spend 40-50% of cost of espresso machine on the grinder. I'm just a middle class retired baby boomer consumer that enjoys making an espresso for Long Black and occasionally for a cappuccino or for use in a cocktail. Please tell me I can get a decent traditional espresso at home without breaking into my retirement fund?
Let me reiterate that your grinder is fine. It's an unfortunate reality that the baratza grinders are prone to problems, because what baratza is trying to do (provide high quality in the cup to the consumer market at somewhat affordable prices) is difficult. They cut corners to keep price down. Fortunately they make up for it by providing good support. If you are willing to potentially replace a part now and then, there's no reason why you can't keep a Vario going for years. My $2500 Monolith flat is better than your Vario, but it isn't 4 times better. The Baratzas tend to be pretty good price/performance values.

I don't know your machine, but many have commented that the breville infuser doesn't do well with bottomless portafilters. This also means it's prone to uneven extractions, but if you stick with easier to extract darker roasts that's not a huge concern. If you are unwilling to upgrade your machine, you pretty much have to live with that, but that' s not necessarily a problem.

My advice: use the spouted portafilter, stick with darker coffee, and relax. Since you are going for long blacks and cappuccinos (meaning you are going to dilute it anyway) you might find you get more consistent results with a coarser grind and a larger shot volume. I'm sure your setup can be used to make coffee you'll enjoy.

GEGIJr

#50: Post by GEGIJr »

I would hope your $2500 grinder is better than my $570 grinder otherwise you got shafted :wink:
You are pretty much spot on with the suggestion I use dark roast, grind coarser and pull a larger ratio. That's pretty much what I do. It helps that I don't even like most light roast coffee especially with a fruity or citrus taste UGH!
Just as a side note since my Vario-886 was still under warranty Baratza offered to send me a refurbished Vario-886 with the metal grind chamber and burr carriers like in the new Vario+. Just got it yesterday 1/26/22. Hopefully the metal will allow me to get a more repeatable and consistent grind especially when moving between brew methods.
Sincere Regards to you for your time and advice.