How and when should I clean the portafilter and shower?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
pontoon

#1: Post by pontoon » Nov 06, 2019, 4:50 pm

Hey all, I just got my Profitec 700 w/ flow control.

I'm dialing in my grind right now. This means I'm doing some back to back shots. I understand I should not use tap water to clean the handle as this will cool the handle too much. How should I get the water and leftover grounds out of the handle after whacking out the puck?

So far I've tried using the hot water dispenser, which kind of makes a mess of water and grounds all around the drip tray and on the counter. I also tried using a towel, and this may be fine. It dirties the towel quite a bit. What do you all do?

Regarding the shower, I noticed after a shot there will be some scattered grounds clinging to the shower. I don't think the dose is being pressed into the shower. I think during extraction some grounds find their way to swim in the water? In any case, at what times should I clean the shower with the plastic brush, and what's the right technique for this? So far I run a little water and scrub it and then run some more until it's clean. I definitely did this for the last shot of the day. On some shots I cleaned between but maybe this is overkill. I tried scrubbing while running hot water but this seemed to make a watery mess and got hot water on my hand.

Sorry for the newbie questions. I've got more machine than skill right now.

tjtiz66

#2: Post by tjtiz66 » Nov 06, 2019, 5:44 pm

You're doing what I did at the beginning. You're splitting hairs. A few grounds left on the shower aren't going to ruin your shot potential. That being said, my normal routine for the last couple of years has been to purge the group head, pull the shot, purge the group head for a few seconds, brush the shower screen, purge again for a few more seconds, clean out the portafilter with a small piece of paper towel, run water through the portafilter, and then if it's the last coffee of the day I'll wash it at the sink. If it's not the last shot of the day, then I feel that running water through the portafilter is sufficient enough. If I'm pulling multiple shots then I don't brush unless there's a decent amount to brush aside. If we're talking a few specs of grounds, don't sweat it.

My fourth sentence above is long, but the whole process maybe takes 45 seconds. I'm cleaner than most others I've met who will only run water through their baskets once per week (yuck).

Now to build on your questions, do you guys with a Profitec 700 or Synchronika notice that with 18g of a light roast you have quite a lot of room in the basket? I think the units come with 18g baskets, but it's hard to be comfortable with when I'm used to using a medium-dark roast that fills most of the basket.

DeGaulle

#3: Post by DeGaulle » Nov 06, 2019, 6:38 pm

pontoon wrote:Hey all, I just got my Profitec 700 w/ flow control.

I'm dialing in my grind right now. This means I'm doing some back to back shots. I understand I should not use tap water to clean the handle as this will cool the handle too much. How should I get the water and leftover grounds out of the handle after whacking out the puck?

So far I've tried using the hot water dispenser, which kind of makes a mess of water and grounds all around the drip tray and on the counter. I also tried using a towel, and this may be fine. It dirties the towel quite a bit. What do you all do?

Regarding the shower, I noticed after a shot there will be some scattered grounds clinging to the shower. I don't think the dose is being pressed into the shower. I think during extraction some grounds find their way to swim in the water? In any case, at what times should I clean the shower with the plastic brush, and what's the right technique for this? So far I run a little water and scrub it and then run some more until it's clean. I definitely did this for the last shot of the day. On some shots I cleaned between but maybe this is overkill. I tried scrubbing while running hot water but this seemed to make a watery mess and got hot water on my hand.

Sorry for the newbie questions. I've got more machine than skill right now.
Instead of brushing and running water out of the group simultaneously, try doing it in succession, that will keep you from burning your hand :D .The stock brushes that typically come with these machines are on the short side. I recommend you get a Pallo brush (longer handle, so again less chance of scalding your hand).
I don't think it is overkill to do a flush-scrub-flush routine in between every two shots. Low volume use means that there is more chance of old coffee oils building up inside the brew group as oppsed to a commercial setting where more of these oils are flushed out as a result of the more intensive usage pattern of the machine.

At the end of the day, I suggest you insert the blindfilter and run two water-only backflushes. If you see grounds being feft in the blindfilter, then do a quick wiggle-rinse.

This kind of regimen keeps the brew Group fairly clean for a few weeks, but since oils are insoluble in water, you still have to run backflushes with detergent once every 3-4 weeks (6-7 backflushes with detergent, rinse the group, then 6-7 backflushes with water only).
Bert

Bret
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Bret » Nov 06, 2019, 8:34 pm

In between shots done one right after the other, I do a flush, and a short rinse/dry of the portafilter/basket. This doesn't happen very often, though, since I am usually just making espresso for myself.

At the end of every session, I do the following:

_Rinse and clean the portafilter & basket under hot tap water (in my case, both the top and bottom of the basket since I use a bottomless portafilter)

_I do a 6 second flush (because I have set a button* on my 920 for that)

_I rinse the shower screen and surrounding area, including the gasket using a laboratory rinse/squirt bottle. (A flush alone does not clear all of the particles from the basket)

_I wipe the screen with a tightly folded paper towel, and then push the edge of the paper towel up around the rest of the group interior.

_I do another 6 second backflush with the blind basket portafilter combo that I keep ready.

*6 seconds with the blind basket is just the right duration for the pressure to get up to 7+bars for the backflush)

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by Nunas » Nov 07, 2019, 1:45 pm

Concerning the portafilter basket, the mass of the basket is inconsequential compared to the mass of the PF. Therefore, if you hold the PF under a stream of water and slosh it out, the basket will quickly rewarm. I generally use water from the hot tap in my sink. Also, once you get used to doing this, it takes only a tiny amount of water and a quick swirling/dumping motion to rid the basket of all spent grounds. I follow this with a quick dry with a microfibre cloth.

Concerning the group head between shots, I run a quick shot of water without the PF in place to clear any grounds. I used to have a small mirror from an auto parts store to see if it was all clear (and to watch my shots when using a bottomless PF). But, I gave that practice up when I noticed that the shower screen invariably came quite clean. If I have a puck adhere to the screen, I'll sometimes peek under and give it a little rub with a microfibre cloth if anything remains after removing it and flushing (usually it does not). I have a group brush to clean out the group head, but rarely use it. If I see any grinds up there after a messy puck, I loosely put the PF in place with the blind basket and run a bit of water, moving the PF back an forth a bit. This has always got rid of anything that managed to make its way up there. Once in a while, I'll use the group brush in the groove, just on general principles.

For cleaning after I'm done, I always do a blind back flush with plain water (or two if I see see particles in the basket) before shutting off the machine.

I used to clean once a month with a chemical backflush, but have recently given this up, as it removes the lube from the internals of the group. All I do now is drop the screen once a month and give it a cleaning in the sink with plain dish soap and dry with a microfibre cloth. Every few months I soak it, my PF and my baskets in chem, then rinse and dry, as part of a more general cleaning.

pontoon

#6: Post by pontoon » Nov 08, 2019, 1:37 am

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'll be sure to alternate the water and the scrubbing so I don't burn myself any more. :idea: I did get a Pallo brush but was using the stock one.

As far as the blind basket cleaning, apparently my machine tells me to clean it periodically. I just cleaned it with water this time since my manual told me not to over clean it and I've used less than a pound of beans so far. I did operate the handle a lot with just water when I got it trying to get the pump primed, so I guess that's why it thinks it already needs cleaning.

One tip I figured out myself is to use my single spout portafilter to hold the blind basket indefinitely since I don't expect I'll use that too much. Or maybe I should use that one for shots and use the two spout pf for the blind basket.

I'm definitely going to get plenty of microfiber cloths and paper towels. It seems coffee grounds are the glitter of the espresso world.