What causes puck to stick to grouphead?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
chanty 77

#1: Post by chanty 77 »

I pulled two shots & most of puck came out of portafilter basket when I removed it from grouphead and stuck on grouphead.. Could this be because too much coffee in basket? (19g), too hot of temp. 202°. This roast is too acidic for me, and had to raise the temp. from about 199-200° I have been using for more of a typical medium roast. Thanks.


#2: Post by slaughter »

I had the same problem in my Barista Express. Sometimes the puck was stuck on the grouphead as I was removing the portafilter. Very surprised when I saw it for the first time. Never figured out the pattern or how to fix it.

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#3: Post by SteveRhinehart »

It seems to be mostly an issue of headspace above the puck, and something intrinsic to the coffee used. I've observed it happening with coffees of a wide variety of roast levels and origins, but then similarly roasted coffees with a similar amount of headspace didn't stick for reasons I couldn't place.

In any effect, the solutions are usually simple:
1. Dose less coffee. More headspaces decreases the chances this will happen at all. If you want to use that particular dose, get a larger basket to accommodate it.
2. If your puck is stuck, hit the brew switch again for a second. That will release the puck almost every time for me, and I've done this across many different machines with the same result. At worst it's a little stubborn and will hold on until water hits the screen.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#4: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) » replying to SteveRhinehart »

Thanks, yes---I kind of thought this was the headspace. I typically don't use 19 grams of beans for many shots. This is only 13 days post roast, and I have made it somewhat finer than any bean I've used. It also may be the particular bean as this hasn't happened to me but very rarely.

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#5: Post by yakster »

You can put an aeropress filter over the puck to keep your grouphead cleaner. It may even help distribute the water and prevent channeling.

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chanty 77 (original poster)

#6: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) » replying to yakster »

Thanks, I'll have to look up that filter. Typically this has happened maybe 2% of my espresso making. It might have been because of the 19g of beans.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#7: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) »

I don't know if this has much to do with this, but we live in a 1929-year-old home with NO central air. In fact, we just have fans going right now--as it hit over 90° for 3 days straight, and today 83°---but high dewpoint over 70 & high humidity. So, maybe that could have to do with the puck sticking to the group head? Also, I had two sink shots because one ran too fast, the other too slow. Normally don't have this issue with my new machines (Rocket Faustino grinder & Lelit Victoria espresso machine). With my old equipment, it was almost useless trying to make espresso on really hot & humid days. I wonder if this plays into the equation even with better equipment now?

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#8: Post by jgood »

Try using either a smaller dose or a bigger basket.