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Thread: Portafilter and Baskets

  1. #1
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    Portafilter and Baskets

    I bought a Pesado SS handle and an IMS basket a year ago and have been using it since then.

    I then decided to go back to my Wega standard baskets and portafilters.

    The Pesado with a nice wooden handle does look nice but the spout is narrow and so it will spurt water out of an HX machine when cooling for a shot. Not a big issue.

    In fact I like the Pesado. Nice.

    I also have an IMS 18gram basket and ironically that lead to the purchase of the Pesado as the IMS 18 gram Basket was too deep.

    I have now gone back to the very nice brass Wega handle and standard basket. Yeah I like it. I also like brass in the handle as it holds the heat nicely and the spout is nice and wide so it doesn't ever spray water.

    I understand the theoretical advantages with these high technology baskets but honestly, I'm happier just with the standard handle.

    Anyone else here been through the same journey and gone back?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    I've tried to use the existing baskets on a few of my machines, but always ended back with the naked and vst baskets, maybe I just don't give the stock baskets enough time and never dialed them in well enough, but they didn't seem to be better so I went back.

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    I think there were a few factors with me. The standard handle is lovely with Wega logo embossed on the chrome end. It is also brass which I like better than Stainless and brass is an awesome conductor of heat. The portafilter curves so it throws the puck out easier too and finally the spout is broader so it doesn't spray water. I accept extraction may be less but it tastes just fine.

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    Are naked portafilters worth getting for the BES900s?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultrasuede View Post
    Are naked portafilters worth getting for the BES900s?
    I have to say I have never used one and don't want to. They are for the very particular people who want to see what is going on with the pour.

    If you are that fussy I would get a decent machine and grinder first before paying out for a naked portafilter which is worth half the cost of your machine. You also need to check what portafilters will run on it. Portafilters are made in different diameters with different lug offsets so I'm sure someone here can help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I have to say I have never used one and don't want to. They are for the very particular people who want to see what is going on with the pour.

    If you are that fussy I would get a decent machine and grinder first before paying out for a naked portafilter which is worth half the cost of your machine. You also need to check what portafilters will run on it. Portafilters are made in different diameters with different lug offsets so I'm sure someone here can help you.
    Who's selling 900s for $140?
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Who's selling 900s for $140?
    Naked portafilters can cost up to $200...

    I am sure you can get cheaper but good ones aren't cheap. Once you get it, it may not be compatible with another machine. I also am not a fan of them as you can tell if your pour is good in other ways.

  8. #8
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    I found that the hassle of cleaning up after a crap pour with the naked portafilter made me more careful which led to better consistency
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    I like that one...

  10. #10
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You should be able to easily swap baskets between PFs , and also spouts between PFs, and if the threads are the same, handles between PFs!

    Years ago I turned my PF naked with a hole saw as I like to tinker and also wanted to see my pours. I now use a naked exclusively, it is so much cleaner and easier. No drips etc from the spouts as you move PF between machine and knock box, no need to clean the inside of the PF.

    If your naked shots are messy it is worthwhile to improve your technique to eliminate this as you will get a better tasting result with improved consistency. And I dont find it difficult to get clean shots on the naked. Gr
    ind/dose, tap to settle, tamp, pour. In the many years of use, only a few have been messy, and it is usually with a new bean where the grind has not been dialled in and was far too coarse.

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    You should be able to easily swap baskets between PFs , and also spouts between PFs, and if the threads are the same, handles between PFs!

    Years ago I turned my PF naked with a hole saw as I like to tinker and also wanted to see my pours. I now use a naked exclusively, it is so much cleaner and easier. No drips etc from the spouts as you move PF between machine and knock box, no need to clean the inside of the PF.

    If your naked shots are messy it is worthwhile to improve your technique to eliminate this as you will get a better tasting result with improved consistency. And I dont find it difficult to get clean shots on the naked. Gr
    ind/dose, tap to settle, tamp, pour. In the many years of use, only a few have been messy, and it is usually with a new bean where the grind has not been dialled in and was far too coarse.

    Cheers
    We think differently on that. I have an aversion to things like that. It is right up there with lever machines and also weighing each shot to the nearest point of a gram.

    I like simple, not that a naked portafilter is complex but I just see it as pointless. I am temporarily even going away from fancy baskets expensive screen heads for the group and the like. It is another thing that wastes money while not delivering very much, for me anyway.

    The other thing is I like the spouts, they look cool and I think they are quite tidy and easy to deal with. I can also split shots when making drinks for friends.

    I use HX machines too as they are simple and straightforward and the like.

    The other thing is no you can't always swap baskets due to the profile or the handle with the after market baskets being often too deep. This is one of the reasons I got the Pesado handle to fit the basket.

    Mind you I don't mind trying new things sometimes but then I love these solid brass handles with the heavy duty spouts. I think they look really cool to be honest and you can place them flat on the bench and tamp, not necessary to do extra stuff like removing the basket from the handle.

  12. #12
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    You should be able to easily swap baskets between PFs , and also spouts between PFs, and if the threads are the same, handles between PFs!

    Years ago I turned my PF naked with a hole saw as I like to tinker and also wanted to see my pours. I now use a naked exclusively, it is so much cleaner and easier. No drips etc from the spouts as you move PF between machine and knock box, no need to clean the inside of the PF.

    If your naked shots are messy it is worthwhile to improve your technique to eliminate this as you will get a better tasting result with improved consistency. And I dont find it difficult to get clean shots on the naked. Gr
    ind/dose, tap to settle, tamp, pour. In the many years of use, only a few have been messy, and it is usually with a new bean where the grind has not been dialled in and was far too coarse.

    Cheers
    Yep, always use the naked nowadays. Artman do you find yourself needing to vary your distribution depending on the bean/roast depth? Just curious (yeah I know I'm spilling over from my other thread hehe), as I'd love to keep it that simple and not have channelling issues, but it seems more is required for me... whether it's my grinder (or my technique) not sure, or whether your grinder gets a clump-free grind I don't know, but in the naked if I just dose and collapse, I usually get a dead spot in the centre of the pour

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Horses for courses!

    Agree that some of the "upgrades" give marginal if any improvement, but help satisfy the tinkerers! I got a Synesso basket with matched pullman tamper many years ago, the combo has now been used on 3 machines. The basket is nothing fancy but was nicer than the generic basket that came with the first real machine.

    Re the shower screen, mine was old and rusty in spots so I needed to replace it. I got an IMS as the price was not bad and it is stainless so should last a lifetime. I doubt it improves the shot in any way but the smooth surface and single layer construction makes it a breeze to keep clean.

    Cheers
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Horses for courses!

    Agree that some of the "upgrades" give marginal if any improvement, but help satisfy the tinkerers! I got a Synesso basket with matched pullman tamper many years ago, the combo has now been used on 3 machines. The basket is nothing fancy but was nicer than the generic basket that came with the first real machine.

    Re the shower screen, mine was old and rusty in spots so I needed to replace it. I got an IMS as the price was not bad and it is stainless so should last a lifetime. I doubt it improves the shot in any way but the smooth surface and single layer construction makes it a breeze to keep clean.

    Cheers
    I did succumb to the IMS shower screen...it is nice

    I also have a liking for good tampers. I got a Pesado SS tamper which fits snugly in the baskets too. I had a heavy duty Copper tamper with a rosewood handle. A real beauty and gave it to my brother as a present for his coffee machine. Copper of course needs cleaning every week. SS is mor practical.

    Some accessories are real cheap too like the sunbeam knockbox which are brilliant.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Yep, always use the naked nowadays. Artman do you find yourself needing to vary your distribution depending on the bean/roast depth? Just curious (yeah I know I'm spilling over from my other thread hehe), as I'd love to keep it that simple and not have channelling issues, but it seems more is required for me... whether it's my grinder (or my technique) not sure, or whether your grinder gets a clump-free grind I don't know, but in the naked if I just dose and collapse, I usually get a dead spot in the centre of the pour
    I would guess you're getting the same dead spot in your portafilter with spouts you just can't see it? I've gone on a journey lately to really improve my distribution and consistency of dose. It's paid off and contrary to some of the comments above I find it has made things simpler to weigh things and follow the same process varying only one thing at a time when my results are less than ideal.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Yeah definitely Jono_Willmer, I weight everything and it helps keep everything consistent, and easy enough to incorporate into the workflow.

    I haven't even used spouts in a long time since I got the naked portafilter, but yeah, just a mystery why the dead spot... Water flow looks good and nice and even out of the shower screen.. Will keep working on distribution technique...
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    Simon, just my observations...
    "just a mystery why the dead spot... "

    I don't have any issue with this behaviour of the flow during the shot.
    I get the same response often with certain baskets (18g and above).
    And I have no issue with the shot being produced.
    Flavour wise, or the 'metrics' such as dwell time (time for the first blush of liquor to appear thru the basket), total shot time or yield.

    Yet using the same blend / grind and changing to a single dose Synesso (<10g) basket, I can easily get that 'desired' mousy tail effect
    during the shot.
    And yet whilst I get a different espresso it is still wonderful for what I'm chasing with that cup.

    It seems your getting maybe 1, 2 or maybe more 'drips' of flow happening in an area
    just out from the centre ..... and this continues through the duration of the shot.
    And what your not seeing is that lovely funnel / cyclone effect falling off into a mouses tail
    type flow. Yes?

    You may be able to transition to what your seeking, by
    1/ grinding a little courser,
    2/ dosing a little less,
    3/ tamping a touch softer...
    either one of, all, or combo will control the flow of the shot to deliver
    - the first drops earlier ( determine what time your seeking 6, 8 or more? seconds)
    or
    - flowing quicker for the whole shot with that nice so called mousy tail.

    * But will the shot be to quick? to thin? too greater a yield? And the taste?
    That's all...... at your call.

    I'd suggest your at the bleeding edge and as long as the shot is not spurting, or
    speeding up early on into the shot or
    blonding way before you reach the yield your seeking.
    And it tastes great....then
    I wouldn't say you have any issue at all.
    Flavour in the cup at this point is your guide.

    Consistency is key. And whilst your trying to achieve a change being consistent
    whilst changing one thing at a time is the way to go.

    Respectfully the one thing you mention ( and yes I've fully read / followed the other thread as well)
    may be the stepped grinder.
    There's many stepped grinders out there and I've used 5 that I can easily recall. And of those it was only with a
    big 83mm flat burr Anfim Titanium were the step changes were small enough to be not totally noticeable with what
    happened in the subsequent shot..
    But with trial and practice this could be overcome.
    Maintaining consistency with the freshness and quality of bean / roast you work with whilst your working thru
    this will assist greatly.

    GL EA
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  18. #18
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    Simon, just my observations...
    "just a mystery why the dead spot... "

    I don't have any issue with this behaviour of the flow during the shot.
    I get the same response often with certain baskets (18g and above).
    And I have no issue with the shot being produced.
    Flavour wise, or the 'metrics' such as dwell time (time for the first blush of liquor to appear thru the basket), total shot time or yield.

    Yet using the same blend / grind and changing to a single dose Synesso (<10g) basket, I can easily get that 'desired' mousy tail effect
    during the shot.
    And yet whilst I get a different espresso it is still wonderful for what I'm chasing with that cup.

    It seems your getting maybe 1, 2 or maybe more 'drips' of flow happening in an area
    just out from the centre ..... and this continues through the duration of the shot.
    And what your not seeing is that lovely funnel / cyclone effect falling off into a mouses tail
    type flow. Yes?

    You may be able to transition to what your seeking, by
    1/ grinding a little courser,
    2/ dosing a little less,
    3/ tamping a touch softer...
    either one of, all, or combo will control the flow of the shot to deliver
    - the first drops earlier ( determine what time your seeking 6, 8 or more? seconds)
    or
    - flowing quicker for the whole shot with that nice so called mousy tail.

    * But will the shot be to quick? to thin? too greater a yield? And the taste?
    That's all...... at your call.

    I'd suggest your at the bleeding edge and as long as the shot is not spurting, or
    speeding up early on into the shot or
    blonding way before you reach the yield your seeking.
    And it tastes great....then
    I wouldn't say you have any issue at all.
    Flavour in the cup at this point is your guide.

    Consistency is key. And whilst your trying to achieve a change being consistent
    whilst changing one thing at a time is the way to go.

    Respectfully the one thing you mention ( and yes I've fully read / followed the other thread as well)
    may be the stepped grinder.
    There's many stepped grinders out there and I've used 5 that I can easily recall. And of those it was only with a
    big 83mm flat burr Anfim Titanium were the step changes were small enough to be not totally noticeable with what
    happened in the subsequent shot..
    But with trial and practice this could be overcome.
    Maintaining consistency with the freshness and quality of bean / roast you work with whilst your working thru
    this will assist greatly.

    GL EA
    Thanks so much for your response, very helpful indeed! Yeah that's the thing, it may or be as big an issue if the taste is fine (which sometimes it is, sometimes it isnt), but I'm really wanting to work towards an even extraction.

    Will definitely take those on board and change one variable at a time. I tried tamping lighter the other day, and it ended up being a horrendous extraction haha, multiples streams, fast, squirting everywhere, but may experiment more with that, cheers, much appreciated!

  19. #19
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I usually get extraction in donut pattern but it comes together during the pour and as above, the taste is great.

    If I brush the grinds flat and remove the peak it helps with the donut, but I have also found that the more I play with the grinds the less consisting I get and the more likely hood of squirters.

    I believe the donut is due to more coffee being in the centre of the basket and hence more dense in the middle after tamping and the water flows more through the less dense outer area.

    Cheers

  20. #20
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    I usually get extraction in donut pattern but it comes together during the pour and as above, the taste is great.

    If I brush the grinds flat and remove the peak it helps with the donut, but I have also found that the more I play with the grinds the less consisting I get and the more likely hood of squirters.

    I believe the donut is due to more coffee being in the centre of the basket and hence more dense in the middle after tamping and the water flows more through the less dense outer area.

    Cheers
    Yeah ah okay, that makes sense, and I'm wondering about the playing with the grounds... have been using WDT alot recently, and beautiful looking shots but still a donut extraction for most of the extraction, if not all, which doesn't makes sense. I even stockfleth after that.. hoping to not have to add anooother step here like nutation haha. Maybe I'll try WDT and nutation, no stockfleth... ugh... hehe XD

    But first step, coarser grind or lower dose! Hurraaaaah!

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