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Thread: priming and pimping my gaggia

  1. #1
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    priming and pimping my gaggia

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hi
    i have been "Priming" my carezza every time i switch it on.
    I open the steam wand all the way and hit the steam and brew switch simultaneously (at least to the naked eye, but theres going to be something between them) for a few seconds, then de-switch both switches and close the steam wand and wait ~ 20 minutes until nice and hot.
    DO I NEED TO DO THIS EVERY TIME I SWITCH * *MY-MY-MY-MY-CAREZZA *(you pick the tune...) * *ON?

    ALSO: ive been playing with some manual pre-infusion now that i have my own naked brass monkey, um, i mean portafilter and finding that it is improving the taste and pour of my shot ALOT (att: pedants: is that one word?) i basically look for the first sign of espresso emerging from the filter and stop the pour and then re-start a few seconds later (playing with how much preinfusion time). i think *:-/ its helping the water to push through more of the puck rather than leaving some "blind" bits out of the whole pour equation (stuff you can only tell using a naked PF.

    LASTLY: how do people level their pucks with their hands / pinkies / palms / elbows prior to tamping when the PF is so damn hot?
    im using a flat utensil which im happy with but it dont look so professional (or cool)

    [smiley=dankk2.gif]
    aaron

  2. #2
    mwatt
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    Quote Originally Posted by roknee link=1196040183/0#0 date=1196040183
    hi
    i have been "Priming" my carezza every time i switch it on.
    I open the steam wand all the way and hit the steam and brew switch simultaneously (at least to the naked eye, but theres going to be something between them) for a few seconds, then de-switch both switches and close the steam wand and wait ~ 20 minutes until nice and hot.
    DO I NEED TO DO THIS EVERY TIME I SWITCH * *MY-MY-MY-MY-CAREZZA *(you pick the tune...) * *ON?

    ALSO: ive been playing with some manual pre-infusion now that i have my own naked brass monkey, um, i mean portafilter and finding that it is improving the taste and pour of my shot ALOT (att: pedants: is that one word?) i basically look for the first sign of espresso emerging from the filter and stop the pour and then re-start a few seconds later (playing with how much preinfusion time). i think *:-/ its helping the water to push through more of the puck rather than leaving some "blind" bits out of the whole pour equation (stuff you can only tell using a naked PF.

    LASTLY: how do people level their pucks with their hands / pinkies / palms / elbows prior to tamping when the PF is so damn hot?
    im using a flat utensil which im happy with but it dont look so professional (or cool)

    [smiley=dankk2.gif]
    aaron
    1. No idea about the priming.
    2. Or pre-infusion.
    3. ALOT? I think its two words. "A great deal", "A little", and so, "A lot".
    4. Keep doing it til you get callouses. *;) Seriously, I use the inside of my pointer finger (umm, the side of it, where it sits next to my middle finger), and the heat usually doesnt bother me anymore.

    Im sure someone else will be able to help you with your other questions.
    Michelle

  3. #3
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    hi michelle
    thanks for your help
    sounds a bit like playing guitar...building callouses and in turn overall resilience to deal more effectively with whatever life throws up my way...hhmm have always been sensitive to heat, maybe this is my time to face my fears...

    cheers
    aaron

  4. #4
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    1) i wouldnt bother opening the steam wand, but flushing the group for a few seconds is worthwhile. the theory is that an HX machine will have some superheated water that will burn the coffee, but this is obviously not the case with the small boiler gaggias like your carrezza and my classic. Our issue is that the water drains from the pre-group after a while so a flush will fill these lines. moving water through the boiler also muddles the boiler temperature a little and can be used to bring it down a touch or to initiate another heating cycle sooner than you had intended. I guess there are more variables eliminated by flushing, but basically, yes there is value in flushing before pulling a shot

    2) Ive also just got a blind filter and i dont really drink a lot of doubles so i doubt itll get used a lot. The idea of pre-infusion is an interesting one, though i guess it would be a pretty tough variable to control. Perhaps theres some merit in documenting your experiments over a period of time...

    3) "a lot"

    4) like mwatt, i use my right index finger. stop being so soft :P

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    1 - No idea.
    2 - Interesting pre-infusion method.
    3 - A lot = two words.
    4 - Im a karate black belt so the heat doesnt bother me (mind over matter).

  6. #6
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    ps/ as for pimping your gaggia, i vote for a pid and a silvia steam wand as the best way to get the most out of your machine. These 2 upgrades add a lot to the basic gaggia and are relatively simple. they make a world of difference

  7. #7
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    ok so what have i learnt so far (grasshopper)?
    1. a lot is twowords, notone ;)
    2. my idea of pre-infusion is not what anyone else in the world considers preinfusion
    3. im soft (already knew)

    and "early morning", i was referring to "initial start up priming" routine not "immediately prior to pulling shot" routine, but thanks anyway. (i do flush a little from the ghead)
    pid would be great but am saving for a hx so trying to avoid spending $ on my carezza.
    wand is a maybe at this stage even thou i know it would help

    cheers all
    aaron

  8. #8
    mwatt
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    Quote Originally Posted by roknee link=1196040183/0#0 date=1196040183
    ALSO: ive been playing with some manual pre-infusion now that i have my own naked brass monkey, um, i mean portafilter and finding that it is improving the taste and pour of my shot A LOT (att: pedants: is that one word?) i basically look for the first sign of espresso emerging from the filter and stop the pour and then re-start a few seconds later (playing with how much preinfusion time). i think *:-/ its helping the water to push through more of the puck rather than leaving some "blind" bits out of the whole pour equation (stuff you can only tell using a naked PF.
    Im no expert on pre-infusion, but I think youve got the right idea of the concept. But hey, if it tastes better and is consistently a better pour, then keeping doing it. Cuz thats really what its all about.

  9. #9
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    thanks mwatt
    well maybe its a placebo..maybe i got a bit excited (read: over the top) about the shots from the preinfusion and in reality it makes little to no difference but ill keep on fiddling. yestarday and this am has seen some fairly awkward looking pours..so theres more to work on in the dose distribute tamp process me thinks...

    aaron

  10. #10
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    Hi roknee,

    firmly pushing my "techsupport" cap over noggin!

    A) No you dont need to prime the machine every time you switch on. Only:

    i) after each steam operation and
    ii) if you empty the water tank or run it out of water.

    B) Regarding the "manual pre infusion technique" you are using.

    Machines with a group solenoid *fitted (eg Gaggia, Silvia & La Pav domestic machines) always activate an exhaust or de pressurising cycle when you switch off the group. Your technique of simulating a "pre infusion" by switching off soon after starting the infusion, is actually working against the principle, because it is dumping the "pre infused" liquid into the drip tray on the exhaust cycle.

    Machines that have pre infusion DESIGNED INTO THEM, DO NOT activate the exhaust cycle when the flow is stopped during the pre infusion.....ie they leave that first bit of liquid with disolved / infused coffee oil on / in the puck, brewing it out into your espresso when the pump is restarted.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  11. #11
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    hi FC
    thanks for the help. i wasnt aware of the mechanics of preinfusion with solenoids. the only thing is, is that the carezza aint got no, no satisfaction..nor a solenoid so what happens in this case?

    ta
    aaron

  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    Shouldnt be a problem roknee,

    I guess you would need to develop a very consistent method for insuring proper infusion each and every time but thats probably just down to practice. All the best mate,

    Mal.

  13. #13
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    Re: priming and pimping my gaggia

    thanks mal and all!
    ive concluded that for now ill improve my dose distribute tamp first and then later play with my "preinfusion".
    i think i picked it up from machines like the sunbeam 34rft67yji (ok, thats made up) which actually shoots out a stream of water for a second or two or three then stops then continues with the pour.

    cheers
    aaron



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