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Thread: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

  1. #1
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    Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, I have just brought a gaggia Classic - being my very first machine. Obviously on a huge learning curve, but am having probs already - every time I brew, the coffee spurts out of the delivery spout (and up the walls!). Thinking I may have too much, or too little coffee in, I have tried both with results still the same. Same result with tampering light or firmer. Any suggestions from much wiser and exprienced members would be greatly appreciated? I am booking into a course asap :) Many thanks, Kim

  2. #2
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Will try to help, but Im not certain from your description exactly what its happening. A course may not help with this unless they can show you how to use your own machine.

    What beans and grinder are you using? Or are you using preground?

    When you say it spurts out the delivery spout, is it around the edge of the portafilter, our the holes in the bottom where it is supposed to?
    If you are using a pressurised basket, or a single basket, change to the normal double basket (straight sides, you should be able to see light through the holes in the bottom). Make sure the machine has had at least 5 min warm up, 10 is better.

    Try pulling a shot with no coffee at all, just an empty double basket. It should trickle out in a steady stream, if not there is a problem.

    One suggestion is to buy some preground beans, not ideal, but useful for initial testing and learning. I have managed to get some crema with Grinders pre ground coffee.

    I you have accurate digital kitchen scales, place the (pre warmed) filter handle with basket on the scales and zero it. weigh out 16grams coffee into the basket - a yoghurt pot with the base cut off helps to avoid mess when filling it. Tamp it down well and latch FIRMLY into place on the machine. Now remove it and look at the top of the tamped coffee, if the surface has been disturbed, then you had slightly too much coffee, reduce amount and try again.
    Assuming all is well with quantity (dose), relatch the filter handle and press the pump switch. It should, ideally, extract about 60 grams of coffee into your cup in about 30 seconds. First attempts will probably be much quicker, but measuring time and weight will give some ideas what is happening.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Thanks for your reply. Will try the scales test and see. Water flows well and evenly from the shower head, as well as throught the portafilter and basket (seperate and together) when free of coffee. I feel it may be my tampering technique, and/or the beans. I am using freshly roasted and ground beans, and had them ground fine at the roasters. Could it be the pressurised basket? I am going to get a normal basket to see if this is the problem too.

    Just tried 4 times and sooo frsutrated! But not giving up :)

  4. #4
    brett230873
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    For good espresso extraction an un-pressurized basket must be used in conjunction with:
    - freshly roasted beans from a high quality roaster
    - consistent tamp
    - consistent bean weight
    - a variable grind that adjusts depending on many factors from a good quality espresso grinder.
    - 9 bar of pressure for coffee oil extraction at approximately 92 degrees c.

    Your grinder and basket are issue. Lots of posts on these, use the search and dont forget to set the time frame for more than 1 week.

    Good luck ;)

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Im surprised you only got the pressurised basket with the machine. That probably accounts for a lot of the issues you are having.

    Whereabouts are you located? As the gaggia uses standard size baskets, you should be able to pick one up locally if you are in a major city.

  6. #6
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Did your machine come with a little black nozzle? If youre using a pressurised basket, you need to have that black nozzle inserted into your portafilter to "defuse" the coffee, otherwise youll get coffee sprayed everywhere from the pressure the basket is making.

  7. #7
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    100% correct put the little black nozzle in the hole in the portafilter and problem solved

  8. #8
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Thats it! I didnt get the little black nozzle. Going through the manuals I realised that these were not in the box. No wonder - I was beginning to doubt the machine (and just quietly, my abilites :(

    Thanks once again, Kim


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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    bump ...

    Ive been having exactly the same problems and the small plastic* nozzle fixed it, however the manual states that this part is optional! ??????????
    and when I do this as suggested above Try pulling a shot with no coffee at all, just an empty double basket. It should trickle out in a steady stream, if not there is a problem.* I still have water spurting out everywhere???

    My own bloody fault really, I should have done more research but I have to say that Im disappointed with this machine! ...* *:(


  10. #10
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Update ...

    Pulled off the shower disc and holder, the screws were not as tight as I would have expected and the holder doesnt look new as I imagine a piece of cast metal should look when brand new ??? :-/

    At least now I dont have water spewing everywhere when I pull a shot without coffee in the porta filter and with that little optional plastic part fitted* I can finally get a half decent coffee without covering the kitchen walls in brown stains ...* ;D

  11. #11
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    WHen I said "It should trickle out in a steady stream", I should have used the word "pour" rather than "trickle".

    That was based on the assumption that you had* an unpressurised basket.
    I didnt realise that in recent times gaggia had started supplying pressurised crap.

    Ditch the basket and buy a real one. I just checked and dibartoli sell standard doubles* for 8.50 or 21g ones for 12.50.* whoever your local suppliers are wil have them for a similar price.

    Youd be mad to keep trying to get good coffee out of the pressurised baskets, IMHO.

    Edit: It seems that the portafilter may be unpressurised and the nozzle is what makes it pressurised . I will need to check into this, dont want to give people misleading advice. I also dont understand why coffee would spray everywhere unless grind and tamp were way off.

  12. #12
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Well Im almost at the point of selling this machine thats how frustrated I am ...

    I took the optional plastic crema part out of the basket as advised by an expert and followed the process he suggested including adding more coffee,but I couldnt even get the porta filter to fit into the machine!

    So I removed some of the coffee, tamped very carefully and as usual during the pour a fair bit of the coffee ended up splattered on the walls ... :(
    So, it seems to me that the optional plastic crema part isnt optional at all!

    Help!!!!!* * :-[

  13. #13
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Hi, I have found this also if following instructions on level of coffee then tampering - basket wont fit into portafilter! So, less coffee definitely needed. Brought the unpressurised baskets (and received the crema part from the manufacturer after complaining) and I have the problem now with a single basket sticking to the ring on the shower head - the double basket doesnt so its double shots for the time being! Something to do with pressure there as well. Perservering still, but alittle over it :(

  14. #14
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    So your saying that the baskets supplied with your machine were indeed pressurised, and you bought unpressurised ones from Gaggia?

    Anyone have pics of the differences between the two, or a link to help me work out what style mine are?

  15. #15
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1295941810;start=8;action=threadpagete xt;reversetopic=0

    Seems like it is confirmed about the baskets being pressurised, for some at least ...

  16. #16
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Pic of a couple of filter baskets. One from top, one from bottom with led flashlight showing the holes.


    Oh and always use the double basket when learning. I still have not mastered the single.



  17. #17
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Thanks for putting up the pics, its clear now that the new machines are supplied with pressurised baskets, though I only had two in my box, others report receiving four, two of each kind.

    The question remains for me at least, why have Gaggia gone down this path when from most accounts here, this is not the best method ??? ...

    I can finally get a decent brew {and no mess}with the plastic crema installed at least thats something I guess.
    Now to find a local supplier who has suitable unpressurised baskets ...

  18. #18
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Update ...

    Finally worked out that my biggest problem was the grind not being fine enough!

    Bought the unpressurised basket yesterday, and using the coffee supplied from Di Bartoli {free sample} I can now get a decent brew at the correct flow rate using either the pressurized or unpressurized basket!
    Also got my first completely dry puk that just fell out of the porta filter with a light tap* :)

    Now I just need to work out how to get enough steam to heat the milk properly after fitting the Sylvia steam wand ...

  19. #19
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Another Update ...

    Got my Kyocera hand grinder today and it immediately confirmed that I did need a much finer grind, in fact I thought I had set it too far as it took a few seconds before a really nice looking crema slowly dribbled out then filled my glass.* :)

    Im slowly getting the hang of making a reasonable froth with the Sylvia steam wand, and my friends are happy enough with the cappuccinos Ive made for them.
    Even the other half whom Ive never ever seen drink coffee before is enjoying a drop these days.
    Btw, would it be a disaster if I re grind a purchase I made earlier which is just a little to coarse for my gaggia?

    Now the hunt is on to find some beans with a flavour that I truly enjoy ...

  20. #20
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Thats great to hear that hand grinder does fine!!

    About the same time today I did my first proper attempt after cleaning, descaling.

    Got Di Bella Modena blend yesterday, tried setting no.5 on my EM0450 grinder, it choked the machine.

    Setting no.13-14, timed at 30sec, coffee came out properly, firstly trickles and then slowly a steady stream on only one side of the sprout . I dont have a measuring cup but I guess it is getting there. Theres crema, not too thick, maybe just nice.*

    Puck came out a little soggy, but letting it rest a while it dries a little and it pop out properly making that Oreo looking cake. ( no channeling looking or crack whatsoever, so I guess its alright? )

    Just tasting the espresso itself, it tasted a little sour, and them comes the total fail attempt at milk frothing. Just using the top attachment of the plastic nozzle, using a incasa 600ml milk jug, I only managed to heat the milk. But this is my first ever attempt to frothing so still gotta take a while.

    The coffee with the milk tasted better than by itself. The texture is thick and oily, some distinc different from stovetop + milk.

    Now I need a proper tamper ( was using the plastic crap tamper ) and better milk froth technique !!!!!!!!!!


    PS: Crap, almost forgot I got exams coming in a week!! Used most of my time reading up coffee material than my notes @@@@@ ) :o

  21. #21
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B41465C497763475841280 link=1298427805/18#18 date=1306733047
    Btw, would it be a disaster if I re grind a purchase I made earlier which is just a little to coarse for my gaggia?
    Probably a good way to totally clog up any grinder, Id suggest just chucking the stuff out or keeping it for seasoning.

  22. #22
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    I dont think regrinding is going to work, even if it doesnt clog the grinder, the particle size will probably be uneven. Feel free to try it as you can always clean the grinder if it clogs. If results arent what you want, you could use the rest up for cold processed coffee - plenty of threads around on how to do it, but simplest is to chuck the coffee in a container with 4 times as much water, wait 8-12 hours then strain it to remove most of the coffee and pass through a filter to get rid of the rest. Dilute to taste and keep remainder in fridge

  23. #23
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    OK regrinding isnt the best option then, especially with a hand grinder.
    I tried it out today with the pressurised basket and the little plastic accessory and whilst it flows far too quickly it was good enough with milk as a latte so Ill just drink it ... :)

  24. #24
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    Re: Newbie to Gaggia Classic - brewing problems

    I can;t fill my classic basket to the top either... bit of a hassle as its hard to get the exact same amount of coffee in each time, need to measure it. Have had my classic for a month, loving it and time for a new grinder as mine is not fine enough, only get a 10 sec espresso and not good crema :)



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