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Thread: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

  1. #1
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    Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    For those veterans of the lever world;

    How dangerous are coffee oils/drips/grinds to the chrome on the machine? I always clean up when Im done, but I do worry about the condition of the drip area. In order to get my (little) mug under the machine I have to remove the plastic drip tray, exposing the achilles heel of the bolt which invariably ends up getting wet. I clean it up, dry it off and spray some wd40 in the area. Generally leaving the area with a film of wd40 before I replace the tray. There are some spots where the metal is exposed (large pin head size) so Im hoping the wd40 will protect the exposed area and pool in the bolt preventing the rust demons from setting in.

    Next question deals with the nut and spacer at the top of the piston. When I got the machine I tightened it to the max of its travel - the spacer that is. This left about a 1/2 cm gap between the nut and the spacer, stopping the lever prematurely as it would hit the spacer. I unscrewed the spacer till it came into contact with the bolt allowing the lever to come down about a cm more. Anyone else experience something similiar? Also the piston doesnt seem to be grounding out on the screen so Im guessing this might be allowing me to squeeze an extra few drops out of the puck.

    Incidently I pulled a shot (one pull -14g/fine grind/hard tamp/10s pre-infuse) that gave me 20ml of pure crema that slowly changed into half liquid and half crema. - so I think Im on the right track. However, when checking the puck afterwards there appeared to be some channeling. The channeling was no more than 2mm deep, I checked by breaking the puck gently through the effected area. Will this effect the overall quality of the shot, or is it a non-event if its so shallow?

  2. #2
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    Hi paulvin,

    Not a verteran lever user, but happy to offer some comments.

    First question, cleaning of the machine immediately after use will generally give the best life and least amount of problems.* As a bonus, if something is going bad you will find it much sooner.*

    Second, sorry dont know much about the specific issue you asked about, hopefully someone else with one of these untis can help you.

    Third, around here we often use phrases like... "Its whats in the cup that counts", so if you thought the brew tasted good, dont worry too much about the condition of the puck.*You might try some variations in your dosing process, and see what it tastes like. Lever machines enable some big variations of brewing parameters, which might make some other parameters vary more, compared to pump machines for example, however other things you observe as you continue your journey can all help in the long run.

  3. #3
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    With the drip tray on mine after use I sit it at 90 degrees to the base. That leaves air circulating around it and to date no issues with corrosion of the screw.

    Strange you are getting channeling, never had an issue at all? Are you using the undersized plastic bit of crud that came with the machine or have you got a better Tamper yet?

    Also out of interest what grinder do you have?

    As above if your happy its a good start too :)

  4. #4
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    Cant help with the technical questions. Mines a more recent one and theres no bolt.
    Im pretty new to lever machines but usually get something drinkable. A lot of sink shots early on though.
    In terms of the shot 20ml isnt much for a double. I need to double pump to get 60ml. My main problem has been over extraction and bitterness but I dont get many of them now. Mainly when I change beans. Getting a good shot seems to be a bit of an art form though.

  5. #5
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    Quote Originally Posted by 6364606F676D78686F66010 link=1311480508/2#2 date=1311595844
    Strange you are getting channeling, never had an issue at all? Are you using the undersized plastic bit of crud that came with the machine or have you got a better Tamper yet?

    Also out of interest what grinder do you have?
    Im using a plastic tamper that came with my cheapo Sunbeam (I am waiting for a proper tamper from the US). The ironic twist to this is that the cheap plastic tamper is an EXACT fit to the 49mm basket - absolutely no movement on the sides. The shot I pulled today had no channneling, but as I was about to re-cock the lever for the second pull for my cappicino the heating element kicked in again and pushed the pressure up to 1.3ish bar. So I had to pause, rebleed it back to 1.0 and continue. As result of the pause between pulls the shot was notiably not as sweet as before. Guess some over-extraction going on there.

    Ive got a La pavoni Jolly Doser grinder, which I tend to stir in the doser before I dose to break up any clumps. I also use a card to break up any clumps and distribute in the basket once dosed (very similiar to a crack head making coke lines to snort - or at least my wife thinks so!).

    Got the idea from this clip

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqI8lzRfB5c

    Incidently two pulls give me no more than 40ml ever. Might this have something to do with grind? Finer = less shot volume?

  6. #6
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    Mine is the Millennium model and they still put the 49mm one in the box with a 51mm basket >:( Problems with it are deflection between the plastic webs and that its not flat for a start. A decent Tamper will help lots. I had Pullman make me a Ali Bronze one to suit mine.

    Also never worried about pressure before pulling shots (no gauge for a start) I work on time bleed off the false pressure at 5 or 6 minutes and pull shots at 14-15 minutes and switch off. The temperature of the body I feel has as much or more to do with shot temperature and quality as the pressure you actually pull the shot at. At much over 20 minutes there is a noticeable drop off in flavour.

    To increase the volume a little a partial drop of the lever during the PI phase and re raise the lever will get you a little more in the piston.

    After ceasing using my Ibiteral Challenge doserless several years ago any clumps I get are fairly soft and tend to disappear during collapsing (tapping the PF on the bench) firmly.

    Keep playing :)

  7. #7
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    Re: Technical Questions on La Pavoni

    about the volume, try dosing a little less. the water enters above the coffee and if theres no room you dont get as much. I dont weigh my beans but on the smart grinder Im a few notches below what it thinks are 2 shots. suggest you try 12 or 13 gms instead of 14 and see what you get.



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