I picked up the Lelit Victoria machine this morning and I have come across a few things that I was hoping to be able to clarify with experienced members here.
I was able to pull some decent shots by my standard but when I remove the portafilter afterwards, the puck looks quite soupy and the surface is uneven. There are also remnant coffee on the shower screen. I've tried changing the dose from anywhere between 14g to 18g and I couldn't get a nice looking puck. What could I be doing wrong?
Secondly, there are two tubes going into the water tank. One is shorter and on the longer tube there is water filter at the end of the tube. Does it matter whether the shorter tube, which I presume is the OPV exhaust tube, is submerged in the water or not?
Lastly, I backflushed the machine with water after each session and on both occasions I've had water coming out from the grouphead. When I was backflushung the second time, water was dripping along the portafilter handle so I had to put some towel underneath. I can't imagine this is normal? Not sure whether I perhaps didn't lock the portafilter properly but this has been nagging me. I will try again tomorrow but I would appreciate it if someone could clarify.
Soupy puck means not enough coffee in the basket. Add more.
Submerge tube or not -- I don't know.
Water spilling from portafilter -- you need a new group head seal.
I was going to ask about to amount of extracted coffee you are aiming for.
Sixty mls/grams is way over extracted for an espresso.
It is based on the outmoded Italian style of 7 grams per 30 mls single, 14 for 60 double...and probably three teaspoons of sugar to mask the shortcomings!
If you want a good-tasting, thick espresso, about half that would be the aim for 18 grams of grounds. Even less for ristrettos.
So 18 grams of grounds to produce 20-30 grams of extracted coffee.
I doubt "too" fresh beans would cause a soupy puck.
Could still be puck prep issues.
The other option is the 3 way valve at the group is not working correctly at the end of the shot.
Could be a bad valve or the group seal is damaged /not sitting properly.
Also are you locking the group handle in tightly enough?
What is the pressure during an extraction?
Now just need to sort out the soupy puck issue...
Tried 16g coffee this morning and the puck stuck to the shower screen.
Pressure wise, the gauge is always in the green zone. Anywhere between 10-12.
12 Bar is excessive, as it happens...
Sounds like your machine would benefit from a small adjustment to the OPV setting such that the gauge never exceeds an observed pressure of 10 Bar with the Blind Filter installed.
It should have been adjusted down to provide 9.0 Bar at the coffee puck by the specialist retailer from whom you purchased it, as part of the pre-sale setup.
It is also a user configurable adjustment, you are adjusting it down to where it should have been, not up to some exorbitant pressure.
Agree with Mal, you should set a blind basket pressure of 9 bar, 10 at very most, but 9 is best.
Twelve bar is blasting your puck, especially if the pre-infusion is also not set properly, and increasing the possibility of channelling.
In any case, the combination of high pressure and 60 ml extractions from 14 to 16 grams of grinds must be producing some very undrinkable espresso.
I've rung the store and they probably changed it back to factory setting of 12 bars when they serviced it pre-sale.
They are happy to adjust it down to 9 bars when I bring it in this Saturday.
I did a couple of extractions last night aiming for 36g of output from 18g of beans and it was drinkable, but I still had some issues with the puck being quite wet and uneven on top. Had coffee remnants on the shower screen as well.
Do you guys get any coffee on the shower screen at all after extraction?
A seemingly paradoxical combination of over-loaded portafilter and wet puck.
So I'm going back to what Saeco-User posted.
Is the three-way valve working properly?
When you finish the extraction, does a short but strong spurt of water empty into the drip tray? If not the valve is malfunctioning.
If it's not working properly you will also be getting a violent splatter from the portafilter as you unscrew it from the group. And that would account for the uneven puck surface.
Again, 12 bar pressure could be doing all sorts of upsets to your puck too.
Last edited by robusto; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:43 PM. Reason: Typo
I'm hoping reduction in OPV to 9 bars will make a difference.
It could also be due to the plastic tamper I'm using. Metal tamper I had was for a lot smaller portafilter and I'm yet to buy a proper one.
Pretty sure that most of what you're experiencing will be down to the higher than optimum brew water pressure setting.
Things should settle down once this is adjusted properly...
Dropped the machine off at the store this morning. Will pick it up next weekend I guess.
The lady at the store was adamant there's nothing wrong 12 bars of pressure and she can pull a good shot even at 14 bars. Wasn't too pleased with a store person automatically assuming any issue is related to user error or inexperience. If that's the case, why would Jetblack coffee adjust it down to 9 bars? Then she pretty much blamed it on the grinder I'm using and suggested doing a barista course. Bit rude I thought.
Yep, unfortunately there are quite a few around like that...
I reckon if you contact JetBlack Espresso, Charlie or one of his excellent staff would be able to walk you through how to adjust the OPV to approximate 9.0 Bar if the above specialist is proving hard to deal with. At least until you are able find someone who can do it for you without argument...
The more I muck around with coffee, the more I have come to realise that the "godshot" can be had at 9, or 6 or 12Bar, so it's not necessarily all about pressure.
That said, I'd assume that Charlie is requesting that Lelit set the OPV on his gear at a particular pressure. There no need for another tech to increase pressure from 9 to 12Bar as part of a service.
With everything else equal, wouldn't higher pressure require finer grind than if the pressure was lower?
The trouble with higher pressure is, that it requires everything else you do to be much more accurate and 'on the ball'.
Much less forgiveness when everything else isn't quite perfect...
Sounds like a couple of things to me. Higher pressure won’t be helping the flavour or life of the machine and should be adjusted, but I doubt it will produce a sloppy puck. In my experience with lelit machines (I am a coffee trainer at a roastery and we are a Lelit service agent) the double basket seems to like about 19 grams of ground coffee.
The thing that can be missed with basket size is that if you want a particular dose you need a basket to match. I find most baskets use about 1 or 2 grams MORE than the recommendation. Eg the 18g VST baskets at work I dose at 21 -21.5g easily and with a 18g dose it becomes a sloppy puck.
Research the 5c piece test to get the dose you need for your basket, plenty of info on coffeesnobs. Use a scale once you’ve established the weight of the dry ground coffee for repeatability.
In my experience, sloppy pucks are always caused by lower than desired dose. Unless of course you are enjoying the flavour. Coffee is subjective. If you are enjoying it then who cares if it is not the best possible extraction. Your coffee, your way.
Just don’t tell your local cafe they are doing it wrong
Ohh and I doubt you’ll get a group seal covered under warranty. They may do it, but it’s a customer service thing, not covered under though
Did you ever look into a different grinder? Not saying this is the issue but I found myself when I started out with the BSG that it was inconsistent and also gave me a wet puck a lot of the time.
Hope you can work this out when you get the machine back. It can take a little bit of practice and patience I found.
Not sure I saw a massive difference in the puck afterwards.
Is it normal to get coffee on the shower screen after brewing? My wife said the machine they have at work doesn't get any coffee on shower screen after brewing.
As a noob, these little things are all bothering me a lot as it could mean I'm not doing something right.
I've read about 5cent test. Will give it a go when I get the machine back.
Coffee tastes fine based on my taste but my theory is if you hadn't tasted something better, you will be none the wiser.
When you upgraded from BSG did you really notice an improvement in the cup? Obviously expensive grinders have better build, resale etc but what I would be most interested in is whether there is an actual tangible difference in the coffee. Otherwise I could use the BSG until it dies and upgrade later on.
That said when I upgraded from each grinder to the next, after dialing them in and finding my sweet spot I saw a huge difference.
From the BSG I went to a compak K3, from there to a macap M4D to now a Eureka zenith.
I think if there is no coffee on the shower screen you are dosing too low. The distance between the coffee and the screen is causing your sloppy pucks. They can even stick to the shower screen when you remove the group handle because of the vacuum effect when the pressure releases.
The 5c piece test gives a bit of room between the puck and shower screen allowing the coffee to expand as it gets wet but not too much causing upward pressure on the screen.
So i got my machine back today. Still getting watery puck and when I increased to dose to 17g the puck stuck to the shower screen. I had to change the grinder setting to quite fine and it looks too fine to my eyes almost like flour, talcum powder consistency, but it was the only way to get it extract slow enough. I'm at a loss now other than trying a different grinder.
If your dose is OK, tuning in your grind size should be straight forward. If not, your Breville Smart Grinder may not be up to the task.
I suspect I'm getting wet puck partly because coffee is ground too fine. I may try restarting from a coarser grind try dialling in the grinder again.
This is my shower screen (Grimac eclisse) after brewing an 18 grams-in shot. Just a few spent grounds stick to it. Not saying this is a benchmark by any means -- just what happens on my machine.
grimac shower screen.jpg
Coladuna, How much of your puck is sticking? How long does the extraction take? Are you aiming for 30 seconds with a few seconds either way as a ballpark time?
If the time taken was way under, you should grind finer. Fine particles take less room in the basket that coarse ones and also slow down the extraction time.
As a starting point I'm aiming for about 50-60ml in about 25-30 seconds and was going to fine tune it from there based on taste.
Hardly call it a mess .
The solenoid valve may actually be causing it rather than prevent it. When it activates to release pressure from the group, the grounds can be vacuumed upwards towards the shower screen. Or the puck could be expanding under water saturation. Or both.
Yes, tune to taste of course...but for my taste 50-60 mls (in grams would be more accurate) from just 17 grams of grinds is way too high a ratio.
Whether the puck sticks to the screen or not you should be rinsing your portafilter after every shot with a quick flush or two, and even a brush clean if you're motivated and/or anal enough, as fines and oils accumulate on the bottom of the basket and the inside of the portafilter as well as on the screen/grouphead whether the puck sticks to it or not.
Java "Keep the taint out!" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
After tapping out the puck into the knock box I always rinse the basket by running water through the group. Very frequently I remove the basket, turn it upside down and give it
and the portafilter a blast of steam, then wipe clean.
Im washing out / rinsing my portafill after very brew. Are you saying no need to? I wipe down the group head as well.
Could someone upload a photo of what their puck looks like after brewing? Just want to compare to appearance of my puck. Thanks.
The basket which is still in the portafilter, gets rinsed together, with brew water. Every week they get soaked with and bathed in cafetto espresso clean. In between there will be many steam blasts, rinses in both hot and cold water and wipes too.
Last edited by robusto; 1 Day Ago at 11:18 AM.
You can also see my shower screen, it's got grounds on it even though I'm underdosing the basket. That's in part due to the operation of machines equipped with a solenoid group head.
Emptying the grounds is also a little messy, it never comes out in one solid puck, there's always a bit left in the bottom corners. The design of the basket affects this though as I have experimented with 22-24g doses in it and they too never knocked out cleanly.
The standard double basket the machine came with and my 18g VST both knock out cleanly regardless of dose.
Another thing to consider on your machine is if your basket is tapered wall or straight wall. A tapered wall basket will behave much differently to a straight wall basket in terms of extraction and spent puck disposal.
How do you upload photos here?
I can select the photo to upload but there is no ok button visible that I can press. This is on my phone.
These days I'd rather waste a shot from a double than use a single basket. Awful mess, with half the messed up broken puck remaining in the filter needing to be rinsed out under the kitchen tap, and the other all over the shower screen and then drip tray. Avoid using them.