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Thread: Backflush

  1. #1
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    Backflush

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey,
    Im wondering how often you people backflush?

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Backflush

    In the cafe, we do multiple water backflushes and a chemical backflush (or two) each day. We discard the next few espresso shots on each group.

    For domestic clients, if their machine has a 3 way valve, I recommend a daily water backflush and a weekly chemical backflush: water, then chemical and then a final water backflush.

    Also- run your machine on filtered water and descale every 3-12 months dependent on water quality....

    2mcm

  3. #3
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    Re: Backflush

    Hey Chris; thats exactly what I do, both at work and at home!

    Quick note; as part of the backflush, I - and Chris, too, Im sure - do the portafilter wiggle, where one holds the pf up in the group and wiggles it around, not locked in, so as to flush the seal with water. Be very careful the first time you do it - hot water can hurt. Youre looking to gently flush out crud from the gaskets and where the lugs lock in - you are not looking to have water streaming out in a high-pressure jet!

    Machines with brass dispersion blocks also need the shower screen removed and scrubbed back after a chemical backflush. Amazing how much oil gunk builds up there. If you have SS blocks, they just wipe clean and 99% of the oil goes when you backflush, anyway. But SS is not a popular dispersion block material ... yet!

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Backflush

    Is it true that if you back flush weekly with detergent for the E61 lever you will get rid of the oil from the lever and eventually it starts to squeak and will become stiffer to move it up and down?

  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1153813133/0#3 date=1155615942
    Is it true that if you back flush weekly with detergent for the E61 lever you will get rid of the oil from the lever and eventually it starts to squeak and will become stiffer to move it up and down?
    In three years of doing exactly that, the answer is no ;)...the lever becomes a tad squeaky in any chemical backflush...Reverting to water returns things to normal....

    2mcm

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    Re: Backflush

    No, it is not true. Feel free to use the detergent as intended.

    Regardz,
    FC

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    Re: Backflush

    Ive also been thinking about this. I use a gaggia classic, but there is nothing in the manual about backflushing, Is it good practice to do this on small domestic machines like mine?
    The gaggia didnt come with a blind filter.

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    Re: Backflush

    At the risk of seeming like a complete nuffy, what exactly is backflushing? The only backflushing I know is what you do to a pool filter. Are backflushing and descaling the same thing?

    Dave.

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR link=1153813133/0#7 date=1155784590
    At the risk of seeming like a complete nuffy, what exactly is backflushing? The only backflushing I know is what you do to a pool filter. Are backflushing and descaling the same thing?

    Dave.
    Dave,

    Firstly, no they arent the same thing!

    If you have a machine with a three way valve (it relieves the pressure in the group at the end of the brew) then coffee oils etc get into the valve and the relief pipe....

    Also coffee grounds (very fine) and oils find their way above the shower screen....

    This build up leads to bad tastes etc....

    Back flushing is the process where you put a blind filter in the group ( a filter with no holes ) and proceed like you were making coffee.... after about 5 secs, pressure will have built up in the group. Stop the brew process..... this opens the three way valve.... and the pressure built up in the group forces the yuck out of the relief pipe. This is done several times (end of the days brewing)...

    Say once a week special detergent is placed on the blind filter.... the process is repeated and this gives a more thorough clean. The detergent removes the coffee oils...

    All professional and prosumer machines have three way valves as do some quality home machines...

    DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOUR MACHINE DOES NOT HAVE A THREE WAY VALVE AS IT CAN DAMAGE THE MACHINE!!!!!!

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    Re: Backflush

    That all makes sense now - I sorta figured it had to be something like that (and I assume a blind PF is one with a basket with no holes).
    Anyone know if the ECM Botticelli has a 3-way valve? After I turn off the brew switch, I do hear a "pfft" and a bit of water is expelled into the drip tray from a small outlet.

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR link=1153813133/0#9 date=1155790463
    Anyone know if the ECM Botticelli has a 3-way valve? After I turn off the brew switch, I do hear a "pfft" and a bit of water is expelled into the drip tray from a small outlet.
    Yep. that "pfft" is the sound of the three way valve operating to relieve the pressure.....

    And yes it does have a three way valve according to the specs.

    But it doesnt ship with a blind filter or a blocking plate (a piece of soft material you put in a normal basket to generate the back pressure......)

    Check out Coffee Parts they have the bits you require.

  12. #12
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    Re: Backflush

    I thought you if you backflush with a machine without 3 way valve it would be just like choking a machine?

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1153813133/0#11 date=1155791867
    I thought you if you backflush with a machine without 3 way valve it would be just like choking a machine?
    It is..... but that isnt a good idea either (on a regular basis like backflushing)- especially if you have a vibe pump. :(

    And in both cases, no 3 way valve, no pressure relief- if you are not careful removing the group handle you will be showered with 92deg water and coffee grounds (or detergent!!!) :-[


    Some manufacturers of machines with three way valves and vibe pumps recommend against backflushing and take no responsibility if you do so (and damage your machine)..... :(

    Machines with rotary pumps- no problem ;D

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    Re: Backflush

    on a slightly different note, i have a blind filter, and a rubber stopper... any difference between the 2?? i prefer the rubber stopper, as it is easy to pop in and out, but does a blind filter clean better???

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by krusty link=1153813133/0#13 date=1155795854
    on a slightly different note, i have a blind filter, and a rubber stopper... any difference between the 2??
    I cant see why there would be, as long as the stopper seals properly....

    All you are trying to do is raise the pressure in the group to the brew pressure, so if it doesnt leak (and allow the pressure to drop).... I cant see how it would make any difference at all. :)

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    Re: Backflush

    I thought the OPV will be working and keeping it at only 9 bars so the vibe pump aint getting killed at full pressure unless your OPV is stuck...

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1153813133/15#15 date=1155810051
    I thought the OPV will be working and keeping it at only 9 bars so the vibe pump aint getting killed at full pressure unless your OPV is stuck...
    Hi CK,

    Not all consumer oriented machines will have an Over Pressure Valve fitted, even some with a 3-Way Valve. If you are not sure about your own particular machine, its better to play it safe until such time as you can confirm it one way or the other. What type of machine do you own CK? We should be able to help you out,

    Mal.

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    Re: Backflush

    Its all good i have a solis sl70 it has a OPV its behind the front cover :)

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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1153813133/15#17 date=1155878581
    Its all good i have a solis sl70 it has a OPV its behind the front cover :)
    No its not!!!

    I have a Solis SL90 (which Im about to sell)

    Neither this or the SL70 (its little brother) have a three way valve!! :(

    So DO NOT BACKFLUSH!!!!!!

  20. #20
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    Re: Backflush

    I know it doesnt have a 3-way valve... saying that it has a OPV

  21. #21
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    Re: Backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Topher link=1153813133/0#6 date=1155629249
    Ive also been thinking about this. I use a gaggia classic, but there is nothing in the manual about backflushing, *Is it good practice to do this on small domestic machines like mine? *
    The gaggia didnt come with a blind filter. *
    Hi Topher.

    I also have a Classic and yes I *backflush with detergent once every couple of weeks. Get a blind filter from Coffee Parts and some of their detergent. The instructions are on the container. Youd be surprised how much muck there is. I normally flush the group with water after brewing and clean off the residual grinds from the shower screen and group gasket at the same time. The 500g container will last you for ages.

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    Re: Backflush

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks flo, will give this a go.



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