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Thread: seasoning shot after backflush

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    seasoning shot after backflush

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    When i first started backflushing, i used to use a fresh grind to do the seasoning shot afterwards.

    Now, i have started using the excess grinds that are left over daily. I backflush every 2 days or so, and generally have one full shots worth of coffee in my overgrind cup (the cup i use to dose out whatever is left in my doser that im not going to use)

    I cant notice any difference in te flavour of my coffees in doing so. I am under the assumption that the reason i do a seasoning shot is to remove any residual cafetto impart a coffee hint on the shower screen. is this correct?

    does anyone else use stale grounds for their seasoning shot?

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by raphec link=1227410944/0#0 date=1227410944
    does anyone else use stale grounds for their seasoning shot?
    Yes, I do. I flush the stale coffee out of the grinder before each use, just a few grams worth, and put this coffee in a container in the freezer. I keep adding to this each day, and then use it for seasoning shots after backflushing, which I do about once a fortnight. It surprisingly still produces a reasonable crema with this stale coffee too.

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Yes. The seasoning shot is to remove any traces of the backflush detergent used.

    I sometimes use leftover grounds for my seasoning shot. Although I dont bother putting them in the freezer. They just go into a small container next to the knockbox.

    The other option which I tend to use more these days is to do my clean when I change my beans and use a dial-in of the grinder shot for seasoning.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I havent had left overs for ages and ages now so have to use fresh beans for my seasoning shot.

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    When I do the split second grind to get rid of what is in the chute I thwack that out of the doser and into a little bowl (coffee coloured of course) and it builds up...once a month I use Caffetto and then season with those old grinds. I do a proper dose and tamp and funnily enough it looks just like supermarket coffee....thin, sour looking (and smelling) and twisty from the off, with no body :)

    Cheers

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    so im not alone :D

    hmmm i backflush every 2 days or so. i was worried someone would tell me this isnt enough, seems like i may be doing it too much!

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I worked at a place where the owner told me to serve the seasoning shot to the morning senior walkers. I turned around and said to him "Ill serve it to you and see how you like it" which he replied "But they cant tase the differnce." Neverless I never did and they wondered why sales went down after I left....

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Backflushing a home machine with chemical every 2 days is too much. Backflushing with water only after each shot and using a stiff brush (like the one from coffeeparts that allows cleaning whilst the water is running through the open group without scalding) is the go and then a chemical every month (or if you are really keen every couple of weeks depending in useage). I use mine a lot - stays on 24/7 (although once every week or so I drain the boiler and then re-fill with fresh). Too much backflushing with chemical is worse than too little.

    Cheers

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott link=1227410944/0#7 date=1227524300
    Backflushing a home machine with chemical every 2 days is too much. *Backflushing with water only after each shot and using a stiff brush (like the one from coffeeparts that allows cleaning whilst the water is running through the open group without scalding) is the go and then a chemical every month (or if you are really keen every couple of weeks depending in useage). *I use mine a lot - stays on 24/7 (although once every week or so I drain the boiler and then re-fill with fresh). *Too much backflushing with chemical is worse than too little.
    At the Golden Bean, Chris Short from Cafetto mentioned that he is about to release a study that pretty much proves the opposite.

    Theres a school of thought that goes that the less you use your machine, the more you need to backflush it.

    If you use your machine, you leave behind oils on the dispersion block. A clean water backflush will not dislodge these oils. Pulling a subsequent shot might dislodge at least some of them ... into the shot. If you backflush once a month, that means that this process continues for a month, whilst the oil on your dispersion block oxidises and becomes more and more rancid - smell it! If you backflush once a week, at least you are getting rid of the oil sooner. Or at least, thats my understanding.

    Personally, I backflush every week and I can taste the difference; twice a week would probably be about right. If you have an e61, you need to keep in mind that over-zealous backflushing can eat away at the grease that lubricates the lever. I think that the solution is to use a very small amount of cafetto quite often.

    The included scoop is, IMHO, far too big, even for commercial use. At home, you only really need to use something like 1/8th of that scoop, but you need to allow the detergent time to do its thing - lock your detergent containing blind filter in, run the pump, flick the pump off, then let it sit for two minutes. After that, pulse the pump a few more times, dump the contents of the handle and do a clean water backflush. I have switched over to the EVO version of cafetto and a few of my friends have reported that it is less aggressive on the grease in the e61. According to Chris Short, EVO is totally biodegradable - a day or two after going down the sink, all that is left of it is water and carbon dioxide. An occasional backflush with a bit of restore descaler or citric acid is recommended to remove scale in the group - provided that it isnt made of aluminium. All espresso machine detergents are alkaline and incapable of removing scale, but scale will lower the effectiveness of detergents.

    As for weekly draining of the boiler; I wonder if that mightnt cause problems. Heating the water up will cause scale to deposit. Once it reaches temperature, at some stage it will reach an equilibrium whereby no more scale will precipitate. By replacing the water with fresh water, you introduce more calcium that will precipitate. So by changing the water over that frequently, you might actually be causing far more calcium to deposit than if you just left it alone. If you arent drinking the water from the boiler, I wouldnt have thought that theres much incentive to do this - all that youre really using it for is for steam ... and maybe any little bit that might be injected into the HX, depending on your machine. In fact, I have heard of people with domestic HX machines filling the boilers with distilled water with just enough salt added to allow the probes to register. That way, if they dont use the tap much, theres less calcium in the boiler to deposit.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I detergent backflush once very 3 weeks or more. Prior to a recent backflush I removed the shower screen and seal and yes there was a certain amount of oil left behind.

    I agree that one scoop of detergent is too much - there is always a lot of undissolved detergent left behind which is wasted. I have been using 1/3 teaspoon of detergent, adding a bit of water & agitating a bit to dissolve before inserting the handle into the grouphead. After the first pull of the lever I havent been waiting 2 mins - normally about 30 secs. Is waiting longer advisable or does that depend on how often the backflush is carried out?

    On the third flush, I also now gently jiggle the pf in the grouphead and Ive noticed more coffee oil is sometimes removed. I then clean water backflush until the water being dispensed into the tray is clear. Then a seasoning shot

    The brew lever is always stiff but after comes good after a couple of normal shots

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Even after all this, I think its a good idea to take the time to take off the shower screen and gasket and get out the screwdriver and take off the dispersion block. I hadnt for a while thinking that my cleaning/backflushing regime would have taken care of it. I took it off the other day and it was black and gunky (the dispersion block, that is).

    What Luca mentioned about the dispersion block getting caked on is true.

    Gotta get me some of that EVO stuff.


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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I tend to backflush with detergent every 7-14 days.
    I got a Pallo coffee brush which has a little scoop on the end. I use this as my measure for caffetto. Seems about right to me (much smaller than the scoop supplied with the cleaner).
    I also follow the method outlined by Luca above. I dissolve the small amount in the blind, lock and run for a short time and then leave my lever in the middle position for a minute or two to let it soak. First release after that seems to be very gunky and immdiately tightens the lever a little.

    I did my group seal last week and checked my shower screen. Just a couple of tiny spots on it. Swapped over to my new screen, but have kept the old one, just gave it a proper soak in caffetto and came up fine.

    Unfortunately, I had to go to coffeeparts website to order my next group seal and of course, found all this extra stuff I needed. Whee!

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I use white vinegar to neutralise the coffee detergent after a backflush. *Also use it to rinse the portafilters and baskets after a detergent or soap wash. *Then I use hot water from the boiler to backflush the vinegar away - and rinse off the vinegar from the portafilters / baskets.

    I also backflush just with vinegar then hot water from the boiler. *I find this reduces the frequency of detergent backflushing required.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Ok, this is from my experience and in no way an end all, but I clean my machines everytime. I do not have any problems with any of my machines and once seasoned, they taste and work the same every day.

    There is no evidence that the using chem harms the machine (aside from a little extra cost).

    As mentioned above the worse thing for the machine is a build up in oils, which can solidify and cause many types of problems. Most machines sent in for service is from a lack of cleaning (Im sure service guys reading this will back me up here)

    I recommend washing with chemical every time you use the machine. Make sure you wash out all the chemical with back flushing until the water runs clear, also included in this is your group handles.

    Your machine is now as good as new!

    To season the machine, use fresh grind! and fresh grind only!

    Using stale coffee will season the machine with stale coffee. Use fresh and keep everything as nice tasting as possible.

    Also you should be keeping your grinder as clean as possible to avoid any build up of oils, which in turn produces more problems such as blunt blades, build up and so on... Modify a paint brush to get as much of the grind out every night.

    Keeping things clean as possible and as fresh as possible is a good habit to get into!

    Although I have to confess here I only do my shower screen once a week. If you back wash every night you tend to get a minimal build up inside the shower screen. I went from every night to once a week quite a while ago and have noticed no change in flavor or effect to my machines.

    Why risk flavor and maintenance cost on a few cents of left over coffee.

    DONOT put your grind or coffee beans in the freezer!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A dark air tight container at room temperature is sufficient. I put mine into a cupboard to avoid any big differences in Temp overnight.

    Remember freshness is the key to great tasting coffee. Do as much as you can to ensure freshness at all costs!



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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    No offence to you MaxPower, clean your machine every hour if you like, but honestly I have neither the time or desire to chemical clean my machine after every coffee it makes. The guy I brought it off siad to do it once a week, after reading Luca post I will cut back the amount of detergent I use, seriously max I cant see any advantage it cleaning to that level unless your machine is in a cafe (and then i figure the lock up crew would clean before going home). Whilst I realise cleaning is an essential part of your coffee machine to keep it new, given I paid over 2 K for my set up I figure the manufacturer would take the cleaning/use of a domestic machine, there is absolutely no way known I would spend 2k on something that needed the level of preventative maintanence that you partake in.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I had a laugh...Sorry Fishing, I meant to say "every night".

    Chem and seasoning every coffee would drive me nuts too!

    I find after around 2-3 shots the machine is seasoned properly, but again I dont wait that long at a cafe or at home. 1 shot is sufficient for me to do a good enough job, lots of people recommend 2. Its up to you.

    When I use a machine a lot in a day, I back wash but with H20 only, I chem only at the end of the day. I know of a few that chem twice a day. Thats a bit much for me.

    Once a week is the longest you should leave it though. I realize the pain involved in cleaning every night, so it is really up to you what level you want to take it to. I got into the habit of cleaning once a day along time ago and now it is no pain to do it every night, I actually enjoy the process now.

    Every night is for the "best" result. Of course it will cost more in chem, but should save you a few shower heads etc, and you will be guaranteed a great coffee every time/day. I dont know about others but I can really taste it when a coffee has not been back washed from the previous day.

    As for the amount of chemical, a quarter of a teaspoon is more than enough. The scoops they give you are far more than you need.

    I read Lucas guide and it is very good, Im just trying to add some more to it as I have seen machines go in for service from once a week cleaning.

    Again its just my opinion as I search for the best cup, and the best cup seems to be consistency. I try to take out any variables in my coffee making, such as build up of stale coffee flavors from not washing every night and I try to get consistent in tamping and other areas.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    After I clean my machine I just flush plenty of water through it, no seasoning shot afterwards. But I do think you need to keep your home machine very clean after removing the shower screen one time it looked like it had been dipped in tar, and thats cleaning with just a water backflush once a week.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxPower link=1227410944/0#15 date=1227607386
    When I use a machine a lot in a day, I back wash but with H20 only, I chem only at the end of the day. I know of a few that chem twice a day. Thats a bit much for me.
    Are you referring to cafe use? For a cafe pulling hundreds of shots per day I can understand that you would need to clean it that often, as it would be absolutely filthy after doing that many shots, but there is no way that a domestic machine doing just a few doubles per day would require a chemical flush every day! It would take me many months to put as much coffee through my machine as a cafe would do in a single day.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1227410944/0#17 date=1227620388
    It would take me many months to put as much coffee through my machine as a cafe would do in a single day.
    Bill,

    Whilst that is true.... the problem with domestic machines is they dispense a couple of shots..... sit there still hot without any water flow and the oils etc bake on...... a bit latter they are turned on again.... and a couple of more shots poured etc.....

    The periods of inactivity are just as bad (possibly worse in some ways) than the commercial environment where constant use has a self cleaning action (to a certain extent)....

    So realistically one days commercial use probably equates to something like a weeks home use as far as crud build up..... I chemically backflush once a week. The amount of coffee through the machine is not an indication of how often a backflush is required..... have a look under the showerscreen after a week of intermittent use... Ill bet you will do a chemical backflush *;)

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1227410944/0#18 date=1227621378
    Whilst that is true.... the problem with domestic machines is they dispense a couple of shots..... sit there still hot without any water flow and the oils etc bake on...... a bit latter they are turned on again.... and a couple of more shots poured etc.....
    Not quite right, because I backflush with water after every session. Not to mention all the water used for cooling flushes before the shot, which also puts quite a bit of water through the machine between shots.


    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1227410944/0#18 date=1227621378
    So realistically one days commercial use probably equates to something like a weeks home use as far as crud build up..... I chemically backflush once a week. The amount of coffee through the machine is not an indication of how often a backflush is required..... have a look under the showerscreen after a week of intermittent use... Ill bet you will do a chemical backflush
    Still looks like new after 1 week of use. It takes 2-3 weeks of use for there to be any noticeable crud under the filter basket etc.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1227410944/0#19 date=1227649527

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1227410944/0#18 date=1227621378
    So realistically one days commercial use probably equates to something like a weeks home use as far as crud build up..... I chemically backflush once a week. The amount of coffee through the machine is not an indication of how often a backflush is required..... have a look under the showerscreen after a week of intermittent use... Ill bet you will do a chemical backflush
    Still looks like new after 1 week of use. It takes 2-3 weeks of use for there to be any noticeable crud under the filter basket etc.
    By under the showerscreen I mean.... behind the showerscreen - remove the showerscreen and look at the top surface of the screen and the area above it inside the group. (Whilst this is a PITA with some machines - its dead easy with a La Cimbali). This area is subject to more heat than the area below the showerscreen..... resulting in faster build up than the basket or the inside of the PF.

    Whilst water back flushing certainly helps.... a chemical backflush (I use less than the recommended amount of detergent) does a brilliant job - especially keeping the 3 way clean.... and doesnt cost that much! Cheap insurance for these important parts..... and the quality of the espresso you drink.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I bet if you dug even further and unscrewed the dispersion block youd be even more surprised how manky it is. Its worth doing every now and then. I bet they usually never get touched. Most people (and understandably so) only take off the shower screen and give a good scrub, not knowing that ontop of the actual dispersion block its caked up with oil as.

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    Re: seasoning shot after back flush

    As mentioned, its not to do with the amount of coffee. Any residue coffee can/will damage the machine if not properly maintained.

    It is also a taste issue, imagine all the nice fresh coffee oils running over that week old caked on stuff.

    Knowing your machine and how to pull it apart, maintain it, and get the best from it is really the next step in being a snob, after mastering shots and milk.

    A bit extreme for most, but an interesting journey for others.






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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1227410944/20#20 date=1227650769
    By under the showerscreen I mean.... behind the showerscreen - remove the showerscreen and look at the top surface of the screen and the area above it inside the group.
    Well Iím sure that has stayed pretty clean at my cleaning interval - itís never looked particularly dirty whenever Iíve removed it, but Iíll take more notice of it next time.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    JavaB and YeeZa are right on the money: *A clean water backflush will not dislodge coffee oil. *Only detergent can do that. *(I should pause to mention that Im using oil as shorthand for whatever it is in coffee that is not water soluble; Im sure that its a mixture of compounds, some of which may not be oils, but oil is a convenient shorthand.)

    If you dont believe me, remove your filter basket from your portafilter after pulling a few shots and take a look at the bottom. *There should be a bunch of brown oil on the outside of the filter basket, around the holes. *The bottom will be covered, particularly if you have been pulling very slow shots. *Replace the filter basket and run water through the portafilter. *Try running a litre or two through. *Remove the basket and take a look at the bottom - the oil will still be there. *If you can be bothered removing your shower screen, you could also take a look at the oil on the dispersion block before and after a clean water backflush.

    The point of this is to say that Im pretty sure that backflushing with water only does not decrease the necessity of backflushing with detergent. *You can backflush with water until the cows come home; there will still be oil on your dispersion block, behind your shower screen. This oil will bake on and start to smell pretty rank. If you only backflush once a month, you will get to the point where you are pulling shots over month old baked on oil ... regardless of your usage. In fact, one could make an argument that more usage actually decreases the necessity for backflushing, seeing as the oil on your dispersion block will be somewhat soluble in subsequent shots - obviously, this argument isnt totally sound because we can infer that oil buildup can negatively affect the cup, regardless of how baked on it is.

    Another way of making the point is like this: you can either remove the oil on your dispersion screen by using detergent and throwing it out, or you can remove it - or, rather, some of it - by pulling shots ... and drinking it.

    Regarding the dispersion screen, I did the unthinkable and waited something like a year and a half or two years before I first removed my screen for cleaning. I did so because I just never really bothered to get a spare screen and gasket to have on hand in case something went wrong - given that my home machine has a screen held in place by the gasket. Eventually, my gasket needed replacement, so I went off and got the spares. The screen actually came off really easily by prying with a screwdriver and I steeled myself for the horrors that awaited, expecting the worst, but conscious that the water flow had never been bad and I didnt feel that the cup quality had gone down. This is what I saw:




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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    So you can see that the raw brass dispersion block is a little tarnished, as one would expect from normal use. Beyond that, I have to say that it was astonishingly clean. The photo below shows the shower screen, which had rather more gunk on it, but, still, you can see that there were absolutely no blockages.

    I attribute this amazing cleanliness to weekly backflushing with cafetto, following the procedure that I outlined above. I suspect that leaving the detergent in the blind basket, locked in the head with the pump OFF for several minutes is a pretty important part of the procedure. The LM and Synesso machines have stainless steel dispersion blocks and following this procedure leaves them basically looking brand new.

    Cheers,

    Luca


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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Now get out your 10c coin or wide blade screwdriver and take off the little dispersion block thingy in the middle and check out behind that too. I reckon heaps of nasties have to hide there in the little grooves. *Itook mine out and it was pretty black even though the outside looked clean(maybe not as clean as yours though * :-[)

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Maybe its just my monitor too but that grouphead looks heaps like a copper colour - threw me for a second there.... gee thats clean though - good stuff Cafetto

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Beautiful and clean there Luca.... and as you say "Its whats in the cup that counts".... and having the group clean is REALLY important to great tasting shots.

    Yep, Cafetto is great for getting rid of the gunk in machines (also great for removing coffee oils from roasters by the way!)...

    And like Luca, I leave the cafetto stand for a few minutes...

    I do a couple of flushes as per recommendation on the pack..... then let stand for several minutes.... and then continue the procedure....

    I find it works really well that way.... and everything stays nice and clean (and no yucky tastes either!)

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    OK, Im convinced. Weekly detergent it is.

    I did a detergent backflush on Sunday and since then the machine has only had 5 shots including the seasoning shot.
    I poured a shot and then did a clean water backflush and then removed the showerscreen. Naturally it looked clean but when I ran my finger over it, a good smear of coffee oil was collected on it. Thats after only 5 shots!

    Dan - It looks copper-coloured on my monitor as well but probably something to do with lighting??
    BTW. I also removed the dispersion block screw and it looked very clean under it. *Ive only had my machine for just under 3 months. How often should it be cleaned?

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I try to rememeber to use the caffetto weekly.
    I used to do it fortnightly but then had a look under the showerscreen one time and decided weekly would be better.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1227410944/20#30 date=1227675507
    I try to rememeber to use the caffetto weekly.
    I used to do it fortnightly but then had a look under the showerscreen one time and decided weekly would be better.
    Same.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Luca,

    I donít think anyone here is suggesting that itís not necessary to regularly backflush with detergent. Itís just HOW frequent that is the question. MaxPower is suggesting to do it EVERY DAY, and that to me seems quite absurd for a home machine pulling like 2 double shots per day Ė thatís only like 2 shots and then needing to do chemical backflush, followed by another 2 shots, followed by another chemical backflush, etc...... Ė quite ridiculous and impractical for home use. Wouldnít that amount of use do more harm than good? Doesnít the 3-way valve require a film of coffee oil to keep it lubricated?

    If the showerscreen, etc is getting dirty, then of course clean it with detergent. But if itís NOT dirty, if itís still sparkling clean from the previous chemical clean a few days ago, why waste your time cleaning something thatís already clean?

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    To work out the frequency of detergent back flushing use your senses. *If you can taste it and / or see it stripping the crema then you should flush more frequently.

    Flushing (or backflushing) with plain water will help too - if done immediately after finishing a round of shots. *It leaves a little less residue to bake on.

    Also the detergent back flush doesnt remove all the residue - just the easier to remove residue which would find its way into the brew.

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    There are a lot of variables as to how often you should do a cleaning regime. The design of the machine, how you use it, and how often you use it also contribute to the possible answer.

    I try not to use detergent too often with the E-61 machine because it is hard on the internal moving parts of the brewhead. On the Silvia I used detergent more often because the 3-way passages are quite small and can become clogged more easily (or at least thats the way it seemed to me). .

    If you tend to updose and often get coffee all over the shower screen you probably need to clean more frequently. If you make two or three doubles a day, then cleaning with detergent once every two weeks is probably sufficient.

    backflushing with detergent is more effective for cleaning the parts you cannot access easily. It is not a replacement for removing the shower screen to clean the screen and brewhead areas. Just because you washed your hair in the shower does not mean that your underarms got cleaned.

    For those in need, I have instructions on removing the E-61 screen posted on my website in the How-To area. They include a simple animation and details that make it easy as well as getting it done without destroying the screen.


  36. #36
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Coffee "oils" dont have any lubrication qualities...... other than for the coffee consumers tongue! ;D

    In the coffee machine they rapidly oxidise and form a tar like substance.... which gums things up..... and will eventually cause the 3 way to *stick.... All it really needs is water to lubricate the seals.

    I dont believe over chemical flushing will do any harm (other than very minor damage to your bank balance).... but infrequent chemical backflushing will taint your coffee and eventually gum up your machine...

    And because degradation in the taste is gradual.... you might not notice it as much as someone who hasnt had their taste buds slowly skewed by rancid coffee oils (like a visitor)... By the time you taste the off flavour..... it is probably too late! A better test would be to compare the taste before and after backflushing..... and if it tastes better after - you have waited too long :P

    Far better to err on the side of overuse than under use.....

  37. #37
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Absolutely JB.... Fully support what Luca has written above too and experienced a similar outcome with one of my machines.

    Considering how cheap Espresso Clean is and how little time it takes, coupled with the guarantee that your coffee wont be tainted with rancid oils and tar, why on earth wouldnt you do it at least once a week? Doesnt matter how many shots you pull per day, its all part of the maintenance of your much loved hardware and its ability to keep pulling excellent coffee.

    Its all about the quality of whats in your cup, nothing else really matters and for mine, I dont want anything interfering with that.....

    Mal.


  38. #38
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1227410944/20#36 date=1227690736
    Absolutely JB.... Fully support what Luca has written above too and experienced a similar outcome with one of my machines.

    Considering how cheap Espresso Clean is and how little time it takes, coupled with the guarantee that your coffee wont be tainted with rancid oils and tar, why on earth wouldnt you do it at least once a week? Doesnt matter how many shots you pull per day, its all part of the maintenance of your much loved hardware and its ability to keep pulling excellent coffee.

    Its all about the quality of whats in your cup, nothing else really matters and for mine, I dont want anything interfering with that.....

    Mal.
    I agree, however I had read elsewhere that overuse of chemical cleaner could damage your machine, and I wouldnt want to do that. Maybe that information is incorrect though.....

  39. #39
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I found on e61 that it makes the lever very "sticky" for about the first 5 shots afterwards. Not sure if that is doing damage, but it doesnt feel quite right. On my rancilio I would not be concerned flushing however often I like.

  40. #40
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    My understanding is that the lever has a small amount of food grade lubricant in there. When the coffee residue joins in, the lever gets progressivley looser. I went too long before a backflush when I first got my machine and found that it got so loose that the lever would jump out of the top position during a shot.

    When I backflush mine, I get the same tightening up of the lever, but I figure it is all OK unless it actually feels like metal on metal, and then its time to take it apart and apply some grease (or appropriate product).

  41. #41
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I think the trick here is to clean it extremely like I do (everyday@end of the day) for a few weeks.

    Then go back to doing it once a week.

    You can always go up in quality easily, but its much more difficult to go down in quality.

    Call it my two week challenge. I had a laugh

  42. #42
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I must admit that I looked at this a long time ago and was sure that someone with considerable experience told me that too much backflushing was worse than too little (ie particularly if the cleaning process is sufficient to keep the 3 way working properly and with regular mechanical cleaning behind the shower screen and of the dispersal block - it wasnt the cost of the detergent because its cheap, but rather the corrossive effects I was concerned about). The consensus now seems clearly to be the more the merrier, so I will go to once per week. Interestingly with my regime when I pull off the screens I see a pretty clean set up - I also never taste rancid coffee or bitterness. I always clean the screen with the still Palo brush after each shot whilst running a cup of water through, and then do a water backflush.

    Cheers

    PS. Learn somthing new every day hey

  43. #43
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Quote Originally Posted by ozscott link=1227410944/40#41 date=1227750950
    *Interestingly with my regime when I pull off the screens I see a pretty clean set up
    Maybe cos youre spreading yourself thin over the 2 groups ;) ;D

  44. #44
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    good point matey

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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Wow, it looks like there is a very diverse range of opinions on optimal intervals between backflushing.

    I guess I will continue doing what I am doing, as it seems to me to give me my best taste. I may try reducing the amount of cafetto used though and see if there is a difference.

  46. #46
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I guess, like all things requiring maintenance, there is going to be scope for a wide variability of application dependent on how the machine is used, how often, the design of the machine, other maintenance measures being used.... And lots more.

    Best thing to do really, is adopt an over-maintenance strategy early on; check the efficacy by inspecting all components potentially impacted by contamination. If inspection reveals no problems, stretch the maintenance interval period out by some nominal amount and keep repeating, until you notice signs of coffee oil(s)/detritus retention that werent there before. Go back to the previous maintenance interval period and if inspections are clear, then this is the interval period for you and your machine. If a substantial change in the usage pattern occurs, then you may need to update the maintenance interval period accordingly.

    For me, this works out to be weekly, hence my recommendation for a single group machine being used 1-2 sessions daily, and switched off between sessions.

    Cheers :)
    Mal.

  47. #47
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    I had a laugh this thread is so funny! It starts asking about a seasoning shots and ends with how often should we clean a machine!!! hehe


  48. #48
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: seasoning shot after backflush

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yeah well..... ::)

    Its all kind of related so its good as far as Im concerned 8-)

    Mal.



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