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  • Backflush

    Hey,
    Im wondering how often you people backflush?

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      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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      • #4
        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?

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        • #5
          Re: Backflush

          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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          • #6
            Re: Backflush

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

            Regardz,
            FC

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            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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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                • #9
                  Re: Backflush

                  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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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      Re: Backflush

                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          Re: Backflush

                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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???

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Backflush

                              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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