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bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the mess??

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  • bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the mess??

    Ive got a bottomless portafilter Ive tried to use a few times with my Expobar Office Semi-Auto. I have 7 and 14 gram baskets provided with the machine, plus a 21g basket I purchased at the same time as the portafilter.

    I have stopped using this bottomless PF because everytime I use it, with any of the baskets I own, it tends to jet little squirts in diagonals during the extraction. Most the coffee ends up in the cup but the whole process is very messy, and I often need to clean the counter or machine afterwards.

    Has anyone experienced the same problem? Im guessing I may need to try a different basket or tamp differently. Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    jprm

  • #2
    Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

    I thought it was just me :-(

    Does not sound as bad as you but I have to use a mug rather than a smaller coffee cup otherwise little splatters of coffee. Sometimes worse than others but all the same, it detracts from using the NPF.

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    • #3
      Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

      These "little squirts" are actually signs that your dose/distribution/tamp requires a bit of improvement as each of the jet sprays occurs where the puck has lines or channels of less resistance than the overall puck. You need to practice with the dose/distribution/tamp until such time as you no longer observe them.

      Bottomless PFs are a great training aid in this respect and well worth your time to sort out. All the best,

      Mal.

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      • #4
        Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

        Agree with Mal, this it the idea behind bottomless PF, to see the bottom of the basket and diagnose problems with the pour that may be difficult or impossible to determine without that ability. The bottomless PF is a learning tool, and a properly warmed and clean spout wont affect the shot at all, so once youve mastered the art of distribution and tamping you can continue using the bottomless PF or go back to a spout. The latter will give you more flexibility as the bottomless means double shots by default.

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        • #5
          Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

          A good first post Pete; welcome to Coffee Snobs.

          You and Mal have said everything I wanted to except:
          jprm just be careful they dont squirt you in the eye while youre under there checking how your distribution/tamp went. ;D

          It takes a fair bit of practice but youll get there.

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          • #6
            Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

            Thanks Thor, long time lurker so thought I better do the right thing and sign up.

            I recall the first time I went naked and saw the little squirt monster that had been lurking all the time inside my portafilter and (literally) saying to myself WTF!!! So I can certainly appreciate where these guys are coming from.

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            • #7
              Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

              why is it everyone says you have to use a double basket in a naked pf? I use the single that came with my machine, never had any problems.

              I only get the squirts when i am making de caf for some reason? Anyone know why this may be?

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              • #8
                Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                Decaf needs to be ground a fair bit finer than the normal bean. If you are not, perhaps this could be the reason.

                Cheers

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                • #9
                  Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                  you might find a good read on homebarista.com which has an article on diagnosing extraction problems with a naked pf.

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                  • #10
                    Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                    Originally posted by fishinglizard1972 link=1226843520/0#6 date=1226918606
                    why is it everyone says you have to use a double basket in a naked pf?  I use the single that came with my machine, never had any problems.
                    What do you mean everyone?
                    PeteF mentioned it but noone else did.

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                    • #11
                      Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                      Thanks for the feedback guys. Im definately giving the naked another whirl tomorrow morning. My plan of attack is to tap the PF a few times to settle the grinds and tamp the buggery out of it. I spent Sunday giving the machine the polish of a lifetime with the microfibre cloth so hopefully I dont mess this one up!

                      If I cant get the desired result soon, then hopefully when I get a pullman tamper I can turn things around.

                      Cheers,
                      jprm

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                      • #12
                        Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                        Consider the the tamp/dose/grind as mentioned.

                        The Pullman is an awesome tamper and will help with weight/pressure issues, eveness of the tamp, and it can also help you check the dose size. By tamping evenly and correctly you have just eliminated one of the variables(the tamp) and have a mark to start working on the dose/grind.

                        By checking your cookie after every shot you should be able to eliminate the other two variables.

                        Also by using the naked handle you eliminate any dirty build up inside the handle, especially the hard to clean spouts

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                        • #13
                          Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                          Originally posted by jprm link=1226843520/0#10 date=1226932201
                          and tamp the buggery out of it.
                          easy does it.  

                          i have found that my old method of tamping (ala the buggery route) was LESS helpful than a lighter tamp say at 15-20kgs of pressure. try the old bathroom scales trick. its less effort than you probably think.

                          tamping is probably one of the LESS important variables, but try and keep it consistent and LEVEL to the puck. no point having a great dose and distribution and then giving it a lovely 20 degree angle tamp (especially with "buggery" pressure)

                          aaron



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                          • #14
                            Re: bottomless portafilters - how do I stop the me

                            Originally posted by fishinglizard1972 link=1226843520/0#6 date=1226918606
                            why is it everyone says you have to use a double basket in a naked pf?  I use the single that came with my machine, never had any problems.
                            Sorry my oversight. Most shots Ive seen of others using a naked PF are with double baskets, indeed Ill go out on a limb here and suggest the majority of single baskets are probably gathering dust in a drawer somewhere! In my experience the double is easily the most common used. Not wanting to give up on the controversial opinions ;D Ill go on to suggest the double arguably tends to give the most consistent, even extraction. Not to say that a single cant be used, but in my opinion takes more skill. [controversial statement ends here]

                            I went from drinking doubles all day to singles as I was simply consuming too much caffeine, so Mr Naked PF was positioned right next to the single basket. Like many establishments whom I respect, for a single one half goes in my tummy (yum), the other half goes down the drain. Actually since I mainly have milk based drinks I still put a shot glass under the "waste" spout and check the machines volumetric dosing is still about right, cant resist the temptation to taste the straight espresso, and ultimately consume almost a double anyway! Groan

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