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Thread: Naked Portafilters? Why?

  1. #1
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    Naked Portafilters? Why?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ok in another of my memory lapses of many years of playing with machines etc,
    Why were/are naked portafilters used? I get that sticking your head under the group to watch it would be like porn, esp that tigerstriping and forming like dripping honey does still get me gooey at the knees,
    But for everyday use, does it do anything apart from just look almost as good as Charlize Theron?

    Genuinely curious if its a good idea to have as Im about to buy new portafilters for Maria? (NS Mac V)


    thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    I bought one and now it sits unused with all the other coffee related clutter.

    It did confirm to me there is no channelling in my extractions. Beyond that, like you I got a stiff neck from looking upside down.

    You can only do one-cup coffees.

    I suppose, if you were desperately seeking justification to have one, you could say that since it has no bottom there is nothing to wipe and keep clean down there....
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  3. #3
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    thanks kinda what I thought, thanks Robusto

  4. #4
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Most of the time I use spouted...

    Going bottomless:

    * Larger baskets -> high dose of coffee
    * As Robusto mentioned - check for your extraction and shot quality... QA
    * Cleaner basket and cleaner for back to back shots...
    * Spray coffee in your eyes... cleansing :-D
    * Coffee not touching a chromed portafilter. I've found some older PF's that stink or taint.
    * You like to see your coffee flowing down
    * Large take away cups might not fit under spouted

    Let's have some Baca...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJjHcCtLaBY
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  5. #5
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    I use mine main,y because the 20 basket didn’t fit in the spouted handle I have and cleaning ease.
    I bought it to check for channeling.
    At work I use stainless spouted handles as they are the best and so easy to clean
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  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Yes, they do take the larger 21 gram basket -- mine came with that basket thrown in.

    The larger basket is too deep for my regular portafilters, so it sticks out above the rim too far and I can't get the portafilters on.

    But of course OK in the bottomless. HOWEVER, the bottomless lugs don't sit well into the group head....the portafilter sticks out around the 8 0 o'clock position, clinging on for dear life and will fall off during the extraction unless I hold it on.... Just can't win.

    It was advertised as a Grimac, but obviously aint.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rusty888's Avatar
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    I use it exclusively due to clearance height, cleanliness, tamping is easier on a flat surface.

    I donít get any spray issues so I canít see why I should go back to a spout
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Because they work great with a 28g basket.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty888 View Post
    I use it exclusively due to clearance height, cleanliness, tamping is easier on a flat surface.

    I don’t get any spray issues so I can’t see why I should go back to a spout

    Ditto. Ditto.

  10. #10
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    must confess id get one just for the tigerstripe watching part
    but knowing me my neck would get bored real quick
    might have to raise the machine ��

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    I have goine for a compromise solution that works well for me - cut a 32.5mm hole into the base. Give me the flat surface, the clearance, easier to clean, and has protected me from the occassional spray.

    Now that the spray issue is getting less and less frequent, I am thinking of going up another half inch.

  12. #12
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Some have mentioned "spray" from the regular portafilter. I must confess I've not come across this before. Can someone please enlighten me?
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  13. #13
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Just an FYI for neck pain sufferers, any mirror - within reason - or part thereof, will work as a "shot mirror". I use a 25year old broken travel shaving mirror, no body popping or pole vault neck straining required. Just a bit of recycling and re-purposing :-). More importantly, holistically, enjoy your shots no matter how you look at them and get them in the cup.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    Just an FYI for neck pain sufferers, any mirror - within reason - or part thereof, will work as a "shot mirror". I use a 25year old broken travel shaving mirror, no body popping or pole vault neck straining required. Just a bit of recycling and re-purposing :-). More importantly, holistically, enjoy your shots no matter how you look at them and get them in the cup.
    I scoff at your simplistic an bloody good idea noonar!,
    Only because i didnt think of it first
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Some have mentioned "spray" from the regular portafilter. I must confess I've not come across this before. Can someone please enlighten me?

    Curious on this too as to my mind something spraying, i think of an old cat i once looked after!
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  16. #16
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Spray from a naked is typically a channel that goes all the way to the bottom of the puck and has enough pressure for some coffee to spurt out at an angle. They can last from a split second to a couple of seconds.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    Just an FYI for neck pain sufferers, any mirror - within reason - or part thereof, will work as a "shot mirror". I use a 25year old broken travel shaving mirror, no body popping or pole vault neck straining required. Just a bit of recycling and re-purposing :-). More importantly, holistically, enjoy your shots no matter how you look at them and get them in the cup.
    yep! also if you don’t have any mirrors hanging around you can run down to your local auto shop and pick up a blind-spot mirror.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    "mirrors hanging around" ​classic.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    Just an FYI for neck pain sufferers, any mirror - within reason - or part thereof, will work as a "shot mirror". I use a 25year old broken travel shaving mirror, no body popping or pole vault neck straining required. Just a bit of recycling and re-purposing :-). More importantly, holistically, enjoy your shots no matter how you look at them and get them in the cup.
    That'd work, buuuuuuut, I wonder when someone will rig a camera trained on the portafilter, hooked to a screen in front of and above the machine, so that the operator can view each and every shot in real time, without resorting to smoke and mirrors and not risking a neck strain each and every shot.

    PS my nekid PF lives in the draw, its a good one had it turned down from a spare brass Rancilio PF, I got over the novelty factor within days.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    I don't recall an individual doing it but I've seen a number of businesses that have such a set up.


    Java "Gotta love tech!" phile
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    I don't recall an individual doing it but I've seen a number of businesses that have such a set up.


    Java "Gotta love tech!" phile
    I had a feeling it had probably been done.

  22. #22
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    I tried too, even cast the video in 4k to a 75inch telly, found it a bit distracting. The handy thing about a 2mm thick flat mirror is it sits very near to the receiving shot glass and the scales it sits on, so everything is within eye-shot and easily monitored- without strain.
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    Thanks Woodhouse, I just grabbed one at lunch from Super Cheap SCA blind spot mirror 360 degree rotating https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/...le/225782.html (mods not sure you need to delete as I don't think any sponsors are carrying mirrors). This has one fat edge so should sit to the left side of drip tray on my Giotto with fat side out and reflect the underside of the group nicely. Will see how it goes tomorrow morning.

    I mainly got a naked portafilter to tune my skills and get grind/tamping more accurate. I also like the flat tamping surface as flat tamping was one of my biggest challenges. I also like the fact you can see the shot developing in the earlier stages say from 0-10 seconds post pre-infusion when on a double spout there is not alot happening other than a few drips.
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  24. #24
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    Here's a couple of el-cheapo solutions to help with watching naked portafilter extractions.


    On the left is a folding purse make-up mirror. 50 cents at op-shops or $2 at dollar stores. The angle at which the mirror is held seems just right for watching the naked portafilter.


    The second is a knock off of the Lyn Weber Looking Glass. Not wanting to spend US $80 plus freight I got an evil bay tamper for $17 delivered, a magnetic door stop/holder from the big green shed for $3.50 and a round make-up mirror for $2 from a dollar shop. With a little bit of fiddling this is the result. It is a little high at the moment but I will get the wooden handle turned down a bit and it should be right.


    Apologies for the photo quality. It was taken in low light but I hope conveys the idea.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  25. #25
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    I just used to do this...

    Shot at 8 Secs.jpg

    Mal.

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    looks awesome mal!
    one machine in pieces one machine needing parts it brings a tear to my eyes

  27. #27
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullo View Post
    one machine in pieces one machine needing parts it brings a tear to my eyes
    Sorry to hear that mate.
    What are you doing for coffee at the moment?

    Mal.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Sorry to hear that mate.
    What are you doing for coffee at the moment?

    Mal.
    youd not talk to me if you only knew
    heck Im considering buying a silvia to get me thru then take that to work!!
    awaiting replies and postage!! and have a shiney new mazzer mini sitting there going unloved (thanks Damien you legend!)
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  29. #29
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I converted my PF to a naked years ago mainly for a tinker and the pour porn curiosity. I now use one all the time, so much cleaner between shots, no stray drips of remnant coffee from the spouts etc.

    Cheers
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  30. #30
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Because it couldn't find a pair of jeans that fit.


    Java "Au Natural" phile
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  31. #31
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Agree with artman here, the naked PF is so much cleaner to pour the shot and clean up after.
    I also find (as others have mentioned) that it is easier to tamp and I personally find the crema is more stable as you don't have to worry as much about heating up the PF like traditional 1 or 2 spout so the crema isn't "dissolved".
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  32. #32
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    Does the significant reduction in thermal mass of the naked compared with spouted have any taste effect on shots?

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    I got a naked PF with my Silvia partly for troublshooting and partly for the joy of watching the shot pour. I quite reguarly only make coffee for myself so will use the naked portafilter still for most drinks unless we have people over and I'm making multiple drinks, then I'll use the double spout.
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  34. #34
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    Does the significant reduction in thermal mass of the naked compared with spouted have any taste effect on shots?
    For my tastebuds the lack of contact with the bottom of the PF and the spouts has a significant (positive) impact. The thermal mass doesn't matter anywhere near as much because the coffee isn't coming into direct contact with it. It doesn't seem to matter that there's less warm PF around, as long as what PF is around is warm.

    Edit: For me every single thing about the naked is better, except it's lack of ability to split shots. It doesn't get as dirty, it's easier to clean when it does, it heats up faster, it looks better, and it tastes better.
    Last edited by level3ninja; 1 Week Ago at 06:37 PM.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    For my tastebuds the lack of contact with the bottom of the PF and the spouts has a significant (positive) impact. The thermal mass doesn't matter anywhere near as much because the coffee isn't coming into direct contact with it. It doesn't seem to matter that there's less warm PF around, as long as what PF is around is warm.

    Edit: For me every single thing about the naked is better, except it's lack of ability to split shots. It doesn't get as dirty, it's easier to clean when it does, it heats up faster, it looks better, and it tastes better.
    G'day level3ninja

    I couldn't agree more. I haven't used a spout for circa 30+ years and do not intend to.

    I first found out that light roasts tasted way better when I did my three week intensive in 1979, thought I was imagining it and continued using spouted p/fs for about another three years.

    I eventually scored a weekend with the best gear in Perth at the time (IMO) and it took about 2 hours to work out that the naked has firmer and better tasting crema on all roasts and the rest of the cuppa tastes better in light to medium roasts to boot.

    My Josco Holesaw must have converted 50 p/fs to naked by now.

    Enjoy your cuppa whatever it is and however you make it.

    TampIt
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  36. #36
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    The less interaction the espresso and crema has with any surface after brewing the better it is in the cup. Hence why super-autos (At least as currently designed.) will never produce as good a result in the cup as the machines using portafilters. Even more so when they're using naked portafilters.

    About 15 years ago I was fortunate enough to have what was arguably the worlds best super-auto (A La Cimbali M52 which retailed at that time for in the neighborhood of $USD25,000.) on my bench at home and at the same time a La Cimbali M28 2(gr) that I had just refurbed. The M52 of course had its' own grinders built in but to insure any potential short coming in them was eliminated as a possible issue I tested using the manual chute feeding it coffee ground with the same Mazzer Super Jolly that was feeding the M28 as well. Using identical coffees in both machines across the board the M28 won hands down in every single taste test by a wide margin.

    Using just the M28 and comparing the spouted portafilters to the naked portafilters there was not as wide a margin but there was still a very clear margin of victory for the naked portafilters producing the better result in the cup. This was true with both a bare brass and a chrome plated interior portafilter on the spouted ones.


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  37. #37
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    Have recently got a naked ecm PF for my sync.....the flavour is awesome, however its definitely identified a significant bias with my tamping. I am currently getting minimal channelling however the extraction appears on one side of the grinder to the other. This is presumably due to an uneven tamp (potentially thumb heavy).

    So my question is then, do I go back to redefining my tamping method (of many years) or bite the bullet on a level-er tamp. Happy to hear others thoughts, experiences or tips on improving their technique. That all being said - I probably shouldn't get too hung up on it - the coffee tastes great!
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  38. #38
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    Hawk87: get some cheap fresh Aldi beans and practice new tamping I have KA/Gaggia (58mm, original basket), and cheap tamper with .5mm gaps but still pours even. I use a fork to redistribute grinds from Breville SGP. Your issue might be grinder sending grinds to one side? But if I tastes good?
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by RexChan View Post
    Hawk87: get some cheap fresh Aldi beans and practice new tamping I have KA/Gaggia (58mm, original basket), and cheap tamper with .5mm gaps but still pours even. I use a fork to redistribute grinds from Breville SGP. Your issue might be grinder sending grinds to one side? But if I tastes good?
    Have finally got the corretto back up and firing, so i'll have 500g of Ethiopian Sundried ready to go on the weekend to play around with the tamp/process. Very spoilt with a consistent grinder but i'll take closer note of where the grinds are going, and I also use an OCD redistribution tool.....might try a different technique and assess results.

    haha yes, if it tastes good why stress? But aren't we all here in the pursuit of perfection?
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