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About Rainmac13

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    Green Bean

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  • Location
    East Anglia
  • Interests
    Medicine, philosophy and now.. Coffee!
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  1. I never expected to get such an in depth answer and lesson, thank you mate, I really appreciate that. I needed to read that a few times for that to sink in but I think I'm there now! Genuinely fascinating and I never even thought of the remaining mineral concentration post steaming.. I have been trying NOT to look at RO although I have considered the Osmio Zero for its practicality in our kitchen. Still unsure of how easy it is to alter its mineral make-up though. In the mean time I will have a play and tinker away. I now have a lot of new information to try some different techniques and get a regular handle on my machine care (something that I really want to take pride in). I will definitely consider a separate milk steamer, as some of the shots that I've managed to pull so far have really hit the spot for me, and I'd like more of that! I appreciate all of your input guys, I'm really glad I joined the forum.
  2. Righto, so I'm now going to order a blank basket and I'll make back flushing part of my routine. I appreciate your input. Is there any reliable standard cleaning routine? I've seen differing thoughts on the internet. Am I OK to back flush once a week and descale once a month? On the assumption that I'm using bottled water and pulling approximately 3-4 shots a day. Thank you guys! And as a side note, it's interesting about the increased likelihood of this problem with the OPV mod. I haven't heard anyone talking about that which is why I thought I was missing something. It makes sense though. I have been completely blown away by the water variable though. Lesson learned.
  3. First one is now done. Tap water won't be touching my machine again. I was using the Co-op own brand water and more recently Volvic as it was on offer (don't have the bottle numbers to hand). The flow one is a good question. The 'smoothness' in question seemed to be through the portafilter when pulling a shot. Obviously a lot of variables but I kept everything pretty much the same and it seemed to make an instant impact (I'm aware that might well be my bias after modding something). When the flow appeared to drop, the ONLY shot I could pull was very slow, dark and pretty undrinkable regardless of tamping/grind. I didn't take many steps to isolate the problem further before descaling though... Which corrected the issue temporarily, only for it to happen a little over a week later, hence my de scaling last night, which again fixed the problem. It doesn't feel normal to have to descale this regularly.
  4. So, snap history: Due to a mix of having our first child and being a paramedic during the time of lockdown I have discovered specialty coffee and now happily committed to the craft. I love the science behind it and through its processes I feel I've actually discovered how to taste and what affects outcomes etc. I bought a Gaggia Classic 2019 with a Sage Grinder Pro (awaiting a Niche) and over the last couple of months I have installed the beautiful Mrshades' PID and OPV mods. I have been tasting throughout each individual change/tweak. I am now generally speaking pulling good shots but I'm struggling to get my head around one factor: It seems the single biggest affect on the taste recently (since OPV 9 bar mod), has been descaling. Now the reason I mention the OPV is because I wondered if the reduced pressure made it more susceptible to bits of scale affecting flow rate? I haven't been able to definitively check the pressure yet, but once I descale, it runs so much smoother than it did before. So firstly I wonder whether that's a 'thing' or not and secondly if so, should I really see scale causing such disruption a month or so into its life cycle? I have used approximately 50/50 tap water/bottled water as I massively underestimated the importance of water quality. I have descaled twice now and then pulled the most ridiculously, eyes closing, touching me in all the right places shots afterwards! But I want more of that so... Is this rate of descaling going to be this common for me? It seems excessive. Is there anything I am missing or is this part of the learning curve and me 'chasing my tail' to taste that sweet cup again? Sorry for the ramble, cheers for your time! Rob Note: I live in Norfolk so don't need to look up my water content to know that it is going to be an uphill struggle... The area is hard as nails.
  5. Yeah, I second that. The milk rolling and especially the keeping still bit were a bit of a game changer for me.. I have so many bad habits.. When the new Classic's steam wand decides to turn up, the power seems very capable. And of course practice, practice, practice!
  6. Without a PID installed it's about timing the Steam temperature so that it's on the up when you start steaming, that way it's kind of chasing it's tail trying to keep the temperature up whilst you're steaming. There's probably an easier way, however my little routine is: 1: Pull my shot, and click the steam on and knock out puck 2: When steam light goes on (? up to temp) I switch it off, run the group head for a second or so over my portafilter to clean it and the group head. 3: Switch the steam back on and prep my milk. Once the light goes out I wait maybe 4-5 full seconds and whack that bad boy on and start steaming! Don't wait for the light to come on again. Then the temperature is always climbing. 4: Follow this guys instructions. Once I got past his very 'coastal' US mannerisms, the man is really helpful when starting up and this video was when the penny really dropped for me. I also have the New Gaggia Classic and it's a steep but fun learning curve. Like I said before there's probably different methods but this combination works for me. I still have my PID sitting here waiting to be fittef and this should remove the faff of temperature management.. That's my next step. The most important take home from me is: good milk is doable. I was getting quite disheartened but when it clicked it was a sort of Eureka moment. I actually woke up the missus to tell her! (2am in the 'lab'). Surprisingly, she wasn't as impressed as I expected... Not the best art attempt but the drink was a little revelation!
  7. I got the Classic Pro (2019) mostly because it sounded like it fixed a few issues that some prior releases had.. Did I buy wrong? I considered some older ones but figured if I'm starting this journey I'd rather buy new if possible to reduce stress!
  8. I went for the Classic/Sage grinder Pro due to budget.. I like the build quality of both but I'm not yet convinced of the Sage grinder.. It does a safe job but doesn't seem to Grind precise enough and often get too large a difference between individual Grind settings.. Unless I'm missing something..
  9. I am really looking forward to trying this.. I have only had my new Gaggia for a few weeks but get wildly different results depending on pre heat time.. I heard there is a way to get around the auto power cut off on the Classic? Is that true? I find that so frustrating during my morning daddy routine!
  10. Hi guys, I have been lurking a little while on here after falling down a massive coffee rabbit hole during lockdown! I genuinely didn't realise there was so much to it, I love the science behind it and find it quite addictive. Thought I'd introduce myself and say hi! I have loads of questions but I've found most of the answers on here so I'll hold out for now! Look forward to getting more involved with the coffee community Rob
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