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Are you getting sticky/stuck pucks? Please give me your feedback


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As per title. I'm trying to gauge if anyone is getting sticky/stuck pucks to the group of their machines after brewing. E.g.: You brew your coffee, you remove the portafilter, the basket is empty. The coffee puck remains stuck to the shower screen. You blip the pump and it falls.

If you are getting stuck pucks, could you please tell me:

- Which machine;
- Any modifications from stock;
- Which basket; (Stock, VST, IMS - please specify the model, capacity, etc, etc)
- Which coffee, how old; (from roast date or since out of the freezer provided it was frozen straightway after shipping)
- Which dose (in grams, e.g.: 18g);
- Which grinder;
- How frequent, i.e.: 90%, 50%, 25% of the shots, etc...
- Can you mitigate it, how? What do you do differently? What did you change?
- Any other comments.

From my experience so far - and hence gathering more data - I can tell you that a gasket, a basket or even the grinder can make all the difference between having it 90% of the time vs never having a stuck puck at all. I'd be delighted to hear from you if you have or are currently experiencing it.

Please only reply to the questions above, all of them, per post. Serious business only. 

To the interest of this study, please refrain from adding useless comments such "how did it taste?" or "do you drink your coffee puck?" please. I get it has no bearing on taste, but I know we all get a bit annoyed when it happens. 🙂 

Thank you!

----

I'll start:

Lelit Elizabeth, Cafelat Gasket 8mm, IMS 18g. Mainly LSOL/Light roasted, consumed within 3 weeks from roast date. 18g dose, Niche Zero. Was getting 95% of the time at one point. Mitigated by ditching the Cafelat gasket and going back to the the stock gasket from Lelit (plain old 8mm E61 rubber gasket and unlocking the portafilter holding the PF from the edge of the handle, closest to me, pushing it down slightly - just gravity will do, holding it loosely). I hardly ever get a stuck puck now. 

Edited by MediumRoastSteam
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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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LM GS3 MP

cafelat gasket

stock screen

18g VST

Square mile red brick, less than one month old

18g dose, WDT then tamp 58.4mm, no spinner or OCD.

6 sec pre infusion at 2 bar then 9 bar ramping down to 6 bar. Total shot time 27 secs.

Ceado e37s 

Stuck puck 50% of the time.

Mitigated by slackening PF slightly then a quick burst of water through the group to knock the puck off. Puddle of water on top of the puck but lesser of two evils.
 

 

 

Edited by lake_m
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GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

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Will also add that it’s worse the longer the puck is left in the group. Also worse with VST  v’s stock basket as the shiny VST surface releases the puck far easier leaving it stuck to the screen.

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GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bolta said:

A filter paper on the bottom and the top of the basket will eliminate this problem.

Please answer the questions as per OP. That would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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On 27/12/2020 at 21:30, MediumRoastSteam said:

Which machine;
- Any modifications from stock; no
- Which basket; (Stock, VST, IMS - please specify the model, capacity, etc, etc) vst 18g
- Which coffee, how old; (from roast date or since out of the freezer provided it was frozen straightway after shipping)
- Which dose (in grams, e.g.: 18g);
- Which grinder;
- How frequent, i.e.: 90%, 50%, 25% of the shots, etc...
- Can you mitigate it, how? What do you do differently? What did you change?
- Any other 

Which machine; Liz


- Any modifications from stock; no


- Which basket; (Stock, VST, IMS - please specify the model, capacity, etc, etc)

vst 18g


- Which coffee, how old; (from roast date or since out of the freezer provided it was frozen straightway after shipping)

no idea


- Which dose (in grams, e.g.: 18g); 18g to 19g depends on grind size


- Which grinder; Niche


- How frequent, i.e.: 90%, 50%, 25% of the shots, etc...

about 1 once week, no idea of %


- Can you mitigate it, how? What do you do differently? What did you change?

nothing 


- Any other comments

no

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ECM Synchronika 2020

Cafelat silicone gasket 8.0 mm

stock screen and IMS Nanotech (seems to have made no difference)

18g VST unridged

UE house roast at present, approx 4 weeks old but stored in airscape jar.

18g dose, WDT with cocktail stick, tamp with ECM tamper.

~7s Pre wetting. 26-28s shot (36g is my target as opposed to shot time)

Eureka Mignon MkII

Puck sticks approx 80% of the time. Rarely knocks out cleanly even if it doesn’t stick to the screen. Sometimes I have a sort of layered construction to the puck remnants after incoming it out, kind of line sedimentary rock.

My next step will be to try a 20g basket whilst maintaining 18g dose.
 

I also think that the 8.0 gasket is incorrect and that I should have the 8.5. WLL and BB advice on the gasket thickness for an ECM is contradictory.

To remove the stuck puck I use the empty PF. I line up the basket with the puck and position it over the puck to about half depth (ensuring top of basket will still clear the group) then I slowly move the PF towards me which slides the puck off the screen. Very little movement is needed to release the suction and 99% of the puck just drops into the basket. Forward flush and a wipe deals with the rest. 


 

Edited by B-Roadie
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4 minutes ago, B-Roadie said:

 

ECM Synchronika 2020

Cafelat silicone gasket 8.0 mm

stock screen and IMS Nanotech (seems to have made no difference)

18g VST unridged

UE house roast at present, approx 4 weeks old but stored in airscape jar.

18g dose, WDT with cocktail stick, tamp with ECM tamper.

~7s Pre wetting. 26-28s shot (36g is my target as opposed to shot time)

Eureka Mignon MkII

Puck sticks approx 80% of the time. Rarely knocks out cleanly even if it doesn’t stick to the screen. Sometimes I have a sort of layered construction to the puck remnants after incoming it out, kind of line sedimentary rock.

My next step will be to try a 20g basket whilst maintaining 18g dose.
 

I also think that the 8.0 gasket is incorrect and that I should have the 8.5. WLL and BB advice on the gasket thickness for an ECM is contradictory.

To remove the stuck puck I use the empty PF. I line up the basket with the puck and position it over the puck to about half depth (ensuring top of basket will still clear the group) then I slowly move the PF towards me which slides the puck off the screen. Very little movement is needed to release the suction and 99% of the puck just drops into the basket. Forward flush and a wipe deals with the rest. 


 

Thank you, appreciated. Try disengaging the PF as per my comment above. Let me know if that helps. Also, for your machine, try lowering the lever slowly rather than 1 downward sudden movement. If the PF locks st 6 o’clock, keep the 8mm gasket. If goes past if, then use a 8.5mm one. 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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3 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Thank you, appreciated. Try disengaging the PF as per my comment above. Let me know if that helps. Also, for your machine, try lowering the lever slowly rather than 1 downward sudden movement. If the PF locks st 6 o’clock, keep the 8mm gasket. If goes past if, then use a 8.5mm one. 

Thanks, I’ll give that a go. I am probably a bit fast on moving the lever down in order to try and hit a target weight output. 
 

The 8mm gasket seems fine with the basket filled. With an empty basket however, it swings past 6 fairly easily hence my thinking that the puck in in contact with the screen from the off and I actually need a 20g basket with my current grinder (or reduce the dose) and then also up the gasket to 8.5mm. I don’t have a habit of slamming the handle in super tight though. 

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3 minutes ago, B-Roadie said:

Thanks, I’ll give that a go. I am probably a bit fast on moving the lever down in order to try and hit a target weight output. 
 

The 8mm gasket seems fine with the basket filled. With an empty basket however, it swings past 6 fairly easily hence my thinking that the puck in in contact with the screen from the off and I actually need a 20g basket with my current grinder (or reduce the dose) and then also up the gasket to 8.5mm. I don’t have a habit of slamming the handle in super tight though. 

Is your shower screen fitted correctly? Is the basket the right way up? If yes to both, then try dosing 17g and let us know. 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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8 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

Is your shower screen fitted correctly? Is the basket the right way up? If yes to both, then try dosing 17g and let us know. 

Yes and yes. (Assume you meant gasket).

Will start dosing 17:34 and see how it goes.👍

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Not sure if you are still after data but here’s my info:

Fracino Classico

Cafelat silicone 8mm red gasket

IMS Competition shower screen Nanotech 

Stock 18gm basket 

Variety of beans from sellers listed on this forum - all less than 3 weeks old from roasting 

17.5 gm

Mazzer Super Jolly 

90% of the time 

No mitigation - I simply remove the portafilter & hold it just under the puck & knock into basket.

Cheers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@lake_m @Caffeine fan - I've been using three different IMS baskets, all 26.5h, and they seem to pretty much solve the stuck puck issue. With the VST I have to be careful not to get a stuck puck. With the IMS ones, I can just do whatever I want and I never have one.

If you get the chance to one day give it a go, I'd love to hear from you.

The baskets I tested were:

B70 2T h26.5 M - ridged
B68 2T C h26.5 E - ridgeless

I'm yet to try "the single"

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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

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I have the B68 2T h24.5 M - ridgeless but haven't been using it. I'll give it a go and report back.

I have noticed that with the VST if you knock out the puck straight after pulling the shot it hardly ever sticks. If you leave it in there for more than ten minutes, it will stick.

My wife drinks a dark roasted decaf, and that nearly always sticks regardless. 

 

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GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

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1 hour ago, lake_m said:

I have the B68 2T h24.5 M - ridgeless but haven't been using it. I'll give it a go and report back.

I have noticed that with the VST if you knock out the puck straight after pulling the shot it hardly ever sticks. If you leave it in there for more than ten minutes, it will stick.

My wife drinks a dark roasted decaf, and that nearly always sticks regardless. 

 

This is the one I don't have 🙂 - Would be interesting to know what your experience is. 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

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- Which machine;   SAGE BE
- Any modifications from stock; No
- Which basket; (Stock, VST, IMS - please specify the model, capacity, etc, etc)  Stock
- Which coffee, how old; (from roast date or since out of the freezer provided it was frozen straightway after shipping) All coffees when I've dosed over 19g
- Which dose (in grams, e.g.: 18g); See above
- Which grinder; Niche Zero
- How frequent, i.e.: 90%, 50%, 25% of the shots, etc...  Probably 25%
- Can you mitigate it, how? What do you do differently? What did you change?  No mitigation
- Any other comments. It doesn't bother me any more. I find that unlocking the pf and doing a +5/-5 degree horizontal wiggle (around the PF Z-axis) as a matter of course gets the puck out cleanly

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10 hours ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

@lake_m @Caffeine fan - I've been using three different IMS baskets, all 26.5h, and they seem to pretty much solve the stuck puck issue. With the VST I have to be careful not to get a stuck puck. With the IMS ones, I can just do whatever I want and I never have one.

If you get the chance to one day give it a go, I'd love to hear from you.

The baskets I tested were:

B70 2T h26.5 M - ridged
B68 2T C h26.5 E - ridgeless

I'm yet to try "the single"

Thanks fo the heads up.   I see the basket is good for 16 - 20 gm doses - does this work at 20gm? Thanks 

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@Caffeine fan - I can tell you the B68 2T C h26.5 E works great with 20 grams. This one has straight walls and a convex bottom. Works well with 18g and 20g.  The B70 2T h26.5 M not so much, as it has tapered walls and a flat bottom. So maybe 19g at a push.

Edited by MediumRoastSteam

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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1 minute ago, TomHughes said:

I have a nice lever machine that has no issues with sticky pucks, maybe you should try it @MediumRoastSteam🤣😂

I have tried! And I fully, completely agree with you! Overcomes and solves that issue by design! 😂👍

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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1 minute ago, Caffeine fan said:

@MediumRoastSteamI’m going to get a B68 2T then! Don’t suppose you know the best supplier at the moment? Cheers

Think @BlackCatCoffee might stock those. The IMS codes are tricky.

The first part (B68/B70) doesn't matter too much, as it's the border diameter. The bit that matters is the height, e.g.: h26.5.

I have one for sale - it's in the For Sale section - but it's slightly deeper (h28.5) so really you are talking 20g at minimum, and comfortably going to 22g and maybe more at a push! If you like higher doses, 20g plus - then this is the 28.5h ones are the ones to go. for.

 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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Ok. I have a 28.5mm IMs basket already but it only fits my naked portafilter which I am not using at present (mainly because I hadn’t mastered how to use it). Might give this another go before I buy another. It will probably end up in a right mess but be interesting to see if the pucks stick. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks. 

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I'm not sure if you're interested in people who DON'T have this issue Bertie, but I'll chime in anyway.

- Which machine; Rocket R58
- Any modifications from stock; none except Cafelat blue silicone gasket
- Which basket; (Stock, VST, IMS - please specify the model, capacity, etc, etc) VST 18g Ridgeless
- Which coffee, how old; (from roast date or since out of the freezer provided it was frozen straightway after shipping). LSOL, funky naturals esp Ethiopia, anywhere between 1-6 weeks after roast. Never frozen.
- Which dose (in grams, e.g.: 18g); 17.5-18.5
- Which grinder; Ceado E37s
- How frequent, i.e.: 90%, 50%, 25% of the shots, etc...
I don't think it's happened more than once!
- Can you mitigate it, how? What do you do differently? What did you change?
- Any other comments
Practically never happens. I think the one time it stuck, it was a very fine grind. However, my pucks are often a bit wet on top and knock out 'cleanly' only about 50% of the time.

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16 minutes ago, Caffeine fan said:

Ok. I have a 28.5mm IMs basket already but it only fits my naked portafilter which I am not using at present (mainly because I hadn’t mastered how to use it). Might give this another go before I buy another. It will probably end up in a right mess but be interesting to see if the pucks stick. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks. 

Yep! By all means, dose 20g into it and give it a go! 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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