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Sorry for the title but it describes the phenomenon of a seemingly blocked pour. This has happened randomly (maybe?) around five times now and I do not understand how it happens.

 

I carry out a normal 18gm shot using freshly ground beans. It is tamped as normal and takes 25 seconds to produce a good looking shot. I immediately dump the grounds and wash out the portafilter which is immediately put in the E61 and the group flushed until clean. I then dry the portafilter and grind a new 18gm load into it. I finger level and tamp with my usual 30lb (or less if I'm expecting this problem), set the timer to 25 seconds and start it and the pump.

 

I wait, and wait, and wait, perhaps for up to 10 seconds before both PF nozzles start to slowly drip like black oil. The drips do eventually turn into a pour with the correct colour and after a total of possibly 40 seconds or more seconds I stop the pour.

 

Regardless of whether this turned out to be an acceptable taste, which it sometimes does, I really need to understand why this is happening and when it does its always immediately after a normal pour?

 

During the first or subsequent pour the brew pressure as indicated by the gauge has never dropped below 10.5Bar

 

As I need to keep the hair I have left I really would appreciate any advice.

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With my mini-e I found this (especially as the grinds back up inside the chute behind the grid)

 

as an example, grinding until nothing left in hopper/throat

 

Shot 1. Throw 18g in hopper. grind. 16.7g in portafilter. 1.3g in chute (if I didnt brush it out then....)

Shot 2. additional 18g in hopper. grind. approx 17.5g in portafilter 1.8g now in chute.

and so on.

 

Removing the grid and brushing the chute clear , meant 18g in 18g out....& shot consistancy

Edited by garydyke1
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I think Gary is referring to the practice of weighing the beans prior to grinding and then grinding only those beans. This is achieved by keeping the grinder empty and then only filling it with the weighed beans each time you grind.

 

Sometimes people who single dose grind (grind just enough in the grinder for the drink they are about to brew) overlook weighing the coffee coming out of the grinder because they have already weighed the coffee going in. Unfortunately, most grinders retain some of the ground coffee after grinding (some a lot more than others). This means it is necessary to weigh the coffee coming out of the grinder as well as the coffee going in and sometimes it may be necessary to grind slightly more than needed to allow for the retention inside the grinder.

 

A further problem with grind retention is that those retained grounds will probably come out of the shoot as part of the grind for the next drink. If the next drink is sufficiently in the future then those retained grounds will probably be stale and so behave differently during brewing. To counter this, many people chuck a few g of sacrificial beans through the grinder prior to grinding to purge any stale retained grounds.

Edited by jimbow
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