Author Topic: Preinfusion?  (Read 25520 times)

Offline Nurk2

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Preinfusion?
« on: December 10, 2013, 08:32:38 AM »
I was just reading on another board about pre-infusion on the GC using the steam knob.

1) Is this true?

2) What's the technique?

3) Under what circumstances is this worth doing?
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline SusanJoM

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 09:10:25 AM »
Nurk, are you sure you mean pre-infusion and not pre-heat?

I'm familiar with pre=infusing using the brew switch and pre-heating using the steam switch, but not pre-infusion with the steam switch.

Can you post a link to the discussion?
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Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 09:25:18 AM »
Here's an example of one of the statements that piqued my interest:

Quote
A friend of mine uses a Gaggia Classic and he used to have similar problems. He started doing a manual pre-infusion method by opening the steam wand valve before pushing the brew button. After about ten seconds, he would close it and the espresso would start to flow within a couple of seconds. His shots taste significantly better. I'm sure that someone who actually owns the machine can give you more detailed advice.

http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-machines/gaggia-classic-help-with-too-much-flow-t13815.html

Also:
http://www.home-barista.com/tips/gaggia-classic-manual-preinfusion-no-pid-t27546.html


So... I came here to talk with people who actually own the machine....

If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline D4F

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 12:43:12 PM »
Pre-infusion sounds like a good idea if it can be done and actually help the brew. Some machines are set up to do pre-infusion, often by adjusting pump pressure/flow. You can even buy an Auber Gaggia PID Kit with pre-infusion.  As you noted some try pre-infusion by altering pressure at the puck by opening the steam wand at the beginning of infusion.  Test the system to see what happens by leaving off the PF, or use it empty, and opening the wand a bit and turning on the pump.  Flow out the group will almost stop with a fully open wand, then titrate flow back into the group as you close the knob.  That method appears to work to control pressure. You can learn the knob positions that approximate what you wish at the puck. A thermofilter could be used with the appropriate flow adjustment to really learn the technique.  Interesting what else you might see with a thermofilter.  Assume for minute that you can adjust the pressure to what you wish and then think of the temperature, which of course is available with a thermofilter. The pump is putting out volume against your set OPV pressure, and more volume occurs against with less pressure, less as you open the wand, with ULKA pumps.  That volume of cool water will pass through the boiler and now you will have a cool temperature in the boiler.  Similar to a flush before a pull, not good in Gaggia.

If you want to try pre-infusion, I might suggest the dimmer method to control pressure and barely run the pump, so low volume to barely saturate the puck and then brew.  Test with a thermofilter to learn what it does to temperature, perhaps you can adjust the temperature to compensate.  Pre-infusion has also been done by hitting the pump switch for say 1 – 2 seconds and then off, rest and brew, but with a 3 way, that can disrupt the puck.

It would be very interesting with Gaggia to see if it makes difference in the cup.  That would have to be tested double blind as the person who likes pre-infusion will certainly think it helps, and, perhaps it helps if you were not getting a good cup already. 

Under what circumstances is it worth doing – if you are not happy with your cup, or if you have time and tools to experiment and have a good Gaggia cup to compare :)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 01:45:05 PM by D4F »

Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 02:39:52 PM »
As you noted some try pre-infusion by altering pressure at the puck by opening the steam wand at the beginning of infusion. 

1) Test the system to see what happens by leaving off the PF, or use it empty, and opening the wand a bit and turning on the pump. 

2) Flow out the group will almost stop with a fully open wand, then titrate flow back into the group as you close the knob. 

3) That method appears to work to control pressure.

4) You can learn the knob positions that approximate what you wish at the puck.

Awesome! Just what I was looking for. Thanks.
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline SusanJoM

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 03:01:35 PM »
I could be tasting what I want to taste, but I just pulled a double using that slight opening of the steam valve and I am quite sure that the shot surpassed the earlier one I pulled without doing that.  It felt more like what I get out of the SAMA (spring lever)....which is what I am searching for in the Classic.

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Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 06:21:11 PM »
I know this sounds stupid, but, "unfortunately," I nailed it on my first pull tonight, so I didn't mess around with the pre-infusion.  Dinner, homework, dishes, laundry, had to run one of the kids back up to school, etc.

I did, however, play a little with a couple coffee cups while the portafilter was off - running steam into one with the other under the group.  I can definitely see how you can do a pre-infusion with the steam knob.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 07:33:28 PM by Nurk2 »
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline D4F

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 06:26:22 PM »
Nurk2's sig  "If it tastes good, it is good."

If it tastes good without pre-infusion it is good.  Does it need pre-infusion :)

Offline mok

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 06:47:53 PM »
There is a video on YouTube from TexasCoffee using this technique.  Is this the Tex from this group?

Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 07:06:08 PM »
Nurk2's sig  "If it tastes good, it is good."

If it tastes good without pre-infusion it is good.  Does it need pre-infusion :)

I am definitely going to try this.  Right now my pulls have the correct amount of fluid in the correct amount of time. They look good and they taste good.

The only thing I'd like to work on is why the "dwell" time before the shot starts running is so short. Sometimes less than 4 seconds.

Again, everything is tasting good, but I'm wondering if I couldn't get even more if my grounds soaked a little before the actual extraction.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 07:10:53 PM by Nurk2 »
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 07:11:38 PM »
I could be tasting what I want to taste, but I just pulled a double using that slight opening of the steam valve and I am quite sure that the shot surpassed the earlier one I pulled without doing that.  It felt more like what I get out of the SAMA (spring lever)....which is what I am searching for in the Classic.

I think that's really cool. The more we learn, the more we get out of this machine!
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline Nurk2

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 07:17:26 PM »
Nurk2's sig  "If it tastes good, it is good."

BTW - I stole that quote from Duke Ellington, who is reputed to have said about "good" music: "If it sounds good, it IS good!"

 8)
If it tastes good, it is good.

Offline SusanJoM

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 07:31:18 PM »
And, our tastes change....

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Offline IntrepidQ3

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 07:40:46 PM »
This is interesting. I like it! 

I could be tasting what I want to taste, but I just pulled a double using that slight opening of the steam valve and I am quite sure that the shot surpassed the earlier one I pulled without doing that.  It felt more like what I get out of the SAMA (spring lever)....which is what I am searching for in the Classic.

How long did you leave the steam valve slightly open for?
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Offline SusanJoM

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Re: Preinfusion?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 08:15:54 PM »
one one thousand
two one thousand
three one thousand
four one thousand
five one thousand
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