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Date: 02 Nov 2006 14:09:48
From: Matt Benson
Subject: Gaggia classic backflush
Hi everyone,

First post here so please be gentle. I know backflushing is a slightly
contentious issue but there does seem to be more weight behind the 'should
be done' vs the 'should not be done' camp.
So with this in mind I bought some Joeglo off Steve at Hasbean. Then I saw
this http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml which said cafiza was no
good for gaggia aluminium boilers (although I'm guessing that a backflush
shouldn't hit the boiler). So I emailed Steve to check and as usual he
didn't disappoint and answered swiftly (if only all retailers were as
costumer friendly as Hasbean!). He also mentioned that I should check with
Gaggia UK to get the final word on the matter.

This is what I sent to gaggia,

"Hi,

I've just ordered some Joeglo cleaner to do some backflushing. Will Joeglo
be OK

with the aluminium boiler in my gaggia classic? This page

(http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml) seems to suggest that the

cafiza cleaner is not, so just thought I'd check about joeglo."

And the reply arrived today.....

"Hi Matthew,

You can not back flush a Domestic Machine, it does not have a 3 way solenoid
valve.

Gaggia"

WTF! I've only just bought the machine and I know it has a 3-way (gives the
kersploosh etc). Are they just covering their backs or did I get a reply
from the work experience junior?

Cheers

Matt

ps any info on the joeglo would also be greatfully received.
I'm assuming that whilst the pH of a 1% solution is fairly high (about
11-12, see here http://www.joeglo.com/JoeGloMSDS06.pdf) , the short length
of time that the solution will be in contact with the group during a
backflush should minimise the effect on any aluminium present. Is this
correct?






 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 12:03:35
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Joeglo -- Cafiza
I'm just not going to get into it again, period.

db
877 286 2833

Danny wrote:
> daveb wrote:
> > Matt:
> >
> > Joeglo and Cafiza are both basically the same thing. I've used both,
> > for years
> >
> > and if you have a 3 way valve? do it.
> >
> > -- but that does NOT take the place of removing the dispersion screen
> > and the block that supports it (2 5 mm bolts ) and giving that all a
> > good scrubbing and rinsing -- and wipe down the exposed pieces with a
> > rag, too.
> >
> > I'm not gonna get involved in the blather about BFing.
> >
> > All you need is about a 1/2 teaspoon.
> >
> > and use Cleancaf for periodic descaling ---
> >
>
> Pardon? You were/are most vehemently against backflushing? There was
> no "blather" until you claimed to have destroyed a machine by
> backflushing. If your views are different now (and we are all
> entitled to change our views - look at any regular posters' history
> via Google to see how we change our views as we learn, sometimes to
> our embarrasment) at least just admit it.
>
>
>
> --
> Regards, Danny
>
> http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
> http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 19:25:50
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
Matt Benson wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> First post here so please be gentle. I know backflushing is a slightly
> contentious issue but there does seem to be more weight behind the 'should
> be done' vs the 'should not be done' camp.
> So with this in mind I bought some Joeglo off Steve at Hasbean. Then I saw
> this http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml which said cafiza was no
> good for gaggia aluminium boilers (although I'm guessing that a backflush
> shouldn't hit the boiler). So I emailed Steve to check and as usual he
> didn't disappoint and answered swiftly (if only all retailers were as
> costumer friendly as Hasbean!). He also mentioned that I should check with
> Gaggia UK to get the final word on the matter.
>
> This is what I sent to gaggia,
>
> "Hi,
>
> I've just ordered some Joeglo cleaner to do some backflushing. Will Joeglo
> be OK
>
> with the aluminium boiler in my gaggia classic? This page
>
> (http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml) seems to suggest that the
>
> cafiza cleaner is not, so just thought I'd check about joeglo."
>
> And the reply arrived today.....
>
> "Hi Matthew,
>
> You can not back flush a Domestic Machine, it does not have a 3 way solenoid
> valve.
>
> Gaggia"
>
> WTF! I've only just bought the machine and I know it has a 3-way (gives the
> kersploosh etc). Are they just covering their backs or did I get a reply
> from the work experience junior?
>
> Cheers
>
> Matt
>
> ps any info on the joeglo would also be greatfully received.
> I'm assuming that whilst the pH of a 1% solution is fairly high (about
> 11-12, see here http://www.joeglo.com/JoeGloMSDS06.pdf) , the short length
> of time that the solution will be in contact with the group during a
> backflush should minimise the effect on any aluminium present. Is this
> correct?
>
>

I would use a "proper" espresso machine cleaner. In the UK, that
would be Puly Caf. I use it all the time.

This assumes that your machine does actually have a 3-way valve. As
Dave notes, you should still occasionally remove the dispersion screen
and block above for proper cleaning since this can scale easily. Two
Allen bolts hold the block in place and can sometimes need the edge of
a screwdriver to prise the block off if it hasn't been done for a while.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



  
Date: 02 Nov 2006 20:51:18
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
Danny <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in
news:4quv0pFoi80rU2@individual.net:


> This assumes that your machine does actually have a 3-way valve. As
> Dave notes, you should still occasionally remove the dispersion screen
> and block above for proper cleaning since this can scale easily. Two
> Allen bolts hold the block in place and can sometimes need the edge of
> a screwdriver to prise the block off if it hasn't been done for a
> while.
>

I was presented with an 'old-style' Coffee (the old one with the steam
valve knob in front) that had been worked on/over. Someone told the owner
to remove the shower screen holder/block for cleaning.

He tried the edge of a screwdriver but it wouldn't budge; then a few light
taps with a hammer turned into 3 lb baby sledge & chisel. After that it
dawned on him that it wasn't coming off and that it was time to order a new
machine from WLL.

Lessons to learned: Not all Gaggia's are the same & some people are too
good at following directions.

Robert (BTW, the block on my Espresso is machined from brass.) Harmon
--
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
Remove "Z" to reply via email.


   
Date: 03 Nov 2006 10:45:13
From: Matt Benson
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
A little addendum. In addition to gaggia I sent my email to the makers of
joeglo as well. This is the reply I received today.

"Hi Matt,

We have never done testing on a gaggia classic aluminum boiler and have
never received any feedback one way or the other regarding use on a gaggia
classic aluminum boiler. We do not know if it is safe to use. I would
suggest not using JoeGlo for backflushing since we have not tested it for
that type of machine. You can use JoeGlo's "wicked solution" for soaking
portafilters, screens, utensils, airpots, pitchers, steam wands etc. Our
'wicked solution" works very fast and rinses clean. The directions are on
the jar.

Please feel free to contact us with any further questions.

Thanks,

Lisa



JoeGlo / Pallo Coffeetool

P.O Box 2423

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2423

415-381-2079 v

866-583-8289 f

info@coffeetool.com

info@joeglo.com

www.coffeetool.com"



Based on the answers I received from this group I reckon they are probably
covering their backs too but I just thought I'd pass it on.



Cheers



Matt



ps I BF'd my machine last night and unsurprisingly everything is fine.




 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 08:35:22
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
and down the road, parts for Gaggia are easy to get -- and quite
reasonable.

[there are more of them out there than any other]


Daveb
141.5



 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 16:29:33
From: hudson
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush

"Matt Benson" <mabenson@mailg.com > wrote in message
news:eicu73$g1j$1@frank-exchange-of-views.oucs.ox.ac.uk...
> Hi everyone,
>
> First post here so please be gentle. I know backflushing is a slightly
> contentious issue but there does seem to be more weight behind the 'should
> be done' vs the 'should not be done' camp.
> So with this in mind I bought some Joeglo off Steve at Hasbean. Then I
> saw this http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml which said cafiza
> was no good for gaggia aluminium boilers (although I'm guessing that a
> backflush shouldn't hit the boiler). So I emailed Steve to check and as
> usual he didn't disappoint and answered swiftly (if only all retailers
> were as costumer friendly as Hasbean!). He also mentioned that I should
> check with Gaggia UK to get the final word on the matter.
>
> This is what I sent to gaggia,
>
> "Hi,
>
> I've just ordered some Joeglo cleaner to do some backflushing. Will
> Joeglo be OK
>
> with the aluminium boiler in my gaggia classic? This page
>
> (http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml) seems to suggest that the
>
> cafiza cleaner is not, so just thought I'd check about joeglo."
>
> And the reply arrived today.....
>
> "Hi Matthew,
>
> You can not back flush a Domestic Machine, it does not have a 3 way
> solenoid valve.
>
> Gaggia"
>
> WTF! I've only just bought the machine and I know it has a 3-way (gives
> the kersploosh etc). Are they just covering their backs or did I get a
> reply from the work experience junior?
>
> Cheers
>
> Matt
>
They always say that. Covering their backs. There is an aluminium block
above the portafilter so something aluminium friendly is best. I use Puly
Caff.
The other thing you want to watch is that the pipe to the drip tray is over
the hole in same. I once blew a pipe off of a fitting inside the machine
while backflushing. I think it was a shockwave caused by the pipe to the
drip tray not being over the hole.

Stuart Hudson




  
Date: 02 Nov 2006 17:03:50
From: Matt Benson
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
Thanks for your help guys.

It's backflushing time!

Cheers

Matt




 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 08:13:11
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
"Matt Benson" <mabenson@mailg.com > wrote:

>Hi everyone,
>
>First post here so please be gentle. I know backflushing is a slightly
>contentious issue but there does seem to be more weight behind the 'should
>be done' vs the 'should not be done' camp.
>So with this in mind I bought some Joeglo off Steve at Hasbean. Then I saw
>this http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml which said cafiza was no
>good for gaggia aluminium boilers (although I'm guessing that a backflush
>shouldn't hit the boiler).
>

Welcome to alt.coffee.

For those who understand how an espresso machine works there really is
no contention. If done properly and with a modicum of care there
really is no danger of backflushing an espresso machine On my website
there is a set of instructions for backflushing at:
http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/HowToBackflush.html
And to add to that, there is an extensive, detailed, and illustrated
set of pages showing how a 3-way valve works and the reasons why it
needs to be backflushed at:
http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/3way/intro.html
This one includes nine pages of illustrations with text and one page
of information that should answer any questions you have regarding the
"danger" of backflushing. The short answer is, if done correctly there
isn't any danger of damaging the machine.

There are two ways to use chemical agents to clean the internal parts
of an espresso machine as you seem to have surmised. One is to
backflush which involves placing the cleaner into the portafilter
using a blind filter basket (one without holes, or using a disc that
blocks the holes). This sends a cleaner through the brew head and then
through the 3-way valve into the drip tray (or drain hose in a
plumbed-in machine). No cleaner goes through the boiler proper in this
process. If there are other aluminum parts in those parts of the brew
path that are past the boiler, then these could be affected.

Descaling to remove mineral build up in the boiler is done with a
descaling agent that is mixed and poured into the reservoir and pumped
into the boiler where it sits for an amount of time and is then
flushed through using tanks of clean water in the reservoir. If you
have an aluminum boiler the cleaner used in this process should be
chosen carefully.

The reactive nature of aluminum and the possibility of it adding
tastes to coffee as well as the care that has to be taken when
cleaning it are the reasons I looked for a machine that had no
aluminum in it's brewing parts when originally shopping.


Randy "made from pure unobtanium" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 07:45:36
From: daveb
Subject: Re: Joeglo -- Cafiza
And BTW the part that holds the screen (with the 2 bolts) IS aluminum
in all Gaggias, so don't subject it to too much soaking in harsh
chemicals.

Joe Glo and Cafiza are strong on the detergency and weaker in pH than
generics. -- Made for the job.


dave
877 286 2833



daveb wrote:
> Matt:
>
> Joeglo and Cafiza are both basically the same thing. I've used both,
> for years
>
> and if you have a 3 way valve? do it.
>
> -- but that does NOT take the place of removing the dispersion screen
> and the block that supports it (2 5 mm bolts ) and giving that all a
> good scrubbing and rinsing -- and wipe down the exposed pieces with a
> rag, too.
>
> I'm not gonna get involved in the blather about BFing.
>
> All you need is about a 1/2 teaspoon.
>
> and use Cleancaf for periodic descaling ---
>
> Dave
>
> Saeco / Gaggia Service SE
> www.hitechespresso.com



 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 06:34:34
From: daveb
Subject: Joeglo -- Cafiza
Matt:

Joeglo and Cafiza are both basically the same thing. I've used both,
for years

and if you have a 3 way valve? do it.

-- but that does NOT take the place of removing the dispersion screen
and the block that supports it (2 5 mm bolts ) and giving that all a
good scrubbing and rinsing -- and wipe down the exposed pieces with a
rag, too.

I'm not gonna get involved in the blather about BFing.

All you need is about a 1/2 teaspoon.

and use Cleancaf for periodic descaling ---

Dave

Saeco / Gaggia Service SE
www.hitechespresso.com



  
Date: 02 Nov 2006 19:23:20
From: Danny
Subject: Re: Joeglo -- Cafiza
daveb wrote:
> Matt:
>
> Joeglo and Cafiza are both basically the same thing. I've used both,
> for years
>
> and if you have a 3 way valve? do it.
>
> -- but that does NOT take the place of removing the dispersion screen
> and the block that supports it (2 5 mm bolts ) and giving that all a
> good scrubbing and rinsing -- and wipe down the exposed pieces with a
> rag, too.
>
> I'm not gonna get involved in the blather about BFing.
>
> All you need is about a 1/2 teaspoon.
>
> and use Cleancaf for periodic descaling ---
>

Pardon? You were/are most vehemently against backflushing? There was
no "blather" until you claimed to have destroyed a machine by
backflushing. If your views are different now (and we are all
entitled to change our views - look at any regular posters' history
via Google to see how we change our views as we learn, sometimes to
our embarrasment) at least just admit it.



--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
http://www.malabargold.co.uk (UK/EU ordering for Malabar Gold blend)



 
Date: 02 Nov 2006 14:28:36
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Gaggia classic backflush
"Matt Benson" <mabenson@mailg.com > wrote in
news:eicu73$g1j$1@frank-exchange-of-views.oucs.ox.ac.uk:

> Hi everyone,
>
> First post here so please be gentle. I know backflushing is a
> slightly contentious issue but there does seem to be more weight
> behind the 'should be done' vs the 'should not be done' camp.
> So with this in mind I bought some Joeglo off Steve at Hasbean. Then
> I saw this http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml which said
> cafiza was no good for gaggia aluminium boilers (although I'm guessing
> that a backflush shouldn't hit the boiler). So I emailed Steve to
> check and as usual he didn't disappoint and answered swiftly (if only
> all retailers were as costumer friendly as Hasbean!). He also
> mentioned that I should check with Gaggia UK to get the final word on
> the matter.
>
> This is what I sent to gaggia,
>
> "Hi,
>
> I've just ordered some Joeglo cleaner to do some backflushing. Will
> Joeglo be OK
>
> with the aluminium boiler in my gaggia classic? This page
>
> (http://www.sweetias.com/prod.gaggia.shtml) seems to suggest that
> the
>
> cafiza cleaner is not, so just thought I'd check about joeglo."
>
> And the reply arrived today.....
>
> "Hi Matthew,
>
> You can not back flush a Domestic Machine, it does not have a 3 way
> solenoid valve.
>
> Gaggia"
>
> WTF! I've only just bought the machine and I know it has a 3-way
> (gives the kersploosh etc). Are they just covering their backs or did
> I get a reply from the work experience junior?
>
> Cheers
>
> Matt
>
> ps any info on the joeglo would also be greatfully received.
> I'm assuming that whilst the pH of a 1% solution is fairly high (about
> 11-12, see here http://www.joeglo.com/JoeGloMSDS06.pdf) , the short
> length of time that the solution will be in contact with the group
> during a backflush should minimise the effect on any aluminium
> present. Is this correct?
>
>
>

Howdy Matt!
Did you address your message to the attention of the guy that cleans
toilets at Gaggia? Unless you've altered the machine, a Gaggia Classic
has no aluminum parts that will come into contact with the cleaner during
a backflush, so flush away!

Personally, I use the same detergent we use in the automatic dishwasher &
it seems to do a good enough job.

Robert (To flush or not to flush, that is the question?) Harmon
--
http://tinyurl.com/pou2y
http://tinyurl.com/fkd6r
Remove "Z" to reply via email.