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Sometimes, you eat the bear...
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Sometimes, you...  
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
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Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 9:17am
Subject: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

And, as they say, sometimes the bear eats you.

The bear, in this particular case being a naked PF for the Ellimatic, that I got from fellow CG'er Ben Piff. It showed up yesterday, so naturally, when I got home after work, I decided that, despite it being somewhere later than I usually drink espresso, I would let my curiousity get the best of me, as the Ellimatic doesn't normally get fired up during the week (not enough time in the morning, even if I did have it on a timer, to pull a couple of shots and clean up afterwards without getting up substantially earlier than I like, so weekdays are Brazen brewed coffee at home and Caravel shots at work).

I approached the whole process with a certain amount of trepidation, as I had a number of factors working against me. First, I've never used a bottomless PF before, and don't have huge confidence in my prep and dosing technique, as it's all been developed pretty much in isolation, based on web reading, and mostly on a pair of Caravels, which are incredibly forgiving.

Second, I'm at the end of a bag of Chris Coffee's Black Pearl espresso blend (which I will definitely get again the next time I have to order anything from CCS - it's tasty) and it's closing on two weeks old, maybe a little over. I know from reading on teh intarwebs that bean freshness can have a major impact on the quality of a bottomless extraction.

Third, Ben sent it with a triple basket, and I've got the grinder dialed in for a 14.5 gm dose of the Black Pearl in the fairly shallow Elli double basket, and upping the dose 50% would surely require dialing it in all over again. I solve this problem by swapping to the Elli double basket in the bottomless.

Lastly, I'm some combination of distracted and fumble-fingered in prepping the shot and catch the edge of the canning funnel I use for dosing from the scale to the PF on something as I'm pouring in the coffee and about a third of the dose hits the counter top. Hating to waste coffee, and having just cleaned the countertop, I swept the spillage back into the dosing tray I weighed it in, shrug my shoulders and dump it in the portafilter with the rest of the coffee. Light tamp with fingertips on the tamper edges to level, shake off any lose grounds, final tamp, lock and load. Moment of truth time - I push the button.

Looks just like one of the espresso pr0n videos. Very even, settles quickly to a nice cone, good striping, a little fast (24 second pour), but no flow problems, and cut just as it starts to blonde. "impossible," I'm thinking. How could this be? Beginner's luck? It probably just looks good and will taste horrible. I take a sip. Tastes a lot like the shots I was pulling over the weekend and last week on the Caravel - chocolate and orange citrus overtones with a nice balance.  Nice.

So, throwing caution to the winds, I pop in the triple basket, just for the heck of it, figure I'll just go for the 21 gram stated capacity of the basket, grind, weigh, dose, tamp, pull. Again, just a hair quicker than I wouild necessarily have liked (hey, the coffee's getting old), but very even extraction, beautiful cone, no spritzers, no gushers, no multiple streams, and this one is one of those almost all crema shots. If only I'd had the confidence (or lack of shame) to set up the camera. Delicious.

So, sated with bear pie, I figured I'd quit while I was ahead for the night (and also because three shots of espresso at 6:30 p.m. would probably disrupt my sleep) and get back to this part of the adventure on Saturday morning. When I promise to have the camera set up so I can thoroughly embarass myself when it all goes horribly wrong.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 9:32am
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

George, CONGRATS!!!!!

I have a very strong feeling that these will very soon become the "normal" shots for you and the new round of tweaking will begin!! LOL!!!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 11:45am
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

awesome George!  That's a great story.

I suspect you have no reason to doubt your dosing and distribution techniques, considering...1) you've been doing this a long time and if your technique was bad, you'd have noticed it in the cup; and 2) now that you've pulled a couple of great shots with your new pf, you've shown yourself you had no reason to worry in the first place.

I use my bottomless pf all the time.  Partly because it shows me right away when I need to fine tune my grind, but more so because I just love watching the extraction!  As you've already found out, you can use any basket you want in the bottomless pf.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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GVDub
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 12:12pm
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

emradguy Said:

I suspect you have no reason to doubt your dosing and distribution techniques...

Posted November 6, 2012 link

My "distribution technique" consists of timed grinding into the doser, brushing out the chute, flipping the lever till the chamber's clear, weighing the previously tared, now filled dosing tray, dumping it in the PF using the canning funnel to avoid spillage, something that might be called a modified Stockflieth's if I were being extremely generous, then tamping. Seems like all that fiddling between the burrs and the PF does something that works. Also seems much less formal than some folks routine, from what I read.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
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Location: Brentwood, TN
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
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Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

George, doin' 'spro ain't like Antares Auto Tune, set it and forget it! LOL

However, sounds like you (in typical fashion, which is why we like you) understated your Home Barista qualifications.
First off, so cool that PF works, and your bud was a GREAT friend to have that for you.
I'd be bouncing off the walls with a 21 gram triple. i so used to the Cremina's 15 gram doubles, and 10 gram singles.

Glad you were able to sleep.
Enjoy that setup. I do envy you, having 2 Caravels whilst I have NONE.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

IMAWriter Said:

I do envy you, having 2 Caravels whilst I have NONE.

Posted November 6, 2012 link

Ah, but you have a Cremina, and I have none (and unlikely to at current prices, barring one of those legendary yard sale/thrift store finds). So don't feel too bad.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Tue Nov 6, 2012, 11:25pm
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

I wish I had your luck.

First time I tried using a bottomless portafilter, it was on a 16 gram dose.. Extraction time was about right, 2 oz in 24 seconds (Or so I think?) but there wasn't any cone at all..
Just lots of dripping everywhere, but no spritzing. When I finished the shot and removed the portafilter, I couldn't see any signs of channelling in the puck..

I should probably take more videos and get some opinions....

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Nov 7, 2012, 7:09am
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

I would try upping the coffee dose and loosen the grind a little.
Edit that comment was suposed to be aaimed to above not the op, sorry!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,024
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Nov 7, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Sometimes, you eat the bear...
 

GVDub Said:

My "distribution technique" consists of timed grinding into the doser, brushing out the chute, flipping the lever till the chamber's clear, weighing the previously tared, now filled dosing tray, dumping it in the PF using the canning funnel to avoid spillage, something that might be called a modified Stockflieth's if I were being extremely generous, then tamping. Seems like all that fiddling between the burrs and the PF does something that works. Also seems much less formal than some folks routine, from what I read.

Posted November 6, 2012 link

Sure, you don't fiddle much once the grounds are in the basket, but that's still quite a bit of fiddling before hand.  My technique is not all that different from yours, only slightly more simple as I skip a couple of your steps...both of my grinders have dosers as well. I thwak the grounds through as they come out of the chute, right into my pf (rather than letting them sit in the doser).  Then I level off with my index finger, pressing down as little as possible (something between a NSEW and Stockfleths, but much more random as I adjust based on where I managed to get the peaks and valleys), then I tamp as even as possible, just until I feel some resistance in the puck (probably about 20#). At this point I'm read to "lock and load" on the group. Occasionally, I weigh my dose, but it's always 20g +/- 0.2g when I do, and that's good enough for me...but hey, whatever works for you!  Just between you and me, I think WDT is lunacy, except in extremely severe clumping cases. Oh, I brush out the chute at the end of each session.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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