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Ascaso Grinder i-mini Troubleshoot
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NorGrind
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Kvinesdal, Norway
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:31am
Subject: Ascaso Grinder i-mini Troubleshoot
 

Hi everyone!

I'm an espresso newbie, having recently purchased an Ascaso Duo Prof alongside the Ascaso i-mini grinder. The grinds seem great, but I haven't been able to get proper crema and oils developing.

Water quality and water temperature (94-96 degrees Celsius, achieved through temp. surfing) all seem fine, same thing with my tamping and my beans, which has left me wondering whether the grinder might be the problem.

Yes, I realise that the more expensive Mazzer mini will probably produce better espressos overall, but upon looking at some rather favourable reviews of the i-mini saying how great the crema is, I am wondering whether I've missed something.

I have realised that the i-mini requires a bit of tweaking as regards the fineness of the grind, but it seems I have tried every variation there is for about two weeks now. My general approach is trying to keep all the other variables the same, while only changing the fineness of the grind and how hard I tamp. The astonishing result is that after nearly two weeks of using about 7 different kinds of espresso, the tiny amount of crema produced is more or less the same. I understand that some beans are more prone to crema development than others, but I remain astonished at its almost uniform absence.

The typical problem is that the espresso only comes with a tiny 3mm layer of crema on top (which develops in the first 6-7 seconds only), and with missing tripartite layer structure. I can get some decent taste, but both crema and oils are completely absent. I don't have the crema rising about 1/3 in in the brewing process. Other issues I have noticed include that:

(a) it takes about 8 secs before any liquid leaves the portafilter;
(b) the colour changes from medium-light caramel (a too light colour, in my opinion) to light caramel ca. 5 sec after liquid has started pouring, adding substantially less to the brew;
(c) at 94-96 degrees the espresso is too cold;
(d) after 14 sec I need to stop brewing to avoid too much water diluting the thing (independent of the fineness of the grind);
(e) as expected, steamed milk does not mix very well with the finished brew.

I don't think myself anywhere near a proficient barista (and hence that I need to develop my own skills) but I am beginning to think that something's amiss technically (a common beginner's sentiment, I suppose).

Anyone with similar experiences or tips as to what I may do to improve? Thanks in advance!
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greekespresso
Senior Member
greekespresso
Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 176
Location: Ptolemaida, Greece
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3, Gaggia...
Grinder: Mahlkönig Vario Home, Anfim...
Posted Fri Feb 8, 2013, 1:46pm
Subject: Re: Ascaso Grinder i2 Troubleshoot
 

Hi and welcome to CG forum.
It looks to me more like a stale coffee related problem.

a) Do you have any access to 100% freshly roasted beans (7 days from roast date)? Use these.
b) Do you have control on the extraction flow rate? Go for double espresso at 50ml/30s by filling the basket at the max of its capacity.

Off-topic: How come you bought a machine with two groups?

PS If you can not find freshly roasted beans you can try/test with this one:
http://timwendelboe.no/coffee/tim-wendelboe-espresso/

 
www.greekespresso.gr
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