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diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
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bloocanary
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bloocanary
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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2003, 10:36pm
Subject: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

the golden rule for double shots is something like 2-2.5oz. in 20-25s ... which i've been aiming for.  but shouldn't the rule be different for a smaller basket (the 53mm baskets on the starbucks barista, vs. commercial baskets)?  is the height of the basket any different (mine is 15/16", or 24mm)?

there are a couple of factors that seem to be affected:

1) tamping force ... there was a long discussion about whether that's force or pressure, and i believe the conclusion was force (since you can measure it on a bathroom scale, and it seems to make sense in terms of what tamping should achieve).  this means that you're putting 30#/area or 7.32 psi on a commercial PF vs. 8.77 psi on the smaller PF.  it seems a lighter tamp of about 25# would be more appropriate then, to pack the smaller amount of coffee down ...

2) less coffee in the basket ... less flavor to extract ... should the pulls be significantly smaller and shorter?  if the heights of the baskets are the same, then the volume ratio would be 1.2:1 ... or 83% less coffee.  it seems then that you should aim for roughly 1.5-2oz. in 15-20s (this would theoretically give you the same *rate* of flow then, and the same pressure)

the new golden rule then would be 1.5-2 oz in 15-20s, using a 25# tamp.

with that in mind, i'm wondering if this is why i'm getting bitter coffee.  by tamping too hard and running the shots too long, perhaps that's where the bitters are coming from.  what are the chances?

j
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johannabanana
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johannabanana
Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 431
Location: Vienna, Europe
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La San Marco 1,2,+3group,...
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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 3:57am
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

the height and form of the portafilter - sieve changes with the diameter. Each espresso machine fabricator designs another form. There is no norm, everyone thinks his "form/design" of the sieve is the best. But all of them try to get the water through in a certain time (18-24 sec) - depending how hard you tamp.
for example:
7g - 1oz - in 24 seconds
14g - 2oz - also 24 seconds
The double has to be as quick as the single - that works because the form of the baskets/sieves is different.
Look at the angle of the bottom part, one is flatter, one is steeper.

So don't worry about diameters, all the fabricators know how to built a basket that lets water through in the right time. You have to take care of the ground size and the tamp.

If you should tamp harder or less with a smaller+deeper filter? That depends on your coffee, I guess.
If I use Ethiopean - I have to make a coarser ground and tamp different than a very fine ground Barsilian Bourbon. And it's different with fresh and 1 week old coffee...... no hints for that, sorry

If it tastes bitter and overextracted - well, than it maybe is. It happend to me some days ago with a coffee I usually make perfect. That day I grinded too fine and tamped too hard. It took the water too long to get through and I added 6 seconds to get more out  - wrong! Tasted horrible.

About 53 or 58 mm?
I don't know if you have read my post in another topic, but here is my experience with these sizes, I copied my post:


Imagine, 8g of coffee "stapled" in a 58mm, more shallow filter.
And now imagine the same 8g of coffee in a 53mm (less surface) and deeper filter. What happens is, the same amount of water running to both filters, for the same time, touching the same amount of coffee - BUT: watch it in single drops - they are all in contact with more coffee grounds on their way down, than in a flater filter. Sounds like peanuts, I know - but what made me believe was the reality:
We had a single group La Pavoni and a single group La San Marco. Both were correctly maintenanced, had the same pressure, same water temperature, we used the same coffee, grounded at once ...the only difference was the design oof the portaflter.
The difference in taste was bigger than I expected!!!!!
With the LSM the coffee tasted fuller, richer, soft and all the characteristics of this coffee were in the liquid - I felt it in my whole mouth.
With the La PAvoni - the coffee consistence was a bit more watery, not so rich, and the characteritic notes of the coffee was only felt in the back of my mouth, the water tasted more metalic....

It's like you compare a fresh pressed orange juice (richer) with on made from cncentrate (watered)

I don't want to make the Pavoni a bad machine - not at all - it very good, too, but I like my coffee more rich, fullbodied.
And I think this worked that way, because the water touched MORE COFFEE GROUNDS on the way down in the same time. Therefore I will go with a smaller, but deeper portafilter in the future. Someone asked me, if it's so good, why does not every espresso machine company work with that? Well, it's patented, and everyone prefers something else. Like expobar has all their boilers and pipes of pure copper, the other ones have chromium-copper. La Marzocco loves their dual boilers (what makes sense in the US were a lot more of water and steam is needed - compared to Italy) and another company swears that their teflon pipes are best for preventing calcium... whatever, if you ever have the chance to compare a 53 mm with a 58mm - do it - it could be a positive difference for you, too. I have well trained taste buds, I did feel it. However - this is just my personal opinion, but I swear even with sniffles you can taste a difference ;-)


I respect and accept any other opinion which will follow now, but it won't change my experience :-}

 
"Do everything right.
You will gratify some people and astonish the rest." (Mark Twain)
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grillroaster
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grillroaster
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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 6:18am
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

On my SL-90 which uses a 53mm basket, I (and other SL-90 users) have found that we have to shave a few seconds off the "25 second rule".  If I allow the machine to push water for the full 25 seconds, I'm well into "the land of the blond".  The only way I can get a "non-blond" extract into the 25sec range is to use a harder tamp (>30lbs) which slightly chokes the machine.

Rick Waits
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bloocanary
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bloocanary
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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 6:31am
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

texinga Said:

If I allow the machine to push water for the full 25 seconds, I'm well into "the land of the blond".  The only way I can get a "non-blond" extract into the 25sec range is to use a harder tamp (>30lbs) which slightly chokes the machine.

Posted December 19, 2003 link

ha, after all that thinking to write this post with all those calculations, i never made that connection until you mentioned it.  i always get blond after 20 seconds or so, and i always figured it's part of what i need to improve via technique.

johannabanana, it seems you were saying 1) trust that the manufacturer thought about timing & shape of basket, and 2) the smaller diameter baskets allow better infusions.  i think that's a tad too much faith in the manufacturers :-)  whereas the standard size baskets are shaped differently for single or double, i'm not sure i trust that they thought much about shape when they designed the smaller baskets.  *unless* they're deeper (is your small diamter basket deeper than 24mm?), your second point wouldn't apply, right?  in that case, you end up with less coffee in the basket -- no matter how you slice it or redesign the basket, you're getting less coffee to extract from.

so the big question then, is still ... are the 53mm baskets deeper?  i'd be surprised if they are.

i'm not sure if it's because i switched to illy today (ran out of other beans), but my last couple shots using the "gold-plated rule" were significantly unbitter ...

j
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johannabanana
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johannabanana
Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 431
Location: Vienna, Europe
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La San Marco 1,2,+3group,...
Grinder: 2 LSM, 3 Tourmix, 1 demoka...
Vac Pot: not yet
Drip: Melitta aroma boy,...
Roaster: Precision & Mr. Gunter :-D
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 8:07am
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

bloocanary Said:

johannabanana, it seems you were saying 1) trust that the manufacturer thought about timing & shape of basket, and ..

Posted December 19, 2003 link

Ah, yes!? Maybe not those producing the cheapest machines ;-)

bloocanary Said:

2) the smaller diameter baskets allow better infusions.  i think that's a tad too much faith in the manufacturers :-)  whereas the standard size baskets are shaped differently for single or double, i'm not sure i trust that they thought much about shape when they designed the smaller baskets.  ..

Posted December 19, 2003 link

Let me try to put that right: in my example I compared two different double shot baskets and I was referring to 53 and 58 mm portafilter. You are right about the smaller baskets, if you mean "Singles", for the same reason you mentioned in your next point...

bloocanary Said:

...in that case, you end up with less coffee in the basket -- no matter how you slice it or redesign the basket, you're getting less coffee to extract from..

Posted December 19, 2003 link

Again, I assume you meant the single basket in that sentence:...it's less water, too, because it's a single shot. So 7g - 1 oz, 14g - 2oz, isn't it? All in 24 seconds...  (for example) - should taste the same, says the manufactor, everybody here says "use the doubles and drink more or put one away" - why? because it tastes better from the double, because the water "reached more grounds on the way down - more coffee/more taste". Which confirms my theory.

bloocanary Said:

so the big question then, is still ... are the 53mm baskets deeper?  i'd be surprised if they are.j

Posted December 19, 2003 link

As I have the choice of 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16)g baskets, I'm talking about a single shot basket now, which is designed to hold 7g:
It doesn't matter how deep it is, as long as it holds 7g, and has the design that lets the water through in 24* seconds. If the manufactor makes it 22mm and a steeper tip, or 24 mm and more flat, or less holes - whatever... There are manufactors who sell you steeper baskets (water gets funneld quicker) with much less holes in the middle - which produces more crema.

I guess all I wanna say is - I would trust a manufactor that he built his basket to perform according to espresso parameters, I am the one who can over-or underextract when missused. BUT, in MHO (!!!) and I still like anyone who doesn't believe it ;-) a smaller and deeper basket produces a tad better taste then a wider, flater one. (for the same reason a double basket produces better shots then a single in the first place :-)

I still drink my coffee from my 58mm ECM and like it. (double shots, of course ;-)
Joey

 
"Do everything right.
You will gratify some people and astonish the rest." (Mark Twain)
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ljguitar
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ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 8:12am
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

bloocanary Said:

so the big question then, is still ... are the 53mm baskets deeper?  i'd be surprised if they are.

Posted December 19, 2003 link

Hi J...Having owned a Briel First Class, a La Pavoni lever, Silvia and now Expobar, the double baskets are nearly identical in depth when I set them on the counter side by side.

We still have the Briel in the travel trailer and the LaPavoni on the counter.


In fact the Briel and La Pavoni we swap the same non-pressurized double baskets between. I have never pulled a single shot in my entire coffee life...

When we got into espresso I started weighing beans and measuring stuff, and discovered some really interesting and relevant info.
- The Briel/Pavoni baskets are 50.5mm across and the HX 58mm.
- The smaller double baskets only hold 11gm coffee whereas the Expobars would hold up to 21gm
  if you wanted to put that much in them (18gm in the Rancillios). I normally pull double ristretti
  on the Expobar with 19-20gm of coffee grounds.

The LaPavoni pulls great doubles, but they are much smaller quantity if I want the same taste/mouth feel (about half as much in the shot). Makes sense with about half the grounds.

My ritual is to fill the basket comfortably with the max grounds it can hold, tamp firmly and then adjust the grind towards matching the time window before blonding occurs. Time is the flexible element, because when the shot starts to turn light I hit the switch without dwelling much on the length of time it took (I still time shots).

Timing shots for me is like keeping track of gas mileage on my cars. If it drops significantly something is going wrong and needs adjusting.


I can tell more about the grind with the LaPavoni than any other (you feel the resistance as you pull), and least with the Briel. I sweat the small stuff least with the Expobar as it is more forgiving.

They all make great doubles...in differing final amounts.

L  a  r  r  Y

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
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grillroaster
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grillroaster
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Posts: 229
Location: ----
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Espresso: Isomac Rituale
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Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

Using my handy digital micrometer, the depths of my two Solis non-pressurized 53mm baskets are:

Single = 21.1mm
Double = 24.8mm
(both distances measured from the flat bottom to top edge of the baskets)

Don't know if this is really useful information to you, but it was easy to do the measurements.

Rick Waits
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johannabanana
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johannabanana
Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 431
Location: Vienna, Europe
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La San Marco 1,2,+3group,...
Grinder: 2 LSM, 3 Tourmix, 1 demoka...
Vac Pot: not yet
Drip: Melitta aroma boy,...
Roaster: Precision & Mr. Gunter :-D
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

texinga Said:

Single = 21.1mm
Double = 24.8mm
(both distances measured from the flat bottom to top edge of the baskets)

Posted December 20, 2003 link

Hi Rick!
And how different is the form inside?
joey

 
"Do everything right.
You will gratify some people and astonish the rest." (Mark Twain)
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grillroaster
Senior Member
grillroaster
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Posts: 229
Location: ----
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Rituale
Grinder: Rocky Doserless
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Technivorm CD, Melitta...
Roaster: Alpenrost, HWP & Alpen-Grill
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

Joey,

Decided to play with my digital camera  for the answer (see pic).

Rick Waits

grillroaster: Filter baskets.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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johannabanana
Senior Member
johannabanana
Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 431
Location: Vienna, Europe
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La San Marco 1,2,+3group,...
Grinder: 2 LSM, 3 Tourmix, 1 demoka...
Vac Pot: not yet
Drip: Melitta aroma boy,...
Roaster: Precision & Mr. Gunter :-D
Posted Fri Dec 19, 2003, 8:30pm
Subject: Re: diff. between 53mm and 58mm portafilter baskets
 

Thanks Rick.

And here for bloocanary, two different double baskets:
Left almost 60mm diameter (slightly rounded walls)
Right 56mm diameter (which is deeper, and the walls are straighter)

greetings
joey

johannabanana: DoubleBaskets_ECM-LSM.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
"Do everything right.
You will gratify some people and astonish the rest." (Mark Twain)
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