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Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
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axboe
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Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:12am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

I also notice a lot of movement in your streams, I believe you are getting heavy channeling.  The first pull the right side sputters a lot. That is probably cutting down on your taste and crema.  I am used to a lot of crema using a bottomless portafilter so your shots look very thin to me but that might be my fresh beans as well.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

The beans I used in the video were freshly roasted this morning, so should be very fresh as well. But you are right, it does seem sputtery compared to the video you linked below. So if we focus on that, you think it's due to the tapping I do? That's easy enough to stop.

Coffeenoobie Said:

I also wondered how the first shot was good on an HX the others not.  That also makes me question your temps and is part of what I wanted to see.  Your 2nd shot crema looks very gold in the video, that also points to under extraction.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

So if we assume the chanelling is due to the tapping, the under extraction is due to not tamping it hard enough? As you might have seen from the video, I'm using a Vario grinder. It's set between 1 and 2, so the grind should be adequately fine.

Coffeenoobie Said:

I believe you might have a 2 fold problem. Temp and channeling.  You are drying the portafilter between pulls right?

Posted January 9, 2013 link

I am not! I have never realized that this is important. This is good, I'm learning :-)

Coffeenoobie Said:

Skip to about 4 mins to watch the pull.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGZoGGS3JEs

He taps and gets the same sputtering as you about 2 mins in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Jz-eoOXkU

Posted January 9, 2013 link

I'm making coffee like a german, great :-). But thanks for the two links, I do see how my extraction is more like the 2nd one and not the 1st, though not quite to the same degree.
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axboe
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Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:15am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

calblacksmith Said:

Also, there are some other things here that threw the discussion a little off, namely you are using the wrong terms for what you are talking about. Some of this is the confusion that I tried to help with above with pressure but you also are talking about pods, pods are a pre ground dose of coffee, in paper wrapping. You place the entire pod, paper and all into a special porta filter basket that is designed for pods, no tamping, just load the PF and pull your shot.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

Ahh, sorry, yes I was using the wrong terminology.

calblacksmith Said:

Your machine is a Heat Exchanger based unit. The temp is adjusted and maintained by a device called a Pressure Stat. It measures the pressure inside the boiler and cycles the heater on and off to keep the same pressure in the boiler. With a closed boiler, the hotter it is the more pressure there will be in the boiler.

You say that after it has been on for a while, the shot is good but the next is not. In your video, you did not do a cooling flush which tells me that your boiler is too cool, regardless of what the gauge says. The water from the brew group when first activated when the machine has sat idle for a while, should be too hot, it should flash to steam until the over heated water in the brew system is purged, this is only 2 to 4 oz or so and is not a big deal. For an idea about how your system works, I am cut and pasting from another post I made which explains how it works.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

Guess I need to experiment with increasing the temperature as well. Should be something I can google my way to :-)

Thanks for the excellent pasted info on the HX machines. Very useful!
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

Dry might be an over statement but a wet spot is not good for even extraction. Any damp spot affect the way the water runs in the puck.  If you watch good baristas they just wipe the portafilter down with a dry rag to remove the stuck damp grounds.   I also really like my bottomless portafilter, it really lets me see if my puck is not perfect. I get sprites sometimes, mostly just micro sprites now but in the beginning.... messy pulls!

Even after a year of two pulls a day (4 on weekends) I am still not perfect but I believe that my pulls are better than anything you can buy in 25-50 miles range from my house.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

axboe Said:

The beans I used in the video were freshly roasted this morning, so should be very fresh as well. But you are right, it does seem sputtery compared to the video you linked below. So if we focus on that, you think it's due to the tapping I do? That's easy enough to stop.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

TOO fresh is not great either, you really should let them degas for a day or three, depending on the coffee. Too fresh and you get a lot of outgassing in the pull, which could be messing up the pull.


axboe Said:

So if we assume the chanelling is due to the tapping, the under extraction is due to not tamping it hard enough? As you might have seen from the video, I'm using a Vario grinder. It's set between 1 and 2, so the grind should be adequately fine.

Posted January 9, 2013 link

When trying to trouble shoot a pull, you try to eliminate all you can first. A very common way to crack the puck and allow a way for water to get through in a stream (channeling) is to bang the PF on the counter, tap it with the tamper or disturb it loading it into the machine by having the basket too full and the puck hits the screen when you lock in. You should have a slight gap between the grounds and the screen. A U.S. Penny or Dime is about right more or less.

Tamping has very little to do with anything. All you are trying to do is to present a consistent resistance through the puck to the water. You can not tamp near as hard as the water pushes when brewing, 9 bar is about 140 psi (from memory) Under extraction is when you do not get all the flavor from the beans, this indicates you did not run the shot long enough or the grounds were too large to extract in the time you use to pull the shot.

Just be consistent with the tamp, some place about 30 pounds of pressure and all will be well.


axboe Said:

I am not! I have never realized that this is important. This is good, I'm learning :-)

Posted January 9, 2013 link

Yes, you need to dry between the shots, a wet grounds basket can keep the puck from sealing against the basket and thus allows the formation of a place that may channel.
------------
reference to my post follows:

Your welcome. The more you understand how your machine works, the easier it is to learn how to use then fine tune it.

There is a screw adjustment on the Pstat, small movements can have a big impact depending on the make of the Pstat. Go slow and only make one change at a time.

Like I pointed out in the paste, the water in the HX system should be boiler temp if the machine has sat for a while. The water in the boiler should be hot enough to make a lot of steam, the hotter it is in the boiler, the larger volume of steam you get from the wand. This will also warm the water in the HX tube to the same temp so when you walk up to a machine that has been sitting for a while, you should get brew water flashing to steam for the first few seconds/oz. This water is too hot to brew with and you can scorch the ground coffee, ruining the taste. It seems that you do NOT flush for your first pull, give it a try and if you get little or no steam from the group head (no portafilter in place) then the boiler is too cold. A warmer boiler will also have a higher reserve heat factor thus causing the water in the HX system to warm faster so you can pull the shots closer together and still have good heat.

 
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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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:46am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

I assume that your Musica has the same pstat I have.  It takes a full turn to move the temp you will see the +- by the yellow thing you have to move to get to the adjustment screw. The musica has a better thermosiphon than my Oscar, (something I hope to fix in mine in the next few weeks) but I believe you still need a short cooling flush before the first pull of the morning.  (an oz or 2) After that it should rebound while you are grinding the next shot. That is why I was looking at the videos.  But neither person did a cooling flush that I saw but I have no idea how much it was used before the camera started rolling.  I would research this if I were you, you might not need a flush but I don't know, my Oscar is one model below yours but a lot of the same guts are in both.  I clearly need a flush, steamy hot water comes out if it has been sitting a while.  And I feel like you should have steamy water or water right below the steaming point if yours has been sitting a while too even with the better thermosiphon.  But I don't have your machine so I am not 100% sure.

I watch the water and see what is called the water dance to judge the temp.  When it is right the water settles down to a steady stream. Before that it sputters and spits and may have steam if it has been sitting a long time. I drain 4-6 oz out before I pull my first shot of the morning.  I put some in my measuring shot glass and some in my cup and it warms them.  If there is a good sized gap between pulls I might only drain off 2-4 oz before pulling the next shot. If I  am doing shots as fast as you were I would only drain the first shot and not the others. If Oscar is busy he is not over heating.  A bored Oscar is an over heated Oscar.

NS should be able to tell you if it needs a cooling flush first thing.  I am pretty sure it needs a short one if it is sitting doing nothing. (2-4 oz)

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:29am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

Channeling also causes under extraction because the water misses a lot of the coffee.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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reuteler
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Joined: 30 Dec 2012
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Location: Idaho, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Musica
Grinder: Mahlkonig ProM Espresso
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

NS should be able to tell you if it needs a cooling flush first thing.  I am pretty sure it needs a short one if it is sitting doing nothing. (2-4 oz)

Posted January 9, 2013 link

it definitely needs a flush (~2 ounces).  it rebounds very quickly, tho.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:56am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

I thought so but I was not sure and could not find it on a quick search.  I hope the OP comes back and updates the thread.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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axboe
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Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 6:57am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

I thought so but I was not sure and could not find it on a quick search.  I hope the OP comes back and updates the thread.

Posted January 14, 2013 link

Sorry for the late response, but I had some travel which both prevented me from posting and brewing! Anyway, I went through the suggestions, and what worked for me, was to do a proper cooling flush before brewing. The shots are better now, and more stable.

Another thing that influences the shot variance is the coffee being used. As mentioned earlier, I roast my own as well. So I tend to use different beans, even mixes of them. I have some favorite ones I use, and then I experiment with new ones too. What I've found is that if the coffee is roasted too lightly (new mixes of coffees, sometimes I'll "ruin" one), then I very easily get channeling. Not sure why that is, to be honest, but experimentally I've deduced that this is why that sometimes happens. If it's roasted too lightly, then I get too high volume and light crema for every single shot pulled.

Oh, and I also dry the portafilter before use to avoid channeling. That was another great suggestion in this thread, something I didn't realize before.

So thanks all, much happier with it now!
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Problem with continuous shots on Simonelli Musica
 

I am glad we were able to help.  Keep us in the loop with your machine, there are not as many Musicas owners posting.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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