Posted Sat Nov 11, 2006, 12:44am Subject: "Fishy" tasting espresso
So, I've done a search and can't quite find the answer I'm looking for...
A couple of times now, when pulling shots I've detected a fishy like flavor in the glass. My thoughts are that the beans weren't rested enough, but I'm not sure. Both times, the beans were less than 48 hours rested, but more than 24...
My 2nd thought was that maybe my brew temp was a little cool, as I'm still learning about the HX water dance and shot timing.
Hahaha :) That would be a good guess considering where Water District 1 gets their supply...straight out of the Kansas river, but I know that's not the problem. I've got a 5-stage RO system that I use for all my drinking water and coffee brewing. I mix in about a 1:10 ratio of tap water to add back a few minerals and let it stand for a bit before using to offgas.
The beans have been from Sweet Maria's, roasted by me. I'm sticking with my not rested long enough theory for now...still curious though!
I reckon you're over-dosing your anchovy paste. Is your final shot also very salty and prone to have small fish bones in it? I would suggest cutting back your anchovy dosing to 0-1gram only in a regular single shot.
If that doesn't solve your problem then I have one more suggestion. Are you using your coffee bean containers to store fish as well? I often find that storing pungent foods in the same valve bag as my espresso beans can affect the flavour. May I suggest the fridge instead for your fish-storing needs?
If it's def. not your water there are few things that can cause 'fishy' tastes in coffee. One is the chemical 4-Heeptenal this can be related to immature green beans and also oxidation (as a result of aging) of beans roasted too dark or too dark too fast. Also an ammonia called 1-Pentanamine found in coffee can have a 'fishy' taste. Both of these can be related to roasting issues or green quality/processing issues. I can't remember exactly but I think there's some phenolic acid related to dark roasts that are related to 'fishy' also.
just asking but is your machine clean? Not backflushing with some espresso cleaner can build up some nasty stuff that could have a fishy taste (rancid oils).
Holy crap...finally someone that offered advice rather than questionable wit.
What you say makes sense. I'm new to all this, and if I remember right, that particular roast got a little ahead of me. Oddly enough, it didn't persist through the entire lb of beans, just that one session of shots. The greens were from SM's
I bought the machine used, and backflushed it with Cafzia the week I got it, and every Sunday thereafter. I also do 3-4 backwash flush's after each session.
Thanks Goatherd...I really appreciate the insight. Always trying to learn with my obsessive hobbies.
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