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Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
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BarryR
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 279
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 5:20pm
Subject: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

I'm new to espresso but have been getting very good results from my new CC1 and Preciso.
I've used Velton Bonsai & Three Ravens Decaf as well as several SOs that I have (both caf & decaf). Very few have tasted really off except the Serrano.

I have it dialed in so that I get 2-2 1/4 oz in about 27 seconds. The naked portafilter doesn't show major problems but the shots come out very sour (drinkable but way below almost all the other shots I've pulled).
I tried to blend it (today used 50% Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe-Shakiso SWP Decaf, 25% Sumatapea (which I overroaseted a bit) and 25% of the Columbia Serrania and I still found the sour element overpowering.
I've been setting the PID to 200 for almost everything, but tried 203 but it didn't seem to make much difference.

Is there something about this bean or type of bean that should make me expect this?
Any suggestions?

Obviously, I can just use it for drip or French Press but would like to figure out the issue as part of my espresso edification.
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BrianFoster
Senior Member
BrianFoster
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Anoka, MN
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Dalla Corte Evolution,...
Grinder: Maestro, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: V60s, Woodneck, Chemex,...
Roaster: Primo PRI20
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

It sounds like there are a lot of different variables in this equation.
  • It could be bad beans.  Ferment or other defects.
  • The roast could be off. (are you roasting it yourself?)
  • The brew water may not match the PID setting. (cg link)
  • Your dose could be off.
  • Your grind could be off.

Try brewing it with something other than your espresso machine.  If the sourness goes away, look at the machine.  If the sourness is still there, focus on the beans.  If the sour persists, find a freshly roasted bag of the same origin, sightglass seems to have a similar coffee, and try it.

 
Brian Foster
Paradise Coffee Roasters
www.paradiseroasters.com
@paradiseroaster
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BarryR
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 279
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

BrianFoster Said:

It sounds like there are a lot of different variables in this equation.
It could be bad beans.  Ferment or other defects.
The roast could be off. (are you roasting it yourself?)
The brew water may not match the PID setting. (cg link)
Your dose could be off.
Your grind could be off.

Try brewing it with something other than your espresso machine.  If the sourness goes away, look at the machine.  If the sourness is still there, focus on the beans.  If the sour persists, find a freshly roasted bag of the same origin, sightglass seems to have a similar coffee, and try it.

Posted May 19, 2012 link

Thanks.
I don't think it's the dose or the grind because I think I have it "dialed in" and I get good results from other beans (so my technique is at least OK).
I roasted it myself. I'll try brewing a cup with my Clever Dripper to compare but I figured it has something to do with how this bean behaves as an espresso.
I've had the same beans in the past with good results from drip.
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rabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2008
Posts: 234
Location: maine
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: v.3  miss sylvia
Grinder: baratza  vario, encore
Vac Pot: presspot
Roaster: fresh roast sr300
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 2:48pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

sour    i think the temp is to high    but it could be the dose amount     one of the two
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BarryR
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 279
Location: Wilbraham
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Clever...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B2-K
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 3:56pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

rabbit Said:

sour    i think the temp is to high    but it could be the dose amount     one of the two

Posted May 19, 2012 link

I read that low temps make sour, high temps - bitter.

That's why I tried 203 degrees.
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rabbit
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2008
Posts: 234
Location: maine
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: v.3  miss sylvia
Grinder: baratza  vario, encore
Vac Pot: presspot
Roaster: fresh roast sr300
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 5:38pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

i have found updosing will produce bitter shots..............i use 12,13,or 14 grams for double shots.........the v.3 miss sylvia works good in that dose range..
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,025
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Why is my Colombia La Serrania EA Decaf sour?
 

"The brew water may not match the PID setting. (cg link)"  from above.


Have you checked the brew water temperature?  Does the PID temperature equate to a sensor temperature on or in the boiler, or does it accurately give brew water temperature at the puck? You can drop temperature a bit at the puck and be too cool.  I do not know the specifics of CC1 but many PIDs run off of a sensor that most closely reflects boiler temperature, often several degrees higher that of brew water.  Also, if the PF has not remained hot, then more puck cooling.  How long did the machine preheat and stabilize?  The PID temperature may appear stable before all of the machine and PF mass are at temperature.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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