Gig103 Senior Member Joined: 12 Feb 2012 Posts: 277 Location: Arizona Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: QM Andreja Premium,... Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: French press & Aeropress
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:30pm Subject: Playing with variables for dry puck
If you have the patience to walk through my thought process, please do :)
So I just got my machine back from service (steam arm microswitch wouldn't shut off the pump) and on my first attempt of dialing in with a 15g shot I got a 26 second ristretto. Not a 'god' shot but very palatable (Redbird is so consistent and I find it forgiving too). But the puck was really soupy because the dose, while what I wanted and the right grind, was too low in the basket as far as I can tell.
So if I increase the dose but make the grind coarser to keep the flow the same, and thus fill more of the basket, should it dry out? Or is there something else I'm missing? I know it shouldn't matter, because the cup matters, but I induce wife aggro when it doesn't come out clean.
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:23pm Subject: Re: Playing with variables for dry puck
Wet/soggy pucks usually have 3 causes...water too cool, dose too low, grind too fine. Get the first right, and experiment till you're happy. As Randy said, ignore the puck if the shot tastes good.
BTW, when you say "ristretto" do you mean 26 seconds for a 35ml shot? If you're getting more than that, you're not getting a classic ristretto IMO. If you like the goopy-er shot, go for 50ml in 26 seconds, and I bet the puck will be solid.
That's an important point - if your pucks are always soupy now whereas they used to be considerably drier, it's likely that the three-way mechanism isn't operating correctly.
Either way, though, if there's no structure or integrity retained in the puck during the shot, it will not be possible to achieve an espresso extraction. I'm not quite sure what you'd call the result, which would be a function of a fast-draining immersion (like a very small, very fast French press). It might even be likable somehow, but true espresso is the result of a different extraction process.
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