Ok, I was also thinking of doing the steam switch for a few seconds. Will try that, thanks! I also make sure there is no air. :)
"Just adjust your grinder courser and add some more grounds, you'll get it." - this doesn't make sense to me yet, as I can't fit more than 16gms in before it touches the shower screen during extraction? Making a courser grind will just decrease shot time surely? Or is that the idea?
Keep the advice coming, I do really appreciate it!
By your description i'd stop it around 25 seconds and see how it tastes. Usually when it gets watery so fast you should consider adding more coffee to your dose. I don't think VST has a 17g basket. I have 15 and 18 gram baskets from them.
Based on just what I read, i'd keep going finer. The weather, bean roast and tons of factors can explain why the grind is different.
Since you can only fit 16g in there, I take it you have the 15g basket.
I'll add that if you aren't going to add a PID, then timing your shots to be in sync with the on/off cycles of the boiler makes sense (I say that as an engineer with a pretty good knowledge of thermodynamics). Maybe start 10 seconds after the ready light goes out, but that's a guess and I'm sure others have actual data.
The basket says Strada on the other side but I think it's a VST copy? The official name is a Lar Marzocco Strada 17gm. Apologies for the confusion.
I pulled a better shot this morning, and it had a well shaped, deep cone, centred quickly, but poured in 20 seconds. 1.7 oz to watery blond. Pressure at 9.5 bars. Maybe I coarsened a bit too much. Colour was a bit browner towards tan, for longer. Somehow the crema always comes out as a mid tone brown..? Taste: (in milk) bland and thin.
I'm thinking of changing the beans completely to an espresso blend. Something I know the Coffee shop at the roasters uses every day successfully. Maybe something is up with these beans from Panama
I weigh the beans before grinding. The nice thing about this grinder is the it does a good job of getting pretty much all of the grinds out.. I will do a comparison to before and after grind next time to confirm.
Also: Whenever I see coffee particles on the shower screen, I'm assuming it's touched.. when it's probably just the stray coffee from the side of the basket being pushed upward in the process. This happened this morning, and I didn't see any obvious marks on the puck. hmmmm
I am using a 57mm cheapie aluminium tamper with a slightly convex base, in a 58mm basket.. Is this a problem? I think I only paid the equivalent of $20 for it.
Thanks again for the advice everyone! It keeps me thinking, and I'm sure I'll come right soon :)
I recommend getting a 58mm or whatever size the basket is. I tried one smaller than the basket before and it never seemed consistent.
You're delving out of my territory going to around 2 oz as I normally do half of that with a double shot (btw, the metric system is so much easier). I normally do around 20-25 ml for a shot in ideal scenarios. I'm also not familiar with milk but i'd think you'd want something more on the bitter side to balance the sweeter frothed milk.
The first problem to fix should always be to try new beans. please let us now how this effects the shot. Also let us know how weighing after the grind works out. I have a vario that has low grind retention but it's still inconsistent in what I actually get.
I personally never worry about 'coffee on the show screen' unless the puck gets stuck there after removing the portafilter.
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