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Two very different shots from a double spout
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mattrob33
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Ruston, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 6:24am
Subject: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

I have a Baby Gaggia & a Baratza Encore. I'm pulling double shots with a double spout, using a non-pressurized basket. Almost every time, the two shots are at least a little different. Usually, one will have 2 ounces and the other 1.5, with a slight difference in the amount of crema.

I'm new to this, so I'm still experimenting with everything, trying to find the right combination of factors. Yesterday I pulled a 30 second shot that seemed as close to perfect as I have done. The strange thing (to me) is that one cup had a 2oz shot that had great taste and decent crema. The other cup, however, had 1.5oz of pure crema (and I thought the FIRST one was perfect!)

Why would a double spout from a non-pressurized basket produce such different results from the same shot?
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 530
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 7:06am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

Do you use a .01 rated scale to measure your coffee and a scale to measure your tamp and a methodical practice for distributing the grounds evenly in the basket? Do you make sure the temperature is the same for each shot (and No, this isn't precisely regulated by the Baby Gaggia)? If you don't, you're going to have differences that affect taste.
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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 7, 2014, 7:10am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

Make sure your machine is level.  That can cause one side to get more coffee than the other.  Also make sure you spouts are clear so one side is not slightly stopped up or something.

 
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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mattrob33
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Ruston, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 8:08am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

brianl Said:

Do you use a .01 rated scale to measure your coffee and a scale to measure your tamp and a methodical practice for distributing the grounds evenly in the basket? Do you make sure the temperature is the same for each shot (and No, this isn't precisely regulated by the Baby Gaggia)? If you don't, you're going to have differences that affect taste.

Posted January 7, 2014 link

No I don't do all of those things - and I should - but I'm talking about differences in volume between two cups from the same shot, not quality differences shot to shot.


Coffeenoobie Said:

Make sure your machine is level.  That can cause one side to get more coffee than the other.

Posted January 7, 2014 link

Wow, that never crossed my mind. However, I just checked it and the machine is level...
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,116
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

I did some quick math: 2 oz in one glass + 1.5 oz in the other = 3.5 oz shot. Approaching cafe crema volume and no doubt running cold from the 3.5 oz boiler towards the end of the shot.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,038
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 9:38am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

On a Gaggia you should aim for a total weight of about 45 gms or less for a double.  If you don't have a scale, you can get a rough idea by allowing the crema to dissipate and then seeing the liquid volume of about 45 ml.  

Boiler volume is about 105 ml, so lower volume of output are used so that the boiler and brew water stay hot.  Here is an interesting study showing water temperature drop.

Click Here (www.afonic.org)

The machine should be warmed at least 15 - 20 minutes.

Many Gaggia users take off the spouts and use the single remaining central hole, and this gives more room under the PF.

There are ways to shim the Encore if you can't grind fine enough to get the volume/flow of espresso down.  Some time from turn on of the switch and some from first drip. I have about 6 - 8 seconds from switch to first drip and I use first drip.  Choose a method and be consistent.

If you are using the included tamper you may have problems with uneven tamp and channeling.  You need a 58 mm tamper and a single tamp.

Search Gaggia temperature surfing and you can learn a lot about control.

Have fun and report back :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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mattrob33
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Ruston, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Jan 7, 2014, 9:50am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

Frost - good catch. Those numbers should have been 1.5 and 1, not 2 and 1.5. So a total of 2.5oz - from what I have read, that should be about right?

D4F, thanks for your reply! The Gaggia manual says to let the machine warm only 6 minutes, and I have noticed that my better shots came when it has been on much longer... I'll start letting it warm longer & check out those links, thanks.

Any ideas as to why the two cups would be different levels? I suspected some time of channeling issue, but it is always the right cup that has more - surely it wouldn't channel more into the right cup every time?
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mattrob33
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Nov 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Ruston, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Baby
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

I found the answer to my problem. I was not tamping evenly. Someone watched me one day and pointed out that I was putting more pressure on one side. I've fixed this for now by tamping with the portafilter handle facing my left and then again when it's to the right. Instant fix. Can't believe I didn't catch this before... Thanks everyone.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014, 8:57am
Subject: Re: Two very different shots from a double spout
 

Tamping should not be an issue, on a regular PF, ALL the coffee drains down the same hole then it is split by .... wait for it, .... the splitter into two streams. The GH may be slightly out of square with the frame of the machine so if the machine looks level (with a bubble level) your PF may still be slightly out of square. Check the GH for being level. Next as Helen said, check the inside of the splitter, it may be not perfectly even inside.
Next the machine should warm for a good half an hour, not only does the water need to get hot, you need to heat ALL the metal parts too.
If splitting a double shot, look for .75 to 1 floz in each cup, no more. Unless you are sharing the same shot with two people, there really is no need for two cups, just put the shots into the same cup for a total of 1.5 to 2floz .

 
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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