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Sorry same old question... volume/time
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Sorry same old...  
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DG55117
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 4:41pm
Subject: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

Very newbie.
I have a Laurentis(old) lightly used single group with 4 pre programmed buttons -single, large single, double, large double.
Anyway, like other newbies, I read lots but get too much varying info.
My shots seem bitter. I have been expirimenting with grind,tamp,dose etc.
I wish everyone would talk the same measurements.
I fill my portafilter double with 18 grams of ground beans(burr grinder) and pressing the regular double button, I get between 53-56 grams of liquid espresso. It takes 55 seconds.
So, does this explain why my espresso seems bitter?
Is this too long(overextracted)?
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,073
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 5:32pm
Subject: Re: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

Yes, bitter means over extracted.  

Your shots are taking way too long, and that's possibly one source of your problem.  However, a slow flow rate also means your vibratory pump is pumping at a too-high pressure and your grind is way too tight.  

"55g of liquid," is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much.  

You haven't mentioned temping, which has me scared.

All in all, it sounds like you're getting an over-extracted lungo instead of the balanced normale you want.  

The first thing is to clean everything, including doing a detergent backflush and cleaning the screen, showerhead, pf and basket in detergent too.  

Empty the reservoir of stale water, clean it with soap and hot water, and fill it with good quality, fresh, filtered or bottled water.      

Next you want to establish is the optimal dose for your basket -- neither leaving too little nor too much headroom between the top of the (level) puck and the screen. Depending on the basket that's going to be somewhere between 14g and 18g.

Grind a weighed dose, put it in the basket, level it while tamping lightly, put a nickel on the center of the leveled dose, lock the pf into the group, then remove it.  The nickel should leave a distinct impression.  

Empty the pf, and repeat, only this time with a dime.  If the dime leaves either a faint impression or no impression, your dose is close.  

Then adjust grind so that a normale (weighs around twice the dose), takes between 25 and 30sec.  As you adjust grind, you may have to adjust dose also.  

No super-firm (aka "handstand") tamps.  For now, moderate (15lbs) to firm (40lbs) pressure tamps.  There's no right tamp pressure, but it makes it easier to isolate variable if you're consisent.  The number one thing about tamping is LEVEL.

Use a bottomless pf to check for channeling, side channeling and other distribution problems (although it sounds like those aren't a problem now).  

Temp for a balance of bitters and sours, using the end of "flash boiling" as the baseline from which you begin dialing in the precise length of cooling flush for best results.  

Then go back and adjust dose and grind (retaining 25-30sec/shot which weighs twice the dose), until the shot has good mouthfeel while retaining balance.

Last, what kind of grinder are you using?  Has it been recently cleaned?  Are the burrs still sharp?

That's a LOT of stuff for one post.  It may be easier to lean if you break it down into one thing at a time, and ask a bunch of questions until you're sure you're dialing-in in the right way.  

Rich
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DG55117
Junior Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 5:43am
Subject: Re: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

Thanks Rich. That is a ton of info but exactly what I was looking for.
So, I used my manual button and with 18 grams of ground beans in portafilter, I extracted for 28 seconds and got 38 grams of espresso out with great looking crema. But it was very sour. So I checked my temp and it was only 170.
I think I may have found my biggest problem.
Thanks. Once I fix that I will try again.
What detergent do you recommend to backflush?
Thanks Rich
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Apr 24, 2014, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

There are several detergent options, in part it'll depend on which of the handful of suppliers you order from.  I use Cafitza.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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steamer
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steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 894
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 8:37am
Subject: volume/time
 

In keeping with this post, I'm trying to see my next change. Currently I am using blend of a french roast and some Guatamalan beans, a nice combo 50/50. I do an 18gr setup, in the mid 20 seconds I get 2oz at 45gr weight. Strong but not bitter. I changed it to 16.5gr setup and get the same results, but the shot not as strong and not bitter but a bit thinner. I have a brewtus and a K-3. So for me to drop the weight of the final shot to say closer to 30gr  for 2oz shot, where do I make the change? Or should I be okay with the 45gr shot?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 10:45am
Subject: Re: volume/time
 

steamer Said:

In keeping with this post, I'm trying to see my next change. Currently I am using blend of a french roast and some Guatamalan beans, a nice combo 50/50. I do an 18gr setup, in the mid 20 seconds I get 2oz at 45gr weight. Strong but not bitter. I changed it to 16.5gr setup and get the same results, but the shot not as strong and not bitter but a bit thinner. I have a brewtus and a K-3. So for me to drop the weight of the final shot to say closer to 30gr  for 2oz shot, where do I make the change? Or should I be okay with the 45gr shot?

Posted April 25, 2014 link

Short answer is grind slightly finer. If you subscribe to the thought that all shots should finish in about the same narrow target time range, then you need to slow down the water flow, so that you can put the lower amount through the puck in the same amount of time.  So, how do you slow down the water flow through a puck?  Grind finer or dose higher! To get the same extraction ratio, you need to lower the volume of water going through the puck by the same percent you lowered the dose weight.

If you use the exact same particle size, but less particles, then you have to cut off the water supply earlier, lowering your contact time, and amount of extracted product from said particles, and this will weaken your shot...as you experienced. Also, it would be more likely to over-extract in this scenario, than under-extract...so there's no surprise it wasn't bitter.  The danger, if you can call it that, would be getting a sour shot.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,073
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 6:44am
Subject: Re: volume/time
 

Let me fill in Ron's advice a little.

steamer Said:

I do an 18gr setup, in the mid 20 seconds I get 2oz at 45gr weight. Strong but not bitter.

Posted April 25, 2014 link

FWIW, 18g in and 45g out is on the border between lungo and normale.  with a "brew ratio" of 40%.  At best, the color of the stream when you cut the shot must be very blond.

Unless and until you've got a specific preference for lungos over normales, you should try hitting the center of normale, with a 50% brew ratio.  If you keep dosing at 18g that should be 36g to the blond point (still slightly tan).  That means adjusting your grinder so that the blond point comes in the low 20sec to low 30sec range.  Unless you're channeling you're going to grind finer -- as Ron already said.  

I changed it to 16.5gr setup and get the same results, but the shot not as strong and not bitter but a bit thinner.

Espresso can be very confusing; since a small change in one thing can change several other things; and there's inherent shot to shot inconsistency as well.

Dosing is -- by and large -- a matter of finding the right headroom for the basket and sticking with it.   "Overdosing" can sometimes work to give shots some extra sweetness and bottom end (chocolates), but under dosing never works.  

"Not as bitter," usually means not as (over) extracted.  The nice thing about a DB is that once it's dialed in for a particular coffee, we no longer have any concerns about  temperature as a variable.  So, whatever's changing the bitter/sour balance, it's not because you've used a lower temperature.  

But "not as strong" is something of a monkey wrench, especially when combined with "French roast."  You may be conflating the burnt sugar bitterness of French roast with over extraction bitterness.  Thin the espresso with with a too weak brew ratio, channeling, etc., and the inherent bitterness of the roast is attenuated as is strength.

I have a brewtus and a K-3. So for me to drop the weight of the final shot to say closer to 30gr  for 2oz shot, where do I make the change? Or should I be okay with the 45gr shot?

If you're using the stock basket, your ideal dose is probably anywhere in the 15.5g and 17.5g range.  As a preliminary, 16.5g sounds like a sensible, "ideal" dose.  Allow yourself some wiggle room and don't freak if you're off by a gram or so.

Cut the machine at the blond point, no matter where that is.

Shoot for a brew ratio between 50% and 60%.  That's what?  27.5 - 33g at the blond point for a 16.5g dose.

Adjust grind so all of that that occurs in the 23sec - 33sec range.  

As if you weren't already overloaded
While it's fine for other brewing methods, French roast is a bad choice for espresso.  It's so dark that the burnt sugars from the roast completely masks the flavors of the bean. Try beans finished somewhere on the C+ through FC+ "medium" continuum, from a roaster who identifies the roast date, and the bean types by farm as well as country or even region.  

You can think of detailed origin information as more than required to be useful, which it mostly is; or as attention to detail by the roaster; which it is -- and attention to detail is something you very much want.  

If you need more motivation, French roast gunks up your roaster with oils, making it need frequent cleaning.  

SoCal you say?
A demo is worth a zillion words.  Consider yourself invited over here.  If you can't make it, but want to try a blend that might work a little better for espresso than the beans you're using now, email me your contact information; I'll send you a bag.    

Hope this helps,
Rich
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steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 894
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sat Apr 26, 2014, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

Yes I'm not a dark roast person on espresso, but was trying to get some beans with at least some time on them, 4 days from roast is the longest period. Most of my beans are from Verve in santa cruz and come every other friday. But just got the K3 and had to run beans to set the shots. New beans should be here today. I couldn't go finer as the timer maxed out at about 16 grams based on the mixed beans. I do admit the espresso is much better than the past HX I had. I have VST baskets, 18 and 20 grams, much better than the stock stuff. Once I am back on my normal beans I can settle in again. It is consistent on the shots, Once I get some free time I will come up and give your invite some time. It is cleaning day for the DB and the grinder.
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steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 894
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 9:00am
Subject: Re: Sorry same old question... volume/time
 

While still on this, I did find my tamping was way too much, I just got the calibrated tamper, and in the process of adjusting, getting things more inline. One step at a time.
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