Just change one variable at a time. Dose or Grind, not both
Yep the more grounds in the basket, will reduce the flow rate (all else being equal).
See post 11 for a quickie guide to baskets and their preferred capacities. Beans are weighed in and out of a grinder to remove a variable, if find this especially useful when trying new beans or roast profile, for me it is generally 20g into a 20g VST. Getting the grind fineness dialled in using a constant standard weight of beans reduces waste and time wasting for me.
So guys, just outta curiosity, what's wrong with the baskets that come with the machine?
and will you never get the optimal shot with the double basket or the naked ?
What size is a standard basket? For example, my Rancilio Silvia came with two baskets (single and double). Would I be right in guessing they are 7g and 14g respectively?
I also just pulled the trigger on the ECM Synchronika as well. I matched this with the ECM Titan 64 as the pair look very sexy together (even though the profitec, Eureka atom & zenith were contenders). Spoke with may suppliers but ended up going with a coffesnobs sponsor Antony @Casa Espresso who was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful throughout the process. Sometimes its just the friendly and helpful service that sways your opinion from just buying from the cheapest supplier in the market.
I am now one happy coffeesnob...but i have that lovely anxious and sad feeling upon me.. The sad feeling that my lelit and compak K3 setup which has been rock solid for the past 2.5yrs is going to be retired that could have lasted a further 10yrs with me, but anxious and excited about the awesome new setup on the way which i am going to get my hand one.
If the coin is buried - too much coffee - go to a larger basket or reduce the volume of grounds (or grind more finely). If it is just slightly indented that is okay. With a good tamper you should be able to see how far down the grounds need to be from the rim of the basket to clear the screen.
On my ECM I know at the grind I use, the single basket tops out at a shade over 11grams and when my tamper is just barely above the rim, I am clear of the screen. I use the tamper rings to set the double and triple baskets too.
If you know where the tamper "high water mark" should be, you can then play with the other settings.
Congrats! Exactly.. I was deadon finalizing the R58 directly from the factory with personalized engraving through a friend only to end up with the synchronika through an online retailer based in the UK for these exact reasons you mention. (Mind you I'm middle east based)
Compak seems like s great brand for grinders.. I have the E5, yet to pull good shots but the machine looks and feels solid.
Very interesting.. I did your trick just now, the coin basically only went down a very very tiny bit, not even noticeable..
this was using the double spout / basket filled with 21 grams. Shot came out a bit acidic.. I'm grinding on level 9 outtta 30 so perhaps need to go finer...
I also hate the tamper that comes with the machine.. its convex type and when using the tamp ststion (ecm model), never comes out flat.. I also have been guilty in my barista training class to tamp terribly. I have big hands and always use pressure from my elbows.. I considered buying the manometric tamper but my wife told me to stop being so stupid and start workin with what I have for gods sake
You need a scale that goes to 0.0g to weigh it.
What I do find though is that if you use a consistent technique with your dosing and levelling off the grounds the weight of grounds in the basket is remarkably similar shot to shot.
So, to make it easy I would focus on having consistent technique shot to shot. Play with grind and see how that works.
If it's not working for you then change your dose and play with grind again.
Otherwise, if you want to play with dose more, get a scale that goes to 0.0g.
For example, I grind, dose into basket, level off flat, tap once to distribute, tamp.
Last edited by AlMac; 28th July 2017 at 09:53 PM.
Congratulation: great machine, you will be very pleased
i am over the moon with mine☺️
Alrighty.. the final purchase about to happen..
thinking of getting VST baskets but not sure what grams I should be getting and ridgeless or ridgeless? Both beans I use require 18 grams only for a double shot in 25 seconds.. I want to be able to use it for the double spout and the Naked portafilter.
At the same time I am considering for the sake of consistency to purchase a concept art dynamometric tamper "knock" type & flat.. any opinions on that ?
Using a VTS 7gm ridged in my naked pf: really good (pics on the way)
Also the ECM tamping station is great holding the pf in place for tamping
Another one here bit the bullet and ordered my ECM synchronika with ECM V Titan grinder... Hopefully delivery next week! Pictures to follow! Thank you to the few who helped out with selection. Cheers
Nice greenfinger. I am thinking of going down this path too so looking forward to hearing about your experiences with it.
I use a Coffeeparts corner tamping mat which is perfect for the naked pf; the odd occasion I use the dual spout I just hold the pf with the spouts on the mat but I've also seen similar mat designs with a built-in mini station on the edge with cut-outs for a spouted pf. The mat is easy to clean and can be used to tap the pf if you do that as well as tapping the milk jug and even espresso to gently disperse any large air bubbles. That ECM tamping station is some very shiny bling, though!
Re: baskets, I guess having done your research you just have to pull the trigger and experiment! I went for Pesado over VST mostly on the back of some comments here that VSTs can be more finicky.
Again, ECM tamping station: bling and functionality
The VTS are not forgiving baskets, but great ones if handled correctly...
Really struggling to get a good shot till today.. Im 2 of 40 maybe.
3 or 4 different kind of beans (some new some old), crema is there, tamp is even, 18 grams gives 42-48 grams espresso.
Taste is either too sour or bitter( cant make up the difference )
I ran 3 kg of cheap beans I bought to season the burrs, move it to all levels from fine to coarse..
Still the shots are not coming out tasting well..
I can smell the choclate notes as it pours up to 12-14 seconds but after that I smell the odd bitterness
I emptied the boilers twice, even did a backflush yesterday.. nothin
oh and speakin of the backflush.. the lever to pull. Shots now feels like metal is pushin / squeaking against metal and I think something might need lubrication.. machine is dead on 9 bar always.. no steaming issues, nothing.
god Im dissapointed.. is it me.. is it the beans..
Forgot to mention also that in my attempt to make an Americano I use hot water from the spout on the machine.. it's set for 123 deg Celcius. Maybe that would burn the coffee ? But still the initial taste is awful
I've used beans packed from May, June & July.. all almost the same taste.. some more crema than the others.. shots ended up as lungos, restrettos, espressos but generally fixed that part with the grinder..
Anyway, using the HW wand for an Americano is common practice, but I don't dispense it directly into the espresso. I usually put it into a pitcher of some sort to dissipate some of the heat and then pour into the cup. Alternatively draw the hot water first (some people actually prefer this).
Espresso brewing has many variables and consistency in workflow is key. Use a scale to measure your dose each and every time, especially in the beginning until you are confident enough that you can dose consistently by eyeballing and grooming. The combination of consistent dosing, distributing and tamping level takes practice, but hang in there.
"18 grams gives 42-48 grams espresso."
This sounds way too much espresso. I presume the 42gms equate with 42mls. All the bad stuff is at the end of the extraction - as I learnt at barista school. Stop the extraction at around 20 or 25mls and taste the difference. Just my tuppence worth.
Do you have a different grinder to compare against or is this an entire new setup with your first E61/grinder combo? Be good if you had an old grinder to pull a similar weighted grind/shot and see if you get the same...or even if you try a shot from a different machine.
I know that the titanium burrs will take a little bit to break in, but you have done 3kg so i would have expected this to settle down a little (from what i read).
If your using the 2:1 ratio then 15g = 30ml of coffee. Unless your trying to pull a ristretto where 15g would be 15g coffee.
Have you tried different coffee volumes...say 14g, 18g, 20g to see what sort of difference that makes.
What about trying different grind sizes of the same again.
Also make sure your not pulling too much into the shot blonding out...this is where the coffee could start going a little bitter.
Also make sure you check your tamping. It should be nice an horizontal across the basket after the tamp. If its angled one way you could be just tamping badly and causing channelling.
What is good troubleshooting to confirm tamping is a naked portafiller so you can see the coffee shot coming out of the grouphead.
Suggest you write notes and details down on paper. Troubleshoot this with changing 1 variable at a time...lf you change too much in one go you will find it hard to determine what caused the issue.
Also try and use the same coffee (fresher the better) when doing the testing.
Good luck and let us know how you go.
p.s. this is just my suggestions, so my advise may not be perfect and others here will have their own experiences and opinions on what to do. Suggest you just keep a track of the steps and notes to determine what works for you when extracting a nice shot.
Start with good fresh beans from a reputable supplier. Stick to the one bean for the time being.
Stick to your dose of 18 grams of grounds, that's about right.
Forget weighing your shot for the moment. Instead watch the stream, and learn to spot the blonding point. Cut the shot right there and taste.
Was this a chemical backflush? The detergents dissolve the lubricants in the E61 mechanism, and this produces squeaking. Normally after you pull a few shots, the coffee oils re-lubricate things and the sound will go away.oh and speakin of the backflush.. the lever to pull. Shots now feels like metal is pushin / squeaking against metal and I think something might need lubrication.. machine is dead on 9 bar always.. no steaming issues, nothing.
Definitely don't overdo it with the chemical backflush. Once a week tops, and use the cleaning powder sparingly.
Once it's out in the normal atmosphere, water cannot exist at greater than 100C. Having said that, add a dash of cold to the cup before pulling your shot. This will get your water in the cup down to around 80C which is ideal for a long black.
Second thing - while your trying to get the taste dialled in, its important to taste the shots straight, rather than as a long black.
Hey guys, So I just recieved a 2 kg shipment from a roastery out of the UK, very reputed and tried before, so the bean element is now gone.
I've been mostly dialing in 18-21 grams of coffee.. Noted the blonding & noted the 30ml ratio (2:1)
I only have this setup so no previous grinder to test with.. it's a compak E5 grinder and everyone raves about it. I ran about 4 kgs now of different beans..
Someone advised me to try and lower the dose say to 17 grams..
today I did the following as per your recommendations.
1. 17 grams
2. Even tamp but not very hard, just an average push down ( as opposed to my usual stabbing someone with a knice technique )
3. Ran hot water in a cup, add a dash of frdige cold water to it
4. Ran a shot until it started to be yellow or blonded ( altho There were bits of yellow at 15 seconds)
5. Stopped my shot at 23 seconds after it started to look clear
the result, wait for it, well no bitter or sour flavors, I can smell traces of the caramel notes in this blend, but when mixed with water for the long black, it feels a little bit diluted but still much more pleasurable taste that the crap I've been making! I did not measure the amount unfortunately as I was too focused on flushing the machine for 3 seconds, tamping, timer etc.. but Im sure I didnt cross the 40 ml / gram mark.
perhaps will try to add 1 more gram to see where this takes it and maintain that easy tamp method I attempted..
thank you guys for your help..some improvements afer your recommendations.. Its been a struggle I tell ya..
Looks good. I would be interested on yours or others experience with using a lever for the steamer rather than a knob. I guess it is easier to use but have only ever turned a knob for steam.
It's just personal preference really - I've used various rotary tap machines and on balance the levers come out on top for me. Ideally I'd prefer the "commercial style" side levers, but there's a price premium for those on domestic machines
Because I normally only steam a small quantity of milk I almost never set the lever to the point it 'clicks' open; the other advantage of doing this is you just release to instantly close the valve without so much as a flick
I did find the levers a little 'scrubby' initially, this got better with time and when I serviced the group and ball joints I also added some grease to the valves - they're silky smooth now. I suspect this will also improve their life and reduce more serious maintenance, but time will tell.
It's kinda academic really tbh - I just tweaked the steam boiler temp to get perfect textured milk with the valve fully open, so tend to only hold it open without 'clicking' on so that it's faster to turn off - which is easy with either valve ☺
I had the hard decision choosing between these two awesome machines....it comes down to aesthetics to the individual preference. Both are fantastic machines and you cant go wrong with either.