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Thread: Bloody Doughnut!

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    Bloody Doughnut!

    Hi all. Iím settling in to ownership of my Bezzera BZ10 and Sette 270W and am happy to be in the ballpark. Iím yielding a solid 2:1 shot that most of the time tastes great. The rest is ok, but could be better.

    I recently bought a naked PF to help with the diagnosis, which has confirmed what I thought was happening. Iím consistently getting a doughnut extraction like in the video. Looking at the puck afterwards, there are pinholes at the side to indicate channeling.

    Iíve played with grind amounts and have settled on 17.5g in the standard 16g Bezzera basket. Any less and itís sloppy, plus I have a hard time levelling it as it sits below the surface of the basket. Any more and itís on the screen.

    Iím starting to think my tamp is too small for my basket - 58mm tamp for a 58.94mm basket.

    Before I go and spend more money, Iíd love to hear some advice on which way to tackle this. Work on my tamp to try get the edges compacted better? Get a new tamp? Buy a new basket? My tamp is a Clean Machine, flat bottom with square edges, 58mm tamp. Any tips?



    https://youtu.be/mhQUXWeIxts

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Looks like old/stale coffee to me. Get some known freshly roasted coffee that's been stored properly and try it again after the beans have rested for 4 days or so.


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    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Puck doesn't look quite right. Maybe still some underdosing? Looks like there is a sign of a little water on the puck?

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au

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    Firstly, thanks for the replies

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    Looks like old/stale coffee to me. Get some known freshly roasted coffee that's been stored properly and try it again after the beans have rested for 4 days or so.


    Java "Amazing what fresh beans will get'cha!" phile
    Iíll try some fresher beans. The beans used were roasted on 13/10, medium Merlo Roast (Forza). I buy 500g at a time and split it into two bags with the one way valves (the bags the beans are supplied with). These bags are kept inside a small cooler bag, and it lives at the bottom of my pantry. This way the light is kept out each time the door is opened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Puck doesn't look quite right. Maybe still some underdosing? Looks like there is a sign of a little water on the puck?

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    There is a little water on the puck when I remove it. Iíll try going up again, but this time in smaller increments. Until now Iíve been jumping 0.5g at a time.

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Puck should be dry when you remove the handle.

    Its OK for the coffee to touch the shower screen, obviously though not too much that the handle is hard to insert

    cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au

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    Coffee should be fine. Could the pressure be set a bit too high?
    Does it have an adjustable OPV?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    I’ll try some fresher beans. The beans used were roasted on 13/10, medium Merlo Roast (Forza). I buy 500g at a time and split it into two bags with the one way valves (the bags the beans are supplied with). These bags are kept inside a small cooler bag, and it lives at the bottom of my pantry. This way the light is kept out each time the door is opened.
    Hhhhmmm.....Those beans should be good. Your extraction looks to be going too fast with the pour blonding way to early. Have you tried grinding finer there-by stretching the extraction time? If not try fining up the grind until the pour lasts 30 seconds before the stream blonds. Once you get it to that point then adjust the grind/time until the extraction tastes best.

    To determine how high the basket should be filled with coffee do the 5 cent test. Fill the basket and tamp the coffee until when you put a nickle on top of the puck and tighten the portafilter in the machine (Do not turn the pump on!) the nickle leaves a slight impression in the puck.


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    Just bought some fresh beans and had a quick play. Same blend, roasted 20/10.

    Went a little finer on the grind, up dosed to 18.1g. No impression on the 5c test. Probably the most even shot Iíve pulled so far, but was a little slow and in between a espresso and ristretto. Tasted goood, but not quite there.

    https://youtu.be/MJCOmP3BQ5c

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    Then tried same quantity with a very slightly coarser grind. Ratio was where I want it, but didnít look as even as the one before.

    https://youtu.be/sKevLFzTXzk

    I should point out that both had wet pucks, but not sloppy.

    So then I tried with the same grind setting, adding 0.5g and doing the 5c test. The coin didnít touch, but interestingly the sides of the puck made contact and stuck to the shower screen, leaving this little undisturbed island in the middle with the coin on top! So I think I may have found the problem?

  10. #10
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    If the puck is still wet you are maybe still under dosing, although your second last shot did look better.

    Can you post a photo of the puck straight after the shot?

    Cheers

    Antony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    If the puck is still wet you are maybe still under dosing, although your second last shot did look better.

    Can you post a photo of the puck straight after the shot?

    Cheers

    Antony
    I didnít take a photo, bummer. Iím buzzing a little after the last few of pours, so will try again in the morning and take some after photos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    Hhhhmmm.....Those beans should be good. Your extraction looks to be going too fast with the pour blonding way to early. Have you tried grinding finer there-by stretching the extraction time? If not try fining up the grind until the pour lasts 30 seconds before the stream blonds. Once you get it to that point then adjust the grind/time until the extraction tastes best.

    To determine how high the basket should be filled with coffee do the 5 cent test. Fill the basket and tamp the coffee until when you put a nickle on top of the puck and tighten the portafilter in the machine (Do not turn the pump on!) the nickle leaves a slight impression in the puck.


    Java "Pour what?" phile
    I haven't heard that advice put in that way before. Saving it for when I'm tinkering with extractions again.

  13. #13
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Puck should be dry when you remove the handle.

    Its OK for the coffee to touch the shower screen, obviously though not too much that the handle is hard to insert

    cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Hmm not too sure if the coffee should be touching the screen upon locking in..? Wouldn't that disrupt the integrity of the level puck you've just made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Hi all. Iím settling in to ownership of my Bezzera BZ10 and Sette 270W and am happy to be in the ballpark. Iím yielding a solid 2:1 shot that most of the time tastes great. The rest is ok, but could be better.

    I recently bought a naked PF to help with the diagnosis, which has confirmed what I thought was happening. Iím consistently getting a doughnut extraction like in the video. Looking at the puck afterwards, there are pinholes at the side to indicate channeling.

    Iíve played with grind amounts and have settled on 17.5g in the standard 16g Bezzera basket. Any less and itís sloppy, plus I have a hard time levelling it as it sits below the surface of the basket. Any more and itís on the screen.

    Iím starting to think my tamp is too small for my basket - 58mm tamp for a 58.94mm basket.

    Before I go and spend more money, Iíd love to hear some advice on which way to tackle this. Work on my tamp to try get the edges compacted better? Get a new tamp? Buy a new basket? My tamp is a Clean Machine, flat bottom with square edges, 58mm tamp. Any tips?



    https://youtu.be/mhQUXWeIxts
    The first pour did seem a bit fast, that was good you fined up the grind, the second pour looked heaps better. And to me it's fine if the pour doesn't start out central, but come together into the centre eventually (the sooner the better obviously).

    Was wondering what your distribution is like when dosing Azzabee? It's often overlooked as being a factor with all sorts of things put in front of it as a priority, but it's pretty important I think how evenly the grounds are distributed in the basket. If you lump too much coffee into the centre of the basket and tamp it's going to be much more dense in the middle, causing a donut extraction. Even though it looks even after you tamp it doesn't necessarily mean it is on the inside. But your extractions are definitely looking better I reckon
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Then tried same quantity with a very slightly coarser grind. Ratio was where I want it, but didnít look as even as the one before.

    https://youtu.be/sKevLFzTXzk

    I should point out that both had wet pucks, but not sloppy.

    So then I tried with the same grind setting, adding 0.5g and doing the 5c test. The coin didnít touch, but interestingly the sides of the puck made contact and stuck to the shower screen, leaving this little undisturbed island in the middle with the coin on top! So I think I may have found the problem?
    Ah and yeah that's bizarre.. is the tamper you're using a convex one or a normal flat one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post

    Was wondering what your distribution is like when dosing Azzabee?
    Iíve been using a little side tap to get the pyramid to settle to the sides a bit, then a strike off to get it nice and level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ah and yeah that's bizarre.. is the tamper you're using a convex one or a normal flat one?
    The tamp is flat, itís this one...


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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post

    So then I tried with the same grind setting, adding 0.5g and doing the 5c test. The coin didnít touch, but interestingly the sides of the puck made contact and stuck to the shower screen, leaving this little undisturbed island in the middle with the coin on top!
    You pulled the shot with the coin in situ?????

  18. #18
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Iíve been using a little side tap to get the pyramid to settle to the sides a bit, then a strike off to get it nice and level.
    Ah ok cool, that sounds like it should get it fairly even. Also best to make sure you're dosing a consistent amount of coffee each time, if you do a strike off you're removing coffee from the total dose, so just keeping it consistent as possible is key (not everyone weighs how much they've dosed, but it can help in this situation, though it sounds like you've been weighing anyways).

    I'd recommend keeping all variables consistent and playing with each one at a time. So you can keep the coffee, grind level, and dose consistent and just play around with altering distribution, or change up something else instead. Just to eliminate each variable from the process, then you can figure out if it's the machine, grinder or ze barista!

    But overall they're looking better, but other variables to consider altering are shot time (not letting it run as long), flow rate (closer to ristretto or even), brew ratio (1:2, 1:1.5, 1:2.5 etc). But one thing at a time for sure, am keen to hear how you go!
    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    The tamp is flat, itís this one...

    Ah right, was just strange how the sides of the puck were sticking to the screen, made me think it was maybe a convex tamp!

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Hmm not too sure if the coffee should be touching the screen upon locking in..? Wouldn't that disrupt the integrity of the level puck you've just made?

    The first pour did seem a bit fast, that was good you fined up the grind, the second pour looked heaps better. And to me it's fine if the pour doesn't start out central, but come together into the centre eventually (the sooner the better obviously).

    Was wondering what your distribution is like when dosing Azzabee? It's often overlooked as being a factor with all sorts of things put in front of it as a priority, but it's pretty important I think how evenly the grounds are distributed in the basket. If you lump too much coffee into the centre of the basket and tamp it's going to be much more dense in the middle, causing a donut extraction. Even though it looks even after you tamp it doesn't necessarily mean it is on the inside. But your extractions are definitely looking better I reckon
    +1 on the above.

    If you dose 17.5 to 18 grams, I am surprised that the stock basket really holds that much. Perhaps the machines for the Australian market come with deeper baskets? Mine is rated for 14 grams and it doesnít hold much more.

    The stock basket (mine at least) is tapered, so depending on how much you dose the tamper will leave slightly more or less clearance. Low pressure preinfusion on the BZ10 is fairly brief and not controllable, so it is fairly sensitive to dosing and distribution issues. Perhaps a tamper that fits more snug will improve things.

    Probably needless to say, but I assume you side-tap the PF before tamping? Do NOT side-tap after tamping, because that may very well weaken the seal characteristics of the coffee bed at the perimeter and cause channeling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    You pulled the shot with the coin in situ?????
    No, Iím a rookie, but not a noob!

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    When I first bought the machine and did a heap of reading, I was consistently reading 14g is the amount for this machine. But I think they supply different baskets. Mine has 16g stamped on the side. And putting 16g into it leaves it well below the top. I played with different amounts from 14-19g, anything under 18 is sloppy/wet.

    This morning I tried 18.8 first up. Hereís the puck


    I noticed the puck drier, but convex looking with a slight imprint of the screen on the surface, confirming my last 5c test that caught the edge. Taste was ok, a little sharp with a slight burnt flavour. Still a doughnut first up.

    Dropped to 18.4g, slightly better but a bigger channel. I blame operator error here. Still slightly convex looking. Tasted similar to first, but a little smoother. Again, another doughnut.


    Third I dropped to 18.1g. Bloody doughnut! But tasted the best. The puck was wet on top, but held together ok. Small pinholes around the edge again.



    I think I need a new shower screen?

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    I know the grinds swell with water but some of the top grinds look very coarse.
    Have you tried (begged / borrowed) a second grinder?
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Agree...

    Looks way too coarse to me too.
    Suggest lowering your dose to, say 16g, and fine up the grind such that you "choke" the BZ10; then carefully coarsen the grind until you start to see signs of the coffee liquor coming through. Keep at it until you get the requisite volume in the cup and it tastes like you expect it to.

    You can worry about playing with dose size after you have this down pat...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    When I first bought the machine and did a heap of reading, I was consistently reading 14g is the amount for this machine. But I think they supply different baskets. Mine has 16g stamped on the side. And putting 16g into it leaves it well below the top. I played with different amounts from 14-19g, anything under 18 is sloppy/wet.

    This morning I tried 18.8 first up. Hereís the puck


    I noticed the puck drier, but convex looking with a slight imprint of the screen on the surface, confirming my last 5c test that caught the edge. Taste was ok, a little sharp with a slight burnt flavour. Still a doughnut first up.

    Dropped to 18.4g, slightly better but a bigger channel. I blame operator error here. Still slightly convex looking. Tasted similar to first, but a little smoother. Again, another doughnut.


    Third I dropped to 18.1g. Bloody doughnut! But tasted the best. The puck was wet on top, but held together ok. Small pinholes around the edge again.



    I think I need a new shower screen?
    To be honest I wouldn't be overly worried with how the puck looks after the extraction. To think of the intense pressure that goes through the puck it's not going to look perfect afterwards, and even pinholes I've been told are not an issue. 'Puckology' I believe people call it (studying the spent puck afterwards) has been dismissed by many people. I've had pucks with pinholes galore at times but the shot has tasted sensational.

    Perhaps someone else with more experience could weigh in here regarding spent pucks and whether it really matters much at all? Even a slightly wet puck isn't an issue I reckon, some coffees work better at lower doses, how the extraction looks (colouring, evenness of pour) and tastes seems to be a better guide.

    But there definitely can seem to be an over emphasis on process and not outcome, using taste as the guide has been very welcomed advice many have given me!

  25. #25
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Agree...

    Looks way too coarse to me too.
    Suggest lowering your dose to, say 16g, and fine up the grind such that you "choke" the BZ10; then carefully coarsen the grind until you start to see signs of the coffee liquor coming through. Keep at it until you get the requisite volume in the cup and it tastes like you expect it to.

    You can worry about playing with dose size after you have this down pat...

    Mal.
    +1 to this, definitely good advice, I believe Matt Perger listed a great summary on his blog, that it's best to keep dose and yield constant, change only the grind fineness to change the timing of when this yield occurs. Only use dose changes to get more or less liquid but best not to overly focus on it for taste changes.
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    Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated.

    Will go back and play with grind a little more and see what happens. One thing I will add, with the grind at the current setting Iím only lightly tamping. So I imagine an even finer grind will mean dropping the weight of the tamp and then taking it out.
    Would you suggest splitting the grind in 2 - half dose, then tap down, second half, level and tamp?

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Make sure youíre wearing appropriate casual and comfortable footwear (and preferably a pair of Ďbarista socksí). Take your watch off so you donít have any excess weight on one of your wrists that could upset your Balance. Have a towel either over one shoulder or tucked into your belt or a pocket. When you tamp make sure you have your elbow straight up in the air then get down and eyeball it to make sure itís level. Go through your normal routine then whip that portafilter out at the end of the extraction and get an exact reading of how wet the puck is by measuring with a moisture meter. Tip the shot down the drain, but if the wetness of the puck was just right then be happy in the knowledge that it wouldíve tasted good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Make sure youíre wearing appropriate casual and comfortable footwear (and preferably a pair of Ďbarista socksí). Take your watch off so you donít have any excess weight on one of your wrists that could upset your Balance. Have a towel either over one shoulder or tucked into your belt or a pocket. When you tamp make sure you have your elbow straight up in the air then get down and eyeball it to make sure itís level. Go through your normal routine then whip that portafilter out at the end of the extraction and get an exact reading of how wet the puck is by measuring with a moisture meter. Tip the shot down the drain, but if the wetness of the puck was just right then be happy in the knowledge that it wouldíve tasted good.
    Ha! Ok ok, I get it. K.I.S.S.

    Almost sounds like batting advice - nice high elbow, eye over the ball..!

  29. #29
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    The surface of the puck is level with the ridge of the basket. If/when the puck swells wont it rise up the wall of the basket and create a gap between the basket wall and puck wall as it meets/passes the ridge? not sure- just a thought. Water lurrrvs gaps.

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated.

    Will go back and play with grind a little more and see what happens. One thing I will add, with the grind at the current setting Iím only lightly tamping. So I imagine an even finer grind will mean dropping the weight of the tamp and then taking it out.
    Would you suggest splitting the grind in 2 - half dose, then tap down, second half, level and tamp?
    To be honest I wouldn't even worry about tamp pressure as being a variable, it's far too inconsistent and subject to human error to recreate the exact light pressure tamp every time... people have definitely done it but it just adds another unnecessary variable to me... I would tamp hard until the coffee is fully compressed, and only to the point where there is resistance and it obviously can't compress anymore. That's really really easy and so repeatable. Tamp until the puck pushes back at you, at that point you can't compress it anymore so it's easy to get used to that point. Only further down the track experiment with light tamping if you'd like I reckon, I never had success with it but would like to experiment with it. But up to you!

    Edit: ah and as for dosing, I usually dose about half, two collapses, then dose rest etc nowadays, is working well. But whatever works for you and is repeatable and consistent.


    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Make sure youíre wearing appropriate casual and comfortable footwear (and preferably a pair of Ďbarista socksí). Take your watch off so you donít have any excess weight on one of your wrists that could upset your Balance. Have a towel either over one shoulder or tucked into your belt or a pocket. When you tamp make sure you have your elbow straight up in the air then get down and eyeball it to make sure itís level. Go through your normal routine then whip that portafilter out at the end of the extraction and get an exact reading of how wet the puck is by measuring with a moisture meter. Tip the shot down the drain, but if the wetness of the puck was just right then be happy in the knowledge that it wouldíve tasted good.
    Hahahaha ah Leroy, cheeky but the point got across haha.. definitely keeping things simple was also advice I've appreciated through the years
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  31. #31
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Ha! Ok ok, I get it. K.I.S.S.

    Almost sounds like batting advice - nice high elbow, eye over the ball..!
    Yeah sorry to be a bit facetious, but most of the stuff in this thread so far has been pretty useless. The KISS principle will see you go far, although I do understand your frustration.

    Thereís lots of things that Matt Perger has done that Iím not a huge fan of, however his approach to espresso extraction is spot on:
    1. Choose your dose - usually something close to the nominal dose for the basket youíre using. It sounds like the Bezzera baskets are either 16 or 18g? This is probably a good range to work in anyway.
    2. Pick your yield - a brew ratio of 1:2 is common and not a bad starting point. (Personally Iím closer to 1:1.5, but thatís just how I like my home roasted coffee made). So for a 16g dose youíre looking for a 30-32g yield for starters.
    3. Adjust your grind - so that you achieve your chosen yield in around 30secs from when you flick the switch. Again, this will depend on personal taste and the coffee youíre using. Iíve had excellent espressos across a range from about 20secs up to about 50secs.

    Spend some time getting this right and completely ignore Ďdonutingí or puck analysis, but taste everything. When you get within these parameters you can fine tune with distribution and grind and looking for Ďdonutingí might help. It should be one of the last things you use to assess where youíre at, not one of the first.
    Finally, get a better tamper. You donít need to spend hundreds on a Barber or Pullman or Pesado, but getting something a bit wider might help (with a heavy emphasis on the might). This is not a promotion as Iíve never tried one myself, but the Barista Hustle tampers are relatively cheap and even if you decide you donít like it could be a way to eliminate the tamper as the issue.
    Good luck in your quest for espresso Nirvana.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Would you suggest splitting the grind in 2 - half dose, then tap down, second half, level and tamp?
    No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Yeah sorry to be a bit facetious, but most of the stuff in this thread so far has been pretty useless. The KISS principle will see you go far, although I do understand your frustration.

    Thereís lots of things that Matt Perger has done that Iím not a huge fan of, however his approach to espresso extraction is spot on:
    1. Choose your dose - usually something close to the nominal dose for the basket youíre using. It sounds like the Bezzera baskets are either 16 or 18g? This is probably a good range to work in anyway.
    2. Pick your yield - a brew ratio of 1:2 is common and not a bad starting point. (Personally Iím closer to 1:1.5, but thatís just how I like my home roasted coffee made). So for a 16g dose youíre looking for a 30-32g yield for starters.
    3. Adjust your grind - so that you achieve your chosen yield in around 30secs from when you flick the switch. Again, this will depend on personal taste and the coffee youíre using. Iíve had excellent espressos across a range from about 20secs up to about 50secs.

    Spend some time getting this right and completely ignore Ďdonutingí or puck analysis, but taste everything. When you get within these parameters you can fine tune with distribution and grind and looking for Ďdonutingí might help. It should be one of the last things you use to assess where youíre at, not one of the first.
    Finally, get a better tamper. You donít need to spend hundreds on a Barber or Pullman or Pesado, but getting something a bit wider might help (with a heavy emphasis on the might). This is not a promotion as Iíve never tried one myself, but the Barista Hustle tampers are relatively cheap and even if you decide you donít like it could be a way to eliminate the tamper as the issue.
    Good luck in your quest for espresso Nirvana.
    Great advice, however I think everyone's contributions have been very helpful and supportive, and not useless at all.

    Definitely good to get first things first and work from there, also helps develop your palette better working from here, and having taste as the reference point.
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  34. #34
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yeah sorry to be a bit facetious, but most of the stuff in this thread so far has been pretty useless.
    Thanks mate...

    Mal.
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  35. #35
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Thanks mate...

    Mal.
    Not including your post of course Mal. ;-P

  36. #36
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Not just mine mate...

    Mal.

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    I guess it would be hard for some to hear the same old questions over and over. For this I am sorry. But remember, we all have to learn somehow, how we do it is of course subjective.

    This week Iíve spoken to two different establishments that offer Barista training. Both said to me - ďwe canít offer much more than you already know. Keep experimenting and let us know how you get on.Ē

    So here I am, reading, deciphering the coffee code, experimenting, listening to all the advice and trying to make sense of it. So please, keep it coming. Have a laugh at my attempts if you will, but remember the journey you took on your way to espresso nirvana! This is part of mine...

  38. #38
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Bloody Doughnut!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Not just mine mate...

    Mal.
    Totally agree, I did say Ďmostí not Ďallí. And I donít want to pick on anyone so hopefully my second post makes it clear where I stand and helps the OP a bit.
    I will say this just to sort of elaborate on what Iím on about - Generally speaking I would disagree with most of the points Antony has made in this thread. After spending quite a bit of time down the over dose and under grind path when I had my first Gaggia Classic I would have to say that the way I approach espresso extraction these days gives me a better outcome. That being to keep the dose close to, or even under the nominal dose for the particular basket youíre using which should keep the coffee bed well away from the shower screen. Without going into too much detail Iíve found I get better results from this sort of approach especially on a machine that has preinfusion. If this results in a wet puck then thatís no problem as long as the espresso tasted good. The caveat to this is that Antony is far more experienced than I am and actually knows the machine in question. So Iím totally prepared to accept that everything he has said might be spot on and I would urge the OP to keep experimenting, but not get too distracted by things like the appearance of the puck afterwards as it should be the results in the cup that are the deciding factor.
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  39. #39
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    I guess it would be hard for some to hear the same old questions over and over. For this I am sorry. But remember, we all have to learn somehow, how we do it is of course subjective.

    This week Iíve spoken to two different establishments that offer Barista training. Both said to me - ďwe canít offer much more than you already know. Keep experimenting and let us know how you get on.Ē

    So here I am, reading, deciphering the coffee code, experimenting, listening to all the advice and trying to make sense of it. So please, keep it coming. Have a laugh at my attempts if you will, but remember the journey you took on your way to espresso nirvana! This is part of mine...
    You have absolutely nothing to be sorry about mate. Exactly right, and your questions are specific to YOUR situation, stage in the journey, equipment etc, there can't always be blanket answers given to cover everything. Of course basic principles, but it's always great to get the whole scope of what you're using and how. And not only that, but just how incredibly helpful it is to others facing similar issues, who can read and learn from it. It shows what different processes we can undertake to get results.

    And I know there have been many times when I've been stuck with something, and I spaaaaaammed that search function hard haha but just couldn't find a solution there so had to ask. And I think it's great to encourage that exploration and questioning, I've seen it posted many a time from a new member that they were quite intimidated to post as they didn't want to be ripped down (starting with "please go easy on me..."). For people to be coming from that place and have it reinforced and confirmed to them that that's how they should be living, imagine what that does to selfconfidence down the line and on a daily basis...
    I don't think that's a healthy sort of environment, and I think it's great to promote a culture of welcoming and openness where we can encourage even things many are 'scared' to ask.

    And heck I've also learned as a result of the thread you've made as well, so I feel we all contribute to everyone's development.

    Anyways! Keep playing, and please let us know how it's all going
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  40. #40
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Totally agree, I did say Ďmostí not Ďallí. And I donít want to pick on anyone so hopefully my second post makes it clear where I stand and helps the OP a bit.
    I will say this just to sort of elaborate on what Iím on about - Generally speaking I would disagree with most of the points Antony has made in this thread. After spending quite a bit of time down the over dose and under grind path when I had my first Gaggia Classic I would have to say that the way I approach espresso extraction these days gives me a better outcome. That being to keep the dose close to, or even under the nominal dose for the particular basket youíre using which should keep the coffee bed well away from the shower screen. Without going into too much detail Iíve found I get better results from this sort of approach especially on a machine that has preinfusion. If this results in a wet puck then thatís no problem as long as the espresso tasted good. The caveat to this is that Antony is far more experienced than I am and actually knows the machine in question. So Iím totally prepared to accept that everything he has said might be spot on and I would urge the OP to keep experimenting, but not get too distracted by things like the appearance of the puck afterwards as it should be the results in the cup that are the deciding factor.
    Very well said bud

    I think it's great and really helpful to know where we're coming from and why for sure, it definitely adds to depth and understanding for the OP and everyone

  41. #41
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    All good points from everyone and if it works for your machine and you then that is the most important thing.

    The two points i had made where that there appeared to be under dosing and that it is OK if the coffee bed touches (just) the shower screen.

    In my books the basic advice we give to anyone with a new machine (and knowing the BZ10 well as one of our best sellers) is the best starting point is to get your dose right. Its just a basic starting point when someone is learning. A wet puck on the BZ10 generally shows under dosing. With under dosing you are generally more likely to get channelling.

    With the coffee bed touching the screen, ideally it should be just on, but this is sometimes hard to judge.

    In the last picture from the OP you can see the ridge line in the basket. The BZ10 needs to be dosed so that you are on or just over this line ( I am assuming Bezzera baskets are being used)

    What i will say is that a few years ago i spent a lot of time with the head tech from Nuova Simonelli when they were introducing their new Aurelia and demonstrating their new pre infusion system. They went through all sorts of scenarios with dose, tamping, no tamping and using the shower screen to tamp the coffee as the handle was locked in.

    I was very very surprised by the results and it certainly changed my opinion on the tamping/touching the shower screen debate. I have touched on this in other threads.

    My suggestion to the OP would be to get onto the phone to your retailer and talk it through, they will know your machine and you can probably address many of your questions relatively quickly.

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Last edited by Casa Espresso; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:24 PM.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    In the last picture from the OP you can see the ridge line in the basket. The BZ10 needs to be dosed so that you are on or just over this line ( I am assuming Bezzera baskets are being used)

    My suggestion to the OP would be to get onto the phone to your retailer and talk it through, they will know your machine and you can probably address many of your questions relatively quickly.
    Hi Antony, I use the supplied 16g Bezzera basket, it touches the screen when I have 18.4g+ in the basket - but only on the outer edge, and not the centre. You can see the in-print on the second photo from yesterday, with 18.4g. All my pucks come out with a slight dome in the centre.

    I called the place of purchase last week and didn't get great advice. The person I spoke to didn't sound very knowledgeable with the machine, or pulling shots for that matter! When I started talking dosing amounts she went quiet and simply said to add grind until the basket is full, strike off and pull, because that's the way they do it in the office...

    I might try again and explain the unevenness of the shower screen. Surely this isn't normal?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    You have absolutely nothing to be sorry about mate. Exactly right, and your questions are specific to YOUR situation, stage in the journey, equipment etc, there can't always be blanket answers given to cover everything. Of course basic principles, but it's always great to get the whole scope of what you're using and how. And not only that, but just how incredibly helpful it is to others facing similar issues, who can read and learn from it. It shows what different processes we can undertake to get results.

    And I know there have been many times when I've been stuck with something, and I spaaaaaammed that search function hard haha but just couldn't find a solution there so had to ask. And I think it's great to encourage that exploration and questioning, I've seen it posted many a time from a new member that they were quite intimidated to post as they didn't want to be ripped down (starting with "please go easy on me..."). For people to be coming from that place and have it reinforced and confirmed to them that that's how they should be living, imagine what that does to selfconfidence down the line and on a daily basis...
    I don't think that's a healthy sort of environment, and I think it's great to promote a culture of welcoming and openness where we can encourage even things many are 'scared' to ask.

    And heck I've also learned as a result of the thread you've made as well, so I feel we all contribute to everyone's development.

    Anyways! Keep playing, and please let us know how it's all going
    Thanks, will keep pouring grinds down the sink! (but drinking the liquid gold of course!)

  44. #44
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    Today's pulls were at 18.1g and about 3/4 of the range of micro adjustment finer. The doughnut was there, but not as long as the previous pulls. The volume was down on what I'm used to, but the taste was good. The shots had to be pulled for 30-35 seconds to get it past ristretto. There was a slight lingering of burnt flavour at the finish - tamp too hard? I'm really not giving it much effort at all, the tamp drops under its weight, then a slight push. I could compress it harder if I tried for sure.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Today's pulls were at 18.1g and about 3/4 of the range of micro adjustment finer. The doughnut was there, but not as long as the previous pulls. The volume was down on what I'm used to, but the taste was good. The shots had to be pulled for 30-35 seconds to get it past ristretto. There was a slight lingering of burnt flavour at the finish - tamp too hard? I'm really not giving it much effort at all, the tamp drops under its weight, then a slight push. I could compress it harder if I tried for sure.
    Firstly, puckology is an absolutely useless study unless you spot major channeling. Wet, dry, sloppy pucks - meh! How did it taste?

    BTW, tapping post tamp is an utter no-no (creates channels).

    The main problem I see on all of your photos is more basic - your particle spread is poor. Someone up there suggested you try a different grinder - that would be my first step if I saw grounds that uneven. No way would that spread be consistent so you are running around in circles & chasing your tail as a result.

    TampIt

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Firstly, puckology is an absolutely useless study unless you spot major channeling. Wet, dry, sloppy pucks - meh! How did it taste?

    BTW, tapping post tamp is an utter no-no (creates channels).

    The main problem I see on all of your photos is more basic - your particle spread is poor. Someone up there suggested you try a different grinder - that would be my first step if I saw grounds that uneven. No way would that spread be consistent so you are running around in circles & chasing your tail as a result.

    TampIt
    Thanks, Iíve started to ignore the moisture content of the puck. Iím still looking for channels and itís also interesting to see how the shape of the surface is changed after each shot now - itís clear that the shower screen is convex as puck is domed with a slight imprint of the screen and screw on the surface.

    This morning I tried another basket, a 21g that was supplied with my naked PF. It has much straighter sides and the holes go closer to the edge on the bottom. I dosed exactly 21g in all 3 and got similar results - doughnut followed by a little more spread but a hollow in the centre for much of the pull. Taste was really nice, very smooth and velvety with a caramel body. Finish was a very slight burnt chocolate.

    I didnít film, but took a photo of the puck which (to me) clearly shows the shape of the shower screen. Surely this should be flat? Should I go back to place of purchase for a chat?


  47. #47
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Not wanting to contradict Antony's advice, he's probably forgotten more about espresso than I will ever know, however my experiences with the puck touching the screen (overdosing) have been much less than satisfactory, to me your baskets look to be well over dosed.

    I found (on a number of machines) puck contacting screen, makes a mess, with coffee grounds adhering to the screen and finding their way into the seal/locking area and always resulted in a wet puck, made cleanup a pain and shot quality very unreliable.

    Once I separated the top of my pucks from the screen by the space of a 5 cent piece and got my grind right everything fell into place.

    I would first get my coffee volume right using the 5 cent test, pull shot aiming for approx 30 ml in 30 seconds, too slow, grind a little coarser, too fast, grind finer, when your in the ballpark start fine tuning, set up again with coin then make minor grind adjustments finer/coarser to achieve your goal.

    I currently use a Bezzera Galatea, about the only time I get a dodgy shot is if I stuff up a grind setting, however I experienced similar to the results you describe in my early days with the machine.

    As a matter of interest, have you removed the screen and thoroughly cleaned beneath it then given it a chemical back flush? overdosing makes this area very dirty very quickly.

    For what its worth only ever change one variable at a time, stick to it, you will get there.
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  48. #48
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azzabee View Post
    Thanks, Iíve started to ignore the moisture content of the puck. Iím still looking for channels and itís also interesting to see how the shape of the surface is changed after each shot now - itís clear that the shower screen is convex as puck is domed with a slight imprint of the screen and screw on the surface.

    This morning I tried another basket, a 21g that was supplied with my naked PF. It has much straighter sides and the holes go closer to the edge on the bottom. I dosed exactly 21g in all 3 and got similar results - doughnut followed by a little more spread but a hollow in the centre for much of the pull. Taste was really nice, very smooth and velvety with a caramel body. Finish was a very slight burnt chocolate.

    I didnít film, but took a photo of the puck which (to me) clearly shows the shape of the shower screen. Surely this should be flat? Should I go back to place of purchase for a chat?

    Yelta made some great points, definitely changing one variable at a time is the way to go.

    Hmm I can't tell if the puck centre is caved in or convex (you know the ol optical illusion hehe), but yeah looks a tad odd.. maybe work on lowering the dose just in case. (Then altering grind too slowly). I might take a picture of my puck afterwards tomorrow morning just to see how it compares.

    Also keep in mind that different depths of roast level will take up different volumes in baskets. Darker roasts take up much more room so to speak (roasted for much longer, so greater moisture loss means they weigh less, but they expand more so take up much more room at a lighter weight). I've had darker roasts when I've been only JUST able to fit in 19.5g into the basket, whereas a lighter roast I've managed 23g in the very same basket still with clearance hehe. So just because a basket is listed as a 21g basket doesn't really mean too much, it's more of a rough guide and really depends, and each roast will be different volumes.

    But anyways I don't wanna overload, definitely Yelta's and everyone's advice has been great, that's awesome that the shots are tasting mostly enjoyable! Burnt flavours can be from a few things: overroasted too dark coffee, too slow a shot (overextraction), or leaving a normal shot running too long..
    Last edited by simonsk8r; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:01 PM. Reason: Said the word 'great'like THREE times in the one sentence hahaha

  49. #49
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    To me all the videos show that the grind is too coarse--you are getting blonding at 20 seconds or so with at least 30 ml in the cup, and then you go on to complete the extraction with all the yuk tasting blonde stuff.
    I recommend a finer grind, and do the 5 cent test each time you change the grind--finer grinds pack tighter. A light impression of the screen is OK after the extraction, but too heavy an impression means over full and this will slow the extraction a lot without improving the taste. I would also knock vertically rather than sideways--I don't know if this actually makes a difference but at least there is no chance of shifting the load to be lop-sided.
    For my money (and taste) a slightly slow extraction is always better than one that is fast.
    BTW, I have standard baskets and routinely use 19 grams in them.

    Greg
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  50. #50
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yes Iím being impatient, Iíll admit that. Iíll go back to the smaller basket and do some more 5c tests with a finer grind and record.

    But surely my shower screen should be level?

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