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Thread: Feel like pulling my hair out

  1. #1
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    Feel like pulling my hair out

    So I've almost gone through a 1kg bag of beans with 1 ok shot.... Never was able to replicate and feel like giving up. Most of my shots have either not come out or barely come out. The inbuilt grinder seems to barely adjust with a full dial turn.

    I have a Lelit Kate and feel like I've wasted my money.... But I know it's a skill thing and I need to learn. I'm going to do a lesson with Di Bella in the coming weeks. I get to bring my machine in for a one on one.

    Kinda wish I could get my head around it sooner.

  2. #2
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Sounds like your grind is a little on the fine side, that said tamping also comes into it. Also what sort of beans are you using (where from and how old)?

    At the end of the day many people can tell you try to ratio, this amount o time to pull a shot, this amount of coffee to put in. But each machine is different and so is the person using it. If it comes out a certain way and you like the taste, keep working with it. In your case its not coming out suggesting if it does it may taste burnt, dial it back a little for starters.

    Where abouts are you based?
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  3. #3
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    Try lossening up to the point of gush. Work back from there.

    nice looking gear there.

    And...
    curious about the retention. Does it hold a lot of old grinds? May explain why you got one good one. Just a guess.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the fast replies

    Im southside of Brisbane in Durack. I purchased the machine from Coffee Machine Specialist in Woolloongabba. They gave me a bag of beans. They weren't freshly roasted but they smell fresh compared to supermarket beans.

    I can't comment on how much retention with the grinder but I don't think there would be much. Pretty tight knight in there. I do wish it through the beans out a touch further they start piling up and landing towards the back.

    I am out getting lunch now (and to cool off ) but I did grind and adjust at the same time as recommended by a lady at jetblack espresso (I called her earlier as I know coffee machine specialist get their lelit machines from them) and now the flow is gushing! Haha. She mentioned the tamp doesn't effect the flow, only the time it takes for the flow to start. Seems logical.

  5. #5
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    Just picked up some Vittoria mountain beans. Get this grind as close as I can instead of wasting the better beans.

  6. #6
    338
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    Spa, know from your last post you aren't one for advice, but it might be worth returning the vittoria and getting fresh beans. No point adjusting your machine for stale beans if you aren't sure how you got there and can't replicate the adjustment with fresh beans. If worst comes to worse wait for your course (or go to the people who sold you the machine), no point letting it frustrate you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    How many shots are you making before readjusting the grind setting? I'm guessing only 1 or sometimes 2? If so you are likely only getting a mixture of the old and new grind settings. I suggest starting with 5. You might notice that it takes 3 shots for any changes to fully come through after several changes, at which point you can change the 5 to 3 etc but err on the side of more shots between changes.

    Also are you keeping the level of beans in the hopper the same? The same grind setting with the hopper full will likely produce a very different shot to when the hopper is nearly empty. Between grind retention and hopper levels it's easy to swing from one extreme to the other and back again without knowing why. Keep the bean level in the hopper between 1/3 and 2/3 of the height of the hopper (if you want to keep it more consistent go ahead).

    I understand not wanting to "waste" good beans, but if you accept it and follow the guidelines above and you're not in the ballpark iwthin the next kilo I'll shout you the next one.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Spa, know from your last post you aren't one for advice, but it might be worth returning the vittoria and getting fresh beans. No point adjusting your machine for stale beans if you aren't sure how you got there and can't replicate the adjustment with fresh beans. If worst comes to worse wait for your course (or go to the people who sold you the machine), no point letting it frustrate you.
    My partner is making a coffee scrub for Xmas presents do she'll use it. Is there a know brand that's fairly cheap? I'm seeing 1kg beans for $38+. I'm not after great flavour as such. Just accuracy. For now.

    I'll start grinding and turning the dial at the same time to help reduce the retention. 20g of beans per shot. Goes through Coffee quick! Hahaha.

  9. #9
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    Yeah I'm doing 1 shot at a time

    I'm topping up the hopper with about 4-6 shots worth of beans at a time. I intend on putting only what's needed in when I use it once it's dialled in.

    I'll keep trying. But yeah not loving the idea of wasting money/beans haha.

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    How many shots are you making before readjusting the grind setting? I'm guessing only 1 or sometimes 2? If so you are likely only getting a mixture of the old and new grind settings. I suggest starting with 5. You might notice that it takes 3 shots for any changes to fully come through after several changes, at which point you can change the 5 to 3 etc but err on the side of more shots between changes.
    +1 to this. Yeah I've definitely learned the hard way, it definitely is worth doing a few shots on each grind setting before changing, each grinder is different and retention will differ, so it's hard to know how many shots, but yeah it truly does take a few shots for a grind setting to work through the grinder. So I reckon pull a few shots on each grind setting before changing, otherwise if you change too frequently you really do end up chasing your tail and not knowing why things are acting like they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by SPA50 View Post
    I'll keep trying. But yeah not loving the idea of wasting money/beans haha.
    I totally know the feeling, and I've had alooot of moments where I just got so fed up and frustrated with the whole thing as I couldn't figure out what was going on. But it helps to see it as not so much wasting money or beans, but more like an investment. You're investing in your learning, your understanding of coffee (and also your new machine), and improving your skill and ability to change variables to change results which when developed, reeeeeeally pays off in the end. And you're putting it through the trials with practicing, which some things just do take practice. It may be even that it's very machine specific and also specific to you how to yield the best outcome, so definitely you'll learn a lot more through your trial and error, and maybe moreso than what you can learn here at times!

    And there are definitely cheaper beans out there that are still great quality and well roasted. With my new grinders I just got a kilo or two of them and really worked on learning how my grinder works.

    So yeah my suggestion only if it's helpful to you, get everything really consistent (only change one variable at a time), consistent dose (scales will help here if you don't already have any), the same level firm tamp (I recommend a firm tamp just so it compacts everything. It's easy, repeatable and simpler to get consistency), pull a few shots, change the grind after every few. And for sure let taste be the best indicator too, that's the benchmark to go by. Let us know how you go!
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  11. #11
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    90% of grinders (actually, 100% of all the ones I have used for long enough to tell since 1970, but I am hedging my bets) use the weight of the beans to feed into the burrs. Putting only what you intend to use for a single shot does two things
    1) Fails to feed the burrs properly
    2) The particle spread goes uneven - sometimes massively out of whack.

    Result - crap coffee.
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  12. #12
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    Thank you very much for the encouragement and advice Simon. I really appreciate it! I'm going to hit up my local cafes and see who has fresh beans for sale wish me luck haha.

  13. #13
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    90% of grinders (actually, 100% of all the ones I have used for long enough to tell since 1970, but I am hedging my bets) use the weight of the beans to feed into the burrs. Putting only what you intend to use for a single shot does two things
    1) Fails to feed the burrs properly
    2) The particle spread goes uneven - sometimes massively out of whack.

    Result - crap coffee.
    I can definitely see the logic in that! I'll keep it in mind

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