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Thread: Length of coffe shot

  1. #1
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    Length of coffe shot

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All Im pretty new to all this, home coffee maker with a Sunbeam EM5800. Get freshly roasted beans delivered and grind as I make. My coffee pour is only very short before loosing colour. Local coffee roaster suggested my coffee grind is too course, so I dropped to finer but then it spits out the handle. I also get water sitting on top of the coffee puck.

    Coffee gets a lovely creme but would like to refine my skills

    Any suggestions

  2. #2
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Hmmm

    First question would be are you still using the dual floor (pressurised) baskets, if so, ditch these ASAP and get the non pressurised baskets. I think the Krups basket referred to in the Ikon Summary thread fit your machine.

    Once you have the new basket, then its time to work on dose / tamp technique.

    Dose sufficient coffee into the basket so that once tamped (no more than 10 - 15kgs of pressure on the tamp), when you put the portafilter into the group head, you can pull it out again (before running a shot) and the top of the coffee has a slight (very faint) impression of the shower screen (or screw if it protrudes from the shower screen) but the puck is not broken / damaged.

    Once you have those two things (single wall basket and consistent dose / tamp), then you can work on grind. The advise you received (to grind finer) was in itself correct, but of only limited use without the above two things sussed first.

    The dual wall filters (crema enhancing) artificially create the pressure required to extract a "good" coffee and make it difficult to achieve a good consistent pour and can result in watery / bitter tasting coffee.

    Good luck

    Sen

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Welcome Flat White..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Out of interest, which grinder do you currently use?

    Mal.

  4. #4
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Hi Mal, I use a Sunbeam Conical Burr grinder EM0450
    Cheers
    Faye

  5. #5
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Thanks Sen, Ill look into the Krups baskets. I notice you use same grinder as me, what grinder do you use.
    Faye

  6. #6
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    grinder setting?

    Honestly, I wouldnt worry about it, these grinders are so different a setting on one of them that chokes 1 machine will likely cause a gushing shot on another grinder.

    The best thing you can do is once you have the single wall basket and dose / tamp done, find the setting on "your" grinder that works best for you.

    If you find that you are at the extreme end of the grinder settings (either right up to the coarsest setting and still choking the machine or conversely, at the finest setting and still having gushers) then there are easy fixes for that, discussed many times in the grinder thread.

    Honestly though, dont stress about the grinder settings until you settle on the basket, dose and tamp.

    Good luck

    Sen

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Yep,

    As Sen has pointed out, unless you have normal unpressurised baskets for your machine, you dont really need to worry excessively about the accuracy of the grind. Quite a different story though when dialling in for normal baskets. Your EM0450 should be up to the job though, just.

    With pressurised baskets, you need to grind at around the same fineness as you would find with the various supermarket (pre-ground) coffee bricks. Should feel like Caster Sugar when rubbed between the fingers, or a little finer. Start at about this setting and while keeping the Dose and Tamp as consistent as you can, keep pulling shots until you arrive at a grind setting that gets your shots within the guidelines of the "Golden Rule". That is, 30/60ml shot of coffee poured within 25-28 seconds for a Single/Double respectively.

    The biggest problem most people have when starting out making their own espressi at home, is to get the Dose and Distribution of the coffee in the PortaFilter Basket as consistent as you can then to a lesser extent, the Tamping Force/Technique. The Tamping Force to aim for should lie somewhere between 9-15Kgs(for a non-pressurised Basket) and can be determined by placing your PF on a set of bathroom scales, on the benchtop, and then develop a technique that not only works for you but allows for a consistently applied force that is also level.

    As a rule though, with pressurised baskets you dont need to apply very much Tamping Force since the basket is responsible for generating most of the back pressure required. You really need to apply just enough force to compact the puck and remove all voids from within.... Say, about 3-5Kgs.

    It all comes down to a matter of practise really. The technique required needs to be consistent in all the areas of importance and once you have got this down to manageable proportions, everything will start to fall into place. With Dosing, it is again another one of technique, since wide variations of the amount of coffee in the basket can play havoc with being able to consistently produce good espresso. Some people find this aspect so difficult that they actually resort to weighing the coffee into the Basket. This really isnt necessary but it gives you an idea of the need for consistency.

    In a nutshell, after the coffee is tamped, ideally the top surface of the puck before pulling the shot should just barely kiss the shower-screen when the PF is locked in. Remove the PF before pulling the shot and check the top of the puck to see if there is any sign of disturbance from the shower-screen or screw. So, if you practise Dosing until you can consistently achieve this, you will reach a point where the only variable you will need to adjust, is the grind setting.

    You can do a Search of the forum on dosing techniques but what I find works reliably for me, is to....
    1) * Load the PF Basket with freshly ground coffee until you observe a slight peak above the rim of the basket, then tap the PF on the benchtop (protected with a plastic mat or breadboard) 2-3 times.
    2) * The coffee will settle somewhat so repeat the above with a little more coffee, then smooth the remaining peak of grounds around the Basket with an implement of choice (I use the handle of my coffee bean measure). Dont apply any downward force while doing this.
    3) * Now, Tamp the coffee down while ensuring the Tamper base is parallel with the top of the Basket Rim as described above, in one simple motion. You can include a polishing twirl of the Tamper after doing this if you like but I dont bother with this myself.
    4) * Clean the Basket Rim and PF Lugs of any loose coffee grains while being careful not to disturb the surface of the puck. I use a small soft bristle artists brush for this but an index finger is also pretty popular ;)
    5) * Lock the PF into the Group, hit the Brew Button, place the cup/glass under the spout(s) and closely observe the stream of coffee pouring into it. Youre basically looking for a solid, steady stream that has the appearance and viscosity of golden honey/syrup. It should stay this way right up until the 25-28 second mark where you will notice the appearance of a very pale stripe into the stream and eventually (if you dont stop the shot quickly enough) the whole stream will become this pale, chalky cream colour and lose much of its viscosity. Basically, you want to Stop the shot at the first sign of this pale stream which we call Blonding.
    6) * So, keep practising at this while adjusting the grinder one step at a time, until you reach a point where the onset of Blonding starts no earlier than 25 seconds into the shot and no later than 35 seconds. Once you can consistently achieve this, it will be only be a matter of a short time when you will be pulling shots that stay within the bounds of 25-28 seconds.

    There is a great "How-To" on these and a whole lot more to be found on a website called The Home Barista and this page here... http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-skills.html is a good place to start reading. All the best Faye. Hope this has been of some help to you.... :)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  8. #8
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    Thanks Mal, First step it to buy a unpressurised baskets.

    My coffee roaster pulled a shot from my machine & took 9 sec. Way too quick. But he didnt have time to hang around and try different things, so changing the baskets should help slow down the shot.

    Your point........."ideally the top surface of the puck before pulling the shot should just barely kiss the shower-screen when the PF is locked in".

    When I did this there is a real definite imprint of screen. Is this a sign of packed to high?

    Cheers
    Faye


  9. #9
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    Re: Length of coffe shot

    probably just a smidge too much



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