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Thread: Newbie searching for starter clues

  1. #1
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    Newbie searching for starter clues

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All I have developed a costly habit for the local brew in Port Macquarie, Holly Goat and have decided to sustain my consumption at this level I need to start brewing my own.
    To this end I have been trolling though old post and gathering information .
    So I have invested in a Gaggia Classic and a Kyocera hand mill ( I am the only drinker at home and I like ceremony ).
    Im still waiting on the mill (ebay) but in the mean time have been making a reasonable coffee for a beginner from preground HG.
    I have much to learn.
    I am wondering when i get my grinder how to determine the correct fineness for a grind? I hear about the time it takes for a shot is this the key? What sort of times do I want? Are there any other keys to ground fineness?
    AlsoI read much about the OPV valve adjustment and as I am a mechanic I feel comfortable tinkering and wonder if this is something I should be thinking about? As i gather it the valve is preset to compensate for pods which I wont be using so should I ?
    The rancho steamer mod seems like a good idea ? It looks much simpler and easier to keep clean.
    What else do i need to know as a starter ?
    Greatful for any clues and tips.

    Mitchell

  2. #2
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Newbie searching for starter clues

    Best tip is to use fresh beans, ground straight before your shot. Which is very likely as you're using a hand grinder. Also, use the double shot basket, forget the single. You are going to have to experiment with dose weight as well. I don't know what sort of dose your machine needs. But if you have a set of scales that are accurate to 0.1g that will help with your dosing. Search for the 5c test regarding dose weight. Regarding setting the grind, you'll want to get the dose right first, then pick a grind position. Time the shot, you're looking for a 60ml shot in about 25-30 seconds. If the shot is faster, make the grind finer.

    Personally, i would stay away from the opv until you are comfortable with the machine.

    Hope that helps!

  3. #3
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sawpitcreek View Post
    ..................I am wondering when i get my grinder how to determine the correct fineness for a grind?................
    If you follow this link and go to the end of the grinder review article you'll find some good tips including pictures on determining a starting point for how fine to grind.

    Compak K3 Touch and Elite Details

    As David8 said search the forum for the 5c test to determine the dose quantity preferably using the double basket and fresh roasted beans.
    There is also the "rice test' which is a different approach to correct dosing : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJzmcM2AUS0

    Also search the forum for temperature surfing once you have the grind and dosing sorted out.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 27th November 2012 at 10:05 AM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks David that 5c link is very helpful. And no i will wait until i learn the skills to produce consistent shots so i have a base line before I go into any mods.
    Thanks CL for that link Im on to it now.
    So much to learn.
    Mitchell

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    Hi guys I have another kind of newbie question when it comes to producing an espresso from a Gaggia Classic. Am I risking blowing out the pump if the grind is too fine or tamped too hard? I sometimes find that the espresso takes a little while to come out (maybe 35 secs at a guess) and I'm a little worried that it may wreck the pump. Do I have anything to worry about?

    Thanks

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrosen View Post
    Hi guys I have another kind of newbie question when it comes to producing an espresso from a Gaggia Classic. Am I risking blowing out the pump if the grind is too fine or tamped too hard? I sometimes find that the espresso takes a little while to come out (maybe 35 secs at a guess) and I'm a little worried that it may wreck the pump. Do I have anything to worry about?

    Thanks
    Is this 35 seconds to get 60mL? If so, that's not too bad... I don't think you will blow the pump... Maybe just back off the grind a little, unless you enjoy that sort of ristretto.

  7. #7
    Senior Member insomnispresso's Avatar
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    I think he means 35 sec before any drops? Definately do not think its good for the pump but its bound to happen from time to time.

    It sounds like you read the 5c test and maybe upped the dose? either way if you mean 35 seconds before anything comes out try making the grind coarser. I think something like 3-7 seconds delay is a bit more normal but it's been a while!

  8. #8
    Senior Member C-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrosen View Post
    Hi guys I have another kind of newbie question when it comes to producing an espresso from a Gaggia Classic. Am I risking blowing out the pump if the grind is too fine or tamped too hard? I sometimes find that the espresso takes a little while to come out (maybe 35 secs at a guess) and I'm a little worried that it may wreck the pump. Do I have anything to worry about?

    Thanks
    If you are going to grind that fine, soften the tamp

    coarser grind firmer tamp.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrosen View Post
    Am I risking blowing out the pump if the grind is too fine or tamped too hard?
    The Gaggia has a OPV (Over Pressure Valve) which should protect the pump against these sort of issues.

    The usual benchmark is 25-30 secs from the time you hit the brew button to extract 60ml.



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