Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I received my Krups basket the other day, as well as my Lux grinder from the coffee barun :)

    Im having issues perfecting my shots and I am not sure if its my dosing/tamping techniques or the grind setting I am using. Ive narrowed my grind setting down to somewhere between 1 - 3 and have been trying various settings. It seems that when i go coarser it comes out quicker, when I go finder it either chokes or comes out thin and blonde. Im always getting bitter shots :s

    Anyway, Im Just wondering if anyone is using the Sunbeam Cafe Crema with a Lux grinder? If so what grind setting are you using?

    Mark from the coffee barun will be testing one of his lux grinders with a cafe crema over the next few days, so hopefully he can come up with something. I just thought Id post here as well. One gets sick of waisting coffee *sob*

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    31

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    I had similar problems when I first went unpressurised with my Cafe Crema (and Rocky grinder). Ive found that I need to dose it up fairly heavily and use a standard sort of a tamp.

    I use a little paper funnel that I sit in the PF (so that I dont end up with coffee all over the place), fill it up and give it a few good taps on the bench to settle the grinds. I then pull out the funnel and using an index finger chop up and down along the top of the PF, starting at the centre and working outwards. I find this method not only helps to distribute the grinds evenly, but also compresses them slightly, so that you end up with more crammed in. then its just a matter of the tamp and bobs youre uncle.

    I tried a whole heap of different tricks and techniques before I settled on this method, I cant remember the last time I made a bad shot now, so it works consistently, for me anyway.

    Id be interested to see if it also works for you...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Thank you prc6of7 I will give it a try. Do you use a more coarse grind or fine grind? and what sort of tamping pressure do you use?

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    31

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    I use a finer grind. When i bought the Rocky the saleswoman suggested that a setting in the range of 10 to 13 would be appropriate for most domestic machines. I find however that 5, give or take a few is ideal.

    tamping pressure is around 15kegs. I did try more pressure and coarser grind initially, but that didnt work at all!

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,213

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by prc6of7 link=1194692658/0#3 date=1194816693
    I use a finer grind. When i bought the Rocky the saleswoman suggested that a setting in the range of 10 to 13 would be appropriate for most domestic machines. I find however that 5, give or take a few is ideal.
    Whats the size of the PF on these units out of interest? Sounds like a VERY fine grind considering most Silvias and similarly specd machines would be slightly coarser than that :-?.... all things being equal,

    Mal.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    157

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Hi drovers-sunrise,

    I have a Lux Grinder, which I have been using in conjunction with, firstly, a Saeco Via Venezia (with non-pressurized portafilter) and now with my new VBM Domobar Levetta.

    For what its worth my Lux settings have ranged between 4.5 and 5.5,
    and I do give a fairly healthy tamp, at least 10kg or more.

    At anything lower than 4, the Lux grinds very fine, and would gag
    both of my machines.

    Regards

    Trevorbeans

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    31

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1194692658/0#4 date=1194861248
    Whats the size of the PF on these units out of interest? Sounds like a VERY fine grind considering most Silvias and similarly specd machines would be slightly coarser than that :-?.... all things being equal,
    I assume by PF size you mean diameter Mal? If that is correct then it is about 51mm, maybe a tiny bit more. I use a 51 mm tamper anyway, its a tiny bit small, but the 52mm was a tiny bit too big.

    I tried my hardest to get a reasonable extraction from a coarser grind, adjusting every other variable imaginable. It cost me bucketloads of beans, but nothing else worked. With a coarser grind the extraction was all over inside about 12 seconds.

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,213

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by prc6of7 link=1194692658/0#6 date=1194874704
    I assume by PF size you mean diameter Mal? If that is correct then it is about 51mm, maybe a tiny bit more. I use a 51 mm tamper anyway, its a tiny bit small, but the 52mm was a tiny bit too big.
    Yep, thats what I meant 8-)....

    Quote Originally Posted by prc6of7 link=1194692658/0#6 date=1194874704
    I tried my hardest to get a reasonable extraction from a coarser grind, adjusting every other variable imaginable. It cost me bucketloads of beans, but nothing else worked. With a coarser grind the extraction was all over inside about 12 seconds.
    Rightio mate, after tamping, do you get a slight impression of the shower-screen or s/c screw/nut when you lock the PF in normally before pulling a shot, i.e. you lock the PF in then immediately unlock it and check the surface of the puck?

    Just seems weird to me that a PF Basket with a taller column of properly ground, dosed and tamped coffee would require a finer grind than the shorter column associated with 58mm Baskets such as the Silvia has. You wouldnt know which Krupps machine these baskets are originally intended for would you? Perhaps they operate at a much lower pressure than the usual 8.5-9.5 Bar where they should be :-?. All the best,

    Mal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Hmm thanks guys.

    So im on about 2 with my lux. Very fine, but is coming out slower now - however all blonde and yuck and thin. Ive been dosing properly so I guess its my tamping. This sucks :s.

    Just add milk I had a laugh.

  10. #10
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by drovers-sunrise link=1194692658/0#8 date=1194902248
    Hmm thanks guys.

    So im on about 2 with my lux. Very fine, but is coming out slower now - however all blonde and yuck and thin. Ive been dosing properly so I guess its my tamping. This sucks :s.

    Just add milk I had a laugh.
    Hi DS, I suspect that its grind and inconsistent dose which are the most likely issues. Are your pucks wet and sloppy or spongy? The most consistent problem I see in those starting out is an underdose with coffee which is too fine. This can be experimented with (as Luca has waxed lyrical), but I dont believe its a good technique for beginners....

    I suggest that you tap a few times on your bench when you dose. Do EXACTLY the same thing EVERY time...

    Overfill the p/f and wipe off with a straight edge. The p/f MUST be completely full and level. Then settle the dose with just the mass of your (hopefully good and heavy) tamper- do not add any pressure at all. Top up the p/f to a complete fill and brush off again and then tamp to around 15kg.

    Adjust your grind accordingly to get a suitable pour- I often suggest that the sweet spot can be when you see a drips which later become a pour, or alternately no more than 25-30 ml in a 25 sec pour time- timed from when you see the first drops of espresso appear.

    If you are still getting premature blonding (i.e. pre 20 ml point), perhaps it might be worth trying a coffee that you are certain is fresh and is known to perform exceptionally well...

    Espresso WOW! is a great choice ;)

    Good luck!

    Chris

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    53

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Hi Charlie,

    Tried to ring yesterday and today. Played around with another Lux and Cafe, found it to be:

    a) The basket must be full, eg 1~2mm from the top
    b) Grind set around 4.5 depending on your tamp
    c) always aim for 25-30 ml in 25-30secs from half a double basket

    As Chris said, do the exact same process for every shot & get a consistent result before adjusting your grind or you are just chasing your tail.

    If youre still using the complimentary coffee I provided, the coffee shouldnt be an issue (it was roasted early Nov).

    If you get the correct extraction rate and the coffee is still not to standard (bitter) Ill would start looking at the temp at the group head (too low a temp will produce a bitter shot with too much blonding).

    Im sending you another 500g of Espresso as well as 500g of Kenya AA Fine Estate, Great as an black coffee.
    If your Making Long blacks ~ Make sure That the hot water is Add first, then add an Double Ristresso shot on top 20-25ml from an doulbe basket catching both sides

    Give me an call when you get an change (Good talking to you on friday)

    0883422428
    0402007655

    Cheers
    Mark

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Hi Mark

    Im sorry I missed your phone calls. I will give this grind setting a try. Clearly I was going too fine!

    Thank you so much for the extra effort you are putting in to help me get things correct. I really appreciate it.

    Shall let you know how I go.

    Charlie

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,958

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1194692658/0#9 date=1194903051
    Hi DS, I suspect that its grind and inconsistent dose which are the most likely issues. Are your pucks wet and sloppy or spongy? The most consistent problem I see in those starting out is an underdose with coffee which is too fine. This can be experimented with (as Luca has waxed lyrical), but I dont believe its a good technique for beginners....
    I agree 100000%. Dosing consistently is probably the single hardest part of the espresso process. Heres something that I wrote in another thread:

    I think that its necessary to get pretty anal about your dosing process. Use whatever dosing method you want, but it has to pass this test: get out the measuring shotglasses and the stopwatch and make five double shots in a row. Stop the shots when they reach 60mL and record the extraction time. I suggest that you really need to have all five of those times fall within a four second window, otherwise you need to work on your dosing. How do you do that? Change technique and/or work on it more. Yes, you will be throwing out a lot of coffee, but in the scheme of things its $10 well spent.
    I suspect that doing that test, wasteful though you might consider it, will probably be quite enlightening. At the very least, it will help you work out whether your dosing technique is or isnt the problem.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    31

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1194692658/0#7 date=1194879920
    Rightio mate, after tamping, do you get a slight impression of the shower-screen or s/c screw/nut when you lock the PF in normally before pulling a shot, i.e. you lock the PF in then immediately unlock it and check the surface of the puck?

    Just seems weird to me that a PF Basket with a taller column of properly ground, dosed and tamped coffee would require a finer grind than the shorter column associated with 58mm Baskets such as the Silvia has. You wouldnt know which Krupps machine these baskets are originally intended for would you? Perhaps they operate at a much lower pressure than the usual 8.5-9.5 Bar where they should be :-?. All the best,

    Mal.
    Yep, Im getting the imprint of the screw when the PF is locked in. I have no idea which machine the basket I use was made for unfortunately, you may be on to something though...

    I agree, it makes no sense at all. Thats probably why I went through as much coffee as I did trying to sort it out

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Thanks everyone for your advice! Ill definitely keep practicing and fine-tuning my method. Will post when any kind of change happens.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    31

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Howd you go DS?

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    [QUOTE=Trevorbeans link=1194692658/0#5 date=1194863730]Hi drovers-sunrise,

    I have a Lux Grinder, which I have been using in conjunction with, firstly, a Saeco Via Venezia (with non-pressurized portafilter) and now with my new VBM Domobar Levetta.

    Hi Trevorbeans

    Do you still have your non-pressurized portafilter for the Via Venezia and is it for sale?

    Regards

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    157

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Hi potio,

    Sorry for the delay in replying...Ive been laid up for a few days after knee surgery.

    Yes, I still have the non-pressurised p/f and have been intending to give it
    to my brother, who also has a V/Venezia, so unfortunately it is not for sale.

    The non-pressurised p/f certainly improves the flavour of the coffee, but I did find it little finicky to get a consistently slow pour with the V/V due to the pressure from the limited power of the pump to the group, without completely gagging the flow.

    Regards

    Trevorbeans

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    107

    Re: Lux + sunbema + me = bitter shots!

    Potio, its very easy to remove the pressurising innards from the standard PF if thats what youre after.

    Keep the bits in case you want to change it back to sell or whatever.


    Cheers................Sean



Similar Threads

  1. bitter crema
    By jporter in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 8th January 2010, 09:46 PM
  2. EM6910 - Suddenly getting bitter shots
    By Ben_S in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 22nd March 2009, 08:08 AM
  3. Bitter tasting shots
    By SWD76S in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 21st April 2008, 01:28 PM
  4. Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users
    By Saambo in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 135
    Last Post: 28th August 2007, 02:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •