Silly question, but did you get your beans out of storage also?
Today i took my rancilio out of deep storage and once again tried to make some semblence of good coffee. However, no matter what settings i try i my coffe turns blonde really early and it tastes like $)*!#)!@#.
Equipment: silvia, sunbeam burr grinder (forgot the name, but it was recommended at the time i bought the silvia as a grinda that is good $ for value).
I tried to keep temperature stable by running water through the grouphead before I do the shot to activate the boiler (then bleed off steam just before i do the shot).
I overfilled my portafilter (using the double shot one) with ground and then sweep off the excess. Then i tamp with 30lb (i use a scale).
With all these variables kept constant i then tried to adjust the grind until i got about 60ml of coffee in about 25-30 seconds. I have finally arrived at a sweet spot of "8" in the finess setting (scale 1-25) for grinder, and i almost exactly 60 ml in 25-30 seconds. This is very consistent.
However, despite this my shots blondes within 10 seconds of the coffee coming out, and tastes quite a bit sour/bitter/burnt. The crema is also mediocre. This is also very consistent. I tried adjusting the grinder finenss up or down, but going any finer exacerbates the burnt smell, and going down in fineness causes too much water to come through.
So in summary, i am pulling consistent, but crappy shots, and i cant see any adjustments i can make :|. I was thinking that ive followed all the tips ive read on line about using this machine. The coffee is tolerable with milk (which i do well) but i was kind of expecting better than McCafe quality...
Anyway, can anyone help this coffenoob troubleshoot =)?
Silly question, but did you get your beans out of storage also?
Ensure you have fresh beans (no more than 3 weeks from the "Roasted On" date.
Forget about the 60 ml and just stop when the coffee starts to blonde. (My standard ristretto is made from a double basket, full, and I aim for 20 ml of delicious coffee essence in 20 seconds.)
I hope it goes well for you, it does take some patience and some practice until you know what works on your machine FOR YOU.
what basket are you using - know its adouble basket but is it the silvia one, or a different one?
when I bought silvia from talk coffee about a year ago I got a larger double basket thrown in for free which appears deeper and more volume than the standard silvia double
are you dosing to level with the lip or a bit over, I find that I need to updose the basket with a nice mound, otherwise after tamping the coffee is too low and my shot will blonde out too quickly
maybe a picture of coffee after tamp would help us out, do you get a nice clean puck when you knock out or is it soupy?
1) So I should always stop when my coffee blondes? I would get like 10mL of coffee then...
2) What are the factors that cause early blonding?
3) How does updosing reduce blonding? Wont it just choke my machine?
I am using the vanilla silvia one out of the box. Tomorrow when i try again i will take a picture of the tamped coffe.
After i finish brewing i remove the portafilter and there is like a wet puddle on top of the puck, but when i actually knock the puck out its fairly dry and coherent.
1) Personally I always stop my shots just short of light caramel colour, I try to not let it continue to brew if its blonding.
If its doing that within 10ml, as mentioned before, is your beans fresh? roasted a week or so prior to you grinding, loading, locking and pulling?
2) Stale; coarse; low temp(?)
3) I would assume updosing reduces blonding in that there is more coffee being drained of its goodness, thus the visual difference in colour--longer.
I shall try my 10mL shot tomorrow =)
Btw, I think my grinder is the sunbeam EM480 (if this matters) - is this grinder good enough for the purposes (i nkow that its not on the level of some that ppl here have, but when i bought my stuff i remember ppl saying that its decent). Sunbeam is so cheap they dont even bother to put a model name on the grinder :@
ER1, I may have missed it in your follow up posts, but the freshness of your coffee is going to have a huge impact on the quality of your coffee. It can be extremely difficult to work with stale coffee.Originally Posted by 6F7F6879793F3E3D353A3E0D0 link=1252913402/1#1 date=1252914983
How old are the beans?
Possible, but not necessarily. It could just be the particular bag or batch of green beans. It could be a fresh roast, but the batch of coffee beans just doesnt cut it. It happens sometimes, particularly with some of the "fancies" or "gourmet" types that come in from time to time. Less likely to happen with more "run of the mill" large volume coffees where the FAQ is reasonably consistent.
Stale coffee wont taste good but will still produce a reasonable crema if you are a good operator, and wont necessarily blond early.
Updosing / downdosing...... Dosing to silvia is critical. If you up dose it will always leak over the top, if you down dose it will produce a crap result. there is only one way to properly dose up the silvia, the only choice you have is to use either the crap std filtrs or the deeper Australian market filter that allows you to use a couple of extra grams and tranforms the brew.
Simplicity is the key. Buy some beans from a different source - or the same source but a completely different blend - and try again. Dont buyy a "fancy" buy a run of the mill blend to compare.
If nothing changes borrow a decent grinder and compare the same coffees again using it.
Hmm, the beans arent really fresh, but I dont think they are the issue here. The coffee doesnt taste "bad"....its like physically burnt.
They ARE the problem, trust the knowledge here, it is vast ;)Originally Posted by 687F1C2D0 link=1252913403/9#9 date=1252974937
Interesting that many of the public know better... Was in a repair shop yesterday.. 3 units in and every one was a clear case of USER abuse.. It was clear to me even from a distance... The poor service agent had to cop it on the chin...Originally Posted by 5E5A7C6565607F6867090 link=1252913403/10#10 date=1252977369
I asked why ??? He said about 10 to 15 % of the users will take some notice of what they are told... The REST just KNOW BETTER...
PS... Burnt coffee and a leak was the comment I heard...
A: 1kg of Supermarket pre ground coffee in a Tupperware container in teh fridge.. Packs teh PF and tamps till level with the top of the basket...
B: I saw a mess, group head stuffed, dirty dirty dirty and some one who double parked and was loud and was not impresses with a 10day turn around...
CSs we are and we may get it wrong on occasions, but we care and try to provide well documented and or evedance biased advice... Take it or leave it... ;)
Hi ER1!Originally Posted by 756201300 link=1252913403/9#9 date=1252974937
What makes you think that the beans might not be contributing? If you have tried experimenting with dose/grind/tamp, perhaps it is time to try something else?
I suggest hitting the buy brown link. Andy roasts to order and dispatches faster than a speeding bullet in the backside of a bat out of heck.
Great espresso is just around the corner. Keep experimenting!
Perhaps I will - definitely when i figure out my technique.
The cheap beans are just for me to figure out how to make coffee...right now i waste so much that its just not economical to try my baby steps on premium beans
Probably false economy I reckon ER...The cheap, stale beans will cause many more problems (such as blonding) than they will ever deliver you in learning...Originally Posted by 726506370 link=1252913403/13#13 date=1252989019
Bottom line is garbage in, garbage out...
Try some good stuff ;)
Premium beans cost about $40kg. You will use just under 20g of beans in your double shot basket. This works out to 80cents per coffee. If you throw a few out, it does not matter, as you are learning, and it is important to taste each shot you make. When you use cheap beans you will throw out ALL the coffee you make, and the taste is horrible as you described.
It really is false economy to learn on cheap beans as everything you make is tipped in the sink. As you learn with the good beans you will achieve a good result and can drink your efforts.
It is all part of the learning curve.
And remember, quality is worth paying for, especially when it comes to food and drinks.
As per above... So true.. In fact; a double wammy...Originally Posted by 025D455358535F565655555D515E300 link=1252913403/14#14 date=1252989930
Cheep beans is like practising for the GP on a go cart and then trying work out why ya can not do what your expecting... Then when you finally get into the real machine... It all changes and you have to do it al over again....
If that sounds to far fetched.. Then its like cheep tires on the GP machine and then moving to the real tires on race day..
Ya got to use the real things...
We all know; because many of us never had teh hindsite of CS...
Ok, I will go for the premium beans after i finish off the remaining 0.5kgg of these old ones :D (wont take long....ive gone through 250g today alone experimenting).
That said, ive also realised that the default plastic silvia tamper is a horrible :@
Some of the UBER BAD ones (i.e. blondes in 5 seconds) are when i have tamped it lop sided. 30lb exactly doesnt always gaurantee a flat tamp. WHen i do get it right the coffee isnt too bad now - the tip about thinking about stopping the shot when i see it blonde regardless of volume is a very good one. Not as burnt as before.
The two hardest things to accept seem to be that:
1 Fresh coffee is a must. If its older than 3 weeks when you start, you are asking for trouble, and your practice is 80% futile.
2 The grinder is much more important to good coffee than the machine.
(Hey, it only took me 30 years to learn this!)
What are some run of the mill brown beans that can be sourced from CS sponsers in Melbourne or bean bay to make a good espresso. I am still having trouble with my blonding/crema with my Silvia machine so keen to source some different beans. After some quality but not top notch as will still be wasting a few cups.
Can someone recommend some blends or beans from the websites - as mad as it sounds, it is dfficult to know from reading a description alone. ::) ;D Ta muchey
Almost all roasting sponsors and well as Andy (<<BeanBay) will happily ship to you. Melbourne sponsors include: Coffeehit, Di Bella, Genovese, Talk Coffee and VenezianoOriginally Posted by 0D282F3B383E291E323B3B38385D0 link=1252913403/19#19 date=1253006372
Dont know ya taste buds... or your method of pulling a shot...Originally Posted by 02272034373126113D34343737520 link=1252913403/19#19 date=1253006372
Yep it can make all teh difference...
At teh end of the day most of the fresh stuff is good... and even the stuff that is not to my taste can be managed via changing my method... Thus your asking for a black and whit answer when there is none.
Oke-doke, you speak like an experienced barista can be managed via changing my method - some of us struggle to maintain a single consistent method *:) I guess my point is that its difficult to buy on-line - bit hit and miss and not cheap for small quantities so was after some recomendations. But hey everyone is different so maybe no one size fits all.Originally Posted by 604F4644536C404F4046444C444F55210 link=1252913403/21#21 date=1253009792
There are some great local roasters around... But in general the CSs sponsors are usually very consistent... Give one a call and have a chat as to what your looking for on the pallet and I am sure they will be able to provide something to suit...Originally Posted by 32171004070116210D04040707620 link=1252913403/22#22 date=1253010736
My coffee improves daily :D. Thanks so much guys.
Anyway, one problem that i have begun to notice is that when i pour, the stream coming out of one portafilter outlet turns blonde LONG before the other one (like 10-secs earlier).....is this "channeling"? ANd can it cause bitter coffee?
Cause bitter coffee... Yes... Depending on your group and the way it is made YES... Any unit that has TWO separate holes in the group is suspect...Originally Posted by 273053620 link=1252913403/24#24 date=1253085125
Get a KNAKED ;D and that will tell all.
The porta filter has two outlets at the bottom: i mean that hazelnut comes out of one whilst light caramel comes out of another.
Naked PF that is;-)
it has the bottom cut off, you tube bottomless portafilter and youll see it, it has to be channeling, on one side of the puck, are you favouring one side? Have you examined the puck to see if there are any fine cracks? With a naked pf you will see where it is blinding and it will show you all sins, as you can basically see the bottom of the puck.....
Keep going! Your close!
Another question? can i bend the bottom of the basket by tamping it too hard? I swear mines now a bit concave!
Not a chance, unless your the incredible hulk, they come like that, try a set of scales, apply enough pressure to 15 kgs, that is the max you would need, slot of ppl tamp lighter though, I tamp to about 8-10 kgs max
Ps you dont have to use the scales to actually tamp your coffee, just to get used to that pressure, you will be surprised!
Yep it is all variable * :oOriginally Posted by 1014322B2B2E312629470 link=1252913403/29#29 date=1253097217
I change my tamp to suit my grind; which I change depending on the beans... *And what sort of solution I want in the cup... *8-)
Some times I hardly even tamp at all... *Do it using my .... enough said *::)
I saw this happen to some baskets I was using while training (wasnt me, I swear!) The bloke showing me the ropes took the basket out, and pressed it on a hard service to bend it back! Baskets are replaceable at least...Originally Posted by 475033020 link=1252913403/28#28 date=1253096435
Dont tamp too hard! :)
.........are you saying, your a little light AM ;) ;DOriginally Posted by 123D3436211E323D3234363E363D27530 link=1252913403/31#31 date=1253101997
Thats a considerable amount of force, i just dont see, unless it was a really weak basket, how that could happen, and im not saying it didnt happen to "your mate" ;D, then again ive been using the synessos for ages and tossed the original silvia ones in the cupboard just after i got it, that said, a 10kg tamp should not bend metal......Originally Posted by 55574643555E5F58360 link=1252913403/32#32 date=1253106442
Dear ER1, as a relatively new home machine person, there are four pieces of advice that I have taken from CS over the last 18 months Whilst they are some times expressed with an enthusiasm that reminds one of an evangelic pastor, the advise has always improved my coffee making in huge steps.
The first I acted on was to buy a decent Tamper (milled SS but not a Pullman due to cost) and put plastic number in the bin. Second was to move away from super market beans and buy from a local roaster once a week (or two), Third was to change my steaming style (Gaggia Classic) to the trick of starting steaming just before the light comes on. Fourth, to do the Silvia steam wand mod.
Can only say again that taking these bits of knowledge from those who have done it before has made my coffee making journey more satisfying each time. Hopefully will keep a sense of discrimination about not going over board, but now even impress my daughter who works in hospitality.
1) What is the cost of a "decent tamper"? And is a flat or concave base optimal?
2) Quote: "Third was to change my steaming style (Gaggia Classic) to the trick of starting steaming just before the light comes on. Fourth, to do the Silvia steam wand mod." - i dont quite understand what you mean here, can you plesae rephrase (alhtough it mgiht make sense tomorrow morning.
3) Experimenting with coffee = lots and lots of little taste tests = no sleep :(
See the sponsors :-) in particular Pullman Espresso - over there on the left...Originally Posted by 0C1B78490 link=1252913403/36#36 date=1253121824
1: Do a search on Tampers etc - lots of disscussion
2: Utube has plenty of vids showing
Feed a man fish and he eats once, teach him to fish and he can feed himself ;)
Yes but...a newbie fisherman is more likely to starve to death before he catches any fish :P
ROFLMFHO...Originally Posted by 170063520 link=1252913403/38#38 date=1253140307
True... We are teaching you to find ya own bait at this stage :-)
lots and lots of little taste tests = no sleep
Sleep is overrated.
Hi ER1, decent tamper is something that fits your basket tightly, is of a good wait and comfortable to hold. CS will tell you Pullman,yes they look great and I assume they are wonderful but too many $ for me at this stage. Done this aiming for the stars stuff once before with HIfi, not again. The tamper I have has a milled stainless steel flat base with a turned mountain ash handle, Bought it for about $70 including postage from a non sponsor on the web in NSW. Just do google and the options will come up.
The steaming stuff is mentioned in detail in lots of posts here. It is particularly related to Gaggia Classics. Basically cos their boilers are small it is not a good idea to wait until the steaming light comes on as you get great blast for a short time and then the steam runs very low, So you start the milk steaming after you count to around 25 after turning the steam switch on, having quickly turned the steam tap on and off at about 15 to get the water out.
The mod is also a Gaggia thing, they come with a plastic "steam enhancer" tip that makes for big bubbles and not very micro foam milk. so you take of the wand and put a Silvia one on it instead and a much better result.
Point of my post, whilst you may find some of the recommendations by others on CS to be a little strange, the ones I have tried have actually always improved things for me. Guess that means that they usually know what they are talking about.
Read lucas 10 reasons for buying a pullman;
These are top quality tampers and they will never dent, corrode or wear, and in combination with a new synesso basket which the tamper is lathed around (or in, in this case!) perfectly matched, no gaps whatsoever........you cant beat it
Its well worth getting a basket and tamper together from Pullman... that way theyre made for each other :D Fantastic! I made the investment and am very happy!
Also, Im so glad that the light bulb has come on re using fresh coffee beans. It makes the BIGGEST difference of anything you can do. Beats me why people still buy beans at the supermarket when a) its not actually that much cheaper and b) they taste like... ahh... well you know what. Such a MASSIVE difference and will certainly solve your extraction issues ER1
Ive been looking at the brownbeans website here..there are so many varieties! Any recommendations? And is there anyway to get say ...250g at a time? Because I anticipate running into busy p[eriods where I can only use the machine on weekends, and i rather order small amounts often rather than a big amount fo beans that will just go stale
I am a newbie here also but been a coffee lover for a long time... well before I could get some serious equipment to make good coffee at home, the first thing I did was convert from Supemarket to Fresh Coffee.Originally Posted by 415635040 link=1252913403/44#44 date=1253275151
It doesnt really matter which variety you get 1st off, you will just appreciate the freshness and fuller flavours it proves. Trust me it will be soooo much more drinkable even if it is not your ideal palette. Your guests will love you for the upgrade too ;D
As to recommendations, I would suggest as already mentioned you make contact or if possible drop into one the CS Sponsors outlets and discuss your tastes etc. *Myself, Im only learning still but know I like full bodied, caremelly sweet style of coffee - for someone else this the preference could be other end of the spectrum...light and fruity etc.
Personally I look forward to the journey of trial and error (but ALWAYS fresh) to both challenge my pallate and also find some really good roasts ..starting with "BUY BROWN" of course *;)
Good luck. Home the fish bite soon *:P
P.S. regarding 250gm sizes - what about the Brown Bean Sample pack, found here....http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/Vi...ed-sample-pack. Seems a great way to get started with small batches of a few different styles to boot.... just a thought. :-/
Beans from the supermarket = crap old beans. If they were fresh youd smell the 180Kgs or so of them a mile away.
I visited Coffee Craft and bought some freshly roasted La Crema Sorrento beans and they are fantastic. You CANNOT beat buying freshly roasted beans from a professional.
I finally ran out of the shitty supermarket coffee. I needed beans in a hurry and managed to buy some freshly roasted ones from a store near me.
Glorious fragrance :D
Anyway extraction was much better...crema is much better. However it still blondes at about 15 seconds and ends up a bit more bitter than I had hoped. In terms of taste the improvement was noticeable but not as much as i had hoped it would be (from the hype everyone had about fresh beans...). Am i doing anything wrong?
Sorry 2x post:
I am doing exactly as i was doing before...adjust grind until i get about 60mL in about 20-25 seconds. I stop the shot soon after i see it blonding.