Post By MrJack
Post By Journeyman
Post By chokkidog
Post By Journeyman
Post By TampIt
another question about sunbeam EM7000 + Sunbeam 450 Grinder .Help please!!!!
Hi every one.
I have bought my new EM7000 a week ago, and I am using 450 grinder as well.
By going through previous threads I can see most people grinding their coffee at level 8-10 using the same grinder.
Strange enough my coffee pressure gets in the acceptable range only when I grind my beans at around level 20 which according to the manual is suitable for drip filters!
I have tried 2 different beans and also store ground coffee and different tamping but still the same result.
Please HELLLLLLPPP, I was hoping to get better brew of this machine comparing to my previous cheaper sunbeam espresso machine
A) What is wrong with the coffee you are producing?
B.) Don't worry about the grinder "setting" if you can get a decent pour within the range.
C) How much coffee (by weight) are you dosing? Try dosing less coffee and grinding finer.
D) How fresh is the coffee?
There are several different baskets SB produces. They work differently. I don't have the 7000 and haven't seen one so I don't know which ones they give with the machine. I have 2 sets for the 6910 (I presume they'd be the same fit) and one set has less hole area than the other. It makes a difference - for example my VST baskets have holes almost to the edge. (they are more uniform as well, but that's another level )
First, are you using the single wall baskets? Look under the baskets - single wall holes match what you see from the top; double walls have a single hole in the bottom. Take the double wall ones and put them away.
Also, stay well away from preground - it's not ground for espresso. If you have any left, grind your beans and then take a pinch of each and compare - the preground will feel like sand grains compared to an almost powder for the fresh.
Next, are you dosing into the double basket? Singles are much more problematic in trying to get good coffee - learn to do that with the double baskets then start trying your new skills with the single.
20 is fine on the 450 - my 450 is dedicated to decaf for the missus and if I go below 20 with the SB basket it chokes my 6910. I can go to about 17 with the VST basket but then she finds that has too much flavour for her. (and the SB single has too little - I've married bloody Goldilocks... )
If the 7000 manual is the same as the 6910 in advice, get your advice from Coffeesnobs - the manual has you dosing too high and probably tamping too hard. I use a modified progressive tamp that is usually less even than the normal 3kg tamp - I like to grind as fine as I can and reduce the tamp. I find it gives me more 'range' of tamping to improve coffee as it changes. (e.g. hot days to cold days, or as the coffee ages)
I dose the SB double basket to about 5mm from the top and it pours just fine. I can dose higher but at the grind I use that tends to choke things a bit - I get 'dripple' coffee. (continuous drips rather than a stream)
Describe your coffee procedure to us, maybe photos or even a video of a shot - you will get much more specific advice.
Thanks for your reply Mr. Jack
A) my coffee is normally over extracted, the coffee pressure gauge goes to the end of the unacceptable zone.
B) With my grinder setting (level 20) all I get is really Normal coffee not drinkable straight without milk, the pressure is within acceptable area though.
C) I don’t know how to measure my coffee after grounding but I normally put enough coffee to fill the basket below the rim.
D) The beans shouldn’t be that old cause I get them from local roaster (how old is acceptable?)
I made a coffee with same dosing and grinding with my previous machine which is one of the small cheap sunbeam series and the result was better comparing to the new machine.
I am using single wall baskets.
I have tried dosing double basket, slightly better but not really good.
Do I dose double basket full for a single shot or 8 grams is enough?
20 is fine on your 450? Cause the coarsest it can grind is 24. I have heard most people do 8 or Max 10.
How do you measure the tamping pressure? Is that by the tamper weight? If the answer is yes,I am using the standard SB tamper but its not 3KG for sure J
My technique hasn’t changed and I still get better pour with my previous machine even when using preground Illy coffee .
My current shots are dark black with pale crema on the top, the previous ones were dark brown and caramel when pouring in to the cup ( and I was using preground!)
Just checked and I have a shim in my 450, so it would probably be around 13 - 14 without it. Look under the bottom burr if you want to see if there is already a shim in yours - but MrJ is right about the number not really being relevant provided you coffee is good... which you say is not the case.
How does the coffee come out? Do you get lots of drips with maybe a sputter-stream after that? The balance between fineness of grind, dose size and pressure of tamp can take some working out.
Tamp pressure - many people grind to a full basket - overfull usually, sometimes using a 'collar' that helps stop the overflow - then they tap and tamp down to the correct level using around 15kg (30lb) of pressure. But there is some evidence that because of the physics of grains, that 30lb is quickly dissipated out to a lateral pressure by the action of the grains themselves, so a heavy tamp only affects maybe the top 1/3 - 1/2 of the basket and the base of it is barely affected at all. This means the lower grinds don't have much effect at all on the end result - the coffee comes from the upper layer and then rushes through the lower part.
Progressive tamping is a process of grind a little, tamp lightly, grind some more, tamp again, grind some more, tamp again - usually 4 tamps is mentioned. The idea is to even out the pressure profile of the grinds before the water gets into it. I grind a bit extra for the first tamp and then often only do 2 more. And as mentioned above, I dose well below the rim. I found the same grind and tamp but less dose will give a much better pour than dosing to the recommended level.
Get some scales to check tamp pressure - bathroom ones are good enough - see what it takes to do 15kg then check 3kg (which is the norm for progressive tamping) Tamping pressure is about how much thrust you give, but with progressive you can use as little as you wish - when I am dialling in a new bean I just use the weight of my Pullman tamper (375g) until the pour dripples, then I back it off one notch and tamp around 2kg.
Because my grind is just above choke level I tamp even lighter than the 3kg - I find that way my tamping actually has a noticeable effect on my coffee. I can tamp to get a 60ml double anywhere from 15 secs to 35 secs, so I get the variability to adjust for conditions without having to change my initial dial-in grind setting.
You've got a 7000 so ask Darkfalz about the gauge - I know he has a 7000 - but as far as I know the gauge for brew operates the same as the 6910, and for my best coffees the gauge swings to the top of the upper segment - mine are yellow/green with green the upper one so the needle is at the top mark of the green. At the midpoint, supposedly the ideal, I get an underextracted result and much above the top of the green and it chokes or Dripples.
Some thing else to watch for on the gauge (& you'll hear it) is surging. as far as I know this is due to overdosing. Not sure why it surges due to that but it doesn't make good coffee when it is doing it.
Other than that, watch the pour, not the gauge.
If you're underdosing the double basket you will need more than 8gm in it. I'd probably go for something over 12 and then pour a large single from it. Or dose it at 15+ gm and use the double spout and only cup from one spout. It's a waste but your priority right now is to get the best from the machine - later you can take what you've learned and get the singles working as they should.
Hope that helps... Should be easier for you with a 7000 - all reports are the bugs of the 6910 have been addressed and the machine is apparently more user-friendly.
Wow ,Thanks for your help Journeyman,I really apprrciate it . alot to learn from your replies.
Excuse my silly questions but I still dont get how to measure my tamping pressure ,you said Bathroom scale but I dont know how ...
I ll check the shim . thanks
Hi SGM2986 and welcome to CS!
Place scales on bench, or similar, at the same height at which you do your tamping.
This step is important as you're trying to teach yourself some 'muscle memory' & feel.
Hold your tamper as you would when you make coffee, press the tamper down on the scales until the scale
dial or display reads the various pressures. Repeat, so that you learn to release the pressure at the correct moment
and not 'push through' the pressure you want. Keep repeating.
People use a variety of techniques..... find the one that works for you.
I use an Espro click, always have...... a change would be nice but I've got other things to spend my money on.
I also have to train cafes and other clients and progressive tamping doesn't work in a busy cafe setting
with multiple staff. I use the Espro to teach.... it's a fantastic tool for that when you have two barisrtas,
one 6'6'' 120kgs and the other 5'2'' 45 kgs!! :-D
Aha, you have got Journeyman on a roll.
Seems to know what he is talking about.
I have learnt a lot from him and Tampit, and others of course.
I haven't got it right yet, but I am using a 7g VST basket, still with some sloppy pucks.
You're starting at the hard end, as JM says.......small filters are the most difficult.
Originally Posted by rawill
To get some consistency in technique try using a 14gm ( 15gm if you're into vst ) or18 gm. ;-D
I know, but my ancestry says waste not want not!
I have had an espresso machine for about 5 years, "upgraded" to an EM6910 12 months ago, with an EM480 grinder with a shim in it.
Grinds about 6 for the VST basket, 9-10 for the sunbeam double, which is much easier! But too strong for me.
Hey rawill - you can reduce the dose in the double AND reduce the pour time. So you can moderate the strength without losing taste and consistency.
Another trick is to go one step higher in grind and increase the tamp pressure - it will pour faster but the tamp increase will help to maintain the quality of the coffee. It's one of the advantages of reducing tamp pressure and tamping twice or more.
One view says tamp pressure doesn't really matter, as the theory is, 9 bar is MUCH more than we can get with a tamp. The problem with that idea is it fails to take into account the physics of grains. (anyone wanting to know more about that should do some Googling about sand dunes. Same physics...) That 9 bar pressure has the same issue as the single heavy tamp - it only transforms the top of the puck.
2nd the TampIt learning experience - with 40 years in coffee the guy has learned a lot and while I still don't necessarily use his method, I have learned a LOT about making coffee from his experiences and posts. Probably helps that we have the same attitude - if it works, use it. Plus the willingness to try things to gain understanding rather than simply follow a formula someone else insists is how things are.
Coffee making is an art form - what that means to the enquiring mind is that the variables are such that there ain't no TRUE GOSPEL out there for making it - so many things are different we all have to learn our own best practice.
Coffee making is probably more a Classical-type experience than one for the Romantics-type people. (ref: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig)
Enjoy the journey...
Originally Posted by rawill
Thx for the compliment.
I mentioned the "sloppy puck" to you a while back as being very secondary to getting a good cuppa. If the taste & crema are good, it must be close...
New "sloppy puck" info: ignore it completely. My newer 6910 (finally back & working properly: long story of factory fault) always gives you about 10ml of "very low pressure water" just after you shut the shot off when doing a correctly dosed (i.e. weighed to 7.2/7.3g sweet spot) naked VST single. The machine's pressure actually drops to zero and then some more water pours into the basket (gravity?) about 1/2 second later. I always end up with a solid puck with about 2mm of clear water on top of it. No idea why, however my older one has never done that!
The coffee is every bit as good as the older one, so I feel safe in declaring the mystical art of "puckology" as having even less relevance (always thought it was near useless) unless you spot channeling.
Now I will go to the top of this thread and see if I can help the OP: a quick glance shows that something must be really amiss!
Enjoy your cuppa
PS: sounds like you should stay with the single: you are obviously getting a good result out of it, so you have done the "hard yards" already.
Last edited by TampIt; 29th March 2014 at 01:54 AM.
Reason: added PS
Originally Posted by SGM2986
There are three things which you should know (partly hinted at in earlier posts).
1) The 7000 standard single walled double (& single for that matter) basket is highly variable. It is very likely yours is different from everyone else's basket.
2) The gauge of both a 6910 and a 7000 are quite notional / fictional. Having had a few of them around from time to time, I actually use a correctly dialled in shot to calibrate the gauge, not the other way round. It may well be leading you astray.
3) 450's are notorious for needing a shim kit out of the factory. If your correct grind is really 20, the number is only a reference to keep track of the grind until it wears in. BTW, I doubt 20 is actually correct from your coffee comments. The other issue is that your grinder is an unknown quantity at this point: if it is giving too much of a particle spread (see below), it is faulty. Not likely, but certainly possible.
If you have video facilities (it would help a LOT), just post a video of your grind and shot. If not, to give all the CSr's a chance to figure out what is going on, please try the following and let us know what happens:-
1) If possible go to your nearest friendly cafe (i.e. one with a reasonable cuppa) and ask them to sell you about 50 grams of their house blend (ground in front of you, timing is important). Head home as soon as you can (it starts to oxidise within 5 minutes and goes stale / sour all too quickly) and try a "maximum 30 second shot" using it (stop it earlier if it blonds: look it up if you need to). Hint: use the single walled double basket and dose it to around 4mm from the top after a single gentle tamp. Does it give an OK brew? Did it blond first or hit 30 seconds first? What does the gauge read? Did it choke / gush / pour OK? If not drinkable, try a similar shot with your single walled single basket and dose it to about 3mm from the top. Is that OK? If still no luck, please let us know the same things.
2) Put a little of your grind and the cafe's grind on a (separate) piece of white paper and compare the texture. Hopefully they are similar. The two things to observe are the overall texture (i.e. overall fine to coarse range) and the "particle spread" (i.e. the consistency within the grind). Too many small pieces and it will go bitter too quickly, too many large pieces and it will never extract properly. If the cafe's shot is OK and yours isn't, try to match their overall grind texture as closely as you can...
After that, any CSr can help you.
Have fun experimenting with your new toy "post frustration"
Thanks chokkidog,intresting technique :-) ,will start checking this morning :-)
Originally Posted by chokkidog
I have not been "worrying" about the sloppy puck matter, it is just I want to get it "right".
The taste is great, better than I used to make, but with the VST basket, I think I find as the beans "go off" the way to tamp and the way the pour goes varies quite a bit.
I thinnk I might invest in a double VST basket next, but it won't get much use, I am really the only coffee drinker here, except when we have some visitors.
As before, thanks to you Journeyman and others for your patience and tips in getting us newbies "sorted".
To SGM, it is all about practice and experience, so it it a matter of trying, reading up on here, trying until you get your your technique perfected and you like what you are drinking, and hopefully your friends like it too.
This is after all a bit of a snobbish art, much like no maybe "worse" or better than wine tasting/drinking.
I started with an EM5800, it took me quite a while to get to a place where I was happy with my EM6910.
Now the EM5800 is in our campervan, and when we go away I have to relearn!
I also got an EM480 grinder to go with the EM6910, and it grinds much finer than the mofified Breville BCG 450 I used dto use.
However my campervan only has a little blade grinder, sos that is another story.
All I am saying is there are lots of variabilities.
And the good people on here will give you lots of good pointers so you can sort your own techniques.