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Thread: Sunbeam 6910 - Rookie trying to make coffee

  1. #1
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    Sunbeam 6910 - Rookie trying to make coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello fellow snobs ,
    Now i have been floating round this forum for a while . Most my coffee making is involved up in the pilbara for work so its all manual coffee processes , i have an aeropress , and electric Moka and a minipresso . Now on my week off i am trying my hand at using a semi auto so went and bought a second hand Sunbeam 6910 and i am using a Sunbeam Em0480 grinder i already had. I make coffee that is considered drinkable but not knock out. Always very thin crema even though using beans that were roasted 3 days prior . Is there any tips that guys that have used the 6910 before can point me in . I am still having trouble dialing in my grinder , i am trying to be consistent with 18 grams in the double basket and sometimes water just gushes through , sometimes its ok , sometimes the pressure gauge goes straight to red. I made a coffee that pushed through between the red and dark brown today . Made a better looking crema ( though a little bitter i think ) . Just someone that can point me in the right direction would be fantastic . I would love to have a top of the line machine and one day i may , but might aswell master this before i make the next step .

    Regards
    Paul

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    Member Aido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padams84 View Post
    Hello fellow snobs ,
    Now i have been floating round this forum for a while . Most my coffee making is involved up in the pilbara for work so its all manual coffee processes , i have an aeropress , and electric Moka and a minipresso . Now on my week off i am trying my hand at using a semi auto so went and bought a second hand Sunbeam 6910 and i am using a Sunbeam Em0480 grinder i already had. I make coffee that is considered drinkable but not knock out. Always very thin crema even though using beans that were roasted 3 days prior . Is there any tips that guys that have used the 6910 before can point me in . I am still having trouble dialing in my grinder , i am trying to be consistent with 18 grams in the double basket and sometimes water just gushes through , sometimes its ok , sometimes the pressure gauge goes straight to red. I made a coffee that pushed through between the red and dark brown today . Made a better looking crema ( though a little bitter i think ) . Just someone that can point me in the right direction would be fantastic . I would love to have a top of the line machine and one day i may , but might aswell master this before i make the next step .

    Regards
    Paul
    Paul,

    I have the same combo and generally find I need at least 20gm in the double basket and am able to get decent results. I use a grind setting of between 2 and 4 depending on the roast but each grinder is slightly different.
    I suggest going down low to notch 4, using 20gm and go from there. If it still gushes go finer, if the pressure goes up and bounces go coarser.
    Make sure that during this you try to keep your dose size, distribution of the coffee in the portafilter and tamp consistent.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    My grinder is on around 10 atm
    I have read reviews about the grind size being issues . Between 9 and 10 i get that "clumping" grind so i have 10 as the setting , at 18grams like i say i still get it pushing the pressure gauge up . Being a second hand machine could there be a problem with the machine . I know its hard to diagnose a problem with my coffee making on a forum hehe but i am happy for any input hehe

  4. #4
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    I have a 7000 but did have a 6910.
    Generally speaking, grind really fine. I have had a few friends who have struggled with this machine (after my recommendation sometimes) because of the grinder and not the machine.
    Second tip - overtamp. I use way more coffee than I would with a commercial machine. And, I tamp it a lot harder too.

    Dont worry too much about the amount of coffee by weight.

    In general if the pressure gauge is moving, then you're really close! It's just minor tweaking if you're getting some gauge movement. Vary the grinder as the first factor to experiment with and see how that goes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Adjust your grinder to '0' and try to pull an 18g shot. If it chokes the machine that's good as it gives you a starting point. All the grinder settings you've mentioned are essentially meaningless as they are particular to your grinder and set of variables.
    So hopefully a setting of 0 on the grinder results in little or no flow through the portafilter during the attempted extraction. After this adjust the grinder to 1 and try again. If it still chokes it adjust the grinder to 2 and try again. Repeat this until you get some flow then fine tune it so that you get roughly 60ml of espresso in roughly 30secs. You should have a period of 5-8secs after you turn the pump on before you see the first drips of coffee from the spout, followed by a steady stream. It should be a nice thin stream though and you should stop the extraction when the flow is noticeably faster and/or lighter in colour.
    Of course if you can't choke your machine with the grinder set to 0 then the problem is the grinder. If that's the case you'll need to add a burr shim or two potentially.
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Over-dosing and overly firm tamping is unnecessary if the grinder is calibrated correctly.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Watch this video by Jetblack to see what a really good extraction should look like. You might not quite be able to achieve this good a result, but it should look similar.

    https://youtu.be/1wGNOLR3yh8
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  8. #8
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    Hey leroy , thanks for the posts . Its funny i was just watching that video on the tube today . My shots definately dont look like that . I get the 60mls in 30 seconds with the 6 seconds of so until the pour starts . What i dont get is that caramel like consistency to start with so while its a drinkable espresso no where near as full bodied as some crema filled coffees i have had before . I am wondering if i purchase a 14g vst basket if that will fit my portafilter or if it will by chance improve my shot consistency . I have been practicing for a bit with my machine and grinder so i know i am close with grind quality etc .... but my shots are from one extreme to another sometimes so i must be doing somethong wrong

  9. #9
    Senior Member iggs's Avatar
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    I never got amazing viscosity and crema on my em6910 - nothing compared to my diadema junior now. Was using the same grinder (Bezzera commercial) and I think my technique/dosing was fine, in my humble opinion.

    I wonder if it's a machine limitation - the absence of an OPV for example? Check out this post http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...m6910-opv.html

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    Hi Paul

    At 9 years of age my 6910 is getting past its best but it still allows me to pull ripper shots. I bought mine new so I know it and grinder very well. Yours being a second hand unit adds a little more complexity to your preferred outcome.

    Here's a step by step that works for me every time:

    1. Start using the single filter basket, it will be easier for you to practice with than using the double and less waste. Ditch the dual floor baskets if you have them.
    2. Every grinder is different but dialing position 5 to 6 works very well for fresh beans and 7 to 8 for older beans.
    3. Single basket in handle, set grinder on "push" and fill the basket using your hand to as a swivel ensuring the grind lands in the basket (don't use the semi circles handle holders that attach to the grinder, they just get in the way).
    4. Once a mound has formed, tap the handle on the bench a couple of times to level it out then add more grind so you have another mound.
    5. Now tamp down. The fineness of the grind will determine how much pressure you tamp down with, as a guide, fresh beans require less pressure than older beans.
    6. The tamped grind should be circa 1-2mm below the basket rim.
    7. At this point it's important to understand how tight the shower screen is attached to blue grouphead seal. It should only be tight enough to touch the seal ensuring a slight pressure on the seal. By over0-tightening the seal you are effectively squeezing the shower screen hard on to the seal which will cut the seal but also raise the shower screen higher up into the head meaning the tamped grind in the basket has further to travel into the group head when the handle is attached. This will make it harder to find that sweet spot required for the perfect shot. Remember, when you screw the shower screen in the screw should only have minimal tension.
    8. Hit the manual or single shot button, you want to get the pressure needle to hit the BROWN part of the gauge. I find Sunbeam's TAN section on the gauge too weak.

    Milk Texturing
    I find this machine will texture milk for 1 flat white in maybe 40 seconds and 2 flat whites in Just over a minute.

    1. Keep the wand as vertical as possible.
    2. Dip the tip just below the surface (hissing not gargling) close to the centre of the jug and start steaming.
    3. With your right hand resting on the drip tray of the machine holding the jug, lower the jug ever so slightly. You will see the milk texture in a circling pattern, as it does you will need to gradually lower the jug almost 1mm at a time until full stretched.
    4. Once milk has been stretched as far as it will go, dip the tip right in and heat the milk until the jug becomes a little too hot to handle in the palm of your right hand. It's now ready.

    Pour your milk and hopefully enjoy.

    Pull your group handle away from the group head and knock the puck out, it should be very firm and dry"ish". You should be able to snap it in half with your fingers without it crumbling.

    The key is to keep experimenting with the height of the tamped grind and the pressure you apply tamping.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by RichardC; 2nd June 2016 at 06:43 PM. Reason: typo's
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  11. #11
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    Hey Richard ,
    Thanks for the advice mate . Thats the kind of news i was hoping to get . I have been practicing a bit with my grinds with keeping the same weight for my grinds . I have noticed going into the brown is giving me a better looking shot. I will try bringing my grind finer and maybe using less weight in my basket . Using the single sounds like a good idea as i can see me going through a few shots in practice . Yeah i still have the dual walled baskets but dont use them . They seem like cheating :-) . I will have a crack in the morning turning my grinder to a finer setting though i do think around 10 is the sweet spot. The beans i am using at the moment came from the roaster on monday , roasted monday .
    Thankyou to all that have posted so far . Any input is always appreciated and glad to have a forum full of knowledgable people to help steer the ship .

  12. #12
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    You're welcome Paul.

    Just a note, roasted beans need to sit for at least 3-4 days before you use them.

    Many tips / hints you find on this forum are very helpful if starting out or you're trying to get acquainted to a new or different machine. I suggest you do a lot of reading here but try not to get bogged down in the many and varied opinions, just take what you think works for you and put in practice and before long you'll reap the rewards.

    Also, credit where credit is due, the experience with this 6910 has come from many years of trials and error, experimenting this way and that. However, the skill required for texturing was always something that came later and needed at least the first 500 to 1000 shots just to get a sense of the right direction. I read a "how to" post by Chris at Talk Coffee (a sponsor here) on texturing and this set me on the right track. My description below is based on Chris' "how to" so kudos for this goes to Chris.



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