Sounds like undosing to me...
please help diagnose (sorry i dont have pics)
have great beans
tamp at ~20kgs maybe even 30kg (with a good tamper)
use double basket
am cutting the short early due to early blonding and the below tornado/twisting pour
pour starts dark and fairly syrupy but quickly seems to be blonding, or at least becoming quite uniform in colour and much lighter than initiallly.
I am finding that im getitng mousetailing (espresso not hanging straight down) after a few seconds in, but also the pour seems to be TWISTING rather than flowing if u know what i mean. almost like a small tornado
i think my pucks are ok on inspection afterwards. (no clear cracks, weakpoints or channels)
what is the most LIKELY reason for this?
am i dosing too high?
tamping too hard?
thanks in advance people
Sounds like undosing to me...
maybe thats it.
but i am tapping downward towards the end of filling the basket to make more room for more grinds....maybe i shud updose more eh?
Its trial and error... If I under dose, I get mouse trailing, which is what youre experiencing. I HAVE to updose or the coffee loses body and is too thin... but thats on a Sunbeam... not sure on other gear...
ok, ill try to updose and see what happens.
i just read on HB that inserting the pf and pulling it out immediately to inspect the screen impression might also give a clue. will try that too.
soggy pucks = underdose. right?
Hi Aaron,. as you probably already know,. the key is to get variables like dosing & tamping consistant so that you can make adjustments via the grinder when your extractions change (usually when changing beans or age of roast etc) .
Thanks to Thundergod who sorted me out with measured dosing I now use his method of using a level measure of beans in a spare basket, placed into the hopper and grind all in PF) ,.so now my dosing is the same every time. With the dosing variable then consistant , I practiced my tamping technique, and Im pretty sure Ive got my tamping technique down to a fine art where it is also a consistant variable in the process,.. and so when the extraction changes,.(because the bean variable cannot be made consistant), I simply move the grind setting one or two notches either way straight after that not so great extraction to counteract what happened, and so that the grinder is set to go for the next extraction (otherwise I would likely forget if I dont tweak it straight away). I can usually most times tweak it whichever way to get a great extraction the very next shot,. though a couple of times Ive had to move up or down another notch on the grinder to get it just right.
So in short;
1. Find out exactly how much you need to be dosing for your machine and basket. Figure out a fuss free way to measure that amount into your hopper every time so that it stays consistant.
2. Make sure you have your tamp technique sorted,.and stick to that every time, so this too stays consistant.
3. With the first two variables now consistant with every pour,.. (it would also make things easier if you stick to the same bean for a little while, while you get use to things) and all you need to do is simply adjust your grind settings up or down to stop the rat tailing/tournados and work towards that perfect syrupy tiger-stripe extraction.
played around today a little bit.
am noticing pin hole channels in the puck when i look at it in the pf.
i tried updosing and downdosing and still need to play around some more. i think im definitely getting channeling. i now think this is a machine / me and machine issue. i DID play around with the opv so dunno if this has negatively impacted shots.
i used to get much better shots from my gaggia carezza (with naked pf).
the journey continues
a frustrated aaron
You say youre using great coffee. Where did you get the coffee and how fresh is it?
You say youre getting pin hole channeling. This is usually a sign of old beans or improper dosing/tamping technique.
It also sounds like youre tamping way too hard. Try reducing your tamping pressure too the 12-15kg range.
If the channeling is happening at the edge of the puck the cause could be a poorly fitting tamper.
Java "So many variables!" phile
Tapping the PF too hard after tamping (anything more than one light tap and my shots are gone)
there is SOOOO many things that you yourself as the barista can do to the shot. Dont mess around with machine configuration until u absolutely know that thats the cause.
When i was using old beans (not too sure how long its been sitting there), my shots start out good but as soon as it lightens it starts twisting and it got really watery. Bought some fresher beans from andy and that has never happened. Also when this happens, I coudlnt tell whats wrong because the puck looks solid without any cracks or holes. This sounds like your case.
hey jp and gav and remy
thanks for your advice.
i have read a lot more since my last post.
i have been tamping too hard
i might try weiss distribution technqiue - as getting a fair bit of clumping
i think (and stand to be corrected) that if distribution if consistent, then dose will be consistent. Eg, if i overfill and level off with 20g and then next time overfill with 19g and level off, both doses should be pretty much the same as the distribution and levelling will leave the same amount IN THE BASKET.
this is what the pro baristas do when they thwack the doser ~ 15 times per double. theyre not the getting the SAME dose everytime, but b/c theyre overfilling and then distributing and levelling then what remains in the basket should be the same time and again.
i need to play with the dose i think.
im not tapping the pf sideways with the tamper (which fits well) only downards to settle grinds and allow for updosing.
two other things that come to mind is that if i insert full pf into the machine and have a look at the indent, the first indent will come from the outer circumfernce of the coffee cake as that is the lowest point on the shower screen (no protruding nut in the middle).
the other thing is that the basket is ridged and i wonder if a ridgeless makes any difference? and also, it seems to have had a little bit of rough treatment and has these (very straight) scratches/mark on the inside of the basket. time for a new one?
thanks a lot and apols for rambling a little