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Thread: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

  1. #1
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    Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,

    Im making a decent coffee with my new setup but not blowing myself away with delight so I thought Id post my procedure in the hope that someone can tweak my performance. Ive got a Rocket Giotto setup with a Macap D4.

    Ok so here goes:
    1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
    2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
    3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle
    4) After handle half filled I shake it gently to level the grind and then tamp very gently just to get it level.
    5) I then add another 4.5 seconds worth.
    6) I then level the grind and tamp fairly hard, then twist, tamp again, then polish.
    7) Actual expression of coffee (into preheated cup) seems a bit quick - volume gets there in about 21 seconds. Not sure how to improve this as I already have the grind set to very fine, and filling the basket and tamping quite hard
    8) Milk microfrothing in the jug seems good but Im not getting it right enough to do latte art yet.

    In my mind no glaring errors?

    Can anyone else with the identical setup let me know what they have their grinder set to (i.e how fine and how long/much ground coffee).

    Cheers

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    try changing one input variable, i dont have either machine or grinder.
    but others are not gong to be using your beans anyway so the grind setting could be different just due to the beans

    have you just tried grinding finer? some grinders the numbers are just a gauge and zero is not zero. How many numbers between "8" and locking the burrs? (do they lock at zero?)

    as for the 1st tamp, can you just tap tap it on the bench (tamp mat / cutting board etc) instead of tamping. you might be creating some channeling etc?

    how many kilos of beans have you "bean" through?
    practice practice practice changing a little at a time might help you.
    have you just tried making shot after shot and sinking them?
    i know it might seem a waste but...........

    where is the 21 sec measured from? 1st drip? or 1st start the pour?
    this will help as well

    Leeham

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hey Doc

    I set my m4d on 4.5 too but have no idea what number grind setting its on. I just adjust one way or the other according to the extraction outcome and taste.

    As for your technique, after the 1st dose, I rap firmly a couple of times on a rubber mat, then scoop a little toward the outside edges to make way for the 2nd dose. Then tamp once, spin, engage and enjoy!


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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle

    My M4D is a stepped version
    I mostly use it on continuous setting

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
    Now to grind adjustment
    Anti Clockwise for finer
    Clockwise for courser

    And my grind setting is in the 1 to 2 range on the dial
    Your grinder if its not the stepped version may be different

    KK

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 72565F5F5C5C6672564A5456390 link=1252029302/3#3 date=1252032390
    Quote Originally Posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle

    My M4D is a stepped version
    I mostly use it on continuous setting

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
    Now to grind adjustment
    Anti Clockwise for finer
    Clockwise for courser

    And my grind setting is in the 1 to 2 range on the dial
    Your grinder if its not the stepped version may be different

    KK
    I dont understand how any part of this response is helpful...just confusing. :-/


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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D3C3737302A590 link=1252029302/4#4 date=1252034115
    I dont understand how any part of this response is helpful...just confusing.Undecided
    Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
    My grinder setting is on 2

    Big difference in that number and resulting grind

    KK


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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hi drcoffee

    I have the same set-up and pretty much the same routine.

    What I have learnt is that I regularly have to tweak the grind setting (even from day to day) as beans age, and occasionally the grind time as well. *This is obviously even more of an issue when I change beans which I do fairly regularly. *Anywhere between 4.8 and 5.2 secs depending on the beans/blend and their age.

    The actual grind setting number is irrelevant as it will vary from one M4D to the next Ė particularly once you have pulled it apart to clean it. *

    As mentioned above, try adjusting one variable at a time. * If you are happy with the dose, then try tweaking the grind finer. *It really does vary with different beans and with the age of a particular bean or blend. *Try grinding finer and getting the shot to run a bit longer and see how you like it.

    One other thing I picked up from a discussion here is that if the flow speeds up considerably during the second half of the shot it is usually a sign that you are underdosing and should try altering that variable.

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hi, I have exactly the same setup and am getting what i consider good results, not perfect yet as i have had it under a week, but certainly good. *SO I will be very interested in how this thread plays out.

    My responses are below yours...


    Ok so here goes:
    1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
    I suggest you at least try a different bean just to eliminate this as a possible cause, unless you know it to be a quality bean.
    2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
    Same
    3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle
    4.4 for me
    4) After handle half filled I shake it gently to level the grind and then tamp very gently just to get it level.
    Same
    5) I then add another 4.5 seconds worth.
    6) I then level the grind and tamp fairly hard, then twist, tamp again, then polish.
    Same
    7) Actual expression of coffee (into preheated cup) seems a bit quick - volume gets there in about 21 seconds. Not sure how to improve this as I already have the grind set to very fine, and filling the basket and tamping quite hard
    IMHO 21 seconds is fine, its about the taste.
    8) Milk microfrothing in the jug seems good but Im not getting it right enough to do latte art yet.
    I do get quite good microfoam from mine. *Theres plenty of posts on this in the froth and bubbles milk texturing sub-forum...FWIW, I use UHT semi-skim milk - very cold. *Fill 600ml jug to just below spout, purge the wand, place the tip under the surface and turn on. quickly bring tip to just below the surface at the side of the jug and create a whirlpool. *I have the jug and wand slightly angled to assist in this. *I just let in a slow hiss of air over 2-3 seconds and then dip the tip just below the surface so no more air gets in (milk is now about 30ish degrees), but the tip can still draw down the "foam" from the top of the milk into the whirlpool. *I lower the tip a bit more as the milk expands (about 50 degrees now) and then finish heating the milk to 63-65 degrees. Done.

    Hope that helps at least we are doing some things the same so i can adapt and learn with you too :)


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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Dont get caught up in settings. coffee is best made with feel. :)

    A favorite catch cry on these forums is "Keep it simple."

    My advice is to eliminate the half way tamp. Grind till the baskets full then bang the group handle on something to settle them before topping up. Level off with your finger or knife etc and tamp once. (I doubt this will help much but what your doing at the moment is just making life harder)

    IMO dosing and tamping should not be used to adjust pour times. Thats why grinders are adjustable.

    Keep adjusting your grind finer till you get the pour you want. *:)


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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7167767A73737070150 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    Im making a decent coffee with my new setup but not blowing myself away with delight .
    Thanks for posting Doc. I have a similar set up to yours and so Im interested in the responses you get...

    But Im also wondering what in particular you think is lacking at the moment. How are your expectations unfulfilled?

    FWIW my overall procedure is similar to yours though my timer is set to 5.1 and the grind setting on my micrometric version of the Macap is about halfway between 6 and 7. I find that I need to vary these settings slightly according to weather conditions or when I change to a different bean. At the moment its set a little finer than my normal setting.

    Best wishes, Russell

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hi Doc,

    The offer made when you collected your gear (a complimentary run through how to get the best from your machine) is still open to you ;)

    Sounds like it may help a heap...

    Apols, but a visit is impossible as I have programmed my sat nav to have amnesia on Ballarat and a few other towns :P

    Youre welcome to drop me a line next time youre heading towards the big smoke and we can arrange a time..

    Chris


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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 3D2B3A363F3F3C3C590 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
    1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
    Humour me....how old is the coffee?

    If you want to slow down the pour you have to either add more coffee or grind finer.
    Change only one of those variables at a time though.

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    I have a Macap M4D and found that a mid-way tamp or too much settling affected the flavour of the pull negatively.

    The best solution for me was the 1.5 inch ring cut from a yoghurt carton used as a sort of funnel to allow one-go filling of the basket without overflow, a brief level with finger, one tap to settle, lift off funnel, tamp, polish, go.

    Greg

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 02262F2F2C2C1602263A2426490 link=1252029302/5#5 date=1252035339
    Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
    My grinder setting is on 2

    Big difference in that number and resulting grind
    Nope KK- just goes to prove that a number means nothing...Its specific to each grinder- even within a brand and model.

    2mcm

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 164951474C474B4242414149454A240 link=1252029302/13#13 date=1252069418
    Quote Originally Posted by 02262F2F2C2C1602263A2426490 link=1252029302/5#5 date=1252035339
    Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
    My grinder setting is on 2

    Big difference in that number and resulting grind
    Nope KK- just goes to prove that a number means nothing...Its specific to each grinder- even within a brand and model.

    2mcm
    I will go back to my standard answer

    1) Grind to the consistency of table salt as a starting point, and adjust fine or course as required

    2) Tamp to the correct depth in the basket. That depth is that the tamped puck is just touching or a hairs whisker from the shower screen in the group head when the Porta Filter is locked on
    This depth could be 8mm to 10mm on any size basket
    Use that depth level for future reference when tamping

    DrCoffee
    I hope my answer is more of what you and others were looking for

    KK

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    1) Hey Koffee Kosmo,
    How do you tell how far the puck is lying from the shower screen? I mean once you insert the group handle into position you loose sight of the puck and screen?

    2) Oh and the issue Im having with the espresso at the moment is that I cant seem to extract the sweet notes. By this I mean that when I go to a good cafe I usually never add sugar but at home I invariably have to add half a teaspoon. So far experimentation with different beans and different grind settings hasnt fixed that.
    Is there one main variable which affects sweetness?

    3) Thanks Chris/Talk Coffee. I do appreciate the offer of assistance. Its tough when Im out of town but when Im back in the smoke Ill try organise to meet up ...

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    You can try putting a 5 cent piece on the top of the puck and loading it up and then taking it straight out again without pulling a shot.

    If the 5 cent coin has imprinted on the puck, you are on the shower screen, no 5 cent impression means you can dose a bit higher.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    To Query 1
    Try what Barrel advises on the above post

    To query 2
    See this link
    http://www.coffeeresearch.org/science/bittermain.htm

    You can also discard the first part of the pour (let it go down the drip tray) and catch the rest by quickly placing the cup under the PF

    KK

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    In general the more water you push through the grounds, the more caffeine youll extract--and caffeine is very bitter. Once the pull starts to pale off, the taste has been extracted but the caffeine keeps on coming! >:(

    I suggest you try a doppio ristretto and taste how that is for you.

    Greg

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hi
    I have changed the way I make my coffee. *So I share this....
    Hope it helps *(Works with Silvia as well as Giotto)

    1. I use a Rancillio Grinder (not the best but will do) and 5 Senses beans (WA)
    2. I grind for 21 seconds into the portafillter with a cut down plastic cup insert that stops grinds falling over the edge.
    3. I tap the group handle to settle the grinds and I tamp lightly all over with a 20mm dowel to sort of level it, even it and break up balled grinds - yes complicated but makes the difference.
    4 Then tamp with full size Tamper. *Check that the center *grinds are firm.
    5. Then use a home made perspex scraper guage set to the correct depth of grinds then tamp again (about 1mm clear of the screen)
    6. Then express a short double shot of 20mls max into a single cup. There should be no blonding at all. * (Expensive but - wow)
    7. The result is sweet with no bitterness. *
    Several of the local coffee shops use a similar set up though without all the mini tamping and scraping - they have commercial machines equipment.

    WE love this but it uses twice as much coffee. After a while it does not take long to make. *(Beware dont over dose - as it will become bitter and far to strong)

    David

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 465E5B5B4E5F74464A451D1C2B0 link=1252029303/8#8 date=1252059737
    IMO dosing and tamping should not be used to adjust pour times. Thats why grinders are adjustable.
    Keep adjusting your grind finer till you get the pour you want. *:)
    I think that is right, but the issue (at least the one I was referring to) with a grinder like the MD4 is that it doses for a consistent time, not a consistent amount. *So therefore you sometimes need to adjust the dosage time to keep the amount constant as the beans change or age.

    In fact I find that grind and dose are not independent which makes things tricky sometimes. *I canít remember which way it goes off the top of my head, but I think that as I adjust the grind finer it actually doses less coffee in the same time. *So at some stage I might need to adjust the time to get the dose up to the same amount.

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    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6557555843653A0 link=1252029303/20#20 date=1252204921
    Quote Originally Posted by 465E5B5B4E5F74464A451D1C2B0 link=1252029303/8#8 date=1252059737
    IMO dosing and tamping should not be used to adjust pour times. Thats why grinders are adjustable.
    Keep adjusting your grind finer till you get the pour you want. *:)
    I think that is right, but the issue (at least the one I was referring to) with a grinder like the MD4 is that it doses for a consistent time, not a consistent amount. *So therefore you sometimes need to adjust the dosage time to keep the amount constant as the beans change or age.

    In fact I find that grind and dose are not independent which makes things tricky sometimes. *I canít remember which way it goes off the top of my head, but I think that as I adjust the grind finer it actually doses less coffee in the same time. *So at some stage I might need to adjust the time to get the dose up to the same amount.
    Thats correct the finer the grind the longer you will need to grind. Personally I wouldnt use the timer to measure my coffee volume, I would use it more as a convenience thing. The most consistent way to dose is by leveling off.



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