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Thread: Profitech Pro500 and Compak K3 Grinder

  1. #1
    Member Boggas's Avatar
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    Profitech Pro500 and Compak K3 Grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello everyone,

    I recently upgraded to a new Profitech Pro500 HX machine and a Compak K3 touch advanced. This is my first 'prosumer' setup and I am loving the combo so far!

    I was hoping to find some other people running either of these machines or similar to pick up a few pointers on what has given the best results

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Hi Boggas and welcolme.
    I have owned the Pro 500 for almost 1 year now and love it.
    As far as pointers go, it would be helpful to know what machine you upgraded from and where you are on the learning curve.
    K_Bean_Coffee has already nailed it. A good grinder, as you already have, and fresh beans from a roaster (not the supermarkets) are the biggest must haves.
    Happy brewing
    Mal
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    Here is a picture of the setup.

    I had a sunbeam EM7000 with the matching sunbeam grinder before, so a fairly substantial change. I have just ordered a naked portafilter and a VST basket to try and refine my technique. For beans I am using Fiori which is locally roasted here, but have tried many different boutique beans.

    As far as my skill I struggle with consistency, just when I think I am making progress I pour some of the worst shots of my life I had a laugh.

    What I am struggling with most is identifying what to change for example at the moment I have a really long dwell time (over 10 seconds) then once the stream begins it pours really fast so my shot time is about right, and I don't know what to move grind, dose or tamp.

    Thanks for the advice everyone
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    I am having problems uploading photos from my iPad I will try on the PC a bit later.

    My last machine was a sunbeam EM7000 and the matching sunbeam grinder, so a substantial change with this machine. I use all locally roasted beans. at the moment Fiori, but I try lots of different roasters. I just ordered a naked porta filter and a VST basket to try and refine my technique, but they haven't arrived yet.

    As for my skill, I am inconsistent I can go from the best shots of my life to the worst all on the same day I had a laugh. At the moment I have an excessive dwell time (more than 10sec) then a thin crema with bitter tones, but do I coarsen the grind or reduce the dose?

    dodgy x you refer to a precision shower screen? I'm gonna sound like a complete novice but can you elaborate?

    Thanks for all the help everyone

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    Assuming you're dosing consistently then I think that excessive dwell time points to either too fine a grind, or too high a dose. You can coarsen grind and/or reduce dose and see if that improves things.

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    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    I think it's important that you only change one variable at a time.
    Have you seen the instructional videos on site sponser Espresso Company Australia's web page?
    How to Make Coffee - Coffee Machine Steam Grinders Makers Commercial Domestic Italian Automatic.
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    I am going to have a play tomorrow. I use the Scottie callaghan dosing tools and follow his tap to settle regime, so at a minimum I know my dose is consistent.

    I am going to try grind first then reset and try dose to see what gives me a better result I think.

    Brewster I haven't watched that specific video but I will tonight

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    Get a scale and measure the right dose for the basket. Use the same scale or some other to see what 30lbs feels like. Then look at how long it runs and play around with the grind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtaus67 View Post
    Get a scale and measure the right dose for the basket. Use the same scale or some other to see what 30lbs feels like. Then look at how long it runs and play around with the grind.
    I have a 17 gram basket but if I put 17g in it the basket is so empty that I end up with a soggy mess at the end. so I ended up switching to a 22 gram dose in a 17 gram basket.

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    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggas View Post
    I have a 17 gram basket but if I put 17g in it the basket is so empty that I end up with a soggy mess at the end. so I ended up switching to a 22 gram dose in a 17 gram basket.
    TBH I've never found that I've improved my coffee by overfilling the designed volume of the VST basket. That would be part of your dwell time/resistance problem. Forget what you're used to from your EM7000. Coarsen up the grind a little, use 18g (or 19 grams if you're desperate) of coffee, try getting drips by 5 seconds, and finish your shot around 25 seconds.

    It'll be a little bit soggy, but it's nothing too much to worry about. If you're not liking the mess, just leave it in the portafilter a little longer after unlocking it from the grouphead before knocking it out.

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    Ok it seems I have developed some bad habits in my dosing. Tomorrow I am going to reset and try again!

    I will keep everyone posted

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    Hi Boggas,

    I bought the Pro 500 and Quamar Q50P from dodgy x recently....very happy with both. This is my first prosumer machine as well so have nothing to compare it to but I did a lot of research prior to the purchase. It seems very well built, looks great and is very quite for a vibration pump machine.
    Fair to say that I had (and still have) a lot to learn, it's been a steep learning curve. I found measuring each dose on a scale to help out a lot, as did getting a naked portafilter. Prior to that my results were quite inconsistant.

    Shout out to Paul at dodgy x as well, been a pleasure to deal with and and has helped me out a lot post purchase. Fair to say that my coffee intake has increased considerably :-)
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Click here for a barista 101 video:
    https://sites.google.com/site/thekbean/training
    I like the ECM video. Except the bit where they put sugar in it at the end!!!
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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The precision shower screen is a single layer screen to replace the generic one. I wouldn't say it will improve the extraction but the smooth surface does make it easier to keep clean.

    Determine your dose level (5 cent test) , keep this and your dose constant and adjust grind to get the time/quantity where you want it.

    Rule of thumb is about 60 ml from a double in approx 30 secs. Adjust to taste from there.

    Cheers
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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Oops I missed a bunch of replies above before posting, apologies if I repeated some of the prior advice.

    Cheers

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Should be thrown out of the industry

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Reckon! giggled like a schoolgirl!!

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    I had a play the morning and pushed around 250g of beans through my setup trying different combinations.

    First thing I have notices is I definitely need that precision basket as dodgy x pointed out. My basket is the standard one and does not have a documented dose weight, but have read somewhere it is a 17g basket? I tried from 17g to 22g and the best results (look and taste) were at the higher end of the dose (20-22g).

    The instructions in the video which Brewster posted resulted in a 22g dose and a very nice result, which is interesting because Scottie doesn't speak weight he seems to work only by volume?

    After all that tasting I need to go burn some energy
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  20. #20
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggas View Post
    I had a play the morning and pushed around 250g of beans through my setup trying different combinations.

    First thing I have notices is I definitely need that precision basket as dodgy x pointed out. My basket is the standard one and does not have a documented dose weight, but have read somewhere it is a 17g basket? I tried from 17g to 22g and the best results (look and taste) were at the higher end of the dose (20-22g).

    The instructions in the video which Brewster posted resulted in a 22g dose and a very nice result, which is interesting because Scottie doesn't speak weight he seems to work only by volume?

    After all that tasting I need to go burn some energy
    Hi Boggas, I need to apologise, as I misinterpreted your post about having ordered a VST as that you already had one. Part of my advice only really applied to the VSTs. For what it's worth, my stock ECM basket (likely the same or similar to the Profitec one) also only liked about 19g in it anyway, so my advice was not that far off, but I often would see first drips of the shot at about 5-7 seconds and the extraction would take longer, like 30-35 seconds. My manual in the parts listing suggested it was a 14g basket, but I didn't find that to be it's best operating weight...

    [If this is confusing, ignore it: Weight and volume of coffee grounds is probably the biggest technique dispute around here (as opposed to instruction) as volume is ultimately concerned with the headroom between the puck and the showerscreen, whereas weight of grounds is concerned with the amount of product out the other end - in a sense, focussing on one is a compromise on the other, but the goal is to really find the sweet spot (hence why Scotty Callaghan has dosing tools to trim more or less off the top of your dose before tamping). The reason why VST et. al. even though offering set weight baskets often say with +/-1g is because of that volume/weight compromise. They don't know how deep each customer's showerscreen goes into the portafilter. A precision basket just lets you know what the ballpark of it's operating parameters are, you're probably getting close to finding that for the basket you currently have anyway. The rest is all technique that is largely basket-agnostic.]


    So - while you're still working with the stock basket - try to find a volume of grounds that produces a good result, and if you can be bothered, weigh the grounds as well before locking it into the grouphead, and if you happen upon a good volume, try dosing by that same weight the next time and see if you can produce the same results. You'll see people talking about the 5c test. This might help you with this. You don't want your coffee puck to come into contact with the shower screen.

    22g is still quite a lot to put into a basket, and is a weight often associated with triples. Amount of coffee and also the fineness of coffee will affect resistance, so if you're getting too fast a pour with 18-19g, then you could either increase the dose to fix it, or you can go finer to fix it. I personally would always opt for going finer, as increasing dose also means you're expecting more product out the other end.
    I would suspect that with 22g you'd be getting a mega long dwell time (a result of resistance) as the water is still struggling to make it through the puck - at the point it starts coming through, it'll come faster than you want, and you'll end up with a normal shot time, but often a nasty tasting shot (sour and bitter). If you fixed the dwell time, but now it's pouring in 20 seconds, then you're too coarse and again your shot will taste nasty (bitter). To lessen the dwell time, lower the dose, and then to fix the pour time tighten the grind (that is if it's too fast).

    Other things to look out for with your high dose:
    - If knocking out your puck and there are dry spots in the puck (typically the puck will fall apart in this instance and you'll see the dry bits) - that means there are parts of the puck that haven't extracted yet. Either you channelled, or it didn't extract for long enough. The majority of the time channelling would be the reason. Distribute evenly and tamp the whole bed of coffee right to the edge. Don't let the coffee puck touch the showerscreen.
    - If after knocking out the puck cleanly, and I notice the basket has oils sitting on the bottom, rather than being dry, there was more to extract from the puck - so for that dose, you would need to coarsen the grind slightly, or adjust your dose, in order to extract everything you want from it.

    For what it's worth, I went through 500g of coffee on my first day of having a prosumer and didn't get a good shot. Maybe by the time I hit 2kg of coffee, I'd had some good pours but was still dosing too high in the basket (I was using 20-21g at the start, just like you, and my puck was basically hard against the shower screen). I had to find the sweet spot for my grind fineness in order to lower the doses. Once I did, I was getting much more even extractions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Hi Boggas, I need to apologise, as I misinterpreted your post about having ordered a VST as that you already had one. Part of my advice only really applied to the VSTs. For what it's worth, my stock ECM basket (likely the same or similar to the Profitec one) also only liked about 19g in it anyway, so my advice was not that far off, but I often would see first drips of the shot at about 5-7 seconds and the extraction would take longer, like 30-35 seconds. My manual in the parts listing suggested it was a 14g basket, but I didn't find that to be it's best operating weight...

    [If this is confusing, ignore it: Weight and volume of coffee grounds is probably the biggest technique dispute around here (as opposed to instruction) as volume is ultimately concerned with the headroom between the puck and the showerscreen, whereas weight of grounds is concerned with the amount of product out the other end - in a sense, focussing on one is a compromise on the other, but the goal is to really find the sweet spot (hence why Scotty Callaghan has dosing tools to trim more or less off the top of your dose before tamping). The reason why VST et. al. even though offering set weight baskets often say with +/-1g is because of that volume/weight compromise. They don't know how deep each customer's showerscreen goes into the portafilter. A precision basket just lets you know what the ballpark of it's operating parameters are, you're probably getting close to finding that for the basket you currently have anyway. The rest is all technique that is largely basket-agnostic.]


    So - while you're still working with the stock basket - try to find a volume of grounds that produces a good result, and if you can be bothered, weigh the grounds as well before locking it into the grouphead, and if you happen upon a good volume, try dosing by that same weight the next time and see if you can produce the same results. You'll see people talking about the 5c test. This might help you with this. You don't want your coffee puck to come into contact with the shower screen.

    22g is still quite a lot to put into a basket, and is a weight often associated with triples. Amount of coffee and also the fineness of coffee will affect resistance, so if you're getting too fast a pour with 18-19g, then you could either increase the dose to fix it, or you can go finer to fix it. I personally would always opt for going finer, as increasing dose also means you're expecting more product out the other end.
    I would suspect that with 22g you'd be getting a mega long dwell time (a result of resistance) as the water is still struggling to make it through the puck - at the point it starts coming through, it'll come faster than you want, and you'll end up with a normal shot time, but often a nasty tasting shot (sour and bitter). If you fixed the dwell time, but now it's pouring in 20 seconds, then you're too coarse and again your shot will taste nasty (bitter). To lessen the dwell time, lower the dose, and then to fix the pour time tighten the grind (that is if it's too fast).

    Other things to look out for with your high dose:
    - If knocking out your puck and there are dry spots in the puck (typically the puck will fall apart in this instance and you'll see the dry bits) - that means there are parts of the puck that haven't extracted yet. Either you channelled, or it didn't extract for long enough. The majority of the time channelling would be the reason. Distribute evenly and tamp the whole bed of coffee right to the edge. Don't let the coffee puck touch the showerscreen.
    - If after knocking out the puck cleanly, and I notice the basket has oils sitting on the bottom, rather than being dry, there was more to extract from the puck - so for that dose, you would need to coarsen the grind slightly, or adjust your dose, in order to extract everything you want from it.

    For what it's worth, I went through 500g of coffee on my first day of having a prosumer and didn't get a good shot. Maybe by the time I hit 2kg of coffee, I'd had some good pours but was still dosing too high in the basket (I was using 20-21g at the start, just like you, and my puck was basically hard against the shower screen). I had to find the sweet spot for my grind fineness in order to lower the doses. Once I did, I was getting much more even extractions.
    Thanks for that really informative post, by the sounds of it I am facing the standard challenges of buying a decent setup. I am going to keep putting more beans through it and taking in all the advice I can.

    I have booked in a course with a local barista training college too as the last time I did one (many years ago) I was only playing with consumer grade gear.

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    Ok I had another go this morning and had a closer look at my puck and it displayed all the signs of over dose as you said it would readeral

    I dropped my dose to 19g and have adjusted my grind to get my pour time right and...... What a difference! My wife even commented on how nice her morning flat white was!

    Now I have seen the difference I suspect I was channeling which is why I had a long dwell time followed by a fast pour once it broke through the puck, and that was throwing me of the root cause.
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    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Excellent, glad you got to the bottom of it!

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    Profitech Pro500 and Compak K3 Grinder

    A bit of an update.

    My 20g VST and naked PF arrived today and no far the results have been great! I have heard a lot about precision baskets but must admit I probably underestimated how much difference they actually made.

    Although the new basket holds a higher dose I have had to fine the grind, which I can only assume is due to improved flow through the basket? The pours looked better with a richer pour and a vastly different (In a good way) taste from the same beans on the stick basket.

    I will upload a photo of the finished shot the amount of crema has also substantially increased.

    Seeing I am new to this naked PF, I will post some videos of my pours tomorrow so you can all let me know how my shots are going

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    Here is this mornings efforts. I am thinking still a little fast on the pour at 23 seconds.

    I am very open to constructive criticism

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggas View Post
    Here is this mornings efforts. I am thinking still a little fast on the pour at 23 seconds.

    I am very open to constructive criticism
    I reckon you could've gone another couple of seconds easily on that extraction, maybe more. It was pretty good in my opinion, but as you alluded to maybe just a little fast. If I got an extraction like that one myself I'd adjust my grinder a tad finer and keep everything else the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I reckon you could've gone another couple of seconds easily on that extraction, maybe more. It was pretty good in my opinion, but as you alluded to maybe just a little fast. If I got an extraction like that one myself I'd adjust my grinder a tad finer and keep everything else the same.
    I knocked the grind back a bit and it has gone too far now. Not even worthy of a video

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggas View Post
    I knocked the grind back a bit and it has gone too far now. Not even worthy of a video
    So too fine? That's ok, I usually like finding that point where extraction is way too slow or non existent as its a very definitive place to be. From there you can adjust one variable at a time to get the right result. Grind setting, dose level and even tamp pressure can be adjusted to get it right, just make sure you only do one at a time. Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    So too fine? That's ok, I usually like finding that point where extraction is way too slow or non existent as its a very definitive place to be. From there you can adjust one variable at a time to get the right result. Grind setting, dose level and even tamp pressure can be adjusted to get it right, just make sure you only do one at a time. Good luck.
    Yea a little too fine.the dwell time was up at 10 seconds and a spotty stream for the first half of the pour with a slightly bitter taste in the cup.

    I have crept the grind a bit coarser but am in caffeine overdose so can't have another one I had a laugh.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    My goal is the slowest pour I can get away with.
    Same. I'm not strictly a ristretto only drinker but my shots do tend more on the shorter, sweeter side.

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    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    You're nailing it now Boggas. Good to see!
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Re the pour - Not perfect but pretty good. It looks like your technique is great as there's no spurting. As others have said, just a little fast.
    I aim for gloopy droplets at the start that gradually merge into a single stream. My goal is the slowest pour I can get away with.
    I fined up the grind this morning to try and replicate your description, however found the taste in the cup to be bitter and smokey.

    When you pour slower like this do you stop the pour earlier so it is closer to a ristretto? as that may explain why my shot tasted so bad I had a laugh.


  35. #35
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boggas View Post
    I fined up the grind this morning to try and replicate your description, however found the taste in the cup to be bitter and smokey.

    When you pour slower like this do you stop the pour earlier so it is closer to a ristretto? as that may explain why my shot tasted so bad I had a laugh.

    Based on appearances alone I would've thought that shot would be a good one. The speed and duration looked ok to me. It possibly could've stopped sooner, not much, but based on your taste description it might've been over-extracted.
    Your technique looked to be pretty good again although I'd say distribution wasn't as good as it could've been as things were a little untidy at the start. It's a good example of how visual aids are only part of the equation. A perfect looking extraction is no good to anyone if it tastes awful. So make sure you rely more on the results on the cup and the visual cues are just things that help guide you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Based on appearances alone I would've thought that shot would be a good one. The speed and duration looked ok to me. It possibly could've stopped sooner, not much, but based on your taste description it might've been over-extracted.
    Your technique looked to be pretty good again although I'd say distribution wasn't as good as it could've been as things were a little untidy at the start. It's a good example of how visual aids are only part of the equation. A perfect looking extraction is no good to anyone if it tastes awful. So make sure you rely more on the results on the cup and the visual cues are just things that help guide you.
    Yes I agree the results in the cup is the important bit. I just like the science behind chasing the "perfect shot" knowing full well I will never get there.

    For interests sake I am going to try and pour at the same grind but kill the shot earlier in the pour (closer to ristretto weight) and see what the results are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteSzad View Post
    I'm looking at a 1 year old pro500 as an upgrade from a Minore. What do you think? Is the pump quieter? I saw a pro800 (with the big lever) and liked the build quaility. The finish is light years above Expobar for sure.
    I can't comment on the build quality of a minore vs the pro500 as I have no experience with that machine. I have had a look at the pro800 and the quality of finish on the 500 is the same so that gives you an idea on the finish. The 500 has a vibe pump so it's not as quiet as a rotary, however it is probably the quietest vibe pump I have come across.

    My overall satisfaction to date is very high, and the machine is capable of far more than I am. Aesthetically the machine looks awesome on the bench. The only bit which, in my opinion isn't finished as well as the rest of the machine, is the little rail on the cup tray it just looks a bit less refined than the rest of the sheet metal work.

    I hope that helps you with your decision.
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