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Thread: Trouble with making single shot with Sage Dual Boiler

  1. #1
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    Question Trouble with making single shot with Sage Dual Boiler

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys,
    I recently bought brand new espresso machine and grinder - Dual Boiler BES920 (Sage/Breville) & The Smart Grinder PRO (Sage/Breville) and I am having really hard times with making good single shot. I've already seen million tutorials and read plenty similar topics, but nothing really helped. I always use light roasted coffees, at this moment I have Mzungu Project, Uganda from Gardelli specialty coffees. I've already tried almost every possible settings combination, but it seems like I am just unable to find the right one. I've tried everything and I still have to much water in it, my coffee ratio is more like 1:4 instead of 1:2. Even when I grind on 1, which is finest possible. My grinder has 60 grind sizes options and for espresso are meant sizes from 1 to 30. I grind 8 g. of coffee into my naked portafilter with VST 7 g. precision filter basket, temperature is set on 95 C (as Gardelli recommend for this coffee), pre-infusion 10 seconds, 60 %, extraction time 30 seconds (this one I have never changed) and I still have more than 30 ml. in my cup, even when I set pre-infusion to 20 seconds. I really don't know what to do, do you have any ideas? What settings do you use? Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Morning Mihajlo, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    This question has been posed and answered on this forum over and over again, most find single baskets difficult to use and quickly give up on them.

    Plenty of information available on this forum, do a search for single basket or similar.

    Here's a link to get you started.
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-c...et-issues.html
    Dimal likes this.

  3. #3
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    Possibly 'channeling'. Do you have a naked portafilter to check how the coffee is coming out of the bottom of the basket during extraction?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    You're just new to the machine so really you should try perfecting the two cup basket and then start playing with the one cup. I have a BES 920 and I occasionally use the one cup basket and it's only fit for a milky drink, for espresso forget it.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Don't worry about naked porta filters and gadgets, get your extraction right with the equipment you have and everything will come together.

    As Erimus commented, master the double basket (much easier than the single) once you work out what your doing and getting consistent results start playing with the single if your still that way inclined.

  6. #6
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihajlo View Post
    The Smart Grinder PRO ...

    Even when I grind on 1, which is finest possible. My grinder has 60 grind sizes options and for espresso are meant sizes from 1 to 30.
    If you remove the bean hopper from the grinder and tip the remaining beans into the hopper as well you will see the metal clip can be moved, it is set to 5 from the factory. You can adjust this finer or coaster as per page 19 of the manual. This will change the setting on the screen by about 10 I think, but the screen will still read the same number. If you decide you need to go finer then it is still possible.

    I grind 8 g. of coffee into my naked portafilter with VST 7 g. precision filter basket
    Given that you're using a VST you're going to have to be very accurate in your prep work, even more so given that it's a single basket. The BCG820 is a clumpy grinder at espresso settings, there is no changing that. VSTs respond poorly to clumps, as you're finding. You'll need to break up the clumps somehow and have very good distribution and tamping for this to work. You may have to grind into a milk jug and shake the grinds back and forth or WDT or similar to get rid of the clumps. When I first got a 18g VST with the same grinder and machine that you have I had quite a steep learning curve, but ultimately it improved my technique. If you have a double VST basket I would suggest starting with that and once you've really got the hang of that go back to the 7g. You can persist with the 7g if you like, but be aware channelling will be your nemesis for quite some time. Don't always keep assuming you need to go finer to slow things down though, you need to stop channeling first and foremost. And if you go too fine the water will just go around the coffee completely as the joint between the basket and the coffee will be significantly easier to get through than the coffee. Keep watching the bottom of the basket on your naked, that will help you see if your extraction is even, though on a single with the basket narrowing you can't always see everything.
    chippy likes this.

  7. #7
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    Another option is to use a small double basket (i.e. one with straight side). There is a 10g Decent basket that has straight sides and this can dose 8-12g according to the docs.
    level3ninja likes this.

  8. #8
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    Thank you guys for all really helpful responds, I appreciate it a lot. Today I’ve tried to make double shot for the first time. It was really way easier, as you said. I used my 17g. VST precision filter basket with naked portafilter and 20g. of same freshly ground light roasted Gardelli coffee. With grinder set on 6, I got 40 ml. in the cup, which is finally good result, at least by that ratio. I tried to keep pressure during extraction on 9 bars, that was my main goal. And also that ratio. But what bothers me is that Gardelli for this coffee as pre-infusion strongly suggests to apply 3 bar pressure for the 5 seconds. But my pressure didn’t stay at one number at all. It started at 0 and then it was really, really slowly moving to 2,5-3 during pre-infusion and then moved to 9 and slowly lower down to 8 bars by the end of extraction.

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The preinfusion will not stay at one number for long, you'll have to drop a few $k on a machine for that. What you describe sounds about right. I try to aim for it not to go lower than 8bar by the end, and preferably 8.5bar.



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