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Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

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  • Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

    Ive tried dialling both of the dark roasts I have. Ones a fresh commercial roast, the other a home roast. Both are annoying as all get out. Both require a really caorse grind otherwise they conpletely choke the machine. Even a two minute change in the grind setting is the difference between choke and gusher, nothing inbetween. I cant tamp them to my normal pressure or they choke the machine and then the puck is sloppy at the end. Both of them have a sour aftertaste and need sugar in the milk to be palatable. And Ive wasted approx 50% of the beans just trying to get one drinkable shot out of it. Is this normal for dark roasts? As Ive no such issues with medium roast beans, either my own roast or commercial.

  • #2
    Re: Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

    Im not sure what you mean by a dark roast, but my home roasts up to CS 10 (once I lost the cooler insert and a roast coasted to CS 11) dont show this.

    The beans are super dry and crispy though, and do grind very easily when fresh.

    Also, whats the grinder? It may be crushing some of the beans into powder.

    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

      By dark roast I mean the beans I roasted up and into 2C, they went a very, very dark colour but so far are the only beans with any coffee smell. Just dark, not black or oily. They are 6 days post roast now. The commercial roast is about the same colour, pretty much as dark as they get. They both are easy to grind in that they offer little resistance to the grinder but on a grind setting thats just perfect for the medium roast I have (commercial espresso blend of pretty bland variety) they become very fine and are unusable. Nothing will come out of the machine even after 30secs but the machine normally backflushes well before 30secs, around 15secs.

      So I grind them to the same appearance (looser grind setting) as the medium roast and they still choke the machine. I kept increasing the particle size until they no longer choke the machine with all other variables being equal. I have to grind them in a very coarse grind where the particle size is quite noticable and they do not tamp into a smooth surface the way normally ground beans do. You can see the large particles and the tamped surface is rough and grainy. They do then extract but the extraction is still laboured unless I back off on the tamping to merely redistributing the beans evenly and polishing off the surface of the puck. Then they extract within the normal time frame but the crema is not good. It looks white around the edges, is thin and the brew is sour.

      Does this make sense? I dont have the best grinder in the world, granted. Its a hand grinder and yes will have some variation in the grind. The medium roast beans dont seem to mind though, just the dark roasted.

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      • #4
        Re: Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

        a) It seems odd even using burnt coffee beans that there is no graduation of grind adjustment through a range to result in fast flow to choking, and without being able to check the equipment in the flesh it is difficult to comment. Perhaps it is a function of lack of fine adjustment on your grinder. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief in these forums, most hand grinders are not designed to grind for pump driven machines....they are really for stove tops and they take a more coarse grind.

        b) very dark roasts most usually result in an ashy character that is classic "bitterness" caused by the roast, (rather than induced bitterness as in operator induced through poor understanding of the equipment and how to manage it and the brew). Adding sugar doesnt really help, you just get a bitter sweet coming through.....although I realise that is up to individual taste.

        If you roast too far you cook out all the goodies and there is nothing left but a charcoal shell, which is where you have to grind finer than usual to slow up the flow (pour) because there are no oils left in the beans.

        Also the beans thus roasted age and get far worse
        very very quickly ie they dont have the "shelf life" of beans subject to a good roast.

        And then with the extra fineness of grind required tio slow the pour, that causes that sloppy wetness on top of the puk even when it has been filled to the correct volume in the filter. Quite normal for burnt beans really, not that we ever see it here except in samples brought to us from other roasters.

        Solution.....dont buy roasts that dark, and perhaps look to a more upmarket grinder.

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        • #5
          Re: Dark roasts, a @&$! To grind?

          Thanks for the information. I am upgrading my grinder just as soon as its available for purchase. Well since Ive wasted most of those beans now anyway I suppose it hardly matters. Ill just use medium roast beans until my new grinder arrives.

          Cheers

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