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  • wet puck

    Hi all, thanks for letting me join your web site.
    Once again a newbie throws in silly questions.
    Ive been doing some research on coffee machines in the last couple of weeks - ever since i decided to upgrade my machine. Too embarassed to say what I had but needless to say it was cheap +++
    I didnt want to spend a huge amount so i decided upon a Breville ikon BES400 ($399) with a conical burr grinder ($170). All reports are that you should have a decent grinder and freshly ground beans.
    Its not that flash I know but i have to start somewhere.
    I set it up today to start experimenting with grinds, tamps, etc and noticed that i am getting wet pucks - in fact sometimes it is still runny when I take the p/f out.
    Advice pls
    1. when i turn the pump on how long should the pour be?
    2. what amount is a single shot and what is a double?
    3. why am i getting a oozy puck?
    4. tamp - heavy or light?
    5. Any other advice i will accept.

    Once again thanks for the opportunity to join in and for the welcome message.

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: wet puck

    medic001,

    Hi and welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    The Ikon does appear to be an excellent machine at this price point.... but it, like most machines around this price, has pressurised or crema enhancing baskets.... they can produce sort of OK coffee from stale beans - tamp isnt very important and neither is the grind- and the crema is false (produced by forcing the coffee through a small hole in the bottom of the basket.....)

    To get decent coffee you need to replace these baskets with normal ones (You can purchase Saeco or Krups normal baskets which will fit). Until you replace the baskets, bean quality and freshness wont matter much..... as you wont get coffee anywhere as near to excellent as you should with the supplied baskets.

    Now onto your queries....

    Pour time - A single is 30ml in 30 seconds and a double is 60ml in 30 seconds.

    Oozy puck - pressurised baskets cause this and also the machine doesnt have a three way valve like more expensive machines.... this valve removes the water from the PF when the extraction stops..... it will be better with normal baskets..... but pucks will still be a little wet.

    Tamp - with pressurised baskets it doesnt really matter but when / if you replace them with normal ones 15 Kg tamp pressure (tamp on bathroom scales to check). With the baskets you are using now, just a light tamp will do (the tamp is designed to control the water flow... but your current baskets do that for you).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: wet puck

      Hi JavaB and thanks for your prompt reply.
      Even with the fool proof dual wall crema system i still cant seem to get it right. Its like a poorly produced home brew - it doesnt seem to hold a head. Im finding that my 30ml pour is over and done in about 10 seconds. If I tamp it harder i get the burnt taste.
      Ive got fresh beans (opened today) and experimented with different grinds. The range from percolator to a turkish fine grind.
      I must say though that with only limited experience and taste buds you can certainly taste an over extraction.
      I think Ive gone through 500g of beans testing this.
      The puck does seem to lose the "slushiness" (if there is such a word) after sitting in the head for a couple of mins though.
      Ill have a look around for some new baskets and see how that goes.
      Cheers

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: wet puck

        medic001,

        Its quite hard to get good coffee from those baskets.

        A couple of things you can try:

        Use a grind which is about the size of grains of salt.

        Fill the basket with enough coffee so that (after tamping) when you fit the PF into the machine the showerscreen will leave just a slight imprint on the top of the puck. The PF should be firm when you fit it - but not too tight. When you finish extracting the puck will also be less wet (the space in the PF right up to the showerscreen is full of coffee grinds) - no room for water!

        Tamp with a little pressure - no need for the 15 Kg.

        That will probably give you the best results possible until you change baskets.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: wet puck

          Medic001, when you say "fresh beans opened today", if they are supermarket beans then they are a long way from fresh.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: wet puck

            Bill44A,
            Fresh beans opened today - I have a friend who owns 2 GJ franchise.
            He gave me a 1kg bag but I must admit it was some time ago.
            Ill get some fresh roasted from cosmoreX next week and give them a go.

            JavaB,
            Ill also give your advice a go. Ill just keep practising.

            Cheers

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: wet puck

              Originally posted by medic001 link=1180069421/0#5 date=1180096021
              Bill44A,
              Fresh beans opened today - I have a friend who owns 2 GJ franchise.
              He gave me a 1kg bag but I must admit it was some time ago.
              Ill get some fresh roasted from cosmoreX next week and give them a go.

              JavaB,
              Ill also give your advice a go.  Ill just keep practising.

              Cheers
              medic001,

              What we are trying to ascertain about the beans is
              "When were they roasted?"
              Simply whacking them in a bag, sealing it and putting a use by date on them does NOT make them fresh.
              It simply makes them beans.
              Most people here are pretty full on about freshness. Me being one of them. Thats why a lot of us roast our own.
              Something youll probably see quoted here a bit is the rule of 3s.
              Green beans last roughly 3 years.
              Roasted beans are fresh for around 3 weeks
              Ground coffee should be used within 3 minutes of grinding.

              And Im tipping if the beans came from your friends GJ store, they were already a number of weeks old before you got them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: wet puck

                Not entirely a bad thing...I mean some competition blends baristas use peak at about a month post roast.

                I was fairly impressed by the 3 week old Rio coffee that was nitrogen flushed last sat at first pour

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: wet puck

                  Ive never had a "fresh" bean from GJ from the packet.. it has always been stale... and bitter!

                  Comment

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