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  • wet puck prob- bad technique?

    At work i always get a wet puck - maybe there is something wrong with my technique? i always fill the basket, level with my finger tamp, tap lightly then tamp again with a lot more pressure - 10kg+ then twist to get a nice finish. this always results in a wet puck.

    However, recently i tried something different- fill the basket 2/3 full, tamp firm. then add some more amd tamp again. always results in a firm puck with an indentation of the screw and filter. but it tastes a little bitter although there is good crema and it blondes later.

    i adjust the grind for a 27 sec pour of 30mls for both techniques.

    any suggestions?
    cheers

  • #2
    Re: wet puck prob- bad technique?

    Hi Papasmurf,

    A wet puck is Ok (puddle on the top) so long as it is firm!
    Some machines will leave some water on top!

    So long as the tast is good, which is the main thing.
    I have tasted some great shots with a wet but firm puck!

    Regards,

    Warren.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: wet puck prob- bad technique?

      Originally posted by papasmurf link=1198148671/0#0 date=1198148671
      At work i always get a wet puck - maybe there is something wrong with my technique? i always fill the basket, level with my finger tamp, tap lightly then tamp again with a lot more pressure - 10kg+ then twist to get a nice finish. this always results in a wet puck.

      However, recently i tried something different- fill the basket 2/3 full, tamp firm. then add some more amd tamp again. always results in a firm puck with an indentation of the screw and filter. but it tastes a little bitter although there is good crema and it blondes later.

      i adjust the grind for a 27 sec pour of 30mls for both techniques.

      any suggestions?
      cheers
      Gday Papa,

      Im not totally convinced that a tamp midway through dosing and distributing is a good idea, only adds to the potential for uneven extraction and/or channelling to occur (could be why youre getting bitter shots). A far better way is to overfill the basket, tap it on the bench 3-4 times, top the basket up to slightly overfilled again, tap on the bench a couple more times then level off and tamp nice and level with a force that is +/- 1.0Kg inside a window of 9.5-13Kg. Consistency is the most important thing. Thereafter, only adjust the grind setting one increment at a time until you get pours of 30/60ml within the 25-30 seconds ideal before blonding starts.

      Regarding the wet pucks, this can also be caused by a brew water temperature that is a little low but in the main, you should let your palate be your guide. It can also be caused by under-dosing but if you use the method outlined above then this should be taken out of the equation hopefully. Maybe your cooling flushes are a bit too long so perhaps try shortening them up a little and see how you go. All the best mate ,

      Mal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: wet puck prob- bad technique?

        Papasmurf,

        As Topshot says, some machines [especially those without a three way valve] will always leave a wet puck.
        Relative to an up-dosed fill, Underdosing on any machine will leave a wetter puck.

        The "correct" dose is machine specific and can depend on basket size, temp, pressure your grinder+ setting and especially how low the showerscreen sits within the PF when it is inserted.
        But ultimately aim for as much as you can get in and still be able to insert the PF.

        Filling to a level basket sounds [as you describe] like an under dose to me.

        Ultimately, you should feel a little resistance [ie its tighter] when you insert the PF into the group.
        As you describe for your second scenario, you should observe the indentation of the showerscreen screw in the puck.
        Check this from time to time before you actually pull the shot [since the puck expands when wet]


        Whilst I agree with Mal regarding the two stage filling & distribute process, some grinders [especially doserless] can make a single fill difficult as the mountain of coffee spills over everywhere.

        I sucessfully used a two stage fill when I had my Sunbeam [doserless],

        At first, I used to 3/4 fill, then tap on the bench a couple of times to lightly settle, and then complete the fill...It worked OK.

        Later, after reading about the "Weiss Distribution Technique", I used a small container with the bottom cut off to effectively raise the height of the sides of the PF.
        Then I would distribute [I used a needle stuck in a cork], lightly tamp to level [just the weight of the tamper] and then perform the actual 13Kg tamp.

        WDT [see link below] gave me a tremendous improvement in my shots.

        Of course, your shots shouldnt be bitter, but this can be caused by many things, channelling as Mal mentions, high brew temperature, stale or crap coffee, large steps on your grinder, etc etc.

        If your machine has pressurised/duel walled/crema enhancing baskets then any updosing will probably cause bitterness

        http://www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html

        Out of interest, what is your machine and grinder?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: wet puck prob- bad technique?

          As a matter of interest,

          I have up to recently, been using a Rocky D/L for my espresso grind and never had the trouble you describe reubster.... Always ground into a plastic 2/3 cup measure that fit snugly under Rockys spout and then dosed the PF Basket with this. No mess and a piece of cake to be consistent with the dose and distribution...... 8-)

          Mal.

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