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  • Perfecting the shot

    Somethings not quite right.
    Dialed in the grinder so my machine pulls a double in 28secs
    using the ranchilio double basket, grind until its full, level it off, tamp, pull the shot. Great, but it tastes bitter/sour (cant really pinpoint it because I poured the shot away)
    Im using beanbay so you cant blame an old roast unless you want to offend our host.
    possible ways to troubleshoot?

    on another note, what steps do you take to dial in the grind for a plunger?

  • #2
    Re: Perfecting the shot

    Are you having milk drinks? I had the same problem but discounted the milk because it was freshly bought. I blamed the beans, grind and pour until I realized the milk was slightly off. Changed to A2 and havent had the problem since.

    G.

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    • #3
      Re: Perfecting the shot

      espresso shots, sorry I should of mentioned.

      I put one of them in A2 for a latte and the crema foam is a little bad, but the milk obviously makes the poor shot less of an issue.

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      • #4
        Re: Perfecting the shot

        Looks like its back to the old grind, tamp, pour, clean drawing board.

        Dont you just hate that when you cant pinpoint a problem...

        G.

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        • #5
          Re: Perfecting the shot

          new machine, so its clean. Might invest in a microscale to measure the dose, and measure my tamp pressure. By the time I perfect it Ill be out of beans and itll start over again haha

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          • #6
            Re: Perfecting the shot

            Ive also got a new machine and been through something similar. still getting it right. A few things Ive tried are
            grind a little coarser and tamp harder
            grind finer and tamp less
            grind coarser, same tamp to see what happens
            same grind, lighter tamp
            been playing around with the dose as well.
            are you getting it hot enough?
            Havent done a sink shot for a while now.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Perfecting the shot

              The Rancilio Silvia gives a better result if its underdosed rather than overdosed, though you should be dosing correctly anyway.

              Use the lines in the basket as your visual guide. Rancilio baskets both 14 and 18gm doubles have groove indicators. Use them as your visual guide. Too high in the basket, and your machine will have diffiiculty pushing water through, resulting in a less than ideal extraction.

              Do a cooling flush before brewing.

              Press brew button and wait for the water to stop "flashing", then lock in the portafilter straight away and brew.

              Im somewhat skeptical of scales unless its a very good quality small scale.

              Keep it simple. Do it right.
              Grind, a couple of light taps and top up.
              Level off with a card or icy pole stick.
              And importantly, tamp evenly to the groove marker of your Rancilio basket.
              Brew shot. If too fast or too slow, adjust the grind.

              Regarding plungers, you will need to adjust the grind down to what resembles coarse beach sand.

              Let us know how you went. Hopefully the others will post their results too.

              Gary at G

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              • #8
                Re: Perfecting the shot

                I forgot to mention that tamping harder or softer will have negligible impact on extraction.
                9 bar of extraction pressure is 16 times greater than a 15 kg tamp. My thinking is tamping pressure is alleviated when dry coffee grinds become wet and expands.

                Main thing is to be consistent and even in your tamping, together with the correct dose and grind.

                Gary at G

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                • #9
                  Re: Perfecting the shot

                  thanks for the tips so far. I am tamping to the line (weather its hard enough or too hard Im not sure because the line actually stops the tamper from pressing)
                  I dose to a little pile, and level off. the grind is set so the double takes 25-28secs which I believe is "correct"
                  my grinder auto doses so it should all be consistent.
                  maybe it IS the beans :O

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                  • #10
                    Re: Perfecting the shot

                    oh, whats "flashing"

                    and regarding french press, because theres no extraction time, how do you know when the grind is right?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Perfecting the shot

                      Originally posted by 32352635223137353B393E37500 link=1310366011/8#8 date=1310385179
                      I dose to a little pile, and level off. the grind is set so the double takes 25-28secs which I believe is "correct"
                      What volume of coffee is being produced in this time and are you dosing for a Single or a Double Shot?

                      Also, there is a presumption that you are talking about a Rancilio Silvia so, is this correct or do you have a different machine?

                      Originally posted by 32352635223137353B393E37500 link=1310366011/8#8 date=1310385179
                      maybe it IS the beans :O
                      If you are talking of recently acquired beans from Andy or one of our Site Sponsors, then I doubt it very much... :

                      Have you received any training for the machine you are referring to? One on one training is invaluable for coming to grips with an espresso machine in the shortest time frame.

                      The "Auto Dosing" grinder you refer to, which one is it? Without specific information, all of us are really shooting in the dark in trying to help you. Detailed specific info will help us to help you get things sorted out a lot quicker ....

                      Mal.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Perfecting the shot

                        Originally posted by 0B26222E234F0 link=1310366011/10#10 date=1310391008
                        What volume of coffee is being produced in this time and are you dosing for a Single or a Double Shot?

                        Also, there is a presumption that you are talking about a Rancilio Silvia so, is this correct or do you have a different machine?

                        If you are talking of recently acquired beans from Andy or one of our Site Sponsors, then I doubt it very much... :

                        Have you received any training for the machine you are referring to? One on one training is invaluable for coming to grips with an espresso machine in the shortest time frame.

                        The "Auto Dosing" grinder you refer to, which one is it? Without specific information, all of us are really shooting in the dark in trying to help you. Detailed specific info will help us to help you get things sorted out a lot quicker ....

                        Mal.
                        Ok,
                        yes its a Silvia, Im dosing for the double basket (also have a 18g basket with similar results)
                        it takes 28secs to get 2oz of espresso
                        Im using the breville smart grinder with shims and have it dialed for shot extraction timing. I have it set with its auto dosing "iq" to give me a full basket of coffee.
                        I level it all off with my finger, then tamp (using a pullman) down to the line.

                        Im using Fiefys Latte Art 2011 organic @ origin, roasted 16th June.

                        I temp surf the silvia, let it all heat up properly etc.
                        Really confused as I thought the shot time was a good indicator of a good espresso unless Im missing somehting..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Perfecting the shot

                          The so-called "Golden Rule" of a Single/Double shot of a 30/60ml volume of espresso in 25-30secs is but a guideline, not a Rule as such. Just something to get newbies into the ballpark until such time as you gain experience, knowledge and confidence of the process, and develop a workable technique.

                          If at all possible, you should try to tee-up some training with a reputable outfit as this is a far better way to get everything sorted out and to identify issues with your current technique (if any).

                          I have never tried Fiefys Blend but from everything Ive read, it does take longer to fully develop its flavour profile but once there, it hangs on to it for quite some time, so your batch should be right in the middle of the Peak Flavour Plateau right about now.

                          If possible, try to stick with the ridgeless Synesso Filter Basket until such time as you have your technique sorted out. Only making life difficult for yourself by switching around. As often pointed out by experienced Silvia owners, youve got to be absolutely spot-on with your Dose as if it is even slightly too high, theres a good likelihood that the puck will be fractured by the hex-head shower-screen bolt and ruin any chance of pulling passable shots.

                          There is a simple mod to overcome this problem by replacing the Bolt with a socket-head countersunk set-screw (stainless). This will allow you to dose the basket up to a more realistic volume without the risk of damaging the puck.

                          Do you know if the OPV has been adjusted to deliver 9.0Bar at the Group? If not, this is something that should be attended to. Higher brew pressures will dispense shots that give the impression of over-extraction and be quite difficult to reliably dial-in from one coffee type to the next and even as the coffee you have ages...

                          Anyway, hope some of this is helpful; Im off to bed....

                          Mal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Perfecting the shot

                            Hi. Im baaack.

                            Ok. What youre doing looks ok for a espresso shot. ie28seconds for 2 oz.

                            What i meant by "flashing" is the boiling water that comes through the group head when you do a cooling flush before you lock her in and press the brew button.

                            If you start brewing once the light goes out, the water coming to the puck is too hot, so the taste would have a burnt flavour. So, what you do is wait for the Power light to go out, then press the brew button and let the overly hot water out until you dont hear that hissing noise. Takes about 5-7 seconds of flushing to do it.

                            The Rancilio Silvias boiler temperature at the top of the heating cycle will be approx. 120 deg c. By the time the water hits the group head, you minus 15 degrees from that when the water goes through the group head, which makes that about 105 deg c. A bit too hot.
                            When you dont hear that hissing noise, the water going through the group is below boiling point, which is better for brewing. The magic temp should be 92-94 degrees depending on the bean.

                            Have a look at this link so that you get a better idea. Hope it helps.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhxvDusY3jk

                            Bank on about 3 minutes for a plunger infusion for the ideal grind that resembles coarse sand.
                            If unsure, get a roastery to grind some for you specifically for plunger, then look at the grinds and you will see what i mean.
                            Plenty of info about regarding plunger coffee.

                            Gary at G

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                            • #15
                              Re: Perfecting the shot

                              One thing Ive noticed is that as I upgrade my equipment the flavours have become much more intense. Changing machine (to a Europiccola), grinder and coffee (from Grinders house blend to beanbay) at once is a big jump. Im suspecting that what I think is bitter may just be be the taste of good/different coffee.
                              Anyway the experimentation is fun and the hints and ideas I get from here are invaluable. (sorry to hijack your thread but we seem in the same place)
                              As another suggestion, try making a double ristretto and see if it is sweeter.

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