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Early blonding with Breville BES900

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  • Early blonding with Breville BES900

    I have one of the original Breville's which has been in to fix the OPV a few month's back.

    At the same time they also adjusted the pressure back from 11 bar so it now sits at 8-9 when in use.

    Since it's return I've noticed that my shots are blonding way too early so could this be a problem with the Breville as my technique has not changed? Only other variable is I've switched from bought beans to roasting my own greens from BeanBay. these are usually between 4 and 15 days post roast when I use them and mostly roasted to CS8/9.

    My morning ritual is as follows:

    -Machine powers up an hour before use
    -Brew temp set to 92
    -Remove group and dry
    -Using standard Breville double basket
    -Grind out beans
    -Tamp once and polish
    -Insert group
    -Press extract
    -shot clock hits 10-12 secs before coffee pours
    -at 15-20 secs it starts to blond but still stays thick
    -after 20 secs it starts to thin and look watery
    -measured out to 30ml by 40 secs so 30ml in 30 secs from pour commencing

    I've checked the dosage with a 5 cent piece today and it leaves a slight impression in the puck
    I've purchased a naked pf and can see no channeling occuring
    I've tried updosing and underdosing with the same result
    I've tried higher and lower brew temp with the same result
    I've tried many different bean combinations with the same result

    I'm really at a loss what to do now so could this be a machine issue?

    Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.


  • #2
    Going from a decent commercial roaster to roasting your own is quite large variable.

    How long have you been at it?

    What are you roasting with?

    It could be quite possible that you are not getting the most out of your beans. Order some of the same bean, green and roasted from BB and do a side by side test.


    • #3
      50 roasts in to the roasting journey on a Behmor so have a fair few under my belt...

      Would be surprised if it's the roast to be honest as the beans look and taste great....I always chew on a couple after roasting

      You're right though it is another variable so I might just grab a small dose of beans from my old local roaster at the weekend to check it's not the roast.


      • #4
        G'day Mick...

        Have you tried adjusting the grind a little finer, to see what happens?

        If the pour still appears to blonde early, it will definitely be down to the beans themselves. I've noticed that this happens when a roast batch hasn't been roasted evenly all the way through the bean and is sometimes difficult to see even when breaking the bean in half.

        Try roasting some small batches with the Behmor (in order to reduce possible waste) of the same bean(blend), and use a profile that starts off a little slower so that the overall time stretches out a bit. Keep notes, and if this process reveals a profile that suits the bean(blend) better than the one you're currently using, you will hopefully achieve better pours...



        • #5
          Hey Mal,

          If I go finer the pour is way too long to get to 30ml and most importantly it tastes terrible

          I've also tried finer and under dosing to get the pour time down but no good!

          I normally roast 450g batches on a P2/P3 profile on the Behmor which takes about 20 mins but I've had the same issue with some Sulawesi Toraja beans which I roast in smaller 250g batches on a P5 profile for 22 mins. This one's a lot gentler on the power ramp.

          It's happening on every batch so surely I can't have roasted all 50 badly My process is pretty much the same whatever the batch size. Hit 1C 2/3mins before 2C and hit cool just after the first few snaps of 2C. I've had batches from a CS7 to a CS9 all with the same blonding.



          • #6

            As a guide, what would the weight be, of your average dose to pull a 30Sec shot (in total including preinfusion time)? For a Double and Single shot...



            • #7
              Hey Mal,

              I only do doubles

              Preinfusion takes 10-12 secs plus 30 secs for the shot. I don't have any scales to weigh the coffee but have done the 5 cent test and also tried under and over dosing.



              • #8
                G'day Mick,

                Your from your posts, the symptoms are confusing. You state:

                "I only do doubles" and "If I go finer the pour is way too long to get to 30ml and most importantly it tastes terrible".

                A double would be 60ml in 25-35 seconds. I think Mal was trying to work out how much ground coffee you use to make a double as a means to offer a diagnosis.

                From the two quotes above, it appears to me (and I think Mal too) that the grind setting is likely off.

                I'm definitely far from a pro but I have the same machine as you and am up to 1100 shots. I would class myself as pretty fussy (the wife would call that an understatement).

                Using the double basket correctly dosed and the pressure gauge as a rough guide only, a double for me is 55-60ml at 9 - 9.5 bar, preinfustion 10-12 secs and the total shot time 28-32 seconds (i.e. 28 - 32 seconds includes the preinfusion time). Within this timeframe, shots taste divine. Small grind changes significantly alter the extraction time and pressure and adversely affect taste.

                If you're using the double basket and extracting only 30ml in 42 seconds, it sounds to me like the grind is way too fine and you're basically making a ristretto. Going finer as you state tastes terrible. I'm guessing very bitter.

                I hope I've read your posts correctly and that the above helps.



                • #9
                  Sorry guys for the confusion!

                  I'm running the double basket and two glasses so when I say 30ml I mean 30 ml in each of the glasses!

                  My total time is 42 secs for 30 ml in 2 separate glasses (I taste one and use the other with milk!) so I think we're on the same page mate. Let me know if I'm going mad here!



                  • #10
                    OK then. At least that is cleared up.

                    Sounds like your grind maybe only slightly too fine and not way too fine with the current beans. This still rings true (in my humble understanding) "If I go finer the pour is way too long to get to 30ml and most importantly it tastes terrible". Going finer makes the taste bitter. This is what I have found.

                    From all of this, I think Steve82 above was on the money with his suggestion "Order some of the same bean, green and roasted from BeanBay and do a side by side test." This will enable you to either identify or eliminate your roasting as a cause.

                    It almost sounds like the coffee is too fresh when starting off. Maybe wait a week from roast and re-try. Good luck.


                    • #11
                      Thanks mate, I've used beans at 3 days and 14 but still the same! I'll grab some commercial beans from the guys I used to go to at the weekend and report back on the results!

                      Thanks for all your help gents!


                      • #12
                        Just as an aside Mick...

                        42Sec is too long mate. Aim for 25-30Sec shot time regardless whether you're pulling Singles or Doubles. Given this aspect of your technique, you need to grind coarser in order to tighten up the shot time to something reasonable. Once you've done that, see how things go and report back...



                        • #13
                          So Mal, the 25/30 sec should include the preinfusion time?

                          I just timed my local barista this morning and his was 43 secs including preinfusion so I'm getting confused here.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eaglemick View Post
                            So Mal, the 25/30 sec should include the preinfusion time?

                            I just timed my local barista this morning and his was 43 secs including preinfusion so I'm getting confused here.
                            I suspect Mal means from the time the pour begins - ie you can see espresso starting to dribble/blob/pour down from the spout(s). Thats how I time things. If you are after a ristretto shot then its shorter.



                            • #15
                              Thanks, I think the time is good then.

                              I read something else this morning that said preinfusion time can also cause early blonding so I need to take a look at this too! The factory default is 5 secs with 60% power so I think they tinkered with this when it went in for a service as I'm not seeing coffe drops until at least 10 secs and the power doesn't ramp to full until after that too.....

                              Looks like I need to drink more coffee when i get home tonight