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Timing/pressure advice?

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  • Timing/pressure advice?

    Hi all,

    I'm hoping for some advice with regards to pulling shots on my bes920. I've read through countless threads but would appreciate specific advice.

    Currently using fresh beans (yahava), ground finest on a breville smart grinder. Standard double filter basket. Tamp to ~15kg and checking with the razor tool looks like the dose is right (barely shaves it).

    When pulling the shot it takes bang on 8sec before flow. Extracting at 9bar. Using volume mode I get shot in ~20 sec total time.

    Coffee tastes under extracted, not a great crema.

    Any suggestions on what to try next? I suspect the grind needs to be finer at the same tamp pressure to get the 30sec suggested timing? At a bit of a loss...

  • #2
    If that is the finest your Breville Smart Grinder will grind, I'm sure you'll always be wondering if that is the reason - I know I would.

    You could try updosing to compensate. Do you have scales that can measure in grams? if so, how many grams are you dosing to? add 2-3grams and see if things improve.

    I'd say you've nailed it - there are shim kits available for the Breville Smart Grinder that will raise the lower burr closer to the top bur at all settings, meaning you will loose a little on the coarse end, and gain the same amount on the fine end (the fine end is where the god shots lie). Call Breville, ask for a shim kit and they will send you one in the mail.


    • #3
      What is the roast date on the beans?

      Java "There's fresh and then there's fresh." phile
      Toys! I must have new toys!!!


      • #4
        From memory roast was mid jan, but I chucked the packet this morning. Also tried some darkstar of the same age to the same effect..

        If it helps diagnose the problem the puck is very wet with a bit of water sitting on top after the shot. Puck is pretty set when knocked out. No evidence of channeling.

        I'll give breville a call about the shim kit, but in the interim will try increasing the dose. No scales that accurate - what should I look for?

        I can't seem to load pics from my phone?


        • #5
          If the roast date was mid Jan then it's quite possible that old/stale beans are your problem.

          Java "Try some new fresh beans" phile
          Toys! I must have new toys!!!


          • #6
            I had similar problem recently. Get a set of beans you know for sure are freshly roasted, from a known trusted roaster. You should know approx how many grams you are dosing also, a few more grams might help. Also the beans you are roasting, other them poss being a little stale/dry(you aren't getting much crema, quick pour) what level roast are they?

            But above all else I'll bet your bean freshness is this issue-beans have dried out a bit. If you weigh a normal volume of them that you would grind for a double shot, you might find the weight isn't what you thought it was..


            • #7
              Got some fresher beans (but only ones avail were very dark roast and oily). Had to wind the grind way back after choking out the machine a couple of times. Seems I'm able to get the adjustment now.

              Thanks for all the tips - I new fresh beans were important, but didn't realize how sensitive!

              Can anyone suggest a book or link with a 'logical/scientific' break down of all the variables and their impact on taste, timing, flow, etc??


              • #8
                Not sure about a book, I've been at it for a year + now and just realized the significance of fresh beans not only for pulling shots, but quality of drip or press brew etc. so important! I just bought my first popper (1200W Toastmaster for $15 Cdn).. Third try very happy with my roast of guat huehues at -10C on the patio (Toronto) .. Barely got past 1st crack. Next most important in my opinion after fresh beans is grind size and dosing equally. Then to fine tune sour/bitter the brew temp. I have a PID on my Silvia so 105C plus or minus a degree no problem. Also, I think some beans lend themselves flavour wise etc more than other to espresso, still learning about that, trying to stay away from the french+ roasts, not sure if you need at peat full city for espresso or not?