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(double) espresso - longer extraction times ? volumes?

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  • (double) espresso - longer extraction times ? volumes?

    Greetings all

    I have been a double espresso drinker for last ~25 years.
    Most recently (since 2009) i make my double shots using Rancilio Sylvia V3 (now with V4 element) and Rancilio Rocky doser grinder.

    When I was initially learning to make double espresso shots I was told (and since have read on internet) about various rules of thumb re making double espresso.

    One of the "golden rules" is to extract ~60 ml in ~30 seconds (give or take 2-3 seconds) for a double expresso shot.
    A double shot is about 18 grams of beans, give or take 2 grams (16-20 grams range).

    I have been following this rule for many years was OK with that.

    As time passed, I learnt that this rule was not to my liking. This happened about 5 or 8 years ago.
    I felt that extracting 60 ml from just 18-20 grams of beans produces a thin-tasting double shot, even with plenty of crema it tastes just OK, not special.
    When I reduced it down to a max of just 50ml (and sometimes even closer to 45ml) in same ~30 seconds time (give or take 2-3 seconds) the results got *much* better.
    Less is more, I say.
    I have followed the "modified" rule of 50 ml in 30 seconds from 18-20 grams ever since with good results.

    Today, purely by accident, I used a fresh batch of beans and I must have got my grind a touch too fine for this batch (I weigh the beans every time).
    The result was that extraction of 50ml (from 19 grams of beans) took very slow ~52 seconds instead of usual 27-33 seconds I get.

    BUT the coffee "looked good" and I liked watching the very slow pour so before I was about to throw it out
    (as I have done many times in the past!) I decided to taste it.

    Surprise - it tasted quite good! So good that I drank it all!!

    So the short summary - has anyone experimented with espresso longer extraction times, i.e well over 30 seconds, something like ~40 seconds ?

    Thoughts? Opinions?

    thanks

  • #2
    G'day "a_r"...

    What you have described above is what a lot of us prefer but equally, a lot of CSers would probably gag on it and wonder why they didn't throw it down the sink... It's all good, so long as you do what tastes great to you...

    Like a lot CSers have recommend over time, it pays to experiment with variables under your control to make sure you're getting the best from the bean, for your palate. You don't know if you don't give it a try. Also, you should try some slightly quicker pours but cut off at around the same 45-50ml volume, to see what you think of that with some bean varieties and blends. It's different but also very, very nice with particular beans...

    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with both of the above. IMHO so long as the shot is cut at the first signs of blonding, the extraction time is much less a 'rule' than a rough guide. I remember reading elsewhere recently of other CSers (Designed by Coffee?) reporting similar experiences with some long extractions > a minute producing surprisingly good results . I have found the same particularly when dialling in the grinder for some new beans. It seems more a function of extraction weight vs bean weight falling in the 2.5 : 1 area (with a bit of lattitude).

      Comment


      • #4
        Just to add: longer extractions will only work on machines that can keep the correct brew temperatures for longer time, i.e. Rancilio Sylvia has brass internals and if property pre-heated (20-25 min at least) then it will keep the brew temp for the >40-50 seconds of pour time. If you have a 'lesser' espresso machine such as Gaggia Classic (which I owned for a number of years before Sylvia) then it will lose the brew temp too quickly, it has aluminium/alloy internals. In my experience max of about 35 seconds is all you can experiment with on Gaggia Classic.

        This morning I deliberately repeated the long extraction from Sylvia, 19 grams of beans, extracted for about 48 seconds for 45 grams/ml of coffee. Good result again! I will try to get down to about 40 seconds and then 35 seconds to see if it improves over 27-32 seconds standard method.

        Re blonding - I totally agree, by the time you see the blonding you are too late, ideally you want to predict blonding by about 1-2 seconds and cut the pour.
        For this you need to use naked porta-filter, as you will see blonding quicker than using traditional spout portafilter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by acid_rider View Post
          Today, purely by accident, I used a fresh batch of beans and I must have got my grind a touch too fine for this batch (I weigh the beans every time).
          The result was that extraction of 50ml (from 19 grams of beans) took very slow ~52 seconds instead of usual 27-33 seconds I get.

          BUT the coffee "looked good" and I liked watching the very slow pour so before I was about to throw it out
          (as I have done many times in the past!) I decided to taste it.

          Surprise - it tasted quite good! So good that I drank it all!!
          It is likely that your regular shots tended to be "underextracted" -- in other words, your were leaving some of the sweet caramel-type flavors still in the grounds. But when you ground finer you exposed more bean surface area. plus achieved a longer water/coffee contact time. This extracted some of the sweets you had be missing and led to a more balanced shot.

          If you had gone too far the shots would have turned acrid or bitter....

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi acid-rider
            I've found the same thing
            Roast depth has a big impact as to whether you can get away with this (you can 'squeeze' more out of a lightly roasted bean without bitterness than a darkly roasted bean), but I have certainly had super slow, drippy pours that many purists would gag on just watching (think 1.5 min plus for a double riz!) that have given some of the most flavoursome results.

            Let the taste be your guide!
            Cheers Matt

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks everyone for your comments and opinions.

              This morning I tested a 40 seconds pour/extraction (same batch of beans) - excellent result, better tasting than 30 seconds extraction and also better than 48-52 seconds extraction I tried on previous 2 days.

              Next I will try a ~35 seconds extraction and settle on (guessing!) either 35 or 40 seconds extraction time (for 45-55 grams/ml of double expresso, 18-20 grams of beans).

              Comment


              • #8
                The spectrum of preference is so wide. I had a great Yirg Dumerso this morning where I extracted 12 g of espresso from a 22 g basket over 30 seconds. That's a drink that few on this board would like I think.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
                  Hi acid-rider
                  I've found the same thing
                  Roast depth has a big impact as to whether you can get away with this (you can 'squeeze' more out of a lightly roasted bean without bitterness than a darkly roasted bean), but I have certainly had super slow, drippy pours that many purists would gag on just watching (think 1.5 min plus for a double riz!) that have given some of the most flavoursome results.

                  Let the taste be your guide!
                  Cheers Matt
                  Is there any risk to the the pump in the Silvia running for 45-90seconds or more

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JWILL View Post
                    Is there any risk to the the pump in the Silvia running for 45-90seconds or more
                    Most home espresso machines use the same type of vibrating pump (ulka) short answer is yes if your pulling these types of shots all the time, you may find yourself at site sponsor coffee parts getting a new pump sooner than normal.

                    Vibrating Pumps, Coffee Machine Parts | Coffee Parts

                    Vibrating pumps are common in low to mid-end domestic espresso machines and these pumps work on a vibrating electrical pulsation. As they are based on an electrical coil, vibrating pumps lose pressure over time or burn out completely, especially if they are allowed to run dry or constantly used under pressure such as prolonged black flush periods or very tight espresso extractions where the flow rate is heavily restricted. In these cases pumps will fail and need replacing.

                    Two main types (both do the same job, however use differing connections): Ulka: barb inlet and 1/8" female outlet, Fluidotech: 1/8" female inlet and outlet Pressure cann
                    ot be changed without using a by-pass valve.

                    These vibrating pumps are not limited to espresso machines and also commonly used in smoke machines, concrete pumps and as cooling mist sprayers for intercoolers on race-cars.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JWILL View Post
                      Is there any risk to the the pump in the Silvia running for 45-90seconds or more
                      My vibe pump is getting a little noisy - but it's also 6 years old now - so I'm not losing any sleep when the long-shots are sooooooo tasty!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thanks for the pump wear tip folks!

                        I am no expert so this is very handy to know!

                        However, given the espresso machine like Rancilio Sylvia must have been designed for standard 30 seconds extraction, then will extracting for 40-45 seconds will make any significnt difference to the wear-and-tear of the machine?

                        I can see how perhaps 50-60 seconds extraction, multiple times, on a daily basis could cause a pump strain but say ~40 seconds on daily basis (2-3 extractions daily)?
                        How likely is 40 second to wear out prematurely?
                        Opinions?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The most recent brew I was thinking of, was with Chris's E.P triple and 3 dose tamp, extra dose tamp from sm90. Overdosed for sure and a nice slow flow that went thin before blonding much

                          Relevant point, it was sounding like a long back flush

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by acid_rider View Post
                            How likely is 40 second to wear out prematurely?
                            Opinions?
                            Don't sweat it a_r...

                            Far worse for a pump to run dry than at sub-maximum designed pressures for a bit longer than the requisite ~30 seconds. Remember, these pumps aren't designed specifically for espresso machines, but for a range of applications, some of which require higher delivery pressures than an espresso machine.

                            Just do what ever you find produces the best quality in the cup, for you. The pump will last for years....

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To finalise this thread, perhaps it may help someone, so just sharing here...

                              On the weekend I tried following extraction times (using same batch of beans, using 17-18 grams of beans in my double basket):

                              Tested: 30 sec, 35-37 sec and 40-42 sec extractions (2 of each).

                              In all cases the timer starts when I flick the pour switch and I extract typically 45 grams/ml (or sometimes up to 50 grams/ml, as max) of double espresso.

                              For me - the best result was 35-37 sec extraction for 45-50ml of espresso.

                              Taste-wise the 30 sec taste was about equal to 40 sec taste (approx) but the ~35 sec for 45ml or ~37 sec for ~50 ml were overall the best results.

                              Your tastes will vary, so my advice is to try various times and see what you like.

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