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Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet pucks

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  • Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet pucks

    Hi,

    Im working with an Imat Mokita with PID and a rocky doser grinder. Im using some fresh ethiopian mocca beans. My espresso is consistently very bitter - like the taste of aspirin, often to the point of being undrinkable.

    Im just dialling in the grinder and I dont really have any point of reference for this. The grinder has 40 subsettings ranging from 0.0 (very fine) to 4.0 (very coarse). Ive tried most settings from 0.7 to 2.0, 0.7 being way too fine with lots of sediment and 2.0 really approaching a plunger grind.

    Im using a double basket. I flush through the portafilter and wipe it. Then I dose (twice) into the basket level with finger, tamp with weight of tamper only and then dose again into the portafilter, this time tamping harder and twisting at the end.

    With the finer grind (0.7) I get slow brewing time and very wet pucks. As I approach 2.0 the pucks are firm and very dry. The espresso is less bitter with the coarser grind, but still hard to drink.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

    It was a tamp and grind problem I think. The coffee was coming through way too fast and probably underextracted.

    I still havent 100% resolved it. I just pulled 2 shots of Costan Rican dark roasted 2 days ago. I ground the beans first to 0.4, overfilled portafilter, levelled and tamped hard. Must have been too dense because the pulling time was 40 seconds plus. Puck was wet.

    Second shot I ground 0.7. It was quite short though, only pulled about 15mls after 25 seconds.

    Getting closer.

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    • #3
      Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

      Im guessing 0.4 to 0.7 is 3 steps? So obviously I dont know your equipment mat but do know that when you have a prob like this, change only one thing at a time, and only in baby steps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

        Point--but there are forty steps on the grinder and Im going through heaps of coffee. So Im skipping grinder steps a bit--4 forward, 2 back trying to hone in on the optimal setting in the middle.

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        • #5
          Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

          I need to chart my pour times against my grind settings I think. Tamp the same way to eliminate that variable.

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          • #6
            Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

            And tomorrow morning, your grind settings might need to be 4 or 5 steps different to tonights!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

              Dennis is spot-on Matt,

              I realise it seems like a hell of a waste but you really do need to take it one small step at a time, e.g. the difference in time for a fixed volume pour can vary as much as nine seconds for a single step change on a Rocky.... so just one increment change per shot is plenty otherwise youll just keep on doing what youre doing now, chasing your tail .

              About the most difficult aspect of pouring consistently excellent espresso shots, is getting the Dose, Distribution and Tamp exactly right each and every time. Trying to achieve this with a new machine while you learn the ropes multiplies the level of difficulty considerably. Practice getting your Dose, Distribution and Tamp consistent and then dialling in the Grinder will be all you need to vary after that. I know its been said ad infinitum already, but you need to practice for consistency and everything will all gradually fall into place..... It really will

              All the best,
              Mal.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                Thanks. Helpful.


                Re: dose, distribution and tamp
                --so start with a grind that is fine but not too fine and dont be too finicky?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                  Originally posted by matblack link=1180678692/0#7 date=1180700251
                  Re: dose, distribution and tamp
                  --so start with a grind that is fine but not too fine and dont be too finicky?
                  The other way around actually Matt, start with a slightly coarse grind and keep adjusting one notch finer until you have the volume within the 25-30 seconds elapsed time,

                  Cheers,
                  Mal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                    Just an idea mat... When was the last time you did a good clean and backflush of your machine? (I dont know whether its ok to backflush Imat Mokitas, someone else can confirm this)

                    I have a Bezzera BZ99, and if i dont backflush it properly once a week, i start to notice that i can no longer pull good tasting shots... Its amazing how dirty they get in just a week of home use

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                      Ill second the cleaning and backflushing routine, particularly when youre new to espresso making and pouring a lot more shots than you drink. It really does make a difference.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                        so what do you do with a new silvia thats under warranty and instructions not to backflush but Ive been told by two other sponsors to backflush??

                        yours confused...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                          Sullo,

                          If it was me - Id definitely backflush - it really is required! And wont do any harm if the instructions are followed.

                          And if you are worried about warranty - just forget that you have done it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                            Ive been backflushing regularly. Im pretty sure the problem is with my technique and grind. Ill keep at it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ethiopian aspirin - bitter espresso - wet puck

                              Originally posted by matblack link=1180678692/0#13 date=1180759184
                              Ive been backflushing regularly. Im pretty sure the problem is with my technique and grind. Ill keep at it.
                              As mentioned above,

                              Not directed at anyone in particular, but if you follow the steps laid out in any number of guides to be found on the Net, like this one for example, you wont risk any harm to your Mokita/Quaha/Fenice style of machine... it really is essential that it is regularly performed to avoid a "tar-like" build up of rancid coffee oils that really does taste very nasty ,

                              Mal.

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