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  • What am i doing that may be stupid...

    Hi there,

    I've near on spent close to 1kg of Beanbay Brazil Premium roasted beans attempting to get my La Scala Butterfly machine to do what it does (or used to do) best.

    But I'm failing, and I think (read know) it is me, the user, not the machine.

    I've got the K10 Fresh Compaq (thanks Paul from ******) set at 4.2 secs with grind at 319-320 producing 20.5 grams. It was set at 4.6-4.8 secs single shot (not sure if double shot setting on K10 is identical) but this was producing IMO too high grams.

    I'm tampering at a soft-med pressure (I tend to over tamp pressure / force).

    the problem is either very very slow drip of coffee OR nothing and complete stall of machine (stall is my word for hearing the machine labour with nothing coming out).

    Thoughts, help appreciated.

    PS - and I am booked for Jet Black course this Saturday as I was getting the sh!ts with the machine (and me!).

    cheers

    Stu

  • #2
    Users can get into enough trouble when all they have to worry about is grind and dose, newer machines are offering more and more variables, to the point that the average user is completely baffled.

    Seems to me the more variables offered on grinders/espresso machines the more problems people have.

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    • #3
      IMO ignore grind time and just focus on weight to make the grind adjustments.. timed grinding too many variables can make a difference (at least in my experience - temperature, bean, how loaded the hopper is etc can throw it off for my setup).

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      • #4
        Not familiar with those machines but either way, consistency is key.

        Use the exact same dose (by weight) all the time, eg 15gm or whatever your filter basket is. A timed grinder will help but weigh it to confirm.

        Use a set of scales to ensure your tamping force is also consistent. 15kg is a good starting point but many people go lighter. Just makes sure it's the same everytime.

        Eventually you won't need scales to check but this helped me immensely when I started out.

        The only other variable should be how fine you grind. Too fine and the shot takes ages (or stops altogether), too coarse and it gushes through. Aim for 25-30 seconds.

        Good luck!

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        • #5
          Vote 2 for grinding to fine

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          • #6
            Cheers all - the fine grind is what i'm working on. Using rocky and Silvia in the past (read 15+ years ago) so have a fair understanding. The new grinder is great but the La Scala (7+ years old serviced a year ago) may be the issue.... I will work through it but the amount if wasted beans is a little disheartening... :-(

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            • #7
              Ok so here's where I am at. Nearly finished the 1kg of Brazil beans - changed grind to a little coarser and tamp pressure the same (and no change to gram sizing). Last one (and it was due to the beans being the last i had) started to see difference. Had a new bag of beans (bigger size beans from BB std expresso) altered the grind to slightly coarsers, 1st shot - yeah ok but still taking too long, incremented upa few notches and then it started comign right, 3rd one - yep that's it.

              so lesson learnt - this time round - alter the grind in steps up if stalling (assumed tamp pressure same) and continue to do this - note the size of beans will play a factor IF humidity / weather conditions stay at constant.

              Well that's my way of working this out - may not work for others of course...

              cheers to all and thank you for listening and suggestions.

              Stu

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              • #8
                The grind will need altering as the beans age. It doesn't take long to get the hang of it

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                • #9
                  Grinding is always the key, right?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thomas79 View Post
                    Grinding is always the key, right?
                    Freshly roasted beans, preferred dose, correctly ground.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by s12raider View Post
                      Ok so here's where I am at. Nearly finished the 1kg of Brazil beans - changed grind to a little coarser and tamp pressure the same (and no change to gram sizing). Last one (and it was due to the beans being the last i had) started to see difference. Had a new bag of beans (bigger size beans from BB std expresso) altered the grind to slightly coarsers, 1st shot - yeah ok but still taking too long, incremented upa few notches and then it started comign right, 3rd one - yep that's it.

                      so lesson learnt - this time round - alter the grind in steps up if stalling (assumed tamp pressure same) and continue to do this - note the size of beans will play a factor IF humidity / weather conditions stay at constant.

                      Well that's my way of working this out - may not work for others of course...

                      cheers to all and thank you for listening and suggestions.

                      Stu
                      I had a similar experience with my machine, thought I had the grind dialled in as the last 8 months I've been getting good pours, crema etc and then all of a sudden a crema that lasted a couple of seconds and it was coming out of the pf very very slow (I have a lever by the way). Then with a new bag I changed the grind and I noticed an immediate difference, similar to before. Not sure If the last 3 bags were just fresh or older than before, but the new bag was within a week of roasting, so needed to be a bit coaser than before. To make a long story short, I'm glad I was the only one as it was annoying the crap out of me

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                      • #12
                        I roast my own and use several different single origin beans and I fing the grind needs to be adjusted for each one. The changes may be small but on the odd occasion one will need a large adjustment. It is all dependent on the bean. You grind for the bean at the time.

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