Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Causes of 30sec shot but tastes underextracted, thin and little crema?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Causes of 30sec shot but tastes underextracted, thin and little crema?

    Hi all,

    Hoping I can get some help troubleshooting my long blacks. Been dialling it in and generally lands around 30sec but kinda seems watery, tastes underextracted (EDIT 22nd Jan - don't worry about the under-extraction 'taste' anymore, it was a once off), and the crema seems to break and is very thin.

    In fact lately I recall having not too much crema on other beans I've been trying, and starting to think if I'm doing something wrong. However underextracted taste is not usually what I taste. Generally I go for beans with higher sweetness or fruity flavours so not sure if it's something related to lighter roasts.

    Workflow is:
    • single dose using Settle 270 to 18g
    • beans are usually between 1 to 3 weeks old
    • WDT with paper clip
    • generic OCD-like tool
    • tamp
    • water using machine water but let it cool during grind/tamp period
    • about 1:2 ratio in around 30sec using VBM Domobar Super
    • 18g VST baskets
    • about 1.2 units on the water temp thing
    • about 9-10 units on the brew pressure


    Here's a few photos of a typical finished product. Notice how the crema seems to not have formed.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_081330_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	121.9 KB
ID:	763778 Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_081322_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	177.5 KB
ID:	763779
    Last edited by snoffee; 22 January 2020, 11:11 PM. Reason: added more info

  • #2
    Morning snoffee, what make of PF basket are you using?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Yelta View Post
      Morning snoffee, what type/make of machine and PF basket are you using?
      Hi Yelta, I mentioned but wasn't too clear. I'm using a VBM Domobar Super. Have also added in original post I'm using 18g VST baskets.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bean problem?

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting, not a big fan of VST, in fact I find them a pain in the rear end, my preference is for an Espresso Parts 14 to 18 gram, others will disagree, regardless, that's my opinion.

          Available for around $20 on line, worth a try.

          Comment


          • #6
            G'day "snoffee"...

            While it's Ok to use Boiler Water to flush and warm up coffee cups, etc I wouldn't recommend using it as water for consumption with espresso, because it becomes more and more mineralised over time and will affect the taste of your coffee drinks.

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Snoffee

              I'd suggest doing a bit of variation around the grind and tamp parameters and see how the extraction changes. That's always an option before you change hardware. Then based on pics of what the shot looks like some better advice might be offered.

              Your dose should remain the same as that's not likely to be the problem. Try for the same grind but with a firmer tamp, then try your normal tamp with a finer grind. The shot time of course will change away from 30 seconds but lets see if the crema and body improve.

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Snoffee,
                "machine water" if you mean using boiling water from the hot water wand, as Mal says, that water is coming from the boiler, and I wouldn't use that for drinking: as in making tea or diluting espresso.

                Only good for washing up.

                If it is coming from the group, that's of course OK.

                I try to use about a cupful daily for rinsing portafilters, milk jugs, cups etc, from my 5 litre boiler so that it is replaced with fresh water.

                Are you saying the long black tastes watery and underextracted, or the espreso does? If it is the long black...well, it is a long black.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Robusto... Hot water from the boiler... I never considered that. Interesting. I don't think mine has a taste problem, but I guess it should be flushed through regularly. Comments?

                  Did the manufacturer intend it to be used?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh

                    > beans are usually between 1 to 3 weeks old

                    Is that from roasting date or purchase date?

                    Also is your problem the same with all types of beans? Do you have others that you can try?

                    If you don't have Coffee Snobs beans from here you could order some (with advice from users here as to what might suit your taste) as that way you will have good beans to test out your extraction with. If they come out the same way then you know the problem is your technique or the machine, if they come out fine your problem is solved :-)


                    Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It looks like old beans to me too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Light roasted beans can be delicious but the crema will probably be thin and disappear quickly.
                        What do you mean by under extracted taste? It means different things to different people so an explanation might help

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GaryM View Post
                          Bean problem?
                          Hi Gary - so in the photo, I was trying some new beans I've never had before.
                          Criteria - The Crowd Pleaser
                          60% Fazenda Serrado Brazil – pulped natural yellow bourbon
                          40% Yirgacheffe Boji Ethiopia – natural mixed heirloom varietals

                          Any issues of blends and how that correlates to crema?
                          However in my latest experiments, I'm using Dukes El Salvador La Many - see more details below

                          Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                          Interesting, not a big fan of VST, in fact I find them a pain in the rear end, my preference is for an Espresso Parts 14 to 18 gram, others will disagree, regardless, that's my opinion.
                          Available for around $20 on line, worth a try.
                          Ah okay interesting Yelta. Do you mind if I ask why you don't like VST? (and why you like Espresso Parts baskets better?) I always thought VST baskets were the ones to go for?

                          Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                          G'day "snoffee"...

                          While it's Ok to use Boiler Water to flush and warm up coffee cups, etc I wouldn't recommend using it as water for consumption with espresso, because it becomes more and more mineralised over time and will affect the taste of your coffee drinks.

                          Mal.
                          Very interesting Mal, never thought about this! I actually think the coffee shops I go to use water from the boiler. Would it be 'okay' if I cycle through my tank every 5 days or so? Or is it more related to it going through the pipes?
                          And so how do you normally get your water? Boil water in a kettle and wait for it to drop to around 70c?

                          Originally posted by speleomike View Post
                          Hi Snoffee

                          I'd suggest doing a bit of variation around the grind and tamp parameters and see how the extraction changes. That's always an option before you change hardware. Then based on pics of what the shot looks like some better advice might be offered.

                          Your dose should remain the same as that's not likely to be the problem. Try for the same grind but with a firmer tamp, then try your normal tamp with a finer grind. The shot time of course will change away from 30 seconds but lets see if the crema and body improve.

                          Mike
                          Cheers for the reply speleo - I actually did some experiment (but using a different set of beans - see below) - maybe that will help with the diagnosis?

                          Originally posted by robusto View Post
                          Snoffee,
                          "machine water" if you mean using boiling water from the hot water wand, as Mal says, that water is coming from the boiler, and I wouldn't use that for drinking: as in making tea or diluting espresso.

                          Only good for washing up.
                          If it is coming from the group, that's of course OK.

                          I try to use about a cupful daily for rinsing portafilters, milk jugs, cups etc, from my 5 litre boiler so that it is replaced with fresh water.
                          Are you saying the long black tastes watery and underextracted, or the espreso does? If it is the long black...well, it is a long black.
                          Cheers robusto - I guess it is a bigger thing to think about since Mal says it too. So btw - if I take water from the grouphead, and wait for it to cool down, this is OK? (Is this how baristas normally make long blacks?)
                          In terms of the underextraction, actually I think that was a once-off, maybe channeling in that shot.

                          Originally posted by speleomike View Post
                          Oh

                          > beans are usually between 1 to 3 weeks old

                          Is that from roasting date or purchase date?
                          Also is your problem the same with all types of beans? Do you have others that you can try?

                          If you don't have Coffee Snobs beans from here you could order some (with advice from users here as to what might suit your taste) as that way you will have good beans to test out your extraction with. If they come out the same way then you know the problem is your technique or the machine, if they come out fine your problem is solved :-)
                          Mike
                          1-3 weeks from roast date. Generally I get pretty decent results from Dukes/Danes/Axil/Marketlane so maybe I'll go back to them and see what it's like.

                          Originally posted by level3ninja View Post
                          It looks like old beans to me too.
                          Do you mean the result looks like what happens from old beans?

                          Originally posted by Ronin View Post
                          Light roasted beans can be delicious but the crema will probably be thin and disappear quickly.
                          What do you mean by under extracted taste? It means different things to different people so an explanation might help
                          As mentioned in my reply above, yeah I think the under-extracted taste was a one off. Just tasted bland. My later shots have been okay tasting. But yeah I meant watery, not much flavour, thin feeling.


                          ****************************************

                          Anyways, so I also have an update on 5 shots I pulled this evening.
                          Using Dukes El Salvador La Fanny beans
                          Not sure if these are light roast or not (how can you tell from the description?)

                          So I made 5 coffees tonight...

                          1. 18g dose, 36g yield, 30 seconds (sweet, fruity, apple, honey, brown sugar tasting)
                          2. 18g dose, 36g yield, 25 seconds
                          3. 18g dose, 36.5g yield, 33 seconds (tasted good - interestingly, I didn't use my generic OCD distribution spinning tool and I felt like the crema was a bit better, maybe I have it pressing down too much?)
                          4. 18g dose, 38g yield, 33 seconds (likely channeling, stuffed up the tamp)
                          5. 18g dose, 36g yield, 28g (this is the last one, the espresso, tasted good, and interestingly, nice crema)



                          So the first 4 are long blacks and they pretty much had the same thin crema (like my original post using the Criteria beans).
                          My 5th one was just to see how the espresso shot looked, and it surprisingly tasted good, and had a nice rich crema.

                          Which led me to think, is it something to do with the water of the LB? Is the distance from the naked too high?

                          I measured the temp, I'm using 80deg from the water spout from the machine, and it cools to 70deg by the time I do the LB (which I understand is an OK temp?)
                          The distance is larger than I used to have because now I'm using a naked PF....what is a good distance? Should I be literally be as close as possible? 2-3cm from the naked PF?

                          So here are my photos:

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_193648_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	360.1 KB
ID:	751361
                          First one, I think it looks better in the photo than IRL. It looked thin, and didn't really spread the surface.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_195010_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	321.8 KB
ID:	751362
                          I think this was the 2nd or 3rd shot, after I took one sip. Notice how it breaks easily after the first (small) sip.


                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_194954_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	372.5 KB
ID:	751363
                          Apologies for the upside-down-ness, this is the 4th shot, the bad one, so probably ignore this.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20200122_195417_MP.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	341.4 KB
ID:	751364
                          This is the final 5th shot, the espresso. Tasted good, a darker crema, and it was quite thick. I'm used to seeing this on my long blacks.
                          Last edited by Javaphile; 22 January 2020, 11:53 PM. Reason: Commercial links removed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                            G'day "snoffee"...

                            While it's Ok to use Boiler Water to flush and warm up coffee cups, etc I wouldn't recommend using it as water for consumption with espresso, because it becomes more and more mineralised over time and will affect the taste of your coffee drinks.

                            Mal.
                            OH really... I did not know this Mal! Is that from scale build up and just residues of some sort getting through and affecting the water?

                            What do other people here do for long blacks, kettle, or water from the group head?

                            Have always used the water from the hot tap/boiler for long blacks, but actually I have noticed it isn't exactly odorless..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The hot water in my Musica comes through the hx. It is not boiler water. My long blacks are amazing!
                              A different machine, I'd use group head water

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X