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  • Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Hey all!

    Well, I must say that getting the hang of my new Diadema has been an interesting experience. First the extraction, then the milk, but evenutally, I got it! ;D

    Trouble with this is, I am now chasing perfection

    Now my Macap grinder was precisely set up by FC before I took delivery of my machine......I didnt realise this and decided to fiddle with it out of the box......never got it back to where it was/should be > >

    Nonetheless, made a great cap & latte today and happy as can be.

    Back to the topic - I have an issue with the 30sec rule...Many tell me to ignore it and that it is a guide, thank you and I do Try to abide by the advice.

    But I have recently been fine tuning the dose of my grinder and had some bizzare results -

    In the past, I flick the brew switch, 3-5 secs would pass and out comes the coffee; sometimes over in 10 secs > other times around 20 8). Coffee itself was always a dark brown and I questioned whether this was my blend of beans or my process. I then had a couple of Espressi last week at BG&D and saw a light caramel colour on top of Chris finest - just like in the magazine shots!

    So in increasing my dose recently (from 6g to 7g) I found the machine appeared to choke. In the past, Id just swear once or twice, stop the shot and knock out the grinds before starting again.

    Well, 3 times this weekend I have decided to let the shot go 25-20 secs after flicking the switch and out comes this gorgeous looking golden/caramel shot. Shot pours for around 20 secs ranging from a fast drip to a slow pour. I stop the shot when it begins to lighten and it looks just like Chris!!

    I then thought, it must taste like old boots due to the long extraction, but alas, it was the best tasting shot I have obtained from my machine yet?

    This has happened three times now and I think I am on to something - the shot pours for around 20-25 secs, but it takes almost that long to begin ??? ???

    Do I ignore the rule and go with my taste? Or do I keep trying to obtain that elusive 25-30 sec shot from the flick of the switch to conclusion of the brew?

    What do you all think?

    Regards,

    James

  • #2
    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

    Go for what tastes best to you!

    Java "Its all about the taste!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

      Seems like you might just be approaching coffee nirvana James...dose up, slow em down and enjoy. At home, I use 18gm and let my taste buds do the rest   There truely are many ways to make a great coffee  

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

        out of my sunbeam (i know, i know ... dont start), the longest shots usually taste the best, have beautiful tiger flecking and all the rest. I got a 60sec extraction one day from an East Timorese/Sumatran blend that i thought would taste like the old boots you mentioned ... but what i got was like nutella! A beautifully sweet chocolately hazelnut flavour.

        I tried for three months to get that flavour again. Needless to say, ive never repeated it...

        Its interesting (or maybe not) that by adjusting grind, tamp, dose, brew temp etc, we can discover new and hidden flavour profiles in any given blend. If only the sunbeam would allow me more control to do that!

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        • #5
          Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

          I also agree with Chris and Javaphile - go with what tastes GOOD!

          Ive got a Carezza, and Im always messing with the grind on my Saeco. I only just seem to get it right, then I roast a different type of bean, and Im back to square one!

          I was counting from the switch going on - but Im definatly going on sight now. I read a good article about adjusting the finishing time of the brew by sight rather than by a strict timed rule - It talked about dark crema.. followed by lighter crema, and said that the whole shot should be crema - and that you should finish the shot when the crema coming from the group changes to liquid. Since Ive been doing this Ive been blown away by how many sweet espressos Ive been having, and Ive been blown away by the crema "head" Im getting as compared to timing the shots for a strict 25 seconds.

          You quickly learn if your grind/tamp isnt right, because either it takes 2minutes to make a coffee ??? or you only get about 2 seconds of crema before the liquid pours out :-/ Its good thou, makes me feel more like Im perfecting an art rather than watching the clock.

          I reacon - Timing is important, but were all in it for the taste.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

            hmmm,
            I have never counted from the switch going on, but from when the coffee started to pour/drip out of the spout. It takes 5 to 10 seconds for the coffee to start to come out, generally the longer the better.

            But I have realised that as long as the coffee is coming out slowly once and the amount in the cup is aprox= to 60 mls (double) I get an awesome coffee. If the coffee comes out a bit fast (only judged by experiance), I know it wont be as good.

            But I get crema coming out the whole time, and the cup is all crema before the guiness effect starts. Isnt this what it is supposed to do? if I finished when liquid started to come out I would have heaps more coffee.

            I cant adjust my grind the same as you guys, as I have to put the coffee through the grinder a few times too get the grind fine enough, and once it is evenly fine and just clumping I know it will work. The number of times I regrind the coffee is not constant though.

            I know this sounds really weird, but I seem to be getting awesome coffees lately as my timing imporves due to my increasing experiance . What do you think?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

              Hey AJ,

              Glad to hear my Diadema brother is getting some great results.

              Im still working it out. I guess I will always be working it out, which is a good thing. Im finding that there is a fine line between a great dose and a good one. I really like the pours Im getting when the basket is as full as you can get, but not actually touching the group screen. These pours seem to just ooze out of the spouts. Big fat drips that slowly turn into one solid stream.

              Usually about a 12 second delay from hitting the switch to the first juicy drops. The lights I have either side of the group really make it easy to take in all the various details of the pour.

              From time to time I use the timer. I usually just observe the pour and cut it off according to the colour. Most of the time this finishing point is give or take 30 seconds. Ive had 45 second pours taste great, but Ive also experienced some shockers. Id guess there is a fine line between going boldly into new flavour frontiers with long extractions, and allowing the extraction of some undesirable flavour elements. Stating the obvious here but, the commonly accepted 25 second extraction time probably pleases most of the people most of the time.

              There are so many seemingly insignificant things that go into making a great coffee.


              -Stephen-

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                Clarexican

                The day you get a good burr grinder will be a landmark in your coffee journey The difference will be remarkable. You will wonder how you ever made good coffee with your old grinder. I used to have a very average burr grinder and I still havent got a truly excellent grinder (sorry tranquilo ), but the difference was very apparent. I used to get so many variable pours from the same beans and the same grinder setting in the same session. Very frustrating.


                -Stephen-

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                  Hi All,

                  Discovered some time ago that the 25 second rule was a guideline only, and not set in concrete. If anything, it seems to be an indicator of the lower limit of the shot timing, not the upper limit.

                  With my Mokita/Rocky combo, and regardless of what beans/roast I am using, my grind never strays more than +/- 1 stop, and if I have to move it, its more to do with the current ambient conditions rather than the bean or roast.

                  After hitting the Brew switch, it can take up to 10 seconds before anything escapes the PF spouts, then a few very viscous drops form and fall into the cup, slowly accelerating to a rapid series of drops that ultimately join together and form a thick, viscous stream that contains a myriad range of colours from dark red/brown to a golden honey colour. At the first signs of blonding, I stop the brew and watch as the crema slowly ascends to the surface of the brew in the well described Guiness effect. After 30 seconds or so, the crema settles down to a thick, unctuous golden/red layer on top of the brew and that is when I drink it. As a famous South Australian Chef often says, Bliss.

                  Ive never really paid attention all that much, as to how long the brew goes on for... usually never less than 30 seconds and often out to more than 40 seconds. As everyone here has already commented, the extra time of brewing seems to produce the best tasting coffee. If I have done something wrong and the brew completes in less than 25 seconds, then I know instinctively that the brew will be less than optimal and usually with less body and less flavour penetration than a 30+ seconds brew.

                  Not too sure really, but I think the lack of my fiddling with the grind over much, results in variable brew times within the 30-40 second range. But since any brew that pours within this time range is sheer bliss on the palate, I dont see that Im going to gain anything by trying to chase the brew time around by continually varying the grind and attempting to nail a so-called perfect brew time. Seems rather pointless to me.

                  Had a couple of espressos earlier on tonight, along with my son before he went to work (night shift) and the after-taste of the last brew consumed now more than 3½ hours ago, is still lingering on with a hint of beautiful dark chocolate. Cant get too much better than that, surely.

                  Cheers,
                  Mal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                    Most of you are completely wrong!

                    In order to be a true alt.coffee snob you need to have the shot completed in exactly 22.5 seconds. It doesnt matter what it tastes like as long as you have used 14.7 gms of coffee and applied 28 lbs of pressure in your schomer tamp technique it must be a good extraction.

                    Cheers 8)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                      Just to clarify James.....you mentioned "....Well, 3 times this weekend I have decided to let the shot go...25-20 secs after flicking the switch and out comes this gorgeous looking golden/caramel shot....."

                      If we are talking  book spec", the "timed" extraction commences from when you first see the brew exiting from the outlet under the group handle....so the first few seconds after you hit the switch but before anything actually comes out, is not part of this "timing"!

                      Glad you are getting a "gorgeous looking golden caramel shot".

                      Keep smiling

                      Regardz,
                      FC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                        Hi Stephen,

                        I cant wait to get a better grinder... ( I am having I wish I could have upgradeitis fever)... But I am trying to do the best I can... and it is pretty good, although I would LOVE to have a go on an awesome machine, and grinder with my coffee (as a comparison point), I am scared that I wouldnt be able to go back though, the thing that scares me is that I can make better coffee than many cafes with exe machine.... I think they should have to Hand It Over as they are obviously not worthy ;D

                        So I am saving my pennies(almost literally) for when my poor gran dies (I am aware that it wont live forever as I have no idea how old or how many coffees it has done) and I will be able to go and get the espresso machine and grinder of my dreams. I dont know what that is yet.. but I couldnt handle to fixate too early

                        clarexican

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                          Thanks to all for you comments/feedback

                          Good to hear that I may have just found that spot....until I change the roast/blend again!!!

                          If we are talking book spec", the "timed" extraction commences from when you first see the brew exiting from the outlet under the group handle....so the first few seconds after you hit the switch but before anything actually comes out, is not part of this "timing"!
                          Thanks for that FC Im sure your well written start-up guides mentioned this.....I glanced over it quickly, but the new machine on my benchtop was just begging to be tamed by its new owner! And I thought I knew it all :

                          And I thought the timing commences from flicking the switch.......

                          Nonetheless, It is all coming together now!

                          Go Diadema Junior! ;D ;D

                          Regards,

                          James

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                            Originally posted by Wired link=1116753224/0#9 date=1116805940
                            Most of you are completely wrong!

                            In order to be a true alt.coffee snob you need to have the shot completed in exactly 22.5 seconds. It doesnt matter what it tastes like as long as you have used 14.7 gms of coffee and applied 28 lbs of pressure in your schomer tamp technique it must be a good extraction.

                            Cheers 8)
                            All I can say to your statement, is Baloney.

                            Most of the long term contributors on a.c. readily admit to preferring brews that take longer to pour rather than less, with some contributors admitting to pours approaching one minute.

                            It all comes down to what taste the individual prefers and I will take a longer pour over a shorter one every day of the week. Anything poured in less than 25 seconds is barely drinkable in my book and it doesnt matter who is operating the machine, that is my preference, and from what I read here and elsewhere, that of a lot of other people as well.

                            Cheers,
                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Surprising Extraction Experiments....

                              Hey Mal,

                              I dont think I would be mistaken to assume that Wireds comments were said in jest. To me it seemed like he was taking the micky out of some of the coffee nazis who lurk out there on the web. If not, then he is one of the chief Obergruppenfuhrers of that bunch.

                              Comment

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