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  • Inconsistent roasts

    So I’ve had my behmor 1600+ for a couple of years now, put through probably 20kg of beans, my wife and I prefer Italian style coffee (ristretto/short black). Bean selections have been Brazil, Indonesian, Sumatran, Ethiopian with a little Indian robusta. I’ve experimented with roasting individually pre-blend and blend then roast.

    I have found the best results so far to be blend first then roast 200g P4, D. 100g doesn’t roast dark enough and 400g struggles to get up to temperature for a dark roast and I conclude the longer time makes for a bitter flavour.

    so I’ve had a few spectacular roasts with a hint of chocolate coming through but mostly passable roasts. (I say passable because the bar is now up there since home roasting) and more than enough bitter tasting coffees.

    I’m baffled why I don’t get consistent coffees! Even at times, the first 2 shots are good and then later in the day we might have another and they can be bitter. I’m starting to suspect my Rancilio. But as they say, “a bad carpenter always blames his tools”.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gretsch View Post
    I’m baffled why I don’t get consistent coffees! Even at times, the first 2 shots are good and then later in the day we might have another and they can be bitter.
    That doesn't sound like an inconsistent roast but rather an inconsistent brew.

    Rather than relying on one of the built-in profiles I suggest you take advantage of the ability to manually control the power input of the 1600+. That's the big advantage of the 1600+ upgrade, having the ability to turn the heat up or down at your desire.


    Java "Control is good!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Javaphile View Post
      That doesn't sound like an inconsistent roast but rather an inconsistent brew.
      Don't you mean That doesn't sounds like an inconsistent brew....?

      Been there, done that, I've tried all the profiles, manual mode, and intervention with the program like when then roast reaches first crack, go into manual mode, drop temp to 25% or 0% for 30-60 seconds, then back up to 70% or 100%.

      I'm suspecting my Silvia because the same batch can taste different. I doubt it could be my Macap M2D Grinder (?) Is it the temp variation? thought about installing a PID but getting lazy these days so a new machine is an easy option.

      Considering Lelit Bianca, Profitec 600 and ECM Synchronika. Reviews all say they get consistent results time after time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gretsch View Post

        Don't you mean That doesn't sounds like an inconsistent brew....?

        Been there, done that, I've tried all the profiles, manual mode, and intervention with the program like when then roast reaches first crack, go into manual mode, drop temp to 25% or 0% for 30-60 seconds, then back up to 70% or 100%.

        I'm suspecting my Silvia because the same batch can taste different. I doubt it could be my Macap M2D Grinder (?) Is it the temp variation? thought about installing a PID but getting lazy these days so a new machine is an easy option.

        Considering Lelit Bianca, Profitec 600 and ECM Synchronika. Reviews all say they get consistent results time after time.
        So, if you suspect that the Silvia might be the cause, why are you describing the problem as 'inconsistent roasts'? There doesn't seem to be anything inconsistent about the roast, but there seems to be inconsistency in the coffees that you make each day. It sounds exactly like an 'inconsistent brew'.

        It could be the M2M if you are starting the day with 3 shots worth in the hopper, and your final coffee is ground with the bean level quite low (but this might not be what you do).

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        • #5
          Yes you're right. I should say Inconsistent results that could include roast or brew but as I said' I'm leaning g my suspicion on the machine.
          No, I don't have an M2M, it's the M2D doserless with a timer.

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          • Barry O'Speedwagon
            Barry O'Speedwagon commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, sorry. I typed M2M by habit. But the general point is the same. If you load up 3 coffees worth in the grinder, the first two will grind with plenty of beans above the grinding chamber. The last one will grind a little differently (which is fine if you always 'single dose').

            I still see no reason to suspect the roast at all.

            Do you leave the Silvia on all day?

        • #6
          Mate, what you are describing is an inconsistent brew. You should not be getting 3 different coffees from the same batch at the same time. I am thinking brewing, prep or storage.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by Rami View Post
            Mate, what you are describing is an inconsistent brew. You should not be getting 3 different coffees from the same batch at the same time. I am thinking brewing, prep or storage.
            Dead right and come to think of it, I can justify that.
            My next door neighbour just so happens to be a coffee farm. I've had beans from them where we've sampled them on their commercial machine, I've taken the same beans home, put them in my Silvia -- on the same day, and a totally different taste! Nowhere near as good.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Gretsch View Post

              Dead right and come to think of it, I can justify that.
              My next door neighbour just so happens to be a coffee farm. I've had beans from them where we've sampled them on their commercial machine, I've taken the same beans home, put them in my Silvia -- on the same day, and a totally different taste! Nowhere near as good.
              ah!

              first question.

              did you dial it in properly? Did you get the same brew ratios?

              each machine is different, but if you get the same brew ratio you can at least have a like for like comparison.

              Sound like prep/brewing, even badly stored beans would not change that quick

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              • #9
                I don’t understand “dial it in” or “brew ratio”.
                Beans are stored in a vented coffee zip bag for a week in a dark pantry before I put them in the hopper and I cover it with a microfibre cloth to keep the light out. We live in a house with lots of glass.

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                • Barry O'Speedwagon
                  Barry O'Speedwagon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Very roughly......'Dial it in' refers to the process of adjusting the grind setting such that (for a given dose) you are extracting (very) roughly 1.5-2 x the weight of the ground coffee, in about 28-35 seconds. So if you usually put 18g of ground coffee in the portafilter you might pull 30-36g of brewed coffee in roughly 30 seconds. YMMV. More generally, it simply adjusting the grind setting to get the result you're looking for.

                  The 'brew ratio' is the ratio of ground coffee to brewed coffee described above. Hope that helps (rather than hinders )

              • #10
                Yeah right, understand that, and it’s something I struggle with. To achieve 30 seconds for 30ml of coffee the machine chokes. Anything close usually results in a very strong, bitter coffee.

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                • Barry O'Speedwagon
                  Barry O'Speedwagon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's not 30 seconds for 30ml. It's 30 seconds for 30g (or so). 30g of brewerd coffee will be more like 45-55ml (including crema).

              • #11
                Mate. Use grams not ml. Also use a naked portafilter.

                what is your starting wieght?

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                • #12
                  Well I got that wrong! I thought it was timed for the actual coffee volume.

                  I’ve been dosing around 16g of coffee and extraction time is around 20 to 25 seconds from the time I hit the switch. Extraction times vary considerably from day to day 😳

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                  • #13
                    What’s your end weight? Time seems ok, there is a large variance in time, as long as it’s not widely out it’s ok.

                    extraction time variance says puck prep to me. Maybe you have channeling? That’s why a naked portafilter helps.

                    as coffee grows more stale you will have more extraction than fresh coffee. So I tend to grind finer as I get to the bottom of my bag to compensate but this is over a couple of weeks, not days.

                    ps. I had issues with 16gm starting weight as Small changes in weight threw me off. At 18/19 gm a 0.1/0.2 variance had little effect. But that may be my set up. the 35 sec is normally for a 20gm dose

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                    • #14
                      If consistency is of issue the first thing to do is literally weigh the grounds before each coffee and ensure a consistent amount. What you think may be about 16g may have a larger variation than you realise. Secondly make sure you a using freshly ground beans each time. Some grinders retain 2-5g (or more) of coffee in the chamber and chute. If this has been sitting there for a day and is included in your dose it can make a big difference compared to a full dose of freshly ground coffee. You can only have a consistent output if you have a consistent input.

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                      • #15
                        Reading your previous posts again, and noting that you have a Silvia, unless you are "temperature surfing" there can be quite a large shot temperature variation, resulting in some bitter flavours. But do make sure your dose is consistent (as above) before trying to troubleshoot the rest of the process.

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