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A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

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  • A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

    Just got the Sunbeam 6910 and the emo480 grinder. Good price and they look cool! Set the grinder on 16 and used 14 grams of coffee, hit the auto set for 2 cups and not really enough coffee came out and the little pressure gauge showed higher than should. Maybe too fine a grind? First tried a grind at 14 and hardly any coffee came out after hitting the 2 cup button.

    What grind setting is recommended for espresso?
    Ive also posted on the milk frothing section because am also having problems with that!

    Cheers

    Strawdog

  • #2
    Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

    Hi Strawdog,

    The numbers on the grinder arent really important. Just change the grind until you get the correct volume for your shots.

    Also, if you use fresh coffee it needs to be coarser than stale coffee, so for different beans you use you may need to change your grind settings. Run the grinder for a second or two after changing the grind number and throw that bit away so you are sure all the coffee you grind is on the same setting.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

      Strawdog,

      Firstly, congratulations on purchasing a machine which should serve you well...I hope.

      Now, there are many answers to your question and all of them are nondescript.

      Grinder setting number is irrelevant. They are not all fitted the same when manufactured. You just have to keep adjusting the grinder while keeping your dosing and tamping technique the same. Harder said than done!

      Reason 1)

      Grind is too fine, grind coarser

      Reason 2)

      Overdosing too much. Is it hard to lock the portafilter in?

      Reason 3)

      Tamping too hard. Aim for about 14kg....doesn;t have to be exact. It can even be 10kgs, just as long as you are consistent everytime you tamp. Adjust your grind to suit your tamp.

      Reason 4)

      All of the above and maybe some other factors.

      Resolution:

      Grind enough coffee in to the PF so that a mound forms in the PF basket. Rap the PF gently on the bench 3 or 4 times to settle the coffee down. Then with a straight edged object (eg ruler), scrape of any excess coffee and discard.

      Tamp to approx 14kg (or however hard you like, just not too light) - whatever force you choose, be consistent.

      Pull you shot, measure volume and time. Aim for 25-30mL in 25-30sec (~1mL/sec)

      If it is over 30 seconds, grind coarser.....then if need be, tamp lighter. If it is under 25-30 seconds, grind finer, or tamp harder....or both.

      Once you have got your technique down pat, then you can start experimenting with dosing etc.

      You want to dose your pucks so that, when you finish your shots, the biscuit will not be soggy, but moist and dry like the picture below. This biscuit gave me a perfect pour....aim for something like this on the 6910.

      (I suspect this will be moved by mods in to the EM6910 thread soon)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

        Why is a dry puck so important, not that i have issuse with wet pucks, just curious.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

          Originally posted by Skamp link=1167810861/0#3 date=1167815457
          Why is a dry puck so important, not that i have issuse with wet pucks, just curious.
          Skamp,

          A dry (solid) puck is a good indication that the dosing/tamping (and possibly the extraction) was right.

          You can certainly make a good coffee and have a wet puck, but if the puck is dry and doesnt crumble easily when knocked, its an indication that it has probably made a pretty good coffee.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

            Is it correct that a pressurised portafilter will always/usually give you a wet puck? Just wondering as I thought I read the 6910 comes with both?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

              Originally posted by Skamp link=1167810861/0#3 date=1167815457
              Why is a dry puck so important, not that i have issuse with wet pucks, just curious.
              It is my experience as a barista that my best shots come from dry pucks that dont crumble easily. i.e. an indication that no channeling has occurred (water following the least path of resistance). What this then implies is that I have my dosing and tamping technique down.

              A dry puck allows you to see if there is any pitting on the surface or any evidence of channeling.

              Another way to diagnose is using a naked PF, which I do not have but is currently being made from an old PF I have from an E-61 group.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                I got a EM0480 for Christmas and I found that I require a setting of between 18-20 depending on the beans used. I read the huge EM0480 thread and lots of people report using a setting of 20+ for espresso!

                This is a bit confusing to the new user as the manual states (something like) 12-16 for espresso... Ignore the manual! As the previous posts said just keep trying different settings until flow rate is right and the pucks look good.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                  Ive got 2 EM0480s and the settings on them for the same beans are 10 and 15. The one that gets set on 15 has never really given me good results.

                  Ohh and the pucks, mine are like rocks, so thats good.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                    Originally posted by dischucker link=1167810861/0#7 date=1167821476
                    I got a EM0480 for Christmas and I found that I require a setting of between 18-20 depending on the beans used. I read the huge EM0480 thread and lots of people report using a setting of 20+ for espresso!

                    This is a bit confusing to the new user as the manual states (something like) 12-16 for espresso... Ignore the manual! As the previous posts said just keep trying different settings until flow rate is right and the pucks look good.
                    Obviously whoever assembles them hasnt read the manual.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                      Thanks.
                      Just had a day of trying things and have the grinder on 18 and not tamping too hard. Hey presto! Best cap since I was in Florence...of course this is all going to ruin going out for a cafe !
                      strawdog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                        Strawdog,

                        Hope you dont mind me jumping onto the tail of your thread but "Newbie on an em6910 and emo480" pretty much describes me to a tee. Im not sure if these forums are a blessing or a curse, once I started reading here, the machine that more than adequately made my morning latte is now spending its days churning through beans trying to get that 14g/60ml/25-30sec (plus a few seconds for the pre-infusion) double espresso..

                        My first observation is that I dont seem to be able to get anywhere near the "standard" 14g of coffee for a double into the sunbeams double basket. I end up needing to put in >20g (a triple basket?) to get the coffee up to the shower screen (or face a soggy puck). Does this mean that the 60ml delivered in 25-30 seconds through the double (triple?) basket is a double ristretto (restricted shot)?

                        Ive started to use the sunbeams single basket for my double espresso and Im getting ~16g of coffee into it (right around where a double basket should be). The grind setting on my em0480 seems to be a bit coarse (setting 19 on my particular grinder) but the double shot does end up completing in ~30 seconds (with ~15kg tamp). Im attaching a small image (I hope) of the used puck in the PF where you can get an idea of the grind particle size. Does this sound/look OK or does the smaller area at the bottom of the single filter basket somehow throw the espresso equation out of kilter? (The additional curves on the single basket certainly make the pucks trickier to dislodge.)

                        Have I just got an odd set of baskets with my machine or is it a way for Sunbeam to ensure its easier to pull an OK tasting shot from their machine? (Ive read on here that a double espresso shot is easier to pull than a single so Im assuming a triple is even more forgiving of deviations from the "ideal".)

                        Whatre all the other em6910 owners out there using for their doubles? (third party baskets?)

                        I guess I could always skip the "standard" espresso step and go straight on to ristrettos.. Or maybe I should go back to my latte and let the milk take care of any discrepancies.. (Nah. First I need to get my espresso consistent, then try some more SO beans from a professional roaster, and then its time for the crazy popper!!)

                        Gavin.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                          Hi Gavin,

                          From one Sunbeam newbie to another...
                          Re your post, I have noticed that the coffee scoop that comes with the 6910 holds around 9 grams and two scoops fills the double basket. Why is 14 grams the norm for a double espresso? And whats so bad about a soggy basket?

                          Cheers
                          John (strawdog)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                            I too am a newbie to a sunbeam 6910 and totally new to the art that is creating espresso. I had no idea that a cup of coffee could get so technical. Anyway, Im open to any suggestions that will assist me in creating the perfect cup. I started using pre-ground vacuum packed coffee from the supermarket (I was keen to give the machine a try straight away) and was very impressed with the coffee that I had made (compared with the instant coffee floor scrapings I had become familiar with anyway). I have since purchased some coffee from a specialist store (which I asked them to grind to suit the 6910 - which I now assume will vary depending on the gajillion variables I have read on this forum) and have had different results with the espresso pour. The manual for the 6910 said to use the dual floor basket for pre-ground generic supermarket coffee and use the standard filter basket with home-ground beans. I used the standard filter for my specialist beans and found that the pressure guage on the 6910 hardly moved (resulting in a watery black pour with no crema). I assumed from this that there was not enough coffee in the basket or it was not tamped hard enough. I then tried to use more coffee and tamp harder which resulted in difficulty locking in the group head. I then resorted to the dual floor basket and have created enough pressure on the guage to give me - what the instructions on the 6910 say is - a good poor. Having had no previous experience with home made espresso I was wondering if people could provide me with some tips for creating a better cup. I plan on buying a grinder at some stage but would like to develop my skill at making a consistent quality espresso before I make this purchase. Is it important to grind your own beans? does everyone do this? How do people know how many grams of coffee theyre using in the basket? Do I need to purchase some scales as well? How do you know how many Kg of force you use to tamp? I am open to all suggestions and will read other forum topics to improve my espresso knowledge.
                            Cheers
                            Justin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A newbie on a sunbeam 6910 and emo480

                              Justin - you will have a very hard time learning to use the machine and make good coffee WITHOUT buying a good grinder. I have the EM6910 with a Rancilio Rocky grinder (the site sponsors will see you right re the Grinder). It makes excellent coffee time after time. I had 6 adults the other nite all wanting Lates and I belted it out and each espresso was excellent - tiger stripes and all. The secret is starting the learning curve with fresh coffee (and home roast is the best) and then grinding with a good consistent grinder. The EM responds well to overdosing the basket so that locking in is tight and the puck bears the imprint not only of the seal around the outside but also the screen and centre screw - ie after extraction of the espresso.

                              Cheers

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