Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

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

  • Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

    Hi All,

    Id like input mainly from EM6910 users because thats what Im using to pull my shots but all other machine users feel free to put your 2c worth in. Im getting desperate! Im getting really bitter coffee from my machine at the moment and was wondering whats going on. To tell you the truth, I reckon Ive been getting this bitter taste pretty much since I bought my machine but have become accustomed to it...Its an acquired taste and my friends say that I make a great coffee but it has me concerned. The reason I mention this is I had a cup of coffee at work today made with a cheap espresso machine using pre-ground vaccuum packed coffee....and it tasted fantastic!!! Good crema (although not as good as the crema I get with my machine), but not even a hint of bitterness about it. I had a flat white with 1 sugar (which is my standard). So my question is this; Am I doing it all wrong and over extracting my shots? I use the same roaster for my beans and they roast regularly enough for me to know Im getting a fresh roast. I dont time my shots regularly but I reckon Im pulling my 30ml in 30s (give or take a few secs). I have also noticed that if I tamp too hard the shot takes forever and the bitterness is off the charts i.e barely drinkable even with sugar. Ive looked at other sites relating extraction time to percentage of oils released and understand the principle behind the 30s shot. So....whats going on??? Is it the beans maybe? If I change the grind to coarse the shot takes no time at all and is obviously under extracted (but still slightly bitter)...any finer and it takes forever (or doesnt even pull). What are others doing with their EM6910s. I recently upped the brew temp (+2) and it hasnt made a difference. Should I try different beans and see what happens? I have pulled some sweet shots in the past but not as sweet as what I had today.

    Help! I want to taste that Oh-so sweet-nectar I drank toady that was made on a machine that most CSs would use as a door stop.

    Justin

  • #2
    Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

    Justin,
    Which filter are you using?
    Are you underfilling your coffee?
    Are you stopping the shots when it starts to blonde?
    I was initially getting quite bitter coffee but Ive improved my methods and I have been slowly reducing my sugar so it must be ok.
    Had a coffee from CIBO Rundle Mall on Fri which was yumm but I still like most of the coffees I make.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

      hey Justin, in addition to the questions Grey asked, what grinder are you using? I use the em6910 at work 3 times a day and ... ive had great shots and bad ones.. Ive found that the biggest difference we make at work is how you grind and tamp it - the tamping in particular.. Also, make sure youre not using the dual floor baskets that come with the machine (unless youre hitting the stuff from woolies....!!!)

      dont stress too much, once you get sorted youll be able to make a beautiful short black with this machine, and that is a good thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      at work we have the matching sunbeam grinder, and usually, its set to 11. Also, ive not needed to adjust the brew temp

      let us know how ya go!

      Rolley

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

        You could always try a different bean from the roaster you buy from or try and buy the same bean from a differnet roaster.

        I have the em6900r although it appears to have all the 6910 gear. I only have bitterness when I have roasted to far into second crack or underdosed the pf. I usually have a double shot so I always use the LM basket I got with my Pullman Tamper.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

          Originally posted by Saambo link=1175333065/0#0 date=1175333065
          I recently upped the brew temp (+2) and it hasnt made a difference. Should I try different beans and see what happens?
          Try bumping down the temp. Sourness usually comes from too low of a brew temp and bitterness from too high a brew temperature.
          You may want to try changing beans to see if this makes a difference. Some beans can be unforgiving with brew temperature.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

            1) what is the temperature you have set your machine to. If it is above the standard 92 deg, try taking it down a setting.

            2) You should cut the shot when the pour shows signs of blonding regardless of volume extracted.

            3) I cant imagine a vacuum packed preground coffee tasting sweet. I would tend to think it would be quite sour.

            4) Maybe you are pulling great shots but your pallete hasnt gotten used to drinking espresso? Are you sure youre not confusing earth or dark cocoa with bitterness?

            5) How hard are you tamping and how much head space do you have from the top of the basket? I find this machine gives the best results with updosing. Paul Bassett is the champion of overdosing and naturally incorporated it in to his signature machine.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

              To add to the information:

              - Im using the Double basket supplied with the EM6910
              - I dont have any scales to determine how much weight Im tamping with but its not a light tamp by any means.
              - I dose to just below the level of the rim. If I underdose the shot pulls way too quickly. ALthough I havent looked at this with a finer grind and harder tamp to adjust. It seems to be better having the basket quite full.
              - Ill drop the brew temp as suggested.
              - The coffee I had yesterday was vaccuum packed...still cant work it myself actually.
              - I stop the shot if I see any blonding...maybe Im not doing this early enough?
              - Maybe its the beans. Ill buy a different blend from my roaster tomorrow.
              - My grinder is an EM0480. The setting is currently on about 7 (although I realise this is quite arbitrary because different EM480s need different settings). Ive tried using a coarser grind with a very hard tamp, but the shot pulls too quickly so Ive settled on using the current setting. I do tweak it when I change beans or the shot time is too slow/fast though.
              - Im just about to have my 1st coffee of the day so Ill report back...


              Thanks for asking me more questions folks. Perhaps it is just my palette not determining the difference. I eat a lot of curries. Maybe I only have 10 tastebuds left

              Cheers

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                Justin,
                With the double you should be getting a 60ml shot in 30 seconds, so maybe you are overexacting.
                You are right about the EM0480s all being different. Mine is set to around 11-13 otherwise my shots choke.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                  Originally posted by Grey link=1175333065/0#7 date=1175393370
                  Justin,
                  With the double you should be getting a 60ml shot in 30 seconds, so maybe you are overexacting.
                  You are right about the EM0480s all being different. Mine is set to around 11-13 otherwise my shots choke.
                  Ohhh..Ive been pulling single shots with my double basket. Ive read that other CSs do this though. Or have I misread the posts?

                  Ill see what happens when I try the double shot. Sounds like I need to coarsen the grind or tamp a bit lighter. Ill give both a go.

                  Ill report back...again

                  P.S I stopped my shot at 35s this morning...was just starting to blond. Thought Id tamped too hard though. Grind didnt change.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                    Originally posted by Saambo link=1175333065/0#8 date=1175394887
                    Originally posted by Grey link=1175333065/0#7 date=1175393370
                    P.S I stopped my shot at 35s this morning...
                    Saambo - you need to drink more coffee!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                      I find a really easy way to detect over extraction is the place on the tounge that the bitterness is coming from.

                      Over extraction will hit the very back of your tounge (the rear 1/3) and the bitterness will stay with you.

                      Well thats how it hits me anyways

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                        Justin

                        Forgetting about the machine for a second.............here is an "extract" [LOL] from my own personal journey: "the bitter truth" [LOEL]

                        I agree, it is easy to fall into the trap of developing a taste for your own brew, after all one drinks these all the time. If you like them I say stick with em, but if its the persuit of the petfect espresso.........we should find ourselves on a path of constant refinement and healthy self critisism.
                        So,

                        If you have a really good local roaster/cafe nearby, it can be worthwhile to sit down relax and try a couple of their shots, then purchase the same blend and try it out at home.
                        I found this really useful to help calibrate my pallate, particularily, once I understood how to taste for bitterness, and find the right balance.

                        If youre in Melbourne, I can highly recommend First Pour [Veneziano Caffe] for this exercise.

                        Experimenting, I found that stopping my shots earlier, [at say 20 sec] , well before the onset of blonding, approached the less bitter flavour, and more balanced flavours I was getting from "First Pour".....yum .

                        As a confirming experiment, I put another cup underneath and re-pulled so in effect, I was getting a shot brewed from the 25-40 second mark.
                        Taste this.....................you should never need to repeat this experiment.

                        This pointed me in the direction that I was not being "fussy" enough about the point where onset of blonding was occuring.

                        Once I knew what I was looking for, this enabled me to fine tune my technique [which all came back to dose/distribute/tamp] and pull a much better shot.

                        I can highly recommend you google "weiss distribution technique" as practicing this surprised me how much more coffee I could get into a basket.....just stick a sewing needle into a cork for your own WD tool.

                        For me it turned out I was not dosing enough [even though the basket seemed well filled] and also I suspect some grind clumps were probably not being fully broken down in the tamping process.
                        Therefore, I was allowing too much blonding into the cup to get my 25-30ml worth

                        If you dont already have one, a good well fitted tamper will also make a huge difference, again I was surprised how much more coffee I was able to get into the basket.

                        Good luck with your progress

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                          Saambo, whats the latest on your bitter shot issue?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                            i cant stop smiling!! so many of my queries answered, and i didnt even ask the questions...
                            even though i was getting well timed shots, with great crema, often bordering on red, the taste remained bitterish, independent of the shop-bought blend or newby trial variety of bean, blend and depth of roast.
                            the answers in this thread have helped me produce the first really "roundly" flavoured shots, fantastic!!
                            Justin, hopefully the recent EM6810 shots are wonderful too!

                            L

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bitter Shots - Advice needed from EM6910 users

                              Originally posted by chris002200 link=1175333065/0#12 date=1175484330
                              Saambo, whats the latest on your bitter shot issue?

                              Thanks for the lengthy reply Reubster. Ill investigate further and try stopping the shot before any sign of blonding occurs. I think Ive got a bit too caught up in the 30s timing of the pull rather than stopping the shot when the colour has changed. I read about this on another site and understand the principle behind it - Especially since you mentioned the re-pull of a shot from 25-40s. Ill give that a go and report back. ALthough I have an idea of what Ill be reporting
                              So far though Ive: downed the brew temp back to the EM6910 default (i.e 92C); Started using my single basket again; coarsened my grind and tamped harder (and visa versa) and had a change in taste already. I just woke up - No, Im not a lazy bum I just came off a 14h night shift - and pulled a single shot from the single basket. I obviously ground too fine or tamped too hard (or both) and stopped the shot at the 40s mark. There was no sign of blonding though and the shot tasted pretty good...although it was my wake-up coffee so maybe my palette hasnt fully woken up yet. There was still a dark - almost red - colour throughout the poor and I wouldnt have had more than 20ml in the cup. Yet it still tasted pretty good (better than some Ive pulled through my double of late). Im going to have another cup now and see how I go. My Pullman tamps fantastically so Ill tweak the grind to speed up the poor...

                              Ill report back.

                              Thanks for all the input thus far....Its very much appreciated.

                              Justin
                              I

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X