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  • Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

    Hi all,

    First off, although I have read many a discussion on this forum, this is my first post and I am sorry if this isnt the right place to post this.

    I am new to making my own -good- coffee. I recently grabbed myself a Lelit PL41TEM, and a Compak K3 Touch, both from Jetblack Espresso, who have been extremely helpful. Ive been researching a lot, and with more knowledge comes better coffee, but I think - due to my inexperience - Im still not pouring shots that do these great machines justice.

    Ive fixed a lot of the problems Ive come across. Ive figured out that I do have to tamp firmly to get the pressure gauge up in greens, and to get a good extraction time. Though, now I am struggling to fine tune my shots so both machines are in sync. If anyone could help me with these questions Id be extremely appreciative.

    After extraction, Ive been pulling the portafilter out to see that its quite watery on top. I was told that Im probably not putting enough coffee in the basket. So I put a bit more in but then it was too full - I couldnt actually get it in the group. So I did a little bit less the next try, and it could fit, but putting it in and then taking it out revealed that the it was so full that the group was leaving an imprint on the coffee. Is this good, or bad?

    Ive read that 14 grams is a double shot, and thats supposedly what comes out of the K3 Touch for a double, but theres even less here than there was when I was getting water on top. So Im a little confused.

    I followed directions from the (fantastic) people at Jetblack Espresso, and I believe I poured out a better shot. The crema was much darker, more of a brown/red than a light brown/gold as it was before. However, even after putting the right amount of coffee into the basket, it was still enough to actually make contact with the group and form an imprint.

    I tried to find a grind on the K3 that is fine enough to be compacted to the right amount, and is still able to pour through the Lelit. I think Ive found the spot, its what created the darker crema. But the coffee was quite bitter, or sour. Which leads me to think I actually had too much coffee in the basket, or compressed it to much. All these details are very conflicting.

    Here are some points that might help with a diagnosis of what Im doing wrong.

    Beans - Vittoria Oro (JUST opened when starting todays experiment)
    Tamper - Precise Fit from Jetblack.
    Tamping Method - Doserless K3 grind straight into basket, knock lightly against bench so coffee evens out/falls, grind more in to get recommended dose. Tamp as even as I can fairly firmly, down so I can see the last two rings on the precise fit tamp, rotate tamp a quarter (not sure if this is helping or harming).
    Extraction time - around 20 seconds, havent quite got it up to 30, though its slowly getting better.
    Grind - fairly fine. its coming out in small little "cake" clumps, but course enough so that it doesnt get blocked in the pour.

    Also, Im not really sure what beans I should use, and from where. Id like a smooth, non-bitter blend, perhaps sweet, just something flavoursome. So far the beans Ive tried including the Vittoria Oro, are producing a really bland taste. Much like a Starbucks or my local Gloria Jeans coffee

    Sorry for the novel of a post, and sorry again if its not in the right area. But any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Chris. 

  • #2
    Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

    Originally posted by 457F7A7A6F160 link=1315200246/0#0 date=1315200246
    Beans - Vittoria Oro (JUST opened when starting todays experiment)
    Welcome aboard Chris.

    I have highlighted the biggest limiting factor to getting good coffee. Stale beans.

    Really we cant help you any further until you are using beans that are between say 7 and 21 days since they were roasted.

    Get hold of some fresh beans either from Beanbay or one of our sponsors and you should see an immediate improvement in your results. The rest of your technique looks OK.

    Start with your double basket, its more forgiving than a single. You are aiming for 50-60mls in 25-30 seconds before it blonds. Start timeing when you press the brew switch, it may take 5 or more seconds before you see the espresso start to drip.

    Only change one thing at a time, try and keep your tamp pressure consistent and change the grind fineness to get the timing right.

    Dont give up, its worth it 8-)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

      Hi Chris: Im a recent purchaser of the Lelit PL41TEM as well - though with the Lelit grinder. Ive brought them on holidays with me and Im getting comparable shots to what I get with my Giotto and Macap M4D grinder at home. I agree that fresh beans are the key to your solving your issues. Also I find Im dosing at about 17.5 grams. I sometimes do get a little moisture on the top of the puck, but the pours are looking really good so I dont worry about that too much.

      My suggestions would be: Get some fresh beans and increase the size of your dose.

      Best wishes, Russell

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

        Hey there Chris. Why the name Silly?

        Yes its all too easy to get quite confused with the search to great espresso.

        As the guys mentioned before, fresh beans is most important. Just like cooking, you cant make a great dish without fresh quality ingredients no matter what you do.

        Secondly, dosing.

        Before you dose and play with grinder settings, turn on the machine beforehand, lock in the portafilter into the group head lightly to warm up.

        For the Lelit, and this goes for most other makes, dose the grounds into the portafilter til slightly overflowing, then distribute evenly and level off, with a card or popsicle stick, whatever.

        Light tamp, tap the portafilter on the bench to collapse any stray grounds, then tamp, with approx 15 kg force, evenly.
        More important to tamp evenly rather than fussing with the correct force just so that the extraction will be even.

        Put a five cent piece on the puck than lock it in.
        Now unlock the handle and inspect the puck. There should only be a slight indentation.
        If no dents, increase the dose, if full dent, then decrease the dose.

        Lock it back in and press brew switch. Time the extraction for 30 ml in 30 seconds.
        Look at the pour. It should look like honey dripping and dark golden brown.

        This is the stage when if you see it pouring too fast, change to a finer setting a mm at a time.
        If too slow and it looks like its dripping a drop at a time then change to a coarser grind, a mm at a time.

        Always keep the dosing, distribution, levelling and tamping the same.
        This is where people get lost, because their variables have changed and they are scratching their heads as to why.

        It is important and more easier to change one thing at a time.
        Take your time over this. Dont rush.Relax and think about what youre doing.

        Stick to the same beans when youre dialling it in, and make sure you dont run out.

        Over time when you change to a different bean, you will very likely have to change the grind setting slightly, based on the pour you are observing.

        A tip i can give is to mark the grinder setting with liquid paper or tape and use that as a reference to work with.

        Enjoy your coffee.

        Gary at G

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

          Thanks for your help guys!

          I will have to get some fresh beans by the sound of it. Im in Canberra, so Ill held down to Ona or Cosmorex.

          I am happy to say though I have started pulling really nice shots, and Ive also started steaming less milk at a time, doing one cup at a time, and always refilling the boiler in between of course. This has improved my latte art considerably, though Im not sure why - does less milk steam better/easier on a wand like the Lelits?

          Also, even though my shots are coming out much better, Im getting about 7-10 seconds of heavy resistance where its just dripping through. Is this good or bad? perhaps Im tamping too hard? Im getting a good 30 seconds now I believe, starting with a very black pour, then moving onto about 10 seconds resistance, then to the lighter brown and finally blonding. Does this sound about right, or should there be less resistance?

          Thanks again for all your help. This forum has been extremely helpful!

          Chris.

          Oh, and as for the name Gary, Im a bit of a gamer, and not wanting to put my name as my username, I opted for the first thing I could think of - my gaming name

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

            Originally posted by 263C313022342C2626550 link=1315200246/3#3 date=1315288440
            Light tamp, tap the portafilter on the bench to collapse any stray grounds, then tamp, with approx 15 kg force, evenly.
            More important to tamp evenly rather than fussing with the correct force just so that the extraction will be even.
            The tap that G@G mentions above is just a light drop" onto the bench to get the grinds off the rim of the portafilter. Im not a fan of the technique, but plenty do it. I grind into the basket and use my fingers to form the grinds into a low mound then tamp lightly. I then invert the portafilter over the sink to get rid of the stray grinds.

            Whatever technique you use, Consistency is the key

            Originally posted by 263C313022342C2626550 link=1315200246/3#3 date=1315288440
            Lock it back in and press brew switch. Time the extraction for 30 ml in 30 seconds.
            For a single basket, if using a double, and they are more forgiving, then you are aiming for 60mls in 30 seconds.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lelit PL41TEM & Compak K3 Touch Help

              Originally posted by 0F353030255C0 link=1315200246/4#4 date=1315455265
              Also, even though my shots are coming out much better, Im getting about 7-10 seconds of heavy resistance where its just dripping through. Is this good or bad? perhaps Im tamping too hard? Im getting a good 30 seconds now I believe, starting with a very black pour, then moving onto about 10 seconds resistance, then to the lighter brown and finally blonding. Does this sound about right, or should there be less resistance?
              Gday Chris.

              Youre in the ball park now.

              Anywhere between 5-7 seconds is what you would expect before a honey dripping consistency comes out, then you could either stop the pour just before light brown arrives for a ristretto, or stop straight away when it starts to blond for espresso.

              Taste as always.

              My apologies, i should have mentioned 30 ml in 30 secs should be single baskets, 60 ml in 30 for double baskets.
              Thanks for noting trentski. 

              Chris, i quite enjoy double ristrettos to make a single flat white.
              Try it. Gives a nice punch and a lingering finish on the palate.

              I understand now about the name.
              Ive come across much worse names in gaming  ;D

              Attilo at Cosmorex will certainly give great advice and beans.

              Gary at G

              Comment

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