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Problem with EM7000 - Grind, tamp or other?

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  • Problem with EM7000 - Grind, tamp or other?

    Hi,
    Long time lurker, first time poster.
    I have just bought an EM7000. My EM6910 lasted nearly 7 years before she needed to head to a well deserved retirement.
    I was hoping to upgrade to a Silvia + Rocky (or Gaggia or similar) but funds would not allow as we have just bought a house. We were able to get the Sunbeam espresso + grinder with redeemed rewards vouchers and my wish to learn the intricacies of the Silvia shall have to wait til another day!
    Any-who, after 6-7yrs of pulling shots on the 6910 I'm sure you can imagine I was able to do them almost in my sleep (which I'm sure I did many a time since two kids have arrived in the time we had owned her).
    Now I am struggling and am hoping to receive some sound advice (other than to just save up).
    This is my problem:
    When a single shot is pouring the pressure gauge sits in the orange (boarding on red zone), the espresso drips out. The pour is rich in colour but the crema is thin and dissipates too quickly.
    I feel the grind is too coarse.
    I think my tamp is too heavy but the shot seems sour to me.
    The puck has good form (maybe too tight?).
    I've tried grinding finer and reducing my tamp pressure but the puck taps out sloppy.

    Please help with with your thoughts/ advice so I can enjoy my morning coffee without disappointment again.

    ps. Although I still regard myself a novice, I have used other machine in the past too (incl commercial).

  • #2
    What beans are you using, how old, where from?

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    • #3
      Campos; bought from popular local cafe. Being popular, I assume they wouldn't have beans sitting on the shelf for too long.
      I too wondered if it may be that the beans are too old but we have used beans from the same place about two weeks ago at a friends' place and the coffees produced were fine.

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      • #4
        If you are worried about sloppy pucks just increase the dose. Aim to get 15-20gm of coffee in 25-28 seconds for a single shot. Its hard to say from your description if things are running too fast or too slow. Thin and weak creme also rings some bells for possible channeling. Single baskets can be a bit more challenging.

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        • #5
          Have a crack at grinding coarser, but keeping the grind mass the same.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bissym View Post
            Campos; bought from popular local cafe. Being popular, I assume they wouldn't have beans sitting on the shelf for too long.
            I too wondered if it may be that the beans are too old but we have used beans from the same place about two weeks ago at a friends' place and the coffees produced were fine.
            Not always the safest of assumptions. If the staff at the cafe were doing their jobs properly, they would be rotating the stock by pulling older bags of beans forward and, as such, quite often the bags front and centre on the shelf are the oldest ones there. It's always best to check the roasting date if at all possible.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the suggestions.
              Too slow muppet_man. The pressure gauge doesn't go into the red but for how slow it's coming out I'm checking the gauge fully expecting it to.
              Def. cannot increase dose, maybe my dose is too much and I'm packing it to tightly...but then I'd expect the pressure gauge to red line.
              If it was channelling, would it be dripping rather than 'honey'?
              I will give an even coarser grind a go...

              I miss crema

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              • #8
                All this research made me curious so...even though it's 10pm I couldn't help myself. Ha!
                I think the problem is bean age and my tamping pressure.
                Checked:
                * changed the beans - roasted 7 days ago...not sure date on previous bag :/
                * grind - really don't want to increase coarseness there but will try one click up tmw morning.
                * my dosing (which is fine, shouldn't haven't doubted myself there).
                * tamping (was slightly too hard I think).

                Result: much smoother taste, no sourness, crema much better but will hopefully increase with time as we get to know each other...still haven't had machine for a week yet.

                Can you take beans back to the shop? Bought them on Saturday.

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                • #9
                  I bought Campos for 2 years in Lane Cove, quite a good bean. They have roast date label that I can even choose anyone of them (they are all within 1 week), I only get 250g for use in 2 weeks. Most of my pulls got beautiful crema, but its double basket and light tamp with finer grind. hope it helps

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                  • #10
                    Are you having any issues getting the double shot right also?

                    the nature of the single baskets makes them a pain in the butt to use your usual grind, dose, tamp techniques.
                    I found that with my 6910 i could use the same grind setting, but it needed to be dosed right up with a lighter tamp,
                    When the puck swelled with water, it provided more resistance against the shower-screen.
                    as such the pucks were never solid like a double with full weight tamp would be.
                    Using a full weight tamp would just choke the machine

                    I use the same technique with my new Lelit PL60 and I can get consistent singles without choking the machine or needing to change the grinder.
                    but i rarely use the single basket anyway, it's only an option if you have an odd number of people to make coffee for at once,
                    but I'll just prepare a normal double and stop the shot short (usually keeping this one for myself.. )

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                    • #11
                      I am in the same boat. Having no trouble in pulling a great shot(s) with the double basket but all sorts of issues with the single basket.
                      I have read on this site that there are some after market baskets available that could help is this the case? I have only just purchased the 7000 yesterday after 6 years with the 6910. I also purchased at the same time the new EM 0700 grinder, very impressed with this straight out of the box on a double a 35 sec pour and almost perfect shot. Just a pain in the backside if I have to change grind settings each time in need a single shot. Any help will be great.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fard View Post
                        I am in the same boat. Having no trouble in pulling a great shot(s) with the double basket but all sorts of issues with the single basket.
                        I have read on this site that there are some after market baskets available that could help is this the case? I have only just purchased the 7000 yesterday after 6 years with the 6910. I also purchased at the same time the new EM 0700 grinder, very impressed with this straight out of the box on a double a 35 sec pour and almost perfect shot. Just a pain in the backside if I have to change grind settings each time in need a single shot. Any help will be great.
                        G'day Fard. It's an age old problem caused in part by the fact that a single is never 1/2 a double. Those (very few) who bother to use them at the coal face generally compensate with dose, rather than grind- but as you have found, you can actually do either.

                        I compensated by throwing my singles in the bin many years ago and I don't miss them at all. FWIW, buying an alternate single is unlikely to present you will a bullseye which requires no change in technique from that which you use with your double.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                          G'day Fard. It's an age old problem caused in part by the fact that a single is never 1/2 a double. Those (very few) who bother to use them at the coal face generally compensate with dose, rather than grind- but as you have found, you can actually do either.

                          I compensated by throwing my singles in the bin many years ago and I don't miss them at all. FWIW, buying an alternate single is unlikely to present you will a bullseye which requires no change in technique from that which you use with your double.
                          Thanks Talk Coffee,
                          I will compensate the same way was you have done and toss them in the junk draw and work with only the double.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fard View Post
                            I have read on this site that there are some after market baskets available that could help is this the case?
                            That's probably VST baskets - one of the design criteria was apparently to ensure all sizes could be used with the same grind rather than having to adjust for each basket. But even with them, the single is a bit problematic to use. (I don't have one yet, just going by others' experiences)

                            I have a 15g and a 22g VST and they both extract very nicely with the same grind.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Journeyman I may look into the 15 and 22 myself.

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