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  • Bad shots with Sunbeam 6910

    Hi. I'm sorry this is a bit off topic but I'm new and unsure where I could get help. I have just purchased a Sunbeam em6910 and after watching the dvd that came with it and about 60 YouTube videos I cannot get a "perfect cup". Basically I tried nearly every setting on my grinder and if I go setting 5 and up on my emo700 it gives a very quick pour and hardly any crema, if I got 5 and below my machine indicates high pressure ( arrow going towards the red ) and even though the pour gets up to 25 seconds or longer it does seem to struggle. I've played around with tampering, used "exactly 15kg pressure" with the help of scales and the amount "looks right" ( under about 2-3 mm from the top rim) and level... I've tried weighing it and the single shot seems to take 15-18g of coffee... I've called sunbeam and they were useless. If anyone can give me some advice or redirect me to someone who knows sunbeam machines well, it would be greatly appreciated.thanks

  • #2
    The tamping pressure isn't that critical, as long as it's consistent. Try 10kg and see how you go.

    While most people don't recommend this, I fill up my basket in thirds and only tamp to 5kg. So 6gm, tamp 5kg, 6gm, tamp 5kg, 6gm tamp.

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    • #3
      don't get too caught up on that 'perfect pressure range' gauge.

      the question is, how do those coffees taste? (the ones where you are grinding 5 or below)

      I have never weighed a does in my life, but from experience my old sunbeam em6910 liked a high does. So i would fill 3/4, tap twice to settle, fill it up full with a little mound, tap twice again and then level off and tamp.
      also if you using the single shot basket, I reckon (ditch it and use the double. much more consistent shots come with the double (to do with the shape of the basket)

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      • #4
        Thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate your help. I guess I'm never going to get a "textbook shot" with my machine. I will follow your advice and see how I go. The coffee is "ok". Coarser grind - watery, finer grind - too bitter. But after trying to perfect 45 espressos yesterday I bought a new bag of beans and they seem to act completely different all together, I'm getting higher pressure with coarser grind now ( 12-14 instead of 5). How accurate is that pressure gauge?should I worry about the arrow going towards the red mark? Will it affect my machine? Iggs, you've mentioned that your sunbeam machine liked higher doses, I leave 3mm gap from the top of the basket, does that sound right to you?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NataliaMH View Post
          ... I leave 3mm gap from the top of the basket, does that sound right to you?
          One trick to correct dosing is to tamp and put a $1 coin on top of the coffee grounds. As you pour your shot, the coffee grinds will swell and push the coin into the screen. You should just see a dent in the coffee puck.

          FYI, when I had my 6910, the pressure gauge never really worked so I ignored it and just timed the shot.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
            One trick to correct dosing is to tamp and put a $1 coin on top of the coffee grounds. As you pour your shot, the coffee grinds will swell and push the coin into the screen. You should just see a dent in the coffee puck.
            Uuummmm......No. The standard that has been used here from day one is the Aussie 5 cent piece and you don't pull a shot with it in. Fill your basket/portafilter tamping as usual and lock it into the grouphead then remove it. There should be no sign of contact between the screen and the puck. Then gently place a 5 cent piece on top of the puck and lock it into the grouphead and remove. There should be just a slight impression of the coin in the puck. Additionally; experimentation using clear portafilters has shown that the puck does not swell during extraction. Rather, when the 3-way valve opens at the end of the shot the pressure being released through it causes a suction in the basket/portafilter which pulls the puck up against the screen causing the impression of the screen in the puck.


            Java "Twitch" phile
            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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            • #7
              My bad. I think I choose a thicker coin cause when it didn't leave any impression I had no idea how far it missed by.

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              • #8
                So increase your dose level until you do get an impression. That's the whole purpose of the test, to determine the proper height of the puck! Using a thicker coin just so you get an impression defeats the whole purpose of the test. As does pulling a shot with the coin in place.


                Java "Coin what?" phile
                Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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                • #9
                  Sorry, I use the thicker coin like a ruler. It will tell me how far off I am when it is not enough. I still aim for 5c thickness. Using a 5c only tells you when you've got it right. Before that point, there is no impression so you have no idea by how much you are missing.

                  And are you saying you do this without pulling the shot? Once the grounds swell, won't they hit the screen leading to dirty/oily screens and increased maintenance?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
                    And are you saying you do this without pulling the shot? Once the grounds swell, won't they hit the screen leading to dirty/oily screens and increased maintenance?
                    Did you not read all of my previous post?

                    Originally posted by Javaphile View Post
                    Uuummmm......No. The standard that has been used here from day one is the Aussie 5 cent piece and you don't pull a shot with it in. Fill your basket/portafilter tamping as usual and lock it into the grouphead then remove it. There should be no sign of contact between the screen and the puck. Then gently place a 5 cent piece on top of the puck and lock it into the grouphead and remove. There should be just a slight impression of the coin in the puck. Additionally; experimentation using clear portafilters has shown that the puck does not swell during extraction. Rather, when the 3-way valve opens at the end of the shot the pressure being released through it causes a suction in the basket/portafilter which pulls the puck up against the screen causing the impression of the screen in the puck.
                    What is unclear in that?


                    Java "Still twitching" phile
                    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
                      Sorry, I use the thicker coin like a ruler. It will tell me how far off I am when it is not enough. I still aim for 5c thickness. Using a 5c only tells you when you've got it right. Before that point, there is no impression so you have no idea by how much you are missing.

                      And are you saying you do this without pulling the shot? Once the grounds swell, won't they hit the screen leading to dirty/oily screens and increased maintenance?
                      Crikey! this is a new concept to me.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
                        Sorry, I use the thicker coin like a ruler. It will tell me how far off I am when it is not enough. I still aim for 5c thickness. Using a 5c only tells you when you've got it right. Before that point, there is no impression so you have no idea by how much you are missing.

                        And are you saying you do this without pulling the shot? Once the grounds swell, won't they hit the screen leading to dirty/oily screens and increased maintenance?
                        Oh My! Nothing like being unique I guess

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                        • #13
                          Thanks a lot, guys. I feel like you are giving me much more valuable info than my 6 hours of YouTube barista videos lol I have tried the 5c coin thing today. When I first put the grounds in the basket and then inserted it there was no impression of the screen, but when I put a 5c coin I found it was hard to lift it off without "messing the grounds" after 3 attempts I sort of lifted it with as little damage as possible and the coin sunk nearly level with the grounds so basically the whole thickness of the coin printed on the coffee. I have tried pulling 2 double shots with that level. First time the "pressure gauge" showed "underextraction" and the second time it went to the "normal range" but only half way through the shot. The pour was way too fast again in my opinion. I will try experimenting with getting finer grounds and "compacting" them more, but I'm not confident that that will fix it...

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                          • #14
                            " I had a laugh" was not supposed to be there. Some autocorrect nonsense

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                            • #15
                              Keep in mind that you should end up with just a light impression of the nickle in the grounds, not with it embedded all the way.


                              Java "Lightly does it" phile
                              Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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