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Dialing in espresso on Breville bes920

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  • Dialing in espresso on Breville bes920

    Hi all,

    I have a Breville Bes920 coffee machine with a Breville smart grinder and would like advice on how to dial in my espresso. I've recently been reading up on coffee to water ratios and my understanding is that aiming for a 1:2 coffee ratio is an ideal ball park with 25 to 30 seconds being the ideal extraction time to get about 30mls coffee.

    I until recently I've been using a single basket filter. My water flow appears to be quite fast and I've been attempting to make the grind smaller to reduce the speed of extraction. What I'm finding though is as I'm reducing the grind size the bitterness of the shot appears to be increasing and it seems to make my gut feel like it's bloating.

    I'm using supermarket beans the Vittoria mountain grown coffee. I'm grinding it at setting 4 ground 18g to fill my double shot filter basket though send to be following quickly still.

    I'm quite overwhelmed with information and would love some advice. It seems as though my quest to get closer to a 1:2 coffee ratio has led me so far too be having burnt like coffee which makes me want to go to the toilet.
    On the other hand if I've used a more course grind it is weaker but not sure whether I'm making the best use of my machine.

    Any help generic or specific would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Sounds like you’re on the right track. The only thing you need to change is to stop buying crappy coffee from the supermarket. Use good quality, fresh, locally roasted coffee and you should notice an improvement.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Punza,

      I just bought a BES920 a few days ago. Been playing around with supermarket beans too. I am using Lavazza ORO Gold as thats what I had after upgrading from a French press. My setting is 8 on the Breville Grinder for 10 seconds so maybe you are going too fine? This setting gets me a pressure of 9 during the brew and am quite happy with it. It really is a amazing the difference in taste playing with the settings. I am using the single basket.

      Everyone says buy fresh beans and they are probably right but not everyone has the budget or lives near big cities. I guess it's like drinking Carlton Draught or a craft beer. Crafe beer probably only 10% better but a Carlton Draught does the job!!

      If you dial in the Vittoria Mountain settings please post here, I have a pack I was going to try next.

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      • #4
        So I thought I would try with the double shot basket and am having trouble too. I measured out 18g coffee and on grind setting 6 and I got a maximum pressure of 5 and way too fast extraction. I had to go all the way down to grind setting of 1 to get the prssure up to 9 bar. Coffee volume and taste seems ok but I think that is way too fine a grind, when I remove the portafilter there is a pool of water sitting on top.

        Is there any other way to increase pressure other than smaller grind size?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
          Use good quality, fresh, locally roasted coffee and you should notice an improvement.
          Hey Leroy, do fresh beans make a diference to the pressure or are you just commenting on taste?

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          • #6
            I'm replying from my google account. I've been looking at this video for advice and also read some information on the website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BT7...C&index=3&t=0s I am trying their technique of grind size, yield and time. Yesterday with the 1 cup portafilter basket I filled it with 11g of coffee and got a yield of 22g in 14 seconds. I then tried reducing the grind size on my grind to pull out the 22gs in 18 seconds though I then seemed to tase bitter again. I'm about to give it another try. Fingers crossed. I'm not sure whether I should reduce the grind any further. It is about 6 on the Breville Smart Grinder.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by punzilla View Post
              I'm replying from my google account. I've been looking at this video for advice and also read some information on the website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BT7...C&index=3&t=0s I am trying their technique of grind size, yield and time. Yesterday with the 1 cup portafilter basket I filled it with 11g of coffee and got a yield of 22g in 14 seconds. I then tried reducing the grind size on my grind to pull out the 22gs in 18 seconds though I then seemed to tase bitter again. I'm about to give it another try. Fingers crossed. I'm not sure whether I should reduce the grind any further. It is about 6 on the Breville Smart Grinder.
              Single baskets are notoriously unforgiving. I'd be more inclined to use a double basket as you will find it much easier to replicate your results and finetune your technique. If that first shot you pulled n 14 seconds tasted good, stick with that. It's really all about taste in the end.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheDolphin View Post
                do fresh beans make a diference to the pressure or are you just commenting on taste?
                They absolutely do. Most supermarket beans are so stale you need to grind them miles finer and still can't get good pressure.

                Also your grinder has an inner burr setting that can be adjusted, check the manual for instructions. From memory each setting finer on the inner burr moves the grind size about 10 numbers finer but still displays the same number.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheDolphin View Post
                  Hey Leroy, do fresh beans make a diference to the pressure or are you just commenting on taste?
                  Definitely. Especially when you’re learning or working out a new machine.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah right so far getting an alright result from using size 4 grinder settings, 11g coffee 22g yield. Though if my tamping is not perfect then it can affect the end result. Still not perfect but I'll keep trying I'll play around with temperature settings soon too but I got one really good shot today so I'll keep trying. Thanks all

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replies Ninja and Leroy, I'll go out and get some fresh beans and give it a try. Didn't mean to hijack your thread Punza, our issues were simlar so figured the answers were relevant to both of us.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheDolphin View Post
                        Thanks for the replies Ninja and Leroy, I'll go out and get some fresh beans and give it a try. Didn't mean to hijack your thread Punza, our issues were simlar so figured the answers were relevant to both of us.
                        Thanks for doing so! I'm still experimenting and think that the vittoria mountain grown beans are really difficult to work with in our machines. I'm not sure how much success that I'll end up having, but please provide an update noce you get your fresh beans.

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                        • #13
                          I've been through this tail chasing process, and I'd suggest at a minimum, buying some Aldi Lazio coffee. The use by dates are 13 months from date of roast, if i remember correctly, so try get the "latest" use by. You'll get better tasting coffee, more consistent, and won't be running your grinder at almost maximum, oh and you'll see proper crema!

                          As suggested above, the single basket is unforgiving and is a lot more difficult to maintain consistency shot-to-shot.

                          I'd get a bag of Lazio to start learning with, 18-20 grams into a double basket and see how you go.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by itsali View Post
                            I've been through this tail chasing process, and I'd suggest at a minimum, buying some Aldi Lazio coffee. The use by dates are 13 months from date of roast, if i remember correctly, so try get the "latest" use by. You'll get better tasting coffee, more consistent, and won't be running your grinder at almost maximum, oh and you'll see proper crema!

                            As suggested above, the single basket is unforgiving and is a lot more difficult to maintain consistency shot-to-shot.

                            I'd get a bag of Lazio to start learning with, 18-20 grams into a double basket and see how you go.
                            They actually give the roast date on the bag. It's just below the expiry date and in reverse format YYMMDD. The single origins are better than the blends. I think Brazil and Peru were there last time I was there, Brazil is the better of the two. Colombia is the best if you can get it, if it was fresh enough I'd use it as my every day bean but it's hard to ​get much younger than 3 weeks post roast date, and they only get replenished every few weeks at best (at least near me) I'd rather support a little guy and get fresh coffee. None of them last much past 4 weeks from roast date, the Peru even less. They can be good for mucking around on though.

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                            • #15
                              Punzilla, I got some fresh beans and big difference. I am still adjusting but last batch was 11g at grind setting 10, single basket still. I don't measure the volume/weight out but it looked about right and tasted great. I think I need to up the grind size a bit more. Will keep adjusting and also try the double basket and post back here.

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