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Extraction pressure on BDB - fruity notes?

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  • Extraction pressure on BDB - fruity notes?

    Hi all,

    I’m new here and I’ve just got my very first home machine one week ago. In terms of set up I have the dynamic duo from breville - the smart grinder and the BES920, and the beans I use are on the lighter side.

    I’ve been able to extract average shots - usual tasting notes are nutty, sweet, strong, with
    • 93C brewing temp,
    • 20:40g brewing ratio,
    • around 30 seconds extraction time with 6 seconds preinfusion at 60%,
    • with around 10.5bar pressure during extraction.
    The main thing that I would like to improve on my espresso are on the “fruity notes”. From (my very little) knowledge, it seems like the reason why I’m unable to extract the fruity notes might be due to the high extraction pressure, and I was wondering if there is a way to fix it or change the extraction pressure on the machine.

    The two things I’ve tried are changing the dose and/or grind settings. But coarser grind had usually ended up with a (way too) short pouring time, and with lower dose it had seem to give a rather bland shot.

    Any form of suggestion is highly appreciated and feel free to ask if more information is needed!

    Cheers,
    Ed

  • #2
    Yeah unfortunately seems you got a machine set quite high. Flat 10.5 will not be great for lighter espresso roasts.

    If you are even slightly mechanically / tech capable its a 10 min job to adjust the OPV. You risk warranty issues on new machine however...

    I have my older 920 set at 7.5bar with full flow profiling mod and it can pull some pretty amazing light - med espresso with Niche.

    I guess you could complain to Breville / try return it stating you bought it thinking it would be set to appropriate pressure for modern "3rd wave espresso" quotes because thats their current marketing.

    I forgot about the other intermediate option you can try. Set the Pre Infusion time to 40 sec and the pressure 82 to 85%. This means your entire shot will run in pre infusion mode with slightly less pressure and a more moderate flow. This should allow you to keep the grind a bit finer and push the extraction without choking machine.

    Last edited by Steve82; 22 January 2021, 01:22 PM. Reason: Adding stuff on Pre infusion

    Comment


    • EdH
      EdH commented
      Editing a comment
      It turns out that Breville’s basket was way shallower than a standard 20g basket, although they seem to claim it to be a 19-22g basket. I’m currently using a VST 20g basket and the difference in depth is huge. With the VST basket there is more head space and had thus reduced the (max) pressure to 9.5 bar with a ~20g dose. Nonetheless, the full pre-infusion technique worked too, although it also meant that my puck prep needed to be much better (still working on it!) without the actual pre-infusion to help reduce channeling.

      ​​​​​​​

  • #3
    Sounds like I have something new to try! Thanks for the input. Returning it sounds like a lot of work and might also end up with another high pressure machine...

    Comment


    • #4
      Yeah I’d try Steve’s preinfusion trick first. Adjusting the brew pressure via the OPV is easy but will definitely void your warranty. I’d also lower your dose if you’re using the stock Breville basket. I know you haven’t had much luck with that approach yet, but from my experience the sweet spot for that basket is about 18g.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
        Yeah I’d try Steve’s preinfusion trick first. Adjusting the brew pressure via the OPV is easy but will definitely void your warranty. I’d also lower your dose if you’re using the stock Breville basket. I know you haven’t had much luck with that approach yet, but from my experience the sweet spot for that basket is about 18g.
        The 18g dose had seem to made the coffee rather bland for some reason. I’ll do a few more shots at 18g and see how it goes.

        I’ve seen someone suggesting that a much longer preinfusion time: 15 seconds at 55% pressure with total pouring time 32+ seconds. Has anyone tried that or can explain what that should do to the coffee? From what I know it should saturate the puck more to improve evenness of the flow. I tried a few shots today but I personally don’t think I see a huge difference in it.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by EdH View Post
          The 18g dose had seem to made the coffee rather bland for some reason. I’ll do a few more shots at 18g and see how it goes. I’ve seen someone suggesting that a much longer preinfusion time: 15 seconds at 55% pressure with total pouring time 32+ seconds. Has anyone tried that or can explain what that should do to the coffee? From what I know it should saturate the puck more to improve evenness of the flow. I tried a few shots today but I personally don’t think I see a huge difference in it.
          Yes if you’re brewing fairly light roasted coffee for drinking as straight espresso you want to maximise the potential of your extraction. A long, low pressure pre-infusion of 15-20secs will require that you grind finer and therefore hopefully give you improved extraction. Worth a try.

          Comment


          • #7
            Just noticed that you’ve only got the brew temp set to 93deg. That’s fine for your average medium to medium-dark espresso, but for light roasts I set mine to either 95 or 96deg. Temperature can make a big difference and it’s probably where I’d start if I were you.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by LeroyC View Post
              Just noticed that you’ve only got the brew temp set to 93deg. That’s fine for your average medium to medium-dark espresso, but for light roasts I set mine to either 95 or 96deg. Temperature can make a big difference and it’s probably where I’d start if I were you.
              Yeap I’ll give that a go too after seeing how this longer pre-infusion (PI) method plays out, trying to keep the most of the variables constant else I don’t think I can see what’s going on!

              My recent shot was 19g:37.8g with 15seconds PI at 55% pressure and a total extraction time of 33sec. Seems kinda short in terms of total extraction time given the long PI, but the coffee was definitely towards the direction I wanted — it was brighter in taste with good acidity and almost 0 bitterness. My guess was that it was probably under extracted and I could use a longer extraction time by pushing the grind a little finer. I was a little shock by how the total time did not change much (with the same setting but with 7sec PI I was getting 29seconds total extraction time). The flow was clearly much quicker once the machine goes into full pressure extraction.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by EdH View Post
                Yeap I’ll give that a go too after seeing how this longer pre-infusion (PI) method plays out, trying to keep the most of the variables constant else I don’t think I can see what’s going on! My recent shot was 19g:37.8g with 15seconds PI at 55% pressure and a total extraction time of 33sec. Seems kinda short in terms of total extraction time given the long PI, but the coffee was definitely towards the direction I wanted — it was brighter in taste with good acidity and almost 0 bitterness. My guess was that it was probably under extracted and I could use a longer extraction time by pushing the grind a little finer. I was a little shock by how the total time did not change much (with the same setting but with 7sec PI I was getting 29seconds total extraction time). The flow was clearly much quicker once the machine goes into full pressure extraction.
                Don’t worry about the ratio of pre-infusion to total brew time. It doesn’t matter until you start getting into really long pre-infusion like 30secs+. All the numbers look and sound good so if your result was a little better I’d actually try doing exactly the same again but with your brew temp set to 94deg. If it doesn’t make much difference try one more increase to 95deg before you go back to adjusting the grinder. You are right though - only change one variable at a time.

                Comment


                • EdH
                  EdH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The long pre-infusion method was rather interesting. I personally think with the 15sec pre-infusion time it had actually made everything mellower — the espresso wasn’t acidic, wasn’t bitter either, rather balanced but in some sense bland — I’d say it is somehow closer to filter coffee. My guess is that the longer period of low pressure extraction had caused this. The temperature was indeed a thing, I ended up going up to 96 degrees on one of the beans
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