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Problems dialling in VST basket please help

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  • Problems dialling in VST basket please help

    advice please

    I'm having some problems with my extractions after changing from the original SB double basket. I have switched to the 15 g VST basket.

    My grinder is the Breville smart pro-BCG 820
    My coffee machine is the Sunbeam EM 7000

    I changed to the new VST baskets to improve my coffee flavour,

    I have not worked out how to control the coffee flow using the recommended coffee weight for the 15 g basket, It would seem to get any sort of control of the flow rate I need to overfill the basket to something like 22 g. If I do not do this the beverage will just gush out of the portafilter.

    I have also had to decrease my grind to an incredible low adjustment of one. (With the old SB double filter I could easily choke my EM7000) I have not worked out a way to choke my machine using the VST basket = Not that I want to do that, it's just that if I could then would be able to work out a range with which I can work to find that sweet spot.

    I am nearly the but am left with no adjustment with my grinder (and I'm also wondering if this is completely wrong being set at one) previous setting with SB double basket was 8

    Best I have achieved so far using a grinder setting is one and with a progressive tamp and loading the 15 g VST to 22 g, (at 22g the grind is just touching the filter screen after expansion) I can achieve a very good beverage flow rate from the portafilter but only lasting 20 seconds. The flow rate starts to speed up at about 15 seconds and way to fast after 25 seconds. If I stop the flow at 20 seconds it has delivered nearly 40 mils for a triple shot espresso. I have run out of adjustment on the grinder and it is incredibly fine.

    If I add less coffee grind it just turns up as soup in the portafiler and gushes out. Also using extreme force tamping while using a courser grind the coffee gushes out. This lead me to using a low setting on the grinder. The odd thing is the original SB baskets worked at the expected range 8

    I'm not to worried about the gauge on the EM7000 but the flow rate from the portafilter spout

    Excuse me for the long explanation but can anyone provide ideas which could help lead me to getting the 15 g VST dialled into my Sunbeam EM7000 - would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Hi nzgreenbean,

    There are a number of users who struggle with vst baskets at first.. my mother has an oscar and bcg820 and I tried using my 18g vst basket on her setup with no luck at first.

    There were two options. One was to go as fine as possible on the bcg820, which I was not too keen on. Just like you, I could only achieve a 20 second shot. The other was to play around with the brew pressure, this solved the problem.

    One last option if you don't mind lots of fines in the puck (see how it goes) unlock the top burr and move the position of the red dot to the next position where it locks in and this will allow some more range to go finer.

    Let us know how you go


    • #3
      I reckon gonzo is on my money - adjust where your top burr starts and see if you can go finer. Although you could be (and probably are) channeling, for now it'd be due to grind fineness.
      Try to use the freshest coffee you can get your hands on as well, just as an experiment. The fresher it is the coarser you can get away with. At least it'll help you get in the ballpark faster.

      After that there are other things you might want to think about with the VST, but get back to us first.


      • #4
        If you grind out some grounds at '1' what would you liken the consistency to? White flour, cornflour, fine salt... Etc. it's not perfect, but it'll help us understand what the fineness appears to be like.


        • #5
          Hello gonzo89

          Thanks very much for the advice one of my thoughts was hmm could I adjust the pressure in my em7000 but a quick google did not return anything so I thought the pump in the Em7000 was set at 15bar with no adjustment. I did think 15 bar was high. have you seen or read anywhere how you can adjust the pump pressure of the EM7000.

          the BCG 820 did make a noticeable noise change when it got down to 3,2,1 though it was not the sound of metal thankfully its possible I could go finer though I thing the preference might be to adjust pump pressure if that is an option. Also that might be more difficult than adjusting the grinder but I think the grind is incredibly fine at one.

          Thanks again


          • #6
            I wouldn't get too caught up in basket specs. The shower screen on the EM6910 is very high; presumably the 7000 is similar, so you'll probably need to updose quite a bit... the Sunbeam also seems to respond best to higher doses for whatever reason. Dose low and you'll get a soupy pick and poor extraction - maybe because the fairly "direct" water outlet cuts into the puck?

            I never weighed the dose I used in my 6910, but I basically overfilled slightly, levelled off and tamped, giving a tamped level a few mm below the top of the basket. Never found a progressive tamp necessary. Dose was probably well over 22g which is what I'm using in the same basket on my ECM with a much lower screen.

            TL;DR: if a higher dose works, maybe stick with that or source a smaller basket?


            • #7
              Hi Readeral,

              Just seen your post reply after I replied to gonzo89
              my beans are fresh I roast my own here and I would say at 1 the consistency would be close to flour grade as I cannot really distinguish the grind as fine salt


              • #8
                Hello Magic_Matt,

                I had a 6910 and the bottom shower screen seems the same to the EM7000.
                What I had worked out was that the proximity of grind to the filter screen seemed like the only variable that had any real influence on flow rate, I'm overdosing the VST basket to 22g I have not gone further a bit concerned as taking the basket way out of spec - perhaps I go just a little more perhaps 23 g and see - a smaller basket could be an option too - if grind proximity to the shower screen is the solution.



                • #9
                  I just pulled another shot with then 15 g basket loaded with 23 g fine coffee - grinder adjusted to one, the shot was a little improved 23 second extraction before it started to run to fast. still looks like I should fill the basket with another gram to take it to 24.

                  The shot is very strong smooth full of flavour if this is how its going to work out I will need a smaller capacity VST basket


                  • #10
                    Hello and thanks gonzo I adjusted the top burrs from 6 to 5 and backed off the grind to 4 with 23 gram load I the pour was the slowest yet in fact to slow. The puck was soup but slow to pour. I can adjust from here starting with less in the portafiller and playing with grind setting.

                    hmm I only roast my beans just past 1st C could my beans be heavier in weight than a higher roast. would the 1 st crack beans contain more water content or same as longer roasted beans. Any thought from anyone?



                    • #11
                      VST 15g requires a very fine grind and are not suited to cheaper grinders, especially small conicals. This is made even worse when light roasts that are not soluble enough for espresso are used.

                      Grossly over dosing will certainly not help your cause = recipe for very uneven extractions via LOTS of channeling.

                      You would probably find things much easier using a 20g VST, dosed with 20 to 21g. Shoot for 36 to 40g of espresso out in 30sec. Taste and tweak to your preference.

                      Make sure you buy a fresh roasted coffee that has been roasted specifically for espresso use.

                      EDIT: THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM

                      Originally posted by nzgreenbean View Post

                      hmm I only roast my beans just past 1st C could my beans be heavier in weight than a higher roast. would the 1 st crack beans contain more water content or same as longer roasted beans. Any thought from anyone?



                      • #12
                        Yeah you gotta change your roast for espresso dude, try roasting up till first snaps of second crack and see that you'll pull better shots. You can go lighter next roast once you know how far away second crack is from first.


                        • #13
                          You need a more robust grinder for handling finer grind - Breville & Sunbeam grinders are not designed to handle this fine and this light. You need something more commercial-built. I roast a bit past 1c too so it definitely works - I find roasting close to second crack gives me too roasty flavor (roasting light has its problem too if it's not done properly).


                          • #14
                            Thanks readeral as I thought - its a real learning curve I did a roast this morning pushing the beans a little further will see how this goes too, I'll go a bit further again on the next roast to. I use to roast a lot darker but was never to happy with the results - what I worked out was I was baking the beans. I have learnt from the experiences and do a reasonable job in the Behmor especially after lowering the bean levels from 300 g to 220 g.

                            The last shot I pulled was the best yet, seems the grind was the main culprit, although I thought I was grinding fine seems it was not fine enough

                            my partner had the opinion my coffee was better than in many cafes, wonder what she will say now after the change to the VST basket, because I'm tasting way more flavours.

                            Thanks for all the advice really appreciated, I can see I'm on my way to discovering new flavours, I have not pulled anything as good as this in my 8 years. The the last two pulls besting anything I have previously pulled. I'm truly excited thanks


                            • #15
                              Yes Thankssamuellaw178 I was thinking this too and is what caused me to reluctantlygo so low a setting for thinking the burrs were going to meet. I'll haveto see how long the Breville lasts with possible Mazzer mini on the cards as afuture purchase. If I get a year great though I cant help buy those SHB