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  • #31
    Re: e-61 brewing tips....

    Thanks for the welcome robusto. Actually I didnt ask anything about a Gaggia at all. I asked as the "new boy on the block", about the cleaning of my Cimbali. Rgds David

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    • #32
      Re: e-61 brewing tips....

      hi Davidvh2. ...

      welcome to CS... and if i missed your first post, apologies! :-[
      with the number of posts made to this forum it is easy to miss some, particularly if you, like myself, only download the "20 latest posts" option and are not online regularly.
      to be honest, there are whole threads i have missed (out on... :P )...

      i will make amends and proomise to regualrly check the "newby" thread...

      consider yourself "caught up on" and avidly followed from now on! ;D

      and in regards to the milk: absolutely! i just had a double ristretto latte with green-top milk ( here in Australia generally the low fat/high calcium) and it was drinkable... then i made myself one with regular full cream UHT milk and it was divine!!
      the difference in the structure of the microfoam, as well as the flavour of the caramelized sugars in the milk was huuuge!
      so, i will be good and drink the green-top mostly... but for true quality (and comfort food!! ) the full cream will come out!


      cheers,

      L



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      • #33
        Re: e-61 brewing tips....

        Chris tongue see-saw principle is quite intriguing. Ive never heard it before but applied it to a problem Ive been having.

        My extraction times/volumes have been good and the espresso looks the right colour, good crema etc.. However, the coffee taste ranged from fair to aweful. I tried the stockfleth distribution method (without a tap colapse) and adjusted grind/dose to suit. The coffee was terrible!

        Not being much of an espresso (short black) drinker, I was a little blind to what flavour profile I should be looking for when adjusting my grind and technique. I was tasting it on the back of my tongue - which I realise now meant my grind was too fine and I was experiencing bitterness.

        I have now backed off the grind substantially, increased my dosage using a basic "dose, colapse, dose, colapse, scrap level and tamp" approach. Espresso taste is more balanced on the see-saw and lattes are more drinkable (still not great).

        Would an overly fine grind and underdose result in harsh astringent coffee? It was really quite unpleasant!

        I was really getting quite frustrated at having a great coffee kit and producing crap coffee, but I think I am back in region of decent coffee now.

        Thanks Chris

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        • #34
          Re: e-61 brewing tips....

          Originally posted by Matty P link=1167622442/30#32 date=1188470906
          Chris tongue see-saw principle is quite intriguing.  Ive never heard it before but applied it to a problem Ive been having.

          My extraction times/volumes have been good and the espresso looks the right colour, good crema etc.. However, the coffee taste ranged from fair to aweful.  I tried the stockfleth distribution method (without a tap colapse) and adjusted grind/dose to suit.  The coffee was terrible!

          Not being much of an espresso (short black) drinker, I was a little blind to what flavour profile I should be looking for when adjusting my grind and technique.  I was tasting it on the back of my tongue - which I realise now meant my grind was too fine and I was experiencing bitterness.

          I have now backed off the grind substantially, increased my dosage using a basic "dose, colapse, dose, colapse, scrap level and tamp" approach.  Espresso taste is more balanced on the see-saw and lattes are more drinkable (still not great).

          Would an overly fine grind and underdose result in harsh astringent coffee?  It was really quite unpleasant!

          I was really getting quite frustrated at having a great coffee kit and producing crap coffee, but I think I am back in region of decent coffee now.

          Thanks Chris  
          Aww shucks.....Anytime Matt ....

          p.s- A whole host of things could lead to astringency in a cup....

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          • #35
            Re: e-61 brewing tips....

            I know that weve already touched on the subject, but Im seeing a noticeable improvement in my shots by ensuring that I run a cooling flush immediately prior to placing the group handle in for extraction.

            Better crema which tends to not blond as quickly.

            Cheers,

            Pat

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            • #36
              Re: e-61 brewing tips....

              Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1167622442/0#0 date=1167622441
              Taste the espresso and note where on your tongue you taste it- if its towards the front, the coffee is sour and your grind is too coarse, if towards the back, the coffee is bitter and your grind is too fine. NEVER make a grind adjustment until you are certain that you have removed yourself as the source of the error.

              Adjust the grind to balance the coffee on your tongue- Imagine a see-saw with sour at one end and bitter at the other. With a Giotto and its built-in pre-extraction, I tend to look for a pour that starts a touch drippy and then comes to a fine, continuous stream. I also cut the shot when I see the first signs of blonding (pale, tertiary extracted coffee). I often find that the delay is more like 7-9 sec and the pour may be somewhat longer than 25 seconds.
              Ive managed to do the tongue balancing thing - just got some freshly roasted beans from a boutique roaster/blender down here. Im getting 20-30s to a double, but the taste is still sub par. What other things can I look out for in my extraction? The colour looks good, and it isnt blonding alot, so I was thinking it could be due to temperature (gotta get this HX flush thing down... :P). That said, I was used to using a naked on my old machine so it was much easier to see tamping faults and blonding etc.

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              • #37
                Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                Originally posted by Sammus link=1167622442/30#35 date=1197359249
                Ive managed to do the tongue balancing thing - just got some freshly roasted beans from a boutique roaster/blender down here. Im getting 20-30s to a double, but the taste is still sub par. What other things can I look out for in my extraction? The colour looks good, and it isnt blonding alot, so I was thinking it could be due to temperature (gotta get this HX flush thing down... :P). That said, I was used to using a naked on my old machine so it was much easier to see tamping faults and blonding etc.
                Id avoid the old school tongue map thing. It has been discredited by scientific research. Those old "regions" or "zones" of flavour receptors are striclkly pre Kevin 07 ;D

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                • #38
                  Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                  Good points Cameron,

                  What was presented was a generalisation.... :

                  Nevertheless, give someone a sour underextracted shot or a bitter overextracted shot and they will be able to discriminate between them and "map" their own tongue, remember the sensations and recall them. i.e they learn...

                  Funnily enough, many non-espresso drinkers do this very well, and can then appreciate the balance of a great shot....For those who are learning, this frequently leads to an appreciation of what is required.

                  It works and has been the basis of many ephiphany moments in those I have trained and frequently converts latte drinkers into far more discriminating coffee lovers, many of whom begin to develop a true appreciation for espresso....

                  Bottom line is to dose well and consistently and train instincts to view a pour, problem solve a puck and appreciate what is required to perform the task consistently and well...

                  Chris

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                  • #39
                    Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                    Hi All,

                    So what is the general concensus on temp surfing with an E61 HX machine?

                    I have a Diadema Junior semi-auto with pressure stat set so that the gauge reads exactly 1 bar when fully heated.

                    I usually do a cooling flush (with PF in) while I grind, then dose and tamp etc.. and another flush immediately prior to slamming in the PF. My shots have been ordinary and sometimes a little sour making me think I allow the temp to get too low.

                    Schomer recommends two flushes of 2 oz (60ml) each prior to extraction, so I am trying that now. I think previously they were quite a bit more than that :-[

                    What do others with similar machines do?

                    Thanks,
                    Matt

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                    • #40
                      Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                      I use a VBM Domobar super. Luckily I have a thermometer adaptor in the access hole in the grouphead so I can monitor my group temp. I find I flush about 200ml through the PF handle, then dry it, grind dose and tamp, then flush about another 60-100ml before lock and load. I usually get an estimated 92C extraction from that.

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                      • #41
                        Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                        wow...92 at the group...thats quite low...for a lot of coffees, that temperature may cause the coffee to be a touch sour. However, I guess its all relative....your thermometer will never give you an accurate group temperature, but I guess it gives you a reference point to work with....nice

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                        • #42
                          Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                          200ml seems like a large flush. Schomer recommends no more than 60ml at a time, his logic being that the machine is only designed to deliver a small amount of water at a time at a stable temperature - any more can throw it out of suitable range.

                          What sort of flush do other HX owners do?

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                          • #43
                            Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                            A mate of mine has a bezzera hx machine He flushes about 20 - 30 mls dries the handle and basket loads, tamps and pulls the shot, works a treat I feel that you may have other problems if your not getting good results using this method. Is your coffee fresh, are they excellent beans, have they been rested and degassed properly, lots of questions.... As wushoes said 92 degrees will result in sour or straw, earthy like tasting coffee.

                            I can tell you that a pid will give you absolute temperature control and no more temp surfing, completely removes the variables from the equation.

                            I hope this helps.......... Ray.

                            By the way flushing large amounts of water will definitely destabilise the boiler temperature.

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                            • #44
                              Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                              I flush around 200ml which brings me down to around 94C. No big deal though because I run the flush while Im dosing/tamping. Once I see a nice smooth stream of water, lock & load!

                              Evan.

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                              • #45
                                Re: e-61 brewing tips....

                                Why are you trying to tell me what I taste when I brew? Yes they are quality fresh roasted beans that have been degassed, and they taste great. Im not looking for an analysis of some sort of problem youve decided Im having, I was simply offering advice from my experience.

                                For what its worth, the brew water is 92C, which is more like 95C at the group. I originally learned the technique from the how to manage HX temperature guide on Home-Barista.com - they even go as far to say that coffee brew temp should be somewhere between 192-202F (depending on beans, personal taste, etc etc) which is about 89C-94C. I picked somewhere in the higher end for my original target and was happy with the results, nuff said. If that temp gives a unsatisfactory extraction, Ill adjust my flush accordingly. My thermometer is regularly calibrated in that range so theres no problem there.

                                Your mates bezzera machine is likely very different to my VBM domobar super, so the same technique will give very different results.

                                I dont like the idea of PIDing a HX machine, and I couldnt be bothered going into why. If you get acceptable results though good for you.

                                If you every peruse H-B you will come across many interesting things, for instance Ive seen a lot of shot temperature graphs which havent been clipped and include cooling flushes and whatnot, and Im pretty confident that flushing a few hundred ml through the group isnt destabilising anything, and will regularly be following with a perfectly stable shot profile.

                                Heres a pic of my machine for anyone who cares its too big to attach directly, so heres a link: http://issima.customer.netspace.net.au/VBM.jpg

                                Cheers

                                Sam

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