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Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

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  • Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    Hi,

    Im making a decent coffee with my new setup but not blowing myself away with delight so I thought Id post my procedure in the hope that someone can tweak my performance. Ive got a Rocket Giotto setup with a Macap D4.

    Ok so here goes:
    1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
    2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
    3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle
    4) After handle half filled I shake it gently to level the grind and then tamp very gently just to get it level.
    5) I then add another 4.5 seconds worth.
    6) I then level the grind and tamp fairly hard, then twist, tamp again, then polish.
    7) Actual expression of coffee (into preheated cup) seems a bit quick - volume gets there in about 21 seconds. Not sure how to improve this as I already have the grind set to very fine, and filling the basket and tamping quite hard
    8) Milk microfrothing in the jug seems good but Im not getting it right enough to do latte art yet.

    In my mind no glaring errors?

    Can anyone else with the identical setup let me know what they have their grinder set to (i.e how fine and how long/much ground coffee).

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

    try changing one input variable, i dont have either machine or grinder.
    but others are not gong to be using your beans anyway so the grind setting could be different just due to the beans

    have you just tried grinding finer? some grinders the numbers are just a gauge and zero is not zero. How many numbers between "8" and locking the burrs? (do they lock at zero?)

    as for the 1st tamp, can you just tap tap it on the bench (tamp mat / cutting board etc) instead of tamping. you might be creating some channeling etc?

    how many kilos of beans have you "bean" through?
    practice practice practice changing a little at a time might help you.
    have you just tried making shot after shot and sinking them?
    i know it might seem a waste but...........

    where is the 21 sec measured from? 1st drip? or 1st start the pour?
    this will help as well

    Leeham

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

      Hey Doc

      I set my m4d on 4.5 too but have no idea what number grind setting its on. I just adjust one way or the other according to the extraction outcome and taste.

      As for your technique, after the 1st dose, I rap firmly a couple of times on a rubber mat, then scoop a little toward the outside edges to make way for the 2nd dose. Then tamp once, spin, engage and enjoy!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

        Originally posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
        3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle

        My M4D is a stepped version
        I mostly use it on continuous setting

        Originally posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
        2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
        Now to grind adjustment
        Anti Clockwise for finer
        Clockwise for courser

        And my grind setting is in the 1 to 2 range on the dial
        Your grinder if its not the stepped version may be different

        KK

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

          Originally posted by 72565F5F5C5C6672564A5456390 link=1252029302/3#3 date=1252032390
          Originally posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
          3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle

          My M4D is a stepped version
          I mostly use it on continuous setting

          Originally posted by 6D7B6A666F6F6C6C090 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
          2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
          Now to grind adjustment
          Anti Clockwise for finer
          Clockwise for courser

          And my grind setting is in the 1 to 2 range on the dial
          Your grinder if its not the stepped version may be different

          KK
          I dont understand how any part of this response is helpful...just confusing. :-/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

            Originally posted by 1D3C3737302A590 link=1252029302/4#4 date=1252034115
            I dont understand how any part of this response is helpful...just confusing.Undecided
            Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
            My grinder setting is on 2

            Big difference in that number and resulting grind

            KK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

              Hi drcoffee

              I have the same set-up and pretty much the same routine.

              What I have learnt is that I regularly have to tweak the grind setting (even from day to day) as beans age, and occasionally the grind time as well.  This is obviously even more of an issue when I change beans which I do fairly regularly.  Anywhere between 4.8 and 5.2 secs depending on the beans/blend and their age.

              The actual grind setting number is irrelevant as it will vary from one M4D to the next – particularly once you have pulled it apart to clean it.  

              As mentioned above, try adjusting one variable at a time.   If you are happy with the dose, then try tweaking the grind finer.  It really does vary with different beans and with the age of a particular bean or blend.  Try grinding finer and getting the shot to run a bit longer and see how you like it.

              One other thing I picked up from a discussion here is that if the flow speeds up considerably during the second half of the shot it is usually a sign that you are underdosing and should try altering that variable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                Hi, I have exactly the same setup and am getting what i consider good results, not perfect yet as i have had it under a week, but certainly good.  SO I will be very interested in how this thread plays out.

                My responses are below yours...


                Ok so here goes:
                1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
                I suggest you at least try a different bean just to eliminate this as a possible cause, unless you know it to be a quality bean.
                2) Macap D4 grinder set to just under 8 on the coarseness/fineness setting.
                Same
                3) Grinder set to "4.5" seconds which approximately half fills the group handle
                4.4 for me
                4) After handle half filled I shake it gently to level the grind and then tamp very gently just to get it level.
                Same
                5) I then add another 4.5 seconds worth.
                6) I then level the grind and tamp fairly hard, then twist, tamp again, then polish.
                Same
                7) Actual expression of coffee (into preheated cup) seems a bit quick - volume gets there in about 21 seconds. Not sure how to improve this as I already have the grind set to very fine, and filling the basket and tamping quite hard
                IMHO 21 seconds is fine, its about the taste.
                8) Milk microfrothing in the jug seems good but Im not getting it right enough to do latte art yet.
                I do get quite good microfoam from mine.  Theres plenty of posts on this in the froth and bubbles milk texturing sub-forum...FWIW, I use UHT semi-skim milk - very cold.  Fill 600ml jug to just below spout, purge the wand, place the tip under the surface and turn on. quickly bring tip to just below the surface at the side of the jug and create a whirlpool.  I have the jug and wand slightly angled to assist in this.  I just let in a slow hiss of air over 2-3 seconds and then dip the tip just below the surface so no more air gets in (milk is now about 30ish degrees), but the tip can still draw down the "foam" from the top of the milk into the whirlpool.  I lower the tip a bit more as the milk expands (about 50 degrees now) and then finish heating the milk to 63-65 degrees. Done.

                Hope that helps at least we are doing some things the same so i can adapt and learn with you too

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                  Dont get caught up in settings. coffee is best made with feel.

                  A favorite catch cry on these forums is "Keep it simple."

                  My advice is to eliminate the half way tamp. Grind till the baskets full then bang the group handle on something to settle them before topping up. Level off with your finger or knife etc and tamp once. (I doubt this will help much but what your doing at the moment is just making life harder)

                  IMO dosing and tamping should not be used to adjust pour times. Thats why grinders are adjustable.

                  Keep adjusting your grind finer till you get the pour you want.  

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                    Originally posted by 7167767A73737070150 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
                    Im making a decent coffee with my new setup but not blowing myself away with delight .
                    Thanks for posting Doc. I have a similar set up to yours and so Im interested in the responses you get...

                    But Im also wondering what in particular you think is lacking at the moment. How are your expectations unfulfilled?

                    FWIW my overall procedure is similar to yours though my timer is set to 5.1 and the grind setting on my micrometric version of the Macap is about halfway between 6 and 7. I find that I need to vary these settings slightly according to weather conditions or when I change to a different bean. At the moment its set a little finer than my normal setting.

                    Best wishes, Russell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                      Hi Doc,

                      The offer made when you collected your gear (a complimentary run through how to get the best from your machine) is still open to you

                      Sounds like it may help a heap...

                      Apols, but a visit is impossible as I have programmed my sat nav to have amnesia on Ballarat and a few other towns :P

                      Youre welcome to drop me a line next time youre heading towards the big smoke and we can arrange a time..

                      Chris

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                        Originally posted by 3D2B3A363F3F3C3C590 link=1252029302/0#0 date=1252029302
                        1) Good quality coffee stored properly - I really dont think the error is there
                        Humour me....how old is the coffee?

                        If you want to slow down the pour you have to either add more coffee or grind finer.
                        Change only one of those variables at a time though.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                          I have a Macap M4D and found that a mid-way tamp or too much settling affected the flavour of the pull negatively.

                          The best solution for me was the 1.5 inch ring cut from a yoghurt carton used as a sort of funnel to allow one-go filling of the basket without overflow, a brief level with finger, one tap to settle, lift off funnel, tamp, polish, go.

                          Greg

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                            Originally posted by 02262F2F2C2C1602263A2426490 link=1252029302/5#5 date=1252035339
                            Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
                            My grinder setting is on 2

                            Big difference in that number and resulting grind
                            Nope KK- just goes to prove that a number means nothing...Its specific to each grinder- even within a brand and model.

                            2mcm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Decent but not great - help me tweak my setup (Rocket Giotto with Macap MD4)

                              Originally posted by 164951474C474B4242414149454A240 link=1252029302/13#13 date=1252069418
                              Originally posted by 02262F2F2C2C1602263A2426490 link=1252029302/5#5 date=1252035339
                              Dr Coffees grinder collar setting is on 8
                              My grinder setting is on 2

                              Big difference in that number and resulting grind
                              Nope KK- just goes to prove that a number means nothing...Its specific to each grinder- even within a brand and model.

                              2mcm
                              I will go back to my standard answer

                              1) Grind to the consistency of table salt as a starting point, and adjust fine or course as required

                              2) Tamp to the correct depth in the basket. That depth is that the tamped puck is just touching or a hairs whisker from the shower screen in the group head when the Porta Filter is locked on
                              This depth could be 8mm to 10mm on any size basket
                              Use that depth level for future reference when tamping

                              DrCoffee
                              I hope my answer is more of what you and others were looking for

                              KK

                              Comment

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