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  • Vibiemme Piccolo

    Hello, Ive recently gotten my first proper machine, a vibiemme piccolo, and am using it with a rancilio rocky grinder. Its been a bit of a learning curve, but I was greatly helped by the espresso company how to videos that were made using a vibiemme super espresso machine. Im happy with the results Im getting, but it tastes like my espresso might be a bit weaker than you would normally get in a decent cafe.

    Upon re-watching the grinding and dosing video, I noticed that he puts a lot more coffee in the filter than I do, and thought this might have something to do with it. However If I follow his procedure (fill to the top, then tamp) the filter is too full to fit in the machine. I tamp quite firmly, but I dont lean hard into it. Im assuming that the two machines would use the same handle/filter design? I tried a coarser grind (from 10 to 20 on the rocky) but this didnt seem to make any difference.

    Ive only used one type of bean so far (campos roma espresso) but have another blend to try in a day or two when current supplies run out.

    Thanks in advance for any advice & help.

  • #2
    Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

    Try the 5cent piece test to determine how much you should dose,

    1. Dose your coffee into the basket and tamp firmly.
    2. Place a 5c piece in the centre of tamped grounds.
    3. Lock into the group head, but do not activate the pump.
    4. Remove the handle and note the 5cent piece.

    If your dose is correct, there should only be a slight indent of the coin into the coffee grounds. If the coin has been pushed deeply into the grounds, then you have dosed too much.

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    • #3
      Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

      From what I read JMH cant even lock it into the group head (because its that full).

      JMH, do you tap the group handle on the table mid grind and then fill to the top?  If you do, it could be that youve compacted the coffee already in the filter prior to tamping.  Does the tamp actually sink into the filter at all? 

      Do you level the coffee prior to tamping?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

        Originally posted by 23313F2935500 link=1312874236/2#2 date=1312875320
        From what I read JMH cant even lock it into the group head (because its that full).
        The 5cent test implies that he uses his own original dosing method.


        Originally posted by 1A1D18500 link=1312874236/0#0 date=1312874236
        I noticed that he puts a lot more coffee in the filter than I do

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

          Ill try that 5c coin trick tomorrow morning. Finally a use for that huge pile of change!

          Saoye - Ill fill the handle about 3/4 to the top of the filter then tap it a few times on the table. Ill then add some more coffee & tap, then level/smooth with a tea spoon. The grind will be approx 5mm below the top of the filter. Youre right, I might be compacting it a bit too much before tamping, Ill have a play around tomorrow. It just seemed in the video that he was using a lot more coffee than I was, and so I thought this might have something to do with his grind settings perhaps.

          Are there any other mistakes I could be making that would result in a slightly weak tasting espresso?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

            Originally posted by 0601044C0 link=1312874236/4#4 date=1312876199
            Are there any other mistakes I could be making that would result in a slightly weak tasting espresso?
            What beans are you using?
            Stale beans can result in a thin, watery, weak tasting espresso

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

              Im an expert at bad coffee! A few questions.

              Are you making a double or a single?
              How long does the shot take?

              Its largely about dialing in your grinder. I get thin coffee if I dont grind finely enough. Then the shot takes less  than 30 secs. Grind too fine and its bitter. Usually takes about 3 shots after I change beans to get an acceptable drink.

              found this useful

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiP-6ZLJpp4

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                As Richard says, make sure you are using the double basket for better results.
                I used to own a Piccolo and it took me some time to get the dose, distribute, tamp right. A naked group handle helped as did the Weiss distribution technique (google it).
                Get yourself a measuring cup and measure your shots. Ensure you have at least 25 mls in a milk based drink. If you are using a large mug, try in a smaller cup.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                  Thanks for the help guys.

                  Originally posted by 2E253D372B2A28212B33440 link=1312874236/5#5 date=1312879517
                  What beans are you using?
                  Stale beans can result in a thin, watery, weak tasting espresso
                  Ive been using beans from campos (sydney cafe) purchased within a day or two of the roasting date.

                  Originally posted by 362D272C2536201B291B2C440 link=1312874236/6#6 date=1312881734
                  Im an expert at bad coffee! A few questions.

                  Are you making a double or a single?
                  How long does the shot take?

                  Its largely about dialing in your grinder. I get thin coffee if I dont grind finely enough. Then the shot takes less  than 30 secs. Grind too fine and its bitter. Usually takes about 3 shots after I change beans to get an acceptable drink.

                  found this useful

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiP-6ZLJpp4
                  That video was really good. Ive seen one of their videos before, I think Ill have to check out some more of their stuff. Im just making a single shot for myself. I was playing around with dosing/tamping this morning, it will take a while to get a bit of consistency, but I was looking at something like 15sec for a 20ml shot.

                  Originally posted by 22283D2A2A253137440 link=1312874236/7#7 date=1312882806
                  As Richard says, make sure you are using the double basket for better results.
                  I used to own a Piccolo and it took me some time to get the dose, distribute, tamp right. A naked group handle helped as did the Weiss distribution technique (google it).
                  Get yourself a measuring cup and measure your shots. Ensure you have at least 25 mls in a milk based drink. If you are using a large mug, try in a smaller cup.
                  Why does the double basket produce better results? Im just making a single shot for myself, so it seems a bit of a waste to use all that extra coffee. The wdt looks interesting, Ill give that a crack. Is a naked group handle one with no spout at the bottom? What benefit does this have?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                    Its generally easier to get a more consitent and better result with the double basket, I guess due to its additional depth and coffee quantity, any minor mistake is masked more due to this.

                    I initially thought the same as you, its a waste doing doubles for a single drink, but now use the double as the basis for a single drink all the time, and if you stop it short (ristretto) you generally get a sweeter tasting shot.

                    A naked PF has the bottom section cut out, so you can see the entire bottom of the basket and watch the extraction, the coffee comes out of the basket and straight into the cup. Its great for viewing and improving on incorrect technique, and looks cool too!!

                    Cheers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                      Hi JMH,

                      Sweet first machine, in hind sight I should have got one of these as I have ended up at the price point through my tinkering anyway :

                      E.g. PID, Flat screen, insulation, Triple portafilter etc. you get the idea

                      What I can reccomend is the scottie callaghan dosing tools. I have just the set of 6 and have been using them for about 6 months now. Helped me heaps! with using the various baskets as it lets you distribute without inconsistencies, and adjust gradually to determine the correct amount of grams if your not into weighing your shots e.g. I know when I dose on my Silvia its a no.2 for a double and a 5 for a single.

                      P.s. A synesso double ridgeless is also great and they tap out really clean.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                        Cheers guys, Ill look into your suggestions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                          Well Ive got things working reasonably well with the single basket, but when I change over to the double, the espresso just comes gushing out. I tamp using the same pressure, I dose in the same manner, and I even adjusted the grind 2 steps finer (10 to 8 on my rocky). I just cant wrap my head around whats going wrong?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                            When I had a rocky I was using number 6-7. Have you checked that your rocky is properly zeroed.

                            As for the fast pours could be for a number of reasons.

                            - Under dosing. Is the puck really soggy when you release the portafilter?
                            - Not fine enough grind?
                            - As you said you tamp the same, are their any irregularities in the dosing? e.g. do you tap the portafilter on the bench throughout dosing to ensure all the grinds settle in, something less likely to occur with a single due to the shallowness of the basket.
                            -You may be tamping a bit harder with a single without realising as I find when I tamp a single sometimes its more of an effort to get the required depth in order to: one lock in the porta filter and two compact the grinds in the middle of the basket?
                            -Too small tamper for basket leaving grounds un-tamped around edge. Try tamping North South East West and then Spin.

                            And of course beans may be abit old! But as your doing a single fine then this shouldnt be the case.

                            Just my thoughts!
                            :P

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Vibiemme Piccolo

                              Thanks mate. I didnt find the zero point on the rocky as I figured I didnt really need to know. After thinking about it, if Im getting good results with the single but not the double, perhaps Im underdosing the double. Ill have another shot (ha) at it tomorrow morning.

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