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Tuning the right grind

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  • Tuning the right grind

    Just bought some beans and have a play around, realized Ive got a huge problem.
    Everytime I have new beans and try to "finetune" the right grind, Ill take forever to do it.

    Today, I wasted another ~300g to do the job... :-?

    Is there any ways to make it less wastage? Trying to make my life easier....

    Another question, do you guys know if CoffeeHit roast it immediately after order or pre-roasted?
    It doesnt have a roast date...
    Cause when I look at the beans, it seems a bit dull and not a lot of aroma..... unlike the one I bought in Veneziano,
    which when I opened the bag and the aroma filled all over....

  • #2
    Re: Tuning the right grind

    Without any particular experience, Id say keep some data for a little while. Shot time, bean age, and grinder setting.

    eg, say your last beans were dialled in, and you get a new batch, and its suddenly 10 seconds faster. Do your dial-in routine to get ack to a proper pour, then record how many clicks adjustment you made.

    Repeat as necessary, and hopefully in a short time youll begin to see a pattern, so that eventually youll be able to say "hmm, new beans, 20 second pour, looks like I need to go 3 clicks finer" (or whatever it is).


    • #3
      Re: Tuning the right grind

      Never tried coffeehit, Ill leave that one to others to comment.

      I dont generally have to adjust my (stepless) grinder more than about 10 settings from few day fresh to 2 week old coffee.  This limits the amount of dialling in compared to pulling apart the grinder to clean then tuning it back in.

      Maybe the pros have a better way, but I tend to first go by visual (and a setting I usually find works with the age of the coffee).  If you can see clumping of coffee at the exit shoot it is a good sign you are close.  When being conservative with coffee volume, I also feel the texture of the grind after a few seconds of grinding to check the coarseness ie slightly finer than sand.

      My method is to start from a finer setting to almost choke the machine, then try a few shots with courser settings (and possibly a higher dose) to compare the profile over varying settings to find the profile I prefer.  This is probably the next step to trying to get 20-30 second pours.


      • #4
        Re: Tuning the right grind


        Over time youll notice a setting range on your grinder that most bean varieties and their varying levels of freshness will fall within.

        Suggest you mentally mark the centre point of this range and start there if unsure, otherwise make records/observations as Matt King suggested.

        Ive noticed roasts from Veneziano can be very fresh and may need a couple of days rest before optimum. [this is a good thing....Much better than stale roasts], the staff there usually advise, if this is the case which is a great. service.
        Usually, I find the Coffee Hit roasts ready to go when received, Ive only tried the "ultimate" though which I reckon has a pretty good aroma, but more "earthy" and less "floral" or less "lively" than say Veneziano Estate, so it seems a little more subtle.
        ...sorry I dont really know the right words for describing coffee, but Id use these to describe wines, so theyll have to do

        Roast dates would be a good thing though, ie really should be mandatory.


        • #5
          Re: Tuning the right grind

          You might want to consider looking at your dosing- do you have an exactly repeatable routine? Mine is fill to mound, tap 4x lightly on bench, level and tamp. This is for my commercial machines. For my domestic which needs a little more fill to mound, tap 4x lightly on bench, level, lightly sit tamper in basket, reoverfill, level and tamp.
          Another little discussed thing is either standardising tamp, or use tamp pressure variation to help control the process.
          Having said all of the above, even moving between the 3 machines I rarely have to change grinds very much except for changes in humidity or going from a mild to dark roast. I think I adapt dosing or tamping a little.
          Also sounds like youve been getting stale coffee, which never works.


          • #6
            Re: Tuning the right grind

            Thanks for the advice guys, Ive tried to adjust in again just now,
            Ive got a ok shot, stopped before blonding about 25ml, 25sec, excluding crema. (yeh, I read the whole Grinder category to dig up the information on the pouring time and stuffs..... very useful)

            But when I tasted the espresso, it was quite acidic to me. This is my first time trying single origin,
            and it is Ethiopian Yirgachieffe. Is it suppose to be that acidic? Or just my poor skills...?
            But it does seem to be a huge difference between single origin and blended. I may need some help to explain..... :-/

            em....Doesnt seem to good enough for me. I once looked at Chris adjusting the grind, it only took him 3 times to pull a great shot.

            You might want to consider looking at your dosing- do you have an exactly repeatable routine?
            Oh Brett, I thought my technique is quite consistant, free dosing, bang once on the fork, stockfleshs move, level, light tamp, knock twice then firm tamp.

            Also, attached a picture comparing two beans, does it show "freshness" when we see the chaff?
            How do you distinguish the old from new???
            p.s. I bought the HighTree Estate in supermarket, as my "emergency bean" before...


            • #7
              Re: Tuning the right grind

              As a baseline which direction (courser or finer) do you need to go for each the following:-

              1 As the beans get older?
              2 As the humidity rises?
              3 As the roast gets darker?


              • #8
                Re: Tuning the right grind

                Yirg should be bright/acidic. It has floral aromas, citrus sweetness and hints of honey coming through.

                With regards to freshness, just make a shot and youll know in an instant if it is stale. Beans that have sweat in their bag is not a good sign.


                • #9
                  Re: Tuning the right grind

                  As the beans get older go coarser, when I change to a fresher batch its a jump finer.
                  When its humid I find the grind finer than usual due to a change in bean density, not sure if thats right or me just thinking that?
                  Air temp will affect the grind, how long customers leave the door open etc etc
                  Not sure about darker roasts, not experienced enough.

                  As for some Veneziano beans being very fresh...yep, ive opened bags at 5 days to age them to use next day, but then again last week I used 20 day post roast venez estate which was still good.

                  As important as the grind is, a small change in dose is more noticeable.


                  • #10
                    Re: Tuning the right grind

                    Originally posted by takeaim link=1183132259/0#8 date=1183280397
                    As for some Veneziano beans being very fresh...yep, ive opened bags at 5 days to age them to use next day, but then again last week I used 20 day post roast venez estate which was still good.
                    Abso-bloody-lutely 8-).... I can also vouch for that. I was fortunate enough to acquire a bag of freshly roasted Veneziano coffee and it was still producing excellent brews more than three weeks after I initially opened the bag . Pretty incredible in my view.... Veneziano Master Roaster Peter Wolfe is a very talented young man,



                    • #11
                      Re: Tuning the right grind

                      Dark roasts I find need to go finer. I had 2 roasts side by side in 2 roburs. 1 had a peruvian dark roast and the other was just a blend of god knows what crap....the dark roast was finer comparing the two.