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Thread: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

  1. #1
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    Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    Ive owned a Sunbeam EM6910 for about 7 months. Up until now, I havent had time to get into the end to end method of brewing a good coffee... Ive also just been using pre-ground coffee.

    Ive recently completed a basic barrista course, thoroughly cleaned the machine (as per instructions) and got myself a grinder and some nice beans.. After numerous attempts at making a great cup, I have managed to improved the overall process, however I am continually making very sour coffee. Ive read forum advice on this and other sites, with no success as yet. Any assistance? Im starting to wonder if theres a problem with the machine itself. Cheers.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Need more info, type of beans, time of pour, colour of pour, volume of shot, what sort of grinder (hopefully burr). Then we might be able to help. ;)

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    It may also be water temperature related
    Brew water too hot or too cold can also give sour shots

    KK

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 38363B342335345A0 link=1245987680/1#1 date=1245989470
    Need more info, type of beans, time of pour, colour of pour, volume of shot, what sort of grinder (hopefully burr). Then we might be able to help. ;)
    Thanks , Ill have to grab all the info tonight and post back then.
    Cheers.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 082B3E3E2B440 link=1245987680/3#3 date=1245990954
    HI Coffeedave
    I was in the same boat with my machine (BZ99) a few weeks ago.
    To cut along story short, my cooling flush was too short, i didn`t get enough over temp water out. Now i do a longer cooling flush, put the handle straight in and pour. Apart from doing this all my other processes have been the same , and i haven`t had a sour cup since.
    My tamping is still not consistent , but i have my grind fairly consistent when i change beans. I have been working on 1 thing every week since i fixed the sourness and now the coffees not perfect *coffee *but it is good to very good coffee every cup now - to my taste anyway.
    hope this helps
    Cheers
    Jordan
    Thanks Jordan, excuse the ignorance, I have to admit Im not sure how to extend out the cooling flush? Thanks for your help.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A666F6F6C6C6D687F6C090 link=1245987680/5#5 date=1245991823

    Thanks Jordan, excuse the ignorance, I have to admit Im not sure how to extend out the cooling flush? Thanks for your help.
    Coffeedave -

    On a 6910 hit the manual button and let water come through into the tray for a few seconds before you lock the pf in place. Hit manual again to stop the flow, then load n lock.

    Also, when you turn the machine on are you putting the pf and basket in the group head to warm it all up first?

    Chris

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B233B312C480 link=1245987680/6#6 date=1245992056
    Quote Originally Posted by 6A666F6F6C6C6D687F6C090 link=1245987680/5#5 date=1245991823

    Thanks Jordan, excuse the ignorance, I have to admit Im not sure how to extend out the cooling flush? Thanks for your help.
    Coffeedave -

    On a 6910 hit the manual button and let water come through into the tray for a few seconds before you lock the pf in place. Hit manual again to stop the flow, then load n lock.

    Also, when you turn the machine on are you putting the pf and basket in the group head to warm it all up first?

    Chris
    Thanks Chris,
    Ok, so I am doing this, and yes, I make sure I warm it up for at least 10-15 mins, typically turn it on earlier than this. Ill try extending the cooling flush. Cheers again.


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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Pretty sure youll find that sour shots comes from either low temperature or under extracted shots. A cooling flush, if anything, is going to exacerbate the problem. On my 6910 I always hit the manual button for 2-3 seconds just to flush grinds off the showerhead, but not to cool.

    Coffeedave, are you hitting the mark in terms of 25mls in 25-30 seconds? or is it running faster than this? Would you consider the crema quite blond? or is it a dark brown/reddish colour? If the shot is running fast and the colour is fairly blond, then youre probably underextracting the shot. Try for a finer grind to slow down the shot.

    With the risk of overloading you with information and things to check, start with that for now.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 36343830303E3924570 link=1245987680/8#8 date=1245995324
    Pretty sure youll find that sour shots comes from either low temperature or under extracted shots. A cooling flush, if anything, is going to exacerbate the problem. On my 6910 I always hit the manual button for 2-3 seconds just to flush grinds off the showerhead, but not to cool.

    Coffeedave, are you hitting the mark in terms of 25mls in 25-30 seconds? or is it running faster than this? Would you consider the crema quite blond? or is it a dark brown/reddish colour? If the shot is running fast and the colour is fairly blond, then youre probably underextracting the shot. Try for a finer grind to slow down the shot.

    With the risk of overloading you with information and things to check, start with that for now.
    Cheers, I believe Im close to 25mls in 25 secs. Im still playing with the grind, so colour varies. The only thing that has taken some of the sourness away is not tamping too hard. As soon as I try for a firm tamp, I have problems with extraction, and/or a sour tasting coffee.
    Ill have to get all of the facts this evening, and post them so as to at least provide a baseline.
    Thanks very much.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    If youre getting 25 in 25 or thereabouts, then look at the pucks afterwards, check for any signs of chanelling, it usually looks like wormholes. Is the puck firm or sloshy?

    I didnt see any mention of your grinder type either...

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Channeling in your puck can also cause under extraction and sourness.

    Distribute the coffee evenly before brewing.


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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Cant you control the temp on 6910? If it is getting too hot when sitting idle then shouldnt you just turn down the brew temp?

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Can we assume firstly that Dave hasnt previously fiddled with the temperature settings.
    Ive used a 6900 and then a 6910 and had no need to adjust the temp on the 6910 as the taste of the coffee was never sour.

    I am also going to assume that the dose and or grind size is the culprit from Daves mentioning that a hard tamp gives him "problems with extraction, and/or a sour tasting coffee".

    Dave please elaborate on what you mean by "extraction problems".

    When we find out details of your grinder it might be another clue.

    I only ever flushed the 6910 as part of my cleanup routine, never as a cooling flush, as its not necessary.

    Dave, we await more input.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D213C272D2C3B2E262D490 link=1245987680/15#15 date=1246016963
    I only ever flushed the 6910 as part of my cleanup routine, never as a cooling flush, as its not necessary.
    Or desirable... :o

    With Thermoblock machines, flushing through the Group will far exceed the designed heating capacity of the t/block heating system and lead to cooling down the assembly which will result in brew water temperatures that are probably lower than ideal. This will lead to sour tasting shots.... :P

    Mal.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Hi all, Thanks for your postst, Ive included some further information below;

    Grinder: Café Series® Conical Burr Coffee Grinder EM0480
    Beans: Ive tried a variety. Currently using Brazil, Fazenda Kaquend CoE#1 (too expensive, i know..)
    Pour Time: ~30 secs
    Colour: begins as a dark drip for 5-10 secs, then becomes a thicker browny-gold slow pour
    Volume: ~30ml
    Temperature settings: Ive maxed the steam temp, and reduce steam wetness, and left the brew temp as factory default, as recommended by a few people owning this model of machine.

    Thanks again all.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Hi all, tell me I havent exhausted my number of questions ? : )

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Um, how often do you backflush? Maybe the water source? Have you tried the coffee you are using from a cafe to prove it isnt your tastebuds? Hows that for a couple more ;D

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D535E514650513F0 link=1245987680/16#16 date=1246258650
    Um, how often do you backflush? Maybe the water source? Have you tried the coffee you are using from a cafe to prove it isnt your tastebuds? Hows that for a couple more *;D
    I back flush after the last coffee I make for the day.. which is typically only a few, or after ive made a large amount of coffee.

    Ive made coffee for a number of other friends who also find the taste very very sour, so I doubt its the taste buds. With regards to water source, im not sure how to check this. I know the filter isnt due for a change yet, otherwise not sure what/how else to make sure the water is ok?

    Cheers.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Kinda sounds like you have an issue with your machine, would be interesting to see what temp the water is coming through at.

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    A_M
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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 202C2525262627223526430 link=1245987680/17#17 date=1246260207
    Quote Originally Posted by 5D535E514650513F0 link=1245987680/16#16 date=1246258650
    Um, how often do you backflush? Maybe the water source? Have you tried the coffee you are using from a cafe to prove it isnt your tastebuds? Hows that for a couple more *;D
    I back flush after the last coffee I make for the day.. which is typically only a few, or after ive made a large amount of coffee.

    Ive made coffee for a number of other friends who also find the taste very very sour, so I doubt its the taste buds. With regards to water source, im not sure how to check this. I know the filter isnt due for a change yet, otherwise not sure what/how else to make sure the water is ok?

    Cheers.

    So coffee dave... Where are you...


    Having been there and been caught more than once... I am going to say ya Method needs to be revised...

    I have seen many post as to what and how they make coffee on the SB and yet when I drop around and get them to demonstrate... Not always the same... Some times it is the silly things that get us..

    "Colour: begins as a dark drip for 5-10 secs, then becomes a thicker browny-gold slow pour Volume: ~30ml "


    Course grind and heavy tamp or a finer grind and less of a tamp... The balance here is to the taste..

    And from your description, I think it is a mix of Grind Vs Tamp Vs BEANS...


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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E51585A4D725E515E585A525A514B3F0 link=1245987680/19#19 date=1246273797
    Quote Originally Posted by 202C2525262627223526430 link=1245987680/17#17 date=1246260207
    Quote Originally Posted by 5D535E514650513F0 link=1245987680/16#16 date=1246258650
    Um, how often do you backflush? Maybe the water source? Have you tried the coffee you are using from a cafe to prove it isnt your tastebuds? Hows that for a couple more *;D
    I back flush after the last coffee I make for the day.. which is typically only a few, or after ive made a large amount of coffee.

    Ive made coffee for a number of other friends who also find the taste very very sour, so I doubt its the taste buds. With regards to water source, im not sure how to check this. I know the filter isnt due for a change yet, otherwise not sure what/how else to make sure the water is ok?

    Cheers.

    So coffee dave... Where are you...


    Having been there and been caught more than once... *I am going to say ya Method needs to be revised...

    I have seen many post as to what and how they make coffee on the SB and yet when I drop around and get them to demonstrate... Not always the same... *Some times it is the silly things that get us..

    "Colour: begins as a dark drip for 5-10 secs, then becomes a thicker browny-gold slow pour *Volume: ~30ml "


    Course grind and heavy tamp or a finer grind and less of a tamp... * *The balance here is to the taste.. *

    And from your description, *I think it is a mix of Grind Vs Tamp Vs BEANS...
    Hi,

    Ive tried a finer grinds with less tamp, and a courser with more tamp. I get a slightly better result with the finer grind.

    Im grabbing some more beans today, and will try a bit of a taste comparison based on grind and tamp pressure. Might hopefully get some more results to compare.

    Ive just called SB support to investigate the possibility of getting the machine looked at, and the support person suggests its the coffee, and nothing else. As I cannot describe there being anything mechanically wrong, any investigation would not fall under warranty..

    Cheers.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Dave,

    It might be worthwhile trying to check the water temp coming out of the shower screen.

    This test is far from perfect and we know that this usually results in low readings even on machines that are producing ok coffee. I typically get around 75c as compared with the 92-94 that you would expect, but if you check the water temp and it comes out lower than 75, then Id say that the actual temp on yours is much lower than 92-94. As I said, far from perfect, but it might help us confirm that your water temp is too low.

    Youll need a thermocouple and styrofoam cup.

    Cut the cup so that it fits snuggly over the group head like a basket would. Then carefuly make a small hold in the side of the cup just above the base and insert the thermocouple.

    Next, run water through the group head until the water temp stabilises. Repeat the test two or three more times to confirm.

    Im not sure which city youre in, but if youre in either Melbourne or Brisbane, Di Bella offer help with your machine. Call them first, but Im pretty sure you can take your machine in and theyll give you a run down. I know youve done a barista course, but it might be worthwhile ruling your technique out of the equation by getting someone else to drive it.

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F2D21292927203D4E0 link=1245987680/21#21 date=1246335051
    Dave,

    It might be worthwhile trying to check the water temp coming out of the shower screen.

    This test is far from perfect and we know that this usually results in low readings even on machines that are producing ok coffee. I typically get around 75c as compared with the 92-94 that you would expect, but if you check the water temp and it comes out lower than 75, then Id say that the actual temp on yours is much lower than 92-94. As I said, far from perfect, but it might help us confirm that your water temp is too low.

    Youll need a thermocouple and styrofoam cup.

    Cut the cup so that it fits snuggly over the group head like a basket would. Then carefuly make a small hold in the side of the cup just above the base and insert the thermocouple.

    Next, run water through the group head until the water temp stabilises. Repeat the test two or three more times to confirm.

    Im not sure which city youre in, but if youre in either Melbourne or Brisbane, Di Bella offer help with your machine. Call them first, but Im pretty sure you can take your machine in and theyll give you a run down. I know youve done a barista course, but it might be worthwhile ruling your technique out of the equation by getting someone else to drive it.
    Thanks very much, I think youre on the money. If the coffee pour time is ~30 secs to 30 ml, the pressure is good, and the coffee is quality and fresh, this is the last thing to rule out. Ill grab a thermocouple and try it out tonight. Thanks very much, and for the Di Bella referral. If the temp proves to be more or less ok, Im at the stage where I need to get someone else to have a look.

    Cheers again!

  24. #24
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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    what happened mate, any luck.....just interested

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    Re: Think Ive tried everything, still making sour coffee..

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 13173128282D32252A440 link=1245987680/23#23 date=1249361647
    what happened mate, any luck.....just interested
    Many hit the forum with a problem.. Find a fix and thus no need to come back...

    Problem is that we can only second guess as to what teh fix was ;)

    Beans or Water..

    My guess is BEANS ;)



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