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Thread: Help with my brewing....

  1. #1
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    Help with my brewing....

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

    I have been working toward a more consistent espresso extraction and need some advice :) to overcome problems with my results.

    I have been trialling some of the guidance from videos, the Barista techniques book, and the website here. Also attended the Sunbeam course.

    My equipment:
    EM6910
    EM480 grinder (calibrated with 4 washers and set on a grind of 9).
    electronic jewelry scales (nice and small... $7 off ebay :D).
    standard double basket from coffeeparts.com as it fits my tamper better (sunbeams are too large)
    Ezytamp (58mm)

    Beans:
    Di Bella Ali reserve (a nice bean if you have not tasted it!).

    Whats wrong:

    I measure 18g of ground coffee and tamp it in my basket using the eazytamp (15kg calibrated). It seems to be very low in relation to the basket rim. after tamping the tamper base is almost completely sunk into the basket.

    On extraction the coffee is not swelling up into contact with the shower screen.

    The puck appears quite muddy and does not break... just soppy and bends.

    Extraction times seem ok and the pressure stat on extraction is in the top of the gold band on the dial. THe needle does seem to pulse up and down at times.... not sure what this indicates (I thought it might mean overdosing or too fine a grind).

    Id appreciate some advice at any rate :). These baskets are designed for a 18g dose at the top end so I thought Id ask around before updosing and using more beans unnecessarilly. :)

    Cheers :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    perhaps you just need to recalibrate your scales :o

    I would suggest you overdose the filler say 20 grams the porta-filler will then be hard to put in the machine.

    them remove or add coffee until you can feel the coffee touch the shower screen. at the appreciate position of the handle.

    then weigh the amount of coffee.

    but isnt dosing a volumetric thing not a gravimetric thing?

    Throw the evil nasty scales away and just use the force Master Grobins.

    Beware the dark side (that technology is a substitute for observation and brains)

    unless you are keen on ristretto (that dark side can be an acquired but pleasant taste).



    after all $7.00 for precision scales at the sensitivity needed ??? ;D

    I would be testing the reproducibility of the scales very carefully.


    if you really want to save beans use a single shot :o

  3. #3
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    I like a double :).

    My efforts are more about consistency so I can change things a little to test the taste of my coffee.

    Scales seem consistent. Up until today when I started using them I have been dosing the way that is suggested by the tutorial vids on espressomachine.com (fill 3/4, 2 tap, fill, 2 tap, fill and then level). Still, depending on the tap and how much is in each time there is a fair variation in the volume dosed (due to more settling of coffee).

    I figured weight would be a way of removing the variation in coffee volume.

    Ill updose a bit and see how it goes...

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    Quote Originally Posted by 565C4954595255483B0 link=1308818382/0#0 date=1308818382
    "Whats wrong:

    I measure 18g of ground coffee and tamp it in my basket using the eazytamp (15kg calibrated). It seems to be very low in relation to the basket rim. after tamping the tamper base is almost completely sunk into the basket.

    On extraction the coffee is not swelling up into contact with the shower screen.

    The puck appears quite muddy and does not break... just soppy and bends."
    This generally indicates underdosing, confirm your comments above to try a bit more.* The puck should be relatively firm and dry, and yes swelling up to just touch the shower screen is a good sign.
    If you do need to updose a bit more, you may need to adjsut the grind setting if it is too fine....
    I have not tried using scales, but some do use them as a way to improve consistency.

  5. #5
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B514459545F5845360 link=1308818382/0#0 date=1308818382
    Whats wrong:

    I measure 18g of ground coffee and tamp it in my basket
    Thats whats wrong. If you need to be guided by weight, weigh your empty group handle, fill it with coffee to the correct level then weigh it again. That will indicate the correct weight you need for the coffee you are currently using.

    Im sure if you look through some of the Sunbeam threads you will find a mention of the correct dosing level for the 6910.

    I used to dose by weight on my last machine and suffered the same underdosing problems.

    EDIT: ...and what Petanque says :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    To reitterate the other comments.

    A sloppy puck indicates underdosing, so dose more into the basket. The indicator for correct dose is a solid puck (cookie).

    One tip for using scales for measuring dosing, at least for the up dosing method. They dont work. Weighing coffee does not produce an accurate dose with up dosing. The updosing method (solid cookie) requires sight dosing. If using the updosing method, the basket size indicator (18 grams) doesnt hold 18grams, it will hold more. If you follow by weight, the basket size indicator (18 gram) you will always end up under dosing.

    Also, as you change your grind size, so does your dosing volume in the basket, and the weight. For absolute quality and consistency in espresso, measures, times, weights etc are not as accurate as your own intuition.....strange to hear I know, but true.

  7. #7
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    take some out of the science out of your technique and use some intuition.

    2+2=5 when it comes to making espresso ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: Help with my brewing....

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks guys.

    Ill updose using the non-weight technique I have been using and then test to see if my scales can assist in making my observations of dosing consistent (i.e. scales will become a tool to help my dosing rather than the method).

    variation in my dosing has been affecting the results acheived. My tamping is now set and Im still working out if my grind is ok.

    Am I correct in saying that dosing and grind are variable interchangeably... is one supposed to be set before the other when developing the best espresso extraction??

    Appreciate all of the input by the way :).



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