Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Spluttery stream

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Spluttery stream

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all. Pardon my novice question, but here it is. Just got a commercial machine (and old single San Marino). Working great, with a Sunbeam grinder to go with it. But still experimenting with tamping, grind variables. It seems to me I can get a pour which is about 25 seconds easily enough. But I seem to probably be putting more than 7g of coffee in. And also, the pour is not a smooth stream for the whole shot. It starts that way, but then gets splashy and spluttery making a mess of my nice clean cup. I dont like it.

    Should I be grinding more coursely, using less coffee and tamping harder? There are bigger issues in the world, I know... but still. Id welcome any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    67

    Re: Spluttery stream

    you probably need to distribute the coffee better in the filter by tapping / stirring / levelling, using more than 7g is not uncommon - if you are using a single shot basket (7g, narrow at the bottom) try doing doubles as they should be easier to grind for and distribute. Search for distribution above and give that a go!

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Cool. Will give that a try... Thanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 56737C7B777E252A120 link=1323048032/0#0 date=1323048032
    There are bigger issues in the world
    Not to coffee snobbers :)

    Hi & Welcome.* Im going through similar issues if you want to look at here.

    Firstly, the sputtering sounds like channeling - where the water breaks through a weak spot and flows unevenly.* Finding the cause is not so simple!

    Secondly, dont play the numbers game - 7g, 8g, whatever - it depends on too many other variables such as basket size, beans, machine, etc. Many people will use the double basket and not the single, and hence more like 18g at a time.

    Some causes of chanelling (and other problems):
    • Flow from the shower screen, especially if its an old machine - is it even?
    • beans - are they fresh? When were they roasted? Do you clean out stale beans from the grinder before using? Do you grind just before using?
    • grind - is the Sunbeam performing? Can you borrow something better and see how that goes?
    • Dose - fill the basket to just under the screen, and try and make this consistent each time (look up the "5c test")
    • distribution - are the grinds settled evenly? do you tap the pf, sweep, mix, whatever? There are many techniques, especially useful for cheaper grinders
    • tamp - is it even and not lopsided?
    • experience - it gets better as you do it more!


    Hope that helps a bit!

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    That is a helpful post. Some interesting thoughts. The machine isnt new. But it has just been serviced. The beans are are only roasted a week ago, and Im grinding second beforehand. Havent tried the 5c test, but Ill give that a go. With regard to dosing and the 5c test then, presuming Im using a single basket, to get the calculation right, Id still need to have a number in mind for grams, surely? Im thinking, if I aimed for 8g then I could work on getting the grind just right for the coin to sit just below the shower. But that grind would be different if I were aiming for 9gm or 7gm wouldnt it? Often the stream starts beautifully smooth, but then things go a bit wild. The puck doesnt look like its channeling, but it might be. Im tamping pretty well I think, and evenly, but I am new and I could be wrong. Sometimes it seems like the spluttering is because the pour is actually coming through TOO slowly, and so I wonder if Im actually overdosing, or grinding too fine. But when I was dosing less, I was finding that the puck was floating and finishing up stuck to the shower screen, so I had the opposite problem.

    This is both science, and art, seemingly... :-/

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 26030C0B070E555A620 link=1323048032/4#4 date=1323131478
    if I aimed for 8g then I could work on getting the grind just right for the coin to sit just below the shower. But that grind would be different if I were aiming for 9gm or 7gm wouldnt it?
    not quite... If you aim for x grams and modify the grind, youre changing a variable that affects the speed of the flow, so youll have little to no hope of getting the volume & speed right (unless you happen to fluke it).

    Baskets are made to be filled to the right spot. If youre using too much coffee I would suggest trying a different basket. But why is 8 or 9 or 10 grams too much? The determining factor is the flavour of the output, and after that everything else comes second!

    The usual rule of thumb is to grind as fine as you can without choking, fill as much as you can (over the top), sweep to distribute it evenly, and tamp to bring it back down to the "5c mark". The tamp pressure determines the amount of coffee - too much coffee and you have to press to hard to get it to the right mark, too little coffee and you dont press hard enough.

    If its too fast / slow then adjust your grind and dose, but try and keep the other things the same (except of course grinding finer makes it compress more, but dont press harder or it will pour slower still)

    Yes its an art and a science with multiple variables affecting the one output.

    Some other thoughts - do you do a cooling flush? I dont know much about the SMs - is it E61 or single boiler? You could be getting some steam in the water causing it to go spluttery.

    Also, your sunbeam may be a bit inconsistent leading to different sized grinds causing some issues, just guessing. If you can take the machine to a sponsor or friend who has a different grinder you can compare.

    Can you do a video on the tube? Limit it to the problem bit if youre limited in upload capacity, otherwise include the whole process. Coffe vids are fun to watch!

    HTH

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Great thoughts again. Ill have a few more cracks over the next few days. And I might even be able to make a video or two... Thanks for the help!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    no probs - keep coming back with questions! Photos are a good second to videos.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    So I had a good look tonight. The 5c test was interesting. The first time I did it, I didnt run the coffee through, I just put the coin there, put the portafilter in and then removed it. Half the coffee remained stick to the shower screen, and the 5c was in there somewhere with it! Lesson: I assume it was seriously overdosed.

    So on closer inspection, I notice that the shower screen really does sit down inside the basket quite a few mills on my machine. In fact, it sits down probably near where the ridge is on the single basket where is steps/slopes in. But that seems to present a problem, because if thats as low as I need to have the coffee, how on earth am I supposed to tamp it with a 58mm tamper, when the slopes/ridges will prevent the tamper pushing the coffee down lower than where the screen will hit? Does that make any sense?

    Edit: Just put some photos in this post to try to illustrate what Im describing. I reckon the shower screen sits as low as the step in the basket - that makes it hard to tamp doesnt it? Or is that normal?




  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    hm, that step is interesting - I dont use a single basket for various reasons, and the taper is one of them, so I dont have much advice to offer. Two thoughts are buying a different shaped single basket, or using a smaller tamper so it fits within the ridge.

    Ive attached a shot of 4 baskets to give you some comparison, from left to right:

    Giotto double, Giotto single, VST 18g ridgeless, VST 15g rideless.

    You can see on the Giotto baskets, there is a ridge for holding on to the pf clip, and they are both tapered. I like the VSTs because there is no taper, so tamp pressure runs evenly down the sides, there is no ridge to mess things up, but there is no single version either (oh, yes there is now). You could try a single synesso?


  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A525A5D5751330 link=1323048032/9#9 date=1323214042
    hm, that step is interesting - I dont use a single basket for various reasons, and the taper is one of them, so I dont have much advice to offer.* Two thoughts are buying a different shaped single basket, or using a smaller tamper so it fits within the ridge.

    Ive attached a shot of 4 baskets to give you some comparison, from left to right:

    Giotto double, Giotto single, VST 18g ridgeless, VST 15g rideless.

    You can see on the Giotto baskets, there is a ridge for holding on to the pf clip, and they are both tapered.* I like the VSTs because there is no taper, so tamp pressure runs evenly down the sides, there is no ridge to mess things up, but there is no single version either (oh, yes there is now).* You could try a single synesso?
    Ok. Well Ill try to change baskets then. I have a feeling that the one I might might not even be the right one for the filter. I have great difficult pulling the handle to 90 degrees with the basket in (in fact, I flat out cant pull it past about 50 degrees), but without the basket it in comes to 90 degrees really easy, which I assume means its sitting up a bit too high. So it might not even be right. I assume those ones youve listed fit my filter ok? I dont really want to change tampers, since I was just given a lovely pullman one to fit my filter! Im guessing that that VST one would still be fine with my tamper, so that might be the go...! It does still have a step down, but its obviously much lower, so I could still hopefully tamp...

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    If you have a Pullman tamper I would recommend contacting Pullman himself, who will advise you on the best baskets to fit, since he measures everything to within fleas hairs breadth... well Im sure he actually uses real units but you get the point. Hell have the measurement of your tamper on file, as well as know what basket will fit what machine.

    Also ask him if my advice is sound as he may have a better idea :)

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    57

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Id also say get a naked portafilter and see whats going on from underneath - you will instantly see if you have distribution and tamp issues.

    Oh, and make sure your new basket isnt a single!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 323A32353F395B0 link=1323048032/9#9 date=1323214042
    hm, that step is interesting - I dont use a single basket for various reasons, and the taper is one of them, so I dont have much advice to offer.* Two thoughts are buying a different shaped single basket, or using a smaller tamper so it fits within the ridge.

    Ive attached a shot of 4 baskets to give you some comparison, from left to right:

    Giotto double, Giotto single, VST 18g ridgeless, VST 15g rideless.

    You can see on the Giotto baskets, there is a ridge for holding on to the pf clip, and they are both tapered.* I like the VSTs because there is no taper, so tamp pressure runs evenly down the sides, there is no ridge to mess things up, but there is no single version either (oh, yes there is now).* You could try a single synesso?
    Can I ask one more probabyl silly question then? So with these baskets (VST), does getting a ridgeless one mean that it doesnt hold on to the spring properly or something, and its going to be falling out when I knock out the puck? Or what is the different between the ridge and ridgeless then?

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: Spluttery stream

    There are no stupid questions, only stupid people... wait :-? I think I got that wrong...

    INHO theres no issue with the ridgeless baskets and staying in the pf - and when you knock out the puck, youre tapping the pf upside down on the basket itself, so the basket cant fall out as its hitting the knock box bar and being pushed up against the pf, if you know what I mean. Maybe if you had a different method of tapping, such as on the pf handle, because you didnt have a knock box it may dislodge?

    My experience is only with the Giotto.

    Theres more info here from the experts!

    :)

  16. #16
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    341

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 56737C7B777E252A120 link=1323048032/13#13 date=1323302521
    Quote Originally Posted by 323A32353F395B0 link=1323048032/9#9 date=1323214042
    hm, that step is interesting - I dont use a single basket for various reasons, and the taper is one of them, so I dont have much advice to offer.* Two thoughts are buying a different shaped single basket, or using a smaller tamper so it fits within the ridge.

    Ive attached a shot of 4 baskets to give you some comparison, from left to right:

    Giotto double, Giotto single, VST 18g ridgeless, VST 15g rideless.

    You can see on the Giotto baskets, there is a ridge for holding on to the pf clip, and they are both tapered.* I like the VSTs because there is no taper, so tamp pressure runs evenly down the sides, there is no ridge to mess things up, but there is no single version either (oh, yes there is now).* You could try a single synesso?
    Can I ask one more probabyl silly question then? So with these baskets (VST), does getting a ridgeless one mean that it doesnt hold on to the spring properly or something, and its going to be falling out when I knock out the puck? Or what is the different between the ridge and ridgeless then?

    Good question. When we were first lobbying VST to make ridgeless baskets this was one of their most strident objections. Fortunately weve sold ridgeless Synessos for years and knew that a stronger spring is all thats required to eliminate this problem and gain the benefits of a ridgeless basket. Most of the ridgeless baskets we sell go with a new spring which sets you back a whole $4.95! There are a couple of links on http://thingscoffee.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=40_25&products_id=233 which discuss this.

    Greg

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    So to update... Ive been improving tamping with the existing basket etc. The bottom line is Im getting good coffee out of the single basket. Its still spluttery (usually after about the first ten seconds of the pour). But Im overdosing in the sense that I still have a strong impression of the screw on the puck, and the five cent test is a clear failure. And Im possibly seriously overdosing in that sometimes I get a drip coming out over the top of the handle/basket, so Im sure thats not ideal. And the fact that I cant pull the handle anywhere near perpendicular is condemning evidence of all this, if any were needed...

    Ill hopefully grab one of the VST ridgeless double baskets soon and solve this problem once and for all.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Im still working to iron out these problems and adjust to the new machine. For an update... I am using a double basket now. 18g Synesso ridgeless I think it is. That created some new problems, namely that I wasnt getting even volume between the two spouts when I used the double spout. After some reading, I took levels and re-levelled the machine. Thats resolved MOST of that problem.

    But I think the spluttering, and fast pours are even more common now. I just cant get this right! If I go really fine, and tamp pretty hard, I can get a slowish pour (but using the double basket, still probably only 12-15 seconds to pour a single shot from it) but not slow enough I wouldnt think. And even then, its more dripping, spluttering through rather than the nice smooth pour I want. And each time, after the few seconds wait, I get a bit of a rush before it settles down to what I call spluttering. Maybe I should take some video! Can you post video on here? Ive been considering the post above about the shower screen, because Im wondering whether the flow out of there is right. When I run it straight through with NO portafilter in, it flows smoothly from the screen. However, it doenst fall into the tray from all across the shower screen. Water comes out of the whole screen, but does form several streams that it comes down in. Is this even?

    Finally, when it comes to the 5c test (to get dosing right) I really need to overdose (i.e. hardly any imprint from the coin) to get things close to right.

    This is driving me crazy. Anyone got any thoughts?

  19. #19
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Hi Daniel,

    I have a couple of thoughts.

    1. Ditch the grinder ASAP. Its well and truely underdone for your machine and barely adequate for any mahcine. Buy something like a Compak K3P or better.
    2. Wherever the grinder goes, let the single basket follow. Theyre a waste of time. That said, you dont need to spend money on VST/Synesso/Whateveriscurrentlyinvogue yet as these only give small incremental gains. A good fitting tamper will assist, but again this does not need to cost a bomb either.
    3. Develop great technique. Use http://www.espressocompany.com.au/how-to.htm as a a guide, adjusting slightly if required to suit the shower screen of your machine.
    4. Ditch the grinder.
    5. Ditch the grinder!

    Good luck! ;)

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    OK. So the grinder isnt really in favour then. I can ditch it (although there is no way I am getting away with buying a new one right now). Also, Id like to be sure thats the problem. At the end of the day, if its just a cosmetic thing (the flow of the pour) then I dont mind. Im getting good coffee, no doubt. But it just doesnt look cool. The tamper is a good fit. Its a pullman and its very close to being a tight fit. I think Im tamping well. I dont use the single basket anymore.

    Thanks for the weblink. Let me check that out...

  21. #21
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Quote Originally Posted by 267961777C777B7272717179757A140 link=1323048032/18#18 date=1326673528
    Hi Daniel,

    I have a couple of thoughts.

    1. Ditch the grinder ASAP. Its well and truely underdone for your machine and barely adequate for any mahcine. Buy something like a Compak K3P or better.
    2. Wherever the grinder goes, let the single basket follow. Theyre a waste of time. That said, you dont need to spend money on VST/Synesso/Whateveriscurrentlyinvogue yet as these only give small incremental gains. A good fitting tamper will assist, but again this does not need to cost a bomb either.
    3. Develop great technique. Use http://www.espressocompany.com.au/how-to.htm as a a guide, adjusting slightly if required to suit the shower screen of your machine.
    4. Ditch the grinder.
    5. Ditch the grinder!

    Good luck! ;)
    Incidentally, when you say the grinder is underdone for the machine, do you mean it wont grind finely enough, or consistenly enough, or have enough increments? That grinder seemed to have rated pretty highly in various places - including by some on this site. I got it cheap, very cheap, but was hoping it would do the job for a while...!

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Took a few photos last night for the interest of anyone who is following my woes. Given that I dont know what looks normal and what doesnt, hopefully someone can tell me if this is what the water should look like flowing straight from the shower screen. And one of the used puck in the basket. Poured a great coffee this morning with the grinder on the finest setting...






  23. #23
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,288

    Re: Spluttery stream

    The way the water flows without coffee might tell an expert tech something but it doesnt tell me anything.* :D

    The sputtering really sounds like channelling and this is often caused by over-dosing (which is different to up-dosing). Locking in the handle causes the screen to press on the coffee and this cracks the puck you just spent time tamping correctly. :(

    The blurry pic of your puck looks OK but *may* show a slight over-dosing. Do try the 5 cent test, without extracting, (dry the screen!) and start from there for the dosing level. Then try and get the extraction right by varying the grind. Note--finer grinds pack tighter, requiring more coffee in the dose which doubles the effect of slowing the extraction--it can be difficult to get it perfect.

    The reason the grinder isnt up to the machine is that the individual grounds vary too much in size and reduced the quality of the flavour--but it will do until you get really dissatisfied.

    Greg
    ps--sounds like you got it right once--you can do it again!
    pps--there are shims for the grinder that will allow an even finer grind, as long as the burrs are OK.

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    So I thought Id take a video to show anyone who was wondering. OK. So nobody was wondering but Ill share it anyway. Im using a double basket now, and getting some really nice shots going that taste great. HOWEVER: I still think its pouring too quickly, and after about 5 seconds of the pour is starts to splutter and splatter everywhere making a mess of my nice clean cup. First world problem and all that, but still frustrating me. I took some video, but cant post it on the forum it looks like. Ive stuck it online, so if you want to view, http://www.divshare.com/download/16714995-b8b. Thoughts welcome...

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    139

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Hi Daniel78,

    If your machine is a HX machine then you probably need to do a cooling flush to purge super-heated water before pulling a shot. Iandib already suggested this as a possible source, but I didnt see your response. Can we rule this out?

  26. #26
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    51

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Yep, rule that out sorry. Doing. that every time now. Thanks though...!

  27. #27
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,006

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Heres a shot using a single basket on my ECM Giotto with the Naked Portafilter.* The main thing is to dose correctly and tamp to the right level and an even tamp.* I still do a polish on the tamp, more so to get rid of any grind stuck on the flat of the tamper and also to ensure I didnt tamp crooked by using my thumb, index finger and middle finger as a guide as I "polish".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkkAO-3ElEE

    Sorry the video is not too clear, it was taken at night under bad lighting. I probably should have cut the shot earlier, but still tasted good :)

  28. #28
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Queensland
    Posts
    1,131

    Re: Spluttery stream

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Just a thought - your description makes me think that there is something not right with the spatial relationship between the shower screen, porta-filter and the basket. Are all these items Original Equipment? If you have acquired this machine second hand you probably wont know.
    I wonder if a replacement shower screen may be mounted lower than it should be or if it is OE, whether the porta-filter is a ring-in.
    The only time my machine splutters is when it is too hot and is pushing steam through the group.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •