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Thread: I am confused... need help on brewing.

  1. #1
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    I am confused... need help on brewing.

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

    I have to admit it, I am a coffeesnob. I started a couple of months ago and brewing coffee became my hobby... yeah, for an IT guy, I think this would be my second job!

    Anyways, this is the stage:

    - EM6910 (default temp) using single wall double basket (sunbeam original).
    - EM0480 just recalibrated, putting the actual dose in the hopper.
    - Veneziano coffee (quite recently roasted.... maybe 1 or 2 weeks).

    My issue: I don't like the coffee I am brewing.

    Honestly, I think my biggest issue is the dosage.. I am not sure home many grams to put in the double basket:

    A. tried 16 grams in 25-30 secs and vol of 60 ml (with crema), too light, acid, maybe bitter
    B. tried 18 grams in 25-30 secs and vol of 60 ml (with crema), didn't like taste... to acid.
    C. tried 20 grams (max in sunbeam basket) in 25-30 secs and vol of 60 ml (with crema), too strong maybe. Even one of my friends said "tastes like burnt coffee"...

    For A and B, if you look at the shot, the crema on top, at least for a couple of mm is lighter in colour than the rest of the crema (for 60 ml vol). This would suggest over extraction? A friend of mine suggested me not to aim for 60 ml, maybe 50 ml. Also (he uses the same coffee), he suggested me dosing with 24 grams and 50 ml.

    For C, crema is the same colour. Issue with C is the strength of the coffee.

    For all cases, pucks are OK.

    Tamping is not an issue... Actually I changed from a very tight tamp to a normal / lighter one... that didn't affect pressure or extraction from my point of view.

    Any suggestions, are welcome!

    Cheers,

    Gus.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    How long ago was the coffee roasted?

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    yeah, technique can only make so much of a difference and yours seems sound enough.

    GIGO - change up your beans maybe? 250g bags from the beanbay or any reputable roaster are fairly cheap so it won't cost you too much to trial a bunch of different beans to find one that suits you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by early_morning_ View Post
    yeah, technique can only make so much of a difference and yours seems sound enough.

    GIGO - change up your beans maybe? 250g bags from the beanbay or any reputable roaster are fairly cheap so it won't cost you too much to trial a bunch of different beans to find one that suits you...
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I normally order 500g of coffee. I buy it from a coffee shot near work, the guy gets fresh coffee almost every day. Regarding roast, can't tell, but these beans were bought last week.

    Still my problem looks the dosage... or maybe cut it shorter. Honestly, I can't tell very well when blonding starts. Not sure 100% :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherni78 View Post
    Regarding roast, can't tell, but these beans were bought last week.
    Bought and roasted are not the same thing - also, IMHO never trust people to say when it's roasted unless it's stamped. From experience, a lot of bad baristas (who obviously is not on these forums) don't even know the significance of roast date.

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    My dad has the same set up, to be honest, i wouldnt be pushing your shots past 30ml using the stock double basket on the sunbeam, using that grinder i would pretty much go as fine as you can, your tamper sholdnt show much more than 1mm of the silver part when pressed down, im guessing its the stock tamper half silver half black plastic? ANyway give that a go, if you want to be more precise, watch the extraction, when the colour turns from dark chocolate brown, then like brown/gold then light wheat sort of colour you should ideally stop your shot before the wheat colour, otherwsie known as 'blonding', i dont think you'll get much past 30ml

  7. #7
    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    I think if your crema is pale for A and B and over dosing on C produced a darker one, I would suggest increasing brew temp and using the single walled double. I too have the same setup and I brew on the max brew temp for most coffees I brew (all a min 10 days post-roast).

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    Hi Guys...

    My dad has the same set up, to be honest, i wouldnt be pushing your shots past 30ml using the stock double basket on the sunbeam, using that grinder i would pretty much go as fine as you can, your tamper sholdnt show much more than 1mm of the silver part when pressed down, im guessing its the stock tamper half silver half black plastic?
    Its the stock tamper... I am putting 18 grams. How much is your dad dosing? I will do the test and see how much volume I can get after brown/gold.

    I think if your crema is pale for A and B and over dosing on C produced a darker one, I would suggest increasing brew temp and using the single walled double. I too have the same setup and I brew on the max brew temp for most coffees I brew (all a min 10 days post-roast)
    Yep... actually, on A and B is darker, but on top there is a few mm of a pale one. Now, regarding the temp, how does that affect the brewing? Should be the default normally? I do use single walled double basket...

    Thanks guys!!!

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    you don't seem to have mentioned what you are doing with the grind? when I get a new lot of beans I keep the amount constant and play with the grind. I'd try A with a finer grind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard_m_h View Post
    you don't seem to have mentioned what you are doing with the grind? when I get a new lot of beans I keep the amount constant and play with the grind. I'd try A with a finer grind.
    Well, grind is fine I guess... one setting more finer it takes +35 secs... now I'm almost 25 secs.

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    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherni78 View Post
    Yep... actually, on A and B is darker, but on top there is a few mm of a pale one. Now, regarding the temp, how does that affect the brewing? Should be the default normally? I do use single walled double basket...
    I'm not to sure about what happens during the extraction with regards to temp. I just experimented and found that I was getting richer shots with a lot of body! The EM6910 default is 92 degrees and the max is 96. If you look in the user manual there are instructions for changing the brewing temp.

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    Well, I have to try and stop the shot earlier... instead of 60 ml 50 ml.... I can't put more coffee in the basket either.

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    Guys,

    What about the extraction pressure? I read in some forum that I should try with the double wall double basket empty and read the gauge.. that should be about 9 bars.

    When I do brew coffee I am over 9 bars, might be between 12 - 13 bars.... what would be the effect of excess pressure during extraction?

    Cheers!

  14. #14
    Senior Member specialpants's Avatar
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    The double wall basket is about 8 bars, so a good reference point on the gauge would be a little bit after that. I can't comment on the excess pressure thing, but 9 bar seems to be the magic number.

    Also, the sunbeam is supposed to be 92 degrees but it was much lower (mid to high 80) when I stuck a probe in the portafilter.

    Edit: I like my coffee better when the shot takes about 25-30 seconds for one cup, using a double basket. It may or may not work for you, but worth a try... grind a bit finer and see if you prefer it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherni78 View Post
    Its the stock tamper...
    I don't have the setup (and never seen it) so just wondering, what's the stock tamper?

    Hopefully not plastic like a Breville....

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmeh View Post
    I don't have the setup (and never seen it) so just wondering, what's the stock tamper?

    Hopefully not plastic like a Breville....
    You can see some photos of the tamping in these two old for sale threads.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...ew-6910-a.html
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...melbourne.html

    It is aluminium as far as I know - that being said, it's not great quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David8 View Post
    You can see some photos of the tamping in these two old for sale threads.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...ew-6910-a.html
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...melbourne.html

    It is aluminium as far as I know - that being said, it's not great quality.
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's stainless steel with a dense plastic handle; and yes the quality it quite poor, but better than the plastic tampers most machines come with. The main issue though is that the steel face has been straight-lined brushed (as opposed to circular brushing) which will usually break up the surface of the coffee puck rather than polish it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpratt View Post
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's stainless steel with a dense plastic handle; and yes the quality it quite poor, but better than the plastic tampers most machines come with. The main issue though is that the steel face has been straight-lined brushed (as opposed to circular brushing) which will usually break up the surface of the coffee puck rather than polish it.
    I thought that it was a fairly smooth surface... ?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bernsbrew's Avatar
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    I have a similar SB set up. Your grinder, if it is newish, is perfectly acceptable. Don't take the advice given above to go as fine as you can. It will choke the machine. That SB on its tightest setting produces a grind as fine as talcum powder, much finer than anything out of the (shock, horror) Rocky. I've compared the two side by side. SB has improved that grinder over the years, still just as messy and static prone, but don't change it for the Rocky, a bad grinder, hugely overrated by the in crowd and not worth the money (yeah, yeah heresy). In my experience, 60ml is far too big an extraction for that humble machine, I'm not surprised it tastes bad, bad and then worse despite changing other variables. Drop it to between 20ml and 30ml - a little whiskey glass - over 20 to 25 seconds. Fill the double basket, tamp hard, vary the grind, tamp to slow the extraction. As the Marquis de Sade would have said: treacle "... as black as the Devil's arse".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernsbrew View Post
    I have a similar SB set up. Your grinder, if it is newish, is perfectly acceptable. Don't take the advice given above to go as fine as you can. It will choke the machine. That SB on its tightest setting produces a grind as fine as talcum powder, much finer than anything out of the (shock, horror) Rocky. I've compared the two side by side. SB has improved that grinder over the years, still just as messy and static prone, but don't change it for the Rocky, a bad grinder, hugely overrated by the in crowd and not worth the money (yeah, yeah heresy). In my experience, 60ml is far too big an extraction for that humble machine, I'm not surprised it tastes bad, bad and then worse despite changing other variables. Drop it to between 20ml and 30ml - a little whiskey glass - over 20 to 25 seconds. Fill the double basket, tamp hard, vary the grind, tamp to slow the extraction. As the Marquis de Sade would have said: treacle "... as black as the Devil's arse".
    Bernsbrew,

    I just even re-calibrated my EM04080 with another washer and some clicks under setting 15 choked the EM6910

    So, some questions, how many grams in the double basket for a 20-30 ml extraction? And what about the pressure gauge while lowering the speed of the extraction?

    I feel like I'm worrying too much on pressure... but its not that important?

    Cheers!

    ps: the stock tamper is good for starters... just thinking on buying one more pro!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bernsbrew's Avatar
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    Don't get caught up in the gauges - big, big BS factor there. Helps sell the machine to gadget geeks (don't worry, I'm one too). In fact, black out the glass with a felt marker pen for the time being (show courage, it will not affect the warranty). The difference it makes is about 2/93 of not much at all, give or take a bee's ... Remember, this is not IT, do not seek rational answers. All will be revealed when you are ready to receive. You are an artist, channel your inner coffee spirit as you stand before your appliance. First you must discover the infinite nothingness between bean, grinder and machine, this is the extraction that is no extraction, the pour that is the empty cup. Fill the basket with really fine grind as full as you can, and a bit more, then press down hard. Position whiskey glass in readiness, push the on button. Hopefully the machine chokes, no pour. Stop machine, chuck puck. Repeat process exactly, but with ever coarser grind, one notch at a time, until the first little dribble. Do not despair, you are closer than you think. Continue to grind coarser, same hard tamp, observe as dribble becomes droplet, droplet becomes drop, drop becomes pour, glass fills. Fill time exceeds 30 sec, grind a notch coarser, then if fill is too fast go back to the finer setting and adjust the tamp pressure. With fill time at 20-25 sec, the moment has come to sup. You must respond accordingly. Dose down, adjust grind, adjust tamp, but fear not this holy trinity, choose one path, for the infinite black will always speak to you. Know that you have arrived.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernsbrew View Post
    Don't get caught up in the gauges - big, big BS factor there. Helps sell the machine to gadget geeks (don't worry, I'm one too). In fact, black out the glass with a felt marker pen for the time being (show courage, it will not affect the warranty). The difference it makes is about 2/93 of not much at all, give or take a bee's ... Remember, this is not IT, do not seek rational answers. All will be revealed when you are ready to receive. You are an artist, channel your inner coffee spirit as you stand before your appliance. First you must discover the infinite nothingness between bean, grinder and machine, this is the extraction that is no extraction, the pour that is the empty cup. Fill the basket with really fine grind as full as you can, and a bit more, then press down hard. Position whiskey glass in readiness, push the on button. Hopefully the machine chokes, no pour. Stop machine, chuck puck. Repeat process exactly, but with ever coarser grind, one notch at a time, until the first little dribble. Do not despair, you are closer than you think. Continue to grind coarser, same hard tamp, observe as dribble becomes droplet, droplet becomes drop, drop becomes pour, glass fills. Fill time exceeds 30 sec, grind a notch coarser, then if fill is too fast go back to the finer setting and adjust the tamp pressure. With fill time at 20-25 sec, the moment has come to sup. You must respond accordingly. Dose down, adjust grind, adjust tamp, but fear not this holy trinity, choose one path, for the infinite black will always speak to you. Know that you have arrived.

    Hi Bernsbrew! You made me laugh! I am in IT!!!

    Well, something did happen... just got a some new beans and I think that my main issue was that I was grinding too fine. I changed for a coarser setting, got 60 ml but in 15/20 secs. I did check the gauge, and it was below the 9 bars... So tomorrow morning I will set it up I more notch finer and see what happens! Still, I don't think I will make 50 or 60 ml in 25/35 secs though...

    Anyways, the coffee I pour was very good!!! Too much lemon taste though... but very good... it wasn't bitter. I loaded it with 18 grams.

    Now, I realized that there was a small oil stain after I removed the puck... that is too much dosage? The puck itself was great... came out in one peace... and Dry.

    Cheers mate.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    How did it go?

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    Hi Thundergod!

    Pretty nice shots... I am having an issue with the grinding... one notch finer to make it slower will take forever... so I might continue my shots as are with 60 ml in 22 sec.

    Maybe I can try finer and less dose. Might work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherni78 View Post
    Still, I don't think I will make 50 or 60 ml in 25/35 secs though...
    I'm confused (and sleepy)... isn't it 30ml for 30 secs? or am I missing something in my head today?

  26. #26
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Out of a double filter basket, 50-60mls extracted in 25-30 secs (or vaguely in that order of magnitude). That's my vague understanding anyway, assuming trying to make a normal espresso (rather than ristretto etc). Have a look at 2mcms sticky 'e-61 brewing tips' in the 'Pointy End' thread.

    Single basket is approx 30mls in 25-30 secs etc.
    Last edited by Barry O'Speedwagon; 14th August 2012 at 04:40 PM. Reason: thought this was in the other thread arguing the same point

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    It seems to the 'correct' volume is something that has reduced over recent years. It used to be 60 ml in 20-25secs however I notice now many more people are going for the 30ml or less from a double basket for most forms of coffee, going much more on colour and pour than volume or time. I've gone down this road of late and have to admit my coffee does taste better and is much more consistent for it.

    As for the gauge use it for consistency, not to "measure" anything. On my machine hit 12o'clock every time and all is good.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Cheers Chris. I understand <5% of the science behind it, but for some reason I like African beans just as you've described (30-40mls) from a double, but with blends dominated by south americans (I like lattes) I seem to like a faster extraction and less dark crema. Probably just me. It was only when I went on holiday for a week and took the Baachi Espresso with me that I really started to play around with this....all good fun.

  29. #29
    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    I am confused... need help on brewing.

    Is there a chance that you get all the three things right and the shot is still tastes sour?

    Right grind, dose, tamp. Pulling 30-40ml over 20-30s crema and color looks right. But the taste is still sour. Up any more and it starts to choke... Is it the bean? I'm using campos superior. Anyone had experience with the bean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    I'm using campos superior. Anyone had experience with the bean?
    Yes, tastes like perfume expired (don't ask me why I know what this tastes like).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    ... I notice now many more people are going for the 30ml or less from a double basket for most forms of coffee, going much more on colour and pour than volume or time.
    AHA! I think I've used this so long, I forgot where it came from
    Last edited by lilmeh; 15th August 2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: emoticons don't work

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    to the OP, have you tried the '5c test'? before locking in the handle to the group head, place a 5c piece on the puck, then lock it in. unlock it and check. the 5c piece should leave a slight impression in the puck. if it doesn't, then you can updose it a bit. if it does, then you are filling too much. the puck shouldn't touch the shower screen when locked in.

    i have the exact setup (6910 + 0480) and when i tamp, there is still at least 2mm of silver showing on the tamp.



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