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Thread: Coffee beans, Humidity and Grind Adjustment??

  1. #1
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    Coffee beans, Humidity and Grind Adjustment??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there CS. I am new here and really value any input in regards to my question. 6 days ago I purchased a Breville BES 900/B and Smart grinder after careful consideration, and reading the entire CS threads associated with this machine. I purchased 2 types of pre roasted coffee beans. One from Toby's Estate (Wooloomooloo Blend 250g) and the other from Belaroma (Octavia Blend 250g). I used the Belaroma first, set up my grinder and have left the BES 900 on the pre factory settings. I am using a sinlge wall, single shot basket. It took me 3 attempts to dial my grinder in before i was getting really nice shots with an extraction time of 27-29 seconds. I was only pouring enough beans into the hopper to make a single shot at a time. The remaining beans were stored in the zip lock bag in a cool dark cupboard until i had used all the beans up. I then opened the Toby's Estate coffee and decided this time to pour the entire contents of the bag into the hopper to learn about what flavour change i could possibly detect over the following days, and what effect temperature change, humidity etc may possibly have. The grinder setting did not need to be altered from the previous blend and was extracting shots at approx 28-31 sec. (Just to clarify, the grinder setting was operating on the 5th last (finest) setting in the espresso range on the BCG). On the third day of using these beans and keeping all the setting the same, the machine choked. I adjusted the grinder, re-evaluated my tamp pressure and dosage. To cut a long story short, I have now adjusted my grinder back towards the courser grind setting by six increments, the shots are now pouring between 40-50 sec. The espresso initially flows nicely and at about the 15 sec mark turns to a slow dribble. The coffee is still drinkable (milk based), however there is some bitterness coming through.
    I have not been able to detect any changes to the sound the machine is making during the extraction process. The extraction pressure on the gauge reads 9-10 bar without fluctuation. There is no visible signs of any water leaking etc. The machine appears to be working normally.

    The question I have is...can time (48-72hrs) and a 15% variation in humidity over that time effect the beans that much that the grind settings need be adjusted to such a great extent? It appears I still need to dial the machine back further to get the correct extraction flow and time. I am pretty sure the problem is me and not the machine!

  2. #2
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    so far, I have been single dosing consistently using either 16g or 20g depending on which basket I am using...
    I have made some observation with my limited experiences...

    - (Obviously) Beans will go stale if you leave it in the grinder too long
    - If I put more beans than a single dose into the hopper, the first basket of coffee grind can be finer, resulting a longer pull... so the weight of the beans on top can affect the finess of the grind
    - if you use a bigger basket (from my 16g to the 20g) I need to go slightly courser grind (worked out it's 2 notch on my Super Jolly)
    - when it is raining, and humid, I can grind slightly courser

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    Thanks for the input Okitoki. I will continue to adjust the grind. If I keep having problems I will contact Breville.
    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    after each adjustment, did you throw away some of initial grinds, before filling up your portafilter? I can't remember how much grind retention is in my previous SG, but if you have grinds of different sizes from each adjustment, you may not be getting consistent result...

    Also, try the double basket instead... I can't comment on Breville's single basket, but with my Silvia I get very inconsistent result compare to the double, and once I changed over to the VST baskets, I was even happier with it...

  5. #5
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    Good point. I didn't throw away any grinds so I may have still been getting the previous blend. I will clean the grinder out, try both single the double baskets and get back to you with the results.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Humidity certainly has a marked affect on the grind we use.
    Unless your grind retention is in the order of grams I doubt it would have a very great bearing on the extraction time.

  7. #7
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    Problem solved! Clearly a case of over dosing. I reduced my dose to 16g and kept the grind and tamp pressure the same. The shot pushed through the machine in 7sec. I then adjusted the grind finer by 2 increments and the shot pushed through in 19sec. I will continue to fine tune the dose and grind settings to reach an extraction time of 30sec. Thanks for all your help. I have a much greater respect for baristas!! They make it look so simple! Cheers.

  8. #8
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    the smart grinder can be a bit funny with dosing as you change the grind so you need to watch what it's doing.

  9. #9
    Coffee Newbie okitoki's Avatar
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    Well finer grind takes longer to grind the same amount by weight.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Typically, adjustments to compensate for humidity are quite small, on my Mazzer Mini I only need to move approx 0.5 to 1 increment on the dial.

  11. #11
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    It has been a good learning curve for me. My issues were due to using a too large dose. I have adjusted everything and am now using some electronic scales until I get use to the correct dose size by look and feel. Thanks for all the feedback. It has been most helpful.



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