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Thread: Frothy bubbly crema from naked portafilter

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    Frothy bubbly crema from naked portafilter

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all. I'm finding I'm getting a very frothy and bubbly crema from my naked portafilter which dissipates to almost nothing quite quickly. This is not the case with my spouted portafilters. Doesn't seem to matter what bean it is either. Any thoughts?

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Welcome Laurence,

    Machine? Grinder? Are the beans fresh? Are you using the same basket in the different portafilter handles?

    Cheers

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    Hi Barry,

    Using a Baratza Preciso grinder and Vibiemme Piccolo machine. The beans have varied in origin but have all been between 4 days and 2 weeks old. I have been using a different basket in each portafilter handle (a triple in the naked, a double in the double spout and a single in the single spout). I guess I should try one of the other baskets in the naked...

    Cheers

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    That would seem like a good place to start ; )

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    OK, after further testing it seems to be just the triple basket (in the naked) causing the problem. The beginning of the extraction seems good but then it becomes foamy quite quickly.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurence View Post
    OK, after further testing it seems to be just the triple basket (in the naked) causing the problem. The beginning of the extraction seems good but then it becomes foamy quite quickly.
    G'day Laurence...

    What make of basket is your Triple?

    Mal.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    The OP has stated that the beans used are b/w 4 days and 2 weeks old, so if that is known one would presume that they are likely to be fresh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    G'day Laurence...

    What make of basket is your Triple?

    Mal.
    Hi Mal,

    The basket is an Espresso Parts HQ Precision.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    So how much are you dosing into the triple basket? Are your other baskets also EP Precisions, and are you dosing those to a similar height in the basket?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    So how much are you dosing into the triple basket? Are your other baskets also EP Precisions, and are you dosing those to a similar height in the basket?
    Yes, I follow the same protocol no matter the basket which brings the coffee to the same height (from the top) in each basket. In the triple it's about 22 grams.
    I don't actually know what brand the single and double baskets are; they are what came with the machine. I would assume not EP Precisions though.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Just to give you an idea...

    I dose my EP Triple with ~24g depending on the coffee being used at the time, and this gives me plenty of clearance from the shower-screen when locked in. As a matter of interest, have you tried the $0.05 cent piece sitting on top of the coffee, locking in and then unlocking, to see if it is being pressed into the coffee cake?

    You may have to try increasing your dose a little at a time, until the tamped coffee cake is running 2-3mm clear of the shower-screen once locked in. If you're still having problems, the next thing to try is adjusting your grind setting until such time as your pump starts to stall and then ease off until you are getting the requisite volume of coffee in approx. 30 seconds.

    Not much more to it that I can think of...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Just to give you an idea...

    I dose my EP Triple with ~24g depending on the coffee being used at the time, and this gives me plenty of clearance from the shower-screen when locked in. As a matter of interest, have you tried the $0.05 cent piece sitting on top of the coffee, locking in and then unlocking, to see if it is being pressed into the coffee cake?

    You may have to try increasing your dose a little at a time, until the tamped coffee cake is running 2-3mm clear of the shower-screen once locked in. If you're still having problems, the next thing to try is adjusting your grind setting until such time as your pump starts to stall and then ease off until you are getting the requisite volume of coffee in approx. 30 seconds.

    Not much more to it that I can think of...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal! That is good advice. I will try the 5 cent piece. Hopefully I find a solution there as my grinder is already set as fine as it goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laurence View Post
    Hi all. I'm finding I'm getting a very frothy and bubbly crema from my naked portafilter which dissipates to almost nothing quite quickly. This is not the case with my spouted portafilters. Doesn't seem to matter what bean it is either. Any thoughts?
    G'day laurence
    +1 to the earlier suggestions, I would try them first.

    Just a further thought: I had that prob years ago when I swapped a Synesso basket into an existing commercial setup (La Cimbali??? too long ago to be sure). It turned out the machine was running at close to 10 bar and the crema went berserk in quantity and then died before I could sample much of it. I seem to recall the remaining crema was quite bitter.

    TampIt

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep....

    That is something else that can affect the espresso pour characteristic. Do you know that your machine is providing 8.5-9.0Bar to the top of your coffee cake during the pour?

    If not, might be worth while to get your name on the list to use Greg Pullman's Pressure Gauge Portafilter here...
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...auge-road.html

    Alternatively, you could drop your machine into a reputable specialist coffee machine tech's premises to have it checked out and adjusted as required...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day laurence
    +1 to the earlier suggestions, I would try them first.

    Just a further thought: I had that prob years ago when I swapped a Synesso basket into an existing commercial setup (La Cimbali??? too long ago to be sure). It turned out the machine was running at close to 10 bar and the crema went berserk in quantity and then died before I could sample much of it. I seem to recall the remaining crema was quite bitter.

    TampIt
    Thanks TampIt and Mal,

    So I guess the reading the machine gives is not sufficiently accurate? Mine reads 10 bar. I actually did get it serviced recently but am not sure if the pressure was checked at the group during the pour. I have written to ask. If not, I will get in line for the pressure gauge.

    Cheers

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    It's probably Ok mate...

    An indicated 10Bar on the machine's gauge is usually about right for ~9.0Bar at the Group. Perhaps you can give the service agent you used a quick phone call and ask them what they did...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    It's probably Ok mate...

    An indicated 10Bar on the machine's gauge is usually about right for ~9.0Bar at the Group. Perhaps you can give the service agent you used a quick phone call and ask them what they did...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal. I have checked with the servicer and he did indeed check the pressure at the OPV and confirms it's right. Seems to be more and more likely that it's a dosage or tamping problem I think. I have been playing around with different amounts (anything from 20-30g) but still having the same problem.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    Well, about the only other thing in the equation that might bear closer attention, is the grinder. Any chance you can borrow a prosumer/small commercial grinder for a while, or take your machine to someone who owns one, just to isolate the grinder as a possible source for the problems you're having?

    Worth a try I think...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Hmmm...

    Well, about the only other thing in the equation that might bear closer attention, is the grinder. Any chance you can borrow a prosumer/small commercial grinder for a while, or take your machine to someone who owns one, just to isolate the grinder as a possible source for the problems you're having?

    Worth a try I think...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal. Actually, I've been looking for an excuse to get a better grinder!

  20. #20
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Beans at less than a week from roast are likely to be de-gassing, and this will make the crema foamy. I haven't any further ideas about the differences.

    Greg

  21. #21
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurence View Post
    ....The beans have varied in origin but have all been between 4 days and 2 weeks old.....

    Just had a quick look through this and it doesnt seem that anyone has mentioned the coffee...(other than to mention its age).

    One thing I can pick up from the quoted passage is "...varied in origin..." That's too many variables for good management of the coffee making process (certainly in cafe business) both in variation between coffee types as well as in its age.

    Also I would suggest, ateast while you are trying to work this out, not to use anything before 7 days....just because.....that should knock out any problem caused bu the beans being a little too fresh for good management.

    Do stick with the same blend/varietal/source of beans while you go through the motions, no earlier than 7 days.

    If the situation does not "improve", then try a different blend/varietal/source of coffee and go through the same motions again.

    If it turns out that it does have something to do with the coffee you are (were) using (at first), that doesnt mean there is anything "wrong" with that coffee, just that at this particular time, it doesnt suit the style of coffee making that you have been employing.....

    OR....it is possible you still havent mastered the art of making it all work in the oversized filter.

    We generally find that we have to change the grind and coffee making style (operator technique) when moving away from standard type filters, to get out of them (the oversize ones) what it is said that you can get out of them.....

    All this can be a real bug bear in cafe business, where clients are trying to deliver the latest style, and dont look far enough ahead to see there is a penalty to pay for using a lot more grinds to make each single coffee unless they also put up the selling price.....

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    Thanks TOK and Greg,

    I will leave my roasted beans a bit longer and see if that solves my problem.

    Also, I have no idea about the 'art of making it all work in the oversized filter'. I may have to experiment with grind also. Still, for now I'll stick to one variable at a time...

    Cheers
    Dimal likes this.

  23. #23
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald View Post
    Beans at less than a week from roast are likely to be de-gassing
    Never experienced degassing extending out for a week or so. The longest I've experienced so far would be at around day 4 and mostly, finished after day 2... The type of roast and the beans used will affect this quite a bit of course but over the last 10+ years, I've never seen it...

    Mal.



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