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Thread: Beginner extraction problem, can only pull 4 bar

  1. #1
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    Beginner extraction problem, can only pull 4 bar

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

    We've finally taken the plunge and got our first coffee machine, great service from JetBlack. Obviously we have a lot to learn and have booked a course with JB but that's not until the new year, and would like some ideas on how to improve to something which is better than filter coffee.

    At the moment I just can't get the machine to extract at 9 bar, if I put the blind filter in it comfortably sits at 10bar without any fluctuation, but when I pull shots it only goes to 4 bar.

    I started using 18g coffee and have tried putting even more in the basket, 24g, and it still isn't good. I've got a very bad video I took last night here: http://youtu.be/-e9RBEhVHKQ

    The grind is very fine and was ground by JB on their mazzer so I'd assume the grind is ok (the grinder is still on order).

    Any help on what I'm doing wrong?

    Cheers
    Alex

  2. #2
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Hi Alex,

    Welcome to CS!

    Probably most importantly, how did the coffee taste to you?

    The extraction looks about right, though it is running a bit towards the end. You will learn about blonding as well which occurs towards the end of the pour or at the beginning even if you've really mucked it up.

    A good rule of thumb is that coffee being the fresh product that it is, maintains its freshness for around 3 minutes once ground. Hence why you won't get the best out of pre ground coffee. I really think you'll notice a difference when you get a grinder.

    Personally, for me it is about what I see coming from the machine rather than what I see on a gauge. You could probably youtube a bunch of videos on good and bad pours to see the difference. Even better, check out our Pour Art thread and you'll see some great photos of what it should be looking like.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi Alex
    Don't sweat it on the dials
    Your pour looks pretty good in terms of the time to start of flow and approximate look of the pour - so your grind/tamp is good. Coming from JB the machine will be well set up.
    Just enjoy!

    Cheers Matt

    BTW How did it taste?
    (Don't ever bin a shot based purely on the near mystical 'numbers' )

  4. #4
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexasigno View Post
    Hi,

    We've finally taken the plunge and got our first coffee machine, great service from JetBlack. Obviously we have a lot to learn and have booked a course with JB but that's not until the new year, and would like some ideas on how to improve to something which is better than filter coffee.

    At the moment I just can't get the machine to extract at 9 bar, if I put the blind filter in it comfortably sits at 10bar without any fluctuation, but when I pull shots it only goes to 4 bar.

    I started using 18g coffee and have tried putting even more in the basket, 24g, and it still isn't good. I've got a very bad video I took last night here: Espresso extraction fail - YouTube

    The grind is very fine and was ground by JB on their mazzer so I'd assume the grind is ok (the grinder is still on order).

    Any help on what I'm doing wrong?

    Cheers
    Alex
    Welcome and congratulations.
    I'm not familiar with the Lelit so can't comment on its operation.
    My tips are:
    Don't watch the meter, watch what's in the cup. Let that be the guide. Remember the blind filter is offering 100% resistance. A filter basket dosed with ground coffee will offer less resistance
    The DDT (Dose, distribution, Tamp) technique are fairly much the same for any espresso machine but you need to work out what's right for the coffee and conditions.
    Start with good quality coffee freshly ground coffee. I see you are using pre-ground which won't give the same results as freshly ground.
    Practice, practice, practice and be patient.

    It's hard to tell what's going on from your video but it appears you might need a finer grind. Judging by appearance of the grinds isn't a good guide, it's what produces the right pour which, as a general guideline (not a rule), is about 25-30mL in 25-30 seconds from a single basket into a single cup or a double basket into two cups. In your case, it would take 12-15 seconds for a single cup from a double basket. As you are using a mug, you could let it run for a bit longer if you like your coffee stronger. From your video, you are letting yours run too long. Don't try to fill the cup with extracted coffee. Work out the correct amount for the taste you like then top up with textured milk or hot water from the kettle, not the hot water tap on your machine (which is usually too hot).

    Check out some videos on Youtube for ideas on DDT technique.
    Last edited by flynnaus; 19th December 2014 at 05:26 PM. Reason: clarification

  5. #5
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    Alex, welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    You won’t get the best out of your coffee until you get your own grinder so that you can have it freshly ground and can regularly adjust the fineness.

    It appears to me from your video that the pour is too fast ( ground too coarse) and too long.

    Enjoy your machine and what comes from it.

    Barry

  6. #6
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi everyone and thank you for your replies. I've been trying to read lots and everywhere seem to state that 9 bar is the optimum so that's why I thought it was so wrong. Yes the coffee was pre-ground I just assumed it would have been good enough for the machine, didn't realise that it'd need adjusting so often Looks like I'll have to wait for the grinder!



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