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Thread: How to brew decaf?

  1. #1
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    How to brew decaf?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My normal method of filling the basket in thirds and tamping each time to 5kg works great....until it comes to decaf.

    With decaf I have to really tighten up the grind, add about 2gm more and tamp to 15kg and even then I still get a 15-20sec pour. Starts off looking great for about 5 sec after preinfusion then it gushes away.

    is this normal? Any tips?

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Most people over-roast (or under-roast) decaf... Espresso making technique should be pretty close to "normal" with a good decaf.

    I would also suggest dumping the tamp 3 times, weird process that shouldn't be needed and sounds like an April the first ewe-tube clip.
    Dimal and MrFreddofrog like this.

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    Ok, thanks for that, I'll put it down to dodgy roast then cause right from the start I've always had problems with it. It's now about 3 weeks old.

    On the 3 tamp thing, I was shown it by someone who knows a lot more than me. It certainly helped me when using a naked PF so now I just use it all the time. I'm actually very envious of people who can just fill and tamp and still get a perfect pour with a naked PF, very impressive in my books.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    On the 3 tamp thing, I was shown it by someone who knows a lot more than me. It certainly helped me when using a naked PF so now I just use it all the time. I'm actually very envious of people who can just fill and tamp and still get a perfect pour with a naked PF, very impressive in my books.
    I realise that you probably read this from a lot of people across the Web, but to become consistent with your dose and tamp, requires practice. Perhaps you could give some thought to attending a decent basic barista course, just to be sure that you get the basic technique required and then practice that. Multiple tamps doesn't do you any favours you know, just adds complexity and extra areas where things can go wrong.

    I'm sure that there must be a couple of very reputable establishments in Perth who offer courses and would be very worthwhile doing...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    ... Multiple tamps doesn't do you any favours you know, just adds complexity and extra areas where things can go wrong...
    I'm going to politely disagree. Experiments have shown tamping, no matter how hard, only compresses the first third to half. So the logic behind multiple tamps is you actually get a more evenly compressed basket top to bottom. The result is more consistency cause if one tamp is not perfectly level, or evenly distributed, there are another 2 to compensate.

    I'd love to walk into a cafe, hand the barista a naked PF and see what happens. I know I thought mine were great until I got one and it was spraying everywhere! Little did I know. I know some overachieving individuals do only tamp once and their naked PF pours are perfect and that truly is impressive in my books. Anyway, that's when I was shown multiple tamps and haven't looked back since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    The result is more consistency cause if one tamp is not perfectly level, or evenly distributed, there are another 2 to compensate.
    or... your three imperfect tamps just excacerbate the problem

  7. #7
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    I'm going to politely disagree. Experiments have shown tamping, no matter how hard, only compresses the first third to half. So the logic behind multiple tamps is you actually get a more evenly compressed basket top to bottom. The result is more consistency cause if one tamp is not perfectly level, or evenly distributed, there are another 2 to compensate.

    I'd love to walk into a cafe, hand the barista a naked PF and see what happens. I know I thought mine were great until I got one and it was spraying everywhere! Little did I know. I know some overachieving individuals do only tamp once and their naked PF pours are perfect and that truly is impressive in my books. Anyway, that's when I was shown multiple tamps and haven't looked back since.

    Obviously, do whatever works for you. Ultimately the evenness of your distribution in the basket is going to influence the likelihood of channelling etc. Baristi in a cafe will be using a doser grinder, which helps with repeatable distribution (4 clicks, knock down, 2 clicks knock down etc).

    I've tried the progressive tamping thing for fun, and it works ok. Beware that if you stuff up one of the early 'mini-pucks', you can fracture it with one of the subsequent 'correcting' tamps.

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    You know I'm now motivated to get my new pf drilled out just so I can check my dosing technique. Stay tuned.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I'd keep it simple and practice. What grinder are you using?

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    Smart grinder plus BES920 so don't worry, the weakest link in the chain is definitely me. My triple tamp is working for me so I'll be sticking with it for a good while yet.

    And I'll go out on a limb and say if you got a complete newbie, they'd find triple tamping a lot easier than single tamping at preventing channelling and producing that elusive god shot.
    smokey likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    Can't imagine how triple tamping could be of any possible benefit except perhaps with stale preground beans, but whatever's. My technique for decaff is to slightly overfil the basket and then tamp to the max, I also often do a slight manual preinfusion of the puck to compensate for lack of moisture, and I usually get a pretty good result



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