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Thread: Help with 21g Basket

  1. #1
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    Help with 21g Basket

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I'm using a Diadema Junior and Eureka Mignon I got from ebay for $350 (Score!!). Boiler has been descaled, grouphead has been caffetto flushed. I'm using a naked and 21g basket atm and trying to get the shot 'right'. Beans are from Douwe Egberts ("Espresso Di Manfredi - Audacia") and are meant to be decent beans and they are fresh from a new packet.

    Sometimes my shots I feel are perfect and taste very smooth and caramel-like. Other times it's close, quite drinkable, but lacks that superb hit from the perfect shot. I drink it straight. So far I have been weighing up 21 grams level, tamping consistently the same firmness, then pulling the shot for about 15-20 seconds. When I tamp the coffee sits on the marker line on the basket. When I level it off it's pretty much 21g level without any tapping to settle it.

    The shot sometimes it's close sometimes not. What's coming out from the naked is very uniform, even, there's no leaking off the sides or anything erratic. It starts off slow and even and gradually increases. I think that's a good sign.

    I think I've eliminated most variables except for the time of the shot now, so should I be pulling it a bit shorter or longer? Should I be aiming from X-mls for 21g?

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Those beans you are using sound suspiciously like Supermarket bought beans mate....

    Those things are waaayyy stale even before they're put up on the shelf.
    Do yourself a huge favour, find a reputable local roaster or consider buying from CoffeeSnobs or one of our Sponsors.
    The only way to truly enjoy great coffee regardless of anything else, is to use freshly roasted, high quality beans...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Mal; the first variable you should change is the bean quality. Buy something with a roast date on it, not a use-by date.
    Sounds like you have the grind, dose and tamp right but the old 30 mls in 30 secs from a double basket is a fairly good guide

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    ...the old 30 mls in 30 secs from a double basket is a fairly good guide
    I think you mean 60ml in 30 seconds. 30ml in 30 seconds would be for the single basket.


    Java "30 what?" phile
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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    I think you mean 60ml in 30 seconds. 30ml in 30 seconds would be for the single basket.
    Well yes but who uses single baskets ? A double basket could be used to pour 2 x 30ml shots or one 60ml shot so I meant a 30ml shot in one cup. You might also prefer a 25ml ristretto shot.
    It isn't a hard and fast rule and I rarely time my shots these days.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    Well yes but who uses single baskets ? A double basket could be used to pour 2 x 30ml shots or one 60ml shot so I meant a 30ml shot in one cup.
    Yes but...

    Quote Originally Posted by aoeu View Post
    I'm using a naked and 21g basket atm



    Java "Naked what?" phile
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    Give up thinking in mls you're leading yourself astray. If you can weigh 21grams in a basket would should have the equipment to weigh 42g of coffee coming out. That should take around 30 secs. If you get your 42 grams in less time grind finer. Don't change your 21grams if that's your basket or your tamp or anything else. Get that happening consistently and that's your starting point.

  8. #8
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    OK, I fold

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    So many rules....... a pox on rules. They are meant to be broken.

    Sure, there are some 'parameters' that could be used as a starting point

    but if you adhere to formula/e as a narrow minded 'hard and fast' you may just miss the mark and never quite

    get to experience the best your coffee can be.

    So, play around, forget convention, find the spot that is your own coffee nirvana.

    And remember.... no two coffees are the same, so there is no one rule to bind them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    So many rules....... a pox on rules. They are meant to be broken.

    Sure, there are some 'parameters' that could be used as a starting point

    but if you adhere to formula as a narrow minded 'hard and fast' you may just miss the mark and never quite

    get to experience the best your coffee can be.

    So, play around, forget convention, find the spot that is your own coffee nirvana.

    And remember.... no two coffees are the same, so there is no one rule to bind them.
    Totally agree. All I'm saying is a 2 - 1 ratio by weight gets nearly any non specialist roast in the ball park. From there anyone can play away but that is the home button. I spent years chasing my tail until I put all these rules in the bin in utter frustration and set one simple base.
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    Thankyou. I will try 42g from the 21g. I didn't realise that was a ratio to aim for.

    Regarding the beans, well I can't say with authority how good they are. But I'm getting them off the production line a week or two after roasting. A friend works there. It's cheap @ $10/kg.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    So many rules....... a pox on rules. They are meant to be broken.

    Sure, there are some 'parameters' that could be used as a starting point

    but if you adhere to formula/e as a narrow minded 'hard and fast' you may just miss the mark and never quite

    get to experience the best your coffee can be.

    So, play around, forget convention, find the spot that is your own coffee nirvana.

    And remember.... no two coffees are the same, so there is no one rule to bind them.
    And therein lies the rub, how can you knowingly break the rules if you have no concept of what the rules are?

    As you say "there are some 'parameters' that could be used as a starting point" call them what you like, basics, guidelines, criteria, fundamentals, parameters, whatever, when your starting out in any endeavor its helpful to have an understanding of what your trying to achieve and how best to go about it, once you have attained a reasonable and repeatable level of proficiency you can bend and modify accepted practice all you want.

    Most of us when starting out will attempt to learn from those who have been there before, and, have hopefully mastered the skills we are trying to acquire.

    I guess if making coffee was a simple process to convey we could post one set of guidelines for newcomers to follow and the forum as we know it would become redundant.
    Last edited by Yelta; 10th March 2016 at 01:27 AM. Reason: correction

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    As has been said more times than I can count by many, many of us on this site "the rules" in coffee brewing are only a starting point. These rules/parameters/guidelines/call them what you will are not set in stone to always be followed with no deviations. They are not engraved on golden tablets as an immutable order handed down by the coffee gods. They are simply a common starting point for those new to their equipment and/or the world of specialty coffee which enables them to have a set of common guidelines that helps them to achieve consistency. Once they have consistency with their equipment and beans then it's time to start changing things up until they find what works best and tastes best to them given their equipment, beans, and taste buds.

    People need to get consistent with one simple set of parameters so they don't end up frustrated and chasing their tail. That way when they do then start changing the variables and find what makes their perfect cup they'll have the experience to be able to repeat what they just did.


    Java "It's all about repeat-ability" phile
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    As has been said more times than I can count by many, many of us on this site "the rules" in coffee brewing are only a starting point. These rules/parameters/guidelines/call them what you will are not set in stone to always be followed with no deviations. They are not engraved on golden tablets as an immutable order handed down by the coffee gods. They are simply a common starting point for those new to their equipment and/or the world of specialty coffee which enables them to have a set of common guidelines that helps them to achieve consistency. Once they have consistency with their equipment and beans then it's time to start changing things up until they find what works best and tastes best to them given their equipment, beans, and taste buds.

    People need to get consistent with one simple set of parameters so they don't end up frustrated and chasing their tail. That way when they do then start changing the variables and find what makes their perfect cup they'll have the experience to be able to repeat what they just did.


    Java "It's all about repeat-ability" phile
    On this we can agree, I suspect you and I have expressed very similar opinions in our posts in a slightly different way.

    Yep, consistency and repeatability, and I don't mean consistently and repeatably bad.

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    With my current grind and tamping I got 42g coffee in 26 seconds. Might adjust it a notch finer.

    I'm all for breaking/bending the rules too once I know what the rules are and what they taste like.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    OK, I fold
    Cant say I blame you Flynn, this thread has turned very Monty Python.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Give up thinking in mls you're leading yourself astray.
    Not so Chris, 21 grams of water = 21 milliliters, one milliliter of water has one gram of mass, allowing for density coffee will me marginally heavier, the difference however is insignificant.
    For our purposes grams and mls are interchangeable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Not so Chris, 21 grams of water = 21 milliliters, one milliliter of water has one gram of mass, allowing for density coffee will me marginally heavier, the difference however is insignificant.
    For our purposes grams and mls are interchangeable.
    21mls of water may well equal 21g, but a 60ml shot of espresso does not weigh 60g. The crema effects the weight of the shot too
    Last edited by jmadden91; 10th March 2016 at 03:14 PM.
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    It's all very pernickity. I run a 21 gram basket. I get about 60ml out of a shot. It takes less than 30 seconds. I like it.
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    Not at all. Do that from day 1 up to day 8 on a fresh roast - the same 60ml from 21gram will be very different in strength. Crema matters.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmawebb View Post
    It's all very pernickity. I run a 21 gram basket. I get about 60ml out of a shot. It takes less than 30 seconds. I like it.
    And that's all that really matters, as the lyrics to the Ricky Nelson song go "you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."

    "
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Alternately, you can't always get what you want, but if you try some times....
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    I knew full well if I posed a seemingly simple question to you lot that it would quickly become philosophical/technical.

  24. #24
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of Zen and the Art of Coffee Brewing.


    Java "Maintain what?" phile
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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Alternately, you can't always get what you want, but if you try some times....
    Brought to you by the same mob who was singing about not getting any satisfaction.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Not so Chris, 21 grams of water = 21 milliliters, one milliliter of water has one gram of mass, allowing for density coffee will me marginally heavier, the difference however is insignificant.
    For our purposes grams and mls are interchangeable.
    True indeed but in essence it doesn't matter for this as its about simplifying to a ratio. 21g in 42g in 30secs out or 2/1 is so easy and gets to that ball park as the OP has found. It works with any basket size too. Is it a rule, no. Will it give you the perfect cup for you, maybe maybe not. For me and my blend 35g of coffee from my 21g basket suits my taste, 1.6/1 or so but any new blend or major change straight back to 2/1 in 30 and play from there. Trust me I hate rules!

  27. #27
    Senior Member tobeanornottobean's Avatar
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    That's a plus one from me re 1:2 ratio. It's a reliable entry point. And I'm not alone. Plenty of coffee professionals use the same. Some interesting reading from James Hoffman on global trends on extraction ratios: http://www.jimseven.com/2015/08/31/t...resso-in-2015/

  28. #28
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    True indeed but in essence it doesn't matter for this as its about simplifying to a ratio. 21g in 42g in 30secs out or 2/1 !
    If your looking for simplicity why not 21 grams in >< 40mls out into a shot measuring glass, so much simpler than pfaffing around weighing a shot, unless of course you enjoy playing chemist.

    Personally I can pretty much judge what a 30/60 ml shot looks like in one of my espresso cups, surely cant be much simpler than that.

    Thanks to DiBartoli for the image.
    PS not knocking your 2/1 ratio, it works.
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  29. #29
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    It isn't phaffing if you have the right scales (don't need to be expensive). The scales sit under the cup. Pretty simple! It gives much greater certainty and consistency. And great when dialling in.

    That said, working from mls, as long as everything remains equal, will still give good repeatable results. I guess if it worked for the Italians....and plenty after. Mind you, talk to most baristas these days and they are gonna be using scales in some way. It just makes sense. Can you do it with out them? Sure. A useful tool though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobeanornottobean View Post
    It isn't phaffing if you have the right scales (don't need to be expensive). The scales sit under the cup. Pretty simple! It gives much greater certainty and consistency. And great when dialling in.

    That said, working from mls, as long as everything remains equal, will still give good repeatable results. I guess if it worked for the Italians....and plenty after. Mind you, talk to most baristas these days and they are gonna be using scales in some way. It just makes sense. Can you do it with out them? Sure. A useful tool though.
    What sort of scales do you use? I have a set of digital kitchen scales but don't think I could fit it in the tray with my cup on it when I'm actually pouring the shot, if this is what you meant? Your measuring during the shot? I'd love to do that but currently for me it's more a so it by eye/time and then measure it after and hope I've hit close to 60ml I had a laugh.

  31. #31
    Senior Member tobeanornottobean's Avatar
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    You can buy cheaper ones on line, however I use the barista smart scales. They are water proof, which is obviously a plus for when working around coffee, and the have a timer built in so you can time your shots (another vital aspect to getting your coffee in the ball park and tweaking flavour).
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  32. #32
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    Brought to you by the same mob who was singing about not getting any satisfaction.
    . And I think one of the lads was the subject of a Carly Simon song that included a dream about having clouds in one's coffee.
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  33. #33
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    . And I think one of the lads was the subject of a Carly Simon song that included a dream about having clouds in one's coffee.
    Ha, that'd be Your So Vain.

    Guess the lad, like the subject of Carly's song, will remain a bit of a mystery.

    Re the clouds in her coffee, perhaps she wasn't weighing her shots.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Ha, that'd be Your So Vain.

    Guess the lad, like the subject of Carly's song, will remain a bit of a mystery.

    Re the clouds in her coffee, perhaps she wasn't weighing her shots.
    It's a metaphorical line as far as I know

    Simon came up with the "Clouds in my coffee" line on a cross-country flight. She explained the meaning of the phrase, saying: "Clouds In My Coffee are the confusing aspects of life and love. That which you can't see through, and yet seems alluring... until. Like a mirage that turns into a dry patch. Perhaps there is something in the bottom of the coffee cup that you could read if you could (like tea leaves or coffee grinds)."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Ha, that'd be Your So Vain.

    Guess the lad, like the subject of Carly's song, will remain a bit of a mystery.

    Re the clouds in her coffee, perhaps she wasn't weighing her shots.
    She did admit in a recent interview that verse 2 was Warren Beatty.

    The other verses may refer to others and still remain a mystery. As always, there are theories....
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post

    Re the clouds in her coffee, perhaps she wasn't weighing her shots.
    .. or some average latte art

  37. #37
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    One point worth noting - regarding ratios. If pulling by eye: you can't use a 1:1 relationship between mls and grams. This is because of the fluffiness of the CO2 laden espresso doing its thing. I've found a 40 ml extraction may easily only weigh 20 or so grams.

  38. #38
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by tobeanornottobean View Post
    One point worth noting - regarding ratios. If pulling by eye: you can't use a 1:1 relationship between mls and grams. This is because of the fluffiness of the CO2 laden espresso doing its thing. I've found a 40 ml extraction may easily only weigh 20 or so grams.
    True. Another thing, as the beans age the fluffiness decreases.



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