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Thread: Coffee shots channeling..

  1. #1
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    Coffee shots channeling..

    Hi

    I have a unico splender which I purchased 2nd hand.

    i am struggling to get a shot that doesnít channel. Like pin holes in the puck after the shot. Tried a few brands of beans all fresh and used for couple weeks each. Currently use a vstbasket and using borrowed compak k8 grinder. Have also used friends 3 different grinders just to try. Have tried 3 types of baskets. All similar shots. Checked brew pressure. Adjusted from 11 to 9 bar. Still same. Shots I get are not terriable but lacking Crema. Start out at the drop good. And after few seconds the tails flicker and sometimes spiral. Tried with naked portafilter and can see it channels. Run out of ideas of what to try.. any help would be appreciated!

    thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    First thing that needs to be addressed is how are you defining fresh. Are they beans from a roaster? From a grocery store? Is there a Roasted On date on the packaging or just a Use By date? How are the beans packaged in the shop where purchased and after getting them home during use?


    Java "First things first" phile
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    SNAP!
    G'day Luke...

    By "fresh", do you know when the coffee was roasted?
    Anything less than freshly roasted coffee that displays a "Roasted Date" on the pack can not be considered fresh and then, you should try to use it up within three weeks or so of that date...

    Mal.
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    Bean freshness is certainly the biggest factor and one that is easy to diagnose. Holes in the puck can be from too hot brew water temperature. If the water is boiling when it hits the puck, it can agitate it quite badly. You may also see minimal/thin crema from overheating as well.

    If it's a stock standard Unico Splendor (most likely is unless the previous owner specified otherwise) it will need a quick cooling flush before extraction. If when you raise the lever the water coming from the group is audibly burbling and the water flow is agitated then it is overheating. Run the water until it just starts to run smoothly and stops burbling then lower the lever, load in your shot and begin.

    It can take some practice to get the right timing but once you have it figured out it's easy.

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    Beans are from coffee roasters and stamped with date. Usually purchased with in a day or two of roasting. Have experimented with cooling flushes. Ranging from long to short..

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Well...

    If freshness and brew water temperature are not at issue, do you own a decent quality grinder with burrs in good condition?
    If not the grinder, then the only thing left is technique. Perhaps attending a reputable Home Barista course would help...

    Mal.

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    Technique you would think.. I’ve tried a lot of preparation methods and even no prep and still the same.. . But also my friend has tried and still the same.. that is why I’m posting here because I’m stumped.. surely there’s someone on here who could figure it out.. haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeando View Post
    Technique you would think.. I’ve tried a lot of preparation methods and even no prep and still the same.. . But also my friend has tried and still the same.. that is why I’m posting here because I’m stumped.. surely there’s someone on here who could figure it out.. haha
    Hard to diagnose via text.
    Hands on would be best, second best I guess would be a video.
    Any chance of a video of your whole routine? Including beans, grinding, distribution, tamping and extraction with a naked group handle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukeando View Post
    Technique you would think.. I’ve tried a lot of preparation methods and even no prep and still the same.. . But also my friend has tried and still the same.. that is why I’m posting here because I’m stumped.. surely there’s someone on here who could figure it out.. haha
    An Under extracted thin shot will always be the case using a VST basket when the grind is too course,
    And Dosage is not within the required range.
    Further, Not knowing where your maximum puck setup height is, before the shower screen disturbs it.
    Inconsistency In, always results in, inconsistent results out.

    This site and the search function will give you all the direction needed.
    GL
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    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Nearly every channeling issue I have experienced has been down to distribution. Mounding in the middle of the basket, lop sided loaded baskets, side gaps and weakness, an accidental crack in the tamped puck due to carelessness, had them all and even played with some of them to prove to myself that distribution is just as important and maybe even more so than some of the other numerous variables that CSers ponder.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    Nearly every channeling issue I have experienced has been down to distribution. Mounding in the middle of the basket, lop sided loaded baskets, side gaps and weakness, an accidental crack in the tamped puck due to carelessness, had them all and even played with some of them to prove to myself that distribution is just as important and maybe even more so than some of the other numerous variables that CSers ponder.
    Yep, well said. Also found this too.

    And I've found that sometimes focusing excessively/obsessively on distribution can cause bad distribution funnily enough! (Excessive vertical collapses) But a crucial factor nonetheless.

    Also agree that a video would help us to see what a potential issue may be.
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    I’ll try film a video sometime this week and post it up.

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    And how long does each shot take? This will tell you a lot about your grind, distribution and tamping.

    I have a Decent basket and if I use the grind setting suitable for the OEM basket, the shot will take about 12 seconds, with the crema disappearing 30 seconds later. Swap them around and the OEM basket will take 40+ seconds, again with poor results.

    I’m aiming for 30mls in about 30 seconds.

    With the finer grind, even distribution and a good horizontal tamp, the flow will wander about for maybe 5 seconds and then settle down.

    As Noonar says, distribution is the key for me and I find that harder with the finer grind because the coffee wants to re-clump. Maybe my technique is wrong but I can’t find a constant link between channeling and how hard I tamp.... but the firmness will effect the flow rate.

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    S I definaitly think the main issue is the temperature. If I pull shot straight after flush shout it is more consistent. What size reducer do I need for the splender to not need such a long flush?

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    I donít want to hijack this thread and make it all about my situation, but itís similar so I donít want to start a new thread either.
    Iíve filmed and posted in YouTube what is happening to my extractions,
    https://youtu.be/-fRewLfXlPY
    My beans are fresh, currently 8 days since roast.
    Grinder has only 4300 shots through it so burrs should be sharp still, and when cleaned yesterday they felt sharp.
    Pre-brew flush or not, I get the same kind of issues. My ratio is 20g in, 40g out in 27-29 seconds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmeddy View Post
    I don’t want to hijack this thread and make it all about my situation, but it’s similar so I don’t want to start a new thread either.
    I’ve filmed and posted in YouTube what is happening to my extractions,
    https://youtu.be/-fRewLfXlPY
    My beans are fresh, currently 8 days since roast.
    Grinder has only 4300 shots through it so burrs should be sharp still, and when cleaned yesterday they felt sharp.
    Pre-brew flush or not, I get the same kind of issues. My ratio is 20g in, 40g out in 27-29 seconds.
    This is what i would do.
    Drop your dose to 18g, grind a little finer.

    When you dose the coffee into filter from tumbler, give it a quick whisk, 3 circles from centre outwards. Do this OR sideways tapping not both.

    After you are happy with horizontal distribution, give the pf ONE sharp tap on bench to settle.

    Then ONE level tamp, only ONE downwards pushing motion.

    You stuffed around with that 2nd extraction way to much, stop obsessing / fidilling so much.

    Cheers.

    Edit: if that does not help, there could be issues with the grind. Perhaps burrs are not as sharp as you think,maybe misaligned? Maybe the roast needs more time to rest?
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  17. #17
    Junior Member Hughie's Avatar
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    Grind straight into the centre of the portafilter.

    when mound is high tap portafilter straight down once on the bench to settle.

    grind up to weight. Tap portafilter down once again.

    stockfleth manoeuvre 2 revolutions filling gaps in the edge with coffee from the middle.

    level tamper, press down once only, polish if you desire careful not to dig in or disturb the puck.

    have you tried choking the machine to see what happens? As soon as you hit go coffee starts pouring out.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    You've been on CoffeeSnobs longer than I have so I assume at some stage you've been getting good shots. What's changed since then? New equipment? Different brand of coffee?
    I agree with Steve82's suggestion of grinding finer and not playing around with the tamp as much. If that doesn't help, then try increasing or decreasing the dose. I don't think a flush is going to make much difference to the pour.
    What basket are you using? A Pullman by the looks of the logo. Try making a shot using the stock standard Nuova Simonelli basket.
    PS An impressive kit you have there. All mod cons!

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Stockfleth? Do people still do that? If you work in a coffee shop please stop touching the coffee. I wonít buy coffee from anywhere where I see people rubbing their grubby, greasy hands over the PF or the coffee.

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    What basket is that? (Google the simonelli part number that is on it) It might be only a 14g basket, in which case I'm getting 16g in it.. even at 16g, it's clearing the screw, but touching the outer edge- my tamper is convexed... Any more and it's jammed up hard into the shower screen. Your simonelli has the same shower screen setup as my Musica. It hangs down quite a way into the basket.
    Last edited by Jackster; 6 Days Ago at 03:39 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmeddy View Post
    I donít want to hijack this thread and make it all about my situation, but itís similar so I donít want to start a new thread either.
    Iíve filmed and posted in YouTube what is happening to my extractions,
    https://youtu.be/-fRewLfXlPY
    My beans are fresh, currently 8 days since roast.
    Grinder has only 4300 shots through it so burrs should be sharp still, and when cleaned yesterday they felt sharp.
    Pre-brew flush or not, I get the same kind of issues. My ratio is 20g in, 40g out in 27-29 seconds.
    Hi.

    Your preparation is fine in the first shot so stick with that method. If anything do less stuff overall, but definitely forget about stirring the grinds in the PF. Multiple experiments have now pretty much proven that the less you muck around with the coffee to prepare it the better. Even something as simple as over filling then swiping off can cause channeling.

    So I donít think prep is the problem. That means you just need to go through a process of elimination to find the issue.
    Start with the easiest - the coffee. 8 days isnít particularly old, but there may be a roast or storage issue causing the problem. If you get the same with a different coffee then thatís obviously not the cause.
    Next look at the grinder. Borrow another grinder and see how that goes. Also as Steve mentioned you could afford to grind finer. Iíd leave the dose at or around 20g, maybe drop it to 19g, but definitely grind finer.
    If youíve tried that and still get the same results look at the machine. The Appia is a HX right? Is the boiler setting right? Should you be flushing the group first? Is the group head and shower screen clean? Do you get the same result using the other group? Iíd be interested to see what the flow of water is like out of that group head. I see itís still got the factory shower screen on it with that ridiculously massive bolt head in the middle. I hate that design, how could it not cause issues? This might be a step too far, but if nothing else works then try an aftermarket shower screen like an IMS with a much smaller screw in the middle.
    Iím sure youíll work it out, you just need to go through this process of elimination one thing at a time.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Hughie's Avatar
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    He asked for suggestions and I offered some ideas to help him diagnose

    You say you’d walk out if you saw someone using the stockfleth manoeuvre in a shop? If I saw that extraction I’d walk out of the shop.

    If I owned a shop I would use a grooming tool.

    over and out

  23. #23
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    What basket is that? (Google the simonelli part number that is on it) It might be only a 14g basket, in which case I'm getting 16g in it.. even at 16g, it's clearing the screw, but touching the outer edge- my tamper is convexed... Any more and it's jammed up hard into the shower screen. Your simonelli has the same shower screen setup as my Musica. It hangs down quite a way into the basket.
    Itís a Pullman 19-22g. He says it at the start. Theyíre made by IMS I think, or someone like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    This is what i would do.
    Drop your dose to 18g, grind a little finer.

    When you dose the coffee into filter from tumbler, give it a quick whisk, 3 circles from centre outwards. Do this OR sideways tapping not both.

    After you are happy with horizontal distribution, give the pf ONE sharp tap on bench to settle.

    Then ONE level tamp, only ONE downwards pushing motion.

    You stuffed around with that 2nd extraction way to much, stop obsessing / fidilling so much.

    Cheers.

    Edit: if that does not help, there could be issues with the grind. Perhaps burrs are not as sharp as you think,maybe misaligned? Maybe the roast needs more time to rest?
    Thanks Steve, great advice. I've been doing lots of different experiments, and what I usually do off-camera is similar to what you suggest. I just did all the extra stuffing around to try to eliminate the possibilities of clumping and weird distribution being the cause. Basically I've found I get the same results consistently regardless of how much I stir or tap or fluff around getting the distribution "perfect" or not. One quick tamp or very slow meticulous super-level tamp.
    A soft or hard tamp also seems to give me the same result.
    The thing I noted is that I most often got a half sided extraction like the second one. And it was always the same side. SO I must conclude my tamp is to blame. Tomorrow I will continue to try perfect my tamping. I don't know how my tamp style could be the cause of the extraction not coming out in the centre like the first one in my video though...

    I will try the drop to 18 and a little finer, the basket is supposed to be for 19-22 though, but I'm sure it won't hurt to try something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hughie View Post
    Grind straight into the centre of the portafilter.

    when mound is high tap portafilter straight down once on the bench to settle.

    grind up to weight. Tap portafilter down once again.

    stockfleth manoeuvre 2 revolutions filling gaps in the edge with coffee from the middle.

    level tamper, press down once only, polish if you desire careful not to dig in or disturb the puck.

    have you tried choking the machine to see what happens? As soon as you hit go coffee starts pouring out.
    Yeah I used to grind straight in, but I couldn't bare to see all them ugly clumps any longer so I got the little distributor bell thingy I use which breaks it all up.
    One day I'll upgrade to something like Mythos 1 grinder and grind directly into the basket.

    No actually I haven't fully choked the machine yet, I'll try a finer grind tomorrow and see how it goes. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    You've been on CoffeeSnobs longer than I have so I assume at some stage you've been getting good shots. What's changed since then? New equipment? Different brand of coffee?
    I agree with Steve82's suggestion of grinding finer and not playing around with the tamp as much. If that doesn't help, then try increasing or decreasing the dose. I don't think a flush is going to make much difference to the pour.
    What basket are you using? A Pullman by the looks of the logo. Try making a shot using the stock standard Nuova Simonelli basket.
    PS An impressive kit you have there. All mod cons!

    Yeah new coffee machine, grinder, coffee... the works. Thought I had it all worked out and then recently 'upgraded' baskets and tamp to top shelf Pullman stuff, now I'm getting these issues. Yep Pullman 19-22g. I'll try the stock one again to see if there's a difference. but it's a different shape and size slightly, being a 23g basket.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Stockfleth? Do people still do that? If you work in a coffee shop please stop touching the coffee. I wonít buy coffee from anywhere where I see people rubbing their grubby, greasy hands over the PF or the coffee.

    How historic is it? I don't personally do it as I think it's a lot faster to just tap. But plenty of pros seem to still recommend it... https://youtu.be/kTSd8xu81y0?t=65


    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Your preparation is fine in the first shot so stick with that method. If anything do less stuff overall, but definitely forget about stirring the grinds in the PF. Multiple experiments have now pretty much proven that the less you muck around with the coffee to prepare it the better. Even something as simple as over filling then swiping off can cause channeling.

    So I donít think prep is the problem. That means you just need to go through a process of elimination to find the issue.
    Start with the easiest - the coffee. 8 days isnít particularly old, but there may be a roast or storage issue causing the problem. If you get the same with a different coffee then thatís obviously not the cause.
    Next look at the grinder. Borrow another grinder and see how that goes. Also as Steve mentioned you could afford to grind finer. Iíd leave the dose at or around 20g, maybe drop it to 19g, but definitely grind finer.
    If youíve tried that and still get the same results look at the machine. The Appia is a HX right? Is the boiler setting right? Should you be flushing the group first? Is the group head and shower screen clean? Do you get the same result using the other group? Iíd be interested to see what the flow of water is like out of that group head. I see itís still got the factory shower screen on it with that ridiculously massive bolt head in the middle. I hate that design, how could it not cause issues? This might be a step too far, but if nothing else works then try an aftermarket shower screen like an IMS with a much smaller screw in the middle.
    Iím sure youíll work it out, you just need to go through this process of elimination one thing at a time.
    Hi Leroy, thanks for your suggestions also. Yeah as I've replied to Steve, my usual routine is much more simple etc etc, I'll continue to try get my distribution technique down pat. Grinding finer sounds good, I'll give it a go. That will push my grind time into the 11-12 seconds area which sucks... I need to upgrade my grinder...

    RE the group heads and screens, recently I've got these larger baskets and my puck is staying down pretty low, so they are staying a lot cleaner than they used to before with the 14g baskets. I also got the counter sunk screw in the middle which eliminated that ugly huge bolt head.
    The stock shower screen in a mesh, which I can't see being a problem, the water seems pretty evenly distributed when pouring out directly from the screen.
    Hopefully that's got nothing to do with it.
    I'll keep trying to nut out what it is, pretty sure my tamp is somehow to blame, even though it feels level enough in my head...
    Last edited by gmeddy; 6 Days Ago at 06:30 PM. Reason: added another quote reply

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    What basket is that? (Google the simonelli part number that is on it) It might be only a 14g basket, in which case I'm getting 16g in it.. even at 16g, it's clearing the screw, but touching the outer edge- my tamper is convexed... Any more and it's jammed up hard into the shower screen. Your simonelli has the same shower screen setup as my Musica. It hangs down quite a way into the basket.
    Hi Jackster, yeah I was using the 14g baskets and dosing 20g I had a laugh
    my shower head was getting jammed up hard against the puck and the big bolt (which I've since replaced with a counter-sunk screw so it's flat) would press into the puck. The basket I now use is the Pullman [IMS] 19-22

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    Coffee shots channeling..

    Quote Originally Posted by gmeddy View Post
    I donít want to hijack this thread and make it all about my situation, but itís similar so I donít want to start a new thread either.
    Iíve filmed and posted in YouTube what is happening to my extractions,
    Great work with the video, very clear and comprehensive.

    My first reaction was that thereís a lot of Ďfartarsingí around with those grounds before brewing. A bit like over prodding and flipping a steak on the bbq, when itís better left alone.

    Sometimes less is more. Just for comparison have you tried a simple grind straight into the PF, quick tamp without overthinking it, and then pulling the shot?

    Would be interesting to see what happens.

    My gut feel is that the brew water is finding its way around the perimeter of the puck, hence the ring shaped pour with not much flow in the centre.

    To alleviate this the options would be a convex tamper, or a precision sized tamper matched to the basket.

    Both will achieve full compaction of the grounds right to the edges eliminating the path of least resistance at the perimeter.

    Note however sometimes the precision tampers have their own issue of suction as you withdraw the tamper. This can disturb the puck, which defeats the purpose.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Great work with the video, very clear and comprehensive.

    My first reaction was that thereís a lot of Ďfartarsingí around with those grounds before brewing. A bit like over prodding and flipping a steak on the bbq, when itís better left alone.

    Sometimes less is more. Just for comparison have you tried a simple grind straight into the PF, quick tamp without overthinking it, and then pulling the shot?

    Would be interesting to see what happens.

    My gut feel is that the brew water is finding its way around the perimeter of the puck, hence the ring shaped pour with not much flow in the centre.

    To alleviate this the options would be a convex tamper, or a precision sized tamper matched to the basket.

    Both will achieve full compaction of the grounds right to the edges eliminating the path of least resistance at the perimeter.

    Note however sometimes the precision tampers have their own issue of suction as you withdraw the tamper. This can disturb the puck, which defeats the purpose.
    Yeah I use a Pullman Big Step along with Pullman baskets. Very nice precision fit with no vacuum problems. Meh... Iíll keep tinkering and do another vid showing some more variations of tests minus the fartarsing

  31. #31
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    For the tamping try nutating and see if that changes anything. For me the nutating action completely takes out any small air pockets that a simple push down action might not be able to remove.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmeddy View Post
    I don’t want to hijack this thread and make it all about my situation, but it’s similar so I don’t want to start a new thread either.
    I’ve filmed and posted in YouTube what is happening to my extractions,
    https://youtu.be/-fRewLfXlPY
    My beans are fresh, currently 8 days since roast.
    Grinder has only 4300 shots through it so burrs should be sharp still, and when cleaned yesterday they felt sharp.
    Pre-brew flush or not, I get the same kind of issues. My ratio is 20g in, 40g out in 27-29 seconds.
    I’d like to see what the puck looks like post extraction.
    I’d suggest that it would look wet/muddy on the top. Lowering the dose to 18 g in a 19-22g basket I think would be detrimental. You need to dose correctly for your set up (machine basket combo). Do some research on the 5c piece test. You may even need to updose and grind coarser.

    I’d also suggest your burrs are getting towards the end of their life. Those burrs are rated at 300kg (if my memory is correct)

  33. #33
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    Confession time ....... sometimes I donít tamp.

    And I never faf around with it ever.

    While I respect the meticulous methodology some take it ainít for me.

    Itís all about the grind, get that right and the rest becomes optional.

    My $0.02

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post

    It’s all about the grind, get that right and the rest becomes optional.

    My $0.02
    I’d say you are a third of the way there.
    Grind, dose and distribution

    My $0.06 ��
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    If the pullman basket is anything like the VST baskets, that could be why you're getting an ugly extraction as they are very particular with distribution, so maybe try another basket as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    Iíd like to see what the puck looks like post extraction.
    Iíd suggest that it would look wet/muddy on the top. Lowering the dose to 18 g in a 19-22g basket I think would be detrimental. You need to dose correctly for your set up (machine basket combo). Do some research on the 5c piece test. You may even need to updose and grind coarser.

    Iíd also suggest your burrs are getting towards the end of their life. Those burrs are rated at 300kg (if my memory is correct)
    Yep youíre right about the puck post-extraction- usually has some holes in it which look like air vents...
    Iíll get set up with a batch of cheap freshly home-roasted beans and see if I can work anything out this evening. Itís killing me.

    Regarding my grinder burrs, the shot count may say 4400+ on the counter but the reality is itís had less than 90kg coffee go through it. I just calculated all my coffee invoices
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  37. #37
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    Calculated in my head, 4,400 10g shots comes to 44Kg, if 20g then 88Kg...
    Long way to go before burrs will need to be changed.

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Calculated in my head, 4,400 10g shots comes to 44Kg, if 20g then 88Kg...
    Long way to go before burrs will need to be changed.

    Mal.
    I had a laugh seems I added another 0
    They don’t add anything anyway
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmeddy View Post
    Yep you’re right about the puck post-extraction- usually has some holes in it which look like air vents...
    I’ll get set up with a batch of cheap freshly home-roasted beans and see if I can work anything out this evening. It’s killing me.

    Regarding my grinder burrs, the shot count may say 4400+ on the counter but the reality is it’s had less than 90kg coffee go through it. I just calculated all my coffee invoices

    I’m going to guess that the dose should be about 21ish for that set up. Then set the grind to suit the time you want (prob coarser than you have it currently)

    Holes looking like air vents are called channeling. These cause the little random shots of coffee from your extraction

  40. #40
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    IMS baskets are a bit more forgiving than VST baskets so any dose between 19-22g should be fine. Iím currently dosing mine with 21.5g and itís good, but Iíve also had success with 19-20g doses. I donít think your dose is the problem and in a commercial setting I certainly wouldnít be dosing more just to solve extraction issues. The Ď5 cent testí is pointless on a commercial machine like this so forget about that. Iíd stick with your 19g dose. Then definitely grind finer, even if it leads to a 40sec extraction, then work backwards slowly if it gives an acceptable outcome. And as others have said less is more when it comes to preparation. It sounds like the burrs should be ok, but is the grinder nice and clean? And do you get the same result on both groups on the coffee machine?
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  41. #41
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    Why is the 5c test pointless on a commercial machine?
    My ridged basket needs to be tamped to be below the ridge, or it swells and touches the screen. My screen and the plate above look to be the same as this setup. It hangs down a heap into the basket.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    As I said on a previous thread, I have been grappling with channelling for years and have tried everything mentioned above.
    I have decided it is nothing to do with my technique, or any of the other factors mentioned.
    I believe it is a characteristic of the machine which produces a lot of water pressure (and steam pressure) mostly delivered from around the edge of the shower screen which is where the channel occurs.
    There will usually be only one channel on the same side of the puck each time.
    I have learned to deal with this by releasing excess group pressure with adequate flushes prior to pulling the shot, using a 'fake' pre-infusion trick after locking the portafilter in, and if I sense it is blonding too quickly, I will stop the pour, remove the portafilter, plug the channel by pressuring the puck with a spoon, re-lock the portafilter and continue with the pour.
    It's a PITA but it works and I am very happy overall with the quality of the result.
    My next machine will have electronic temperature control and pre-infusion as a prerequisite.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Why is the 5c test pointless on a commercial machine?
    My ridged basket needs to be tamped to be below the ridge, or it swells and touches the screen. My screen and the plate above look to be the same as this setup. It hangs down a heap into the basket.
    It’s not pointless if it helps you dose correctly
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    It sounds like the burrs should be ok, but is the grinder nice and clean? And do you get the same result on both groups on the coffee machine?
    Right after a full clean of the grinder the results are the same.
    Iíve got more videos showing multiple more tests, grinding finer doesnít help even out the extraction. I thought when my wife tamped it showed a different result which pointed to my tamping, but after a couple tests hers were the same too.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    As I said on a previous thread, I have been grappling with channelling for years and have tried everything mentioned above.
    I have decided it is nothing to do with my technique, or any of the other factors mentioned.
    I believe it is a characteristic of the machine which produces a lot of water pressure (and steam pressure) mostly delivered from around the edge of the shower screen which is where the channel occurs.
    There will usually be only one channel on the same side of the puck each time...
    Argh... sounds the same as mine, I need to get my Breville Smart grinder set up also at the same time to make sure I get the same problem regardless of the grinder... is so I guess I have the above mentioned issue... which will require a technician adjusting my machineís brew settings I guess.

  46. #46
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    Gmeddy I watched your video ...and you may have mentioned in it ... but i didnt pick it up
    Which model of Mazzer grinder are you using ?
    Flat Blade - Major? or a Conical Burr - Kony? Or?

    and boy oh boy....there's a wiiide spread of suggestions that's come your way

    GL

  47. #47
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    Looked like a super jolly

  48. #48
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    The ‘5 cent test’ is pointless on a commercial machine like this so forget about that.
    Don't agree with that Leroy...

    It's a once-off test to establish a working dose quantity. Not needed for every time you operate the machine, just when performance has been noticed to fall off somewhat and dose weight is suspected, so as to re-establish the status-quo...

    Mal.
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  49. #49
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Don't agree with that Leroy...

    It's a once-off test to establish a working dose quantity. Not needed for every time you operate the machine, just when performance has been noticed to fall off somewhat and dose weight is suspected, so as to re-establish the status-quo...

    Mal.
    Yeah ok, fair enough. It canít hurt to use any test or other Ďtoolí available as a way to eliminate a potential problem. The 5-cent test is more commonly used by home baristas that want to just eyeball their dose rather than weigh it each time and it was on that basis that I dismissed it. When youíve got someone weighing 19g into a basket that can potentially handle 22g and is quite a deep basket theyíre unlikely to find out anything new this way, but then again itís a very easy test to do so why not.
    Really, even with such good video itís still very difficult to know exactly what the problem is here. Maybe it is the grinder, maybe the boiler pressure is too high, maybe that particular machine doesnít work well with IMS baskets, maybe the basket itself is faulty. Whatever it is it can only be found through a process of elimination by swapping out one thing at a time - try different coffee, try a different grinder, try the Mazzer with a different machine, try a different shower screen, clean everything really thoroughly, and do all tests on both groups to to make sure itís not one particular group thatís the problem.
    gmeddy and level3ninja like this.

  50. #50
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    The 5-cent test is more commonly used by home baristas that want to just eyeball their dose rather than weigh it each time
    Certainly not my take on the test Leroy, it's pretty much a one off test, intended to establishing a maximum dose weight for a particular bean/grind/basket combination, from there on it's intended the user either weigh or use a volumetric measure to dose.

    It's certainly much quicker to weigh than pfaff around looking for imprints of a coin each and every shot.

    Last time I did the test was when I set up the Bezzera almost 10 years ago, been using the same dose ever since.
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