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Thread: Wet Puck

  1. #1
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Wet Puck

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This morning noted a quite wet, almost sloppy pucks.

    99% humidity
    two different bean blends from local roasters in date (within two weeks of roasting)
    both extracted exactly as per recipe for the blend (grind, dosing weight, tamp, water temp, extraction weight)
    pour was *slightly* watery
    taste was a little weak

    The basket was unusually wet when removed from the machine for the first shot

    Is humidity my problem?

    Thanks

    Gordon

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    This morning noted a quite wet, almost sloppy pucks.

    99% humidity

    The basket was unusually wet when removed from the machine for the first shot

    Is humidity my problem?

    Gordon
    Probably not Gordon, about the only affect I find humidity has is when grinding, very low humidity sees grinds sticking to grinder surfaces.

    Have you contemplated using an Espresso Parts HQ Filter Baskets? excellent baskets, very easy to use and come to terms with, I certainly don't have a problem with wet pucks.

    Over the years I've tried a couple of the more exotic baskets, have always finished up back using the EP offering, easy to use, not in the least bit finicky and produces excellent espresso.



    I have the 14 to 18 gram, dosed to 18 grams, $20 from Talk Coffee in Northcote, Victoria.
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  3. #3
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    Agree, I'm in QLD and don't notice any impacts from humidity in the puck.

    More likely to be the grind, head into Turkish territory and you can get soggy pucks.

    Cheers
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  4. #4
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Ninety nine percent humidity????

    Where are you brewing, outoors in the tropics during a monsoon?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post

    Have you contemplated using an Espresso Parts HQ Filter Baskets? excellent baskets, very easy to use and come to terms with, I certainly don't have a problem with wet pucks.
    I haven't, and thanks for the tip. I will get one and give it a try, a small investment for a potentially good return.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Ninety nine percent humidity????

    Where are you brewing, outoors in the tropics during a monsoon?
    Perth Hills. one of those weather events when hot air is trapped from the day before and mixes with moist air from an approaching front. clears by 8am when the sun burns the clouds away

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    I haven't, and thanks for the tip. I will get one and give it a try, a small investment for a potentially good return.
    I suspect you will like the result.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    This morning noted a quite wet, almost sloppy pucks.

    99% humidity
    two different bean blends from local roasters in date (within two weeks of roasting)
    both extracted exactly as per recipe for the blend (grind, dosing weight, tamp, water temp, extraction weight)
    pour was *slightly* watery
    taste was a little weak

    The basket was unusually wet when removed from the machine for the first shot

    Is humidity my problem?

    Thanks

    Gordon
    Hey Gordon!

    It's possible that you're underdosing a tad bit.. alot of recipes don't take into account your setup and basket size specifically, so you may be going by their dose recommendation but it may be a bit shallow still with whatever basket you're using.

    Just going by wet puck, watery pour, weak taste, it sounds to me you need to up the dose (and consequently a tad bit coarser grind). But you can still stick to the recipe ratio they recommend (eg if it asks you to dose 19g in for 38g out, try 20g in for 40g out within the same time period).

    Experimenting is the fun part, enjoy
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  9. #9
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Hey Gordon!

    It's possible that you're underdosing a tad bit.. alot of recipes don't take into account your setup and basket size specifically, so you may be going by their dose recommendation but it may be a bit shallow still with whatever basket you're using.

    Just going by wet puck, watery pour, weak taste, it sounds to me you need to up the dose (and consequently a tad bit coarser grind). But you can still stick to the recipe ratio they recommend (eg if it asks you to dose 19g in for 38g out, try 20g in for 40g out within the same time period).

    Experimenting is the fun part, enjoy
    Hi Simon

    Thanks mate, yes I do enjoy the experimenting.

    I dose the Pullman 19-22g basket to 22g and aim for 36g out. This is per the recipe

    I've been playing with my dosing and tamping. After filling the basket I smooth the grind with my finger, lightly tap and tamp.

    I've eased up on my tamping pressure which doesn't seem to impact on the extraction weight, but has reduced the wetness.

    I haven't tried running a toothpick through the grinds. I have just received a tiamo dosing cup so I'll see if that improves the distribution in the filter.

    I reckon if I can get the Pullman basket to work well, then my technique "might" be up to par

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Hi Simon

    Thanks mate, yes I do enjoy the experimenting.

    I dose the Pullman 19-22g basket to 22g and aim for 36g out. This is per the recipe

    I've been playing with my dosing and tamping. After filling the basket I smooth the grind with my finger, lightly tap and tamp.

    I've eased up on my tamping pressure which doesn't seem to impact on the extraction weight, but has reduced the wetness.

    I haven't tried running a toothpick through the grinds. I have just received a tiamo dosing cup so I'll see if that improves the distribution in the filter.

    I reckon if I can get the Pullman basket to work well, then my technique "might" be up to par
    Ah yep cool, I guess what I meant was that the basket rating (its dosing range eg 19-22g) is a generic guideline and doesn't suit all coffees, it really depends on a few factors, as a darker roasted coffee will take up "more room" in volume compared to a lighter roast. Shower screen depth on your machine too is a consideration, but the coffee itself will take up different amounts of "room" depending on its roast depth.

    I have a 20g pesado basket, but with my current coffee I'm dosing between 22 and 23 grams, 20g would be far too shallow. So whilst your recipe calls for 22g, for your specific basket it may need a bit more. I'm really not too sure about some basket ranges, if anything it's a rough guide to tweak to suit your circumstance.

    Just some proverbial food for thought, but great that you're experimenting with your distribution
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  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Dare I mention the Five Cent Test....

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    I've been playing with my dosing and tamping. After filling the basket I smooth the grind with my finger, lightly tap and tamp.

    I've eased up on my tamping pressure which doesn't seem to impact on the extraction weight, but has reduced the wetness.
    You could also try adjusting the grind a tad coarser using the original tamp pressure. How does it taste? Maybe use the ratios as a guide and let your taste buds be the final judge?

  13. #13
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Dare I mention the Five Cent Test....

    Mal.
    This?
    Grind and tamp, load 5 cent piece... *Lock in...

    Unlock, remove 5 cent piece..

    Have a look and what do you see.

    1: Coin has been embedded in puck - Massive Overdose *: *(Or ya have a bloody big nut from the shower screen pushing down - change it fpo
    2: No imprint what so ever - Under dose ???
    3: Slight imprint of the coin in the puck ??

    Number 3 could be a good place to start pulling shots and inspecting the result.

    Remember different beans will expand differently and be dependant on the grind and tamp as well.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ah yep cool, I guess what I meant was that the basket rating (its dosing range eg 19-22g) is a generic guideline and doesn't suit all coffees, it really depends on a few factors, as a darker roasted coffee will take up "more room" in volume compared to a lighter roast. Shower screen depth on your machine too is a consideration, but the coffee itself will take up different amounts of "room" depending on its roast depth.

    I have a 20g pesado basket, but with my current coffee I'm dosing between 22 and 23 grams, 20g would be far too shallow. So whilst your recipe calls for 22g, for your specific basket it may need a bit more. I'm really not too sure about some basket ranges, if anything it's a rough guide to tweak to suit your circumstance.

    Just some proverbial food for thought, but great that you're experimenting with your distribution
    OK, I get ya! I am likely underdosing based on the 5 cent test. There is not a nut protruding from the shower screen so I "could" load the basket to within 1.5mm of the shower screen?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    You could also try adjusting the grind a tad coarser using the original tamp pressure. How does it taste? Maybe use the ratios as a guide and let your taste buds be the final judge?
    I do like the taste, I fear if I load any more in the basket I might find it a bit too strong for my taste. I may need a smaller basket perhaps??

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    I do like the taste, I fear if I load any more in the basket I might find it a bit too strong for my taste. I may need a smaller basket perhaps??
    See reply number 2 FP, at the risk of raising the ire of the rusted on VST users, EP baskets really do take so much less messing around, VST's are renowned for being finicky, sold mine ages ago.

    PS as Mal suggested the 5 cent test is an excellent way to establish your dose.

    The 14 to 18 gram dosed to 18 should suit you well, think it will solve a lot of your problems.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Dare I mention the Five Cent Test....

    Mal.
    Or do the $4 test! No imprint, and you're DEFINITELY underdosing!
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  18. #18
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    See reply number 2 FP, at the risk of raising the ire of the rusted on VST users, EP baskets really do take so much less messing around, VST's are renowned for being finicky, sold mine ages ago.

    PS as Mal suggested the 5 cent test is an excellent way to establish your dose.

    The 14 to 18 gram dosed to 18 should suit you well, think it will solve a lot of your problems.
    There is an 18-21g EP triple basket on its way. Should arrive tomorrow.

    To ensure completeness there are 20g and 22g VST coming too.

    looking forward to trying them all

  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    There is an 18-21g EP triple basket on its way. Should arrive tomorrow.

    To ensure completeness there are 20g and 22g VST coming too.

    looking forward to trying them all
    At the risk of seeming contrary FP, I'm not a fan of the 18/22, I much prefer the 14/18 dosed close to maximum capacity.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    There is an 18-21g EP triple basket on its way. Should arrive tomorrow.

    To ensure completeness there are 20g and 22g VST coming too.

    looking forward to trying them all
    I use both VSTs and EP baskets (each are 18g nominally). I tend to use the VST more often, and I don't find it too finicky (though when my better half used to make coffee it was not an option). I'm using a spring lever machine, so that may have an influence. You can make good coffee with either. Don't worry about the state of the puck if the coffee tastes good.

  21. #21
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Don't worry about the state of the puck if the coffee tastes good.
    It does taste quite good actually.
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  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    At the risk of seeming contrary FP, I'm not a fan of the 18/22, I much prefer the 14/18 dosed close to maximum capacity.
    Ditto...

    Have always found that, for me, doses closer to the rated upper limit of a basket produced a much more satisfying result in the cup, rather than heading in the other direction...

    Mal.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    Hi Simon

    Thanks mate, yes I do enjoy the experimenting.

    I dose the Pullman 19-22g basket to 22g and aim for 36g out. This is per the recipe

    I've been playing with my dosing and tamping. After filling the basket I smooth the grind with my finger, lightly tap and tamp.

    I've eased up on my tamping pressure which doesn't seem to impact on the extraction weight, but has reduced the wetness.

    I haven't tried running a toothpick through the grinds. I have just received a tiamo dosing cup so I'll see if that improves the distribution in the filter.

    I reckon if I can get the Pullman basket to work well, then my technique "might" be up to par
    G'day flashpixx

    If you are worried about the flavour being a bit strong, you may be going inn the wrong direction with your baskets.

    IMO, the Pullman is already a notch above the EP/HQ/EQ etc (it has over a dozen names by now - I keep running into them). The good news is that the grind and dose percentage (i.e. dosage to rated size ratio) would be pretty similar.

    Set up properly, and with a good enough grinder to cope, the VST will need a much finer grind, a more even particle spread, preferably a naked p/f and a flat based tamper. Rationale: the VST has about 50% more flow than standard(ish) baskets so you need to adjust for that. Then the VST will give you close to 50% higher extraction ratio (i.e. quantity of flavour in the cuppa). The VST is used in barista competitions because it also gives a very clean. clear flavour (so better or worse - crap technique & roasts taste just like, er, crap). So a 15g VST will give about the same flavour is your 19g Pullman when both are optimised.

    I am in WA, so if you need to "try before buying" a 15g VST you are welcome to borrow one of mine for a while.

    Enjoy your cuppa - and wet pucks have sod all to do with that directly anyway...


    TampIt
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  24. #24
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    To ensure completeness there are 20g and 22g VST coming too.
    The 15g and 20g VST ridgeless are 2 of my favorites. Always fun experimenting with different baskets (and dose/grind) on whichever bean you're using.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Thanks TampIt for your very kind offer. Following this morning's effort (see below), I will see how the 20g VST basket goes (AusPost just advised it is coming today), and if there is any favourable difference using the 18-21g EP recommended by Yelta.

    This morning I followed the advice of Mal and Simon, loaded the Pullman basket and did the 5 cent test. Turns out 23g of my 2 favourite beans result in a very slight but discernable imprint of HRH in the dry Puck.

    The original recipe was 22g in for 36g out in 32-34 sec. With an extra 1g of coffee I went 23g in 37g out in 34 seconds.

    Result:

    Much drier puck
    Even nicer taste, the slight bitterness has gone now replaced with a lovely Plum tone with a smooth dark chocolate aftertaste.

    There has been a change in workflow also, used the Tiamo ss cup to dispense the grind from the grinder into the p/f. Visually noted less clumpiness (not that bad previously), but now just a lovely bed of untamped grinds in the p/f.

    Learning something new everyday
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  26. #26
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    if there is any favourable difference using the 18-21g EP recommended by Yelta.
    I recommended the 14 to 18 EP, I'm not a fan of the 18 to 21.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    I've trialed VST 15g, 18g, 20g and 22g baskets against the Pullman 19-22g basket.

    Unfortunately AusPost have lost the EP 18-21g basket I ordered.

    Favourites are the 18g basket dosed to 20g and the 20g basket dosed to 22g.

    I have one particular bean that is medium roast and quite strong. It was quite good in the pullman 18-21g basket dosed to 22g.

    In the 20g VST dosed to 22g WoW it knocks your socks off. a 34g shot in 150ml of milk is too strong for me, flavours were all there but bamm, knock yer socks off!!

    Dose 20g of that bean into the 18g VST, and its a game changer. Wonderful clarity of flavours, I'm not an espresso drinker but I really enjoyed a single shot. With 32g out of the 20g dose into 150ml of milk and it's coffee bliss, the chocolate aftertaste comes through and just stays with you. It really has transformed the drink!

    I have two other beans that are lighter roasts, and they are both perfect in the 20g VST basket dosed to 22g in milk.

    When I have a piccolo I use 2 x 90ml glasses, pull a 32/34 g shot, half into each, which is about 15ml, and top it up with milk.
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  28. #28
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    I've trialed VST 15g, 18g, 20g and 22g baskets against the Pullman 19-22g basket.

    Unfortunately AusPost have lost the EP 18-21g basket I ordered.

    Favourites are the 18g basket dosed to 20g and the 20g basket dosed to 22g.

    I have one particular bean that is medium roast and quite strong. It was quite good in the pullman 18-21g basket dosed to 22g.

    In the 20g VST dosed to 22g WoW it knocks your socks off. a 34g shot in 150ml of milk is too strong for me, flavours were all there but bamm, knock yer socks off!!

    Dose 20g of that bean into the 18g VST, and its a game changer. Wonderful clarity of flavours, I'm not an espresso drinker but I really enjoyed a single shot. With 32g out of the 20g dose into 150ml of milk and it's coffee bliss, the chocolate aftertaste comes through and just stays with you. It really has transformed the drink!

    I have two other beans that are lighter roasts, and they are both perfect in the 20g VST basket dosed to 22g in milk.

    When I have a piccolo I use 2 x 90ml glasses, pull a 32/34 g shot, half into each, which is about 15ml, and top it up with milk.
    So, so cool to hear... love it!
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  29. #29
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashpixx View Post
    I've trialed VST 15g, 18g, 20g and 22g baskets against the Pullman 19-22g basket.
    Are you getting much sleep these days?

  30. #30
    Senior Member flashpixx's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Are you getting much sleep these days?
    Caffeine is good for you!!



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