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Thread: Fine tuning my mini

  1. #1
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    Fine tuning my mini

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all,

    Just got our new Mazzer Mini (props go to FC), wife is extremely happy. When it comes to adjusting the grind size, weve got it down to a good looking 25 second shot (flow looks good, volume is nearly right on), however, the puck is quite wet on top. Poor technique? or need more fine tuning with the grinder?

    BTW, the shot was pulled on our San Marino CKX. Also using cheaper beans just for the fine-tuning.

    Dont have any pics of the shot, and dont have any decent shot glasses to put it in either...Need to hit the junk store soon methinks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    You may be slightly underdosing if you are getting wet pucks.

    Is there a screen indent on the puck?

    Try increasing the amount of ground coffee used and see what happens.


    -Stephen-

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Ill give that a go...In the morning. Just spent the last couple hours pulling shots and testing the results. I need to get some sleep, but not sure if I can. :o

    Listening to an internet radio station called groove salad. Ambient/chill music, hopefully that will help me wind down.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Gday Nunu,

    Stephen is right on.

    In addition, no point in using "cheaper beans" to set up the correct grind with. You need to use the beans you intend using all the time! Different blend = different density = different behaviour = different grind etc.

    Thanks for the plug.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Heres a test shot I did this morning...







    Lemme know what you think (I know the glass is crap and hard to see)

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Congrats on your new toy Nunu! ;D


    The images you posted dont appear... try using the "Attach" function in the reply. Only one image per reply so you will have to post them as 3 messages.

    Andy.

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Doh!

    Seems only I can see them ::)


  8. #8
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Heres #2


  9. #9
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Last one...


  10. #10
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Got some decent espresso glasses now. Paid a whole dollar each from wheel and barrow. Theyre 68mL, and look quite stylish, and seem to make the coffee taste better.

    Also got some decent beans from a local roaster, and dialled in the mini.

    Hows this?


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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Next one...


  12. #12
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    nearly finished


  13. #13
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    mmm...guinness

    Please excuse the focus. I had to take the pic before the camera completely focused, or else the effect would have been completed. Didnt feel like pulling another shot, since I had camera issues with the previous shot I pulled, which tasted quite nice btw.


  14. #14
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Well done Nunu. If I hadant already had 3 doubles today just the sight of that guinness--er, coffee--would make me want to go and make one. Self control can be a curse.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Hhhmmm....That looks nummy!!

    Java "Missing his espresso machine" phile

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Hi nunu.

    the third shot in the first series of photos looks a bit thin and ugly but that will be the old beans.

    It can be hard to tell as digital cameras can make colours look a bit different from reality, but the stream seems a bit pale. Did the pour start very slowly i.e. dripping? The issue you are having with the wet puck does sound like under dosing.

    Welcome to the Mazzer club! 8-)

    Cheers

  17. #17
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Ive killed the underdosing problem. No more wet pucks, and a good showerhead tattoo on the puck.

    Id have to say yes, that was the older beans. Ive since gotten some newer ones, hence, the second set of pics. I have noticed though, that the coffee seems to go blond quite early in the extraction. I get at least half a centimetre of crema on every doppio, looks good to my untrained eye :D

    The digital camera was on full auto, and macro setting, so I could get a good up-close and personal shot. Flash was also on, because the lighting in the kitchen is a bit poor, even with overhead fluoro on (kitchen side of the place is in shade most of the day.

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    oh man that looks yum - gonna go and pull myself a shot now. bye!

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Those shots look nice... and I too was drawn toward the ECM drooling like Homer Simpson "hmmmm Coffffffeeeeeeee"... whilst I contemplated the fact that I dont really approve of drooling ;D

    Anyhow this has prompted me to ask you the following...

    Ok Some of us like it at 20secs some at 30secs for our 20-30ml of our eutopia, my question is; When we measure the volume eg. 30ml do we measure it when the crema gets to the 30ml mark or when the darker liquid gets there;
    Then I also have to ask, what about when the Guiness effect is over, is that the 30ml expectancy?.........


    So many of our tasting notes recomend the 30ml, but there is no mention of what we should be reading the measurement at, Crema or Coffee?

    Regards

    FrennnnnnnnnnnchBeeeeeeeeeaaaaaan...... Oh stop it Homer ;) ;) ;) ;)

  20. #20
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Nice looking shot Nunu!

    FrennnnnnnnnnnchBeeeeeeeeeaaaaaan, everytime I have seen that question asked it gets 3 pages of replies talking about the validity of with or without crema.

    So this time I consulted the new espresso bible, Barista Techniques, "an essential guide to preparing & serving espresso coffee commercially" authored by CSs own John Doyle (aka Pinot) :)

    Page 104 (Chapter 6.3)

    25-30 ml espresso
    A fine-textured crema, 5mm thick


    Now we know!

    BTW: If the above sounded like an ad, it was!
    This book will be available from CS as of next week and can be shipped with bean orders (to save members $10 on freight).




  21. #21
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Now that could be confusing. With freshly roasted beans (aint that the norm anyway?) I can get 5 mls of coffee and 30 mls of crema!!! :P

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    I guess you just need REALLY BIG shot glasses then ;D

    Johns figures are "the standard" for espresso.

    In my own "standard" I drink a 40ml double poured in 30 seconds (plus the initial no-pour 5 seconds).

    ...and after watching Nunus shots Im off to pull one too. ;)

  23. #23
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    The 30ml/30s is after the guiness effect is over and the shot has settled.

    On the question of how much creama and how much liquid there should be, the amount of crema vs liquid will vary with the bean/blend so there really is no single right answer going purely by how much crema and liquid there is or their ratio to each other.

    The best, most generic answer that works pretty much accross the board is to stop the pull when the stream lightens, reguardless of the volume reached.

    Beyond that adjust it to your own tastes until its perfect for you. :)

    Java "Dreaming of espresso" phile

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Thatís exactly my point boys......

    There has to be a standard at which to set it by..... Our shots are that, but after about 30 seconds rest the Crema is indeed 5mm thick and 25-30ml, but thatís when it has settled.... I fully understand what youíre saying and I know what you mean by pages upon pages, HOWEVER!!!!!!!! Where is the standard? The new Barista Bible is very very correct (Great book too John, I thoroughly recommend it) But where is this standard set. 3 month old beans 3 days, 3 weeks????????

    I know half of it is guess work as well, however if the standard has been set, there must then be a benchmark, if not, then how can it be a standard?

    Ill enjoy this one ;)


    FB :-)

  25. #25
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchBean link=1123164009/15#23 date=1123761931
    Thatís exactly my point boys......

    There has to be a standard at which to set it by..... Our shots are that, but after about 30 seconds rest the Crema is indeed 5mm thick and 25-30ml, but thatís when it has settled.... I fully understand what youíre saying and I know what you mean by pages upon pages, HOWEVER!!!!!!!! Where is the standard? The new Barista Bible is very very correct (Great book too John, I thoroughly recommend it) But where is this standard set. 3 month old beans 3 days, 3 weeks????????

    I know half of it is guess work as well, however if the standard has been set, there must then be a benchmark, if not, then how can it be a standard?

    Ill enjoy this one ;)


    FB :-)
    Id suggest the standard be when the stream lightens. That way it compensates for all the variables.

    Ignore the volume and go by what the extraction says.

    Java "Ever the practical"phile

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Before you guys go "man, that ECM pulls good shots," let me remind you its a San Marino CKX.

    Manual machine, so I stop the extraction when I want. 25 seconds gives me roughly 50mL (25 seconds from when I hit the switch to extract). The glasses volume is 68mL, so I stop about 1cm from the top.

    Does the onset of blonding mainly have to do with the coffee, or does the machine have a role to play as well?

    No coffee for me tonight...I need to get to bed at a reasonable hour. :-[

  27. #27
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Does the onset of blonding mainly have to do with the coffee, or does the machine have a role to play as well?
    Everything effects the extraction and when it starts to blond out. The coffee, the grind, the tamp, the pressure, *everything.

    When the extraction starts to blond out you have extracted what you want from the coffee. Continueing the pull once blonding starts degrades the quality of the cup.

    Sure, shoot for 30ml in 30 seconds, but stop the extraction when blonding occurs.

    Java "My opinion anyways" phile

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    standards? your taste buds. well, thats my answer anyway!

    To my taste buds, a 60ml double poured in 30 seconds is often (but not always) a bit thin. But then, to someone elses, its a god shot!

    I prefer a 30ml double poured in ~40 seconds, for the thickness, intensity, and rich, full flavour. But then, to others, thats burnt syrup.

    But then we can go overboard and remind ourselves that coffee is a living organism. And just like no two people are completely identical, neither are two crops, two plants, or even two beans.

    Can we standardise that?

    (sorry, been reading Bill Brysons A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Im feeling quite philosophical and thoughtful...)

    oh yeah, I completely agree with Java - blonding tells me that all the good oils are in the cup - now its just really hot water gushing through really spent grinds. smell a used puck, and youll notice that theres not much to smell!

    Or, (an experiment!) pull a shot, and stop when the first signs of blonding begin. drink it. savour it. note what it tastes like. now, put another cup under the spouts, and flick the brew switch again, til youve got about 30mls. drink it. i dare you. if you keep extracting the shot after blonding has begun, thats whats going into your cup.

  29. #29
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    I hit the switch, 5 seconds till liquid comes out, then 5 more till blonding starts.

    I prefer a light tamp, as opposed to a bit heavy-handedness.

    Maybe the new coffee is a bit stale as well. The only solution is to roast myself, so I know when it was roasted.

    If you notice shot1 in my second set, its already gone blond.

  30. #30
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Just remember that any standard should be purely a starting point for finding what works/tastes best to you. :)

    Java "Standards? *What standards?! If I had standards, then Id have to live up too them!" phile

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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    nunu, my pours start with a few black drips ... like motor oil, then develop into a pour that gets progressively lighter... but then theres a point where suddenly theres a distinct change in colour, youll even see blotches of blonde appearing on the surface of the crema in the cup.

    Ill refer you to two diagrams I stole from a website somewhere, reposted without permission. It took my a while to get my head around these, but keep looking at these, and at your espresso flow, and youll get it.

    image 1:


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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    and image 2. I hope the guy that made these doesnt find me and hunt me down... its for the purpose of education, for the betterment of good coffee!!! mercy!

    oh yeah, this ones about working the taste ... like bleeding the first part of the shot (dont want any dirt in my cup, thank you wired!) and stopping at blonding.


  33. #33
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    (sorry, been reading Bill Brysons A Short History of Nearly Everything, and Im feeling quite philosophical and thoughtful...)
    Ahh another Bryson fan, its only a couple of weeks ago that mentioned Bill Bryson to Javaphile and Mal!

    ..anyway, back to the topic...

    (great "borrowed" images, that should nail the concept for anyone having trouble)


    Nunu, the light tamp might be your problem. *I would guess (tis only a guess) that your light tamp is allowing the coffee to shuffle in the puck and it is finding an "easy path" out the spout (channeling)... ergo, only extracting through a small amount of coffee and thus blonding quickly.

    Seeing that your pouring 50ml in 25 seconds (and I assume that is both sides of a double group) your flow rate sounds right but must not be using all the coffee.

    Have a go at a course grind (just a little) and tamp harder, see if that gets your shots heading in the right direction.


  34. #34
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    Hi All,

    I remember seeing these graphics somewhere before mattyj but cant remember where. Theyre definitely helpful in a very general sort of way.

    Like mattyj, I like my Piccolos to have a bit of punch so tend to grind one or two steps finer with my Rocky and draw the shots out to 35-40 seconds for a very rich and potent Ristretto. For espressos though, Rocky is backed off to produce doubles of 50-60ml in about 30 seconds. Occasionally, Ill have a straight Ristretto to get my pulse into a higher gear if the thinking cap is going to be attired. I need all I can get these days to get the little grey cells motivated ;)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  35. #35
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    Re: Fine tuning my mini

    I dug up some of the old pucks, and it looks like there colour isnt uniform. Typically one side is darker than the rest, pointing o the water favouring the path of least resistance.

    After adjusting the grind a bit coarser, and tamping a bit harder (mind you, the original tamp was just enough to flatten the coffee), I pulled a shot that was close to flow rate and volume as original setup (some more fine adjustments will have to be made - the perfectionist of old rears his ugly head). I prefer my coffee on the acidic/sweet side, so the longer extraction of darker coffee was looking positive after seeing that nifty graph that was obviously ruthlessly plagiarised (authorities have been notified, and will be arriving shortly to haul you in). I noticed that through the course of drinking/tasting the shot, the flavours were a progression through some sort of scale. It was bitterish on top, moving to sweet, then to acidic in the bottom.

    Sadly, I finished the shot before I could enjoy it with a bit of honey on toast.

    Gonna check on the pucks when theyve had a chance to dry out a bit.



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