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Brew ratios and lever espresso machines

Postby peacecup on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:45 pm

All of the renewed interest in commercial lever machines has me wondering about brew ratios and shot timing.

A typical commercial lever machine is designed to pull a traditional double shot with one pull, ie. 14g:60g. Assuming for discussion's sake that this would be prepared to pull in 30 sec, how does one pull a 7g:30g single with such a machine? Is the cup pulled after 30 sec, or is a double shot split in two? If it is a single basket, is it ground to that one gets 30 ml in 30 sec?

The same question applies to higher brew ratios - I've read the Londinium I likes a 16g dose in the double basket. A full pull would result in a 16g:60g shot. I thought I read on the favorite blends thread that many people like the mystery coffees in the 50% or greater ratio range. How does one pull a 50% or greater shot on the L1 or similar? Is the cup pulled halfway through the shot, or is the grind adjusted so fine that the whole shot only results in 30 ml?

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Postby espressotime on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:52 pm

What? :shock:
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Postby espressotime on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:54 pm

I fill the basket and pull a shot till it starts blonding.Am I doing something wrong? :roll:
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Postby peacecup on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:02 pm

Ok, approximately how much coffee do you put in the basket and how much liquid do you get out? How much of full lever pull do you typically take in the cup?

You see, the commericial lever was designed to pull 25% brew ratio shots 14g:60ml, more or less. But most "moderns" want shots in the 50% or greater range, up to 75% or more. So I'm wondering how people work around this.

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Postby espressotime on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:12 pm

Well.I weighed it once.I belief it was 19 in the double for two espresso's of 25 -30 ml.
The single took more.I believe 11 gram for a big espresso.Don't know how much in ml.
All with one pull.
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Postby erics on Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:38 pm

You see, the commericial lever was designed to pull 25% brew ratio shots 14g:60ml, more or less.

But that's your brew ratio, not the brew ratio most often discussed on HB and initially posted about here: Brewing ratios for espresso beverages

Brew Ratio = weight of grounds/weight of espresso and I typically find that 65% +/- 5% tastes good in the cappy's I make.
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Postby peacecup on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:05 pm

I'm vaguely familiar with the table - and it does not agree with the interpretation of a "classic" double. My point was that the "classic" double is 14g:60g - that's not my interpretation, but the law according to Illy, etc.

As I stated, most people here are brewing greater than 50% - the question is how is this achieved with commercial lever machines? How does one work within the parameters of a 16g basket and a 60 ml piston volume?
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Postby Bob_McBob on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:22 pm

A 60 ml double does not weigh anywhere close to 60 g unless you are pulling espresso without crema. That is why we define brewing ratios by weight.
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Postby Spitz.me on Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:58 pm

espressotime wrote:I fill the basket and pull a shot till it starts blonding.Am I doing something wrong? :roll:


Yes, you're not contributing anything to this thread with a response like that, relax with the eye rolls. No one forces your hand to respond to topics you think aren't worth your time.

Ok, so Chris cleared my issue up for me. I didn't think 2oz with Crema would have been 60g. I'd guess it'd be closer to 45g. I was getting really confused by those ratios initially.

I don't see why you wouldn't treat the lever like a pump machine in this case. Where you time your shot and adjust for the output you're looking for. As long as you've adjusted the fineness of your grind to apply the right resistance to the water being pushed through. You may find that your short shots taste more like a pump machines output because the pressure wouldn't have declined by as much right?
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.
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Postby Kfir on Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:16 pm

The Strega original double basket can hold 18 grams with enough head space.

Because of the pump high PI pressure you can easily get 60 ml out (the lever begins to "bite" around 90 degrees) and it usually starts to blond around 50 ml or so and I pull the cup away.

For a single just pull the cup away after 30 ml, the original single basket is useless so I use the LM single basket with 8.5 grams + 41 mm tamper.

For a single I adjust the grind finer to keep the same flow as the double.

Hope this helps.

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