First time post, and thank you for all the initial information across this site that helped me make a (hopefully) reasonably well informed first purchase recently. I started with a Gaggia Classic + Baratza Vario.
I am pulling constantly fast and / or gassy shots. The former being 13s yielding 2+ ounces. The latter meaning I may get to a 1.5oz extraction in 20 seconds, but the shot glass is foaming over and I need to switch off. Using a bigger cup may get me closer to a proper ratio, but by the end I'm pulling very light. The crema also recedes very quickly.
I've read through most of the newbie articles here + a stack elsewhere on the internet, intro videos, etc. Certainly have a lot to learn, but I have tried to get closer before making a newbie post / request. Unfortunately this has become very frustrating through the first month or so.
Some more info:
Beans: Began with Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger, which I burned through. Purchased from Amazon, roast date unknown. Have since gone through some Gregory's and Joe coffee espresso blend. For consistency, have focused and logged through a few pounds of Coffee Labs Circus Dog Espresso (Tarrytown, NY -- https://secure.coffeelabs.com/blends-co ... resso.html
). First purchase was right off the roast date, which I thought may have led to over gassy pulls. Second time through they said I could grind and let sit for 45m until about a week out, and did so. In the shop, this blend is very rich when pulled. I am nowhere near this.
Grind: Have gone between 1A and 2K on the Vario, more recently hovering around the 1D - 1G range.
Dose: Between 16-21g. Finding when I get to 21g I can't get the portafilter on or very tight or puck hits the grouphead. I am using the double portafilter that came with the Classic.
Temperature: I don't have a PID or temperature monitor at this point. For some consistency I am flushing until the light goes off, then hitting the steam for about 10-15s when the light comes back on, then brewing. Sometimes I am flipping the switch to release steam. I have tried numerous variations on this.
Results: I've gotten a handful (out of many!) to taste halfway decent, only five max that were good. Some tasted in the ballpark when cooled down a little. But none have pulled with a syrup / honey-like start. The taste has generally been quite thin, lacking any richness or sweetness. As mentioned, fluffy but fairly quickly dissipating crema.
When I was pulling non-stop fast shots in the 1a - 1d range at 18-20g, I figured I am dosing incorrectly. I've tried shaking the grinds across, tapping on the counter to get them down before tamping, etc.. Last few days I tried WDT with a toothpick and two sessions of trying a pretty imperfect Stockfleth move, which seems a bit challenging with a hot portafilter. None of this has worked.
Any help would be appreciated on this. Thanks!