Crotonmark wrote:Generally if I grind finer I choke the machine.
I'm on a manual lever machine
Then lower the dose and grind finer, pull slower, and/or rise the temperature.
When you pull your shot, do you use the "fellini technique"?
i.e. Do you do any pre-infusion before you extract the coffee? Pre-wetting the puck enhances extraction, and helps to prevent channeling.
The 'Fellini Move' in Pictures
Fellini does espresso ...
Anyhow, basically what I do with my Caravel is that I slowly pull the lever down until the first drops start to appear (not drip) from the filter (I use a bottomless PF), then lift the lever back up again (to fill the chamber) and then pull the shot. For my Caravel I have never used more than 15g dose and I usually end up with something between 20-25g depending on the beans. I try to keep the time roughly around 30s (the 2nd pull, not including the pre-infusion).
You don't have to make the second pull immediately after you've lifted the lever. You can let the puck soak for a few seconds (or more to try how it affects the taste).
If you won't succeed with the tips given above, you could post a message into the lever forum for a machine specific assistance. Maybe also post a video of your technique to youtube (and link it in the forum message) to help people see if there is something to correct (or if there is nothing to correct).
If you can't make a video, then it helps to give as much information of your preparation and the whole process, in order to avoid beginning the thread with getting multiple questions of how-you-do-this and do-you-do-that. It will speed up finding the solution.