New Izzo Alex Duetto IV; (daily) second espresso not like first

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?

#1: Post by glitchbane »

I'm new to the forum, and to making espresso at home on a quality machine (years ago had a little Krups but it wasn't a beautiful experience). I have been searching and reading here for a few weeks, since before I bought my Izzo Alex Duetto IV Pro (with the addition of the flow control device).

Every morning I make (or try to make) two double espressos. I use the same coffee (Counter Culture), same grind (Profitec grinder), same portafilter, same weight (18.0 g) same everything. The first cup is beautiful. Flow goes through the grinds between 6-10 seconds and I get a full doppio in about 45 seconds (a little long, I thought, but whatever).

Then I empty the portafilter, rinse it out and dry it, and repeat the exact same process. But now, the flow starts at about 20 - 25 seconds and after a minute, I have half of what I should end up with (and so I give up).

What could be going wrong, or what don't I understand? The machine is currently not plumbed in (but we do intend to plumb it in at some point). The coffee boiler is around 192-193 degrees. The pressure bars on both the machine and flow control device are at 10 or slightly above. I'm not engaging the flow control device yet (I figure I should wait until I can get consistency without it before playing with it.) Water flows fine when there is no portafilter in place if I flip up the lever, and it is hot.

Any help is much appreciated.


#2: Post by JRising »

The grinder is set too fine. The overly finely ground FRESH coffee is choking off the flow.
On the first shot of the day, there's enough grist that has been in the grinder chute for 24 hours mixed in with the fresh grinds that the water is able to pass the puck despite the fact that it seems to be exactly dosed and equally tamped.
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#3: Post by glitchbane »

I'll give that a "shot" tomorrow. I have tried increasing the coarseness of the grind, and when I did so I cleaned out the chute, and the shot was too quick. Maybe I adjusted it too much back the other way.


#4: Post by boublanc »

That is what came to mind for me as well. one thing you could try is to discard the first 18GR that way you will eliminate the possibility of having stale coffee in your first shot.
if you discard the first 18GR and the following 2 shot are the same, you then have a good indication that stale coffee was the issue..
Are you using a naked portafilter? nearly impossible to know if you have channeling without one, channeling will speed up the flow and cause similar issue although not necessarily always only on the second shot of the day...
good luck


#5: Post by glitchbane »

Thanks, I'll try that and report back!


#6: Post by glitchbane »

ok, morning experiment done.

first, I cleaned out the grinder and made sure no grounds were in the chute (used a pseudo-bellows to blow it out)
then added fresh beans (CC Forty Six) and ground 18 g. Made the first cup, it was finished in 40 seconds and quite good.

Rinsed the portafilter (I do not have a naked portafilter, btw, this is a double) and repeated the process. Though the first drops appears after 8 seconds, the same amount was not expressed until nearly a full minute. It was bitter and marginally drinkable.

Third try, I coarsened the grind by one notch. This time the shot finished in 45 seconds and was much better than the second attempt, maybe not quite as good as the first.

Could the grinder be a factor in this? The first grind was on the same setting as the second, with the same mass, yet a different result. Does a grinder heat up with first use, and could the heat factor affect the grind (grasping at straws here)? I have ordered a Niche Zero (won't be here until late November) in hopes that grinding will be more consistent if beans aren't sitting in the hopper.

I'll see what happens tomorrow when I start off with the grind I ended up with today.

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#7: Post by JohnB. »

What could be going wrong, or what don't I understand? The machine is currently not plumbed in (but we do intend to plumb it in at some point). The coffee boiler is around 192-193 degrees.
Any help is much appreciated.
192-193*F is pretty low for a brew boiler. Is this your PID setting? Why so low?


#8: Post by glitchbane »

I was wondering about the temp myself. It was set that way by the seller, who apparently thinks it works fine that way and the life of the machine will be prolonged if it is not set higher? Do you think this might be a factor? The temp is maintained very well.

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#9: Post by JohnB. »

You set the brew boiler for the shot temp that you want for the coffee you are using. Typical shot temp range is 198*-204*. Is there an offset entered into your pid so that when you select 198* or any brew temp you actually get that temp? Your actual brew boiler temp is going to be higher then what you enter as there is temp loss betwern the boiler & pf.


#10: Post by boublanc »

How old are the burrs in the grinder? They could be at fault...
do you know anyone with a naked portafilter you can borrow for a few days? They are a wonderful tool to identify extraction issues. It can be quite humbling when you first use one...
When ever I start experiencing subpar shot, I take a step back, focus on my technique and usually achieve great tasting espresso. A naked portafiler wont let you get away with anything...