Elektra Microcasa a Leva bitterness (or sourness?)

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pseudonymousbosch

Postby pseudonymousbosch » May 13, 2019, 10:55 am

Hello, folks. New to the world of homemade espresso and have been finding this forum very helpful - thanks to all who contribute.

I have recently bought a MCAL and a Macap M2M grinder. Have the Acaia Lunar scales and a naked portafilter (which seems to reveal little channeling). Currently using freshly bought Lavazza Super Crema beans.

I finally seem to have the extraction time/volume ratio right but the espresso is still coming out overly bitter. (Or is it sour? Struggling a bit to define the difference in my mouth.)

This adjustment scale (Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste) is useful but if I coarsen the grind I will upset the rest of the ratio.

Any other ideas for where I might be going wrong?

maki

Postby maki » May 13, 2019, 2:12 pm

i would ditch the Lavazza and get some decent freshly roasted beans.
as good espresso comes from beans, then water, then grind, then machine (imho).
LMWDP #630

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redbone

Postby redbone » replying to maki » May 13, 2019, 2:17 pm

Nothing wrong with Elektra MCaL. Other suggestions are a good step.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

pseudonymousbosch

Postby pseudonymousbosch » May 13, 2019, 4:52 pm

Thanks. Will report back with new beans.

Another question is about the pull time on the Elektra. I've read that it should be less than on a pump machine. What are your suggestions for pull time to get a decent espresso, after pre-infusion?

And what about the same with a Fellini move? And in that case would you include the time pulling the lever back down?

So many questions...

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drgary
Team HB

Postby drgary » May 13, 2019, 5:02 pm

No need to get fancy with the pull using Fellini. Pull the lever down and let it preinfuse until droplets are evenly coming into the cup, then release. If anything, pulls are longer with a lever than a pump machine. Look for a mousetail stream of coffee. Wider and faster than that is too much. Stop the shot when it starts to blond. I agree with the others on fresh, high quality coffee.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!

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IamOiman

Postby IamOiman » May 14, 2019, 1:44 am

For me personally my extraction time from when I release the lever (not counting my preinfusion) is 25-30 seconds but never more with both the double and single baskets. When the extraction time is beyond or below this I change my grind setting.

For when it is bitter or sour I think of this:

bitterness reminds me of very dark chocolate, almost cocoa powder
sourness reminds me of a lemon, my lips want to pucker up.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

jwCrema

Postby jwCrema » May 14, 2019, 5:27 pm

I'm not clear on your warm up process. My wife recently asked what happened to her cup? "Hey baby, I always try to do my best," was the immediate response. We established a short duration warm up, without the portafilter mounted in the grouphead resulted in a slightly sour cup.

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IamOiman

Postby IamOiman » May 15, 2019, 2:00 am

How long is your warm up time? For me It's ~5 minutes of heating up before I purge the steam wand of false pressure (my Elektra is from 1991 and does not have the now included vacuum seal) and ~20 minutes of heating before I pull my shot. I can tell as when the pressurestat turns off the heating element the pressure gauge is at ~1.5 bar, but over time will slowly drop towards my 1 .05 bar setting (which I have set so I can make milk drinks). I keep the portafilter locked in during this time.
-Ryan
I'll throw my portafilter in the ring
LMWDP #612

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doubleOsoul

Postby doubleOsoul » May 15, 2019, 8:42 pm

Just to chime in with my 2 cents as well. I blame the bean. Lavazza is a little heavy handed with their roasting. They roast the same way with the Canadian coffee company they bought not too long ago, Kicking Horse Coffee: a brand all over Canada and hitting stores in NorCal. I repped the brand for 5 - 6 months and while I did love the company for how they treat employees, I couldn't handle the coffee - being a roaster myself, its almost painful to see over roasted beans in the bag. Having owned an MCAL since the last recession, I can also say the the lever is extremely forgiving but its first commandment is "thou shalt use fresh beans" and second is tamp skills .... lol.
Ways to win my heart:buy me coffee, make coffee, be coffee LMWDP #354

jwCrema

Postby jwCrema » May 15, 2019, 11:05 pm

IamOiman wrote:How long is your warm up time? For me It's ~5 minutes of heating up before I purge the steam wand of false pressure (my Elektra is from 1991 and does not have the now included vacuum seal) and ~20 minutes of heating before I pull my shot. I can tell as when the pressurestat turns off the heating element the pressure gauge is at ~1.5 bar, but over time will slowly drop towards my 1 .05 bar setting (which I have set so I can make milk drinks). I keep the portafilter locked in during this time.


I have the boiler cap that eliminates most false pressure. I let the machine warmup for 40 minutes or so, the do the Cremina pre-flush move to get hot water into the grouphead. 10 seconds after that I start preinfusion.

But this is with a Club.