La Pavoni Europiccola Post-Millenium - Dialing in Northbound American Beauty

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#1: Post by martinlhoff »

I'm still new at this, so posting my notes here for feedback, learning.

Gear: EPC-8 Post-Millenium, Mignon Notte, temp strip, bottomless portafilter.

Temp 95C - my usual target temp (this Post-Mil maintains 95C stable through multiple shots - if I wait a couple minutes between them)
Dose: 13g - vs my usual 14g

My 4 prior coffees all settled on finer grind settings - 0.5, 0.7 on the dial (have not worked to 'find the zero') - vs 2 for American Beauty. Those 4 prior coffees have followed the rule of thumb of aiming the grind for seeing the first coffee drops in the cup at 8-10s of preinfusion. But American Beauty seems to hold / soak the water, and not give me drops in the cup.

If I go coarse enough (grinder at 3) to get drops in the cup at 20s, the pull is fast and the results are no good.

So I dialled it back to grinder at 2, I wait ~12s and pull (~20s pull, feels firm) about 30-34g. Good crema, Tasty!

The grinder is obviously 'settling in' - had it ~2 weeks, and some of the initial settings had to be revised a week in. Going through about 1 bag a week.

Coffees and grind settings:
Grumpy Momentum 0.5
Grumpy Honduras Las Flores 0.4
Panther San Agustín Loxicha México 0.75
Panther West Coast Espresso 0.5
NorthBound American Beauty 2

Any observations? Feedback?

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#2: Post by drgary »

It's going to be hard to give you feedback about specific coffees and numerical settings on your grinder. And what you read on your temperature strip will be different from what others read because theirs will be placed at other locations on the group bell. But here's the place to start dialing in by taste. I consider it essential reading.

Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste

Controlling temperature, dose and extraction technique on a La Pavoni home lever is another matter that also creates large differences. If you have boiler pressure tuned to about 0.8 bar pressure, you can temperature surf, using half pumps that heat the group without releasing water, so you're not limited to a set brew temperature after recovery. There are also ways to cool the group between shots. Also varying preinfusion technique changes temperature, timing of the preinfusion, and resistance in the brew chamber. You can use the Search function on the site if varying your manual lever technique.

Overall I would change one variable at a time and see what difference it makes. You'll go through a lot of coffee at the start. If you keep at it you'll be able to pull good shots of different coffees in the same brewing session.

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!


#3: Post by ojt »

A quick note, and this may be slightly dependent on the machine. I would lower the temperature. The temperature difference between grouphead temperature and the actual brew temperature can be up to 10 degrees celsius on the millennium machines. Maybe less. Anyway I'd try 85-90 degrees. That will probably require you to grind finer.