Longer pre-infusion on Flair 58?

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JBroida

#1: Post by JBroida »

So, I've gotten more and more into the coffee things over the last few months. The last couple of years have gone from French Press, to v60, to aeropress, to flair pro 2, and now flair 58. Grinders have gone from hario, to 1zpresso, and now a modded df64. Anyways, I've been getting ok results and I've played around. Different doses, grind sizes, etc. I've gotten to the point where i can make espresso better than the good coffee shops in my area pretty consistently (of course they are a business and I'm sitting here babying my entire process, so i guess thats not fair). There are still a few places that pull shots that blow my mind, but i have to find them instead of just randomly go get coffee now.

So, the last couple of days have been a huge game changer for me... I've started doing a longer pre-infusion before pulling my shots. It's extended my pulling time quite a bit because of it. Right now, my workflow is something like 20g in 50ml out. The pre infusion is about 15 seconds at ~4 bars, until i get about 1.5-2ml out. Following that, i ramp up to about 8-9bars depending, and slowly ramp down, finishing my shot at ~5bars. The part after the pre-infusion is about 30 seconds on average. The shots are awesome as of late, and very consistent. Doing RDT before grinding, WDT, but no distribution and a pretty normal tamp.

Anyways, being so new to all of this, is 15 seconds for a pre-infusion long? Seems longer than most. ALl in, that makes my shot time about 45 seconds or so, which, from reading on here, seems like its on the long side. Do people do longer pre-infusions? What has your luck been like with the 58 and a workflow like this?

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Kaffee Bitte

#2: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

With levers you will often get longer preinfusion than with pumps. On my LP a few times when I choked it I left the lever up and walked away for about a minute or so to find it just starting to drip. Finished the pull and had surprisingly good ristrettos come from it.

The commercial levers also tend towards long preinfusion. So long that you will wonder if the shot will be a stinker until you taste it.

It's been years since I bothered timing shots at home but most of my normales and ristrettos run longer than I would even attempt at work. I do shot time at work to calibrate but mostly just the dial in at start and a couple checks as the day rolls .

Timing is really just a way to keep things consistent and matters more in a cafe setting.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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MCal2003

#3: Post by MCal2003 »

Just an opinion. Don't get too hung up with the length of preinfusion if the shot pulled tastes good to you. My preinfusion on the spring lever machine are on the long side. Shorter on the Flair 58. "Ristretto" on the MCal. "Normal" brew ratio on the Flair. Pressure profile I think are "mimicking "Londinium". Cool thing about any pure lever machine are the options for pressure profiles.
LMWDP #151

JBroida (original poster)

#4: Post by JBroida (original poster) »

lol... got it. So pretty make good tasting espresso and dont overthink it. Fair enough. The shots have been much better with this process.

dilin

#5: Post by dilin »

Consider it as the surprise factor in lever machines. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't, but each time the shot is delicious.

ps Are the JBroida from JKI? If you are, fancy meeting you here!

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Kaffee Bitte

#6: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

You will see a lot of PI talk amongst the flow control crowd. Often talking about 3-4 bar PI which is really about right if you want to make a cafe crema instead of a espresso, just roll along at that to the end. Levers with boilers pre infuse differently though. Usually at boiler pressure so between .7 and 1.5 bars. This is mainly why lever PI tends to be more drawn out.

15 seconds is about my minimum unless I am doing a blooming shot or turboing a light roast. Sometimes I lift the lever and let it fill and just leave it until it drips, sometimes I will lift and do a half pull or two. Just depends on the coffee really. Certain DP coffees I often use do better with two or three half pulls to speed the PI or a full bloom, reraise lever and pull. Wet process coffees I tend to just raise and wait for drips.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
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JBroida (original poster)

#7: Post by JBroida (original poster) »

dilin wrote:Consider it as the surprise factor in lever machines. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't, but each time the shot is delicious.

ps Are the JBroida from JKI? If you are, fancy meeting you here!
Yeah... another rabbit hole to go down i guess. On the plus side, the shop now has a solid espresso setup :D

JBroida (original poster)

#8: Post by JBroida (original poster) »

Kaffee Bitte wrote:You will see a lot of PI talk amongst the flow control crowd. Often talking about 3-4 bar PI which is really about right if you want to make a cafe crema instead of a espresso, just roll along at that to the end. Levers with boilers pre infuse differently though. Usually at boiler pressure so between .7 and 1.5 bars. This is mainly why lever PI tends to be more drawn out.

15 seconds is about my minimum unless I am doing a blooming shot or turboing a light roast. Sometimes I lift the lever and let it fill and just leave it until it drips, sometimes I will lift and do a half pull or two. Just depends on the coffee really. Certain DP coffees I often use do better with two or three half pulls to speed the PI or a full bloom, reraise lever and pull. Wet process coffees I tend to just raise and wait for drips.
Yeah... I've noticed that as i read about how a lot of the machines work. I think I'll play around with less pressure and see how that works out. Initially, it was about trying to solve for the intense acidity I wasn't enjoying. I played around with grind size, dose, temperature, and pressure, but the PI worked the best at mellowing that part out and making tastier shots.

RyanP

#9: Post by RyanP »

It's my opinion that length and pressure/flow of preinfusion has more to do with your grinder and the coffee you're using. Those two variables will dictate how you control preinfusion with your espresso machine, not the other way around.

fliz

#10: Post by fliz »

I'll second Ryan's comment.

The beans and grind make a big difference wrt to preinfusion needs. When doing a shorter pull on a light roast, the only way I don't end up w/ something under extracted is if I grind finer and do a longer preinfusion (like 30 seconds). Even with this longer preinfusion at 2-3 bar, I'll only accumulate <1g in the cup before ramping up 8 bar.