All I get is sour espresso

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
Mostafafawzy

#1: Post by Mostafafawzy »

Hi Everyone,

I've just recently stepped into the world of espresso making and all i'm getting is sour and very bad tasting espresso. Here are my below stats and things i have tried already:

Machine: Gaggia Classic pro with a PID temp set to 94.5
Sette 270 grinder
VST 20 g basket
wdt tool
distributor 58.4mm
tamp 54.4mm
mainly using medium roast

i'm using a 20 g in 40 g out ratio and i've been playing aorund with the grind to give me a brew time of 28-33 secounds and my shots are always tasting sour. I've tried to increase me temp but i still get the sour taste. i've tried dropping my grind to 19 and 18 and still very sour shots. what should i do to get a sweet extraction?

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cafeIKE
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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

How dark is the roast? Light roasts can be sour.
Try increasing temperature to 98°C

gobucks

#3: Post by gobucks »

Are you sure it's sourness and not bitterness you're tasting? I only ask because you mentioned you're new to this (as am I), and sometimes I find it a little hard to discern if it's a little off in either direction.

If it is indeed sourness, I guess you could try going for a slightly longer brew ratio, maybe 20 in 50 out? I am currently using a medium roast and I go 17 in 42 out, seems to work pretty well. Other than that, obv increasing temp, updosing or grinding finer and running the shot slightly longer, would all extract more, hopefully giving a sweeter shot.

One other thing you could try is a preinfusion? It isn't officially supported, but here is a hack from Wholelattelove

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Mostafafawzy wrote:I've just recently stepped into the world of espresso making and all i'm getting is sour and very bad tasting espresso.
Here's a discussion from last month that you may find helpful: New to espresso and every single one is sour. If you search on "sour espresso" (title only), you'll find others that will offer good advice. Also see Adjusting Dose and Grind Setting by Taste.
gobucks wrote:If it is indeed sourness, I guess you could try going for a slightly longer brew ratio, maybe 20 in 50 out?
Hmm-m, I do the opposite.
Dan Kehn

Mostafafawzy (original poster)

#5: Post by Mostafafawzy (original poster) »

I think i know what my issue is. I decided to get a bottomless portafilter and i can see that i have major channeling issues which is cause the coffee to be under extracted and sour. Here is a video of my shot https://photos.app.goo.gl/rnzbY2mQvWWQY2st9. It starts off looking really good for like 2 seconds and then turns into a disaster. This is also a picture after extraction https://photos.app.goo.gl/gkzbCuHxpm3YUqFm6.

I also have done the OPV mod so running at 9 bar.

I've also updated my puck prep to the following:
spray the beans with a light mist before grinding
then i use my wdt tool to remove clumps and spread the grind evenly
i give it a slight bump to settle the grinds and then tamp
i'm using a 58.55mm tamper as i've read this is the perfect size for the vst basket

what can i do to imporve this?

Mostafafawzy (original poster)

#6: Post by Mostafafawzy (original poster) »

I've also updated my puck prep to the following.

spray the beans with a light mist before grinding
then i use my wdt tool to remove clumps and spread the grind evenly
i give it a slight bump to settle the grinds and then tamp
i'm using a 58.55mm tamper as i've read this is the perfect size for the vst basket

henri

#7: Post by henri »

Hard to say, but it looks too fast to me. Try grinding so fine that the machine chokes, and then gradually loosen up the grind from there.

I'd also try a stock (non-VST) basket with a lower dose (and correspondingly tighter grind), to see how that compares to your current setup.

Also, what coffee are you using, and is it fresh?

Mostafafawzy (original poster)

#8: Post by Mostafafawzy (original poster) »

i'll try going as fine as i can to see if this solves the issue.

I've never tried the stock basket that came with my machine because i was always reading that the vst gives you better results if you can get it right.

my coffee is about 4 weeks old. my roaster says it's best to leave the coffee to rest for at least 3 weeks before using it.

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cafeIKE
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#9: Post by cafeIKE »

Mostafafawzy wrote:I've also updated my puck prep to the following.

spray the beans with a light mist before grinding
then i use my wdt tool to remove clumps and spread the grind evenly
i give it a slight bump to settle the grinds and then tamp
i'm using a 58.55mm tamper as i've read this is the perfect size for the vst basket
Which Dublin?
Wouldn't think you would need RDT in Eire, but might in CA

[Updating your profile to indicate grinder would help us sort your issue without having to read from the top]

Tamper is the least of your issue. Anything over 57mm is going to work fine. [What is the tamper face: flat, convex, concave, pointed, ???]
Is your tamp level? The tamper handle should sit in your palm so you can use your fingers to gauge the levelness of the tamper at the basket rim.
VST basket may be sub optimal for your gear due to pressure ramp

Assuming you grind directly into the PF:
  • lightly rap the PF hand on the corner of the counter 3x to settle the beans ensuring the basket remains level
  • smooth the grind flat with a N S E W move with the side of your hand
  • rap a couple of more times
  • tamp
  • pull
IMO, far too much ballet has been introduced into prep in the past decade

Mostafafawzy (original poster)

#10: Post by Mostafafawzy (original poster) »

So i'm using a Torr 58.55 mm tamper. What i'm doing at the moment is grinding into a plastic basket i got with the grinder and then transfering the grinds to the porta filter. i've been working on my tamp and i feel that it is level. At the start of the shot the espresso flows out very evenly and then is just a mess from there