Can’t dial in new Breville Barista Express. Need help! - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
HH
Posts: 105
Joined: July 4th, 2017

Postby HH » Feb 06, 2018, 5:40 am

Hey Chris,
Sorry this is so stressful - I think we've all been in your position (I know I certainly have) and it's a frustrating place to be.

You said that your brew ratio is always around 1:3, which means with the 14.5g dose you are currently using you're ending up with an output of around 44g. That seems like quite a lot to me, and depending on the fineness of your grind it may be that you are tasting some over-extracted flavours. These tend to be described as bitter or astringent*, which sound similar to what you're describing in the cup.

You also mention this in your post

23 seconds shot stops

Instantly weigh the shot of espresso and watch the weight drop a little


Why is the shot being stopped at 23 seconds? Is this you stopping it or the machine? If it's you, why? Are you stopping when the shot reaches a certain volume, the appearance of blonding or due to some other reason? You mention that after the shot stops you weigh the shot. I would run the shot into the cup/vessel whilst it is on a scale, so you can measure the output by weight. As Lancelot says, this is the only way to accurately measure output and therefore brew ratios.

Have you tried adjusting the grind to get a lower yield/brew ratio? I would recommend trying a 1:2 ratio and seeing whether that gives you more of the flavours you're aiming for. I personally wouldn't worry about blonding or normale/ristretto nomenclature at this stage - the main thing is to get coffee you're enjoying.
Try shutting off the shot when the scales hit 29g and see whether it improves things.

Are you able to post a video to show us what the shot looks like?

Hang in there! You'll get this sorted before long.

* https://baristahustle.com/blogs/barista ... o-taste-it

BillBurrGrinder
Posts: 82
Joined: February 4th, 2018

Postby BillBurrGrinder replying to HH » Feb 06, 2018, 7:40 pm

Thanks Henry!

The shot stops (on automatic 2shot setting) at 23 with that grind and amount. It also appears to be correct based on the blondeing and pour of the shot.

Yes I am getting around 44g but if I adjust the grind coarse it will brew faster than 23...so I did not really focus on brew ratio by changing grind (I will try that).

I received the Lavazza today...going to see if the brew ratio is any different (once grind and time of shot are close). Also curious to see if it's bitter like my current beans (if it is, I know it's either the grind size, grind consistency, water temp wayyy too hot, or crappy water...swing as how I am only using 14.5g

HH
Posts: 105
Joined: July 4th, 2017

Postby HH » Feb 06, 2018, 8:48 pm

Cool - let us know how you get on with the Lavazza. If the new beans don't fix the problem try dialling the grinder back a bit so you're getting a finer grind that yields 29g of espresso out of a 14.5g dose in 25-35 seconds. You'll be in the right ball park then and causative factors should be easier to identify.

BillBurrGrinder
Posts: 82
Joined: February 4th, 2018

Postby BillBurrGrinder replying to HH » Feb 06, 2018, 9:46 pm

Will do!

The thing that bothers me about timing these shots is....PREINFUSION!.....I feel like I need to brew for 40 seconds because the thing doesn't kick in for 10 seconds...sounds like it drops some water, waits another 5 seconds, then starts to build pressure.

I'm sure there is a great debate over preinfusion counting so I will not open that can of worms...and stick with 25-35 seconds from button press. Would this be an acceptable approach?


By the way....WHO KNEW BREWING ESPRESSO PROPERLY WAS SO FRIGGIN OUTRAGEOUS? DO THEY GIVE OUT PHD's FOR THIS? I FEEL LIKE HEISENBERG!

And I'm extremely curious to know if there are any physicists or chemists on this forum who can figure out how to dial a bean in based on density, acidity, water ph, etc. without tasting it. :shock:

.

klund
Posts: 49
Joined: June 24th, 2017

Postby klund » Feb 06, 2018, 11:19 pm

BillBurrGrinder wrote:The thing that bothers me about timing these shots is....PREINFUSION!.....I feel like I need to brew for 40 seconds because the thing doesn't kick in for 10 seconds...sounds like it drops some water, waits another 5 seconds, then starts to build pressure.

I'm sure there is a great debate over preinfusion counting so I will not open that can of worms...and stick with 25-35 seconds from button press. Would this be an acceptable approach?


As somebody with a Breville, I will state that I DO NOT count the preinfusion in the shot clock. I aim for 25 seconds after first drop. When my grind is on, it is a 10 second preinfusion, followed by 25 second extraction, to get 36g of espresso out of an 18.8g dose.

Bret
Posts: 288
Joined: November 20th, 2015

Postby Bret replying to klund » Feb 07, 2018, 12:02 am

+1^^

When I use preinfusion, I count it and record it separate from the shot time as klund describes.

I'll also add that using preinfusion, for me, was not as useful as I hoped, and it added new variables to consider and control (in addition to timing the shots :) ). Do you pre infuse for a fixed time every time, or a fixed result (first drops appearing in the bottomless pf) and accept the varying times to achieve that? I prefer pre infusing to the first drop, since that is a physical & visible result, and the varying times may help to understand which is providing the better result. Maybe one grind size gets you a longer time to first drop AND a better flavor, and a different grind gets you to a different time to first drop and a less tasty result.

For my purposes I found that dialing in a shot as close as I can without any preinfusion works well, and then further experimentation with preinfusion can let me know if it is helpful or not worthwhile. I'm not recommending my approach, or suggesting that preinfusion is not useful -- that's just how it happens most of the time for me.

Bret
Posts: 288
Joined: November 20th, 2015

Postby Bret » Feb 07, 2018, 12:07 am

BillBurrGrinder wrote:
By the way....WHO KNEW BREWING ESPRESSO PROPERLY WAS SO FRIGGIN OUTRAGEOUS? DO THEY GIVE OUT PHD's FOR THIS? I FEEL LIKE HEISENBERG!



There is no cat at all, but don't tell Schrodinger...

HH
Posts: 105
Joined: July 4th, 2017

Postby HH » Feb 07, 2018, 12:18 am

I'm with Bret and klund on this. Having experimented with both counting and not counting it, I now don't generally include preinfusion in my shot time. I find it doesn't usually make a massive difference to how my shots taste, but your mileage may vary on this. I'd do what Bret recommends and get things dialled in without counting pre-infusion, then experimenting more if you want once you're happy with how your shots are tasting.

BillBurrGrinder
Posts: 82
Joined: February 4th, 2018

Postby BillBurrGrinder » Feb 07, 2018, 2:33 am

Well I don't think I can turn preinfusion off...it's automatic and set to a timer I believe. Not too worried about how it affects shots until I'm ready for a Rocket upgrade. By that time, I will be using much different coffee I'm sure. Just trying to dial in a decent shot first, eventually seek out tweaking certain flavor characteristics and upgrading grinder to give me that ability.

What are you guys pulling shots of? Favorite beans and flavor profiles?


:?:

HH
Posts: 105
Joined: July 4th, 2017

Postby HH » Feb 07, 2018, 5:52 am

Don't worry too much about the length of time for your preinfusion. If it's built in then it's all good - as long as it's consistent that's the main thing.

I'm very lucky with the coffee we have available here in New Zealand. Living in the capital, Wellington, we have fifteen roasters in a city of around 500,000 people. It's amazing, and means it's easy to try new flavours and roasts. I'm still relatively new to espresso (and New Zealand for that matter), so I tend to try whatever looks exciting and use it as a chance to learn. Either learning to craft the shot as close as I can to how it was served to me in the roastery, or learning to taste the differences between different blends and regions. It's all really exciting.

The coffees I keep coming back to are a wonderful Tadesse Meskela from Peru roasted by People's Coffee, all plums and cocoa on the finish, and the delicious Five Star by Havana Coffee Works which is a velvety chocolate and molasses in the cup. It's a deeply un-trendy comfort blend which I can't seem to get enough of!

That's a good point actually - the very first coffee I tried to dial in on my Breville was a decaf I'd never tried. I know, I know! What a moron! I had no idea what it was meant to taste like and no idea whether I was actually going to like the coffee. If you know you enjoy a specific bean or blend I'd start with that one when dialling in, then you know what it should taste like and what you're trying to recreate with your machine.

Sorry for rambling - I got over excited :D

 
Sponsored by cerinicoffee.com
www.cerinicoffee.com: official US importer for Olympia Express