Can’t dial in new Breville Barista Express. Need help! - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
klund

Postby klund » Feb 07, 2018, 10:50 am

Bret wrote: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?


(If I remember correctly) I have my preinfusion set to 7 seconds at 65%. That tends to get first drop at 10 seconds for me. I've played around with the variables a bit, and always end up here. But I don't try out a lot of different beans, so others will find different results, I'm sure.

klund

Postby klund » Feb 07, 2018, 10:53 am

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


My go-to favorite is Blue Jaguar from Redbird Coffee. When the weather warms up and I start roasting again I will start with Sweet Maria's Espresso Monkey Blend.

Espresso_Junky

Postby Espresso_Junky » replying to klund » Feb 07, 2018, 1:23 pm

I've been home roasting for going on 2 years now and of all the blends/single origins I've roasted I always order Altiplano and Espresso Monkey, both from SM. What outdoor temps are you currently experiencing? I've recently roasted as low as 14 degrees a handful of mornings in 10-15 mph wind on our balcony. Was a bit cool, but I will do anything for the espresso addiction.

klund

Postby klund » Feb 07, 2018, 4:06 pm

Espresso_Junky wrote:I've been home roasting for going on 2 years now and of all the blends/single origins I've roasted I always order Altiplano and Espresso Monkey, both from SM.


Altiplano is my other favorite! Rock solid beans.

Espresso_Junky wrote:What outdoor temps are you currently experiencing? I've recently roasted as low as 14 degrees a handful of mornings in 10-15 mph wind on our balcony. Was a bit cool, but I will do anything for the espresso addiction.


We've had lots of sub-zero nights in January/February, and highs are barely getting to 10. The bigger issue is that we've had enough snow that my workable space on the deck has shrunk.

And, to be honest, I really like Blue Jaguar, so sometimes lazy is easy and tasty.

BillBurrGrinder

Postby BillBurrGrinder » Feb 07, 2018, 9:22 pm

HH wrote: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


I wish there were options around me but unfortunately, there is not. I live in an area where a cheesesteak joint started removing cheddar cheese from the 3-Cheese steak sandwich (provolone, Swiss, and cheddar) and replaced it with American cheese. "People like American better" is the response I got.

So you can imagine there is no market for high quality anything here.

I've learned in the past week that I will most definitely be using different beans for shots as I do for Flat Whites, Cappuccinos etc.
Something I never thought of before.

I brewed a couple shots of Lavazza Super Crema.
1) 15.5g , forgot to time, 31g out!!!! Finally the BR is good! Tasted Sour
2) Grind one click finer, 15.5g, 25sec, 38g out. Still sour but neither tasted at all weak or thin...

So I'm going to jack up the temp +2 degrees , grind 1 click finer and pull again to see if it un-sours the shot.


Changing two settings at once because I am not close enough to dial it in and tweak it.

HH

Postby HH » Feb 07, 2018, 11:58 pm

I brewed a couple shots of Lavazza Super Crema.
1) 15.5g , forgot to time, 31g out!!!! Finally the BR is good! Tasted Sour
2) Grind one click finer, 15.5g, 25sec, 38g out. Still sour but neither tasted at all weak or thin...

So I'm going to jack up the temp +2 degrees , grind 1 click finer and pull again to see if it un-sours the shot.


Hey it sounds like you're winning!
Here's the bit I found most useful in that earlier link about tweaking espresso

How to adjust dose and grind to fix the balance for most coffees
If the coffee tastes too bland, the caramels and sugars are masking the flavors. Increase the dose, and coarsen the grind to keep the flow the same. This will reduce the proportion of sugars, while keeping the acid bitter balance the same.
If the coffee tastes aggressive, you need more caramels and sugars, less flavors. Decrease the dose, and make the grind finer to keep the flow the same. This will increase the proportion of sugars, while keeping the acid bitter balance the same.
If the coffee is too bright, with lemon, fruit, apple, wine and other acidic flavors, keep the dose the same, make the grind finer, to lower the flow rate. Make a slower flowing, more ristretto shot. This will reduce the acidity relative to the bitterness.
If the coffee is too bitter, with too much "bright bitter" flavors in lighter roasts, like toast, wood, or lemon peel, or "dark bitter" flavors, in darker roasts, like blackcurrant, clove, tobacco, smoky pine sap, or peat, keep the dose the same and make the grind coarser. Make a faster flowing, more lungo shot. This will increase the acidity relative to the bitterness


Increasing the temperature can certainly increase sugars in the cup, so I reckon you're on the right track. Looking forward to hearing what happens!

BillBurrGrinder

Postby BillBurrGrinder » Feb 08, 2018, 7:38 pm

HH wrote:Hey it sounds like you're winning!
Here's the bit I found most useful in that earlier link about tweaking espresso



Increasing the temperature can certainly increase sugars in the cup, so I reckon you're on the right track. Looking forward to hearing what happens!


15.5g in
1 click finer grind
+4 degrees temp
34 seconds (start to finish from button press)
35 grams out

Still tasted almost identical to the other two shots...good body, crema, color, Still sour.

I have not seen others describe Lavazza Super Crema as "SOUR" so I either have much better taste in coffee :wink: or something needs to be adjusted...not sure what else I can adjust to get the sour to go away.

Klatch WBC ordered and should be here Saturday...process of elimination to make sure it's not just the beans.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

-Chris

Espresso_Junky

Postby Espresso_Junky » Feb 08, 2018, 7:57 pm

klund wrote:Altiplano is my other favorite! Rock solid beans.



We've had lots of sub-zero nights in January/February, and highs are barely getting to 10. The bigger issue is that we've had enough snow that my workable space on the deck has shrunk.

And, to be honest, I really like Blue Jaguar, so sometimes lazy is easy and tasty.


Funny you mention the Blue Jaguar as that was my go to coffee for some time before I started home roasting. Never did care for the signature Redbird due to the hazelnut finish, which I can't tolerate. Blue Jaguar never disappointed either...

Yes those temps are a bit cold to be roasting in.

User avatar
slipchuck

Postby slipchuck » Feb 08, 2018, 8:09 pm

I have the Infuser which is the same as the 870 (I owned that one first)
I measured the temperature at the puck and no matter what I did the temperature was always too low (which will result in sour shots)my infuser drops 20f from the start to finish of the shot!
I did some experiments and found this works to get the shot hotter Breville temperature regulating tip

Hope this helps

Randy
“There is nobody you can’t learn to like once you’ve heard their story.”

BillBurrGrinder

Postby BillBurrGrinder » replying to slipchuck » Feb 08, 2018, 8:59 pm

I would rather return the machine and buy something that works properly. If this is the case...I will be returning it and advise against Breville units.

Before I jump to conclusions I will need to run some tests to make sure it's not the temperature that's the problem. The last beans I was using were way too bitter....these are too sour....need to test 2 more beans before suspecting the machine.

Correction on settings:

15.5g in
+4 degrees heat (hottest setting)
34 second pull
36.5g out

Sour shot
Dumped steamed milk in it so it masked the flavor.
:roll: