Can't pull an espresso longer than 15 seconds

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Skimball

#1: Post by Skimball »

I'm a TOTAL newbie here with a Breville Barista Pro. I understand that the espresso isn't supposed to start running until after the 8 second mark and should continue running for 24-32 seconds. Despite fresh beans (roasted 6 days ago) and changing the grind from 15 to 10, I'm still only pulling the drink for 15 seconds. I can't seem to get past that. I've tried tamping with more pressure, too. How can I best attack this problem one variable at a time? I'm getting so frustrated from seeing zero progress that I'm ready to give up entirely.

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yakster
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#2: Post by yakster »

Grind finer.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272

Ken5

#3: Post by Ken5 »

Had the barista express and I could not get pressure even when setting the external wheel to 1, I had to change the internal settings too, which should not be necessary.

Grind size has more effect than tamp from what I hear. Most important thing with tamp pressure is to keep it the same so that you can concentrate on adjusting grind. Another thing that will cause low pressure is channeling. Preparing the puck is more than pressing with the tamper. You need to make sure that the grounds are even and well distributed otherwise the high spots will compress as much as it can, but the shallow or softer areas might not pack at all... and of course the water will go that way rather than through the harder compacted area. Also cracks and separation of the grounds from the basket will create a lower pressure flow. Making sure the tamper is level when you press is very important too.

Many YouTube videos on preparing the puck.

Also, don't just dump the grinds out when the shot is done. Take a look at it to see if it is even, press your finger down in multiple spots to see if it has soft spots. Then knock it out to see if it has even thickness.

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sweaner
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#4: Post by sweaner »

Just keep going finer until you get what you want. If you can't choke the machine by going finer, it is a grinder issue.
Scott
LMWDP #248

Bluenoser

#5: Post by Bluenoser »

Ken5 wrote:Had the barista express and I could not get pressure even when setting the external wheel to 1, I had to change the internal settings too, which should not be necessary. .
Internal adjustment wouldn't be there if it wasn't required for some beans :)

Ken5

#6: Post by Ken5 » replying to Bluenoser »



True, true, true. Left out the part where I had to turn the default of 6 all the way down to 1 just to grind fine enough, my bad. :(

klee11mtl

#7: Post by klee11mtl »

I also have a Barista Pro. My experience has been the baskets are larger than I expected. If I don't use at least 11g in a single or 18g in a double, I get poor results

DamianWarS

#8: Post by DamianWarS »

Skimball wrote:I'm a TOTAL newbie here with a Breville Barista Pro. I understand that the espresso isn't supposed to start running until after the 8 second mark and should continue running for 24-32 seconds. Despite fresh beans (roasted 6 days ago) and changing the grind from 15 to 10, I'm still only pulling the drink for 15 seconds. I can't seem to get past that. I've tried tamping with more pressure, too. How can I best attack this problem one variable at a time? I'm getting so frustrated from seeing zero progress that I'm ready to give up entirely.
As luck would have it James Hoffmann just posted a video on grind size and has some useful tips. But as others have mentioned if your shots are 15 second go finer, you can taste them but they are probably pretty sour. In the Hoffmann video he recommends to use the grind to get in the window of good espresso then start to play with other things like dose, shot time, yeild, etc... but at 15 seconds your not there yet so if you went from 15 grind setting to 10 bring it down another 5 or go the finest to see what sort of impact it has. Tamping needs to be done level and consistent firmness "hard" tamps have very little impact (no pun intended), I would focus on getting the grind size right before approaching anything else.

fronesis

#9: Post by fronesis »

I'm just going to say what everyone else is saying, but perhaps to put it more starkly: if I'm dealing with a bunch of new equipment, the FIRST thing I do is grind fine enough to CHOKE the machine. That gives me a REFERENCE point. Once I know that I'm choking it *here*, then I can move from that position to start dialing things in.