Confused? Pour speed changes radically from single to double portafilter

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
TotalNewb
Posts: 4
Joined: 8 years ago

#1: Post by TotalNewb »

So, I've recently started to get into making great (on occasion) espresso's at home, and bought a pretty good dual boiler Alex Duetto 3, along with a Fiorenzato F4 Electronic Grinder. For some reason the speed of the shots coming out changes radically from the single and double portafilters. So I grind my double into the portafilter, then immediately grind the single shot (wife's preference) without changing ANYTHING and for some reason my shot comes streaming out with the double pulled in at about 15 seconds. Then immediately after my shot and cleaning the shower screen I pull my wife's single, and it comes through so slow it takes 60 seconds for hers. So these are the standard portafilters included with the machine, so I'd assume they are halfway descent.

Additional info: As best as I can tell the tamp is exactly the same, and the coffee amount (relative) measured the same.

What gives? It's hard to figure out when it's so inconsistent shot-to-shot.

flathead1
Posts: 153
Joined: 19 years ago

#2: Post by flathead1 »

Just as a small experiment try pulling the single first then the double. No reason, just another data point.
A Lever and a place to stand ...

LMWDP #152

emradguy
Supporter ♡
Posts: 914
Joined: 10 years ago

#3: Post by emradguy »

First, the grind setting will be different for the two baskets.

Second, are you weighing the dry dose? It's very important to weigh it to within a couple tenths of a gram...and the weight needs to be same every time for that basket, and the extraction needs to flow properly before you start changing things.

Personally, I strongly recommend using doubles all the time and tossing or drinking the amount you don't need for your wife's drinks...in particular because of my first point.
LMWDP #748

TotalNewb (original poster)
Posts: 4
Joined: 8 years ago

#4: Post by TotalNewb (original poster) »

flathead1 wrote:Just as a small experiment try pulling the single first then the double. No reason, just another data point.
I'll try this for experimentation in the morning. Thanks!

TotalNewb (original poster)
Posts: 4
Joined: 8 years ago

#5: Post by TotalNewb (original poster) »

emradguy wrote:First, the grind setting will be different for the two baskets.

Second, are you weighing the dry dose? It's very important to weigh it to within a couple tenths of a gram...and the weight needs to be same every time for that basket, and the extraction needs to flow properly before you start changing things.

Personally, I strongly recommend using doubles all the time and tossing or drinking the amount you don't need for your wife's drinks...in particular because of my first point.

Interesting, I always thought the grind is the same, regardless of which portafilter.
I'm weighing dry dose btw.

User avatar
aecletec
Posts: 1997
Joined: 13 years ago

#6: Post by aecletec »

To nail the cause to the portafilter you'll need to use the same basket.
If not, then you'll need to follow the above advice.
If the baskets are of the same dimensions then there could be variability in hole sizes, otherwise you'll just need different settings for different basket sizes.

Now, if the phenomenon still exists with the same basket in each portafilter, then beverage weight may be of more importance as the crema may be different between one and two spouts (surface area?) - the volume varies because of the gas in the foam rather than the amount of liquid.

TotalNewb (original poster)
Posts: 4
Joined: 8 years ago

#7: Post by TotalNewb (original poster) »

aecletec wrote:To nail the cause to the portafilter you'll need to use the same basket.
If not, then you'll need to follow the above advice.
If the baskets are of the same dimensions then there could be variability in hole sizes, otherwise you'll just need different settings for different basket sizes.

Now, if the phenomenon still exists with the same basket in each portafilter, then beverage weight may be of more importance as the cream may be different between one and two spouts (surface area?) - the volume varies because of the gas in the foam rather than the amount of liquid.
Thanks, I think I'll get everything dialled in again for my double, then work out the kinks on the single.
Just when I thought I had a very basic grip on getting a descent shot, this pops up. Guess it's a constant learning experience as I get used to different beans, freshness, and the subtle changes day-to-day.

User avatar
HB
Admin
Posts: 22021
Joined: 19 years ago

#8: Post by HB »

TotalNewb wrote:Interesting, I always thought the grind is the same, regardless of which portafilter.
How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique offers an evening's worth of background information on this point. TLDR: Different baskets often require grind adjustments, some minor and some not.
Dan Kehn

Mrboots2u
Posts: 645
Joined: 10 years ago

#9: Post by Mrboots2u »

What dose are you using in the double basket ?
What dose are you using in the single bakset ?

User avatar
Peppersass
Supporter ❤
Posts: 3692
Joined: 15 years ago

#10: Post by Peppersass »

HB wrote:How filter baskets affect espresso taste and barista technique offers an evening's worth of background information on this point. TLDR: Different baskets often require grind adjustments, some minor and some not.
A lot to wade through. In this much shorter post, Jim Schulman gives instructions for adjusting the dose from double to single to compensate for the difference in basket hole area.

The idea is this: Suppose you've successfully dialed in a double. You don't want to grind finer for the single because that could radically change the taste. So you adjust the dose in order to get the same flow rate at the same grind setting. The adjustment is based on the ratio of hole area between the two baskets.

I've tried Jim's method and it works most of the time with baskets made by the same manufacturer.