Donut Extractions on Profitec Pro 800 - Basket/Dose?

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

#1: Post by Tfili »

What baskets and doses are using on your Pro 800?

I'm getting donut extractions on my Profitec Pro 800 about 90% of the time, and looking for ideas to help fix it. With it being most of the time and not all the time, I do think it has to do with my technique. I'm hoping to learn a couple things so if my technique and basket prep is the culprit, I can get more consistent. I have been making 3-4 double espresso's a day for about 5 years, so I'm hoping I can make good espresso more than 10% of the time.

- Profitec Pro 800 with a Monolith Flat with SSP.
- 58.5mm tamper, usually use 58.5mm metal dispersion disc.
- Temperature managed grouphead, tested with scace regularly.
- Light/Medium Roasts, 7-20 days post roast, various quality roasters.
- Grind into a catch cup, pour into hot basket and portafilter (pulled from machine), WDT, level with fingers or WDT tool, spin with level tool, tamp, place metal disc, lock in portafilter.
- Usually use 20g VST, down dosed as low as 13g, spent a lot of time at 14g and 15g, now back around 17/18g.
- Similar results using stock double and triple baskets.
- Happens with or without the metal dispersion disc. Not using the disc makes a lot more mess and gives some relatively deep divots on top of puck. I know this takes up some of my limited headspace on the pro 800.

The espresso taste is rarely smooth or clean. It does taste like a good portion was over extracted (the edges from the donut).

Appreciate any answers on my first question and ideas I could try.

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cafeIKE
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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

Does the centre never fill or does the flow start as a ring and fill in a second or so?

How much headspace do you have? Does the puck hit the screen on lock-in? If so, reduce dose in 0.25g increments and grind a partial tick finer

Photos?

Tfili (original poster)

#3: Post by Tfili (original poster) »

The centre fills in within a second or two after the preinfusion, which I usually do 5-10 seconds. So the centre fills in 6-12 seconds after the outer edge has had many drops of coffee through it.

I have reduced the dose all the way to 13g with little impact. I'll have minimal headspace at 18g, but a few mm I'm guessing at 13g.

I can try to take some photos on my next few shots.

Thank you.

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MB

#4: Post by MB »

WDT and level with acupuncture needles tool. Be aware of pattern you use as you may be working the outside more and the density of the inside could be higher.

As an experiment, try ending the WDT with a light stir in the middle, no finger leveling, no spinning tool. Separately, you could try a a light nutation of the tamper before the tamp if you are still having issues.
LMWDP #472

Tfili (original poster)

#5: Post by Tfili (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies. Below is a quick video of my extraction this morning. I think it was a pretty even tamp, 17.5g in the profitec triple basket. This shot didn't gush out the edges like what happens sometimes, and it did taste okay, not great.

Matt - I'll try your suggestions. I'm very conscious of the WDT technique and tried many patterns. I've tried nutation without much success a few months ago but will try again. It is hard with the 58.5mm tamper with smaller dose in larger basket, but I'll try again or use the 58mm tamper.

I've always wanted a Levtamp or another precise tamper to help ensure my tamps are level, but I don't think it should matter that much. Never had an issue with my other espresso machines.

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espressotime

#6: Post by espressotime »

Tfili wrote:Thanks for the replies. Below is a quick video of my extraction this morning. I think it was a pretty even tamp, 17.5g in the profitec triple basket. This shot didn't gush out the edges like what happens sometimes, and it did taste okay, not great.

Matt - I'll try your suggestions. I'm very conscious of the WDT technique and tried many patterns. I've tried nutation without much success a few months ago but will try again. It is hard with the 58.5mm tamper with smaller dose in larger basket, but I'll try again or use the 58mm tamper.

I've always wanted a Levtamp or another precise tamper to help ensure my tamps are level, but I don't think it should matter that much. Never had an issue with my other espresso machines.

video
That,s a channeling walhalla.

ShotClock
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#7: Post by ShotClock »

I wonder if you're grinding too fine and getting channeling at the edge of the basket. Maybe try going a lot coarser with the grind, then gradually tightening it up and seeing how things go.

Edit - as mentioned above, this looks like channeling to me.

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Mad Scientist

#8: Post by Mad Scientist »

In troubleshooting mode, skip the screen.

When you remove the portafilter (when the pressure is gone and no sneeze happens) you should have a flat surface of the spent puck.

Here is what you might find when channeling occurred.

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day

Tfili (original poster)

#9: Post by Tfili (original poster) »

I just tried to combat channeling by giving a good shake in the catch cup before dumping into basket, still to WDT, etc. No screen. Turned out well, no donut, very good even taste.

Picture in basket doesn't look to show edge channeling, but a small crack through the middle - this could have been caused while removing portafilter. Picture of bottom of puck flipped over shows darker edge around half the puck. But again, this shot looked good with no donut and tasted really good.

Thanks for the feedback. Will do some further troubleshooting.


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cafeIKE
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#10: Post by cafeIKE »

Pucks are compost. Reading them ranks right up there with tea leaves or chicken bones.

What does the water look like coming out of the shower screen during the pre-infusion?

Try a shorter pre-infusion and a quicker ramp. If your prep is good, puck integrity could be compromised by very uneven wetting.