Fast and spraying espresso pull on Breville Infuser with coffee ground using Smart Grinder Pro

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

#1: Post by glow »

Please advise on how I should correct my espresso making.

Tried grinding between grind size 14 to grind size 4 on my breville smart grinder pro but it didn't seem to slow the shot down at all or help with channeling (worried about clumping).

Have been experimenting shots at grind size 4 with the use of wdt stirrer and without to see if that helps with channeling but it doesn't seem to make a difference :(

Without wdt stirrer but taps on base before leveling and tamping (18g in, 36.6g out in 15s)

With wdt stirrer before leveling and tamping (18g in 38.8g out in 17s)

Attaching some photos of the grinds, pucks and espresso shot for reference if they are of any help!

Thank you in advance!

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#2: Post by Jeff »

The flow rate looks very high for a classic espresso roast.

Several things to check first, before chasing solutions to problems that don't really exist:

* Grind finer
* Make sure your coffee is fresh

Typically, "espresso roast" coffees become hard to extract well after a few weeks after roast, in a roaster-sealed bag. I don't know how your local roasters package their coffees or label them. Here in the US, things labeled "best by" instead of "roasted on" tend to be stale by the time they reach the market shelves.

I don't know the Breville models too well, but I've read that some of them with thermoblocks (or "thermojet") brewers benefit from a short flush to get the brew temperature up to where it should be, before locking in the portafilter and pulling the shot.

glow (original poster)

#3: Post by glow (original poster) »

Hey Jeff! Thanks for responding! Yeah the shots are really quick and I can't seem to figure how or where to start troubleshooting from.

Will get down to the lowest setting on my grinder to see what happens for my next pull and update again.

These shots were pulled on 23nov and the roast on date on the bag is 14nov. Would that be considered fresh in your view? Beans (espresso roast) are from Hulia, Colombia, mixed variety, washed for processing if that helps? I keep them stored in vaccum containers with the air removed each time I'm done using the packs to try and prolong them as much as I can.

As for the flushing, I do flush the grouphead for a few seconds and dry it off with a dishcloth before inserting the portafilter for each shot.

glow (original poster)

#4: Post by glow (original poster) »

Updates! Got my grinder to grind size 1 (lowest setting without adjusting the inner burrs) but that didn't choke my breville infuser :(
Used a wdt stirrer. 18.6g in, 38.6g out in 24s. Still observing spraying as well.

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#5: Post by Jeff »

"Grind finer"

I believe that there may be an internal adjustment that allow you to shift the range (finer).

This seems to be from "BrevilleSupport"

glow (original poster)

#6: Post by glow (original poster) »

Thank you for sharing the video. I will make some adjustments and try again before updating on how it goes.

Also, do you think grinding finer will help to resolve the spraying issue as well?

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#7: Post by Jeff »

It looks to me that the puck integrity falls apart because the grind is too coarse. The "spraying" may just be part of that.


#8: Post by jasiano »

I used to have a Breville Infuser. They are a real pain to get pretty shots on, I think because the pressure is set VERY high on them for a start.
Also what basket/bottomlesss PF are you using? I bought a bottomless off eBay for that machine, the basket that came with it was rubbish, was much more consistent with thee stock basket and the cheapo bottomless PF.

Also had a smart grinder pro and I could get it fine enough to choke the machine, but only with fresh beans. Anything too stale and regardless of how fine you have set the grinder, it's going to spurt & gush.
How long since the beans were roasted?

EDIT: also, I used to find that 18g was too much for the stock basket. May not necessarily be the cause of your issues, but I found 16g was about right, too much would rub/contact the group shower screen and the water wouldn't flow right.

Down Under

glow (original poster)

#9: Post by glow (original poster) »

Hey Jason and Jeff! Thanks for the tips!

Some updates! Did a couple of changes stepwise and arrived at this one today! Reduced inner burrs of smart grinder pro to 4 from 6 (factory setting), grind size at 1, dose of 17g, tamped with the tamper that came with the infuser instead of the other end of the leveling tool I used. Got 33.8g output in 29s and it looked far better than what I started out with:
Edit: I read online about reviews that the baskets that come with the online bottomless portafilter may not be as good so I stuck with the breville non pressurised double shot basket. Thankfully it is a decent fit with this bottomless portafilter holder that I got from online.

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#10: Post by iploya »

glow wrote:Reduced inner burrs of smart grinder pro to 4 from 6 (factory setting), grind size at 1...Got 33.8g output in 29s.
Flipping through the thread. Good that you are chronicling the results/improvements with video, that helps.

As expected, grinding finer moved you in the right direction, but you're not there yet. Shot falls apart pretty quickly. No personal experience with that equipment but it would concern me that flow is this fast on a grind setting of "1." Is there a further burr adjustment you can do (you said factory setting from "6" down to 4" - could you move even lower)? Ideally you would have a usable *range* of espresso grind and not have to turn the dial all the way down.

As alluded to above, the coffee also matters. I hate to judge coffee quality by just this factor but the espresso looks very dark and monochrome coming out, like I've seen when attempting to use cheap (stale, over-roasted) grocery store coffee. Better/fresher coffee (say, roast date <1 month). It can't be the whole problem, but it could make a big difference.

I also had a very frustrating user experience years ago with a cheap Breville espresso machine where there was no way to get acceptable results no matter how good the grind. Based on price point ($575 for Infuser), yours is likely much better than that much older model I once owned, but it might be at least a factor (also as alluded to above). EDIT: If it has adjustable pre-infusion settings like on the Breville Dual Boiler, you could try setting the pre-infusion pressure at like 85% and the pre-infusion time long (like 40s) to see if lowering the pressure a tad helps.