If espresso is a little over extracted- do you decrease shot time or grind coarser first? - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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Jeff
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#11: Post by Jeff »

mbroder wrote:I thought of time as an output (a data point), but now I am thinking that adjusting time is essentially equal to adjusting the output volume/brew ratio. Do you disagree with that statement?
I can and do pull a 1:2 shot in 12 seconds and have pulled 1:1 in over 60 seconds, both with tasty results. The flow rate is not constant so time is not a replacement for ratio.

Which roaster? "Light" for a 20th century roaster can be medium-dark on today's scale.

mbroder (original poster)
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#12: Post by mbroder (original poster) »

Good Point. Been using 9 bars and experimenting with/without pre-infusion.

The Roaster is called Disco Coffee. The bean is Urban Blend. They say it's a light roast but I know you can't always trust the roast master.

Just starting to learn more about regions and their elevations and effects on the bean.

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Jeff
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#13: Post by Jeff »

I don't know that roaster. From the tasting notes, it sounds like it is "American light" which is sort of a medium or maybe medium light. Assuming that it has been well roasted, you shouldn't be getting a lot of roast bitterness if you pull shots that are a bit too long. The Central American coffees probably give it the familiar "coffee" base, with the Ethiopian adding the citrus note.

My guess is that you might be mistaking under extracted for over extracted. Have you tried using right-off-boil water and one of the relatively simple ways of heating the basket and portafilter? The "slosh-over" works reasonably well, without needing extra cups or the like. I'd try that with a brief pause (3 sec? 5 sec?) after you see drops before ramping up the pressure. I'd try going for a longer ratio, maybe 1:3. If it is underextraction, you usually don't want to coarsen up the grind*.


* There are techniques that use coarser grind, but let's get things working reasonably with a more traditional kind of shot.

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#14: Post by mbroder (original poster) »

Jeff You are Correct! Following your advice yielded a very noticeable improvement!

shot 1
niche setting 12.5
17 grams in 50 grams out in 35 seconds
pre-infuse at 2 bar with 5 second pause after first drop then to 9 bars

shot 2 - improvement on shot 1 in terms of harshness (sourness I think) but lost a little body
niche setting 11
17 grams in 51 grams out in 60 seconds
pre-infuse at 2 bar with 5 second pause after first drop then to 9 bars

Still tasting a bit of that sourness. From here do you grind finer and/or shorten the ratio to maybe 1:2.5? Any other variables I should consider?

After this I tried reducing to 6 bar thinking I would increase extraction by increasing contact time, but it did not yield an improvement. I find that perplexing?!? I have an idea of effects of extraction based on contact time, but now I realize I need to do some research about effects of pressure itself on extraction.

Also I very much appreciate your insight about focusing on ratio over time. Saved me from heading off into the desert with a false compass.

PS- A lot of flakes in this roast (something else for me to research). I'm looking forward to experimenting with a new roast. Plan on trying this next. https://nagadicoffee-406092.square.site ... cst=custom

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Jeff
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#15: Post by Jeff »

Trying to predict how a shot will taste "from first principles" is not something that I trust anyone to do. It also means that you won't try things that don't fit your current model of things. Getting experience and gaining insights are, for me, a lot more valuable.

I would definitely try shots in the 6-8 bar range. I also wouldn't draw any conclusions based on a shot or two if the differences are subtle. If they aren't subtle, you still need a handful of shots to confirm that it wasn't an anomaly.

In my experience with light roasts and a Niche Zero, I seldom needed to go beyond a 1:3 ratio.

If you haven't already, I'd suggest cupping or making a filter brew of the coffee so you know what is in it. You can't significantly alter that. If the coffee tastes bitter, baked, sour, ... making espresso from it isn't going to change that. More likely it will intensify what ever you taste in the cup.

I don't know the roaster you've linked, so it is hard for me to comment on them. I'm not sure what you're looking for in your coffee. That makes it hard for me or others to suggest roasters that might fit your objectives.

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spressomon
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#16: Post by spressomon »

What is your brew water temp?

Edit: I just noticed on the previous page you are using a Robot so presumably you are getting the PF pre-heated sufficiently and using boiling temp water. I will also assume, from your profile, you are at or near sea level so brew water temp should be sufficiently high, for beans needing higher brew water temp anyway
No Espresso = Depresso

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#17: Post by mbroder (original poster) »

yes, pre-heating the piston, and at 540 aboove Sea Level I tend to use 99.5 degrees.

I've tried different water temps as low as 96 and as high as 99.5 deg. C ( I am about to switch to F for more control)

I got a new bean today and it is much easier to work with. It looks much prettier (pic below with a 1:2) It tastes much better, however, I am not getting any sweetness which is why I am thinking I am still doing something wrong.

I feel like I have gotten really good in terms of choosing a grind size and brew ratio and then hitting a target time ( I hear there is debate if time is a variable or an output but for fun I estimate how long I think it will take and I am always very close) and target grams out. I'm just not sure why I am not tasting any sweetness.

Also cleaned my niche this morning and these new beans were roasted 9 days ago.

Only variable I feel I haven't explored enough is pressure. The instructions for the Cafelat Robot say to use 6 bar, so I have been experimenting with 6 bar and 9 bar both with/without pre-infusion.

I'm about to do a deep dive in understanding pressure.



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spressomon
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#18: Post by spressomon »

I have not used a Robot but have extensive experience for the past 7 years using my EspressoForge (and many pour over style espresso presses before that...). Varying levels of sweetness are bean and roast dependent. And I like to use Crystal Geyser spring water (~150ppm mineral content). For certain beans I can pull an incredibly sweet espresso and other beans not so much.

Most typically, I use medium-dark beans for the EF, IMS Competition 26.5 ridged basket, pre-heat the EF and use right off boiling water, 20g dose typically, 5-10 second or so pre-infusion at 3BAR then slow ramp up to 9BAR typically after first drops to 30-36 gram espresso more often than not.

I can easily cull sweet using Tony's Cafe Carmelita beans with my EF. I'm currently using a Rancho Sao Benedito Brazil honey process from Hardy Coffee Roasters (Omaha) and also "Dark Skies" from Peregrine Coffee Roasters (Colorado) and able to get what I would call a medium sweetness; very enjoyable. George Howell's Daterra Espresso Brazil (not the Sundrop variant) is another I have a fair amount of experience with and get a nice medium sweet espresso.

HTH
No Espresso = Depresso

mbroder (original poster)
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#19: Post by mbroder (original poster) »

Perhaps I am expecting a sweetness from these beans that could not be given the shot's I'm pulling are better than any espresso I have had at a shop. I have not had that many though maybe 10 different shops.

I don't taste any sweetness, and the bite I am describing as an aftertaste is subtle, and I wouldn't say it is unpleasant, just not the hint of sweetness I am expecting. I had a couple shots through some home machines that were smooth and a hint of sweet which is what got me into this.

I'm gonna focus my efforts on finding the right bean.

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#20: Post by mbroder (original poster) »

Yup....Twas the bean :)

Pulling good shots now. Thanks everyone. Very much appreciate your help.

Cheers,