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

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mbroder
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#1: Post by mbroder »

Newbie here, working with a light roast, shots are a bit over extracted. Yield was 1:2.2 at about 28 seconds.

I know grinding coarser will run the water quicker so it will reach my yield quicker, but since the last shot hit this ratio at 28 seconds, would you first run the same grind and see what 24 seconds tastes like or would you first try a coarser grind as the next step?

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cafeIKE
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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

How long is a piece of string?

Question is unanswerable.

Sometimes all four at the same time: dose, grind, time and temperature.

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Jeff
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#3: Post by Jeff »

What are you tasting that makes you think the shot is over-extracted?

What roaster? "Light" is a loose term and your "light" may be my "medium dark". A well-roasted medium-light or lighter is very hard to "over-extract". They mainly get watered down if you go longer than needed.

espressoren
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#4: Post by espressoren »

Not sure there is one right answer, interested in seeing what people say.

I think it depends on how far off you think you are and other aspects of the shot. If the shot seems "mostly there" then sure, drop two seconds from the shot time or and see what that does. Or add half a gram to the dose.

Absent channeling or prep issues at fault, if it seems a bit over extracted at 1:2.2 I'd try for 1:2, and that may mean grinding finer if you want to keep the same shot time. If you go coarser it will be counter to reaching 1:2, you will have higher flow through the puck and need to reduce your shot time as well to compensate.

I think the counterintuitive thing is we think about finer grinds being easier to extract, and if we are over extracted already then going finer seems wrong. However, reducing the amount of water through the puck is also important if we are trying to reduce extraction.

This is a round about way of saying if it were me I would probably grind a bit finer. My very basic understanding of espresso physics is that this will result in slowing the flow, stretching out the shot time, so if overextracted at 1:2.2 is at 28 seconds, maybe you are pushing that out to 32 seconds, and 28 seconds is now 1:2.

espressoren
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#5: Post by espressoren »

Yes and I agree light roasts are hard to over extract. Worth ensuring you don't mean under extracted!

iyayy
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#6: Post by iyayy »

each settings will more or less affects other parameters.
simple answer is pick whats easiest for you to manage.

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Jeff
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#7: Post by Jeff »

Still awaiting some feedback form the OP, so this may be OT:

Why are people obsessing over time?

Time is an output.

It is the result of the extraction parameters that work for a given water, coffee, grind, dose, equipment, and extraction profile to get the desired flavor profile. It has already been well established that you can pull a great shot not only around 25 seconds, but in the 10-15 second range, as well as the 30-60 range.

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spressomon
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#8: Post by spressomon »

^ This!
No Espresso = Depresso

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

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 know end weight AKA brew ratio is easier to measure than time which is why we do things this way, but as I am pulling the shot I am learning to go with my gut and make a change on the fly based on how it's looking).

Assuming this to be accurate, I am wondering if there is a general consensus about which one would test first when it comes to over extracting a high altitude light (acccording to the roaster) roast. I think I will try adjusting the brew ratio AKA less time/less output weight and go from there.

But...perhaps you are right Jeff, that I cannot tell under vs over extraction ( I can spot the difference when it is extreme but this is subtle so I could be wrong) and so I will try more time/more output weight if that doesn't work.

Thanks for your input everyone.

...oh did I mention I am working with a cafelat robot, so a lot of variation obviously.

BodieZoffa
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#10: Post by BodieZoffa »

Jeff wrote:Still awaiting some feedback form the OP, so this may be OT:

Why are people obsessing over time?

Time is an output.

It is the result of the extraction parameters that work for a given water, coffee, grind, dose, equipment, and extraction profile to get the desired flavor profile. It has already been well established that you can pull a great shot not only around 25 seconds, but in the 10-15 second range, as well as the 30-60 range.
Kinda the same reason some just have to trust using a scale to weigh output when a scale has no idea how things are on point with taste/texture. I'm in the zone of pushing for 70+ second extractions with less than a 1 oz. yield and the end result is unbelievable at times.