Jack Leveler + E37S = Channeling like crazy... Can't Win - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
DavidGinNYC

#21: Post by DavidGinNYC »

Glad to see you're getting better results.

I definitely agree that your issue was distribution. I'll share my experiences here, because I have the same E37s grinder, and I also use an Aso Jack leveler. This is what works for me, but it's not fully in line with what others have suggested. So YMMV.
  • I grind directly into the basket, and I don't do anything special - no shaking, no rotating, etc.
  • Using a dosing funnel, I do a pretty vigorous WDT, but I'm using a rather thick metal probe, around 2.5-3mm thick.
  • I then use the leveler to smooth the puck and lightly compress it. If the grounds are particularly uneven after my WDT, I'll first spin the leveler while holding it a little above the rim of the basket, then repeat with it fully set into the basket.
  • Then I pull my shot - no tamper used. And I get pretty consistent results - 18g in:36g out in 25-30 seconds, and more importantly it tastes good.
Ok, a few disclaimers are in order as well:
  • I brew primarily medium to medium-dark roasted Italian style beans, such as Caffe Lusso GCM or Stumptown Hairbender. If you are pulling shots of some lightly roasted African varietal it may not work the same
  • This was on my E61 machine, and i'm not using it at the moment. I'm trying to get my shots perfect on my manual Cremina, and I don't have a distributor sized for that basket yet, so I'm struggling a bit myself with that machine


Anyway, good luck working through the issues, and I'm sure you'll find the E37s is up to the challenge.

David

JP2019
Supporter

#22: Post by JP2019 »

I grind directly into the basket, and I don't do anything special - no shaking, no rotating, etc.
Thanks for your reply! Yes, this was what I was trying to do. I figured the hook that holds the portafilter is purposely there in order to leave it in place while being able to do something else, but looks like I will have to maneuver the basket every time. I am going to look into a dosing funnel, the LevTamp and whisk of some sort next because my flavors are now sour lol.

At least I am getting a better extraction haha... one step at a time, 20 bags of coffee later...

The good thing to know is that I don't need to exchange the grinder. I liked the Atom but the buttons looked cheap to me.

brianBart

#23: Post by brianBart »

Hey So I recently have gone to a new machine (profitec 500) and started with using a jack leveler as well and having a whole load of issues ( some similar) I am finding that the distribution is really effecting the consistency of my shot; after messing around with the different levels on the leveler, i have finally managed to get a good yield/time ratio!

However, the shot still remains undrinkable at 18g/36g @ 25 seconds. So back to the drawing board. Let me know if you want to bounce ideas or figure something out!

JP2019
Supporter

#24: Post by JP2019 »

Hey Brian,

For me, I am getting better shots but taste is still off as well. I almost have eliminated the channeling. Similar to you, I just adjusted the leveler so it was more shallow and then tamp after. Like some one suggested here, I find when I tamp after, even though it looked level from the jack leveler, I find the front to always be higher until I tamp even.

When grinding, I find that if I dont move the basket left and right, I get worse shots. This movement was suggested here as well and helps with my distribution. I also found this thing called, shuffle snoot that is on the E37t. I am trying to get the part ordered and try it out. Based on that snoot, its suppose to improve distribution. You can see it in the photos here. The E37S has the 2 holes to mount this, so going to try it.

https://www.ceado.com/en/product/75.html

I still am not getting the yield and time right. I am pulling more ristretto shots lol. However, in talking to a pro barista and also completing a one on one with Clive's coffee class, I learned that the time is where you can adjust if you got the general 1:2 ration down. Here is what I was told:

"This is a good base to start with.
Too acidic? Extend shot time. Too bitter/astringent? Speed up the flow rate. So in your case 19g in 38/40 g out in 25-30 sec. Taste and adjust from there.
In general:
The lighter roast the hotter the temp, longer ratio's and longer shot times. (For example a lighter Ethiopian coffee; 95c, 1:2.2/3, 28 to 32 sec)
The the darker the roast visa versa for example a dark Italian blend; 89c 1:1.5/2 in 24 to 26 sec.
If you're using a medium South American I'd start 18/19 g in 36/40 g out (1:2 ratio) in around 27 sec (93/94 C)
But as always, adjust to the flavor in the cup."

Jeff
Team HB

#25: Post by Jeff »

This is a good base to start with
That's really what it comes down to. 1:2 in 25 seconds, or what ever is your baseline is a point of reference. From there you get a feel as to what changes do, for different classes of coffee. Like driving a car, you get a feel for how moving the wheel from your baseline to 2 o'clock will do at 10 MPH and what it will do at 60 MPH. After a while you don't think so much about it and just do it by feel.

I found that keeping a log book and highlighting each change I make has helped me get better a dialing in. Doesn't have to be fancy.

17.0 @ 15, 32 g, 26 s, bitter YUCK
17.0 @ [16], 35 g, 28 s, fair, still bitter

So next time with a similar roast that I get a "bitter, YUCK" shot I might try 1.5 marks coarser grind.

MatGreiner
Supporter ♡

#26: Post by MatGreiner »

Many find it easier to get consistent shots with lower doses, and that also gains headroom above the puck. Lack of headroom can cause channeling. Later videos look like you're already making good improvement. Time will bring better shots. Trying a 16-17g dose (same ratio, though) may help with consistency.

JP2019
Supporter

#27: Post by JP2019 »

Thanks all, you guys have been extremely helpful. Shots are pulling much more consistently now. Channeling is very minimal. I just havent achieved a good tasting espresso yet. By the time I dial in, I have to change something and run out of beans lol. I have learned the hard way to not switch flavors... lol.

A quick question. Probably dumb to ask. Is one 18/19g shot considered a single or a double? I ask this because when making say a cappuccino, my drinks with little milk, taste really milky vs that balanced cappuccino taste.

Jeff
Team HB

#28: Post by Jeff »

Glad to hear that the shots are at least more consistent. Now you can work through getting them to taste more like you enjoy. One thing changed at a time has helped me not plow though a whole bag without getting a few days' of good shots out of it.

Classic Italian practice is 7 g dose is a "single" and 14 g dose is a "double". Many times a "single" in Europe is pulled with 7 g in a smaller basket, rather than "split" from a larger basket (as seems to be at least US practice).

Something in the 16-20 g range seems to have become common in the US as a standard dose. What it's called seems to still vary.

If I'm going into a coffee shop or mid-range cafe here in the US, I'll ask if a "double cap" has the espresso from one shot or two. Even then, I'm not always sure what I'll get.

Don Task

#29: Post by Don Task »

JP2019 wrote: For me, I am getting better shots but taste is still off as well. I almost have eliminated the channeling. Similar to you, I just adjusted the leveler so it was more shallow and then tamp after. Like some one suggested here, I find when I tamp after, even though it looked level from the jack leveler, I find the front to always be higher until I tamp even.

{snip}

"This is a good base to start with.
Too acidic? Extend shot time. Too bitter/astringent? Speed up the flow rate. So in your case 19g in 38/40 g out in 25-30 sec. Taste and adjust from there.
In general:
The lighter roast the hotter the temp, longer ratio's and longer shot times. (For example a lighter Ethiopian coffee; 95c, 1:2.2/3, 28 to 32 sec)
The the darker the roast visa versa for example a dark Italian blend; 89c 1:1.5/2 in 24 to 26 sec.
If you're using a medium South American I'd start 18/19 g in 36/40 g out (1:2 ratio) in around 27 sec (93/94 C)
But as always, adjust to the flavor in the cup."
Your last comment was the only base rule you stated that I would hang my hat on! "Adjust to the flavor in the cup".

Yes, the rest of them, as a "base", are a good place to "start" but that's it. Its not gospel. From there you need to bend the rules if you're shooting for taste rather than making a nice looking video. IMO - I think the biggest problem for the majority of people having trouble getting to a great tasting shot is due to a hang up on the old golden rule saying "ideally your shot should be extracted within 25 to 30 seconds!" HOGWASH! I'll admit the 25 -30 sec rule was my target for the first 10 or 15 years of my espresso journey but once I started playing with ratios, dosing, using a scale and throwing the timer out the window (figuratively speaking) the heavens opened. Great tasting espresso is determined by the coffee, the equipment, the grind, brew ratio, brew temp, among other things. I only record the time when dialing in so once I hit the best tasting espresso I can squeeze out of a bean I know what extraction time to shoot for in my future shots... even if the extraction takes close to a minute!

For example: I'm currently brewing a medium-dark Guatemala / Brazilian blend. My best tasting shots (with this bean) are 18gr coffee in a 18gr basket - 40 gr extracted in 45 to 50 seconds! Obviously if I grind coarser I could get my 40gr extraction in 30 seconds and celebrate hitting the "golden 25-30 sec rule" but it wouldn't taste as good. Its all about taste... not time. I should add that during my quest to find the best possible flavor from the bean I also tweak the temperature, starting at a base target anywhere from 89 to 95C and adjusting in one degree increments to zone in one the best tasting shot. Anyway, once I find the sweet spot I do make note of the total extraction time. Then, in the future when I pull a shot with the same bean I know if I've extracted in 45-to 50 I'll be happy. Just FYI: My total time starts with pump on and includes preinfusion. NET: Years ago it was all about timing to achieve X ounces in X seconds. Today the standard leans more on the weight of the dose and the ratio extracted.
Krups, then Silvia, then Livia 90, then a Techno! Does it ever end? [sigh]

JP2019
Supporter

#30: Post by JP2019 »

Absolutely agree with this. I am still off on my timing a bit and still practicing. I get the worse tasting espresso lol. Super sour almost 70% of the time, and bitter the other. Have yet to hit a sweet spot. Yesterday was by far the worse. I think I also find that when I make small adjustments, from coarse to fine, or fine to course, my weight from grinder comes out different and then I start trying to adjust based on that. I heard it takes a few shots to get the new setting in place. Is that true? Just seems like such a waste. So far, from a taste perspective, I am failing, but channeling is def improved, haha.

I am using a Colombian blend. The roaster told me what timing to aim for. 19 g, 38 g out in 27 secs. I got close... about 3 seconds off. That extraction was gross lol. I almost through up because of the sourness. Such a challenging skill to learn.