Large flat burrs and fast shots

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

#1: Post by grufromtheloo »

Recently bought a Mazzer Major with 83mm flats, upgraded to SSP HUs. I find that only get sweetness when the shots run too fast (25s or less) and they tend to get sloppy. If I grind finer, it slows it down and cleans up the extraction but they taste over extracted. Currently using a VST 18g ridgeless. Usually dose about 17.5g in. Any advice on getting a nice extraction and in-cup experience with this grinder/burr combo? Already using a dosing cup and WDT to get the shots looking somewhat acceptable.

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MNate
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#2: Post by MNate »

Someone will answer here with the secrets of the turbo shot and I'll be interested to listen in. I always ran a pretty slow shot with my 83flat but now that I don't have it anymore I kind of wonder if I missed out on these faster shots...

I feel like the trade off is the faster flow gets you more clarity of flavor but less body that we think about as being typical for espresso.

So I'm eager to hear the best people sharing about how you could learn to love the faster flowing shots!

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another_jim
Team HB

#3: Post by another_jim »

You're limiting yourself by using only one VST, since it only allows one dose. Either use the entire series of VST baskets, so you can use the grind you liked in the 21 gram basket and get a slower shot, or try the finer grind in the 15 gram. Alternatively, ignore the precision hype, and go with a conventional basket that allows you to use a wide range of doses and grinds in just one basket.
Jim Schulman

PIXIllate
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#4: Post by PIXIllate »

Have you broken in the burrs? Try running 10-30 pound of coffee through it. Breaking in or seasoning burrs is a real thing, especially with coated burrs. They will tend to produce more fines until this process has happened. If you deal with a given roaster a lot they will probably oblige you if you ask for sample roasts for this purpose.

grufromtheloo (original poster)

#5: Post by grufromtheloo (original poster) »

You're limiting yourself by using only one VST...
This is a good call out. I only have the 18g and the 20g, however, I do have an IMS E&B Labs Ultra fine 16/18g which I tried out. It reduces shot time by approximately 5s. Being back around 30s tends to give me the same taste profile as adjusting the grind with the 18g VST to get 30s out. Maybe I am trapped at 20-25s extractions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Have you broken in the burrs?...
This has crossed my mind as well. I had read somewhere that the SSP red speeds don't require as much seasoning as normal burrs. I ran about 3lbs through it before attempting any shots and 2lbs of that was oily dark roast. I have since gone through about another 2-3lbs. Maybe I will find peace at 10lbs or so :)

PIXIllate
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#6: Post by PIXIllate »

grufromtheloo wrote: This has crossed my mind as well. I had read somewhere that the SSP red speeds don't require as much seasoning as normal burrs. I ran about 3lbs through it before attempting any shots and 2lbs of that was oily dark roast. I have since gone through about another 2-3lbs. Maybe I will find peace at 10lbs or so :)
Most commercial estimates would be in the 20-40lb range for burr seasoning. My Monolith Flat was the high end of that range and I'm currently suffering through the process with my Monolith Conical. I got the coated burrs so estimates are up to 70lb for complete break-in/seasoning.

grufromtheloo (original poster)

#7: Post by grufromtheloo (original poster) »

Most commercial estimates would be in the 20-40lb range for burr seasoning. My Monolith Flat was the high end of that range and I'm currently suffering through the process with my Monolith Conical. I got the coated burrs so estimates are up to 70lb for complete break-in/seasoning.
Curious where those numbers are coming from? Most estimates I saw seemed to indicate ~10-20lbs or a little more for steel and found multiple posts here and elsewhere that the red speeds need less.

PIXIllate
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#8: Post by PIXIllate »

It's a number I've seen shop owners and people like Scott Rao and Tim Wendelboe quote. It also jives with my personal taste experience with my Kafatek.

Currently it sounds as if you're unhappy with the taste/performance of your grinder. It's a very likely cause of some of your issues and is easily tested if you can find a source of beans.

FWIW I use a VST 18g basket 90% of the time and get an uninterrupted stream of perfect looking/flowing shots from the bottomless. Puck prep is real.

grufromtheloo (original poster)

#9: Post by grufromtheloo (original poster) »

Puck prep is real
This is the truth. Since moving on from the Vario I have found that the new grinder is extremely sensitive to puck prep.
Currently it sounds as if you're unhappy with the taste/performance of your grinder
When I can get good shots out of it, I can definitely pickup notes I haven't been able to with the Vario. I have also had some success with beans that I never had luck with on the Vario. I think it's very much re-learning my workflow and figuring out how to work with the new grinder and burrs. I've used the grind size distribution app from coffee ad astra and the graphs indicate a much better distribution than the Vario so I think the grinder is likely doing what it should. Yes, if I can find I cheap-ish source of beans I can always try re-seasoning or furthering the seasoning.
FWIW I use a VST 18g basket 90% of the time and get an uninterrupted stream of perfect looking/flowing shots from the bottomless
I am curious what your dose in is and what ratio you are shooting for?

PIXIllate
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#10: Post by PIXIllate »

grufromtheloo wrote:This is the truth. Since moving on from the Vario I have found that the new grinder is extremely sensitive to puck prep.

When I can get good shots out of it, I can definitely pickup notes I haven't been able to with the Vario. I have also had some success with beans that I never had luck with on the Vario. I think it's very much re-learning my workflow and figuring out how to work with the new grinder and burrs. I've used the grind size distribution app from coffee ad astra and the graphs indicate a much better distribution than the Vario so I think the grinder is likely doing what it should. Yes, if I can find I cheap-ish source of beans I can always try re-seasoning or furthering the seasoning.

I am curious what your dose in is and what ratio you are shooting for?
No doubt the Mazzer is better. I had (technically it's still under the counter on a shelf) a Vario that I spent time aligning and I felt my puck prep was really good, then I got the Monolith Flat and found out I was wrong.

Fast forward a few months and things came back together. This was a combination of me working diligently on my puck prep and the burrs settling in. I now rarely move my grind outside of a VERY limited range and my shots flow within 1-2 seconds of each other back to back.

I just received my second grinder, a Monolith Conical so I'm going through this process all over again except this time my puck prep is giving me beautiful looking pours but so far I haven't had any shots where I prefer the taste of the MC4 over my Flat.

I've only run 7-8lb through it so far but as an example of what you can get by asking I contacted Hatch after placing my latest order with them asking if they would sell me some "seasoning beans". They were great and quite willing to oblige. I think it's important to send them some money to cover the extra shipping costs and to support good business practices. If there's someone you order from regularly or a local shop whom you buy from I'd guess they would be willing to do something similar. I think 20lb minimum would be a good target to shoot for.

My ratios are usually on the short side even with very light roasts. Normally I'm 17.5-18.5g in with 27-34g out. I strongly prefer the concentration and mouthfeel of these shots even though it's harder to get the EY% where I want it with less water through the puck. The Flat allows me to get 20-22% even with these tight ratios. I haven't measured any on the MC4 shots yet.