Lighter roasts seem to run more watery?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Samcanadian

Postby Samcanadian » Apr 27, 2018, 10:28 am

Ever since I've owned my setup, any roasts that are on the medium-dark spectrum seem to run quite thick and creamy from the PF, whereas anything lighter/more "third wave" seem watery.

I'll post two examples.

First is a local roaster that typically offers medium-dark beans. Admittdely, this flow was almost a little bit quick?





Then more recently, a light roast from 49th Parallel in Vancouver. I've been fiddling with the dosing and use WDT method, but can't seem to avoid the slight channeling and "watery" looking flow. Not only this, but it didn't taste over extracted at all...rather a bit more sour. I've been used to darker beans as of late and the caramel/chocolate notes are probably better for my palate in the morning than the acidic, fruity tones of a lighter roast.





Any advice?

stherric

Postby stherric » Apr 27, 2018, 10:51 am

This is very normal. Extracting light roast coffee well and evenly is the white whale of the home barista. Try down dosing, grinding finer, and pulling long shots 2.5-3:1 to
Improve flavor.

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Apr 27, 2018, 12:07 pm

This is not an issue with your technique. The color of the cone in espresso porn is the crema's color; and lighter roasts always have lighter crema. This will remain true even when the extraction and taste are right.
Jim Schulman

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keno

Postby keno » Apr 27, 2018, 1:35 pm

Totally normal. Darker roasts have more fines and are more soluble and therefore are easier to extract. This is why the trend to lighter roasts has people so focused on grind quality, flow rate, and extraction level. It's easy to underextract light roasts, particularly with espresso, in which case they will be watery and sour. But even a properly extracted light roast will have a lighter colored crema.

Samcanadian

Postby Samcanadian » Apr 27, 2018, 2:33 pm

stherric wrote:This is very normal. Extracting light roast coffee well and evenly is the white whale of the home barista. Try down dosing, grinding finer, and pulling long shots 2.5-3:1 to
Improve flavor.


another_jim wrote:This is not an issue with your technique. The color of the cone in espresso porn is the crema's color; and lighter roasts always have lighter crema. This will remain true even when the extraction and taste are right.



Ok thank you, this is a lot of help. If you don't mind me asking, what are your typical parameters for a double shot of a light espresso bean?

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Apr 27, 2018, 6:28 pm

A 15 gram VST basket will force you to use a fine grind. So will a 13 gram dose in the Bezzera's stock basket. Make sure the flow is slow and a lot less pretty on your bottomless (espressoporn is best left to overdosed baskets with overroasted coffee, overly coarse ground)
Jim Schulman

RyanP

Postby RyanP » Apr 27, 2018, 9:57 pm

I find I really have to push the extraction with many light roasts. Don't be afraid to step out of the normal parameters. Often, but not always, I will look to higher brew temps, longer preinfusion, longer shot times, maybe slightly slower flow. I often end up with a thin mousetail flow as opposed to a thick goopy cone like what you get with a darker comfort blend. You can get a nice looking bottomless pour but you want to do everything you can to optimize distribution in the basket. It's just more finicky and it'll take some experimentation.

Also, I don't have experience with the Sette, but I've found the grinder can make a not so subtle difference with these lighter roasts. I think I remember reading the Sette really excels with darker roasts?

Samcanadian

Postby Samcanadian » replying to RyanP » Apr 28, 2018, 9:53 am

From what I've found, so far, is that the Sette really nails the middle of the road roasts (medium to medium dark) to the point where barely any adjustment is needed from bean to bean. With a light roast, however, I'm finding myself needing to tweak more regardless of flow and output.

Just this morning, I down dosed to about 15g and tamped a little harder. My shot pulled in about 40 seconds and already I prefer the flavour profile. I'm going to tighten the grind tomorrow morning and keep everything else the same and see what happens.

RyanP

Postby RyanP » Apr 28, 2018, 11:03 am

Samcanadian wrote:With a light roast, however, I'm finding myself needing to tweak more regardless of flow and output.

Just this morning, I down dosed to about 15g and tamped a little harder. My shot pulled in about 40 seconds and already I prefer the flavour profile. I'm going to tighten the grind tomorrow morning and keep everything else the same and see what happens.


That's great! Just keep pushing the extraction and experimenting with the parameters. If you haven't already try a 1:2.5 shot and then maybe even stretch it further if you have to. I don't know what your machine's preinfusion capabilities are but I've found this to make a big difference, as well.

pcrussell50

Postby pcrussell50 » May 03, 2018, 5:37 pm

As Ryan implied... Puck prep puck prep puck prep. It always seems to boil down to that for me when I solve a challenging light roasted bean.

Puck prep for me is:
RDT/grind/WDT/distribution tool (or tamp).

All the time every time, no matter what. Iately I've stopped using a tamper per se, and just use a distribution tool set to a depth that works.

I recently conquered a super challenging light roast by setting the depth on my distribution tool a millimeter or two (maybe three) deeper, and it went from ugly spritzy gushers even at super fine grinds, to something pretty nice for a super light roast. After some head scratching, that was all it took.

-Peter
LMWDP #553