Mano Lite: A Short Guide to Dialing in Espresso SOs and Blends - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
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another_jim (original poster)
Team HB

#31: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Slowing the flow with a finer grind and the same dose will result in a more bitter-sweet shot. Upping the dose with the same grind will just be more bitter and less sweet.

This is how I do it: The grind level is the first adjustment, since it controls the level of extraction. Coarser grinds extract the bitters and sours, as I grind finer, I get more caramels and sugars as well. Once I have sweet versus bitter/sour balanced right using the grind level, I balance bitter versus sour by changing dose or temperature.

There are obviously other efficient ways for setting everything. But since I'm one of the faster people around when it comes to dialing in a new coffee; I think this method is fairly good.
Jim Schulman

Anvan

#32: Post by Anvan »

Mitch, I also would like the golden palates to weigh in on this. My experience tells me that if I have a "sour"-tasting shot, that (usually) a higher temperature will help as will (usually) tighter grind/lower dose.

However, I don't think these two actions are necessarily working upon the same taste vector. The temperature may be more about bringing out or enabling "fruit" at the low end versus "chocolate / caramel" at the higher temperatures, whereas the grind/dose actions affect the quantity of bitters - maybe not as a strict dichotomy as with "fruit<->caramels" but only the quantity of the tar / tobacco / leather / smoke complex brought out - really a "more so <-> less so" situation.

(Perhaps the same is at play in the fruit-caramel dichotomy: I have a nagging suspicion that the fruit is always present, but simply buried by the additional caramels extracted by higher temperatures. That is, fruit is not really "brought out" or extracted more thoroughly via lower temperatures, it's just not covered up.)

So I have suspect that the effects of temperature, versus grind/dose, become overlaid and intermixed. One may well cover the other so it seems we're affecting the same item when in truth the two are working along entirely different vectors - maybe not strictly orthogonal vectors, but not parallel ones either.

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Abe Carmeli
Team HB

#33: Post by Abe Carmeli »

Anvan wrote: I have a nagging suspicion that the fruit is always present, but simply buried by the additional caramels extracted by higher temperatures. That is, fruit is not really "brought out" or extracted more thoroughly via lower temperatures, it's just not covered up.


Yes, though It is more likely that the bitters are covering up the fruit and not the caramels. Do this exercise: Add sugar to a medium to light roasted espresso and notice that it tastes more fruity.
Abe Carmeli

RuneL

#34: Post by RuneL »

another_jim wrote: This is how I do it: The grind level is the first adjustment, since it controls the level of extraction. Coarser grinds extract the bitters and sours, as I grind finer, I get more caramels and sugars as well. Once I have sweet versus bitter/sour balanced right using the grind level, I balance bitter versus sour by changing dose or temperature.
Hi Jim, I've read this thread with great interest, but I'm not quite sure I understand Your routine correctly.
Looking at the charts on the first page of this thread, if you are adjusting the grind first You would be changing the flow and acidity/bitterness balance, and then secondly when adjusting the dose You'd be adjusting the sweetness vs acidity/bitterness?!

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another_jim (original poster)
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#35: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Suppose you use the same basket and machine. If you set the grind coarse, you will need a higher dose, if you set it fine, you will need a lower dose, to achieve the same rate of flow. The shots will taste different. if you change baskets, going from, say a double to a single, and then us the same two grinds, adjusting the dose to get the same flow (or more precisely, the same ratio of coffee to water in the same time). The taste of the two shots will be close to the the same as the same grind in the other basket. This shows that grind, not dose, is the primary variable.

Once you have the grind balance (coarser for more acids and bitters, finer for more caramels) ; you can use temperature and shot time to make the shot taste more bitter or more acidic. Lower temperatures and faster shots for more acidic, higher temperatures and slower shots for more bitter.

The instructions are generic, the exact response of your machine to these changes may be very large or quite small. But there's usually enough of a response in most machines to get the balance you want.
Jim Schulman

RuneL

#36: Post by RuneL »

Hi Jim,

so, is it correct if I say that dosing up achieves the same as grinding coarser, emphasizing acids and bitters, and dosing down achieves the same as grinding finer, emphasizing sugars and caramels?

When You are grinding finer to find the sugar/acid/bitter balance, are you also dosing down at the same time to keep the flow "constant" - and hence changing brew ratio, or are you keeping the dose constant and changing flow-rate? In the latter case, changing the flow-rate would make the shot more ristretto or normal like, which would also affect the balance between acids and bitters and "camouflaging" the original change of only one variable, the grind.

Did I make any sense at all? I'm really just trying to come up with a clear plan on how to explore a blend in a systematic way.

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galumay

#37: Post by galumay »

Thanks Jim & the other contributors to this thread. Interestingly I have been gradually increasing dose sizes in my Lever from around 14g up to about 16g. I experimented earlier this week right up to 18.5g but didn't enjoy where that took me!

Tonite, after reading this thread and a couple of other ones I thought I would return to my original doses of 14g and see what they tasted like, took me a few shots to get the Pharos dialled back in to a fine enough grind to sit me in the ballpark - 14g beans, 25-30secs extraction after 6-8s pre infusion giving me about 28g extracted coffee.

Somewhat to my surprise I have ended up with near perfect espresso for my tastes, with my blend! Not sure why i ever moved away from this sort of criteria!

I will now explore the flavour profiling around this baseline to see where it takes me. I recognise I need to train my palate better to specifically identify flavours in a meaningful way, I can tell you what I like, I can identify balance and mouthfeel, but struggle with more detail.
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indend007

#38: Post by indend007 »

another_jim wrote: This is how I do it: The grind level is the first adjustment, since it controls the level of extraction. Coarser grinds extract the bitters and sours, as I grind finer, I get more caramels and sugars as well. Once I have sweet versus bitter/sour balanced right using the grind level, I balance bitter versus sour by changing dose or temperature.
What's the meaning of "The grind level"? Dose height? Or degrees of grind's size?

And as I understand, "sweet(caramels) versus bitter/sour balanced right using the dose, and balance bitter versus sour by changing shot time and volume", but you said it opposite direction. What's wrong with me?
What's the misunderstanding point to me?

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another_jim (original poster)
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#39: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

Grind level is coarse or fine. This is the most important variable, since it controls the level of extraction: coarser ground coffee extracts less than finer ground coffee in the same amount of time

The flow through a puck is determined by both the coarse/fine grind and the weight of the coffee. Once you have chosen how fine or coarse to grind, you must adjust the weight to get the right flow. If you chose a coarse grind, you will need more coffee than if you choose a fine grind. This is the second variable.

The third variable is temperature. Hotter for less acid and more bitter, cooler for more acid and less bitter.

Finally, you can change the weight again, to get slower or faster flow. This is a minor adjustment. More lungo shots (faster flowing shots) tend to taste slightly more acidic than ristretto (slower flowing) ones. This is not very consistent. Choking the flow is also useful sometimes for coffees that are hard to pack and that channel. Notice that the dose change in the second variable is to maintain the same flow after changing grind; while this dose change is to change the rate of flow when keeping the grind the same.

How many more time do I need to say this?
Jim Schulman

mitch236

#40: Post by mitch236 »

another_jim wrote:How many more time do I need to say this?
Apparently since this thread is over two years old, many many more times!!!

I think the first sentence of Mano Lite should read, "The first, most important aspect is that the 4M's need to be consistent before moving on to this topic. The barista should be able to pull multiple successive shots of identical parameters. For example, (s)he should be able to pull 5 shots of 20gm grounds giving 30gm of liquid in 30 seconds that all taste the same. Until one can perform that, the rest is meaningless.