My shots have gone down hill - help!

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

#1: Post by autotrader »

So I've been brewing espresso for 7 years and am pretty experienced pulling good shots and able to dial in my grinder well etc but lately I'm having major problems.

My shots are channeling very badly. There seems to be some clumping and even when I break up the clumps I'm still getting spray.

My grinder is a Eureka Speciality 75 with red speed burrs. It's done 3100 shots so far. I suspected the burrs could be worn out but it seems a little early for that. I cleaned the burrs and inspected them, no real improvement

My machine is a LMLM and I weigh out my dose on a açai scale etc

Could it be the burrs are damaged or worn out or does anyone have any other ideas?
I've tried running the grind finer and more coarse etc but nothing is working. Have changed coffees also multiple times.

I ordered new burrs and hoping that is the fix but they don't arrive for a week so wanted to see if anyone had any ideas.

I increased my brew temp from 188 to 198 just now, no difference. I don't remember setting it that low so I suspect someone may have accidentally moved that dial a little when cleaning the machine.

One other variable, I just replaced the group head gasket because it was starting to leak. The leak is gone but coincidentally (or not) the problems began around the same time.

LeeR

#2: Post by LeeR »

Have tried realigning the grinder?

autotrader (original poster)

#3: Post by autotrader (original poster) »

Great shout!

I pulled the grinder apart to clean it and inspect the burrs and it got worse; I could have misaligned something or not torqued the bolts up evenly. I bet you are right

Thanks!

Max9

#4: Post by Max9 »

I find the answer to a not so good espresso is usually the beans....

zfeldman

#5: Post by zfeldman »

autotrader wrote: My grinder is a Eureka Speciality 75 with red speed burrs. It's done 3100 shots so far. I suspected the burrs could be worn out but it seems a little early for that. I cleaned the burrs and inspected them, no real improvement
I have the same grinder. Sometimes I find I fall into sort of a 'fineness trap'. Shot times and ratio are all correct, but not consistent and hard to dial things in.
In my case, between changes in coffee or weather (or who knows what), I'd found myself MUCH too fine. Let's say I'm at 18g in/36g out in 30seconds. If I adjust grind finer and coarser it will behave as expected and shorten or lengthen shot time, but not behaving nicely.
Went WAY coarser and I found I could get myself back to same 18g in/36g out in 30seconds.

I think what happened is that with sufficiently good puck prep I could force the shot to look okay in the bottomless portafilter, but was getting micro-channeling that was causing havoc.

Might try moving much, much coarser and see what happens.