Need help fixing espresso that I THINK is over extracted - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
MochaMike (original poster)

#21: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:Besides all the great advice above, FWIW, I could never successfully dose more than 14g in my machine that has the same 57mm/250ml group as the Anna. The group was designed for Italian doses, and pushing it beyond its design limitations yielded awful coffee for me. It used to be my cubicle machine and I used it with great success with medium roasts for years.

Just my experience. YMMV.

As an aside, in my tests, the group needed 35-45 minutes of warm-up to be stable.

ETA: Canadians generally use European pucks for non-hockey applications. Better quality and don't smell - and less expensive. https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/search# ... Results=25
So maybe I should dose less? I've been doing 17.5-18 grams...maybe I should reduce it to 15. But what difference would that make if I keep the ratio the same?

I always let the machine warm up for 35-45 minutes.

My machine shouldn't be the problem then huh? You used the Anna for medium roasts and had great coffee with it?

When you said dosing too much produced awful coffee...awful how? like, getting bitter, ashy notes? Just want to see if it's similar to what I'm getting

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Jeff
Team HB

#22: Post by Jeff »

Based on my experience of the last year or so, I'd look at the a LeverCraft tool and try something similar with 6-8 needles arranged like that in a cork. If it works well for you, I think a LeverCraft tool is a great item for a holiday gift list.

PIXIllate
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#23: Post by PIXIllate »

Agree on the Levercraft. Agree that the spinny leveling tools make things worse not better. Agree that a lower dose will make an even extraction both easier and more likely. Each machine/basket combo is going to have a maximum dose at a given grind size. If Craig says your machine plays well at 17g doses I'd take that a face value and move on.

The elephant in the room (ALWAYS) is puck prep. It's hard and takes a LOT of practice. Almost all complaints can be, at least in part, traced back to less than perfect prep. I know one of the four shots I pulled today was not all it could have been because my SO asked me a question while I was mid WDT and I got distracted. It sounds silly but when you finally are able to do it REALLY well you get use to a high degree of repeatabliily. And even then no two shots taste quite the same.

It's a frustrating little drink this thing of ours.

MochaMike (original poster)

#24: Post by MochaMike (original poster) » replying to PIXIllate »

Hmm interesting. I always thought a lower dose would increase the risk of channeling cause theres more room between the grouphead and the coffee. although I can't explain why that would lead to channeling. I thought you were supposed to dose as much as you can before you see the imprint of the screw on your puck when you lock it in?

If I dose less, I'll obviously have to go finer...maybe I'll try that next.

Yea, I think puck prep is really one of the most essential parts of the whole process.

baldheadracing
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#25: Post by baldheadracing »

MochaMike wrote:So maybe I should dose less? I've been doing 17.5-18 grams...maybe I should reduce it to 15. But what difference would that make if I keep the ratio the same?

I always let the machine warm up for 35-45 minutes.

My machine shouldn't be the problem then huh? You used the Anna for medium roasts and had great coffee with it?

When you said dosing too much produced awful coffee...awful how? like, getting bitter, ashy notes? Just want to see if it's similar to what I'm getting
Again, you're getting lots of good advice on tools, etc. FWIW, I always WDT'd with mine. Always. Never more than 14g. Ever.

The main issue with a larger dose is you're going to get cold water towards the end of the shot if you use too big of a dose - that bigger dose needs more water, which your relatively small boiler just doesn't have, so you get colder water towards the end of the shot. Having slightly colder water towards the end of the shot is a deliberate design decision as that's how traditional commercial Italian lever espresso machines behave; however, if you use too much water, then it gets too cold and the espresso tastes like sh*t.

Also, I wonder about your PID setting. Here's what I would do:
1. Set the PID to 101C.
2. Let the machine warm up without the portafilter.
3. Turn on the pump. Does the water coming out flash-boil(*)?
4a. If yes, reduce the PID by 1C, and return to step 2.
4b. If no, then increase the PID by 1C, and return to step 2.
5. Stop when you have the PID set so that lowering the PID by 1C stops the flash-boiling. The difference between your PID reading and 100C is your offset (more-or-less).

* You can see/hear a video of what to look for - in Fahrenheit, in a Bianca, but the principle is the same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o95_3MFnmAA

I won't be surprised if your offset is around 7C-8C. That's what it seems like it is on Glenda's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZho3KIlgR4

Good luck!

MochaMike (original poster)

#26: Post by MochaMike (original poster) » replying to baldheadracing »

I just tried pulling 3 different shots. all at 14 grams, and the liquid that came out was very thin and watery....I tried going finer, but then nothing came out except a bit of very thin coffee after like 10-15 seconds. theres also a pretty big gap between the coffee and top of the basket when I dose 14 grams...the machine you used with 14 grams was the Anna? I'll try going up to 15.

I'll try that thing with the PID. I've read there's like a 3-5 degree offset for the Anna.

baldheadracing
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#27: Post by baldheadracing »

I do not have a Lelit. There are many machines that use the 250ml/57mm brass group; just like there are many machines that use a generic E-61 group. I have a Mokita Cafe Creme - one of a host of machines that are actually made by IMAT: http://www.imatsrl.it/pag/macchine-per-il-caffe.asp

FWIW, I have this "precision" basket; 23mm height (see 2nd pic in link for dimension): https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/ascaso-57 ... -579-p.asp (I don't have an Ascaso, but they were the first to make a 57mm precision basket.)
The stock Lelit MC002 basket has 24mm height: https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/lelit--57 ... 5579-p.asp
The IMS "precision" for the Lelit has a 22mm height: https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/ims-lelit ... 7594-p.asp

What's the height of your basket? I can't imagine a mm or two would make any significant difference.

I'm sorry to say this, but "thin and watery" is almost always due to channeling. A thicker puck will reduce the incidence/impact of channeling; a thinner puck will have more channeling, but the thickness of the puck is not the cause of channeling - the root issue is still there. channeling will result in an over-extracted taste because the coffee surrounding the channel will be hugely over-extracted by the water flowiing in the channel. See everybody else's posts to address that ...

In addition, the height between the shower screen and the puck is more-or-less irrelevant for extraction as long as the height is sufficient such that the puck doesn't expand to hit the screen during extraction. More height doesn't make a difference in extraction. Height does make a difference after extraction - a lot of height can lead to soupier pucks after extraction. As an aside, an old Italian technique was to tamp very lightly (see old doser grinders with tamper "horns" mounted on them), but dose enough coffee so that the coffee was pushing up against the shower screen. This meant that locking in the portafilter did the actual tamping, i.e., the coffee was always in contact with the shower screen, and forced up against it. This works with dark-roasted coffees, but results in a watery mess in anything roasted lighter.

Peter Venkman

#28: Post by Peter Venkman »

I really feel like your problem is puck prep. You think at first it's over extracted when it's in fact under extracted. Easy to confuse sour and bitter. But the dry mouth feel is the best indication to me that you are over extracting if you have doubts.

Your machine is a really capable machine, but before doubting it, look at your puck prep. A levelling tool that you turn around has been show to cause problems, specially if you use it " recklessly "

You are going all over the place, changing doses, ratio, time, water temp etc...

Try to grind in a dosing cup, or any cup really.

Once your grind coffee is in that cup, put someting on top to shake the coffee well.

Pour the ground coffee into the basket carefully.

WDT ( with one needle, it's ok, but it will take you a while, like a good 30 to 45 seconds ) Make the coffee as fluffy and level as possible.

Tamp the coffee with at least 15 pounds of pressure. Take your time, make sure your tamper is leveled. Don't bang around the portafilter, take it easy when you attach it to the machine.

Pull a shot. From there, adjust your grind size.

I don't think aiming at 30 seconds is right. Try 25 to 26 for 1:2 or 1:2.5 or 1:3 always with that 25 to 26 seconds.

Good espresso comes with time, and consistency and i think puck prep is the hardest to get good consistent results with.

DamianWarS
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#29: Post by DamianWarS »

baldheadracing wrote:ETA: Canadians generally use European pucks for non-hockey applications. Better quality and don't smell - and less expensive. https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/search# ... Results=25
Lol, only Canadians would have preferences of pucks for non-hockey applications

MochaMike (original poster)

#30: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:I do not have a Lelit. There are many machines that use the 250ml/57mm brass group; just like there are many machines that use a generic E-61 group. I have a Mokita Cafe Creme - one of a host of machines that are actually made by IMAT: http://www.imatsrl.it/pag/macchine-per-il-caffe.asp

FWIW, I have this "precision" basket; 23mm height (see 2nd pic in link for dimension): https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/ascaso-57 ... -579-p.asp (I don't have an Ascaso, but they were the first to make a 57mm precision basket.)
The stock Lelit MC002 basket has 24mm height: https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/lelit--57 ... 5579-p.asp
The IMS "precision" for the Lelit has a 22mm height: https://www.bluestarcoffee.eu/ims-lelit ... 7594-p.asp

What's the height of your basket? I can't imagine a mm or two would make any significant difference.

I'm sorry to say this, but "thin and watery" is almost always due to channeling. A thicker puck will reduce the incidence/impact of channeling; a thinner puck will have more channeling, but the thickness of the puck is not the cause of channeling - the root issue is still there. channeling will result in an over-extracted taste because the coffee surrounding the channel will be hugely over-extracted by the water flowiing in the channel. See everybody else's posts to address that ...

In addition, the height between the shower screen and the puck is more-or-less irrelevant for extraction as long as the height is sufficient such that the puck doesn't expand to hit the screen during extraction. More height doesn't make a difference in extraction. Height does make a difference after extraction - a lot of height can lead to soupier pucks after extraction. As an aside, an old Italian technique was to tamp very lightly (see old doser grinders with tamper "horns" mounted on them), but dose enough coffee so that the coffee was pushing up against the shower screen. This meant that locking in the portafilter did the actual tamping, i.e., the coffee was always in contact with the shower screen, and forced up against it. This works with dark-roasted coffees, but results in a watery mess in anything roasted lighter.
I've come across that site before for accessories. Do they ship to Canada though?

Well if a thinner puck is more prone to channeling, then that's probably what's happening. I'll keep trying but I do think a bottomless pf will help...

espresso from a bottomless pf should taste the same as from a spouted pf right?