Need help fixing espresso that I THINK is over extracted - Page 4

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

#31: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

Peter Venkman wrote: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.
Yeah, I know my machine is definitely more than capable. It's just annoying trying different things and nothing seems to improve my espresso.

I think puck prep is my issue too, but I don't really know how to fix it. I don't know what it means to 'tamp with 15 pounds of pressure'. How do I make sure the tamp is leveled? Is there a video which shows me the right way to tamp? I've seen many and I've tried different methods.

As for the WDT, I typically just do circles with the needle and make sure I hit everything, but I definitely don't spend 30 to 45 seconds on it. What do you with the needle for that long?

I can try with different ratios, but I feel my palette isn't advanced enough to really tell the difference between the taste of a 1:2 ratio and a 1:2.5...

anyway, I'll continue trying and see where it takes me. Thanks for the input.

MochaMike (original poster)

#32: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

Also, do you guys have a recommendation on how to tamp well with a spouted portafilter? Is it better to do it with the spouts hanging off the table? I've been doing this but maybe that's what's leading to uneven extractions since there's no support for half the basket when the spouts are hanging off the table.

baldheadracing
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#33: Post by baldheadracing »

MochaMike wrote: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?
I just used Bluestar because they have pics with dimensions posted. No other reason.

As others have posted, get yourself a bottomless portafilter and the Levercraft WDT tool or make yourself something similar with printer cleaning needles or pins taped together or whatever.

Tamp just hard enough that you feel that you are pushing on the table:

MochaMike (original poster)

#34: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:I just used Bluestar because they have pics with dimensions posted. No other reason.

As others have posted, get yourself a bottomless portafilter and the Levercraft WDT tool or make yourself something similar with printer cleaning needles or pins taped together or whatever.

Tamp just hard enough that you feel that you are pushing on the table:
video
yeah, the bottomless pf is next on my list of accessories to buy. You said as far as WDT tools, the ones with the rounded ends arent good, right? I was looking at this:

https://coffeeaddicts.ca/products/wdt-t ... gJhnfD_BwE

Yeah, I've seen that video before. But it's easier to tamp with a bottomless pf than the spouted one since you can lay the former flat on your table...

baldheadracing
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#35: Post by baldheadracing » replying to MochaMike »

I use this: https://levercraftcoffee.com/collection ... ion-tool-1 I have a couple others that I've made with printer cleaning needles.

Just unbend a few safety pins and tape them together ...

Tamping isn't easier or harder with or without spouts. The basket is the same, after all. Some people use a tamping stand with spouted portafilters; I do. As an aside, if you use a tamping mat with a cutout like this: https://www.espressotec.com/large-silic ... -5cm-9256/ then I suggest that you remove the spout of your portafilter to get the angles to line up and a better fit (because those mats seem to be made for 58mm portafilters).

PIXIllate
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#36: Post by PIXIllate »

MochaMike wrote:
I can try with different ratios, but I feel my palette isn't advanced enough to really tell the difference between the taste of a 1:2 ratio and a 1:2.5...

anyway, I'll continue trying and see where it takes me. Thanks for the input.
Don't be so sure. I can easily taste the difference in 18/27g shots vs 18/30g shots vs 18/32g shots. Anything longer than that and I find it's diluting to a point where it's watered down for my taste and grinder.

Once you get your puck prep technique down you can move on to finding out what kind of ratios you (and your equipment) prefer.

For now I would once again recommend trying to dial in a known coffee (St. Henri is a good choice and I can also recommend Detour and ZAB in Canada) to a set ratio/time and keep drilling on your puck prep.

Good luck.

MochaMike (original poster)

#37: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

Guys, I thought I'd show you what my puck looks like after extraction:


is that small hole a sign of channeling? I noticed I tamped crooked for this shot. I tried to fix it but I've heard that you really have only one chance to do your tamp properly.

I'm trying to tamp like the guy in the video above...are there other methods that are easier?

EDIT: ok, how do I add photos here? It keeps saying 'offsite images are not permitted'...?

baldheadracing
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#38: Post by baldheadracing »

MochaMike wrote:EDIT: ok, how do I add photos here? It keeps saying 'offsite images are not permitted'...?
Posting images on HB

MochaMike (original poster)

#39: Post by MochaMike (original poster) »

Ahh I was using the insert image button. thanks! let's see if this works.


baldheadracing
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#40: Post by baldheadracing »

Try this (post #2) and let us know if that helps Elektra A3 + Shower Screen

For tamping, lay the tamper on the puck with zero pressure applied, just placing it on the puck. Bring the portafilter up to eye level. Is the tamper level? If not, then you have to work on distribution first.