New ECM Synchronika, need help dialing in - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.

Postby def » Oct 05, 2018, 9:56 am

ECM Synchonika, 19.5g Malabar Gold, 28.8g extraction.


Postby def » Oct 05, 2018, 10:30 am

@Mggray87 (Mike)

You have the right machine, coffee, and grinder for making espresso better than the best espresso you have tasted in any cafe. That is my opinion based on my experience. So how to fix this? Grind finer. Try WDT to determine if that helps, however I don't think it is necessary with the grinder you are using. Likewise for pre-infusion, which might make a subtle but negligible taste difference, should not be necessary to perfect your espresso brew.

I use either a Pullman big-step tamper or Mahlgut Buzzer Palm level tamper. Both of these have a sharp edge and are the exact same diameter which fit just right into the VST baskets, which you mentioned is equivalent to what you have. Ensure your tamps are dead nuts level. If you have a very short brew time, grind finer. If you have channeling, then try WDT (paperclip works fine). I bought some plastic cups in the supermarket which work well for funneling into my pf.

The only other thing I can think of is the coffee. If it is stale, then replace with some fresh coffee.


Postby Mggray87 » Oct 05, 2018, 12:27 pm

def wrote:I have the same machine and similar grinder(E37s). I am also using Malabar Gold (MG) this week. I will do my best to try to tell you about my experience, and hopefully it can help you.

When I first used MG, I cranked the grind very fine and I ended up choking my Synchronika. Since you already know the setting for too coarse, I think you should perhaps experiment with MG until you get a really slow/long extraction, and then start dialing in from there. My pucks are slightly wet at the top right after an extraction, but are not wet in the middle. They are certainly not soupy wet. My grind is pretty fine; the Ceado produces a very fluffy grind which is a big mound in my pf, but it tamps easily. Here what it typically looks like:<image>

I am using a VST 18g ridge-less basket and the extraction parameters listed at Josuma for MG. 203-204 degrees Fahrenheit (PID setting) is yielding the best flavor. I tried 207 just to taste, and it was bitter. I am guessing that under 200 would be a bit sour.

I am not tamping hard. Maybe 20 pounds? If my grind is too fine, I will get a slow extraction. I have played around with a bottomless pf and I see very thick and even extractions. Lots of crema. With the ECM double spout pf, my drop time is 5-6 seconds, and total extraction time to 30g is 30 seconds.

Bottom line -- go finer on your grind and see how it tastes. I get a very rich double that is nearly perfectly balanced. Neither sour nor bitter.

That's a mound. Dam. 20g at my setting of MG. It will basically be level with the rim of basket. Not overflowing basket like yours. Hmm. Warming up machinennow to try before work. Fresh mg bag out freezer yesterday


Postby Mggray87 » Oct 05, 2018, 1:53 pm

I think it's getting better. Although I'm burning through my last half lb of MG. New shipment next week. But I went finer. It barely came out. Went back and I guess fresher beans worked. So I'm close. But not there yet. I can get 34gish in 30 seconds. But stream isnt exactly smooth yet but I have a feeling its WDT. Or just adjust the tamp depth or wedge depth to see what I can do.


Postby def » Oct 09, 2018, 9:01 am

Any update on this from your side?

I'm still working through 5 pounds of MG. Today I was getting some fast shots, so I decided to adjust finer and slow things way down. I got a very 45-50 second 30g shot that tasted very good. I'm favoring slow extractions, 19g dose with 30g out.

Another update -- I no longer have water on the top of my puck immediately after extraction. Pucks are dry. I'm guessing this is related to the age of the coffee and/or burrs on the E37s getting seasoned-in.


Postby Mggray87 » Oct 10, 2018, 9:24 pm

I took a break on MG as I ran out. 5lbs arrived today so ill be letting them age for a few days and going back to it. as of now. off brand from a friend.. no label. claims his friend roasts it. but its iffy. but its some of the thickest crema stuff ive used. and Id say right now I have it at 20g in and 30-32g out right now. im digging the lattes. occasional spray here and there. looking up at the bottomless portafilter ill see some bald spots where no espresso is coming out for about half time. then get covered. Also what I have been doing is putting the lever up half way for about 5 seconds and then running it. not sure if this is helping or hurting. but pucks still have a little sitting water on top. when I pull the portafilter it will soak in puck in about 5 seconds. still getting used to it and experimenting...

also what I ended up purchasing to help with getting it dialed in is a 30lb calibrated tamper. I never had one. and used the saint anthonys levy on my 53mm. so now im using the 30lb tamper and once I get it where I want it. ill use the levy to get the proper depth of the 30lb tamp and then go from there.

the entire milk steaming is different as just the steam nozzle is so much thicker and heavier duty than my lucca a53. its hard for me to get the hissing sound. ill let it up to high and get a big suction. but its a learning curve. Also I still have the 2 hole tip in. I haven't dared try the 4 hole tip WLL gave me with it.


Postby def » Oct 14, 2018, 8:55 am

Please let me know how you like that four-hole steaming tip. I took out the anti-burn teflon tube from the steam wand.

Also, how do you like the IMS screen?


Postby Mggray87 » replying to def » Oct 14, 2018, 11:55 pm

I just installed it. So tomorrow I'll try for first time. Now be advised. I'm not a guy that pulls off latte art yet. I havent figured the milk out yet. I froth barely. I froth to much. I get lucky and texture pretty nicely but overall. I havent learned the proper stretch and froth yet. So me saying I like 2 hole or 4 hole. Take at your own risk. Ahahaha. I have a feeling 4 hole is going to steam my latte milk super fast. Only thing I'll notice.

I will update tomorrow morning with 4 hole