Newbie: Flow color vs weight to stop extraction - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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#31: Post by Peppersass »

Grinding coarser and updosing is usually the way to extract less, not more. It'll likely keep the flow rate the same or make it faster, resulting in the same contact time or less, and even though there's more coffee the coarse grind will extract less from each particle.

Grinding finer and lowering the dose might work. If you adjust the grind and dose so the flow rate is the same, you should get more extraction from the finer grind. If you're using an 18g basket you may need to go down to a 14g or 15g basket. If you still have trouble getting a full extraction, you can try different flow rates by adjusting the grind and/or dose. I wouldn't go below 25 seconds to get to a 1:2 brew ratio, but I wouldn't worry too much about longer pull times unless you get bitter notes.

Bear in mind that this may not work with a very light roast because you won't be able to grind fine enough to fully extract without choking the machine. Past a certain degree of fineness, you actually get less extraction. This is where long, slow preinfusion and/or pressure profiling become necessary.

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#32: Post by flyboy320 replying to Peppersass »

Thanks Peppersass for the advice. I have a smaller (14g) basket and I'll give that a try and see if lowering the dose & finer grind helps.

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#33: Post by PIXIllate »

RapidCoffee wrote:
Another of Jim's gems:

In my experience, this is a good guide to a fully completed extraction: when the last few drops mark the surface of the shot with lighter crema.

Edit: here's a pic to illustrate. I let this extraction run 10% longer than my usual 1:2 brew ratio (15g->33g instead of 30g), to ensure that crema lightening would be visible.
I just wanted to come back to this point as I feel it's an important one.

Since I read this I've been looking at the crema along with the time and weight. In a few cases I've adjusted my grind/dose slightly to extend a shot that was not showing this lighter spot even though the shot was timing/weighing perfectly. In every case the coffee tasted better when my final weight in cup was reached in the expected time AND displayed at least a hint of lighting in the crema from the final drops.

I've found this MUCH easier than judging the flow colour in real time. This may have something to do with the lighting conditions where my machine is but in any case thanks for this information.

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#34: Post by MNate »

PIXIllate wrote:
I've found this MUCH easier than judging the flow colour in real time. This may have something to do with the lighting conditions where my machine is but in any case thanks for this information.
I did too. Very helpful. Hopefully many H-B readers find this info too and it doesn't stay buried in a "newbie" thread. I don't recall seeing it stated like this elsewhere. I'm glad for visual clues.

No espresso "rules" work well alone, eh? But more understanding helps the results for sure.

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#35: Post by jpender »

I'm curious why it would work. The notion of aiming for complete extraction is at odds with the idea of stopping before you go too far and extract undesirable flavors. So why would this sign of apparent completion be a good indicator of when to stop?

Perhaps it's enough to simply know that it usually is. But I can't help but wonder.

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#36: Post by Jeff »

First benchmark, get all you reasonably can out of the coffee.

Next, figure out how to suppress roast defects.

As Post #24 suggests, if you're going for certain older styles of roasts/blends, you're going to be doing a lot of the latter, or shooting for a different first benchmark.

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#37: Post by mkane »

Great thread. Always learning.