No Crema on New Espresso Machine/New Grinder

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Xtianseel

Postby Xtianseel » Jan 08, 2018, 7:10 pm

I upgraded about a week ago from a Breville machine, to a Ceado e37s grinder and Profitec 500 machine. I've had trouble getting a decent crema on my shots. I've read that it takes several pounds of coffee to properly break in the burrs, when they're new. It seems odd though that I wouldn't be getting a decent extraction.

Getting the same results from different beans. All respectable roasters - Blue Bottle, Verve and La Colombe single origin coffees, all roasted from 3-10 days to the point of brewing. The level of roast (light, dark etc.) is not specified, but they all appear to be on the lighter side.

18g for a double shot. I've dialed in the grind size to extract around 30g at 25-35 seconds. Shots appear and taste watery.

This doesn't seem like a machine issue, but no way of really knowing since both are new. Can anyone help?

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russel

Postby russel » Jan 08, 2018, 9:49 pm

I would focus a bit on your group/brew temperature...make sure the machine is hot - 20-30min, make sure that you flush to heat up the group, make sure that you flush to stabilize the group before pulling a shot. Pull the exact same shot several times back to back to get an idea of how the temperature is changing as you use the machine.

Think about adding an EricS group thermometer if things get too frustrating. It's very difficult to get a feel for your HX's temperature flow if you're trying to learn a new grinder or new beans at the same time. Measuring the group temp will make it easier to compare and contract shots and cut down on guess work.

Do remember that contemporary single origin beans are not going to extract as thick crema rich shots.
russel at anacidicandbitterbeverage dot com

sprin001

Postby sprin001 » Jan 08, 2018, 10:09 pm

Naked portafilter? That would help get an idea of distribution. Possibly channeling. You've got the equipment to pull beautiful shots, now it's just learning to use them :) One easy thing to do is check the clearance of your grinds and dispersion screen, you can search nickel/penny tests on this forum.

appfrent

Postby appfrent » Jan 09, 2018, 5:22 pm

1) For regular sized/stock double basket start at 16g, optimize and increase dose if required, guided by taste.
2) 25-30s is very rough/approximate guidance depending on roast type. For roasts I prefer (city to full city), the best extraction is upward of 1 min from starting extraction. The first drop appears in about 10s and another 40-50s for extraction. I don't even use timer anymore. Using bottomless portafilter, I look at the consistency of first drops forming with subsequent pour and know whether my shot is right or not (consistency should appear like honey). I just fine tune little bit with taste as a guide.
3) Extraction ratio is much more critical. Again, for the beans I like, I prefer 1.15 to 1.5 range. So far I have never liked 1:2 for espresso over smaller ratios.
Forget four M's, four S's are more important :-)- see, sniff, sip and savor....

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cannonfodder
Team HB

Postby cannonfodder » Jan 09, 2018, 11:39 pm

Sounds like channeling but you would need a bottomless portafilter to check.
Dave Stephens

Denis

Postby Denis » Jan 11, 2018, 3:55 am

The problem is the grinder, it is very hard to get a good workflow with it. On our forum, alot of people having same problems after buying ceado e37s.

The main reason is cause you will get alot of channeling, and you have to grind very fine with it. If you can, consider returning it.

allemania

Postby allemania » Jan 12, 2018, 12:52 am

I, too, came from a Breville to a Pro 500 and a Ceado, in my case an E6P.

I truly wonder if it may be your grinder. My Ceado has been wonderfully consistent from the start. Crema has never been an issue though obviously it varies by the roast I'm using.

I second Eric's thermometer. You can certainly get to know the temp characteristics of your machine without it but the thermometer makes it so much easier. I recently adjusted my boiler temp slightly upwards because the lower ambient temp in my kitchen this winter was causing lower brew temps due to the, I believe, the lower water reservoir temp (about 10 degrees in my case). Would have never known this without the thermometer.

BillF

Postby BillF » Jan 13, 2018, 5:45 pm

I purchased the ceado E5P and 500 little less than a month ago, put an Eric's thermometer on which finally made the light go on why I could never pull multiple shots, more than three, or have shots/flat whites hot enough. They also had a slight bitter taste but that could also be what the experienced guys refer to as citrus flavor.
What I noticed was basically the machine had a hard time pulling a shot at a consistent temperature and doesn't recover fast enough to pull multiple shots above 190 to 195F. HX machines have a temperature "hump" or spike, then temperature drops as the seconds tic by. Some people seem to have great success with HX machines but I wasn't one of them I guess.
Decided I wanted to concentrate on getting great tasting shots and not learning how to manage the temperature. Learning curve is steep enough for me anyway.
I'm sending it back and bought a Profitec Pro 700 as I want a consistent temperature and the ability to pull as many shots as I want in a reasonable time. The machine can probably be an excellent espresso for someone that has the time to learn the in's and out's of the intricacies of working with an HX machine.
Hope for you it was just me :D, but if you can afford the extra money I would consider the 700 during your evaluation period.

I edited this post as I thought I might have been too much of a Debbie Downer, sorry.
BillF

BillF

Postby BillF » Jan 14, 2018, 11:58 am

russel wrote:I would focus a bit on your group/brew temperature...make sure the machine is hot - 20-30min, make sure that you flush to heat up the group, make sure that you flush to stabilize the group before pulling a shot. Pull the exact same shot several times back to back to get an idea of how the temperature is changing as you use the machine.

Think about adding an EricS group thermometer if things get too frustrating. It's very difficult to get a feel for your HX's temperature flow if you're trying to learn a new grinder or new beans at the same time. Measuring the group temp will make it easier to compare and contract shots and cut down on guess work.

Do remember that contemporary single origin beans are not going to extract as thick crema rich shots.


I have found with the 500 and Eric's thermometer it takes at least 1 hour to get to pull temperature. Right now after 45 minutes it's only at 183.7F Hoping to get a shot before I leave for breakfast :D
BillF

allemania

Postby allemania » Jan 15, 2018, 2:08 pm

Hi BillF.

Sounds to me like something is/was wrong with your Pro 500. I had mine for about a year and generally speaking the group warms to a temp of 204 F within 45-50 minutes. Here's what I measured shortly after purchasing the machine:

Time (min) Temp (F)
0 77
10 140
20 187
30 200
40 201
50 204

Edit: When I posted the table above didn't scale correctly so just wanted to mention the first number on each line is the "time on", second number is the temperature of the group.

These temps are with the boiler cycling between 0.9 and 1.0 bar. I pull two shots every day (though I do steam milk between shots) and I've never had a problem keeping temps up. I'm guessing that's about 5 minutes in between shots.

Marcus