Pulling 'true' doubles - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
Ken Fox

#21: Post by Ken Fox »

malachi wrote:It's harder to pull a good tasting shot based upon time and volume than it is to pull a shot based upon extraction. This is why few if any experienced baristas use timers and measuring devices and instead simply watch flow / rate / color and terminate shot once it's done.
But "experienced baristas" in a work environment have a number of advantages, including the fact that they pull shots repeatedly and have the opportunity to adjust their grinders frequently to adjust for the various variables which change. Home baristas typically pull only a few shots each day and if they allow their equipment to "drift" too much from some idealized standard pour, they are going to end up pitching a very large percentage of the shots they pull and could even double their expense for coffee with the excess literally going down the drain.
malachi wrote:If you pull shots based upon a desired extraction for your specific coffee and your own personal taste (flow / rate / color) sometimes you'll end up with a 0.75oz double. Sometimes you'll end up with a 2oz double. Sometimes you'll have a 2.5oz double. It all depends on your coffee, your grinder, your machine, your technique and even the environmental variables at play -- coupled to your own personal taste.
Certainly, this is what I do and what most experienced home baristas do, and it definitely helps to have a "better grinder" such as a conical, a huge planar, or a hybrid Max, as the grinding system will be more tolerant of small differences in other factors and a much higher percentage of acceptable pours will occur in spite of these variables.

I use a timer 90% of the time, and recommend the use of one to most people. The way that I use a timer however differs from what some might think. The purpose of the timer is not to tell you when to cut your shot, rather, it is to tell you when to adjust your grinder. This is much more critical for your typical small planar grinder than it is for a big conical or hybrid Max.

If your machine has some sort of pre-infusion (I would argue that most or all vibe pump machines have this as an inherent "feature," with their slow pressure ramp up) that cuts out after around 6 or 7 seconds, then you have another easy guide to knowing when to adjust your grinder. If you start getting espresso coming out of your PF before the preinfusion has completed, you need to fine up the grind. If on the other hand you don't see any espresso coming out even several seconds after the end of the preinfusion period, your grind setting could use a bit of coarsening up.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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malachi

#22: Post by malachi »

good points.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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dsc (original poster)

#23: Post by dsc (original poster) »

Hi guys,

I agree, good points there Ken. Usually the way I work is cutting the shot when it blonds which is simple, effective and allows you to eliminate all the 'nasty' stuff in the cup (not always lighter means bad though, but that's a different story). Sometimes I try to measure the time in my head, just to see whether I'm in the ball park and more than often 25-27s equals the moment when the stream blonds and I turn off the pump. With that last SO that wasn't the case and so I've decided to ask whether other people experienced similar problems when pulling normal doubles (ie. 50-60ml). It's not that I don't like how my shots taste now, it's simply looking for something a bit different.

I do have a DIYed preinfusion system on my Elektra, but pressure build up is still very fast so it's not comparable to a vibe/e61 preinfusion. You can of course see how fast the beading goes and based on that judge whether the shot is too fast or too slow, but it happens way faster.

Regards,
dsc.

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peacecup

#24: Post by peacecup »

The people who brought espresso to the masses (i.e. baristas in Italy) had 2-oz cups to fill, so I suppose the target was to fill them. Developing procedures to make these as tasty as possible, from blending and roasting, to grinding, tamping, and pulling shots, was probably part of the development of what we now know as espresso.

If looked at this way, there is some interest in the original question re: how to pull a true double. As Jim S. frequently points out, for example, most espresso equipment probably has 1-oz solos and 2-oz doubles as a "standard" design feature.

Setting a volumetric goal (e.g. 14g double) seems to me to be a very useful exercise for learning about espresso extraction. It happens to be the way I got started, particularly after reading Mark P.'s article. The process of manipulating the multitude of variables that influence the taste of espresso, one at a time, until once gets good results, is a good way to get to know a lot about espresso.

PC
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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peacecup

#25: Post by peacecup »

LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#26: Post by RapidCoffee »

If you do the math, the shots that Mark pulls in this article are somewhere between lungo and cafe crema territory (brew ratios of ~20%). 3oz of liquid from 17.5g of coffee? Wow. In my experience, it is the rare double that reaches 60ml without blonding, much less 75-90ml... and I'm talking crema volume, not liquid.
John

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dsc (original poster)

#27: Post by dsc (original poster) »

Hi guys,

I've read Mark's article and I agree that most people tend to brew ristrettos, but sometimes I find them a bit too intense. I also agree with what John said:
In my experience, it is the rare double that reaches 60ml without blonding
With the Elektra I usually stay below 15g with the dose, so it is indeed rather rare to get a full 60ml without blonding. That's actually the main reason why I decided to start this topic.

Regards,
dsc.

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malachi

#28: Post by malachi »

If it tastes good - it is good.
Who cares what the volume is?
Seriously.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#29: Post by RapidCoffee »

malachi wrote:If it tastes good - it is good. Who cares what the volume is?
Chris, you are in a better position than most to judge the quality of a pour. If you want to brew a 3oz double and pronounce it good, that's one thing. But as people develop their technique, it helps to offer them guidelines. The Italian "golden rule" of a 50ml double from 14g, pulled at 9 bar and 88C in ~25 seconds, is one such guideline. If you cannot achieve a decent pour using similar parameters, it often points to a problem in coffee, equipment, or technique.

Using the "cut a shot when it blonds" guideline, 90ml doubles are little more than an oddity (at least, in my experience). So when a noted figure in the coffee world starts advocating 75-90ml doubles, it's confusing and misleading, and spawns threads such as this one.

Or perhaps Mark P has the magic touch. That sure looked like a yummy shot in his article.
John

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malachi

#30: Post by malachi »

RapidCoffee wrote:The Italian "golden rule" of a 50ml double from 14g, pulled at 9 bar and 88C in ~25 seconds, is one such guideline. If you cannot achieve a decent pour using similar parameters, it often points to a problem in coffee, equipment, or technique.
But that's just not true.
If I gave you a pound of Stumptown Hairbender, or a pound of Vivace Dolce, or a pound of any of hundreds of coffees, and said "pull a good shot within these parameters" - you would fail... regardless of equipment or technique.
So unless you're saying that using one of these coffees is "a problem" - then having a newbie follow "the golden rule" is simply going to convince them that they suck or that their equipment sucks or that their coffee sucks.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin