Shot volume, mass, and time...I'm so confused...how big is a double?

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JakiChan
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Postby JakiChan » Apr 17, 2016, 1:51 am

I don't hang out here too much except when I need a new toy. :) But I had been working against the "2 oz in 25 - 30 seconds" thing for a double. But now I read a double is about 32 grams out of 18 grams of coffee. The brew chart here:

Brewing ratios for espresso beverages

says that for a regular double on the high side is 45 grams...and/or 2.6 oz. But that has me so confused. I just started weighing my shots after I pull them and my 2oz of coffee is VERY heavy. 2 ounces of plain water is nearly 60 grams. So I guess that means there's supposed to be a lot of air in the espresso or something? With the dissolved solids and what not how is it so light? And what does it mean that my 2oz shots are weighing so much? Right now I feel like I don't even know how big a double should be anymore... :oops:

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Apr 17, 2016, 2:51 am

You've discovered why volume is an unreliable way to measure espresso beverage quantity.

There are two reasons for this:

1. The crema increases the measured volume, just like soap bubbles floating on top of bath water. The espresso bubbles that form the crema are inflated with CO2 that's trapped in the grounds and released by hot water.

2. The amount of coffee solids that wind up in the cup varies depending on the coffee, grind, dose, temperature, pressure and shot time. You can pull two shots of equal volume, but if any of those parameters varies the dissolved solids may vary, which in turn can have substantial impact on the flavor.

As Andy's chart suggests, you should start by choosing the desired brew ratio. This is the ratio of ground coffee weight to beverage weight, and it defines the strength (concentration) of the beverage. A 1:2 ratio (say, 16g of coffee to 32g of beverage) is a Normale, or average strength. A 1:1 ratio, or a Ristretto, will be very strong. A 1:3 ratio, or Lungo, will be weaker.

The first time you dial in a coffee, weigh the grounds before brewing and weigh the shot as you pull it (put the scale under the cup.) Stop the shot when you get to the target beverage weight. This should happen in roughly 25-35 seconds. If it takes less time, try grinding finer. If it takes more time, try grinding coarser. The end of the shot should also correspond to when the stream blonds (gets significantly lighter). This indicates that extraction is complete. The idea is to adjust the grind until all three things come together: the stream blonding, the target beverage weight being reached, and the time being in the 25-35 second range.

Once you get familiar with doing this, you can play around with longer and shorter shot times, different brew ratios, etc.
Dick Green

JakiChan
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Postby JakiChan » Apr 17, 2016, 3:12 am

Peppersass wrote:As Andy's chart suggests, you should start by choosing the desired brew ratio. This is the ratio of ground coffee weight to beverage weight, and it defines the strength (concentration) of the beverage. A 1:2 ratio (say, 16g of coffee to 32g of beverage) is a Normale, or average strength. A 1:1 ratio, or a Ristretto, will be very strong. A 1:3 ratio, or Lungo, will be weaker.


That makes sense, but to be honest a normale can range from 1.3 to 2.6 oz, and at 32g I don't really see how that range is possible.

Peppersass wrote:The first time you dial in a coffee, weigh the grounds before brewing and weigh the shot as you pull it (put the scale under the cup.) Stop the shot when you get to the target beverage weight.


This will happen as soon as I get a scale that fits. I've been using the Hario V60 scale/timer for the longest time, but I have an Acaia Lunar on order.

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Apr 17, 2016, 1:51 pm

JakiChan wrote:That makes sense, but to be honest a normale can range from 1.3 to 2.6 oz, and at 32g I don't really see how that range is possible.

Because the amount of crema varies. Again, volume is an inconsistent way to measure espresso. Don't do it. The only reason to know the approximate volume is to make sure you won't overflow the cup.

That said, you shouldn't see a 1.3 oz variation if your shots don't have a lot of crema foam on top. If there's not much crema, or you measure a difference like that after stirring (i.e., breaking up the foam), then that would imply something wrong with your scale -- possibly due to the Hario V60 scale not fitting on your drip tray. If the scale isn't level, it can give inconsistent readings.

JakiChan wrote:This will happen as soon as I get a scale that fits. I've been using the Hario V60 scale/timer for the longest time, but I have an Acaia Lunar on order.

Great choice. That's what I use.
Dick Green

nuketopia
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Postby nuketopia » Apr 19, 2016, 1:23 pm

There are different standards for drink size and brew ratio around the world.

Brew ratio = coffee grams in : drink grams out.

In Italy, brew ratios are like this:

1:2 = ristretto
1:2-1:3 = normale
1:3-1:4 = lungo

A standard dose for a single is 7g, a double is 14g.

Thus a doppio normale is:

14:28 - 14:42 grams in:out.
Or a drink between 1oz and 1.5oz brewed from 14 grams of coffee.
In my visits to Italy, they tend to pull on the long side of normale, depending on where you visit.

A normale should pull in 25-28s, whether single or double.

US brew methods tend to be highly overdosed by comparison, with the triple-ristretto being the norm. 21g in and 42 out is pretty common. Most third-wave espresso shots tend to be ~18g-20g input with a drink in the 30-42g range. The triple ristretto lends itself to milk drinks.

US tastes trend toward lighter roasts than Italy, and the extractions are different and our collective tastes are different.

US tastes also mean we dial in the dose and grind, rather than just the grind, to get a satisfactory extraction. I'm brewing daily right now, two very different coffees with very different roastings and they require very different grind and dose to achieve the results. Some specialty coffees require unique pulls. BB 17-foot ceiling espresso is pulled in their cafes highly over dosed, a 35 second pull and they dump the first little bit of flow.

You just won't see that kind of thing in Italian bars. But this is not uncommon in third wave cafes in the US and other countries where there's more experimentation.

At home, I usually try to dial in a 28s extraction with a 1:2-1:2.5 ratio as a starting point. On my La Marzocco, the same grind will do this as a single in the 7g basket or the 14g basket. It is important to go with weight, though volume is easier. The fizziness of crema changes the weight/volume of the drink.

By holding things equal, it is fairly easy to experiment with higher-dose/coarse grind and vice versa. This will allow you to dial out the bitter/sour and the heavy/light body to land into a "sweet" zone with the mouthfeel you're looking for. Once I get the formula, I write it on the bag or keep a note so I can reset and get it again.

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Apr 19, 2016, 2:15 pm

That's a great recap.

I would add that the trend of high-end specialty roasters going lighter and lighter makes updosing problematic. Originally, 3rd wave cafes used updosing to combat bitterness in the darker espresso roasts that used to prevail. If you updose with today's typical specialty roast, you'll get a sour drink. My advice when pulling these coffees is to keep the dose in the 14g-18g range, grind fine enough to keep the shot time in the 25-35 second range and pull longer (i.e., 1:2 to 1:3) -- until the stream really blonds.
Dick Green

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shawndo
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Postby shawndo » Apr 19, 2016, 2:38 pm

I always thought you use the word "single/double/triple" after the amount of ground coffee going in and "ristretto/normale/lungo" for the bev ratio.

i.e. you would always say both parts, "triple ristretto" or "double normale/straight double"
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

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Peppersass
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Postby Peppersass » Apr 19, 2016, 3:32 pm

shawndo wrote:I always thought you use the word "single/double/triple" after the amount of ground coffee going in and "ristretto/normale/lungo" for the bev ratio.

i.e. you would always say both parts, "triple ristretto" or "double normale/straight double"

I'd say that's correct, though I've not heard the term "straight double", and we use "brew ratio" rather than "bev ratio".

Single, double and triple refer to the nominal dose sizes of 7g, 14g and 21g, respectively, and the corresponding baskets. Of course, you can dose in-between, like 15g or 18g. Assigning single, double and triple to the in-between doses is sort of vague, but probably most people would call a dose under 12g a single, a 14g-18g dose a double, and anything 20g or up a triple.

Ristretto, Normale and Lungo refer to the brew ratio, or the ratio of ground coffee weight to final beverage weight. Except perhaps for Normale, which is nominally 1:2, these don't refer to a specific brew ratio, but rather a range. I think of them relative to the nominal Normale: a Ristretto could be defined as anything under 1:2 and a Lungo could be defined as anything over 1:2.
Dick Green

 
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