slow extraction and watery puck

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MikePriz

#1: Post by MikePriz »

I've been reading the forum here for the past few weeks after getting into espresso. Had a cheap "fake" steam machine and slightly upgraded to a very budget pump machine that after reading lots of info, I should be able to get somewhat of a decent cup of espresso from it, but I'm having problems.

The machine in question is the delonghi bar 14 or also called the Cafe Treviso. I'm just a poor student with a small living space, so that is the reason for the cheap machine, but I hope to upgrade eventually... anyway onto the problem...

when using both the double shot or single shot basket with what seems to be the proper amount of coffee grinds the machine normally takes about 20 seconds until coffee starts to come out of the portafilter and takes close to a minute total until the proper amount has filled the cup.

I've tried various strengths of tamping pressure and the only time i can get a 25-30 second extraction time is when i barely tamp at all (probably less than 1lb of pressure) and when this happens the coffee tastes horrible and no crema is produced.

no matter the tamping, i've yet to see a normal puck, there is always a pool of water on top of the puck, and its always very soupy.

from reading as much as I can on espresso, my conclusion is the grind is too fine, does this seem like the problem, or could it be a problem with the machine? I know bar 14 sometimes comes with a crema disc or whatever its called, but mine has a normal portafilter.

I'm saving for a grinder, so in the meantime I goto a local espresso bar and have them grind me about 50grams of coffee at a time that i store in an airtight container and use it up within a few days. next time i'll ask them not to grind it as fine because i'm sure they are grinding it to the specifications of their commercial machines.

Oops, typed up way too long of a story i think, but in short, does it seem like my problem is the grind is too fine, or could it be something else?

Thanks!

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Psyd

#2: Post by Psyd »

Read the directions. Most problems can be solved by RTFM. It's usually easy to spot the folks that won't do any research on their problem, because they also won't read the instructions on both of the fora that request that you don't cross-post.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

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HB
Admin

#3: Post by HB »

I don't know this particular machine, but it looks like one with a pressurized portafilter, which would explain the near-choke slow extraction. If so, a good grinder and a non-pressurized portafilter would help a lot.

PS: As Chris bluntly pointed out, cross-posts are discouraged as many HB members frequent multiple sites. Thanks...
Dan Kehn

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another_jim
Team HB

#4: Post by another_jim »

Small home machines without three way exhaust valves always have watery pucks -- there's no place for the water to go once the pump is off.
Jim Schulman

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Psyd

#5: Post by Psyd »

HB wrote:
PS: As Chris bluntly pointed out,
Charm school class money spent on cigarettes and motorcycle parts when I was a kid...
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

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timo888

#6: Post by timo888 »

Someone brought a Krups machine with a pressurized portafilter into the office. With the proper grind, espresso appears in the spouts after about 6 or 7 seconds. The pucks were a little loose but no puddle. If you have some of the fine grind left, you might also try reducing the dose somewhat. Leave at least 1/4 inch of headroom. But a coarser grind should do the trick.

Regards
Timo

MikePriz

#7: Post by MikePriz »

my machine doesnt have a pressurized pf, but either way I'll try getting something ground not as fine. I bought a small amount of unground and tried using a blade grinder I found, but that ends up way to course, produces 2oz in 15 seconds after I tamped it as hard as I could, so this just motivates me more to buy a proper grinder.

For what is available here and in my price range, I'm deciding between the solis maestro plus or the nemox lux, any opinions on which is better? Theyre both practically the same price

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timo888

#8: Post by timo888 »

I haven't used either. The Lux seems a little more convenient for grinding straight into the filter. Is one more easily adjusted than the other? If one drinks French Press as well as espresso, does either one make it easier to switch grinds?

Regards
Timo

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another_jim
Team HB

#9: Post by another_jim »

timo888 wrote:Someone brought a Krups machine with a pressurized portafilter into the office. With the proper grind, espresso appears in the spouts after about 6 or 7 seconds. The pucks were a little loose but no puddle. If you have some of the fine grind left, you might also try reducing the dose somewhat. Leave at least 1/4 inch of headroom. But a coarser grind should do the trick.

Regards
Timo
Some thermoblock machines (e.g. the small Quickmills) are set up to drain and relieve pressure that way. Not sure if the Krups has this. The Briel is a simple home single boiler machine, and will leave the puck soggy.

Pressurized PFs are neither here nor there for leaving soggy pucks -- the water is at the top and wouldn't drain out of a regular basket either.
Jim Schulman

jovial

#10: Post by jovial »

i'm experiencing the same with my pressurized portafilter krups xp4020 machine.

i've realized if the grind is coarse then i end-up with loose (but not watery) puck.
if the grind is fine... i end-up with watery puck, with the possibility of puddle on top.

i have yet no idea which of the two is better.... i get same amount of crema in each case, and the espresso tastes the same.
i have yet to experience with my tamping.