Someone please explain extraction ratios to me! - Page 2

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
hamish5178 (original poster)

#11: Post by hamish5178 (original poster) »

TrlstanC wrote:
I think that the regular espresso range also lines up pretty well with traditional definitions of an Italian espresso. For a double, 14g will give about 28g of liquid, which with crema will fill up 1.5-2oz (about 50ml +/- 10). But it really does just come down to communicating how a shot was pulled, if you give me the brew ratio and time I can probably pull a similar tasting shot on my equipment that you got on yours, with the same coffee.
Do you know of any youtube videos for example that show a shot similar to the one you describe (basically anything with a high brew ratio)? I know for a fact that I've seen a lot of videos of people filling Bodum Pavinas. I know that if I try to fill a Pavina (aren't they 2.5 oz?) or basically any standard demitasse I end up with something to the order of 60-80 grams of extraction. Maybe I'm just not pulling as much crema as the rest of you guys. My shots are in the right time range and the beans I buy are roasted less than a mile away.

Another question: I know I've seen forum members make reference to their shots being '90% crema'. What does this mean? Is that during extraction? Mine look like that too but once they've sat for anything more than 5 seconds the crema settles.

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#12: Post by RapidCoffee »

hamish5178 wrote:Another question: I know I've seen forum members make reference to their shots being '90% crema'. What does this mean? Is that during extraction? Mine look like that too but once they've sat for anything more than 5 seconds the crema settles.
My extractions pour as virtually 100% crema. Always. The crema begins to dissipate immediately, but certainly persists for much longer than 5 seconds.
hamish5178 wrote:I'm not confused at all, I understand that 2 oz of espresso will not always be 60 grams due to crema, but it sure as hell won't be 30 grams, at least not in any shot I've ever seen. When I pull a 30 gram shot, even with a ton of crema, it is still clearly in the ballpark of 1 oz by volume.
This does not jive with my experience. My shot volumes are typically 45-50ml for a 15g double dose, and the shot weights are about half that (22-24g), yielding brew ratios of about 2:3 (67%).
John

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TrlstanC

#13: Post by TrlstanC »

I did a little searching on youtube to try and find something that looks like what I would make at home, and this is pretty close. (a lot of the videos of 'ristrettos' are naked-triples, huge cones of crema, or very slow ristrettos that last 35+ seconds - neither of which are bad, just not typical). I might even have a video of a decent looking shot somewhere, I'll check when I get home.

<missing video>

That shot has about 4-seconds until the first drop starts, and is about 30 seconds total. I'd guess that's about 2oz, maybe a bit more. No idea what the weight/ratios are, but it's probably in the normal-ish range.

However, if I was pulling that shot I would've cut it after about 20-25 seconds (at least for the first attempt). So, maybe 1.5oz? I'd say that's what a lot of shots I pull end up looking like, something in that range. Again, no idea about what it weighs, but I'd guess it'd be in the 100% brew ratio range if it got cut early (as opposed to closer to 50% as is). Which isn't a 'typical' ristretto, it's not a slowwww drippy 30-40 second shot. Instead it's a 'normal' shot that just gets cut off a few seconds early, somewhere just before the first bit of blonding shows up.

And that might just be my tastes, i.e., I really don't like the last blonde drops, or it could be the coffees I end up using, they might just work better when the end gets cut off?

Not to say I never pull shots that go blonde for a few seconds, or never pull traditional ristrettos that take a long time and end up being only 1oz. But when I'm pulling a shot I'm almost never targeting a certain volume or a certain weight, I'm watching the stream and looking for signs that the extraction is changing (change in speed/color/bubbly-ness, ect.) to try and spot the right time to stop (or actually tasting the shot as I pull it, in little spoonfuls, especially when dialing in trickier coffees). It's only afterwards that I find out how much espresso I ended up with (in volume or weight or brew ratios), and that's usually in the 1.5-2oz range (about 2/3 the way up in my little bodum cups) and around 100% brew ratio.

hamish5178 (original poster)

#14: Post by hamish5178 (original poster) »

Thanks for all the info TristanC! I'm thinking that maybe there is a discrepancy between the people who talk about ratios and the people who post videos to youtube?

cmin

#15: Post by cmin »

Just saw this and had me wondering as well. You always see and learn that basically 14g double = 1.75-2oz for espresso. Yet looking at the chart on the 1st page that looks like high end of a lungo now. Like the shots I just pulled were both 15.6 grams and about 1.75oz (w/ crema), which would be about 51ml. That would be a far off an espresso shot according to that chart at 30%.

So it got me thinking since you see so many post on here, CG, and elsewhere talking about pulling 1.75-2oz shots with 14-18 grams. And you see so many saying they never pull, nor tried lungos, yet apparantly that chart says almost everyone has been drinking lungos lol.

Am I reading that right, or misunderstanding something. So basically all these years I and anyone else I know has been drinking lungos, not espresso lol??!

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boar_d_laze

#16: Post by boar_d_laze »

Don't let measurements confuse you. They're only a way of dialing in, and not a goal in and of themselves.

The shot in the video was pulled way past the blond point, which occurred at around 20 - 22 seconds into the shot (24 - 26 seconds into the video).

If you're learning how to dial in your palate, or are dialing in a new coffee, and ARE using (weighed) extraction ratio as one of your tools -- just stop worrying about volume. Not only is it meaningless except as a down-the-line diagnostic, but your preconceptions were wrong. Very, very wrong. Also, misleading and not right.

The best way to start building a shot is to start with an appropriate amount of coffee in the basket. That's equipment dependent in a couple of ways. The most important is probably level of the fill in the basket, which itself depends on grind, placement of the screen in the group, and the basket itself. It's also highly coffee dependent.

There's no magic dose weight for a double. It could be anywhere from 12g to 24g. There's no magic brew weight either. But I think you'll find that YOU have a generally preferred brew ratio.

So... when you're dialing in a new coffee, you're looking for certain metric parameters as a starting point to begin tweaking grind, time, ratio, temp, etc.

For instance, when I try a new coffee I start with: At least a five day rest for the beans; grinder adjusted to a 25-30sec pull to the blond point; 18 - 20g into a Strada 18g basket; and 200F (about) water. I also weigh the shot; and know from experience that the shot won't taste good unless it's in the 50-75% ratio range. As I tweak my way towards "exceptional espresso," I know from experience I'll end up at the 60-66% range.

For the little it's worth, when I use a Bodum Pavina, the shots usually don't go past 3/4 of the way to the top, and when the crema stabilizes to about 20% of the shot volume, the shot height is more like 2/3. Think of that as "nice to know, but generally unimportant."

The important take away isn't a "perfect" ratio, nor should it be that there's any perfect measurement by device or even by eye. Rather, it's that there's a "how to" of getting really good shots in which those things are useful but your palate is the ultimate arbiter.

Taste, taste, taste.

BDL
Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator

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RapidCoffee
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#17: Post by RapidCoffee »

cmin wrote:Just saw this and had me wondering as well. You always see and learn that basically 14g double = 1.75-2oz for espresso. Yet looking at the chart on the 1st page that looks like high end of a lungo now. Like the shots I just pulled were both 15.6 grams and about 1.75oz (w/ crema), which would be about 51ml. That would be a far off an espresso shot according to that chart at 30%.
You are confusing liquid volume measurement (1.75oz = 51ml) with liquid weight measurement. Brew ratios are the ratio of the coffee weight to the extracted liquid weight. Anything else is simply incorrect.

If the liquid weight of your shot is 51g, then you would indeed have a brew ratio of 15.6g/51g = 31%. However, crema is only about half the density of water. So the actual brew ratio would be more like 60%, at least on my gear.
John