Utterly lost - I am simply unable to produce a cup of espresso - Page 4

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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cafeIKE
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#31: Post by cafeIKE »

ClintFeedwood wrote:I reach 11 bar on the build in gauge and with my current grind setting I reach 10bar during the extraction time.
I just checked the BZ 10 parts diagram and it has no gicleur [flow restrictor] as do e61*, so the gauge pressure is likely brew pressure. Try dialing the pressure down to 9 on a shot that is flowing to spec.

* on many e61, there is a flow restrictor that reduces the flow and thus the puck pressure.

ClintFeedwood (original poster)

#32: Post by ClintFeedwood (original poster) »

Thank you for the detailed replies. I have several questions to your comments.
cafeIKE wrote: That Café Royale will likely run like water unless ground to Turkish fineness.
1. I fully believe you, considering the amount of liquid I get out of 25s of extraction, but am curious as whether you've worked with this brand before? Is that something I could have known before buying the coffee and should I even bother to keep trying with these beans, if it's that "flowy" of a coffee?
If you cannot grind fine enough, try increasing the dose in ½g increments up to 10 or so grams until you get good shots. Ideally you should be about ¼ turn of the movable carrier away from contact to allow sufficient room to adjust for staling and weather changes.
2. What do you mean with "¼ turn of the movable carrier away from contact to allow sufficient room to adjust for staling and weather changes"? Grind size of the burrs or the distance between portafilter and the brewhead? (I am also not sure how much weather plays part but I will read it up)
Try dialing the pressure down to 9 on a shot that is flowing to spec.
3. I am on 10bar currently and not on spec (spec being 1:2 Ratio in 25-30seconds, right?). So should adjust the opv? or do you mean that, once I have a shot that flows to my wishes, adjust my settings so I reach 9bar while maintaining the ratio and extraction time?

My summarization of what you said is as follow but please correct me if I am wrong: I will keep lowering the grind settings, maintaining 9g in the basket until I get somewhat close of an extraction time of 25-30seconds for a 1:2 - 1:2.5 ratio. Once I have somewhat reached said specification, I will add a little bit more ground coffee to see if I reach the right numbers. If not, the coffee is most likely whack. If I do reach my numbers I should adjust my settings so I reach 9bar pressure without loosing out on ratio or extraction time. Did I follow you properly?

I apologize for asking these questions. English is not my native tongue and some sentences are hard to understand depending on composition.

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Smo

#33: Post by Smo »

I will repeat myself.
Take a double basket. No one has yet died from a caffeine overdose using a double basket.
Coffee grinder in the range of 2-4, coffee 18 grams, 15 ml ristretto. Little caffeine, but lots of flavor. Throw out the bad grains, buy 250g packs.
Nobody knows yet how Italians make a great espresso from 7 grams of bad beans ...

SJM

#34: Post by SJM »

Smo wrote:I will repeat myself.
Take a double basket. No one has yet died from a caffeine overdose using a double basket.
What he said.
Trying to save either money or coffee or whatever by using the single basket is just making it harder on you.
If/as/when you master the double basket THEN you can try to master the single.

I am constantly amazed by how unwilling newbies are to do as they are advised, but it is the quicker way to success.

Pressino

#35: Post by Pressino »

Smo wrote:Nobody knows yet how Italians make a great espresso from 7 grams of bad beans ...
and maybe those that do use lever machines...? :shock:

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HB
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#36: Post by HB »

To further pile on the prior comments: :lol:

I advise avoiding the temptation to make small, incremental changes. Because marginal equipment and technique can introduce its own variability, the proposed change must be large enough to overcome the variation. For example:

A). If you think the brew pressure is too high, don't lower it by 0.5 or 1 bar, lower it by 2 or 3 bar. If that change confirms your expectation at the other extreme (e.g., no channeling but far less crema), then half the difference by increasing by 1 or 1.5 bar.

B). If you suspect the grocery-bought coffee is stale or difficult, don't buy another bag hoping it's fresher. Get a coffee with an established reputation and known roast date. There's lots of threads in the Coffees forum with roaster recommendations, but they are mostly USA-based suggestions, so start a region-specific one (e.g., "Beginner friendly espresso blends in Europe/Switzerland"). At first, stick with blends made for espresso, not single origins. The latter can be delightful, but sometimes trickier to pull or just not well suited for espresso.

C). If you believe (or don't) that single baskets are trickier than doubles based on this this thread, switch for a few days to doubles, note the changes, and then switch back. For more experienced baristas with multiple grinders, I'd recommend comparing side-by-side. We'll save that for another time. :)
Dan Kehn

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cafeIKE
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#37: Post by cafeIKE »

  1. Unless coffee has a clearly readable roast date, don't buy it. "Good Until" translates to "Too Far Gone". I've not worked with the brand, but I've received plenty of similar coffee from friends who appreciate my espresso. Every so often if the coffee beans still have decent aroma, I might try a shot. More often than not, I thank them and bin it for compost. It can take ½ the bag to dial in to get something acceptable with a combination of finer grind and up-dosing. Fresh coffee is easier to pull. Five days post roast is a safe starting point for espresso. Three weeks for most blends is about the limit. If you want to buy larger quantities, freeze. There is plenty of good advice here on that topic.
  2. First class bars adjust their grinders all day long as the temperature and humidity change. Home users need to accommodate both and as the coffee stales. I parcel my coffee up into 3 day sizes and freeze to minimize adjustment. I now live on the coast, in a rainy region, so rarely have to adjust due to weather. In California, we had large changes in temperature and humidity from climate control, so adjustments were required. ¼ rotation from where the grinder burrs begin to make contact is about 375 microns [µm] for grinder with 1.5mm pitch on the burr carrier threads. If the sweet spot is in this region, you will have plenty of adjustment room for various coffees that require finer grind. The contact point is determined by moving the the grind ever finer on an empty grinder until the burrs begin to chirp. Really serious people align their grinders to achieve even contact all around. Plenty of help here on Burr Alignment. Not that not all grinders are alignment capable. If it is too far off, it will be next to impossible to get decent shots. I looked up "SOLIS Smart Grinder", but it's not listed Solis site. I did find Sage and Breville 'Smart Grinders' BREVILLE BCG820BSSXL SMART GRINDER PRO REVIEW. At best, it's barely adequate. If it's an assembly outlier, i.e. tolerances all add up negatively for the task, it may never work for espresso.
  3. 'Spec' is as shown in the table. It's a starting point. If you get 15g of black water and no crema, it's a sink shot. IMO, spec is what tastes best. Currently here that's about 2x yield by weight. Previous coffee was about 150%. Volume is about the same because the previous coffee produced a lot more crema. Both were dialed in by taste. Current coffee, I dialed in 3 shots using notes from a similar roast from earlier this year. Previous coffee took ¾ pound over a week as it had to age more than expected. It was a 60/40 'Central'/Ethiopian blend. The 'Central' was the same but the Ethiopian change from a Gotiti to a Sidama that was very lightly roasted.
Definitely adjust the OPV. I find it easier to adjust on a blind basket and then see what I get on a shot. I would set it to 10 bar on a blind basket and see how that helps.

I would make the grind finer while watching the shot in clear cup. If the stream is continuous and pours a nice crema, you're on the right track. If the stream dances and there is no crema, you're not close.


Once you reach something that tastes good, make a note and then make adjustments keeping notes all the while from there until you're enjoying every shot.

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cafeIKE
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#38: Post by cafeIKE »

SJM wrote:I am constantly amazed by how unwilling newbies are to do as they are advised, but it is the quicker way to success.
I'm not when the cowboys are not trying to solve the problem within the poster's parameters.

How many of you "Do a Double" looked up his machine and grinder?

If you didn't, if you never pull singles and if you started with much better equipment pulling doubles, IMO, you're more hindrance than help. :evil:

SJM

#39: Post by SJM »

cafeIKE wrote:I'm not when the cowboys are not trying to solve the problem within the poster's parameters.

How many of you "Do a Double" looked up his machine and grinder?

If you didn't, if you never pull singles and started with much better equipment pulling doubles, IMO, you're more hindrance than help. :evil:
Mea culpa.
Apologies

But now I see he's using a Bezzera BZ10?
I still say "try a double basket"
I may be 'more hindrance than help', but....I don't think so.

ClintFeedwood (original poster)

#40: Post by ClintFeedwood (original poster) »

I was not trying to be learn-resistent and apologize if I was giving of that vibe. I simply wanted to find a way to drink lots of nice coffee while keeping my intake on the jittery stuff as low as possible.

I will probably soon enough have a go at the double basket as many of you pointed out. Just to make sure; Currently I have a 12g & 16g basket - a "double" basket in that case would be the 16g one, right?