When is the start of extraction time?

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terhune281

#1: Post by terhune281 »

Does extraction time begin from the "flip of the switch" or is it timed from the beginning of the flow of coffee from the portafilter to the cup. The reason I ask is that dosing, tamping and grind all affect the time at witch the extraction begins after the toggle switch is turned on. That time can last up to 12 seconds with a large dose of finely ground beans with a strong tamp. I appreciate your input.

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sweaner
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#2: Post by sweaner »

The flip of the "switch."
Scott
LMWDP #248

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drdna

#3: Post by drdna »

Well, this question has been posted about a thousand times, if you search for it.

If you are going to count, start after the water has saturated the puck and begins to extract; this is when the first few drops appear.

However, don't rely on timing. What you want to do is go by the taste and volume of the extraction that you achieve before blonding occurs. If the volume is too low and the taste too bitter, make the grind more coarse. If the volume is too high and the taste to sour, make the grind finer. This usually seems to happen around 20-40 seconds, but it is going to vary with the blend of beans used, age of the beans, humidity, tamp, etc. In other words, 25 seconds is a nice starting point, but the actual "correct" number will vary with each extraction you do.
Adrian

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Oh come now, not even close to a thousand times. Maybe 20 or 30 times, max. :lol:

But your underlying point is valid, the site's native search and especially the Unabridged FAQs are your friends. It's also helpful to use Google and the site: parameter (e.g., start of extraction time site:home-barista.com). These led me to the following related threads:
Dan Kehn

terhune281

#5: Post by terhune281 »

drdna wrote:Well, this question has been posted about a thousand times, if you search for it.

If you are going to count, start after the water has saturated the puck and begins to extract; this is when the first few drops appear.

However, don't rely on timing. What you want to do is go by the taste and volume of the extraction that you achieve before blonding occurs. If the volume is too low and the taste too bitter, make the grind more coarse. If the volume is too high and the taste to sour, make the grind finer. This usually seems to happen around 20-40 seconds, but it is going to vary with the blend of beans used, age of the beans, humidity, tamp, etc. In other words, 25 seconds is a nice starting point, but the actual "correct" number will vary with each extraction you do.

Hi, I searched under extraction time and nothing came up. At least not on this web-site.

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sweaner
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#6: Post by sweaner »

Well, it seems as if there is no consensus after all.
Scott
LMWDP #248

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drdna

#7: Post by drdna »

You seem surprised somehow that there would be no consensus on this website?
:lol:
Adrian

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sweaner
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#8: Post by sweaner »

Adrian, when/if there is ever consensus then I will be surprised.
Scott
LMWDP #248

terhune281

#9: Post by terhune281 »

I understand that this is a minor point and that taste is all - thank you Jim. If there are 30 or 1000 other postings on this topic there are probably 20 times as many on how long an extraction should last. If it can't accurately be timed from the BEGINNING of extraction all the talk about length of extraction is moot. Carl

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RapidCoffee
Team HB

#10: Post by RapidCoffee »

This is a legitimate question with no simple answer. Extraction starts as soon as water hits the top of the puck, i.e. when you hit the switch. But many machines have preinfusing groupheads (such as the popular E61) that do not ramp up to full pressure for several seconds. So it's also reasonable to start timing from the point where espresso starts dripping from the bottom of the basket. I lean towards the "when you hit the switch" school, but taking preinfusion into account certainly makes sense.

The good news: the golden rule of a 25-30 second extraction is just a useful guideline. Get in the ballpark by adjusting grind and dose, then throw away your stopwatch and cut your pours when they blond.
John