When people say brew for 25-30s is that after the first drop? - Page 2

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

This is often asked. I personally don't think it's possible to define a standard for where shot time begins to try and compare different machines and setups. Especially where different preinfusion times or other parameters are involved affecting flow.

The only comparison I think is helpful or useful is between what you are doing on the current shot as compared with your prior shots on the same machine. Whatever you decide (total clock time versus 1st drop) stick with that and use it consistently. Such as when dialing in your grinder or other equipment, or trying to replicate a prior recipe used with the same coffee and equipment.

Just my opinion though and I am certainly not the leading authority on this stuff.
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EdTW

#12: Post by EdTW »

I'm very new to espresso (or coffee in general), but I have my own reason why I time it as soon as the pump starts.

being a beginner to espresso, I want to receive as much info about my shot as possible. So when I pull a shot from the same espresso blend I always use, I expect to start seeing the first drop at around 6 sec mark, and reach my 2:1 ratio (17.5g in 35g out) in about 25-27 seconds.
When the first drop doesn't drop at around the 6 sec mark, I can tell that something is wrong (either someone changes the grind size or something went wrong with my puck prep). Or when the first drop does come out at the 6 second mark but the shot finishes much quicker than the regular 25-27 seconds, I have reason to believe channeling happened during the shot and water flows through the puck much faster than normal.

Nate42

#13: Post by Nate42 »

For pump machines that have no manual control over pre-infusion, the most common convention seems to be to start the timer as soon as the pump is started. For machines where you do have control over pre-infusion it's common to talk about pre-infusion time and total shot time separately. It's really about internal consistency with yourself though, you can't directly compare with others because different machines are different.

If it takes 13 seconds before you see drops forming, that is an indicator that your grind is on the fine side, but that's not intrinsically good or bad, it depends on taste. The 25-30 second guideline isn't magic either, if it takes a little longer and you like the end result, that's fine.

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cafeIKE
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#14: Post by cafeIKE »

homeburrero wrote:I think in most cases nowadays you can assume the timer starts when the brew flow starts because that's the way typical built-in shot timers on modern machines work.
Bad design communicating less useful information.

jpender wrote:Extraction starts when the water first begins to flow
Not exactly. The first few seconds merely wet the cake. Stopping the pump just before the first bead results in nothing except a big wet cake.

Nate42 wrote:It's really about internal consistency with yourself though, you can't directly compare with others because different machines are different.
Internal consistency is not much use to a remote user.


Time to first drop is little use when communicating parameters.

Communicating [grinder, coffee,] nominal basket size and dose, [pressure,]
time and shot mass / volume from first drop pretty much allows ballpark replication
assuming the author's pour doesn't look like

as the first drop hits the cup :cry:

jpender

#15: Post by jpender »

cafeIKE wrote:Not exactly. The first few seconds merely wet the cake. Stopping the pump just before the first bead results in nothing except a big wet cake.
Technically extraction is only counted if it makes it into the cup but solids begin dissolving immediately. And preinfusion time has other important effects, puck permeability being one of them.

Instead of preinfusion time you could specify the pressure profile or (better) the water flow rate, but not everyone can measure or control that.

I think it's 99% about internal consistency, at least at the home barista level. It's like a recipe for baking bread: Ingredients, oven temp, rising time, baking time. Those are necessary pieces of information for you to repeat the recipe. But they aren't sufficient for someone else.
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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#16: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

FYI Slayer looks for total contact time. You can read their approach to dialing in.

While you may not have a needle valve maybe you can make other adjustments.
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