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Posted By Jan Pijpelink,
Jul 20, 2019 at 7:36 PM
I grind directly in my portafilter and have no mess like I see in your picture, not even close.
That’s another data point that makes me think I’m grinding too coarse. This machine is clean on a finer setting, but that seems to jam my Gaggia. Something is not right in my rig.
Do me a favor, and next time you meter a shot, tare the glass and and then weigh the shot. I want to see if you’re hitting 2:1 by weight, with that no-mess grind setting.
I have weighed my shots for a few days. 18 grams beans to 35-36 grams espresso in 23-26 seconds. Depending on the tamp.
Sounds perfect. Once I get mine dialed in a little closer, I'm going to take some of my grinds to a buddy at work, who is completely OCD about weighing and timing every shot. We'll see what he gets on my grinds. Given the mess they're making of my pantry, I think they're likely coarser than yours, but it's what I need to hit shot timing on this machine. Something isn't right, I need to start eliminating variables.
Just received the bottomless portafilter. Here is my first pull. Not perfect, but not too bad either. Needs a firmer tamp.
Cool. I’ll have to watch it when I get home, it’s not loading from where I am now.
I believe I found the cause of my grind coarseness issue, stay tuned for a report, once I’ve had a chance to prove the theory. Ran out of the beans I typically use in this machine, waiting on a new shipment, as changing beans won’t help with simplification of the results.
Just did another experiment.
Sette on setting 11.
4.40 seconds gave me 17 grams coffee
did the paperclip procedure
very firm tamp
23 seconds gave me 40 grams espresso (a bit too fast); excellent flavor, at least for me.
no channeling in the pull, so no mess
still working on it.
I’m having variability issues. Not sure what the problem is. Will post some data shortly.
When you change grind settings, do you do that while the motor is running? That is recommended. To avoid jamming.
Yep, that wasn't the issue. I think I have two very big problems:
1. I'm trying to hit a specific shot weight (1.1 oz. shot from 0.56 oz. grounds, perfect 2:1 by weight) on a 22 second timed extraction. I'm not sure this is a realistic goal, it may be better to extract a 1.1 oz. weighed shot, and just see if I can hit the magic 20 - 25 second window. This is because the pour rate is much higher at the end of the shot than at the beginning, just a second or three foregiveness can make a big difference in shot volume. I originally chose to do volume per time, because it's so much easier than trying to jam a scale under the shot glass on the machine.
2. I am having issues with getting repeatable measurements of my 18 oz. portafilter and holder. I am trying to measure a 0.56 oz. fill on an 18 oz. hunk of metal, the coffee is only 3% of the weight I'm measuring. If the scale is ±1% accurate, then my coffee charge is varying by 33%. I also found that the position of the portafilter on the scale makes a difference of a few %, enough to throw huge inaccuracy into the actual coffee weight measurement. This position issue, and later resolving it, is the difference between the "accurate" data points and the earlier "questionable" data points.
There are probably a half dozen other smaller problems with my consistency, but these are the big'uns I see. That said, here is the summary of the data I collected:
So, ignoring the "questionable" data for a moment, and just focusing on the "accurate" data, note that I got a shot size of 1.73 on a grind setting of 14i (=14.89), so I turned the micro ring down to 14f (=14.56) and my shot got heavier! Knowing that couldn't be right, I turned it down one more micro setting to 14e (=14.44), and got a too-small 0.83 oz. shot. WTF?
Somewhere in there, I also did two more shots at 14d (=14.33) and got weights of 1.13 and 1.56 oz., not exactly super-consistent.
The trend line is pointing toward a 14b grind setting, but I never got there, I ran out of the bean I was using.
Earlier, during the "questionable" measurements, I started off with a bunch of shots that were a bit too small (0.7 - 0.9 oz. at 22 seconds). Since the micro ring was already as coarse as I could go in the 13's, I clicked the macro ring once to 14i, and pulled a 22 second shot that came in at 0.4 oz! That made no sense, I should be getting bigger shots on the same timing, with the coarser grind. Thinking I must've screwed up, I pulled a second, and it came in at 2.3 oz., almost 6x the first. I decided to do a third on this same setting, and it came in at 0.7 oz, still smaller than the shots I was pulling on the finer 13i grind.
I'm not sure what could be causing this. I have three more bags of beans (at $14/ea!) coming tomorrow or Friday, and will experiment further. I'm thinking of changing to just pulling by weight, even though it's a complete PITA, and just ensuring it lands in the 20-25 second window. I may also pull some shots with the Virtuoso grinder, to verify I can still do consistent shots with that, I believe I could before.
Does your scale has a gram setting? If so, you might want to try that. IMO much more accurate.
Yes, it has a grams setting, but accuracy is not affected by units selection. The number of reported units automatically adjusts to the accuracy of the scale, x.x grams vs x.xxx oz., with that last digit being 0 or 5. So, not that it matters, but I can actually report down to .14 gram increments when I work in oz.
I can convert to grams on the graphs, if you can’t convert in your head, but that won’t fix my repeatability issues.
It’s that shot weight is pretty consistent when grind size is smaller, and goes haywire when grind is coarser.
Maybe I missed something, but if you have found a setting that is getting you a good 1:2 ratio espresso (with that fancy micro-ring), why are you still playing around with other settings? Are you changing brew technique that often?
What a lot of people seem to do is weighing just the empty basket and weighing the basket filled. You don't have to deal with the excessive weight of the portafilter. A bit of a hassle, but worth to try.
As an alternative, at least till you figured everything out in theory (and on paper), switch to beer!
Yeah, I was thinking about this, myself. I don’t think I’d be able to pop the basket in and out of the portafilter holder without losing grounds or popping the puck loose, but perhaps if I pull out the wire bale that makes it a snap-fit, I could get away with this.
Of course, then I’ll be tossing the basket across the room, every time I instinctively swing it toward the knock box.
I probably didn’t do a great job of explaining the situation. Using the Virtuoso grinder, I had previously dialed it in for various beans to hit my 2:1 by weight, and land within the 20 - 25 second extraction window (from first drop, not counting pre-infusion). However, this is the first time I tried doing it in reverse, just running the machine for 22 seconds beyond the first drop, and weighing the shot.
I think there are a few things that have confounded me:
1. The first time I collected data, I started at their recommended grind setting, and completely jammed up the portafilter with a too-fine grind. Even though I knocked out that soaked puck and wiped it out real well, I think the portafilter was partially clogged after that, making all of my shots too slow, and forcing me toward a too-coarse grind.
2. For the next attempt, I cleaned everything real well, but I had not yet realized the issue of subtracting the weight of the empty portafilter from the loaded one was causing me to have varying amounts of coffee in the basket. This was likely impacting shot time, and causing some of the apparently-random results.
3. At coarser grind settings (eg. Above 13), I think the Sette does a pretty poor job at consistently. Definitely worse than the Virtuoso, at these coarser settings. This is also causing some of the randomness.
4. Because the pour starts slow and finishes less slow, just a few seconds at the end of the pour can make a big difference in shot size. This is okay, I shouldn’t really be aiming to get a 22 second shot, I should be aiming to get 2:1 by weight, and just making sure it’s not a shorter than 20 second or longer than 25 second extraction.
More beans on the way. Next time, I think I’ll just pour 2 fl.oz. shots, and time and weight them. This will get me near ideal, without having to balance a scale under the shot glass on the machine. Once I get close to the ideal grind, then I can adjust that, as 2 fl.oz. does not always yield the true 1.1 oz. (31.2g) weight target.
Pulling shots on volume and then weigh them is what I would do.
As for clogging, I always rinse my portafilter in the sink with hot water after every use.
I started doing that, last night. Because I never know if my water is as hot as I’d like it to be, I had been previously just washing it when I shut down the machine at the end of the day, and only wiping it clean between shots.
When I rinse after every shot, I see grounds coming out from the bottom of the basket, now that I have a naked portafilter. You won't see that with a regular filter. It will build up after a few shots.
And I think that is also why SB coffee is so bad. They pull hundreds of shots per day without rinsing the basket, horrible taste.
There’s about a dozen things I don’t understand about Stabucks, not the least of which is how they make a 12 or 16 oz latte from a 0.5 oz portafilter basket.
What kind of cup do you use for espresso?
Success tonight. Perfectly consistent shots at 22.5 seconds, four in a row. Full story at 11pm.
Espresso and macchiato:
Latte and cappuccino: