HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Sour Shots (29 msgs / 762 lines)
1) From: Mark Tosiello
Hi,
Well, working on the learning curve with my Tea, and I'm trying to identify
the cause of very sour (not bitter) shots.  Pulling doubles in about 30sec
with double basket, using various types of SM beans roasted by me, ground in
Mazzer Mini (working on the grind as well) and hopefully consistently tamped
with about 30lbs.
Shots are VERY sour, even with straight "Horse"...
Boiler pressure is adjusted to 1.0 maxing to 1.2.....this is down a bit from
the original 1.2 to 1.4 cycle range, but was recommended since the 1.2 to
1.4 was a bit high to the techs.
Anyone with any advice on how to "unsour" the shots?
Mark
-------
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2) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Mark
The two leading reasons for sour shots are under roasting and low 
temperature.
You do not mention your roast level.  How dark are you roasting?
Also I don't know about the Tea but on my la Cimbali many light roasted 
coffees (full city + or less)
are distinctly sour unless the boiler pressure is 1.2 - 1.3.
To some extent roasting and brew temperature interact.  That is the 
darker the roast the lower
the required brew temperature and the lighter the roast the higher the 
required brew temperature.
Hope this helps.
ciao
jeff
Mark Tosiello wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Mark Tosiello
Hi,
Thanks for the reply.  I'm roasting past full city +, not to vienna, and at
the time, my boiler pressure was running 1.2 - 1.4.  Did wind up turning it
DOWN in response to research that suggested that 1.0 - 1.2 would be optimum.
Mark
-------
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first...Invent the
Universe
                                             -Dr. Carl E. Sagan
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4) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Mark
One question that I didn't ask is what your shot time was?
Not being a tea user perhaps I am at a disadvantage but a couple more 
things to check...
You probably can't up your boiler pressure because most of the safety 
valves po about 1.5 atm.
A thought that just occured...  How long was the machine on?  How did 
you prep it?  Is the boiler
'vapor locked'?
Warm up the machine at least 1 hour (my LC jr pulls noticibly sour shots 
at 20 minutes warm up).
Turn the steam wand on for 20 seconds or so (if the anti-vacuum valve is 
stuck the unit will look like
it is up to temp but when you turn the steam wand on it will quickly go 
down) if the anti-vacuum was
stuck wait another 30 minutes or so.  Draw at least 4 oz of water and 
wait until the heater turns off then
pull a shot.
Do you have a way to measure temperature?  If so you can measure the 
output stream of the pf
by poking a thermocouple or good thermometer into a stryrofoam cup that 
is cut down and holding
right under the pf.  Common wisdom says that on a fully heated machine 
that the water coming out of
the pf is 10 degrees F below brew temperature.
Another thing to try would be to roast up one of Tom's espresso blends.  
You don't say what your tried
other than horse but I got the impression that they were varietals.  I 
know that I definately prefer blends
as esspresso because I find most varietals unbalenced as espresso.
You also do not mention your roasting method.  If it is a relatively 
fast air-roast try to lengthen it or roast
darker.
jeff
Mark Tosiello wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Mark Tosiello
Jeff,
Thanks for your questions.  Here is what's up:
<Snip>
Actually, some recommendations were to take the pressure DOWN  from 1.2 -
1.4 to 1.0 - 1.2.  I knew about the low temp making things sour, but for
some reason was advised to drop it to this level, as the former level was
deemed a bit high
<Snip>
The machine is on 24/7.  Anyone else do this?  I didn't know about pulling
some water thru to cool the group a bit prior to the first shot...I now do
this.  Don't think vapor lock is a problem.
<Snip>
I'll give that a try.
<Snip>
I just ordered a couple pounds each of Monkey Blend and Amber from Tom, so
we'll see when that arrives.  Anyone got a good blend they would be willing
to share?  One that might have less "sour" tendencies?
<Snip>
Freshroast 8 Fluid bed.  New one, so not as fast as the old, but still fast.
I'll slow it down a bit and go past my usual stopping point.
Thanks!!!

6) From: Chris Beck
Mark, what kind of grinder are you using?  I've had terrible problems 
with harsh/sour espressos when my grinder is either dirty or the burrs 
are worn.  I had a Solis 166 for about 6 months before the burrs wore 
out, and I just replaced the burrs in my Rocky after two years and maybe 
30 lbs. of espresso.  Big improvement!
Chris
mark.tos wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Mark Tosiello
Hi,
Brand new Mazzer Mini.  Alternatively, have tried my Zass 169DG with similar
results.
Mark
-------
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first...Invent the
Universe
                                             -Dr. Carl E. Sagan
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8) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Mark Tosiello wrote:
<Snip>
Yes, but not in the summer. 
<Snip>
Good
<Snip>
Not if the machine is on 24/7
But...  Is the PF left in the machine?  It needs to be hot also.
<Snip>
Good! Let us know
<Snip>
There are many coffees that do not sour, what do you have?
<Snip>
Good!  That may help.  I know that if I roast for espresso in a popper I 
have to go darker than I do with
my HT to get away from sour.  (That is without profiling)
jeff

9) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 03:52 AM 6/12/2004, Mark Tosiello typed:
I think temp is a good place to start but your roast time may well be the 
issue.  I think you need to shoot for at least 8 minutes and preferably 
over 10.  Scarlet Wombat, I know you are using a FR and pull shots.  What 
is your experience?
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

10) From: Mark Tosiello
-------
If> But...  Is the PF left in the machine?  It needs to be hot also.
PF is left in the machine.
<Snip>
Multiple tests with good instant read thermometer (best I have) shows that
the temp of the water out of the portafilter is about 188-190deg...
<Snip>
so
<Snip>
willing
<Snip>
I have some Aged Sumatra Lintong, Monsooned Malabar, Yirg, Harrar, ,
Guatamala Fratjanes Palo Alto Azul, Costa Rica Tres Rios La Magnolia, and
Kenya AA.
I'm rather low at the moment....but I'm ordering more.....think the pressure
stat needed to go UP rather than down?  The techs seemed to think down, but
I don't know.....
Mark

11) From: alfred
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Mark: 
I'll second your opinion on this regarding roast times. I am only =
dealing with the Hot Top but here is what I have found.
The recommended load is 250 grams, but a load of 300 grams results in a =
roast that is much smoother and sweeter.The beans roast more evenly. It =
also increases the time to the cracks by two to three minutes.
First crack is about 17 to 18 minutes, second 20 to 21 minutes
I wonder what Tom's times are with the Probat?

12) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Mark Tosiello wrote:
<Snip>
Close, maybe just a touch low.
<Snip>
The sumatra or the MM should not be sour at full city + but they 
generally require longer resting.  My
MM blend really comes into it's own at 72 to 96 hours. 
<Snip>
Maybe just a little but normally the over pressure protection kicks in 
at 1.5 atm.  Temperature goes up
as pressure does.
<Snip>
I don't think I would go down any more.  From your temperature 
measurement you  are close.
You may want to try buying some preroasted espresso locally.  I am 
beginning to believe that you
are either roasting too light or too fast.  Where are you at.  Are you 
close enough to anyone that
roasts for espresso to get you some?
As mentioned earlier you may want to take a roast to vienna to try it.  
Even if you are roasting too fast
you should notice a distinct lessening in the sour notes.
jeff
<Snip>

13) From: Mark Tosiello
Hi,
I'll do a couple of vienna roasts to see how things go...I've done one to
full city +++ that I'm going to try.  I suppose I'll leave the pressure
setting as is...I was concerned when I was told to drop it from 1.2 - 1.4
down to 1.0 - 1.2, since I had understood that temp too LOW would cause
sourness.  However, that's what I was told, and it seems close, I guess. On
my Tea, the overpressure valve actuates at 1.7, so I do have room to play.
It's pretty hard to get the FRP to roast slowly without a variac, but I'll
see what I can do about stopping and starting per some prior suggestions.
Thanks for all the help!!!!
Mark
-------
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first...Invent the
Universe
                                             -Dr. Carl E. Sagan
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Anti-Virus.

14) From: Allon Stern
So, I want to make a shot of espresso as flavorful and as SOUR as I can.
What's the best way to achieve this?
Why sour? I want to experiment. A friend of mine gave me some Miracle  
Fruit tablets; I haven't tried them yet; I want to line up various  
sour things to try out while "under the influence".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_fruitI'm guessing I want low temperature. Not sure if I want a too-coarse  
grind because while that will sour the shot, it will also weaken it  
considerably.
I have a thermoblock machine, so I may try first flushing some water  
through to lower the temperature, just before pulling the shot. I'm  
also not sure what coffee to use for this to maximize the sourness.
Anyone else ever tried this? :D
(quick search)
goodness!http://www.home-barista.com/coffees/miracle-fruit-would-be-
fascinating-pairing-with-high-acid-espresso-t7136.html
-
allon
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15) From: Derek Bradford
I've never tried for a sour shot on purpose, but I can give you a few good
ways to get one.  Underroast your beans.  Make them as light as possible,
but get them out of first crack.  They'll be edgy and will really add to the
pucker value of your shot.  Try some good Ethiopian beans for this; they're
winier to begin with.  Then brew normally--grind and shot time are still
important--but brew cooler.  If you brew at 94C, brew at 92C and see how
that tastes.  If you go too low it'll just be awful; usually the difference
between sour and not is a degree or two.
That's where I'd start.
--Derek
On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 10:02 AM, Allon Stern  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
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16) From: Jim Gundlach
On Apr 1, 2009, at 8:11 AM, Derek Bradford wrote:
<Snip>
I would add that you don't let the lightly roasted beans rest any more  
than necessary.
    pecan jim
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17) From: Dean De Crisce
I have only done this on accident. Kenya roasted too light, 10 second,
2 oz shot. That ought to get you there.
What does the miracle fruit do?
On 4/1/09, Allon Stern  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sent from my mobile device
Dean De Crisce, MD
Special Treatment Unit
8 Production Way
Avenel, NJ 07001
Mobile: 310-980-8715
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18) From: Mike Koenig
Interesting...  lower temperature will work to a point, but too low
and you get brown colored water.
Try shots of bright centrals or Kenya at a city roast in the espresso
machine.  It's normally face-distortingly sour for me (even at ~200F)
--mike
On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 9:02 AM, Allon Stern  wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: Allon Stern
I don't stock kenyas. I tend towards Ethiopian. No really bright  
centrals though I do have some finca Mauritania that may do...
I probably won't get around to this for a while -- too much travel  
between a coworker and I, and I wanted to share the experience :-)
-
allon
On Apr 1, 2009, at 6:24 PM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
<Snip>
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20) From: Jerry Procopio
I was under the impression that "sour" when referring to an expresso 
shot was an unpleasant sour like in something that had spoiled and 
soured not sour as in sour apple or fruit taste.  I think I remember Tom 
pointing this out a couple years ago.  Am I mistaken?
JavaJerry
Mike Koenig wrote:
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21) From: Barry Luterman
Yes it is something to be avoided.
2009/4/1 Jerry Procopio 
<Snip>
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22) From: Allon Stern
No, I mean really sour tasting. I've pulled some really sour shots at  
one time or another, and am trying to recreate it intentionally.
The flavor sour, not "generically bad".
-
allon
On Apr 2, 2009, at 12:05 AM, Barry Luterman  wrote:
<Snip>
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23) From: Justin Schwarz
I might try to roast a typically bright coffee like a nice Kenya or  
central as has been noted by others already, in a popper or with a  
very fast profile on another machine.  Even if you pull good shots  
with these coffees the brightness still shines through and you can  
still make observations before and after the magic berries.
Miracle fruit should do more than make things less sour, I am not sure  
The Vatican would agree that this is a true miracle. Kind of  
interesting they look like coffee cherries
-Justin
On Apr 1, 2009, at 9:26 PM, Allon Stern wrote:
<Snip>
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24) From: Seth Grandeau
The miracle fruit basically tricks the "sweet" receptors on the tongue to
fire when something sour comes by.  I saw something about this on TV, where
people ate the fruit, then drank vinegar.  They said it tasted syrupy sweet
in their mouth, but then burned going down their throat.  I think you will
really need the citrusy sour taste, like lemon, lime or grapefruit.
On 4/2/09, Allon Stern  wrote:
<Snip>
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25) From: Dean De Crisce
Interesting. I wonder why anyone would need this
On 4/2/09, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
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Avenel, NJ 07001
Mobile: 310-980-8715
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26) From: Jim Gundlach
My sense is that there is a less than perfect agreement on what taste  
we describe as "sour" in talking about coffee.   I think the too cool  
brew sour is different from the under roasted sour.  It seems to me  
that the miracle fruit test could help to determine if neither, one or  
both of these "sours" involve the same chemical bounds that the sour  
of vinegar produces.  I would be interested in hearing about your  
results.  May have to try it myself.
      pecan jim
On Apr 2, 2009, at 7:05 AM, Seth Grandeau wrote:
<Snip>
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27) From: Allon Stern
On Apr 2, 2009, at 10:11 AM, Dean De Crisce wrote:
<Snip>
Amusement?
-
allon
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28) From: Mike Koenig
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29) From: Jim Wilson
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 23:29:30 -0400
From: Jerry Procopio >
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Sour shots
To: homeroast, koenig.mike
Message-ID: <49D4311A.5060705>
I was under the impression that "sour" when referring to an expresso 
shot was an unpleasant sour like in something that had spoiled and 
soured not sour as in sour apple or fruit taste.  I think I remember Tom 
pointing this out a couple years ago.  Am I mistaken?
JavaJerry
~~~That's the beauty of a PID'd single boiler espresso machine.  You wanna taste sour?  Start decreasing strike water temp till it tastes so, but I don't know why anyone would want to go there= : - )
Jake
Reddick Fla.
Mike Koenig wrote:
<Snip>
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