HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Getting Nervous... Big day tomorrow (11 msgs / 213 lines)
1) From: Jeff Goldrich
I feel like a novice artist, who assembled the finest canvas, paints 
and brushes available- ready to paint for the first time in his life. 
No intermediate training with sketching or watercolor paints. Even an 
etch-a sketch would have provide *some* level of practice. No..not me.
Tomorrow the plumber will come and plumb in the shiny new Vetrano... 
My first several batches of Monkey Blend are sitting in canning 
jars.. (72-48hrs now) Some a bit too dark ( who knows?) and another 
that is lighter and non-oily . Digital scale, water filter/softener, 
tamper, grinder, roaster.... all await my first attempt. I've  been 
reading and absorbing mass quantities of information.. pressure 
gauges, water dances, bean genetics, bottomless portafilters, water 
chemistry, and tonight, here on this very list, I learned that I may 
have to electrocute my green beans with 50,000 volts because my 110v 
outlet may not have enough power :) I think I'll try a flame thrower 
first...may work?
I think I may have cracked... I am getting nervous about all this.... 
The Vetrano sits very intimidating on my kitchen counter... Knobs, 
dials, and switches... Will it all work out...? Will I even be able 
to get a "passable" espresso tomorrow? Oh my...
jeff

2) From: Les
Calm down,  don't look at that the sink!!!!!  No, the drain isn't
smiling at you with anticipation of enjoying your espresso.  There
will be no sink shots!  Think positive.
Jeff, the sign on my wood turning mentor's wall is something to keep
in mind.  It says, "If you make a mistake, destroy all the evidence
and keep your mouth shut."  Remember this is suppose to be fun!   I
don't know where you live, but it may not hurt to have some moral
support from a more experienced espresso person.   Dr. Crema does make
house-calls.
Les
On 8/9/06, Jeff Goldrich  wrote:
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
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Congrats, very nice machine! If I understand you correctly this will be your
first espresso machine? Good move, won't be worrying about upgraditits
anytime soon:-) BTW, you didn't mention what grinder you'll be using with
the Vetrano. Hopefully a Rocky or better. Make that a question:-)
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I'd suggest mixing all your Monkey batches together for a larger total batch
all the same overall roast level to learn your new machine. Eliminates
atleast the varying degree of roast variable from the shot equation that
way.
Digital scale, water filter/softener, 
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Nah, jet engine & cement mixer. (Hope Wandering John is ok)
 
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If you haven't done this already while the plumbers doing his thing get out
a scale and practice the feel of 30# tamp, even if it's the bathroom scale
on the kitchen counter! But more important than the tamp is grinds
distribution and leveling. You've probably spent time on home-barista
reading up, if not here's a thread with links to all the major espresso how
to discussions. http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t40Have fun!
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

4) From: Jared Andersson
Mike said, "I'd suggest mixing all your Monkey batches together for a larger
total batch
all the same overall roast level to learn your new machine. Eliminates
at least the varying degree of roast variable from the shot equation that
way."
This is a big mistake I made with my first and only espresso machine (Isomac
Tea).  I used a different bean every day or two.  This slowed my learning
and increased my superstitions about what made that last shot work or not.
Once I started using one bean roasted the same way my grind adjustments
became much more understandable and predictable.  I also recommend either
using decaf or making sure you are not afraid to throw most of most shots
away while learning.  Caffeine overload can be a big problem for me when I
pull ten or more shots and can't stand to see it go down the drain.  Good
luck.  Jared

5) From: Mike Chester
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Jeff,
You will love the Vetrano.  I have only had mine a couple of weeks now and I 
have already pulled some excellent shots.  I am still using only Monkey but 
am getting ready to try SO.  I have found that an 8 oz. cooling flush will 
put you in the ballpark for Monkey. This is from a full warm-up (30+ min) 
idle condition.  I did not have this information to start with and I pulled 
several shots at too high a temp.  This should help you get started.
Mike Chester

6) From: Jeff Goldrich
At 11:52 AM 8/10/2006, you wrote:
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Thanks for the tip! Over 120g of beans used so far... Getting @ 1/4" 
of crema.. Taste is fair to good but not what I'm shooting for. Just 
getting use to the "mechanics" of pulling a shot. The kitchen counter 
and floor is full of coffee grounds and water :) I don't think I 
could have lived without a plumbed-in setup. This is going to take a 
lot of TLC and practice.
Must go back and consume mass quantities of practice shots and more info.

7) From: Jeff Goldrich
At 09:55 AM 8/10/2006, you wrote:
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I've been thru @ 120g of monkey so far.... just taking a sip for 
taste and dumping it. I'm getting about 30cc in @25 sec (more or 
less) so I'm gonna assume the Kitchen-aid pro grinder (set on 8) is a 
good "working" setting. I purchased the tamper that "clicks" at 30 
lbs so I've taken that variable out of the equation. Tonight I'll try 
another batch of monkey which has been sitting @24hrs and is roasted 
a bit lighter then the prior batch .
thanks;
jeff

8) From: Vicki Smith
 And what tamper would that be?
Vicki
Jeff Goldrich wrote:
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9) From: Jeff Goldrich
At 09:09 PM 8/10/2006, you wrote:
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Vicki..
It would be this:
Espro 58  mm Automatic Tamper
This tamper was designed to take one more variable out of making 
great espresso, consistent tamp pressure. The Espro Automatic Tamper 
is a piston action tamper that lets you know when you exert 30 lbs. 
of pressure. The handle depresses a bit and makes a subtle clicking 
sound when 30 lbs. of pressure has been applied. The base is flat 
bottom and made of stainless steel, the handle is anodized metal.
You can feel a slight click when 30lbs is applied..
jeff

10) From: Les
Jeff,
This really doesn't take a variable out.  It is having training wheels
on your tamper.  It is much like having a pressurized PF.  It will
work for learning, but you will eventually want to move up to a better
tamper.  They give a false sense of security.   Dosing, leveling and
tamping are the order of importance.  Tamping is the least important
of the three.  Having used the click type tampers to me the biggest
problem is you are feeling for the click rather than concentrating of
feeling the tamp.
Thirty pounds isn't the magic number.  For some softer coffees, I find
a 20 pound tamp to be much better and for some harder beans I go as
high as 40-45 pounds.  All of the click tampers I have used are poorly
balanced too.
Les
(aka Dr. Crema)
On 8/10/06, Jeff Goldrich  wrote:
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11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Ditto what Les said. Though I wouldn't say a 30# click tamper as bad as a
pressurized PF:-)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
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