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
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: <Snip>
<Snip> <Snip> 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:-) <Snip> 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, <Snip> Nah, jet engine & cement mixer. (Hope Wandering John is ok) <Snip> 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.
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
<Snip> 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
At 11:52 AM 8/10/2006, you wrote: <Snip> 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.
At 09:55 AM 8/10/2006, you wrote: <Snip> 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
And what tamper would that be? Vicki Jeff Goldrich wrote: <Snip>
At 09:09 PM 8/10/2006, you wrote: <Snip> 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
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: <Snip>
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. <Snip>