HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Subtleties of the Shot (16 msgs / 573 lines)
1) From: Les
Yesterday when we were doing some playing with the Cimbali and the
Gaggia Achille, the subtlety of the shot was revealed.  I loaded and
locked a nice double shot in the Achille, and forgot to do the
preinfusion pull and pulled a very silky ristretto.  It wasn't what I
was after, but none the less, Alchemist John and I both really enjoyed
this excellent elixir.  So Alchemist John decided to pull one.  He did
his normal load and lock, but pulled an average double shot.  He tried
again, and proceeded to pull a much better double shot.  I then turned
down the grind by a notch and he pulled the same silky ristretto.  The
only difference in our shots was the way we leveled and prepared the
basket for the tamp.  We were using the Ridgeline, so the depth of the
tamp was the same.  I think we were both surprised that such a little
difference could make such a huge difference in the cup.  It just goes
to show that being aware and keeping an open mind will often lead to
greater understanding.   Another part of our "play" was I brought a
very nicely roasted Guatemala Yellow Bourbon.  It is excellent as drip
and vac pot.  I thought it might be a little too lightly roasted for
espresso.  After some samples and going to a higher temperature that
gave it bright by drinkable shot, Alchemist John and I both concluded
that it is true that espresso isn't a roast, but a drink, however
there are better roast levels for espresso.  This was a light city
roast and it is an awesome espresso at a full-city roast, but has a
bright edge in the cup at the lighter roast level that makes it too
bright.  I hope our "play" gives you some food for thought.  It is
good to get together with another homeroaster - barista to sharpen
your skills.  Thanks for a fun few hours Alchemist John
Les
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2) From: Bob Brashear
Les,
Every time a read a post like this, I get re-enthused about coffee. Your 
equipment and coffee reviews are in a database that will be used when I 
make my voyage to the Dark Side. I can feel the call, tugging at my soul.
Bob
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
 So Alchemist John decided to pull one.  He did
<Snip>
If I understood correctly you pulled a silky ristretto at grind X. Alchemist
used same grind X setting and pulled consecutive longer shots. Then you
tightened the grind and he pulled a similar silky ristretto.
"The only difference in our shots was the way we leveled and prepared the
basket for the tamp... Using the Ridgeline, so the depth of the tamp was the
same."
First it seems the only diffence 'was' the difference, highly likely a
difference in dosing. Did you weigh each build to verify build consistency.
On the Linea 1g difference equals about 5sec pull difference for same exact
amount of water by volume. (using volumetric for consistency of water volume
applied) Same depth of tamp via Ridgeline is meaningless UNLESS the same
tamp pressure was achieved at that same depth of temp, which would only
happen if the dosage and grind the same. Change dose or change grind same
dose and for given tamp pressure depth will change or for given depth of
tamp the applied tamp pressure will change. I've said it before, it's the
consistency of pressure applied not consistency of tamp depth that is
important to learn. And it's learned by learning the feel of target tamp
pressure not a predetermined tamp depth. You'll get to know if your dose is
off and hence if the shot will be off by the feel of tamp at given depth of
tamp. And if you hit the normal tamp depth and the pressue is light you can
compensate a wee bit and cheat by tamping deeper and a bit harder than
normal. (which you can't do with a Ridgeline)
I know of a shop that won't let a person pull for customers until they can
build a dozen consective PF's within +/- 0.2gr. I don't have haven't made
the luxury of time available for that precise of training and allow =/-
0.5gr max variation.
Actually the relationship between dose and shot time makes it possible to
pull normales routinely and then pull a ristretto when called for without
changing the grind. Simply dial in the bean/blend for 'normal' dose normale
pull volume for the bulk of shots. When a ristretto is called for updose
with the same grind and you'll have a ristretto in the same shot time.
Accurate dosing may be the most important thing to learn in developing shot
consistency. 
And I've got way more to learn about pulling shots than I have a clue
about!!!!!
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4) From: raymanowen
How does the Ridgeline tamper control the actual packing of the coffee
grounds, without a very precise load of coffee grounds under it in the
filter basket? A guy like me could be in trouble from the very start, I
fear.
Short load, Ridgeline stops at filter ridge, packing is loose, pressure is
low, shot is SNAFU. Not the end of the world: just lose few more points.
On two consecutive shots with the same bean and grind, could I match the
grind quantity to within  0.01g? I doubt it. Had to measure smokeless
gunpowder to within 0.00025g, but the consequences were a somewhat more
dire!
When the consequences were more dire, like having a receiver explode in my
face or a bolt come back through my upper jaw, I weighed smokeless gunpowder
to within 0.00025g.(0.1 Gr) Poor loads could be real bad, exactly like
Death Warrants, not just for me only.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
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5) From: raymanowen
Oops-
Glad I quit before anyone died. .01g = (apx) 0.1grain precision for
gunpowder. Bang! -ro
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 1:57 AM,  wrote:
<Snip>
der
<Snip>
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6) From: denis bordeleau
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7) From: Bill
Wow, a gunpowder expresso!  Wouldn't that be quite the shot!bill
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 2:15 AM,  wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Alchemist John
The difference was definitely dose related.  Les used a flat edged 
chopping method to distribute his dose and consequently dosed more 
than I normally do.  I simply level swipe and go.  I have found I 
prefer the flavor profile of a 14-15 g dose (per double) instead of a 
16-18 g dose.  As for adjusting the pull based on tamp pressure, I 
never found consistency there.  Probably my current reason for liking 
the Ridgeline.  For a given grind, I would much prefer to updose 
slightly for a tighter shot if for some reason I don't want to adjust 
the grind.  Then again, I have no problem, and actually prefer to 
simply adjust the grind.
At 09:21 PM 9/6/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
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9) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
<Snip>
Agree 100% not necessarily the optimal or usual way of adjusting shot. My
point was simply it can be done on the fly to possibly save a shot once
knowing what the pressure should feel like and finding tamp light at given
tamp depth rather than dumping the build or pulling a fast sour shot and
then dumping it.
<Snip>
I still don't see how that improves tamp pressure consistency. Tamp level
consistency yes if always tamping to Ridgeline hitting the basket lip.
Unless you mean when it hits the basket and can go no further you know by
the feel of the pressure if the dose was in fact correct.
<Snip>
Which makes the preferred ristretto in the cup really depends on the
particular bean/blend etc. For home really doesn't matter which way to go as
long as don't mind wasting grinds dialing in back and forth. The ristretto
method via updosing rather than changing the grind works quickly,
efficiently and with much less waste, especially important in a commercial
envirnonment. At home with a stash way too big anyway wasted grinds can be a
good thing!
At home personal build consistency is important. One thing this really
illustrates is how hard and important it is to train for PF build
consistency in a commerical environment. In dosing weight, distribution and
tamp pressure. You and Les pulled very different shots with the same grind
because of how you each dosed. If different baristi dose differently and/or
tamp differently the grind will be set right for one and not for another at
any given time. Barista 'A' is pulling beautiful shots goes on break,
Barista 'B' steps up and pulls crap same coffee same grind. Ideally all
should pull the same shot with same grind at any given moment. 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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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10) From: Les
Interesting discussion.  I continue to learn.  The whole point of the
post, was to show that something as subtle as the way you level the
basket before the tamp can make a huge difference in the shot, all
other things being equal.  Changing the grind to a slightly finer
grind resulted in the same shot, thus when one thing changed another
factor had to be changed to compensate so the end result was the same,
a silky crema full awesome shot of Alchemist John's DP African blend.
I have played with dosing, and I have dosed within + or - .1 grams on
10 consecutive doses.  It is an exercise that will improve one's
shots.
Les
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 11:53 AM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Or more precisely it's not "the way you level" but "the way (amount) you
dose". With good distribution from the grinder to basket leveling isn't even
necessary! But that's another discussion that few home baristi have grinders
good enough to even apply to. I don't at home and 'can' with the Major IF
very good at the thwacking and PF rotation during distribution. Les I
suspect you could with the Hybrid. Oh, grind timer accurate to at least
0.1sec very helpful too for no level accurate dosing:-) Even then dose will
vary slightly do to variations in bean density. And in a complex blend won't
always have the exact same ratio of the different beans in each dose. And
and and infinitum...
Just like roasting: it's easy to turn beans brown, it's a lifetime Journey
learning to make each bean sing. Same with 'spro: it's (relatively) easy to
consistently pull good shots, it's a lifetime Journey learning the myriad
intricate interrelated variables and resultant cups of Dark Side excellence.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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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12) From: Les
Right on Mike,  That is what makes this hobby (obsession) so much fun!
 I can't imagine how whacked out the weight could be if you had a
poorly mixed blend with Monsooned Malabar in it.  However the way you
level can affect the amount in the PF basket.  I remember working with
a Doctor south of town and he wanted to learn the finger technique.
However about every third or fourth time, that knuckle dipped into the
PF basket changing the amount of  coffee in the basket.  By the way, I
did tweak the Hybrid doser to dose a perfect 18 grams per pull, but
for home use, I don't grind that much to fill the doser at home.
Les
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
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13) From: miKe mcKoffee
Wasn't talking about filling the doser for accurate dose to PF! Talking
about grinder with grind timer that will grind for X duration to 0.1sec
accuracy to control the amount ground which (duh) controls the amount dosed.
But as far as your Hybrid goes was referring to being able to distribute
evenly enough and clump free enough from the doser "while grinding and
thwacking" the grinds into the PF that leveling isn't necessary assuming
amount dosed was consistent. (That's were timer mod comes in handy:-) This
method it's visual of the grind mound how much slightly higher than the
basket in the middle and slighly lower around the edges in the basket before
going directly to tamp with no leveling swipe. If going for ristretto over
dosing by lightly tapping PF downward pre-determined number of times with
pre-determined amount of force while filling as mound builds.
Absolutely the way you level can affect the final dose. It's all about
consistency! Roll the finger during the swipe for under dose. Roll during
Stockfleth's or NESW before the swipe then it's effect up dosing. Chicago
Chop method also up dosing. Or or or...
miKe
<Snip>
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14) From: Les
Intrigue is the fun of espresso!
Les
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 4:13 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
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15) From: raymanowen
" ...much less waste, especially important in a commercial envirnonment."
A commercially significant waste would seem to be your Time, right? Once you
lose an hour, you can never get it back.
 "At home with a stash way too big anyway wasted grinds can be a good
thing!"
Two things are undefined variables here:
a.) - stash way too big  [Gong]
b.) - wasted grinds can be a good thing  [TILT!]
If a.)  I could lease the vacant two chair beauty salon next door and
support my habit;
If b.)  Don't grind so much- Grind not, Want not. A double in the BUFF
grinder goes "Pffft" It all settles into the filter with tapping. Maybe lose
a couple of mg. But dose a whole glut and push a pile overboard with a
straight edge? That's mighty Starbucks of you...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 12:53 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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