HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Dialing in different espresso roasts (24 msgs / 1029 lines)
1) From: Maxwell Heathcott
Does anyone else out there have a heck of a time getting their grind dialed=
 in when switching from one blend to another? =
When switching from Espresso Monkey to Dextral Strike Slip I'm having a hec=
k of a time getting the grind set. I went through 200g this morning trying =
to find the spot and never got there. I just refused to believe how fine it=
 kept telling me that it needed to be!
I've had issues going from one Monkey roast to another, but they tended to =
be somewhere close to the same grind, within let's say a "half inch" on my =
dial -- this morning I kept moving and moving the grind until I was out of =
beans -- I ended up let's call it an "inch and a half" on the dial differen=
t form my last Monkey roast, and I never got tight enough!
Does anyone else find them burning through an awful lot of grams to get whe=
re they need to be on every roast?
--mh
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2) From: Barry Luterman
What kind of grinder do you have?
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:33 AM, Maxwell Heathcott w=
rote:
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3) From: Mike Koenig
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4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Eventually you'll get the hang of dialing in your grinder based on shot
results for a given coffee given roast given rest. Never expect bean X to
always need the exact same grind setting regardless. Few factors that affect
grind adjusted same or different coffee:
For a given target shot time and volume:
~Higher humidity looser grind (conversely lower humidity tighter grind, oft'
make multiple adjustments during a day because of humidity changes, same
roast batch)
~Overly fresh roast tighter grind (too fresh and virtually impossible to get
good pull.)
~Older roast also tighter grind (given batch will go through very tight
being too fresh, settle in to it's normal grind needing minor adjustments
mostly do to environmental changes, to around 3 weeks and dying and back to
very tight)
~Darker roast looser grind (conversely lighter roast tighter grind)
~Softer bean tighter grind (conversely harder bean looser grind)
~Lower dose tighter grind (conversely higher does looser grind)
~Higher shot temp tighter grind (conversely lower shot temp looser grind)
And the inter-relationship of any and/or all of the above:-)
And yes there can be an extreme difference in grind needed between differing
beans be they SO or blend.
What ever grinder you're using make a note of how much time difference a
notch difference makes for a given coffee. (This requires accuracy in dose
to have any value) Use this information to dial in your shots. For instance
for a given dose a Rocky change of 1 notch will usually be about 6 second
shot time diffence for a double shot. Unfortunately you're limited to whole
notch changes unless mod'ing Rocky. OTOH for a Mazzer Major one notch is
about 3 seconds, and you can adjust anywhere between the notches. 
If you made it this far you can relax now, I'd continue this rambling
dissertation but it's time for dinner...
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/">http://www.norwestcoffee.com/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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5) From: Cameron Forde
I'll add that I've noticed Tom's Donkey (decaf) espresso blend needs a
slightly finer grind than the Monkey blend does.  About 1 pip on the
Mazzer Mini.
Cameron
On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:16 PM, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
ceforde
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6) From: Maxwell Heathcott
A Cunill Brasil which has been generally wonderful for me . . . =
This morning (since I ran out of the Dextral SS Blend), I hit up some 10-da=
y-old Monkey Blend (older than I usually prefer) and left the grinder where=
 it was yesterday with the DSS (after some serious "tightening up" it was s=
till making a 5 second shot!). The Monkey came out Turkish fine--the same g=
rind setting as what was coming out quite a bit coarser with the DSS. Does =
this make any sense at all??
--mh
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7) From: michael brown
Mike, Thank you for this thorough run down.  Great resource to come back to=
.  I have a separate folder in my msn account for "coffee stuff" and this e=
mail will certainly go in there.  I pulled a SO shot this morn of Ethiopian=
 Bonko, very bright clean espresso.  I think i'll go pull another.
thanks again!
Michael Brown
b'ham, AL
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8) From: Barry Luterman
No not much sense. It sounds like a grinder problem. When was the last time
if ever that were the burrs changed out?
On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 4:44 AM, Maxwell Heathcott w=
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9) From: Maxwell Heathcott
Grinder is only a few months old -- maybe 4 months? And in general I'm only=
 grinding maybe  10 shots a week on average . . . so it's not the burrs. Ag=
ain, just in case anyone else wants to add thoughts: 5-day-old DSS vs. 10-d=
ay-old Monkey Blend, very close on roast profile . . . =
--mh
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10) From: Mike Koenig
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MjA=

11) From: Dave
So that would be a tamping issue???
Dave
Some days...
It's just not worth chewing through the leather straps
On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:49 PM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

12) From: Dhananjaya
Nice table of grinding relativity, miKe - thanks!
DJ

13) From: Yakster
Yes, thanks, Mike.
I put it into a Google Doc on dialing in a shot for future ref.
-Chris
On 7/2/09, Dhananjaya  wrote:
<Snip>
Homeroast mailing list
Homeroasthttp://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20">http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.comHomeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemIdx20

14) From: Phil Palmintere
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15) From: Jim Gundlach
Give the coffee a stir in the filter basket to equalize the  =
distribution before tamping.  ground coffee, just like bulldozed dirt  =
put around a foundation, takes on an unequal distribution when poured  =
in the basket.
     pecan jim
On Jul 3, 2009, at 12:10 PM, Phil Palmintere wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
ee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
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16) From: Joseph Robertson
I vote tamp problem..and or uneven bed.
JoeR
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Phil Palmintere <
phil.palmintere> wrote:
<Snip>
't
<Snip>
00
<Snip>
_T
<Snip>
_T
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
-- =
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17) From: Joseph Robertson
Which grinder are you using Phil?
JoeR
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Phil Palmintere <
phil.palmintere> wrote:
<Snip>
't
<Snip>
00
<Snip>
_T
<Snip>
_T
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
-- =
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18) From: Kysh
On Fri, 3 Jul 2009 13:10, Phil Palmintere wrote:
<Snip>
It could be an espresso machine fault, but unless the machine is grossly 
out of its envelope, that's less likely.
It could be a tamp problem, but if the tamp is at least marginally 
competent (and doesn't include a PF tap or bump after the tamp), it's 
less likely.
It could be moistness in the PF basket, but if a basic pass at drying 
the basket before dosing is made, that's unlikely.
No, the most likely source of channeling is the most under-appreciated 
and undervalued part of the process- the distribution.
99.762% of commercial baristas* can't be bothered to care about proper 
distribution, which is one (of several) reason(s) why 99.924% of 
commercial espresso is abysmally terribly awful, and one source of 
propagation of ignorance among "home baristas*".  After all, many people 
are just copying the pros*.
No.. Most channeling is due to either poor dosing/distribution, or 
improper preservation of the distribution during/after the tamp**.
The goal of proper dosing is to achieve an even, proper quantity of 
ground coffee in the basket.  The goal of distribution is to settle the 
grounds and create an even, constant layer of ground coffee inasmuch as 
is reasonable (I'm excluding the WDT in this, as I feel it's great in 
concept but can become a crutch).  The goal of the tamp is simply to 
preserve this distribution while compressing it to some extent. Ideally 
you have an even, symmetrical array of identically sized and shaped 
coffee, compressed into a perfectly aligned strata from top to bottom. 
Practically, this is unachievable.. but the closer we get, within 
reason, the better our consistency will be.
Channeling occurs when there is a "path of least resistance" between the 
hot water above the espresso puck and the bottom of the basket.  This 
can be around the edges, from a broken edge seal (I always flip my 
basket to lose any loose grounds .. If the puck falls out, it would have 
been a terrible shot for lack of edge seal), through a crack in the 
puck, through an area of uneven tamp (ramped tamp), through a fault at 
the lower layers caused by an unresolved clump or a pocket.. It can also 
be caused by a badly clogged shower screen blasting a jet of water 
through one spot.
Anyway, all things weighed, the dosing/distribution/tamp is the second 
most important step in making espresso, behind using good beans.  Once 
those two main things are resolved, everything else becomes a variable 
you can use to tune the shot.  Before they're resolved, -everything- is 
variable.
(All this is IMO, and worth the paper it's printed on)
-Griffin
*- "barista" is a grossly over-applied term
**- tamping at an overt angle, "polishing" under pressure, tapping the 
portafilter with the tamper after the final tamp, banging or bumping the 
portafilter after the tamp, including roughly locking the PF to the 
grouphead.. and so forth.
PS. Do not print.  Especially not on gold leaf.
(Sent from my sidekick)
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19) From: Bill S.
Phil,
Just another place to look: are you sure that you are getting 8-9 bar of
pressure, and 60 ml of flow (for a double shot)  in about 30 seconds, at the
portafilter?
<Snip>
or pressure, or "too little" coffee resistance..
<Snip>
so it isn't likely that its suddenly developed too much volume.  The
pressure could be too great if the OPV (over pressure valve) isn't opening,
and thus the full pump pressure is constantly hitting the coffee.  It your
machine doesn't have preinfusion, or the preinfusion is stuck, that full
pressure would readily cause massive channelling and a quick, weak
extraction.
Try pulling an empty portafilter on your group, and seeing how long it takes
to pull 60 ml without coffee resistance.  (I just tried this on my Brutus II
and it took 14 sec and developed 3 bar per my gauge.  This includes filling
the portafilter before it drips into a measuring cup).
This will at least tell you what your expresso machine delivers without the
coffee variable.  It you get a quick, 5 second or less fill by this test, I
would first try cleaning the group / preinfustion chamber per manufacturer's
directions and see if that changes the results of this test.  If you don't
have access to a pressure guage, then its hard to diagnose a pressure
problem.
Others have, IMO, correctly advised on the "coffee" variables to this
problem.
One other coffee test that you could consider, is to visit a local cafe, and
buy some dry coffee ground by them for expresso.  Running this in your
machine could give you a comparison to your grinder's performance.
Alternatively, you could grind some coffee, take it to a cafe, and ask them
to pull an expresso from it.  These tests would be small bucks compared to a
repair visit, or returning you machine for service, if the problem turns out
to be in your grind.
Bill S.
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Joseph Robertson wrot=
e:
<Snip>
he
<Snip>
th
<Snip>
ir
<Snip>
'm
<Snip>
is
<Snip>
to
<Snip>
lf
<Snip>
20
<Snip>
20
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
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20) From: miKe mcKoffee
Jim you're definitely well on the mend and hit the nail on the head.
Distribution is king. Tamp or tamp not, 5 or 50 or zero pounds who cares,
really makes extremely little to no difference in the shot result. Even
grinds distribution in the basket is key, both top to bottom and side to
side. Some (most all home class and many commercial class) grinders require
some "grooming" after dosing as Jim suggested (WDT) or simply with
Stockfleth's move or similar.
Those really wanting to learn the in's and out's of espressodom highly
suggest spend copious time on home-barista.com. (I mean months and years
absorbing.) The level of expertise available there both in espresso
technique as well as equipment design, usage, maintenance and modifications
is 2nd to none. H-B is to sites like Coffeegeek (and yes here too) as PhD is
to High School. Don't let the site name "Home-Barista" fool you into
thinking just another home espresso fanatic site. Yes it's that, and far
beyond with regular posts not just from some of the most advanced home
espresso fiends on earth but also regular posts from many equipment, roaster
and barista professionals including Regional, US and World Champion class
barista from around the world.
The information available on the List here is but the tip of the iceberg.
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list">http://www.norwestcoffee.com/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list
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21) From: raymanowen
"Grinder is only a few months old -- maybe 4 months . . . so it's not the
burrs."
Brand new grinder, so it can't be the burrs? BS- taint so, McGee.
You have made a certain basic erroneous assumption-
Grinders are machines, like cars. Have you ever gotten a brand new car that
ran flawlessly?
My brand new Solis Maestro Plus had worse burrs in it than the 99-cent
thrift store Solis Maestro. The grind quality and my burr inspection showed
the burrs were worse than bad, even though they were Brand New.
Age never trumps physical condition- remember the Shuttle O-rings in '86?
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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22) From: Barry Luterman
Check your burrs anyway a rock might have gone through them
On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:32 PM,  wrote:
<Snip>
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23) From: heffrey78
86?  I was 8!  So clear the jokes and reality of it. Nothing beats a good inspection. Really...what do the grounds look like?
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

24) From: Angelo
Right you are, Ray...
A few years ago there was a group buy of Rocky's (before Tom carried 
them). I ordered 2. One of them worked perfectly and the other had a 
faulty burr carrier. The threads were misaligned, which resulted in a 
"wiggling" of the burrs.
It was a known issue and was resolved by the dealer. He sent me a new 
carrier, free of charge.
I would check that the burr carrier has no play, in any direction...
Angelo
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