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Bialetti weak watery brew?
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Bialetti weak...  
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ristrettolungo
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ristrettolungo
Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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Location: MI
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (non-PID)
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Posted Wed Aug 6, 2008, 3:36pm
Subject: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

I have a Mukka Express but these questions should be applicable to Moka Pot and Brikka users as well.

How much coffee should you use?  I use enough coffee to fill the basket to about level and use the factory recommended water level.  Still I'm getting watery/diluted weak coffee similar to drip.  I'm using Lavazza and Illy pre-ground.

Also, if your technique is right, should there be any water left in the tank after the brew?

Thanks!
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lifeandpeace
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Posted Thu Aug 7, 2008, 4:54pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

Pre-ground?

That's probably your main problem. The grind for Bialetti should be finer than drip.
I grind about half way between cone filter and espresso--maybe just a hair closer to espresso.

Also, pre-ground (read stale) will produce a flat body. A Bialetti is not a La Marzocco, but I know how grounds respond in a La Marzocco even after a few minutes of being ground--the shot comes out way flat.

Last, I get better results (in terms of body) when I settle the grounds in the basket as few times. Ever see a (good) barista do that with the portafilter? Kinda like that. Then I give it a moderate tamp. I know--Bialetti's instructions say not to tamp, but their instruction illustration also shows grinds that are as coarse or more so than drip!

Yes, there should be water left in the bottom.

 
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ristrettolungo
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ristrettolungo
Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 275
Location: MI
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (non-PID)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Timer
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Thu Aug 7, 2008, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

How do you tamp the filter basket?  The basket on mine has a spring in between and can give a little if you press on it.

How much coffee do you use?  Should it level with the basket after some tamping?
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Judge
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Posted Fri Aug 8, 2008, 4:22am
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

I would go with the first reply.  How fresh is your coffee? And what grind do you use.  I have a Billati (Brikka) and love it.  So as for specifics on your device I can not give.  But I will say this. These units are top notch! If your coffee does not taste right, well your asking in the right place.  I doubt it is the machine.  For sure you fill the basket up to the top.  They make them simple to use.  Also you are not using a Brikka but a Mukka, it is possible that it is not what you want for full flavor coffee.  I have a feeling you would be shocked it you saw how much coffee I need to put in my Brikka compared to the Mukka

Tamping a basket???  Humm not sure about that.  The Brikka (makes the strongest) you never tamp.  You just fill maybe mound a little.  But again I don't have a Mukka.

Good luck
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lifeandpeace
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lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
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Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Fri Aug 8, 2008, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

The Brikka is supposed to exert greater pressure in the basket than the regular pot. I don't have a Brikka because they only come in aluminum.

The freshness and grind of the coffee is the most important thing.

Look for some vids online of baristas settling the basket. They do it as they fill the basket--so quickly sometimes you may miss it! This should help some.
I tamp with a glass bottle that fits my basket. Maybe 10 lbs--nothing like I would on a La Marzocco.

 
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ristrettolungo
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ristrettolungo
Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 275
Location: MI
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (non-PID)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Timer
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri Aug 8, 2008, 11:16pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

Do you have the link to the vid you are talking about showing a barista with a Bialetti because I've never seen one?  All the Bialetti vids on YouTube are done by amateurs and their brewing techniques are all over the place.

How close can a properly brewed Bialetti cup of coffee get compared to one done by an espresso machine?
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Judge
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Location: Montreal
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Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV,...
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Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri Aug 8, 2008, 11:51pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

ristrettolungo Said:

How close can a properly brewed Bialetti cup of coffee get compared to one done by an espresso machine?

Posted August 8, 2008 link


You have to understand that a Mukka will not give you what a Brikka will.  The Brikka comes closest to espresso. It even gives a crema,  thin but still there.  You are expecting to much from what you have.  Use a Mukka for cafe au lait. Or such.  Sorry you have the wrong machine for a espresso.

"Confessions of a Brikka Lover"

have a nice day
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lifeandpeace
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lifeandpeace
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Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
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Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

ristrettolungo,

Sorry. I didn't mean to be unclear. I've never seen a video of someone (or anyone, for that matter) settling the grinds in a Bialetti basket. I do that.

It's an unbreakable holdover from my barista days in Los Angeles. Besides, I think settling demonstrably helps with the body.

Judge is right--don't expect too much from it and you'll be happy. Stovetops are not espresso machines. They make what they make--nothin' more .

 
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008, 1:23pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

lifeandpeace Said:

ristrettolungo,

Sorry. I didn't mean to be unclear. I've never seen a video of someone (or anyone, for that matter) settling the grinds in a Bialetti basket. I do that.

It's an unbreakable holdover from my barista days in Los Angeles. Besides, I think settling demonstrably helps with the body.

Judge is right--don't expect too much from it and you'll be happy. Stovetops are not espresso machines. They make what they make--nothin' more .

Posted August 9, 2008 link

With my Brikka I used to tamp slightly; found out that it took forever for it to brew, always popped the steam valve.  Best I have found is just put the grounds in basket till level.  Works great every time.

Len
CoffeeRoastersClub.com

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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lifeandpeace
Senior Member
lifeandpeace
Joined: 9 Nov 2007
Posts: 745
Location: PBI

Espresso: Arrarex Caravel
Grinder: BUNN G1, Zassenhaus knee
Vac Pot: Cory / Hario / Silex
Drip: cloth, glass Hario V60;...
Roaster: RK Drum, WBP II
Posted Sat Aug 9, 2008, 4:29pm
Subject: Re: Bialetti weak watery brew?
 

I've never used a Brikka. With the added pressure, it makes sense to use it a bit differently than with a regular Bialetti.

I grind quite fine, settle, and slightly tamp and I don't have a problem with time or blowing the pressure valve. I also get the water boiling first, then, with hotpads, drop in the basket and screw on the top. Takes between 10 and 30 seconds.

 
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