Posted Tue Jun 26, 2007, 10:32am Subject: Epiphany - bitter and confused
Received my Rocky yesterday. Zeroed it, put in some beans (Lavazza that I started with to keep it to one variable), and ground at 0 + 7 clicks.
MUCH finer than the maestro+. Loaded the basket, WDT, leveled, tamp & polish, into the naked PF, surf and hit the brew switch.
Well...... I expected the same gag & yuk. My first and only use of the naked PF looked like the "everything wrong" picture in the "Perfecting the Naked Extraction" article - sprites, coffee jetting all over the place, in my face. I wasn't expecting much.
As the Gaggia started, I watched the pull develop evenly across the bottom of the filter, then coalesce into a funnel, creamy, striped into the graduated shot glass. Epiphany !! 1/2 inch crema !! Espresso !! My whooping drew my wife near. With some trepidation, she tried my brew. Espresso !! No gag, no yuk, no bitter, burnt or sour, just too strong for her taste. Considerable improvement, something palatable. What do you know. I was starting to imagine how I could turn the equipment into a device to poison snails or at least boil them to death.
Onward !$$! With better beans.
When measuring shot volume, is the measure at the liquid level or does it include the crema?
In your experience with the Gaggia, did you ever tinker with the OPV, pressure release valve? How far can you screw it out to lower pressure?
I have seen pressure gauges attached to PF. Doesn't the water enter the gauge until the machine stalls or blows by the OPV? Would that ruin the pressure gauge?
Everyone was right. Grinder first, beans, one thing at a time, and technique, technique, techique.
Thanks to Tim Eggers, JonR10, SJM, Tex and many others for your help and especially your encouragement.
"When measuring shot volume, is the measure at the liquid level or does it include the crema?"
Generally everything is included.
Though there is some current debate as to whether looking at volume is the best way to analyze an extraction. Current evidence seems to be leaning toward extraction ratios as a more accurate measue. This means looking at the weight of coffee to the weight of resulting liquid. There are so many factors that can influence the volume and consistency of crema (freshness of beans, blend ingredients, pf type, temp) that volume becomes an unreliable method of measurement.
I'll post 3 or so pics & explain.. You want a "wet" Bourdon tube type gauge, glycerin filled to dampen the oscillations of the vipe pump that can shake a "dry" guage to pieces in short order. Also the hot, wet, high pressure operating environment will take its toll or the dry type. The "tube" is coiled/curved & the pressure is contained within it, expanding & contracting (bending & straightening out) the tube to show the readout on the dial needle. If using a dry gauge the fluctuations due to the pulsing of the vibe pump can made the gauge pretty much unreadable, without the addition of a "snubber". It's a restrictive adapter fitting that smooths out the rapid & wide pulsations of the dry gauges needle pointer/indicator to produce a smooth steady dampened readout.
If you check out my previous older posts, I have additional pics & more detailed explanations on my homemade portafilter pressure measuring gauge setup.
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