Posted Thu Sep 9, 2004, 5:15am Subject: Re: How to Minimize Sour Taste at Beginning of the Pull?
Just to be clear Dan, are you going 60mL past where the hissing stops, THEN waiting 45 seconds or so? Because lately, I have been doing the flush (hiss stop plus about 4 seconds) while I'm dosing, then locking in and starting the shot. Alternatively, I lollygag, rapping with my hilarious 2-yr old and not paying any attention during dosing, then flushing until the hissing stops and immediately starting the shot (don't know what starting temp I get at that point, but I believe Jim has measured it at 207).
Yes, the group is still overtemp when the hissing stops (you can see that point around 22 seconds into the video I posted earlier). It depends on the machine's pressurestat setting, but in general the temperature is around 206-207F when the sputtering subsides.
It takes very little time for the HX to recover after a flush. That is the point to watch -- if you wait too long, the first third of the shot will be all boiling water. You'll recognize it by the dark, oily crema ring that forms. It isn't too bad as a latte, since the extra bitter flavor adds "punch" to the drink that you may like, but they're pretty rough straight up.
If you flush-lock-pull in rapid sequence, then the last third of the shot could be undertemp, depending on how much you initially flushed. If it was too much, you'll have the "inverted U" temperature profile. Referring back to Jim's "test of thirds," this sort of shot tastes like you would expect from the last two-thirds, with the stronger emphasis on the last third. Otherwise a shorter flush will produce a profile that looks similar to the one I posted for the Cimbali Junior, i.e., high hump and then flat with a higher overall temperature.
I used to twiddle with pressurestat settings to get the temperature I wanted. I no longer bother when using the "small HX" E61s because I can alter the flush to get the desired temperature. This trick does not work for commercial machines, because their group pathway and HXs are much larger.
Posted Thu Sep 9, 2004, 9:47am Subject: Re: How to Minimize Sour Taste at Beginning of the Pull?
I guess the next question, then, is what water temp do you see when the shot starts? From your graph, it's not much over your target of 201...and yet on my machine with similar architecture, after 45 seconds, it seems to be over the 207 mark...trouble is, the hissing starts AFTER running the pump for several seconds, so it's a bit tricky. Michael Teahan (where has he gone? Lots of cool insight, then poof, he vanished) says the E-61 is meant to start hot. Lately, I've been deliberately taking time between consecutive shots to allow the HX to go overtemp, dosing, then flushing until the hissing stops, going another 4 seconds or so, and pulling the shot. This could be giving me the inverted U, but giving me a good starting temp. Running a higher psat setting might counter that, no? The challenge is getting several shots in a row to be consistent...this morning, using a flush 7 seconds past hiss stop, then a 45 second wait, the shot looked beautiful but crema died a bit too quickly in my americano (water too hot?) and since my beans are likely 1 day too fresh still. The second shot was after a rinse cycle/dose/flush 4s past hissing stop (different profile) and the shot went blond early (I suspect this is the inverted U). Looks like there's still a lot to learn in this area.
Is it normal to have the shot going from more thicker to thinner during the shot? I have tasted espresso at some coffee shops and they were pretty even in taste. Or it is the problem only in home machines?
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