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Beginner Extractions
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Okay peeps...per suggestion, I took a quick video on my phone and posted on YouTube:  click here

  • Klatch House Espresso, medium-dark roast
  • Roasted 10/16
  • Extracted 10/23
  • 16 grams (pre-weighed whole beans), standard La Spaziale double basket
  • 93 degrees C (~200 F)
  • Flavor: was slightly on the bright/sour side

So, despite reading and watching a bunch, I still don't really know what I should be doing/looking for, so direct feedback on this video (and I can post more later) and my questions would be appreciated.

Topics/questions:

  1. Distribution: doesn't look like it was that good based on the early flow...looks like the extraction started coming out of all points of the basket at around the same time (~ 8 seconds in the video), but they didn't coalesce into a single stream (don't cross the streams!!!) for another 5 seconds (~ 13 seconds).
  2. Speed of extraction: still not sure how long the extraction is supposed to take...I read 25-30 seconds...is that from the first drop showing, or from when you turn on the pump?  The Mini Vivaldi II has a pre-infusion, so from the time I push the button, I'm seeing first drops come around the 6-8 second mark.  The extraction in the video was stopped at 35 seconds, so this one was 27 seconds from first drop.  The flow looks too liquid-y to me, in comparison to other videos I've seen.
  3. Volume/weight of extraction: okay, I didn't weigh this, but I can for sure tell you it's easily over the 28-36 gram range I've read I should aim for...on volume, once the dust settled, the crema had hit around the 2 1/2 oz level, while the liquid was almost at 1 1/2 fl oz.  Should I be aiming for an extraction that gives me 2 oz at the height of the crema?
  4. Pump was reading around 9 BAR.  I'm finding that the gauge hits around 10 when the grind is too fine and extraction takes forever, and 7.5-8 when the grind is too coarse and I get 2 fl oz of liquid in like 15 seconds.  So I'm guessing this grind fineness was close to correct?  Should my pressure gauge always read 9 no matter what?

So, based on all the above, when I stop as the crema hits the 2 oz mark, I almost always get a very bright/sour shot...I've been balancing the taste of the shot by hitting 2 1/2 oz or nearing 3, and it starts tasting more balanced to me.

Should I be grinding a tad finer?  Should I change weight of the dose?  Should I stop extraction earlier too?

Would love some feedback/criticism (lol).
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 208
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 23, 2013, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Everything from grind, dose, etc. is a variable that will change the result in the cup. While all of those will vary depending on the different beans that you use, my suggestion is to do everything consistent for now until you get a regular routine down. I don't weigh my shots much, but when I do, the total volume varies. For example, I may have 16g in with 32g out and it's only 1.25oz. However, at other times I'll have 16g in and 32g out, but have a 2oz shot. The crema varies with different beans/blends. I usually just shoot for 1.5-2oz in 30-35 seconds. I know the golden rule says for 25-30 seconds, but through my reading here at at S1cafe, as well as my experience, it seems that the smaller diameter of the Vivaldi lends itself better to a longer shot. This may help your results since you've been going over your 2oz standard to get a better flavor. My advice at this point is to grind a little finer and shoot for 2oz in 30-35 seconds.

jwoodyu Said:

I would say try to get the does up to 18-20 grams which will mean adjusting the grinder again.

Posted October 18, 2013 link

The standard double for a Vivaldi tends to be 15-16.5g (max) because of basket size. Don't attempt an 18-20g shot unless you're using a triple.

Also, while I love my Vario, it can be finnicky and take a little while to break in. Once you get it calibrated, you should have much more consistency. Also remember that when you switch settings (especially to go coarser for drip or pour over) it will take several shots for the burrs to resettle. Also remember to ALWAYS RUN THE GRINDER when you adjust (both finer and coarser). Keep us updated. You're doing great, and I appreciate your openness to the noob experience. It's very similar to my own only a year ago :)
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 11:17pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

So I ran into what ended up being a grinder issue this morning...last night, had been making some decent shots, then woke up this morning and without changing settings, made a shot that was a gusher in comparison.  Got my 2 oz in about 20 seconds instead of 30-ish.

When I've got the grind dialed in, the pressure gauge reads around 9 BAR, but this was definitely less.  Ran some more beans, pretty much same result.  Felt the grinds the next time, and they were definitely gritty.  Without touching any settings, I'm guessing there was some slippage, which is something I read others with Varios have had issues with.

Went through the recalibration and tightened the burrs, and finally, after burning through a lb of beans, got it so that I am getting some good shots again.  Have calibrated it so that at finest macro setting (1) and 1/2 way up the micro, it's choking the machine, and grind is good on some nice, fresh Klatch Bella Espresso beans at macro 2 and about 1/2 way up micro.

Wondering if I should contact Chris Coffee or Baratza...guessing I should wait and see if it happens again first.

FYI Tyler, thanks for the feedback...trying to remain consistent.  So I'm staying at 16 grams (weighing beans every time), making sure my prep/tamp is as consistent as possible.  I programmed the volumetric dose on the machine, and liquid volume is a probably a bit high right now (maybe just under 1 1/2 oz...yes, high, I know).  Only thing I'm doing at this point is adjusting the micro setting one tick at a time on the Vario to get a taste that I like...not even worrying as much about volume (including crema) right now, though I AM noting it in the shot glass, as well as the time it takes...since the water volume is the same every time, I find that the time it takes to complete is actually a great indicator of how it's going to taste.  Am I on the right track?
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 6:18am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

If your machine has volumetric dose then you don't have to worry about that at all.   Just keep everything else as constant as you can.  And yes how the pour looks gives you a good idea (but not perfect) of how it will taste.  Just keep in mind some not so pretty shots taste fine so don't judge by looks alone.  In fact as you get better over time even your "bad" shots will be highly drinkable and much better than $bucks.  This will happen pretty fast if you are very good at keeping the variables constant.  

Watch the grinder and if it slips then you need to call them and get it fixed.  It should not do that.  And only adjust it while moving as was posted before.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,736
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

If you need to makje a call on the grinder, I'd probably cut right to Baratza, rather than Chris'.  For one, they'll be the best ones to help you identify if there's a real issue with the grinder, or if you maybe need to do something slightly different.  Also, they'll take care of any replacement you may need (not that CCS wouldn't, but since you can go to the source, there's no need not to).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 208
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Sounds like you're on the right track. As previously said, the Vario can be a bit finnicky, but once you get it figured out, you won't be going through so much coffee to readjust.


emradguy Said:

If you need to makje a call on the grinder, I'd probably cut right to Baratza, rather than Chris'.  For one, they'll be the best ones to help you identify if there's a real issue with the grinder, or if you maybe need to do something slightly different.  Also, they'll take care of any replacement you may need (not that CCS wouldn't, but since you can go to the source, there's no need not to).

Posted October 28, 2013 link

+1
Baratza has some of the best customer service in the industry. Give them a call and they'll help you understand what's going on. I would love to hear what Baratza says when you give them a call - maybe I've been putting up with something that can be fixed!

(Also, if you ever decide to stop single dosing and use the timer, consider getting the new shut-off hopper directly from Baratza. It has really helped me reduce bean waste when adjusting between brew methods.)

Also remember that whenever you adjust your grind and/or change beans, you will also need to readjust your volumetric settings on the Mini. I tend to use the volumetric settings for milk-based drinks, but if I'm pulling a straight shot to drink, I'll watch the shot and manually shut off at the blonding point.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 9:39am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

I'll eventually get to the point where I'm comfortable stopping the shot by look/blonding...not there yet.

Just clarifying here that I absolutely only adjust the grinder when it's on.

Will keep a close eye on the grind, and if it slips again, I'll try going directly to Baratza...thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,468
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

Having not used that grinder myself, it sounds like you are in good hands.
DO keep everything as constant as possible, that included going volumetric.

As said, the "formula" is not an end all test. On Sat, I saw the grinder overdosed and let it go anyway. The shot ran 60 seconds, yet it tasted pretty good, not perfect but far from a sink shot so taste it anyway!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:05pm
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

See, Wayne, even when you mess up, your shots aren't so bad...when I do, I pretty much know it beforehand.  I DO taste them anyway, but end up going BLEAH!!!
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,972
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Beginner Extractions
 

That will change, I rarely toss a drink now.  I did a lot more at the start. Even my "bad" ones are ok to drink.  I tossed one this morning but it was a new blend of beans and I was way off on grind.   The 2nd one was not right either but close enough on a week day morning.  Saturday I might have tossed it.  It was plenty drinkable.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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