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Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Newb to Espresso...  
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Markarian
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Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 7:15pm
Subject: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

So I'm very new to espresso. I have a Saeco Classico I got pristine off of CL with both pressurized and non-pressurized PFs. I realize now a grinder is very important to getting a good shot, and while I've been pulling some half-way decent shots grinding my coffee down to dust with a Magic Bullet, I know I can do better. Being a cheapskate and having limited counter space, I sprang for the much talked about Hario Skerton, which will arrive tomorrow. I've heard it's great for Espresso but not much else. Seeing as I'm primarily interested in espresso, I'm game. So here's my question: How do I dial it in and how do I quantify where to dial it in for a good espresso grind? There's no marks or anything, so how do I measure where to adjust it to? Thanks!
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 7:31pm
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

Markarian Said:

So I'm very new to espresso. I have a Saeco Classico I got pristine off of CL with both pressurized and non-pressurized PFs. I realize now a grinder is very important to getting a good shot, and while I've been pulling some half-way decent shots grinding my coffee down to dust with a Magic Bullet, I know I can do better. Being a cheapskate and having limited counter space, I sprang for the much talked about Hario Skerton, which will arrive tomorrow. I've heard it's great for Espresso but not much else. Seeing as I'm primarily interested in espresso, I'm game. So here's my question: How do I dial it in and how do I quantify where to dial it in for a good espresso grind? There's no marks or anything, so how do I measure where to adjust it to? Thanks!

Posted July 5, 2012 link

Congrats on stating your journey.
I wouldn't exactly call the Skerton "great" for espresso, but certainly a better solution than your Magic Bullet (I have one, great for what it does). You are correct in that it, like many manual grinders in this class the Skerton doesn't do nearly as well with the coarser grinds, UNLESS said grinder was designed to DO SO.

Grind 15grams of fresh beans at the factory setting.
It should take lots of turns...maybe find a thread that can tell what to expect. The Porlex takes about 150 turns to do 14 grams fine enough for my Olympia Cremina. I did this ONCE! LOL

BTW, the grind should feel pretty much like sugar, maybe a touch finer. DO NOT use the pressurized PF/basket.
I'd also get a decent stainless or aluminum tamper.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

I have a very expensive machined aluminum tamper that I got with the machine, in addition to a stainless one, so I'm good to go there. I only use the pressurized PF when I run out of the good stuff. So the "factory" setting, which is that? Basically, I just want to know quantitatively where my Skerton should be dialed in for espresso.
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,864
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 9:02pm
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

Markarian Said:

I have a very expensive machined aluminum tamper that I got with the machine, in addition to a stainless one, so I'm good to go there. I only use the pressurized PF when I run out of the good stuff. So the "factory" setting, which is that? Basically, I just want to know quantitatively where my Skerton should be dialed in for espresso.

Posted July 5, 2012 link

As I mentioned, first grind some beans, and feel the resultant grind. If it's powdery, turn the grind setting device whichever way loosens things a bit.
If it's like salt, then tighten.
Remember, on these cheaper manual grinders, a 1/4 turn can result in a significant change.

PULL A SHOT, making sure to bleed your steam wand when the ready light first goes out, which will relieve the "false pressure' and allow the machine to heat up to it's proper operating temperature. I would download a pdf manual, if you don't have one.
Try about 30lbs of tamping pressure. If you're not sure what 30lbs is, tamp on a bathroom scale. It's much less downward pressure than you'd think.

Just go for it, and don't over-think things.
It's just coffee, not world peace. :>D

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 10:45pm
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

IMAWriter Said:

As I mentioned, first grind some beans, and feel the resultant grind. If it's powdery, turn the grind setting device whichever way loosens things a bit.
If it's like salt, then tighten.
Remember, on these cheaper manual grinders, a 1/4 turn can result in a significant change.

PULL A SHOT, making sure to bleed your steam wand when the ready light first goes out, which will relieve the "false pressure' and allow the machine to heat up to it's proper operating temperature. I would download a pdf manual, if you don't have one.
Try about 30lbs of tamping pressure. If you're not sure what 30lbs is, tamp on a bathroom scale. It's much less downward pressure than you'd think.

Just go for it, and don't over-think things.
It's just coffee, not world peace. :>D

Posted July 5, 2012 link

Ah, but coffee brings so much peace to my world.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,041
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Jul 5, 2012, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

Dialing in a grinder can be time and bean consuming, but it's actually quite easy.

All you have to do is grind a dose of coffee (14 to 18 g for a doppio), put it in your filter basket, distribute and tamp the dose, then pull an espresso (50 to 60 ml for a double shot) and time it. If the shot comes out in more than 25-30 seconds or you choked the machine, you'll have to grind coarser next time. If it comes out in a shorter time, you'll have to grind finer. You repeat the process as long as it takes to hit the right extraction time.

The crucial part is to keep all other parameters that can influence extraction time consistent, i.e. dose and tamping pressure in which tamping is the least important factor. Just tamp as hard as you can without worrying about the actual pressure.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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randytsuch
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Joined: 11 Jun 2009
Posts: 578
Location: LA, Ca
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office with...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Customized Alpenrost,...
Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012, 6:23am
Subject: Re: Newb to Espresso - Hario Skerton coming tomorrow and have a question
 

There's a good thread here, with a detailed example including videos for dialing in a grinder and machine.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

You should use a scale that measures to 0.1g, so you can weigh the shots.

Randy
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