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just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
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fabchef
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 74
Location: mtl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 10:26pm
Subject: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

Hi everyone, well after looking around at some used grinders, i took the plunge and got a 2013 baratza vario. I was trying to get it dialed it tonight. I used a scale to measure out about 7 grams of ground coffee.
at 4F on the setting, it seems to make a nice shot. I wanted to get your opinions on these settings? it seems that most people go maybe 1 or 2 clicks from the "espresso" setting...i'm  a bit courser at 4. When i do grind the coffee, it manages to just cover the bottom surface of the single PF basket...is this too low? not enough coffee??
any advice would be great.thanks
fab
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
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 Tue Aug 27, 2013, 1:07am
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

There is no general espresso setting as such for any grinder, because the required fineness of grounds depends on many factors such as the variety of beans you use, their age, humidity or your dose. Further more, that setting might change from day to day, requiring adjustment. Therefore a setting that works fine for your personal set-up, might be completely wrong for another. If you extraction parameters are right and you're satisfied with the taste of your shots, then everything will be okay.

 
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"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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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 8:29pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

It's true what NobbyR says. On my Vario I'm always in macro setting 1 or 2 in order to have a fine enough grind, depending on the coffee bean. It sounds like it would be worth your while to scan this website for an Espresso 101 intoductory course, lots of explanations here.
  7 grams is for a small "single" dose, you need a small portafilter basket for that. Most people use the "double" baskets and put 14 to 18 grams in it depending on what kind of basket you have. On any basket the ground coffee is somewhere approaching the basket rim, say 2 or 3 millimeters below the top of the rim (after tamping) just to be really general (this depends on your machine though).
  You want a slow stream of espresso, maybe you could find at what point your grinder starts to choke your machine and then back off a few micro clicks from that so that you get a slow flow (starts a bit drippy then becomes a steady stream several seconds later) it will taste much better than gushers.
  Have a look through all the espresso instructions here, loads of information!
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fabchef
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 74
Location: mtl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Aug 30, 2013, 4:04am
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

MJJ....yes right now it just covers the bottom of the PF basket. I don't know if this is normal, but, after i make a shot and take off the PF, the coffee is still wet...it doesn't make a nice dry puck...what does this mean?
fabs
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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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 Fri Aug 30, 2013, 8:50am
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

It means that there is some water on the puck. Other than that, not much. PUCKOLOGY is more myth than any meaningful diagnostic tool. You do not say what machine you have so it is very possible yours does not have a 3 way valve and thus, your pucks will tend to be wetter than on a machine so equipped.

 
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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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Aug 30, 2013, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

Here's a great guide to espresso making:
http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-skills.html
  This link above should take you straight to the "basic techniques" page, there is a lot of info before that page too. There are many other guides, try googling how to make espresso and look at some videos. To generalize, try grinding 16-18 grams of coffee in a double basket that makes 1.5 to 2 ounces of liquid in 25-30 seconds. I don't know what kind of basket you have so it's hard to help there. If you are making a 7 gram single shot (which are harder to make than doubles by the way) then aim to get about one ounce of liquid in perhaps 20-25 seconds (I never make singles so I can't speak from experience here).
  What kind of machine do you have?
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fabchef
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 74
Location: mtl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Aug 30, 2013, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

hi guys, sorry for the late reply and lack on info. My machine is a faema family that i just picked up not too long ago and is in good shape. It has the aluminum boiler and it does have the 3-way solenoid that is working.

MJJ...thanks for the link. I currently have a single basket in PF, with double spout. I timed the 8gr of coffee and took about 21 seconds to get 1oz. AFter reading your link, i think i can go a bit finer on the MICRO setting to get the 1oz in about 25 seconds.

as for coffee choice, right now i'm currently using Bristot beans and love it!!!!
fab
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MJJ
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia PID
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Aug 30, 2013, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

Very cool. I'm not familiar with the Faema Family. From what I can see it's an SBDU (single boiler double use). Yes, definitely see how fine you can get with your Vario and compare the taste, you'll find the sweet spot. I suggest getting your hands on a double basket, you'll probably really like the taste difference. If you contact any reputable espresso dealer they'll set you up with one that fits your machine. See if you can get a basket that will hold 18 grams of coffee, they taste better in my opinion and are more forgiving than smaller baskets.
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Chanty
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 223
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

MJJ, Could you do me a favor if at all possible.  Could you post a picture of how high the coffee should come up on the portafilter.  You said 2-3ml. under the top of the rim.   I'm trying to visualize that.  I don't own a scale.  I have always used this system:  Fill up 1/4 measuring cup where the beans are a tiny bit mounded out of the cup.  When that grinds into my portafilter, the ground coffee is mounded like a small mountain.  I then tap the portafilter a couple times on the counter, and use my finger to remove any excess coffee.  I then tamp it firmly.   For the most part, I get great shots (dripping out slow, but steady dark reddish brown then tiger striping).   Since I didn't have a scale,  I somehow figured out that 1/4 cup (a little mounded over the cup) worked the best.  If there was more than that little mounded in the 1/4 cup, and the coffee was almost up to the top edge of the portafilter--it would choke the espresso machine.   Thanks.
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Chanty
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 223
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Vario, had an MDF
Vac Pot: none
Drip: none
Roaster: I buy beans from many...
Posted Sun Sep 1, 2013, 11:14pm
Subject: Re: just got a new 2013 baratza vario...advice on "dialing in"...
 

Oh, I have a Gaggia Classic espresso machine, and I use the double shot basket.
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