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Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
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spud72
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spud72
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 66
Location: Alberta Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 9:27pm
Subject: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

I tuned my Andreja Premium down from the stock 10.2 to a more reasonable 8.5-ish. I am debating about moving it up a smidgen to the 9-range as that seems to be where a lot of people say they are, but I want to experiment and see if I can consistantly get some good shots at this pressure.. although since it is a new machine and I am on a MASSIVE learning curve, I probably want to change as few of things as possible at any time. Heck, I am still dialing in the Mazzer to where I want it and settling on a coffee to use from my local roaster!

But, this had me thinking - for those of us that have brew pressure guages or have measured it, what are you running at? I'd be curious to see. As I said, I am thinking it's going to largely be the 9+ range, but I'm curious.

Thanks.
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coffeeDirtDog
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coffeeDirtDog
Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 331
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: Professional
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 9:58pm
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

I am usually at around 8.5.

It really depends on the espresso you use and the style you pull, so experiment later once you have really had a lot of time with a bean/blend.

 
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alsterling
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alsterling
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 682
Location: Dana Point, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo)
Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Not yet...
Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta...
Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 10:35pm
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

As was mentioned, it truly depends on your coffee. When Chris Coffee Company sets up the S1 La Spaziale for shipment, they bench test and adjust it for 9 to 10 bar. I was having major issues with my new Macap M4 and S1. I am a heavy user of Malabar Gold from Josuma. I buy 5 lbs. about every other week. After selling the Expobar Pulsar Office, I initially couldn't get the great crema and taste from the new setup. After tweaking everything, I still had issues.

I called Dr. John, the owner of Josuma Coffee. He recommended the following settings for his Malabar; start with very full double basket. (triple is better) Then, set brew pressure at 8 to 8.2 bar, brew temp at 207 F, total extraction time from button push to finish of 30 seconds.

With those guidelines, I checked my S1 and found it was at 9.3 bar, I reset to 8.2 bar. I confirmed the temp. With all of that, and without a choking fine grind, but certainly finer than normal, I'm running about 26 to 28 second shots. The coffee is still getting rave reviews, with loads of crema, so I'm happy.

I'm guessing that an "average" pressure is 9 bar?

Best, Al in SoCal

 
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nmayweather
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Joined: 25 Jun 2004
Posts: 994
Location: nyc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: expobar office, isomac venus
Grinder: mini mazzer
Vac Pot: bodum santos
Drip: mr coffee sp3
Roaster: toastmaster popper
Posted Wed May 31, 2006, 11:27pm
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

personally, i have mine set at 9.2 for ristrettos and aim for 9 on regular pulls

i don't have a guage on the machine during brew, but i can hear it when it trips so i have it a bit over 9 (9.2), so i know when its too fine
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itinerant
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Joined: 1 Sep 2005
Posts: 901
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 1:50am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

7.25 - 8 bar, depending on the blend. Measured at the basket with a 65 ml/min flow rate.



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alsterling
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alsterling
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 682
Location: Dana Point, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo)
Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Not yet...
Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta...
Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

That's an interesting pressure recommendation. I'm wondering if brew pressure can be skewed by the particular machine. Your recommendation of 7.25 to 8 bar is, obviously, quite a bit lower than I remember seeing printed anywhere else? What additional input do you have to go with the "below 8 bar" recommendation? Now I'm wondering if there is a commercial standard, or if all the variables of machine, coffee and prep technique make that difficult to nail down?

 
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k7qz
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Joined: 22 Jul 2005
Posts: 101
Location: Port Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra A3 & Andreja Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Kony & Mini E
Vac Pot: Cona, Hario
Drip: What's that?
Roaster: HotTop
Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 8:25am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

Spud:

One of my machines is an Andreja.

Start with 9 bar.  It's a good all-around setting and you can fine tune after that per your taste buds.  I'd bet you probably won't have to though-

When you're adjusting the nut to set the pressure, make sure the tubing coming off the bottom of the adjustment nut doesn't get twisted as you turn the nut.  I couldn't figure out why my brew pressures were all over the place when I first set mine until I noticed the tubing in a pretzel shape...  If it does twist, just spin the tubing on the collar fitting until it's straight again.

Pull several "shots" with the blind basket until you're satisfied you've acheived a stable reading and go from there-
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itinerant
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Joined: 1 Sep 2005
Posts: 901
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

alsterling Said:

That's an interesting pressure recommendation. I'm wondering if brew pressure can be skewed by the particular machine. Your recommendation of 7.25 to 8 bar is, obviously, quite a bit lower than I remember seeing printed anywhere else? What additional input do you have to go with the "below 8 bar" recommendation? Now I'm wondering if there is a commercial standard, or if all the variables of machine, coffee and prep technique make that difficult to nail down?

Posted June 1, 2006 link

At a given temperature, the ideal pressure range is << than 1 bar. Italian roasters may specify what temperature and pressure you should brew their beans at. Conventional setpoints for commercial equipment in Italy are about 8 - 9 bar. I am aware of N. American cafes that run their machines as high as 9.5 bar. Generally measured with a blind basket. And as high as 10 - 11 bar for home or prosumer equipment. I can only assume that this is a compensation for the presumed lack of barista skills amongst home users.

How are you measuring your pressure? Most people measure with a portafilter mounted gauge, which is a closed system & can indicate a pressure 1 bar higher than during an actual shot. I measure mine with water leaving the basket at same rate as it does during a consumed shot. So someone else's 9 bar may be the same as my 8 bar, depending on how it was measured. For comparison purposes only, you might want to read mine as 8.25 - 9 bar.

Higher pressures produce harsher shots & I don't like the taste, so I am definitely on the lower end of the scale. Additionally, I pull shots about 0.5 bar lower on my Cimbali than I might on another machine. And of course, my measurement methodology also gives a lower number than a static measurement.

IMO & within a limited range, there is an inverse relationship between brew temperature & pressure. My machine is very temperature stable, so much so that it is resistant to attempts to lower it's stable temperature. So it was easier to me (with good results) to pull shots about 0.5 bar lower than I normally would on another machine, rather than push my machine to run another degree cooler for the blends that I favour.

Relation between the temperature and pressure
Brew Pressure and Salvatore
The Elusive Clarity in the Cup



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alsterling
Senior Member
alsterling
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 682
Location: Dana Point, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo)
Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Not yet...
Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta...
Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

Interesting point about how the brew pressure is measured. I use my extra PF. I have a liquid filled 0-160 psi gage, accurate to 2% midrange, and remove the basket from the PF. I clamp the PF in place, cycle the brew water several times to bleed air, etc., and then look to adjust. Now, I don't know how you restrict or control the flow rate? System pressure available, and system pressure during the brew cycle may be different, as there's a path to normal atmosphere.......if that's what you're doing.

My understanding is that measurements are made in a closed system with no flow, ergo, measures indicating max brew pressure available. I don't know how else to do it, and would like to have more details on how you exactly measure pressure during the flow? If the gage you have is plumbed into the system at the brew group, then that's different. If you have an add-on measureing device, then I'm curious.

Best, Al in SoCal

 
Member No.12047 - SCAA
http://www.baristaexchange.com/profile/AlSterling
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itinerant
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2005
Posts: 901
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jun 1, 2006, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Question - What brew pressure are you pulling your shots?
 

alsterling Said:

... My understanding is that measurements are made in a closed system with no flow, ergo, measures indicating max brew pressure available. I don't know how else to do it, and would like to have more details on how you exactly measure pressure during the flow? If the gage you have is plumbed into the system at the brew group, then that's different. If you have an add-on measureing device, then I'm curious.

Posted June 1, 2006 link

Ah, the wonders of needle valves. Have a look at Bobroseman's gauge in this HB thread.



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