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How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How to measure...  
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 6:21pm
Subject: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Ok.. probably some dumb sounding questions, but want some idea of how to call my shot yeild and improve consistency.

Just started on a new batch of coffee tonight. Respected brand here in the forum and fresh.  My first shot (18 grams)  was about 1.75 oz (in a calibrated shot glass) in 27 seconds. Crema was thick and dark with no blonding. When I say it was 1.75 oz, that is measured to the top of the crema. But I know from experience that if I leave the espresso in the calibrated cup for a minute or so, the crema settles and I am not down to like 1.25 oz.  To me, this tasted bitter, but from what I have read, bitterness is a product of over extraction. This doesn't sound over extracted to me.  Poured this shot down the drain.

Next, I coarsened my grind a bit, and my next shot was about 2.25 oz in 27 seconds. Creama was still dark with no blonding. If I let this shot set in the calibrated glass for a minute or so, the crema settles and now I have about 1.75 oz. This one too was my idea of bitter.

I have to say that my crema seems much darker than it did two batches ago. It also seems to be dark around the edge. This observation may have something to do with the clear graduated shot glass I bought the other day to try and improve my consistency.  My machine has been recently backflushed and cleaned.

1) When you measure shot yield, do you include the crema that is on top of the espresso or is the yield what you have after the crema settles?

2) Can crema be too dark?

3) Is it normal to have the darker crema around the edge?

4) Is the dark crema around the edge telling me anything?

4) With the info I have provided, I feel these shots are very bitter. Is it possible that they are actually sour and I just don't know the difference between sour and bitter?
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ggcadc
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ggcadc
Joined: 25 Mar 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Espresso: QM Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer mini E, Virtuoso,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 7:50pm
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

1- measure with creama as the shot is pulled, not anticipating a drop.

2- tiger striping is normal, dark around the edge is usually over extracted

3-see 2

4-bitter is at the back of the tongue, sour would make your whole mouth pucker and your eyes squint
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Beans can change between batches even redbird. Get a scale that does .1 gram and weigh the shots so you can compare apples to apples.  Don't try to do it by volume.  Crema lessens over time with the same beans as they age so it looks like less volume but it might not be.  A dark ring is over extracted, but I some times I have crema that looks dark at the side as it settles that is not over extracted I believe it is just the oil as the bubbles pop.

 
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EvilCookie
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Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 8:34am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Definitely grab a scale that measures to .1 gram, this will help out tremendously as Coffeenoobie suggested.
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
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Location: OK
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Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 8:43am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

EvilCookie Said:

Definitely grab a scale that measures to .1 gram, this will help out tremendously as Coffeenoobie suggested.

Posted January 5, 2013 link

Got that... use a Vario W. Every shot is weighed.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 9:23am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

No weigh the shot glass then weigh it filled with espresso.  Subtract the glass weight to compare espresso produced on the same level - not by volume in the shot glass.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Update:
I weighed my normal shot this morning, I normally skip it now that I have my routine down and I get consistent results.

Time 25 seconds from pump on, 19 g beans yields 37.7 g shot of redbird blue jag.  

It looks and tastes pretty much like what I pull every morning.  I am terrible at math but it is pretty close to 50% ratio according to the chart.  42 is 50% and 32 is 40%.  Once you figure out your routine to get consistent results you don't need to weigh each shot you can judge it by looks.  But the weighing helps when you are learning and dialing in.  The scale made a huge difference when I was learning to pull a good shot.

It also helps you learn when the blonding end of the shot if you watch the top of the pour on a naked filter.  You can see the funnel shape get smaller and tighter to the bottom of the basket and the stream looks thinner and watery.  This helped me much more than just going by color.  I can see lots of colors I call blond in a pour and it made it really hard to know when to stop the pour.  But the change of shape of the cone/funnel of espresso is very clear when it happens so much more distinct than saying blonde.  I was letting my shots run about 3-5 seconds too long before I began to judge it that way.  Now that I have seen it happen a lot, I don't have to watch it as closely to tell when the shot needs to end, but I needed to see it collapse when I was learning to pull shots.  After a while you can see the nuances easier but at first it helps to have concrete markers. Weight not volume, cone collapsing not color, etc.

 
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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
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Location: OK
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Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

I made another drink this evening with the same settings I had this morning except I stopped the pump at 25 seconds instead of 27. It was a little better. Don't know if it was just my normal variation in my skills or the two seconds... but it was better.

I have a digital scale that I think will weigh at a low enough resolution to weigh the actual shot. I may have to give that a try.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 8:54am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Give it a try and let us know what you are getting.  You can see how weight is better for judging yield than volume because of the crema.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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DeanOK
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DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 720
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:32am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Give it a try and let us know what you are getting.  You can see how weight is better for judging yield than volume because of the crema.

Posted January 6, 2013 link

Got around to digging out the digital scale. My shot this morning was with 5 day old coffee freshly ground just before the shot. Total time was 29 seconds... about 3 or 4 seconds to first drop. Net yield was 30 grams. Wasn't that great of a shot, but wasn't terrible either. I used it to make a english toffee mocha... I know that would make a lot of stomachs turn with members of this community. I actually dropped the grinder one setting lower this morning from last night. The shot I had last night was better.

Edit: The ground coffee weighed 18 grams.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 12, 2013, 8:46am
Subject: Re: How to measure shot yield - then work on taste
 

Now you can track what shots tasted better by weight and have some idea of what ratio that is.

 
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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