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Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
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 7, 2013, 6:52am
Subject: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

I've recently run in to some trouble pulling shots on my MVII. I dose 16.5g, which is about the max in the 53mm double pf. I'm getting 2oz in 35 seconds (30-35 is the ideal for the 53mm pf), but it's blonding very early, around 16-18 seconds. Any tips for what to do? If I grind finer, the pull will take too long. I'm currently pulling SO Guatemalan Antigua.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,308
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

tglodjo Said:

I've recently run in to some trouble pulling shots on my MVII. I dose 16.5g, which is about the max in the 53mm double pf. I'm getting 2oz in 35 seconds (30-35 is the ideal for the 53mm pf), but it's blonding very early, around 16-18 seconds. Any tips for what to do? If I grind finer, the pull will take too long. I'm currently pulling SO Guatemalan Antigua.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

You're not making sense.  You're saying the shot is over-extracting too early, but you don't want it to grind finer because if you do the shot will take longer.  

The first big take away -- which is more generic than a response to your specific problem -- is to stop thinking about pulling towards an ideal time.  There is no ideal time.    

Getting back to the issue at hand:  If you've been getting really good results with a particular grinder setting for these particular beans at a given grinder setting, it's likely that grinder setting is going to be pretty close to right.  

More often than not, premature blonding is the result of some kind of channeling.  The most common channeling causes are probably a puck which isn't leveled in the pf, or which isn't well sealed around the rim.  We all feel that we're beyond working on our distribution and tamping techniques; but they would be a good place to start.    

Grind setting and bean freshness are probably next.  It's possible your grinder isn't giving you the ability to make fine adjustments in the "usually good" range to really dial in your coffee.  That's a common problem with just about any "stepped" grinder.  What kind of grinder are you using?

Basket integrity (i.e., maybe it's had a hole poked in it) is another common problem; worth a look.  

BDL
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
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 7, 2013, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

Basket is new precision double, in great condition. Also using a bottomless PF and haven't experienced much channeling. Could be unlevel tamp. I'll keep an eye on that. I'll also try grinding finer again, but last time I did, it was choking the machine. It may be the grinder, because I've been having issues with the Vario lately. When I switch to a coarser grind for pour over, it's not adjusting back to the espresso range very easily, and I've used up a lot of beans. I'm quite frustrated. But I didn't think my issue really made sense either...the grind is fine enough to get my desired volume (1.5-2oz) in my time frame, but the pull is very weird. Slow at first and then gushing. Beans are fresh. Roasted them this weekend.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Oct 10, 2013, 2:10am
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

tglodjo Said:

I'll also try grinding finer again, but last time I did, it was choking the machine.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

Lower the dosage if you grind finer and that will keep your shots from choking the machine. Using a scale to measure dosage considerably helps and will help to ease your frustration.

Early blonding is a sign you are overextracting the coffee. 2 oz in 35 seconds may be a bit slow. Try speeding up the shot a bit by about 5-10 seconds and see what happens.
(ie. Try for 2 oz in 25-30 seconds instead.)

To do that, lower your dosage with the same grind or coarsen your grind a little bit.

How does the shot taste? A burnt, rubber tire taste may be an indication of overextraction. While, A citruisy/sweet taste could be underextraction. This is all personal preference.

tglodjo Said:

Slow at first and then gushing. Beans are fresh. Roasted them this weekend.

Posted October 7, 2013 link

That's absolutely normal. I've seen it happen myself where the shot starts out slow and then speeds up.

If you think that channelling could be an issue, lower your dosage and grind finer. This also can dramatically affect the flavor of your shot.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,833
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 Thu Oct 10, 2013, 3:56am
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

Just a thought, sometimes the normal progression of the shot is mistaken for blonding , it is perfectly normal for the shot to lighten as it proceeds, that isn't blonding.

 
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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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
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 Thu Oct 10, 2013, 5:51am
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

Thanks for the replies, qualin and Wayne.

It was definitely early blonding. The shot was watery and thin. Though I probably mistakes it some too just seeing it get pretty light.

I think my issue was more my grinder (uneven grind while the burrs settle from a coarser grind), as well as uneven/unlevel extraction. I've started using WDT, and I decided to grind a little finer, and I've been getting some great results. While the Vario-W is great for multiple brew methods, I guess I've been nervous about wasting beans and haven't run the burrs enough to settle back in to their espresso setting.

Thanks for the input! It has certainly helped me get beyond a ton of frustration!
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alnica
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Nicaragua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Porlex Mini
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 9:46pm
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

I have the Vivaldi and Vario and get really annoyed when I adjust the grinder for pour-over. I find I need to pass through 4-6 double shots worth of coffee for the Vario to re-adjust back to the fine grind needed. Because I only drink pour over once a fortnight or so, have been reluctant to buy a dedicated grinder... until now. Waiting for my porlex mini hand grinder to arrive. Although I have heard is not ideal for pour-over, it will at least save me a good 150gs of coffee per month currently lost while the Vario thinks about re-adjusting.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 10:00pm
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

alnica Said:

get really annoyed when I adjust the grinder for pour-over.

Posted October 11, 2013 link

Probably the biggest complaint I've heard from Baristas is how their grinder frustrates them. This is always a good case to upgrade the grinder.

Ideally, I'd want to have two grinders, one dedicated for espresso which is dialed in for the blend I'm using and another one for all purpose grinding.

For coarse grinding, like drip for example, anything you buy off the shelf with burrs will do the trick nicely. It doesn't make sense to use a much more expensive
espresso grinder to grind for drip coffee when the precision isn't needed.

You know, I'm thinking.. Perhaps this is an opportunity to consider keeping the Vario for use as a dedicated drip grinder and buying another grinder for espresso?
Perhaps something like a Mahlkonig or a Mazzer Espresso grinder is in the cards here?

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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alnica
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 84
Location: Nicaragua
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Porlex Mini
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 10:11pm
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

qualin Said:

This is always a good case to upgrade the grinder.

Posted October 11, 2013 link

As I only have a Vario, I wonder would a more up-market grinder be able to cope with adjusting from espresso to drip grind and back with no waste?

Two great grinders would of course be ideal, and for now, I am going to try my drip coffee with the $60 porlex.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Oct 11, 2013, 10:31pm
Subject: Re: Pulling on Mini Vivaldi II, Early Blonding
 

]As I only have a Vario, I wonder would a more up-market grinder be able to cope with adjusting from espresso to drip grind and back with no waste?

Well, the first grinder which comes to mind is this one:
Click Here (www.mahlkoenig.com)

However, that's their all around grinder. If I was going to spend that much money, I'd keep your Vario for drip and use this grinder for espresso:

http://www.mahlkoenig.com/us_products/ProM-Espresso.html

The Mazzer Mini Electronic I have can also easily adjust for different grinds, but I personally find it a pain to move the collar to make radical adjustments because
dialing it in again for the blend is kind of a pain. This is another option as well though if budget is a consideration:

http://www.mazzer.com/scheda.asp?idprod=8

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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