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Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Extremely SOUR...  
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KatieT
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KatieT
Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 26
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 1:29pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

I also got a DeLonghi Bar32 for Christmas from my well-meaning mother  =)

I made my first shot with a great espresso blend from a local roaster that had been ground right before being tamped, and the shot, while not note-worthy (due to being weak and a little watery), was pretty good, and it would be even better in a milk-based drink I'm sure. Once my real tamper comes, I'm sure I can perfect the shot even more.

With that said, the Illy pre-ground probably IS the culprit.

I am also aware that this machine isn't anywhere near the best, but since it was a gift, I'll use it to practice while I save up for my Dream Machine  =)

I've read that a grinder is just as important as the machine, so using pre-ground anything won't get you the very best results you could achieve with the DeLonghi.

I hope this helps! Please keep posting and reading - this is a great bunch of people  =)
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h3yn0w
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h3yn0w
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

shogan Said:

As to temp surfing, I was hoping not to spend anymore money on a temp gauge, but again very possible solution so if the new coffee doesn't work I will try it out.

.

Posted January 7, 2011 link

The styrofoam cup method doesn't require anything fancy. Just a styrofoam cup and a $10 fast read thermometer. You may already have one. If not, it's a handy thing to have in the kitchen anyways:)
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shogan
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Location: CA
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 3:47pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

One more question - I wasn't able to find a definitive answer as to whether I can use a non pressurized porta filter with this machine (no rubber gasket on the inside of the basket). Does anyone know whether its possible and/or whether its worth it to try?
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shogan
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 9:54pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

The fresh ground coffee definitely changed the complexity to something near a decent espresso. But the brew is still extremely sour.

On to trying the temp gauge. Also will try some E.S.E. pods in order to hopefully eliminate this as a tamper problem....don't get mad at me for this I know its "newbish".
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SteveRhinehart
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Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

It's not a tamper problem, that's certain. If you're concerned it's still a distribution problem, you needn't buy pods. They won't be indicative of proper distribution anyway. As far as distributing goes, try the Weiss Distribution Technique, or WDT. All this really entails is stirring the grinds in the basket with an unbent paperclip or similar probe. You don't need the makeshift yogurt cup funnel if you're careful, so it should be easy enough to do with very little extra prep. Stir in concentric circles, obtain a visibly even distribution, tamp, and pull the shot. If you still get a sour mess, move on to the next candidate.

My vote, at this point, is on temperature. It's more than likely your machine doesn't really get up to a temperature that's considered adequate for brewing espresso. This is a pretty common problem with lower end machines like yours and mine. To counteract it, you can set the machine to its steam mode for 10 seconds or so before brewing, right after the boiler light has gone off (or on, whichever the case may be) to indicate the machine is "ready". Doing this will turn the heating element on, while bypassing the brew thermostat's lower temperature setting. It will raise your brew water to a more acceptable level, and hopefully reduce sourness.

And, yes, de-pressurize that portafilter when you get the chance.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 11:18pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

shogan Said:

I was hoping not to spend anymore money on a temp gauge,

Posted January 7, 2011 link

Go to my website (nothing for sale there). Besides documenting my adventures in coffee over the last ten years (are flashbacks to times before that), in the right-0hand column you will find a number of lessons and how-tos including time surfing (which only requires a timepiece that can count seconds) as well as how to measure brew temperature with noting but a stick thermometer like those found in many kitchens and a styrofoam take-away cup. There is also a HUGE guide to solving problems with espresso (in the How-Tos section it is #12).  

If you read the entire site we'll talk again in a week or two..  ;-)

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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shogan
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Joined: 6 Jan 2011
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Location: CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011, 11:26pm
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

Thanks for the continuing advice!

I just tried the technique Steve suggested (WDT) and turned on the steam mode until it heated up to "ready" then pulled the shot. Now its not as sour but it is over-extracted (black, big bubbled white crema on the edges, bitter and no espresso flavor). I think this was a result of my over-tamping however, and will try this technique with a light tamp tomorrow. Seems like at least I'm making more progress then before.

Also thanks for the website frcn, I'm going there now to start my 2 week reading =P.

More updating to come, thanks all.
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shogan
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Joined: 6 Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Location: CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011, 12:49am
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

Based on the post about removing the spring gasket on a EC155:

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/510409

I'm thinking of removing the spring gasket on my Bar32 and trying this. The only issue I can see is that there is a gap between the filter plate and the bottom of the porta filter basket. I'm not sure if this will cause more problems then its worth but I will try it.

In lieu of that, does anyone know where I can get a non-pressurized porta filter basket for the Delonghi Bar32? It fits a 51mm porta filter.

Thanks.
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fwtechwiz
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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
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Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

You might try one from Mr. Coffee.  I don't have the Delonghi, but a Hamilton Beach, but from my research when I was looking for a non pressurized basket, a lot of the lower end machines (Sunbeam, Delonghi, Hamilton Beach, Mr Coffee) can use this basket.  Link to it is below.

Click here
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fwtechwiz
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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 530
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Extremely SOUR Shot - Delonghi Bar32
 

shogan Said:

Thanks for the continuing advice!

I just tried the technique Steve suggested (WDT) and turned on the steam mode until it heated up to "ready" then pulled the shot. Now its not as sour but it is over-extracted (black, big bubbled white crema on the edges, bitter and no espresso flavor). I think this was a result of my over-tamping however, and will try this technique with a light tamp tomorrow. Seems like at least I'm making more progress then before.

Also thanks for the website frcn, I'm going there now to start my 2 week reading =P.

More updating to come, thanks all.

Posted January 7, 2011 link

Hmm, now over extracted and bitter?  Me thinks you went too far on the hot side.  +1 on the lighter tamp, a pressurized basket does not need a heavy tamp to perform.  Temp surfing is kind of like riding a roller coaster.  You have to find the right place to get off or you'll fly out either too high or too low.  Try this:  Hit the steam switch, let it come up to 'ready'.  Turn the steam switch off.  Open your steam valve (with a cup underneath) and hit the brew switch for oh say, 5 seconds for a cooling flush.  Then turn the brew switch off, close the steam valve and immediately pull your shot.  If still too bitter, go longer with your cooling flush.  If it goes too sour, go shorter with the cooling flush.  Pretty soon you'll find the sweet spot.

EDIT:  It's a lot easier to surf down from over temp than to try to surf up to the right temp from too cool.
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