Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Questions and Answers
Extraction difficulties... wit's end
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Extraction...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
AnaNahal
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 9:59am
Subject: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Hi Coffeegeeks,

I hate asking for help, but I've hit an impasse and can't get past it.  I'm not a pro barista but I did take Intelligentsia's barista course & have watched a ton of videos etc. Dying to get it right.

I've started using a bottomless portafilter & am still having problems with my espresso extraction.  At first the extraction was spurting all over the place, so I experimented with grind settings & purchased a better portafilter (VST 20 mg ridged).  At this point, I am using WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) as well as Nutation to improve things, and it has greatly improved, but at the beginning it is still uneven and messy.  Only as the shot continues does the flow of espresso unite into a single center stream.

Here is the equipment I'm using:

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso set somewhere between 3-5 clicks from the finest grind (could the grinder be the problem?)
Rocket Espresso Premium Plus Giotto machine
VST 20 mg bottomless portafilter along with perfectly matched tamper

The coffee beans are all from Intelligentsia & Blue Bottle and are always fresh, and I clean my equipment daily & weekly.  I think that's all the needed info?

Any advice greatly appreciated.  Today's latte tasted pretty bad :(
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Virtuoso could pro be the problem, have you tried grinding finer or can you choke the machine (not likely, but try)? If you can choke, try adjusting back from there. Which Virtuoso, the old one, or the updated one with Preciso burrs? I personally found nutating to be useless, I just WDT and put the tamper in and tamp, trying to nutate in addition caused issues. More high end machines are more finicky with grind. But also the VST basket makes it trickier, VST requires a finer grind than you would normally use for the same dosage in a regular basket. You can try playing with the dosage as well, the beans I'm currently using I was trying to pull doubles around 14-15G's and was having a hard time, but adjusting to 15.5 it's much better.

How many seconds is a shot coming too (and for what OZ size)?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,352
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

The Virtuoso is an OK grinder, but that Rocket deserves much better than that. Your pouring kerosene into your BMW.
A stepless grinder is highly recommended, and conical burrs are quite nice. Look for a used Mazzer. If you can afford it there are some spectacular grinders out there, but they cost many Euros...

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,962
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

^ +1

check out his website too (frcn's).  look specifically for article #12 in the right column midway down.  "...easy guide to better espresso..."

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

I agree, that grinder is not up to the task and is not as good as the precisio or the Vario.  Of the two I recommend what I ended up with a vairo W.  If you can get a better one, go for it.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Aug 3, 2012, 6:40am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Hi and welcome!

I need to state some foundation information, up front.
As you took the intro course, you should know this but I will say it again, just in case....

You need fresh beans and fresh beans are defined by less than two weeks from the day they were roasted. Just saying.

Now that I have the statement out of the way, I will echo about the Virtuoso not quite being up to the task of grinding espresso for your machine. here we have a saying because it is true, GRINDER FIRST, the grinder is more important than the espresso machine and with that espresso machine, your grinder, to be a good match, should have a new cost of starting at $500. A better grinder than the starting point is better but the grinder is the part of the equation that has the biggest affect on the quality of your espresso. Hard to fathom I know but true.

You have already purchased your equipment and good equipment it is but please read the GUIDE on How to buy an espresso machine, please read all of it's many sections, it will take you about 20 minutes or so, please do this to get a better understanding of the equipment and how it interrelates to each piece.

http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

Please, Please PLEASE read "Don't skimp on the grinder" in the how to buy an espresso machine guide.

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
AnaNahal
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Aug 3, 2012, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Okay awesome tips, thank goodness I have some answers.  I'm going to read all the suggested material and cough up for a new grinder.  Thanks so much guys :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Aug 3, 2012, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Great!
If you are comfortable with used equipment, used commercial grinders offer a very good price to value ratio. Check your local Craigs list etc to see what is close to you. Check our BST forum too.

We have several GREAT advertisers here and they all try to give great service. Check them out http://coffeegeek.com/resources/advertisers

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
AnaNahal
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Aug 4, 2012, 9:03am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

Just broke the bank and bought the Baratza Vario-W.  It seemed the best from the reviews, and was only (only)$75 more than the Vario.  Will update with extraction progress once it arrives.  Wow that's a lot of money, but I'll be so happy if I can pull a perfect shot soon!!!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,352
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Aug 4, 2012, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Extraction difficulties... wit's end
 

AnaNahal Said:

Just broke the bank and bought the Baratza Vario-W.....  Wow that's a lot of money, but I'll be so happy if I can pull a perfect shot soon!!!

Posted August 4, 2012 link

Everything is relative...   ;-)

<-----------  Replacement burrs = $119.00  (1st-line) :-O

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Extraction...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.286921977997)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+