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Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Pulling a shot,...  
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CincyChris
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Joined: 14 Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Cincinnati
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:36am
Subject: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

Just wondering how most pull shots?  By time?  I have been using a measuring shot glass, but that messes with art, etc.  

Have things dialed in to where I'm pulling a double shot in 25-30 seconds, but just have been afraid to move away from the measuring glass.

Thanks,
Chris
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

you're going to get answers from several perspectives on this one, and everyone will have their reasons why you must do it this way or that way.  I think you need to pick which one works for you and do it consistently.  you can run your shot for a specified time, volume or weight or until it looks done.

Me, well...I use a combination of time and appearance primarily.  In my world, it works to watch the shot and stop it when "it's done", but I also run a timer along side it.  I typically will modify my grind based on how the shots are running and how long they take. I always use the same dose weight, but I also make adjustments to dose and grind depending on flavor profile. For instance, if I've been running shots till done and it's taking 30 seconds, but I want to bring out certain flavors, I'll modify my grind so that they're done at say...oh, 35 seconds, or change the dose slightly, or change the temperature they're extracting at.

I think the real point is to be consistent.  If you want to modify something, do it one variable at a time and do it in a way that you know exactly what you did different.  That way, you can go back where you were, make a second modification or make a modification in the opposite direction and not get lost.  I know this last part doesn't help you choose your method for maintaining precision, but other will chime in about how they do it different from me and why they do things the way they do...and that'll give you another body of thought to consider.

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

well...I'm kind of surprised you haven't gotten other responses yet.

 
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

You said it well.  Not much to add.

I measure my grinds and use a timer.  I weighed shots at the start when I wanted to learn how to judge them but now I go by look and feel.  Reading the cone collapse on a naked portafilter is easier than telling what color is "blonde"

 
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 1:00pm
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

CincyChris Said:

Just wondering how most pull shots?  

Posted February 14, 2013 link

There is only one "correct" answer - BY TASTE!

The time and volume figures are STARTING POINTS only. They give you an idea as to whether you are on the right track. From there, nothing Else matters but how it tastes to you. How do you find out? You make a lot of freaking coffee over a long time and you drink them, and if you have learned to control the process, you make little changes in dose, grind, pressure, temperature, blend, and roast, (among other things) and in the end you learn what you like.

It is a tendency to fall into a rut when you think all is good only to later find (after many pounds or even many months, or even years) that there was a way to make it better.

You do not NEED to brew at 203, you do not NEED to use 15.725 grams of coffee, you do not NEED to tamp at 32.5 pounds... UNLESS it makes the best coffee you can make.

IGNORE THE RULES - YOU DO NOT RINK THE RULES.  ;-)

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013, 1:31pm
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

Thanks Helen!

...and to echo Randy (frcn) focus on the technique and consistency then modify to taste.  He has an aexcellent howto article on his website www.espressomyespresso.com, called "easy guide to better espresso at home"  I highly recommend reading it.  In fact, I tend to look it over every 6 months or so, just to "re-center" myself.

 
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hollyan
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Joined: 20 Feb 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Grand Rapids
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 7:10am
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

+1 ignore the rules, +1 taste. I've had good shots that would be considered too "short" in time and volume) and too "long" (again, in time and volume). As you get started, the rules are useful, but as you go along, I think your subjective judgment and experience are a far better gauge of what constitutes a good shot of espresso.
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tdifraia
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Joined: 13 Dec 2012
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Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:15am
Subject: Re: Pulling a shot, time, or measure?
 

EXCELLENT advice. Thanks for this post.

emradguy Said:

you're going to get answers from several perspectives on this one, and everyone will have their reasons why you must do it this way or that way.  I think you need to pick which one works for you and do it consistently.  you can run your shot for a specified time, volume or weight or until it looks done.

Me, well...I use a combination of time and appearance primarily.  In my world, it works to watch the shot and stop it when "it's done", but I also run a timer along side it.  I typically will modify my grind based on how the shots are running and how long they take. I always use the same dose weight, but I also make adjustments to dose and grind depending on flavor profile. For instance, if I've been running shots till done and it's taking 30 seconds, but I want to bring out certain flavors, I'll modify my grind so that they're done at say...oh, 35 seconds, or change the dose slightly, or change the temperature they're extracting at.

I think the real point is to be consistent.  If you want to modify something, do it one variable at a time and do it in a way that you know exactly what you did different.  That way, you can go back where you were, make a second modification or make a modification in the opposite direction and not get lost.  I know this last part doesn't help you choose your method for maintaining precision, but other will chime in about how they do it different from me and why they do things the way they do...and that'll give you another body of thought to consider.

Posted February 14, 2013 link

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