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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Noooooob Needs...  
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
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Posted Wed May 8, 2013, 7:19pm
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

Now that I think of it, I recall Dana_leighton posting that a nickel is 5g recently.

You shouldn't worry about whether you puck comes out dry or not. As long as your extraction runs well and your shots taste good, what does it matter?

Have you a naked/bottomless pf handle? Great for watching extractions and assessing distribution issues.

Btw...off topic...what year are you in med school? Wht specialty(ies) are you considering/planning? I'm a radiologist.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Whitcoatsyndrom
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Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM, Wear-Ever Pumper 1400...
Posted Thu May 9, 2013, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

I'll have to find a shiny nickel laying around, good to know.  I don't have a nacked pf yet, still using the double that came with the Classic.  I plan to eventually get one but I read they can cause some problems for new espresso users not yet consistent in their tamp/procedure.  That being said....they also have a great cool-factor.  

Only after your question did I take a better look at your username, which is very fitting.  I'm just finishing up my M1 year, I actually have a spread of cross-sectional spinal segment images in front of me for Monday's neuro exam as I type this.  Specialties are sort of up in the air and I keep bouncing around to what I think I want to do.  I have continuously considered general surgery or a subspecialty of, so thats always in the back of my mind.  We have a pretty great radiographic imaging component of our curriculum so radiology is up there, although the thought of having to learn all the physics is a bit of a deterrent.  I plan on shadowing an interventional radiologist bc it sounds like a great mix of what I'm interested in.

Thanks for the interest, it's really nice.

-Brett

emradguy Said:

Now that I think of it, I recall Dana_leighton posting that a nickel is 5g recently.

You shouldn't worry about whether you puck comes out dry or not. As long as your extraction runs well and your shots taste good, what does it matter?

Have you a naked/bottomless pf handle? Great for watching extractions and assessing distribution issues.

Btw...off topic...what year are you in med school? Wht specialty(ies) are you considering/planning? I'm a radiologist.

Posted May 8, 2013 link

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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu May 9, 2013, 12:35pm
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

Whitcoatsyndrom Said:

I'll have to find a shiny nickel laying around, good to know.  I don't have a nacked pf yet, still using the double that came with the Classic.  I plan to eventually get one but I read they can cause some problems for new espresso users not yet consistent in their tamp/procedure.  That being said....they also have a great cool-factor.  

Only after your question did I take a better look at your username, which is very fitting.  I'm just finishing up my M1 year, I actually have a spread of cross-sectional spinal segment images in front of me for Monday's neuro exam as I type this.  Specialties are sort of up in the air and I keep bouncing around to what I think I want to do.  I have continuously considered general surgery or a subspecialty of, so thats always in the back of my mind.  We have a pretty great radiographic imaging component of our curriculum so radiology is up there, although the thought of having to learn all the physics is a bit of a deterrent.  I plan on shadowing an interventional radiologist bc it sounds like a great mix of what I'm interested in.

Thanks for the interest, it's really nice.

-Brett

Posted May 9, 2013 link

That may be true about the naked PF and beginner stage.  I can't honestly remember when in my journey I got my first one (yeah, I have two - the custom one in my avatar, and a standard black one).  They definitely are helpful in improving distribution technique and analyzing the extraction.  I simply love watching the extractions run through them, so I can't even tear myself away to froth milk while they're running.

Funny, I'm looking at images now too (typing here between patients so to speak).  We have a residency, so I can often take many minibreaks throughout the shift to play on the web, check email, etc.  There's a tendency to try to talk you into radiology, in part because I started my career in a gen surg residency and then "saw the dark", but I think the best (unsolicited) advice I could give you is to not let anyone talk you into a specialty, but rather gather as much info you can about each so you can make an informed decision that best suits you.  If you care to discuss it offline, I'd be more than happy to.  In either case, I wish you the best of luck!  - Ron

.

 
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

Hello there!

I figured you would be interested having answers from someone with the same machine as yours, so here we go:

Re 1: this post on home-barista is a good reference to help you adjust your grind and understand what the brew ratio is: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Re 2: My portafilter was always having more flow on the right side :-) This has nothing to do with channeling, as all the coffee ends up going in the middle of the portafilter, fall in the spout area, and then will either go left or right. I would also think it is just coming from the spout not being perfect, or the machine not being perfectly leveled.

Re 3: I do not use the stock baskets anymore, so it is hard to comment on this one. But I like to think that what matters is the result in the cup, and I do not worry too much about how the puck looks like after brewing a shot. And yes the screen gets dirty after most of my shots. I simply flush a little bit of water, and then use a kitchen clothe to wipe it.

Re 4: What I ended up doing recently is weight my coffee to single dose, but still try to get just a little more than what the basket can contain when the coffee is all fluffy out of the grinder (I hope it makes sense!). This way, I can level it nicely and get a nice distribution. I am sure you have as many techniques as you have members of this forum :-)

Re 5: YES! I only did it a year after getting my machine. I was pretty happy with the coffee I was making, but decided to get a bottomless portafilter to see how my technique was (and also because I was sick of cleaning the stock portafilter). With my best effort in filling the basket, and try to get a nice distribution, I was still getting a lot of channeling. It is when I read the thread on perfecting the use of the naked portafilter (http://www.home-barista.com/naked-extraction.html) that I realized the last thing I had to change before questioning my process was the pressure. lowering from 11bar to 9.5 made a huuuuge difference. No more channeling, nice and even extraction, and now the machine is much more forgiving on the distribution. Here is the article I followed to change the pressure: Click Here (www.roaste.com)

The gaggia is a lot of fun. I thought about upgrading, but realized that I was able to get great results with it, and decided to say no to the upgraditis :-) Another modification you may want to make also is replace the steam wand with the old rancilio silvia one. Only if you use it of course!

Hope this is helpful! And please ask away if you have more questions :-)

MatP
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jwoodyu
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jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 841
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Roaster: Poppery
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 9:42am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

9 bar on a vibe pump is very low but if you like it your results......

 
Yes I put the BDB and CC1 in the same class, yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 10:00am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

jwoody,

You are right that measuring on a closed circuit is not completely reliable, and that there is probably a drop when using a vibe pump. It is my understanding that it also depends on the OPV specs. I do not have a mean to measure the pressure while brewing, so I have to rely on some other criteria. Using feedbacks from other Gaggia users was the first one, and 9.5 bar seems to be the magic number. Then I have to follow my taste and what the bottomless portafilter shows. Those do not lie :-)

Cheers

MatP
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
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Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

I think that most Gaggia users are aiming at 9 - 9.5 bar with flow and a little higher, 9.5 - 10 bar static.  As noted in OP's other thread, that OPV adjustment can be best done with a gauge but also estimated by back flow.

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Use a full glass of water for the intake tube and catch the outflow from the OPV in a separate container and measure against the provided chart.  Using a gauge or measuring OPV output give fairly similar results.  The gauge with a needle valve opening to simulate a brew and get the pressure with flow is best, but about 9 bar is the goal.  

Not sure why "9 bar is very low for the vib pump?"  Specifically 9 is too low or 9.5?  No offense meant, just a question :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 841
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Roaster: Poppery
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 11:04am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

MatP Said:

Then I have to follow my taste and what the bottomless portafilter shows. Those do not lie :-)

Posted May 10, 2013 link


Granted your taste are all that matters but the bottomless is a tool not an absolute as you suggest. If a nooob has a perfectly calibrated rotary pump machine and gets channeling as he surely would they he could  turn down the pump until it compensated for the visual defect. The next thing he knows  the noooob is  making espresso that looks good in bottomless, is better than the crap spro he has been drinking and is his frame of reference.

A group of people on a particular machine bucking the larger group of conventional wisdom regarding bar pressure on a vibe  pump could be just as easily compensating for some other defect/proclivity of that machine as they maybe compensating for poorly calibrated brew pressure. Given a larger majority of "nooobs" on a given machine they may just be compensating for "nooobieness". :)

 
Yes I put the BDB and CC1 in the same class, yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 841
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Roaster: Poppery
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

D4F Said:

Not sure why "9 bar is very low for the vib pump?"  Specifically 9 is too low or 9.5?  No offense meant, just a question :)

Posted May 10, 2013 link

:) Ok so I should have said 9 bar is relatively low for a vibe pump. I have seen Jim explain this several times but this is link is pretty to the point. Your taste are your taste and if you are one that prefers lower brew pressure than God love you. My real point is 1.) How does a nooooob know if he prefers a lower brew pressure if he never learns adequate technique to try the higher brew pressure without destroying the puck? 2.) IMO a shot that looks great at 7 bar probably won't look good at 9 meaning visuals on a bottomless are not an absolute.

 
Yes I put the BDB and CC1 in the same class, yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 12:10pm
Subject: Re: Noooooob Needs Some Pointers
 

jwoodyu Said:

:) Ok so I should have said 9 bar is relatively low for a vibe pump. I have seen Jim explain this several times but this is link is pretty to the point. Your taste are your taste and if you are one that prefers lower brew pressure than God love you. My real point is 1.) How does a nooooob know if he prefers a lower brew pressure if he never learns adequate technique to try the higher brew pressure without destroying the puck? 2.) IMO a shot that looks great at 7 bar probably won't look good at 9 meaning visuals on a bottomless are not an absolute.

Posted May 10, 2013 link

I agree that taste is something that you educate by trying some shots from reputable coffee shops. You can also take some of their beans home to try having similar results on your setup. And at playing this fun game, I am having much better result, especially on the mouth feel, with the lower pressure.

Regarding your first point, I indeed waited 14 months before changing the pressure. And I am glad I did wait, so that I could see a real difference without questioning the rest of my process which I am confident is not where it was when I got into this hobby.

For your point 2, it is indeed true. The effect of a bad grind/distribution will especially show at a higher/proper pressure. So one should not lower the pressure only based on an extraction that does not look good on a naked portafilter. But I do not think I was conveying this message!

When I got the machine, I was told that I would probably have to adjust the OPV. My answer was: "nah whatever I can master this without changing anything". Chasing the perfect extraction/taste with the factory pressure was actually fun, as I got to question all the other steps: coffee, grinder, distribution, tamp. Along the way, I realized that changing the bur of my old grinder was necessary (it was used when I got it, not much info on the last bur set), and it improved things a lot. For the distribution, I tried all the techniques I could read about. But I was still having some occasional channeling. This is when I decided to follow the initial advice and adjust the pressure. It was not a random decision :-)

So no, this advice is not coming from a group of nooobs owning a nooob espresso machine :-) If you can play with the pressure, just play with it! that's the fun part of this hobby, where there is more than one way to achieve something. It may be why they make the OPV so easy to adjust on many high end machines.

MatP
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