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Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Has anyone...  
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Barbs
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Hi everyone,

I started on my coffee journey about 4 years ago. I used to drink coffee mainly from Starbucks as it's across my street. I didn't really understand what goes into my coffee but I started to acquire the taste for stronger coffees until I preferred espresso. ( I moved from the 3 in 1 coffee Nescafe >> Nespresso >> Starbucks >> Local coffee joints )

Thanks to everyone in this forum. I kept on reading on a nightly basis and was somehow enthralled by the art of making espresso. The amount of knowledge here is astounding and I kept reading it like a book. It was intoxicating.

Needless to say, I dived head in and bought myself a Rancilio Silvia / Macap M4 Stepless. Wife was not happy but who cares :) They never get it.

OK! This is the part I need help,

I bought 3 kinds of coffee beans. 1 pack freshly roasted 1 week ago, 1 from Starbucks which was roasted 1 month ago and finally a Segafredo espresso bean bag.  * Segafredo was from some supermart )

Macap grinder was zero-ed and numbers moved to 1.5 numbers ( Clockwise ) after the burrs touched each other.

15g and weighed for each double shot. ( Tamped lightly and not too violently )

Ms Silvia was at the correct zone. ( Boiler light off , turned brew switch on until light back on, waited for light to go off. 35seconds and brew for 24seconds ) This ensures it's not too cool or too hot to burn the coffee.

I repeated the process above for all 3 kinds of coffee and here is the kicker.

1) Fresh coffee was acidic and tangy ( Fruity ) ** flow was good and channelling was beautiful **
2) Starbucks was slightly acidic and a little bitter ** flow was not so good and channeling has earlier blonding **
3) Segafredo espresso was BITTER and the flow @ 15 seconds was blonding and gushing out like crazy.

I mean all of them has nice crema of 4mm or less but I don't get it. My grind size was the same and consistent for all 3 beans. But why the flow rate for the Segafredo / Starbucks so much. Do I need to grind it finer? But how come my fresh beans doesn't need such a fine grind size?

I had the impression that all beans as long as you have the same grind size. You can let it stay at that setting for a long time.

Please help me gurus... Now I have to waste shots if I change my beans to optimise it and it's so pitiful to do sink shots.

jerry
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,113
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 Mon May 13, 2013, 8:53am
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Yes, I think it's pretty safe to say that just about everyone would have a similar experience as you...those that don't are probably using pressurized portafilters.  Degree of roast and bean age both affect what your setting needs to be.  You not only have to adjust your grind when changing beans/blends, but you have to continually modify the grind slightly when using the same beans/blend over time.  Let's say I dump 200g of beans into the hopper of my Macap stepless...I typically have to tweak the grind by quarter to half turns of the thumbscrew, daily, depending on how the extraction is flowing through the basket.  If I end up pulling shots in the evening too, I often have to make adjustments after the first shot (when I see that it didn't run just right). It's not just the Macap though, every grinder will need tweaking, because it's the beans/blend changing.  I think the huge titan conicals are closer to "set it and forget it", but that's just what I've heard (as I have no personal experience using them)

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,113
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 Mon May 13, 2013, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Barbs Said:

...I dived head in and bought myself a Rancilio Silvia / Macap M4 Stepless. Wife was not happy but who cares :) They never get it.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

au contraire...my wife has been quite supportive through all of my upgrades, so far.  But, it's all relative...it depends on our current financial status. Having been nailed recently by the county for taxes they neglected to bill us for over the past couple of years, an upgrade at this time would be met by extreme resistance, but once we rebuild our emergency fund, I'm getting a HG one and I'm sure she'll be all for it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,404
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 Mon May 13, 2013, 10:14am
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

On my website www.EspressoMyEspresso.com, check out this article: 12 - EASY GUIDE TO BETTER ESPRESSO AT HOME. The only surprise would be if you said you ground a number of different coffees and never had to change the grind setting.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 976
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 1:19pm
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Barbs Said:

I mean all of them has nice crema of 4mm or less but I don't get it. My grind size was the same and consistent for all 3 beans.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

You can't expect to grind all beans on the same grinder setting.  If it was that simple then the grinder could be set and fixed from the factory to one setting for all beans.

Barbs Said:

But why the flow rate for the Segafredo / Starbucks so much. Do I need to grind it finer?

Posted May 13, 2013 link

You can but I'd just replace those beans with some fresher beans.

Barbs Said:

But how come my fresh beans doesn't need such a fine grind size?

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Because they're fresh.  As a rule of thumb, as beans age the grind has to be adjusted to compensate.  This is precisely why we always ask about bean freshness when someone mentions a pull that is too fast.

Barbs Said:

Wife was not happy but who cares :) They never get it.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Wives are a massive group of people and you can't make such broad, sweeping generalizations.  There are plenty that do get it including my own.  Espresso isn't just a "guy thing".

Barbs Said:

Please help me gurus... Now I have to waste shots if I change my beans to optimise it and it's so pitiful to do sink shots.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

That's the nature of the beast.  It's not a set-and-forget thing.
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Barbs
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 2:22am
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Freshness of beans matter for grind size. Time to start getting those fresh beans...

Thanks everyone! You all have been very helpful.
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Slowgrind
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 13
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 5:26am
Subject: Re: Has anyone encountered the issue of different bean and different grind size?
 

Every bean needs a differemt drind. In fact , you will find yourself adjusting the grind as the bean ages.
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