MorneDJ Senior Member Joined: 10 Dec 2013 Posts: 7 Location: South Africa. Pretoria Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri Dec 27, 2013, 1:43am Subject: Problem with my Espresso shots
So I got myself a new Brewtus IV and after brewing a few shots, reading everything I can find on it and some minor adjustments I still have a rather serious issue.
First, details: - I use beans bought from a local roaster. Both claimed to be roasted last week. - I use a Scala Solis grinder on its finest setting. I have ordered a La Cimbali Jnr grinder but will only get this next week. The grind is fairly fine and fluffy and I think that it looks similar to the grinds I have seen at the coffee shops. - I weigh out 16 grams of coffee beans each time. - I follow the WDT in dosing and tamping. The puck shows no visible signs of channeling afterwards. I will get a naked portafilter some time early next year. - The brewtus is set at 91 deg C, 9.5 Bar. When I switch it on in the mornings it shows these settings once ready (about 15 - 20 minutes). - When I do anything (open the steam tap, the brew level, the hot water tap), the brew pressure fall to less than 2 bar ??? I forgot to take a photo before I opened the steam to vent out any water. No matter how long I wait, it never goes higher than 2 bar again. Photo before - Click here - During the time that I am trying to pull a shot the pressure increase to 2.5, increasing to about 3 bar. Photo during - Click here - The shot that comes out is black like charcoal and blonds very fast. I have tried different temperatures, more beans (18 grams), harder tamp, etc. Not much of a different. Thinking the beans is old I went out and bought some other beans, roasted a few days ago (claim ?). I get about 100 ml in 26 seconds. I also bought some pre-ground coffee to compare the grind size with mine. Same result. My grind seems a bit finer. - There is very little crema. I cannot see any streaking in the pour. - The taste is similar to what I would be getting at a coffeeshop, but it appears that they are generally serving crap. OK, at least I do not taste ash and cardboard like I have tasted before. Even at 91 degrees bitter tastes dominate and the body is quite "thin".
Quite frustrating. While I am a extremely new at trying my hand at Espresso I have tried to follow online guides, how-tos and videos to the letter. Something is clearly off. Any opinions, help or advice ?
It's a given that preground is stale and will produce fast shots. If the online conversion site is correct then 100mL is about 3.4 oz and that is, as a guideline, too much volume for 25 seconds. You really need to be able to adjust your grind finer. We're back to the grinder being the issue.
There is very little crema. I cannot see any streaking in the pour.
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 9:52am Subject: Re: Problem with my Espresso shots
This may be the wrong thread to say so, but...
The La Cimbali Junior -- especially if it has the Max-Hybrid burrs -- is a great grinder which has a serious issue in that beans and bean fragments get caught between the hopper and deck or at the grinder throat where they can go rancid and taint your grinder's output.
You'll need to unscrew and remove the hopper every couple of weeks at minimum to clean off the deck and pick out anything caught at the throat; and run Grindz (or instant rice) at least once a month. PITA, but there you go.
My Junor Max Hybrid has filled me with intense ambivalence for the three years I've owned it. But what to do? Anything which adjusts as precisely and grinds as well or better -- there are three or four grinders which do grind a little better -- costs a fortune; a fortune I can't afford since spending so much on roasting equipment AND a new non-espresso grinder; so it's too good to get rid of. On the other hand, it really IS a PITA. Meantime, good luck with your Brewtus!
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