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Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Espresso shots...  
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Circlestreetcoffee
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Joined: 21 Feb 2014
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Posted Mon Mar 10, 2014, 7:14pm
Subject: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

I'm a new GS3 owner and have had no trouble dialing in for 20-30 second shot times, but the color os really light.  I'm using a full city roast, what's more my friend came over and adjusted some things and got that dark rich color I was looking for but I can't seem to replicate the results... any ideas?


Chase
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TheRealScubaSteve
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TheRealScubaSteve
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Posted Mon Mar 10, 2014, 9:03pm
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

I'm still pretty new, so I'm not sure how much help I'll be but it could be a problem with grind or dose. I had similar problems before on my machine. A finer grind was not an option because it clogged my cheap machine. Ten seconds seems like a big gap in extraction time if it varies that much pull to pull. I assume from your equipment that you are using freshly roasted beans?

Do you measure when you pull a shot? If so, the information below may be helpful in diagnosing your problem.

Dose weight:
Shot time:
Volume:
Final weight:

 
"But it is not a perfect world and none of us are god-shots.  As for me, I am a little over extracted and therefore slightly bitter and my crema is thin..." -Buckley
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brianl
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Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 6:45am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

Is somehting preventing you from asking your friend what he did?
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 7:37am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

It's not your espresso machine.  Possibly it's your grind, but more likely it's other barista skills.

Your description implies channeling  -- a consequence of bad distribution, bad "consolidation," and/or bad tamping.  There are a million ways to screw up, and most of us manage to find them all before we really get a handle on good puck preparation.  

Your shot time, in isolation, doesn't mean much.  Train yourself to cut it at a particular color, rather than a particular time.  Then weigh the shot, volume doesn't mean much either.  

Rich
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
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Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

Circlestreetcoffee Said:

I'm a new GS3 owner and have had no trouble dialing in for 20-30 second shot times, but the color os really light.  I'm using a full city roast, what's more my friend came over and adjusted some things and got that dark rich color I was looking for but I can't seem to replicate the results... any ideas?

Chase

Posted March 10, 2014 link

Can you post a video of your preparation and routine -- from grinding to pulling a shot? That might help people identify what's causing your problem. As Rich said, it's likely an issue with your shot preparation.
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Circlestreetcoffee
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Location: Kathmandu
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La marzocco gs3
Grinder: Mazer sj and baratza vario w
Roaster: Top of the world coffee
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 11:39pm
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

He just hasn't been available this week.  I haven't been able to get a response from him.
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Circlestreetcoffee
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Joined: 21 Feb 2014
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Location: Kathmandu
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La marzocco gs3
Grinder: Mazer sj and baratza vario w
Roaster: Top of the world coffee
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 12:09am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

So what's happening is I'm consistently getting a "good" extraction time, say 26 seconds on any given morning, but the color is very pale.  I could go finder grind, that would really elongate the extraction  or like you say I could cut it at the right color, but I'm stumped because it's turning pale pretty early into the shot.  

Should I really cut a shot at like 17 seconds or earlier if it's already starting to pale?

Should I grind finer and just count on having to manually kill the shot at the right color each time?

Should I grind finer and dose less to try and get right extraction time (from the automatic machine) and the right color

Should I change the parameters on the machine to alter the shot time settings/ amount of water per shot?
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Burner0000
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Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 4:53am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

Circlestreetcoffee Said:

So what's happening is I'm consistently getting a "good" extraction time, say 26 seconds on any given morning, but the color is very pale.  I could go finder grind, that would really elongate the extraction  or like you say I could cut it at the right color, but I'm stumped because it's turning pale pretty early into the shot.

Posted March 13, 2014 link

How does the "pale" shot taste?  I'd think about adjusting to taste before shot color.  My technique usually gives me a tad of over extraction around the edge of the basket which looks kind of like the shot pic in my avatar.  I don't mind it tho because the shot tastes good to me. If it tastes bad I'd start with a finer grind first then mess with dose if you have to and forget the clock at the moment and just watch the pulls.  Look for the darker color your friend was getting and give it a taste.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
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Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 5:22am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

Circlestreetcoffee Said:

So what's happening is I'm consistently getting a "good" extraction time, say 26 seconds on any given morning, but the color is very pale.  I could go finder grind, that would really elongate the extraction  or like you say I could cut it at the right color, but I'm stumped because it's turning pale pretty early into the shot.  

Should I really cut a shot at like 17 seconds or earlier if it's already starting to pale?

Should I grind finer and just count on having to manually kill the shot at the right color each time?

Should I grind finer and dose less to try and get right extraction time (from the automatic machine) and the right color

Should I change the parameters on the machine to alter the shot time settings/ amount of water per shot?

Posted March 13, 2014 link

As Rich pointed out earlier, it sounds like you have a channeling problem -- not a grinding problem. Something with your puck preparation (distribution, tamping etc.) could be the root cause.

If you're getting a good flow rate, within the right time window, puck problems can cause the light colour you originally asked about. If your puck preparation is off, you can get channeling, whereby the water follows the path of least resistance through a hole or fissure. This results in a non-uniform extraction, meaning much of the coffee puck doesn't contribute to your shot -- hence a light coloured, weak tasting shot.

Your friend who got different results is likely preparing the puck differently,  despite using similar grind settings and achieving similar flow rates as you. That would explain the different result in the cup.

Can you post a video of your shot preparation? That would help with diagnosis!
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stefano65
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stefano65
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Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Espresso shots coming in 20-30 seconds, but TOO LIGHT in color
 

Every point is mention
all good thing to look at
apart from temperature,
light color scan be cause ALSO my water not hot enough

assuming that the machine is calibrated correctly temp wise

make sure your grouphead and of course the portafilter
are HOT as they should

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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