PDA

View Full Version : The ins and outs of grinder setup?



hotmetal
07-05-14, 11:16
Hi all,

I've been reading up on here how best to set up my MC2 and I've got somewhat confused.

I was under the impression that the idea is to adjust the grind until it takes about 25 seconds to get 2 x 1oz shots. I've done this and, to me, the espresso seems pretty decent considering my machine's limitations.

However, I've been reading the threads "what's in your cup this Saturday" (or something) and people are talking about "Xg in, Yg out, Z seconds". The "grams out" (which I take to be the weight of espresso in the glass) seems to be much less than the 2 x 1oz shots that I'm using as my baseline for timing.

So, my "vital statistics" are as follows:
14g in (this is the maximum I can squeeze into the "double" unpressurised portafilter that fits my Delonghi
50g out (with the crema at the 1oz lines on my two shot glasses
25 seconds (because that's how I've set the MC2).

So if others are pulling 25g out from 14g in, does that mean I should be grinding much finer to try to get ONE 1oz shot from my 14g basket? Confused!

My scales aren't exactly accurate (normal kitchen ones ±2g) but it's a start.
I'll be asking for recommendations for a scale too, if you have one. And maybe looking to buy a machine that has a proper portafilter that can actually take more than 14g without hitting the shower screen.

froggystyle
07-05-14, 11:33
Pick up a set of cheap scales from Ebay, about £5, ones that weigh to 0.1g

I dont use oz in my measurements, i just weigh in the coffee and aim to get a certain weight out both in gs.

There is a lot of talk about the 1:1.6 ratio, so 14g in and 22g out but i play with the output and see what tastes best, drink a shot with no milk and see what its like as at the end of the day its all about you liking it!

Dont get to hing up on time either, use it as a guide!

Mrboots2u
07-05-14, 12:03
One benefit of establishing a ratio ( whatever ratio you pick as a base for beans your using ) is that it allows you to understand and change the components/ variables of the shot you made ( time dose and extraction ) . So if it's not as sweet or too sour or bitter then could increase or decrease the extraction, dose it time based on what variables you used before .....
Weight out is a more accurate we of measuring than volume also

garydyke1
07-05-14, 12:15
Perhaps read this http://www.jimseven.com/2014/04/30/reverse-engineering-espresso/

hotmetal
07-05-14, 02:44
Thanks for the replies guys. The Jim Seven article in particular.
So by the sound of it, getting nearly 50g out for 14 in is way too watery? It doesn't seem to taste watery, but I'll certainly try using one shot glass instead of 2, which will be enough if I only want 25g out.

I'm not really using fl ounces as a unit of measurement, but up to now, I've timed how long it takes for the espresso to reach the 1oz line in the 2 glasses under the PF. I've then weighed it to get a cross-reference: typically this results in 48g. Now I'm thinking, if I should only be getting closer to half that in 25", I need to grind a lot finer and time it into one glass.

The question I suppose I'm trying to ask, without being too prescriptive or numbers-based, is whether my grind is in the right ballpark. I've based my grind on the time it takes to pull 2 x 1oz shots through 14g. What I'm now thinking, is if the "ideal ratio" is more like 1:1.6, I should tighten down the grinder to get about half the liquid in 25 seconds, so more like 1oz.

I know it's more about "what I like", but I'm just trying to get my head round the baseline – a ballpark figure from more experienced guys would help me to know if I'm at least starting in the right place. From there I can then try small variances.

So do you guys think I should dial in based on hitting 14 in > 25 out in 25 seconds (or thereabout to taste)? Or do you use some other method to help dial in? I feel like I'm over-analysing this a bit, but as I don't know anyone else to compare shots with, I'll have to ask on here and publicly display my n00bness! :waiting:

Mrboots2u
07-05-14, 02:55
Don't get tied into the idea the 1:1.6 is the ideal ratio, is a reference point. The ideal ratio is what tastes good for you ....
But as a baseline ....
I would try weigh as the shot pulls and aim for a reference point ( let's say 1:1.6 as example only ) . To do this I'd tighten the grind , as currently you are getting a lot of liquid for a small dose . It may turn out though that that is what you like and you prefer shots in the " lungo " range ..
I would also keep an eye on when your shot is blonding , as you could not your prescribed ratio your aiming for , but it might not give you that taste your looking for if the shot is blonding after 10 seconds.

hotmetal
07-05-14, 03:07
Cheers Mr Boots.
Well, typically it blonds towards the end of the time (and sometimes if I tamp hard, it takes more like 40s to get my 50g). So I don't think it's blonding too early, hence why I've probably felt that it wasn't watery. I'm not 'aiming' for a lungo – I'm still trying to figure out if I've got it set up vaguely right! But I am open to the idea and will play around a bit once I've got my baseline.

So thanks for the tips. I'm going to tighten up the MC2 and aim for 14g in, 24 out in the mid-twenties for time and then see where we are. I will also be buying some d=0.1g scales off the 'bay so I can be a bit more precise. Thanks again for the help.

aaronb
07-05-14, 04:42
Another vote for the £5 scales from ebay, they're cheap and functional.

What ebans are you using out of interest?

Try and not get any blonding into the coffee, even if you have to pull the cup from the stream.

Charliej
07-05-14, 05:37
I would personally go for the £8 500g/0.01g ones I've bought from ebay and linked several times previously. They survive drowning , have a nice fast and smooth response, they are just the right size to use for brewed with a range server or a decanter so probably a Chemex as well and most importantly don't go of while you are brewing so no need to keep dabbing them, they are also big enough to do a split pour into 2 espresso cups and weigh both cups at the same time.

Kyle548
07-05-14, 05:46
The ratio is more of an approximation of where a shot with an average bean needs to be.
You will find different beans suit different lengths on different days.
Currently I'm pulling some Cuban at 20g in and getting about 35ish out and it tastes pretty good.
Of course, temperature makes a difference too - pulling a shot colder will mean a longer shot for an equivalent extraction - not that you have any control on a classic.

hotmetal
07-05-14, 10:07
Don't get tied into the idea the 1:1.6 is the ideal ratio, is a reference point. The ideal ratio is what tastes good for you ....
But as a baseline ....
I would try weigh as the shot pulls and aim for a reference point ( let's say 1:1.6 as example only ) . To do this I'd tighten the grind , as currently you are getting a lot of liquid for a small dose . It may turn out though that that is what you like and you prefer shots in the " lungo " range ..
I would also keep an eye on when your shot is blonding , as you could not your prescribed ratio your aiming for , but it might not give you that taste your looking for if the shot is blonding after 10 seconds.
I have re-dialled in the MC2 using HD Classic Brazilian (I have about 300ish grams of this still to use). I slightly overdid the tightening to start with and ended up nearly choking the machine, with an extraction time of over a minute! Now the grind is finer I can get 16g in the double basket. Backed the grinder off a bit and I am now getting 16g in, 26g out, in about 25 seconds from pressing the button. (The first drips appear about 4" after the pump starts). No blonding at all. Wow, what a difference! That is much closer to what I'd expect an espresso to be like, and reveals a lot more. From there I'll experiment a bit with the quantity of liquid and see how it changes the taste. I had to stop tonight – I'm gonna be "up all night to get lucky" already after sampling a sip or two from the shots I pulled getting this far…
:coffee::clock:

I would personally go for the £8 500g/0.01g ones I've bought from ebay and linked several times previously...
Ordered! ETA 4 weeks though, on a slow boat from China.



What ebans are you using out of interest?

I am currently using Happy Donkey's Classic Brazilian blend. I also have HD's Classic Italian, which I slightly prefer, and am currently resting some Union beans: Foundation Blend, Revelation Blend and Union Spirit. I hope the scales turn up before mid June (long end of the Ebay estimate) or my new beans won't be so new any more!


The ratio is more of an approximation of where a shot with an average bean needs to be.
You will find different beans suit different lengths on different days.
Currently I'm pulling some Cuban at 20g in and getting about 35ish out and it tastes pretty good.
Of course, temperature makes a difference too - pulling a shot colder will mean a longer shot for an equivalent extraction - not that you have any control on a classic.
Indeed - I can't control temperature on my kit, but I think dose in, grind and volume out gives me quite enough variables to try for now!

Thanks to all contributors to this thread.

Mrboots2u
07-05-14, 10:41
I try some fresher beans that HD ones too .:) . Glad shots are getting tastier tho. All good fun