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dfk41

Thinking out loud

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This is as much for me as anyone else, but, I wanted to discuss factors affecting the time a shot takes to pour. I was watching Daves review of the Minima on the BB website and he was aiming to pull 40 gm at 40 seconds. He commented that he might have to coarsen the grind slightly to achieve this. Which got me thinking. What is the difference between tamping harder/lighter....adjusting the grind and adjusting the amount of coffee.....they all have the same effect of slowing down or increasing the shot time?

I will leave it at that, in as much as I can probably answer the questions I have asked, but I would appreciate others giving their thoughts on this, and then possibly newer members might be able to take some new information to help them

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Tamping again for me makes little difference and is the hardest thing to regulate ( as opposed to changing a grind setting by one notch )

Yep adjust the coffee would slow down a shot but if the your aiming for a brew ratio then wouldn't you alter the output anyway , as it ht brew ratio driving the amount of coffee made?


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But thinking it through as a beginner, would they know what you were on about Martin? What we are saying, in simple terms is that in order to make the shot better tasting, then you could for arguments sake, shorten or lengthen the pour......how do you regulate that..... (I know!).....

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But thinking it through as a beginner, would they know what you were on about Martin? What we are saying, in simple terms is that in order to make the shot better tasting, then you could for arguments sake, shorten or lengthen the pour......how do you regulate that..... (I know!).....

Shorten or lengthen in terms of time or output ?

If time, then i would encourage them not be using time as the arbiter but output.


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Shorten or lengthen in terms of time or output ?

If time, then i would encourage them not be using time as the arbiter but output.

exactly, s expand on that then.....Dave said I am aiming for 40 gm over 40 seconds.....what does that mean......why is he aiming for that? A little knowledge shared

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This is probably not answering any of your questions but, Grind is the only thing i play around with. Mainly to keep things simple.

 

eg: Ill always aim to get a 38g shot with 18g of coffee using the same tamping force each time.

 

However, if it doesnt taste right ill adjust the grind courser or finer depending on taste. Now this will affect shot time but im not too bothered so long as its no more than about 40 seconds or less than 20 seconds. In other words there could be a 20 second difference between say a Colombian and and African bean to get the best out of each one.

 

If i start playing around with every variable (in weight, out weight, grind, tamp force, timings, etc) it would just make things far too complicated

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That all makes sense Robbo.......when I first got into coffee, there used to be some pretty rigid rules. For example, I can clearly remember being told never ever to run a shot past 30 seconds. Probably aimed at the beginner but as coffee has developed, grinders, equipment and knowledge has become better, then these rules are replaced.

Working on the old adage if it tastes o, then what's the problem, I just thought it might help some if they knew the sorts of things you can do, and why, and what to expect by doing them, when trying to improve shot quality......remember, experts always make things look easy

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exactly, s expand on that then.....Dave said I am aiming for 40 gm over 40 seconds.....what does that mean......why is he aiming for that? A little knowledge shared

I dunno :) he is reciting a recipe that he has enjoyed for that coffee? He got those numbers dialling in? I am sure if his shot was 41 seconds or 39 second he would probably drink it and enjoy it :) perhaps he wouldn't ...


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Surely time will give a perspective of how your pour is behaving , you couldn’t just rely on output as you can achieve the same output quickly if you desired .

 

a ratio in a set amount of time was always seen as a benchmark , personally I would look at it as a ballpark, I would make adjustments to the grind and keep the output the same , once in the ballpark I wouldn’t get hung up over time .

 

taste although subjective, is king.


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taste although subjective, is king.

 

A preference in taste, or a perception of what is preferable is subjective, sure. But grinders don't know what your preference is, you have to adjust them & they are mechanical, repeatable devices. So yes, taste/preference is subjective but if objective & repeatable actions (grinding coarser = more sour & likely faster shots, grinding finer = getting past sourness & likely slower shots) then the two are linked. We make objective, mechanical changes, before pulling the shot, to realise our subjective preference, as a result of the shot (because we don't taste the shot until it is complete & over, we don't monitor taste throughout & say, "OK, we're done just about now", like is possible with an immersion brew).


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From the perspective of achieving an extraction in the 'ideal' range that you could measure with a refractometer it makes no sense to use the same ratio with different beans of different roast levels all the time but people do it presumably because of the strength of the brew it produces that they enjoy. I do this myself to an extent, typically aiming for a 1:2.2 extraction. I will likely change grind to try and improve the extraction after tasting the coffee at a different ratio. Say I find a shot sour at 1:2.2, I will push it first to 1:3 and if it's more balanced I'll very likely alter the grind to try and bring it back to my preferred strength. If I find my grinder struggles at this finer setting for consistency I'll go back to just drinking a longer shot that's weaker than I'd like but balanced in taste. I suppose I could dose more and move to another basket if I was really persistent.

 

Time doesn't come into it really other than as a measure of grind setting assuming dose is constant so then just helps dial back in if you change beans. If you have no idea how long a shot took and alter your grinder you'll have to dial in all over again.


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