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fredphoesh

Baffled by variables / results

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Hello folks,

I have bought a sage barista express 875 which I am really enjoying. I've watched loads of Youtube videos and read the manual etc... and am still struggling, though the coffee is tasting pretty good it has to be said.

 

The main issue is I don't understand the results I am getting given my settings.

 

I'm

1/ using a 35ml steel shot measure to get a consistent volume of grinds (a couple of mm shy of full seems right).

2/ using the one shot portafilter basket with the single wall

3/ putting the same amount into the portafilter and tamping with as consistent a pressure as possible

4/ using the 2 shot button and have set the water volume to produce about 70ml of water

5/ set the grind size to a whopping 13

 

Results

1/ coffee takes about 10 seconds to start coming out, and is complete another 15 seconds later

2/ pressure on the gauge reads on the highest end of OK "espresso range"

3/ the puck is a tad muddy after the pull... occasionally gets stuck, but then the smaller basket doesn't grip like the 2 shot one does.

 

So what's baffling is that if I grind finer, the pressure is too high and it drips out slowly. I am not tamping overly hard, so I don't see how I can be on the high end of pressure while grinding (what seems to be) so coarsely.

It is "meant" to come out after 4-7 secs and take 25-35 seconds. A damp puck is supposedly indicating too few grinds or that they're not ground fine enough, but increasing either will take me over the "OK pressure". So I'm flummoxed!

 

tx Mark.

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Get a set of scales, preferably ones that weight to o.1grams, can be picked of cheap on ebay and amazon etc, you need to be weighing how much coffee grinds you are adding to the portafilter, My guess is at grind size 13 you are adding way too high a dose of coffee to be getting high pressure readings. Its also more accurate to and consistent to weight the final extraction rather go by volume.

 

ditch the single basket its just too much hassle to dialling in, use the double basket and aim for a dose around about 18g of coffee but you tweak that to suit. I don't understand why you were using the single basket to pull a double espresso?

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Get scales.

Read this

https://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?22879-Beginners-Reading-Weighing-Espresso-Brew-Ratios

Ignore your puck post shot.

Use a double basket.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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I'd consider using scales for both the grounds you'll add to the basket and the shot that you're pulling. To get a clearer picture, as the judgement by levels can be fairly flawed.

 

I've never tried to use a single basket, they're generally considered to be more difficult. Is their a reason you don't want to use a double basket?

 

70ml from a single shot amount of coffee is quite a lot. I don't judge it by ml but I'm usually aiming for somewhere between 2 to 2.5 x weight of coffee in the cup vs. coffee I put into the basket. So 17g dose in basket and 34 - 41g shot out.

 

It sounds like you're possibly adding more coffee than the single shot is intended for, that's slowing the shot down and leading you to grind on the coarser end (though the number doesn't mean anything to me as I haven't had that machine) to allow it to flow.

 

That doesn't mean it would be terrible, but it's likely not conventional.


Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

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Get a set of scales, preferably ones that weight to o.1grams, can be picked of cheap on ebay and amazon etc, you need to be weighing how much coffee grinds you are adding to the portafilter, My guess is at grind size 13 you are adding way too high a dose of coffee to be getting high pressure readings. Its also more accurate to and consistent to weight the final extraction rather go by volume.

 

ditch the single basket its just too much hassle to dialling in, use the double basket and aim for a dose around about 18g of coffee but you tweak that to suit. I don't understand why you were using the single basket to pull a double espresso?

 

Hi, thanks for the response.

 

I don't have space for scales, and honestly, don't think they're necessary. I am tamping at moderate pressure and use the special steel tool after tamping to remove any excess coffee if there is any... so it would be pretty much impossible to get the wrong amount of coffee in the basket.

 

The single basket is because I don't like my coffee too strong, so prefer the strength of the single shot basket.

 

tx

Mark.

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It sounds like you're possibly adding more coffee than the single shot is intended for, that's slowing the shot down and leading you to grind on the coarser end (though the number doesn't mean anything to me as I haven't had that machine) to allow it to flow.

 

Hi, thanks for replying...

 

If the final volume in the basket is as Sage recommends and i'm using their tool to scrape out excess, and if my tamp pressure is consistent and firm but not using great force, then how can I be having too little or too much grains? The volume, surely, would be wrong if I had the wrong amount in the first place?

 

I've had fabulous cups of coffee in some coffee shops. These baristas never, ever weigh their grinds, they put it in, scrape excess off, tamp it and bang out a lovely cup, consistently... that's where I'd like to be ;)

 

tx

Mark.

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Hi, thanks for the response.

 

I don't have space for scales, and honestly, don't think they're necessary. I am tamping at moderate pressure and use the special steel tool after tamping to remove any excess coffee if there is any... so it would be pretty much impossible to get the wrong amount of coffee in the basket.

 

The single basket is because I don't like my coffee too strong, so prefer the strength of the single shot basket.

 

tx

Mark.

 

None of that sounds like it's working very well though..


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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None of that sounds like it's working very well though..

 

Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

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Scales would help massively. But if you don't want to try that just keep doing what you're doing and if you're lucky it may fix itself and start giving you what youre looking for.


Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

 

Milan no, I don't live there.

Other places yes, I know alot of shops that do.

I'll stick to my enjoyable but pedantry coffee making

Good luck wiht your future coffee making also.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

 

Milan no, I don't live there.

Other places yes, I know alot of shops that do.

They are not on here asking for advice tho.

I can only recommend the way that works for me.

I'll stick to my enjoyable but pedantry coffee making

Good luck wiht your future coffee making also.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

Mark welcome ..

The three people that have tried to help you ,have or had Different Sage machines and other some might consider much better machines .. They are very knowledgeable and you should listen to them if you wish to get better results .

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Scales would help massively. But if you don't want to try that just keep doing what you're doing and if you're lucky it may fix itself and start giving you what youre looking for.

 

I'm not sure why you are all fixated on weighing beans when no barista I have ever seen does that! It seems bordering on religious fanaticism to make the "accepted path" be the only one. Sage have a tool they supply to make sure the quantity of grains is correct. I think they know what they are doing, hey, most baristas would laugh at a tool to trim a puck to the right quantity.

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I'm not sure why you are all fixated on weighing beans when no barista I have ever seen does that! It seems bordering on religious fanaticism to make the "accepted path" be the only one. Sage have a tool they supply to make sure the quantity of grains is correct. I think they know what they are doing, hey, most baristas would laugh at a tool to trim a puck to the right quantity.

 

It works for me

Have you tried it..

You asked for help but won't try the advice.

Wait until you get some advice you like he sound off instead.

I don't understand why you are so frantically against something you haven't tried.

Again wiht all respect the process you have doesn't sound like it's working for you.


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Mark welcome ..

The three people that have tried to help you ,have or had Different Sage machines and other some might consider much better machines .. They are very knowledgeable and you should listen to them if you wish to get better results .

 

What is really scary about you people is that you'd rather spend time re-enforcing your religion, and of "being right" than to help someone who is asking for help, and to offer useful advice, other than to follow your narrow path. If, I was using scales and had the exactly "correct" amount of grains, but getting the results I am getting, then what would your advice be then? There seems to be a rule here is there is no advice given unless users submit to the first commandment, that thou shalt have scales... Seriously people. I am sure there might have been USEFUL advice, as there is a very, very good chance I am using the exactly RIGHT amount of grains, but because I don't have scales, you close off and become high and mighty.

Good by and thanks for nothing.

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What is really scary about you people is that you'd rather spend time re-enforcing your religion, and of "being right" than to help someone who is asking for help, and to offer useful advice, other than to follow your narrow path. If, I was using scaled and had the exactly "correct" amount of grains, but getting the results I am getting, then what would your advice be then? There seems to be a rule here is there is no advice given unless users submit to the first commandment, that thou shalt have scales... Seriously people. I am sure there might have been USEFUL advice, as there is a very, very good chance I am using the exactly RIGHT amount of grains, but because I don't have scales, you close off and become high and mighty.

Good by and thanks for nothing.

 

OK, you asked for advice, I gave it

I don't have any other advice to give

Wait a bit and someone might have something different to say..

Life is too short to get that aggressive that quick


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Oh LOLOLOLOLOLOL


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / part-time LSOL participant / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

It's worth pointing a few things out:

 

1. A lot of high end grinders can be configured to deliver a consistent dose (weight) of grinds, if people/coffee shops are lucky enough to own one of these then yes you are completely right, there is no need for scales but only because technology has done the job for you.

 

2. In the short time that I have been a member of this forum I have learnt that many of the people here are very knowledgeable and are more than willing to give in depth help when asked, insulting them by referring to them as pedants probably won't help you.

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Posted (edited)
If the final volume in the basket is as Sage recommends and i'm using their tool to scrape out excess, and if my tamp pressure is consistent and firm but not using great force, then how can I be having too little or too much grains? The volume, surely, would be wrong if I had the wrong amount in the first place?

.

 

Different beans take up a different volume.

Different beans ground at the same setting on a grinder will give you a different flow.

Grinding finer may mean they sit lower, grinding coarser may mean they sit higher etc.

 

I can't really help because I don't believe that Sage (Breville whichever way you want to call it) actually know how to make really good coffee in the way that I want to do it.

If you believe that Sage have the right way with their tool but it's giving you the wrong result then I guess it might be a question for them.

Edited by jlarkin

Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

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To be honest when I first got the BE I didn't use scales and my flavours where inconsistent. Through suggestions on the forum about scales and ratios I have got to a stage where once I dial in a coffee it worked well for me. I have tried the single shot and it worked OK but the double gave me a better flavour...for me anyway!


Vesuvius • Hario VST-2000B • Distributor • Push Tamper • Niche Grinder

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Good to see you haven’t lost your touch, Boots


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / part-time LSOL participant / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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I'm not sure why you are all fixated on weighing beans when no barista I have ever seen does that! It seems bordering on religious fanaticism to make the "accepted path" be the only one. Sage have a tool they supply to make sure the quantity of grains is correct. I think they know what they are doing, hey, most baristas would laugh at a tool to trim a puck to the right quantity.
I'm not fixated on weighing. It however is part of my process. It works for me and I get decent results.

 

You have said you aren't getting the desired results. But you're dose is perfect. Your tamp is perfect. Your beans are perfect. I don't know what's going wrong for you. Oh yes, your sage levelling tool made by god isn't working for you either.

 

Oh well. Good luck anyway and welcome to the forum.


Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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Do you know of any coffee shops, London or Milan or wherever, that actually weigh their grinds each time? Not a chance, they are artists, not pedants!

 

There are plenty that used timed dosing grinders &/or trim on scales to +/-0.2g.

 

Pedantry would be +/-0.02g ...that's what I do :-)


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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The pics you see in the manual is using the double basket. As you've found, the single basket extracts at a higher pressure. I wouldn't be too concerned if your just oitside the 'correct' espresso rangeon the gauge ifir givwaa you the results you like. The BE has an over pressure valve so going too high won't damage the machine, just fill the drip tray quicker if it's activated.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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