Jump to content
biggow

Suddenly struggling to dial anything in

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I have a Sage Dual Boiler and a Niche Zero, but have only been at this for a month or so, however initially things were going pretty well. I was getting some decent shots, very little channeling, improving my milk frothing etc, and generally have a great time playing around.

 

Suddenly, in the last week, I can't seem to dial anything in at all. I've got a few new bags of beans to try, namely the espresso lover pack from Rave (Rave signature blend, Italian job and Chatswood blend), Rocko Mountain and Rio Magdalena from Foundry and Nee Caffeine Hinny from Tynemouth, and have been having a torrid time trying to get a decent shot. With the Tynemouth, the Rocko, the Rio Magdalene and the Rave Signature Blend I'm finding that in in order to get 36g out from 18g in, in anything over 25 secs, I'm having to take the Niche down past zero, and even then the shots are crema monsters and taste really sour, and I'm not entirely sure what's going on. I have 2 theories, and I'm not sure either is right, hence asking for the advice of the experts on here.

 

Theory 1

The beans are still too fresh, hence the massive amounts of crema and super fast shots.

 

Theory 2

Initially I was using Volvic in the Sage, which was when things were going well, and in this last week have been using distilled water with added minerals via Third Wave Water sachets.

 

I'm not convinced theory 1 is the answer, as each of the bags I've used is at least 1 week past the roasting date, therefore theory 2 sounds more likely, but could the water really make THAT much difference? Or is there something else that I'm just not considering?

 

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Past Zero is really far, it could be the water, but I am not that clued up really.


SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you calibrated the niche? Sounds like the ring has moved if your going passed zero..

 

Turn off, dial down as far as it goes and check the dot against the calibrate mark and turn the clicky ring until it aligns then dial the whole lot back to espresso range.


Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3 + Mahlkonig EK43 Turkish burrs + Niche

Output: KVdW Speedster + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you calibrated the niche? Sounds like the ring has moved if your going passed zero..

 

Turn off, dial down as far as it goes and check the dot against the calibrate mark and turn the clicky ring until it aligns then dial the whole lot back to espresso range.

 

Unfortunately, I had thought of that, and had already checked it. Yes, the Niche is calibrated ok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, I had thought of that, and had already checked it. Yes, the Niche is calibrated ok.

 

Did you remove the top burr, clean both burrs thoroughly and then recalibrate?

 

As per this video -


LR, Niche & a steady stream of beans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With new machines, you most likely will have had this problem anyways. Takes a few kg’s To break the grinder in.

 

if it’s theory 1, change your recipe. A good rule of thumb is less coffee (from 16g up) is generally good for extraction because the pressure of water can be equally applied to the puck as it extracts. If there’s too much coffee, areas of your coffee will be extracted more than others, leaving some sour notes. If your coffee is too fine and starts channelling, then increase dose and go coarser.

 

Every bean has its own recipe. Roast levels, species, altitude and processing will have an impact on natural traits so you’ll want to work around that.

 

If its theory 2, you’ll need to know the parts per million (PPM) to determine if it’s the water. I think Volvic is a good idea for making coffee with. There’s an appropriate amount of minerals which help with extraction. Lack of minerals (or PPM) cause the coffee to react with water too much (hydrogen), but not much actually being extracted out. This can lead to a sour taste of an under extraction.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you have consistent shot prep technique? Grinding into a pot, stirring, distributing well in the basket? Even tamp? Have to have this nailed or it will be hard to dial in and get shots consistent..


GS3 and Versalab M3; Vario Home, Aeropress and Kalita Wave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I assume you have consistent shot prep technique? Grinding into a pot, stirring, distributing well in the basket? Even tamp? Have to have this nailed or it will be hard to dial in and get shots consistent..

 

I’m reasonably confident that my prep is ok, as I’m using a naked portafilter and am getting a lovely single stream coming through. For reference though, here’s what I’m doing:

 

 

  • Grind 18g in the Niche, straight into the dosing cup.
  • Pour the contents of the cup into the portafilter (fitted with 18g VST), with the help of a funnel.
  • Use the finger technique to roughly level everything.
  • Use the Motta distribution tool to get everything evenly distributed.
  • Tamp using the Eazytamp 5 star pro, which keeps the tamp nice and level.
  • Give a final polish with the Sage’s supplied tamper

 

So even though I get a nice single stream coming through, the issue is that it’s coming through very fast.

 

Now, just to add to my woes, I’m finding that I’m also occasionally having pucks stick to the shower screen, but I guess that’s just because the grind is so fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why level, tamp & tamp again?

 

You could set the Motta to the Sage's tamp depth & just use that. at the very least, I wouldn't add the extra stage of the polish with the Sage tamper.

 

What have you changed since you started this thread?


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks a good technique. I would follow mjwb advice.. also consider stirring the ground once in portsfilter. Motta will only groom the top... I know as getting good distribution from versalab m3 takes faff and the grinder is v good... if you are totally consistent with your shot prep then the problem is elsewhere...


GS3 and Versalab M3; Vario Home, Aeropress and Kalita Wave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’m reasonably confident that my prep is ok, as I’m using a naked portafilter and am getting a lovely single stream coming through. For reference though, here’s what I’m doing:

 

 

  • Grind 18g in the Niche, straight into the dosing cup.
  • Pour the contents of the cup into the portafilter (fitted with 18g VST), with the help of a funnel.
  • Use the finger technique to roughly level everything.
  • Use the Motta distribution tool to get everything evenly distributed.
  • Tamp using the Eazytamp 5 star pro, which keeps the tamp nice and level.
  • Give a final polish with the Sage’s supplied tamper

 

So even though I get a nice single stream coming through, the issue is that it’s coming through very fast.

 

Now, just to add to my woes, I’m finding that I’m also occasionally having pucks stick to the shower screen, but I guess that’s just because the grind is so fine.

 

Define fine grind, if too fast grind finer.

Define fast again ?

How does it taste ?

The coffee is good and not supermarket stuff ?

Ingore the pucks and the shower screen , focus on the drink


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

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram

rjw_inc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also drop the finger levelling technique, dump the grounds from the cup to PF with the funnel as you are, then vertical tap the PF on counter & a couple of side taps with heel of the hand to level before using the Motta.


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Problem solved...

 

So I 'thought' I had calibrated the Niche, but all I'd actually done was follow the steps in this video...

 

 

...when I actually needed to do the full steps as described in DaveC's video...

 

 

...as suggested by Fez.

 

Anyway, I've now done that and my espresso range is back in the 10-20 area, so all good.

 

Thanks for all your help everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...