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XiRho

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Recently purchased a DTP and SGP which I got a good deal on and have been trying to get to grips with making some nice coffee. I bought some cheap beans from Tesco which I was using to season the grinder and also get a bit of flow practice with. The shots coming out with this were ok-ish if not great, but wasn't expecting much from random cheap beans. I since got some Rocko Mountain from Foundry, have been trying to get a decent shot with them this morning after resting them for a week or so. 

Not having any luck so far. Firstly - I am not sure if what I am tasting is sour or bitter, but its completely overwhelming and all but undrinkable. I have been weighing 18g into the double single walled basket, and tried grinding at 12 which seemed to just clog things up and I got no pour - I coarsened the grind up to 16 and got maybe 5g out before the auto shutoff. I then went up to 20 and got 36g out in 42 seconds, but got the overwhelming bad taste. I did a bit more reading and saw longer ratios suggested so upped the grind again to 24 and got 60g out in about 40 seconds, which still had the bad taste but was much thinner. I also tried taking 36g out on this grind which took about 20 seconds and was still unpleasant.

As such I need some advice on where to go from here. I have a Motta tamper, tamping firmly but not full body weight or anything, have tried a few lighter tamps with no difference - appears to be fairly even and I don't see any noticeable channeling. I am concerned that from researching most seem to be grinding much finer but even at 12 I didn't get a shot out.

Thanks in advance!

 

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Posted (edited)

What water are you using? Filtered or tap?

 

Also isn't Rocko Mountain a light roasted Ethiopian Yirg? Maybe need to pick an easier roast to begin with.

Edited by lake_m

GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

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Using tap water - tastes good to drink, slightly on the hard side but not significantly so. I can try filtered water if it is likely to help. YOu are correct about the Rocko Mountain, perhaps I have been naive here - as I simply looked for a well regarded bean to buy first, and know little about how easy or difficult the various varieties are.

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The taste of your water has no bearing on it's suitability for an espresso machine, however, it won't make any difference to the extraction (which seems to be under) just the taste. Sanity check with Volvic or Waitrose Lockhills.

You mention grind settings of 12, 16,20 & 24 (last 2 seem too coarse for 1:2 shots). What happens at 13, or 14?

You also menton "Auto shut off", what is this?

DTP comes with its own tamper usually. When you say you tamp "firmly", how firmly....it's very easy to exceed 5kg of force without even trying, you don't need much, but you do want to be flat & even (the steel bad on the side of the Sage tamper is useful here.

So, to move forward, grind finer, tamp more softly, pull more weight out, try 80g & see if taste improves. If it does, but is weak, you can methodically try grinding finer & pulling less weight into the cup.


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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I will check tamp pressure with scales for reference. Auto shutoff I think happens after 60 seconds on the DTP (or on mine anyway) where it will stop even if I haven't touched the dial. I will go now and try and see if I can get something out of a finer grind. My reasons for jumping up the grind settings so much each time was because I figured if I got nothing out at 12, and 5g out in ~60 secs at 16, there would be no point trying 13 or 14 for example.

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OK - I was tamping tamping with ~10kg pressure. I have reduced this to less than 5kg and was now able to get something out of a finer grind. got 80g from 18g using the full 60 seconds before the machine auto shut off again. I would say some of the harshness has gone but it still the dominant taste up front at least. Beginning to have a more pleasant lingering taste now however. 

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15 minutes ago, XiRho said:

I will check tamp pressure with scales for reference. Auto shutoff I think happens after 60 seconds on the DTP (or on mine anyway) where it will stop even if I haven't touched the dial. I will go now and try and see if I can get something out of a finer grind. My reasons for jumping up the grind settings so much each time was because I figured if I got nothing out at 12, and 5g out in ~60 secs at 16, there would be no point trying 13 or 14 for example.

There is definitely a point in trying 13 or 14


LR, ZM

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45 minutes ago, XiRho said:

I will check tamp pressure with scales for reference. Auto shutoff I think happens after 60 seconds on the DTP (or on mine anyway) where it will stop even if I haven't touched the dial. I will go now and try and see if I can get something out of a finer grind. My reasons for jumping up the grind settings so much each time was because I figured if I got nothing out at 12, and 5g out in ~60 secs at 16, there would be no point trying 13 or 14 for example.

OK, it shouldn't be taking 60s+ to pull A 18:80g shot. I'd expect this to be a bit silty/swampy tasting.

Go next notch coarser.

Are you measuring the weight of the ground coffee in the basket/PF with 0.1g resolution scales? (E.g. don't just measure the beans dosed into the grinder & scales that read to 1g aren't usually accurate to 1g, so if your dose is 17g on time & 19g the next, this will be an issue).

 


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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Yep, measuring 18g beans into grinder and normally 17.8/9 out into the pf. Will try going 1 coarser. What sort of time would you expect it to take for 80g out from 18?

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About 25-35s? Go by grind setting vs taste/cleanness, rather than specific time.


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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I found

this vid great for understanding how to dial in beans.

 


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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4 hours ago, XiRho said:

Recently purchased a DTP and SGP which I got a good deal on and have been trying to get to grips with making some nice coffee. I bought some cheap beans from Tesco which I was using to season the grinder and also get a bit of flow practice with. The shots coming out with this were ok-ish if not great, but wasn't expecting much from random cheap beans. I since got some Rocko Mountain from Foundry, have been trying to get a decent shot with them this morning after resting them for a week or so. 

Not having any luck so far. Firstly - I am not sure if what I am tasting is sour or bitter, but its completely overwhelming and all but undrinkable. I have been weighing 18g into the double single walled basket, and tried grinding at 12 which seemed to just clog things up and I got no pour - I coarsened the grind up to 16 and got maybe 5g out before the auto shutoff. I then went up to 20 and got 36g out in 42 seconds, but got the overwhelming bad taste. I did a bit more reading and saw longer ratios suggested so upped the grind again to 24 and got 60g out in about 40 seconds, which still had the bad taste but was much thinner. I also tried taking 36g out on this grind which took about 20 seconds and was still unpleasant.

As such I need some advice on where to go from here. I have a Motta tamper, tamping firmly but not full body weight or anything, have tried a few lighter tamps with no difference - appears to be fairly even and I don't see any noticeable channeling. I am concerned that from researching most seem to be grinding much finer but even at 12 I didn't get a shot out.

Thanks in advance!

 

I had the SGP and from experience with it and what others have said , most people have problems with it going fine enough ..

Did you buy this new ? The reason I ask is that if not someone may have fiddled with the top burr setting .

If it is relatively new have you cleaned it inside . These grinders will collect and compact coffee grinds which after a while will have the effect of making the thing grind really fine .. I had this happen on several occasions . 

From new the top burr Is set at 6 .. A good clean may help ..

Have you checked that the coffee machine is delivering water in sufficient quantities without any coffee in the PF .

 

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SGP is new - haven't adjusted the top burr.

Machine appears to be delivering water fine with an empty PF.

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Just now, XiRho said:

SGP is new - haven't adjusted the top burr.

Machine appears to be delivering water fine with an empty PF.

It might be worth taking the top burr out ,dead easy instructions in the book ..and give it a quick clean .. Although each grinder will have a different number set for the equivalent grind ,yours seems well out .. Also while you have it out check the top burr number .

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OK.

Top burr taken out, cleaning, replaced (was set and remains set at '6').

Just pulled a series of shots and recorded some things to try to get some direction. Beans weighed into grinder 18g every time. Grind weighed into portafilter between 17.8-17.9. Measured weight of each tamp at ~5kg and used the sage tamper to help ensure level. Results as follows:

Grind setting 13 - Output 77.4g - Time 60s 

Grind setting 14 - Output 82.1g - Time 54s

Grind setting 15 - Output 81.3g - Time 45s

Grind setting 16 - Output 81.4g - Time 36s

Grind setting 17 - Output 80.8g - Time 34s

 

All had the undesirable taste I first mentioned, although it became less overbearing as grind coarsened. Very thick and silty tasting becoming less so again as grind coarsened.

I also ran an empty shot to measure water delivery with empty PF. 60 seconds gave 316g/ml of water. I have no idea if this is normal.

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13 minutes ago, XiRho said:

OK.

Top burr taken out, cleaning, replaced (was set and remains set at '6').

Just pulled a series of shots and recorded some things to try to get some direction. Beans weighed into grinder 18g every time. Grind weighed into portafilter between 17.8-17.9. Measured weight of each tamp at ~5kg and used the sage tamper to help ensure level. Results as follows:

Grind setting 13 - Output 77.4g - Time 60s 

Grind setting 14 - Output 82.1g - Time 54s

Grind setting 15 - Output 81.3g - Time 45s

Grind setting 16 - Output 81.4g - Time 36s

Grind setting 17 - Output 80.8g - Time 34s

 

All had the undesirable taste I first mentioned, although it became less overbearing as grind coarsened. Very thick and silty tasting becoming less so again as grind coarsened.

I also ran an empty shot to measure water delivery with empty PF. 60 seconds gave 316g/ml of water. I have no idea if this is normal.

When I dial in for espresso to start with I go for 18 in 36 out for starters for around 30 seconds and if necessary play on times ratio from there . Could it be this coffee doesn’t suit you ? 

Can you remember what output you were getting at 30 seconds to 40 seconds say at grind 13 ..

 

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I did wonder if it perhaps just didn't suit me. I generally enjoy most coffee and have not just plainly disliked one before but maybe this is the one! I believe at grind 13, I was somewhere around 20g at 30 seconds.

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2 minutes ago, XiRho said:

I did wonder if it perhaps just didn't suit me. I generally enjoy most coffee and have not just plainly disliked one before but maybe this is the one! I believe at grind 13, I was somewhere around 20g at 30 seconds.

I just looked at the foundry site and their recipe says 18/36 in 42 seconds with a flat burr .. It looks very fruity .. Might be worth looking at the flavours in the Tesco ones you had that were ok and try something similar freshly roasted and rested .. I would guess you are close with the grinder at 13-14 for those beans .. Try it , at the suggested by foundry or as near as you can get it .. I would be tempted to try Redber or Rave or another cheaper roaster to get the hang of your machine and grinder .  I didn’t like the fruity stuff to start with but it grows on you .

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Thank you for the advice. Going to have a look at ordering a few different beans to try to work out what suits best!

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3 minutes ago, Nicknak said:

I just looked at the foundry site and their recipe says 18/36 in 42 seconds with a flat burr

18:36 isn't a recipe, it's a brew ratio, it sets a target strength, not a flavour.

@XiRho isn't using a flat burr grinder, but is single dosing a conical, the grind is likely to be coarser than a flat burr grinder with a full hopper, or auger. This makes it harder to hit a clean tasting, balanced shot at 1:2.


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

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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1 minute ago, MWJB said:

18:36 isn't a recipe, it's a brew ratio, it sets a target strength, not a flavour.

@XiRho isn't using a flat burr grinder, but is single dosing a conical, the grind is likely to be coarser than a flat burr grinder with a full hopper, or auger. This makes it harder to hit a clean tasting, balanced shot at 1:2.

Thanks for that , I know what burrs are on the Sage I have one .. I just quoted what foundry suggested .. I also single dosed the sage with no problems . It also did grind finer with a weight of beans in for a given grind number .. Sorry I misused a word ,I think the op got what I was saying ..

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Hi,

18g of coffee is too much for the dtp basket to begin with. Try lowering the dose  and see how it goes. Also every time your change the grind settings on sgp you have to adjust the time too, think about grind settings between 10-14 depending on the beans and I will highly recommend you to change them. Single origin beans will not produce a perfect espresso as a cup on its own. You can try more suitable blend, I can recommend you a Costa beans or lavazza super crema or Rossa, or maybe Kimbo prestige just for reference and to play with the machines. Once you find your sweet spot than you can adjust up or down but don’t jump too large in the scale. The sgp it’s not precise grinder at all but small adjustments matter. From your experience I can suspect an issue with the beans more than anything else. 

Good luck 

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