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Hey guys,

trying some new beans in my classic, grinder is a specialita. 
 

18g coffee in (max dose for my basket)  and 36G espresso out in 30s. So the correct timing (In fact at the slow end of the bracket) and brew ratio but it tastes sour and under extracted. 
 

what should I do? If I grind finer as i normally would for sour taste  then the shot timing would be more than 30 seconds to get the correct brew ratio. 

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When you say correct timings I agree they are a good ball park and I always start around that point however there is not magic bullet for all beans.

It could be the case you need to tweak your settings a bit and see what you think to the results. Perhaps do make the grind a bit more coarse and see where it takes you.

The best way to nail it is to keep all but one variable the same and taste taste taste!

The other thing to say is that a lot of people suffer with bitter/sour confusion. Now as a very general rule, under extraction leads to sour and over extraction to bitter. It could perhaps be that you are over extracting and tasting bitter notes.

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28 minutes ago, Flyingdoc93 said:

Thanks! I know that a 30 second shot tastes better than 25 second so that would surely go with the sour and under extracted theory? 
 

If it helps it’s the Blackcat signature blend! 

Time will not make your shot under or over extracted, how much water you put through the puck does. 

5 seconds here or there on a 1:2 shot will not make it go form over to under extracted . It is highly unlikely that it is over extracting at a 1:2 ratio full stop .

Dont focus on if it us under over, just on the taste imbalance .

Remember extraction and taste are not linear , it is not a simple flow of sour sour , balanced and bitter .

Sour does not mean under extraction in every case, bitter does not mean over extraction . 

You could be in the hump before a balanced shot at 25 seconds which tastes sour  but if measured is under extracted .

So don;t label something under extracted if you are not measuring the extraction  :)

Edited by Mrboots2u
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11 minutes ago, Flyingdoc93 said:

Thanks! I know that a 30 second shot tastes better than 25 second so that would surely go with the sour and under extracted theory? 
 

If it helps it’s the Blackcat signature blend! 

You said, "slower end of the bracket.", but you only mention 25 & 30s timings? Why aren't you grinding finer, which may lead to longer shot times?

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I struggled with sour/bitter for a long time by adjusting grind but then I realised it was water temperature causing all the problems.

 

Too hot = bitter. If you're on a HX machine, flush longer.

 

Too cool = sour. Flush less.

 

Not sure what machine you're using but ime, temperature makes way more of a difference to taste than grind adjustnents do.

 

Edit: just noticed you're on a classic. Way more likely to be a temperature issue. They're hard to temperature surf on unless you buy a PID.

 

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Make sure you're letting the machine heat up and doing whatever you need to do to manage the temp...

Then either grind finer or push more water through the coffee, or both. 

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Hey guys,

 

thanks for all the support!

 

I forgot to mention I have the shades PID installed. Hopefully therefore temperature is controlled but I do think the 8 degree offset is probably a bit much so I have the PID set to 96 degrees rather than 93. 
 

i was under the impression that 30 seconds was the max permissible time for espresso? Anything outside that was not espresso? 
 

 

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9 minutes ago, Flyingdoc93 said:

Hey guys,

 

thanks for all the support!

 

I forgot to mention I have the shades PID installed. Hopefully therefore temperature is controlled but I do think the 8 degree offset is probably a bit much so I have the PID set to 96 degrees rather than 93. 
 

i was under the impression that 30 seconds was the max permissible time for espresso? Anything outside that was not espresso? 
 

 

Nope , not sure where that came from , some old fashioned italians 

I wonder what happens after 30 seconds does it become tea? 

Seriously though I have had shots tasty shots from 20 to 50 seconds , so don't be constrained by time , its not the key drive to taste. 

The brew ratio is where you balance extraction and strength and then drive it with grind setting 

Edited by Mrboots2u
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14 minutes ago, Flyingdoc93 said:

Hey guys,

 

thanks for all the support!

 

I forgot to mention I have the shades PID installed. Hopefully therefore temperature is controlled but I do think the 8 degree offset is probably a bit much so I have the PID set to 96 degrees rather than 93. 
 

i was under the impression that 30 seconds was the max permissible time for espresso? Anything outside that was not espresso? 
 

 

WH do you think the offset is too much ? @mrshades anyone idea?

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Definitely up your temperature on the PID. That's a very obvious reason why you'll be getting sour shots. The 8deg offset is about right. I used to run mine around 100degC before the offset. 96 will be too low and 4 deg difference is huge. You may be pulling water at 88 which has got sourness written all over it.

 

 

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So the default offset mrshades advises is -8 degrees. Therefore a gross error check would be that on turning on first thing in morning, the PID would indicate room temperature -8 degrees. Often using that check it reads my room temp as 25 degrees which it defs isn’t - more like 22. Therefore it’s taking off too much so I’ve added a couple of degrees and it’s not burning coffee...

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So the default offset mrshades advises is -8 degrees. Therefore a gross error check would be that on turning on first thing in morning, the PID would indicate room temperature -8 degrees. Often using that check it reads my room temp as 25 degrees which it defs isn’t - more like 22. Therefore it’s taking off too much so I’ve added a couple of degrees and it’s not burning coffee...
I'm going off memory here but isn't the offset programmed into the PID? So Mr Shades says it should be programmed in at -8? What have you got yours programmed in at?
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Sorry I should clarify, the 8 degree offset is programmed into the PID settings. So I should technically set whatever temp on the screen which I want to brew at and not have to take the offset into account myself each time .

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I don't think that's what the offset is meant to achieve. The offset is trying to account for the heat lost as the water travels from the boiler through the group to the head.

In other words, to achieve 93deg at the puck you need to run the boiler at 101deg.

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Whatever it is that's wrong with your shots, try altering the temperature up and down. You may be tasting bitter and think its sour or vice versa. The PID makes it really easy to do some tests by altering a few degrees and tasting the difference.

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My offset is set to -7.3. I have placed a digital thermometer on drip tray left it overnight and when i turned the machine on in the morning pid was showing 14.3 degrees when actual room temp was 21.6 degrees. Try that if you have a thermometer.

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Ahhh! I’ve confused myself now! Right, tomorrow I’m going to muck about with temperature and temperature only to see if that’s the issue
If you're offset is definitely programmed in at -8 and the PID is working correctly you could be running too hot if its reading on the display at 96degC which would produce a bitter coffee rather than sour. No offence (as I'm not great at it either) but are you sure you know what you're tasting is sour rather than bitter?

I'd go back and double check the offset first, then drop back to 92 and see what the taste difference is like then go from there. A 4deg change should be very noticeable in taste.
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5 minutes ago, Flyingdoc93 said:

Ahhh! I’ve confused myself now! Right, tomorrow I’m going to muck about with temperature and temperature only to see if that’s the issue

You are making life hard for yourself and giving yourself a variable  you do  need at the moment 

Set the pid to a temp , pick one 93 or 94 , with the correct offset ,leave it there  then use brew ratio and grind to drive taste . 

I have a dual boiler , i never use temp to drive extraction , you can , but it's not required when you have brew ratio and grind to use

Edited by Mrboots2u
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Last night did the thermometer drip tray trick. Room temp this morning was 21 degrees. PID showed 14 degrees, +8 for the offset and we get 22 degrees so fairly accurate and if anything its over reading, not under reading the temp. Therefore, my setting it to 97 was a bad move!

 PID now set to 93 degrees. Tastes much better - I think I was getting bitter and sour confused.

35 second shot tastes less acidic than 30 second but I quite like some acidity to I guess go somewhere in the middle? First drops of espresso appear at about 7 seconds after turning pump on - is that a little slow?

Big thanks to all of you for tolerating such n00b like problems! Also to @Black Cat Coffee for all his help on and off the forum!

 

 

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Good news. 7 seconds is about normal, perhaps very slightly slow but it really depends on the bean etc. Anywhere between 5 and 10 seconds could be viable.

Is your OPV adjusted to 9bar? A higher pressure would push more water through.

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