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Newbie alert - read a lot, trying to put in to practice


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Hello all, so firstly I have a gaggia classic, rancilio wand. The temp is controlled for my shot, but not my steam. 

For grinding I have a baratza preciso.

 

Now please don't shoot me ha, as I am learning, about 8 drinks in, I  am only using an aldi bean... (ducks under cover)

Disclaimer. 

I have no expectation on coffee flavour, no expert palette. I love drinking mochas and fed up of spending £5 and I like making coffee its fun.

No I am trying to dial in my beans.

I am slowly adjusting the beans, tasted everyone so far and I've gone from pouring it down the drain  to meh had worse in morrisons, had worse in Costa,  so winning.

 

My first problem, the grind I have now, takes 20s to pull a shot, aiming 1-2 as normally suggested. Using 18g of coffee. 

The problem is its that fine its hard to move it from the grind box to my (cant remember the name) the grind spot ha! Yea that big cup with holes in 🤣 sorry if this is offending you all. Its so fine it can be clumpy, slide like a block and I miss my cup. 

Second problem is 18g goes over the line on the inside, and it looks too full... could I have a wrong cup size? 

 

Now at 20s it does taste caramel ish, but I realise the aim is 25 or 30s ish, but with the above problem I am hesitant to go much finer.

 

I am currently tamping rather hard as per some suggestions to stay consistent 🤷‍♂️ 

 

My latte art is amazing, and expecting my photos on insta will get me a 3rd job soon 🤣

 

Sticking to grind problems first, all feed back is super appreciated, or tools to transfer grinds (in a clean manner is also welcome to avoid the wrath of the wife)

The photo below is post shot, seems a hole in the middle? Signs of tunneling ? 

Thank you all, this site is super helpful!

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I Want to say thank you again to this forum.   Got myself some scales 0.1g  Got my self an espresso shot glass so I can weigh as I extract. (My large mug wouldnt allow scales)  

@Emily it keeps making me want to come back!   Today's effort

Wow, I mean its not perfect but huge improvement, the drink is now really smooth, a smidge hint of bitter but only after taste. Wow    Black cat coffee 👍 feeling like I can make something go

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Your basket might be too full. They are probably designed for 16g. 

I don't know about the preciso, is it aimed at espresso? You can buy a portafilter funnel from amazon or ebay, you'll need 58mm and ideally one that fits around the rim of the basket rather than one that slots inside it (look at Asso ones). 

What tamper are you using? Post shot puck analysis is almost useless but it does looks like the outside of the puck has been compressed differently to the inside, though it could just be caused by the  group venting and puck expansion. The mark in the middle doesn't look too serious and again could be caused by the group venting and puck expansion after the shot rather than before it. A good test is to put your dose in the basket, tamp, and lock the portafilter in with 5p on top of the puck; if you get an imprint or the puck cracks you're dosing too much.

Run the shot to a 1:2.5-1:3 instead of 1:2 if grinding finer does not yield good results (e.g. it gets muddy and grainy, the shot runs really slow/chokes or channels). 

Also you don't need to tamp very hard, it makes little difference, the point is to be consistent and level. 

Last but not least, buy some fresh roasted coffee. You aren't doing yourself any favours wrestling against stale supermarket stuff.

Edited by Rob1
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Has the machine had the opv pressure adjusted? Is it running factory 15 bar? Or less? When you say temp controlled you mean by other than the factory thermostat?

Edited by HDAV
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I would suggest looking at the pic you are indeed over filling your basket as you can see an imprint of the shower screen screw. Maybe look at getting a 20g basket as you can range from 18-22 grams in this size. You need some head room above the Puck of coffee or you can risk damage to the coffee Puck resulting in channels etc.

As for getting the grinds in to the basket maybe look at getting a dosing funnel they can range from 10mm high to how ever high suits your needs.

As for clumping this is to be expected especially on a non espresso focused grinder. Try mixing the grinds up with a cocktail stick to help knock some of the clumps out. Next thing I would suggest is purchasing a higher end espresso grinder there are plenty out there even on this forum.

Hope this helps some

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13 minutes ago, HDAV said:

Has the machine had the opv pressure adjusted? Is it running factory 15 bar? Or less? When you say temp controlled you mean by other than the factory thermostat?

I bought the 2012 pid you helped me find 😁 i assume this means bar is not adjusted just temp. Sits at 96 when switched on for 20 minutes.

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You may need to check the advert or ask the seller it would be unusual for a pid machine nit have the opv set at 9 bar, beans and grind are key and the grind varies for each bean. 
 

grind finer and get a portafilter funnel/make one and order some better beans rave signature or similar mail order or pop out to a local coffee shop and instead of the £5 get the £8 bag of beans (look for ones roasted 2-3 weeks ago)

 

looks like there are a few roasters in Leeds call them up have a chat coffee people love to talk coffee they will let you know the right brew for the beans  😉

Edited by HDAV
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Loads of choice of roasters in Leeds area- and you almost can't move for bags of North Star in indie coffee shops. Depending which bit of Leeds you're in you can probably chuck a stone and hit a couple of roasters [emoji1787].

North Star, Maude, Chipp, Echelon have all given me lovely bags. Further out casa espresso and foundry, heading up there's rountons if you like a nice straightforward "cup of coffee" That's good value. (Their granary blend is lovely with milk)

Worth looking at the dog and hat sub page they regularly feature local roasters (and are based near york)

It does look like your grind might be too coarse there.

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On 30/12/2020 at 02:42, Rob1 said:

Actually just zoomed in on the grind and they look really coarse. It's not a pressurised basket is it? 

I am using bottomless  because I like to make a mess / see that golden shot 🤣

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On 29/12/2020 at 20:47, Missy said:

Loads of choice of roasters in Leeds area- and you almost can't move for bags of North Star in indie coffee shops. Depending which bit of Leeds you're in you can probably chuck a stone and hit a couple of roasters emoji1787.png.

North Star, Maude, Chipp, Echelon have all given me lovely bags. Further out casa espresso and foundry, heading up there's rountons if you like a nice straightforward "cup of coffee" That's good value. (Their granary blend is lovely with milk)

Worth looking at the dog and hat sub page they regularly feature local roasters (and are based near york)

It does look like your grind might be too coarse there.

When we talk about bean places, are these shops or roasters that sell locally? Not looked in to this at all, as I basically assumed beans from aldi would be a good start. Ls16 is my area if you know Leeds so well, or if you have a favourite friendly coffee place I like reccomendations  so would be my starting place. 

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OK sooooo

 

Watched more youbtube.. and noticed a big difference. I was timing from the moment I flicked the brew button, not when liquid started... yea I'm going finer lol. 

 

Also moved to 16grams and that still seems to touch the screw / side of the shower, i get an imprint circle all the way around the edge. 

 

Coffee is getting nicer tho. But I get double grams in 10 seconds so moving finer.... 

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20 minutes ago, Tinkstar said:

OK sooooo

 

Watched more youbtube.. and noticed a big difference. I was timing from the moment I flicked the brew button, not when liquid started... yea I'm going finer lol. 

 

Also moved to 16grams and that still seems to touch the screw / side of the shower, i get an imprint circle all the way around the edge. 

 

Coffee is getting nicer tho. But I get double grams in 10 seconds so moving finer.... 

You get a mark pre or post shot? If you're still using stale coffee it's going to run fast.

You time from when you flip the brew switch.

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See list above for local roasters they will usually be really happy to help. Shops, I'm in Harrogate so tend to go to bean and bud, or over to York (where there's a list but I especially like the perky peacock on Lendal bridge in one of the turrets, or The Larder Club who aren't speciality coffee but an amazing social enterprise deli who serve North Star really well) but with two small children and full time work I usually just make my own at home! If I was going to Leeds specifically for coffee I'd be going to North Star's cafe at Leeds Dock. I know Clo have a cafe in Garforth but I find their coffee a bit so so. It's still going to knock the socks off Aldi.

Timing as Rob says time from when you flick the switch.

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Kapow has been open in Leeds lately if you venture in to the centre.

Some of the other independents have been closed but there's loads to choose from as mentioned when they're open.

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On 01/01/2021 at 00:40, Rob1 said:

You get a mark pre or post shot? If you're still using stale coffee it's going to run fast.

You time from when you flip the brew switch.

 

On 01/01/2021 at 07:31, Missy said:

See list above for local roasters they will usually be really happy to help. Shops, I'm in Harrogate so tend to go to bean and bud, or over to York (where there's a list but I especially like the perky peacock on Lendal bridge in one of the turrets, or The Larder Club who aren't speciality coffee but an amazing social enterprise deli who serve North Star really well) but with two small children and full time work I usually just make my own at home! If I was going to Leeds specifically for coffee I'd be going to North Star's cafe at Leeds Dock. I know Clo have a cafe in Garforth but I find their coffee a bit so so. It's still going to knock the socks off Aldi.

Timing as Rob says time from when you flick the switch.

So 2 people saying from switch but youtube says from first drop. 

 

I have to admit I have moved away from caramel taste to a coffee (instant) taste.. I prefer caramel 

 

I will have a look online about opening times and see if I can take a trip down. 👍

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The thing is is you time from first drip depending on how long this takes you can end up with a shot that actually takes upwards of 40secs witch will result in over extraction. You want to be timing the shot from when the water hit the coffee Puck consistency and repeatability its key this is what you get timing from pump on. Timing from first drip can result in inconsistency and unrepeatability

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2 hours ago, Tinkstar said:

 

So 2 people saying from switch but youtube says from first drop. 

 

I have to admit I have moved away from caramel taste to a coffee (instant) taste.. I prefer caramel 

 

I will have a look online about opening times and see if I can take a trip down. 👍

I guess the issue is, do you trust us or YouTube (you say YouTube as if it's a catch all repository of information a Holy Book of correctness) whereas like the forum, it's a load of random individuals saying their piece. The difference is YouTube is a bit of an echo chamber, you throw it out and little returns beyond your own voice. On a forum there's much more discussion, discernment and developing of corporate wisdom. Entirely up to you where you seek info from 😊

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1 hour ago, Sam_d said:

The thing is is you time from first drip depending on how long this takes you can end up with a shot that actually takes upwards of 40secs witch will result in over extraction. You want to be timing the shot from when the water hit the coffee Puck consistency and repeatability its key this is what you get timing from pump on. Timing from first drip can result in inconsistency and unrepeatability

That won't result in over extraction, but yes it fails to measure how long ot takes to start flowing

 

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