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Hey

New to all this, have a silvia V2 and Mazzer SJ. Dialed the SJ in to give a 28s shot, no channeling. 2:1, 18g in and 36g out. Using this coffee from my local roaster; https://extractcoffee.co.uk/shop/coffee/single-origin/dr-strangelove-espresso/

It feels like a bit too much liquid for my taste, I wonder if I'm possibly used to smaller shots or what. I had lots of crema but the liquid part tasted a bit flat and looked a bit muddy. I'm used to the liquid section being rich, quite viscous and almost black in colour, mine was thin, definitely noticeably brown, though I guess this could be roast dependent? I have not PID'd my silvia yet, so no doubt the temp was not ideal.

Any theories gladly appreciated!

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Forget 2 to 1 and try other ratios. Higher in say ~0.5 steps but there is no need to be that precise to see what it does to taste.

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Thanks John. So you think it's likely a ratio issue then? Are you suggesting reducing yield by ~0.5g? I doubt I can be that accurate at stopping the brew but will certainly experiment as best I can.

Might even try the stock 14g basket instead of my 18g vst next time I get a kg bag. I'm too close to the end of this bag of beans to risk messing about with it too much.

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4 hours ago, newdent said:

I'm used to the liquid section being rich, quite viscous and almost black in colour, mine was thin, definitely noticeably brown, though I guess this could be roast dependent?

Are you used to black, viscous shots with Dr Strangelove? If not, yes, roast plays a part.

What was the taste like?

Don't obsess over hitting a time to the second, go with changes as a result of grind setting, even if they shift the time window.

If you want more viscosity & more concentrated shots, try shorter ratios, but you might start edging into sourness, let us know.

Edited by MWJB
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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, MWJB said:

Are you used to black, viscous shots with Dr Strangelove? If not, yes, roast plays a part.

What was the taste like?

Good point, no I'm not. I've only ever had Dr Strangelove as a short black from a local bakery. Too long ago to remember the details but remember it was pleasant. Could be that coffee shops tend to go dark roast on espresso, this one was by no means the darkest I've had. That's why I suspected roast played a part. 

Taste wise, it was OK. The previous shot was ground slightly coarser, 25s and was still a touch sour but drinkable, second shot was 30s and maybe starting to become more bitter than sour, depth of flavour lacking in the second shot. I'm still training my palate though.

Plan for tomorrow was to grind a bit finer to try and get a bit more viscosity but actually, perhaps I'm chasing a taste these beans won't produce. Not much left in the bag anyway and will likely try something darker next time. 

I'll try a different ratio and update! Thanks all. 

Edited by newdent
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9 minutes ago, newdent said:

Taste wise, it was OK. The previous shot was ground slightly coarser, 25s and was still a touch sour but drinkable, second shot was 30s and maybe starting to become more bitter than sour, depth of flavour lacking in the second shot. I'm still training my palate though.

OK, you're talking in terms of time, better to quote the grind setting, should give better resolution as good & not so god shots can dovetail re. time.

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Ah right, interesting. Well in this case, the slower shot was ground finer. I think I preferred the taste of coarser (faster) shot but it was a touch sour. Whilst sour, it had a silky, creamy texture, much less muddy. Will try and grind somewhere between the two, though we're talking fractions of mm on the grinder collar - I'll see what I can do!!

 

Edited by newdent
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44 minutes ago, newdent said:

Ah right, interesting. Well in this case, the slower shot was ground finer. I think I preferred the taste of coarser (faster) shot but it was a touch sour. Whilst sour, it had a silky, creamy texture, much less muddy. Will try and grind somewhere between the two, though we're talking fractions of mm on the grinder collar - I'll see what I can do!!

 

If it was just a touch sour, and the 'in between' setting gives no joy. Go back to the better, slightly sour setting & pull 45g out from 18g, see if that curbs the sourness any.

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On 07/04/2021 at 09:37, newdent said:

Hey

New to all this, have a silvia V2 and Mazzer SJ. Dialed the SJ in to give a 28s shot, no channeling. 2:1, 18g in and 36g out. Using this coffee from my local roaster; https://extractcoffee.co.uk/shop/coffee/single-origin/dr-strangelove-espresso/

It feels like a bit too much liquid for my taste, I wonder if I'm possibly used to smaller shots or what. I had lots of crema but the liquid part tasted a bit flat and looked a bit muddy. I'm used to the liquid section being rich, quite viscous and almost black in colour, mine was thin, definitely noticeably brown, though I guess this could be roast dependent? I have not PID'd my silvia yet, so no doubt the temp was not ideal.

Any theories gladly appreciated!

The amount of liquid you get is based on two things, the dose and ratio. A lower dose will give the same ratio with less output than a higher dose, in theory the coffee is the same there's just less of it with a lower dose but in reality single shots compared to doubles are very different. The difference between a 14g and 18g will be less significant though. It's not really possible to tell if you want just less liquid or a lower ratio. From your comments about your shot being thin and presumably not comparatively rich and viscous then I assume that's what you like in which case you'll like lower ratios.....but with the coffee you're using you might not like it that way.

If you're grinding finer and getting muddy shots then grind coarser. If the shots are sour pull a longer ratio. 25s or 30s or 40s it doesn't really matter. You may find the best ratio is the one you're using and you are just going to get what you get. You might be able to pull a shorter 1:1 or 1:1.5 ratio for the mouthfeel and amount of liquid you want but I wouldn't go that way personally, maybe I'm an idealist but I prefer to get past sourness by increasing extraction rather than decreasing it, logically however whatever tastes good... 

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Thanks guys, I'm starting to get the gist of what I've got myself into regarding learning how to pull good shots. Lots of learning and practice to do!!

When upping the ratio to try and improve these sour shots (note that all the coffees I've bought from extract seem to recommend 2:1), is it OK to stop the shot, taste and then brew some more if it needs it or is a case of trying to correct on the next shot? I know there's a bit of suction at the end of brewing, which presumably damages the puck?

Was hoping to experiment today but was running late for work and whilst rushing, completely forgot to tamp!! Surprisingly not the worst shot I've had, no channelling either but I had used my distribution tool... Will experiment tomorrow, may try a lower ratio just for the hell of it. 

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NO, you run the shot and then stop it.    If it is too fast / slow, not to your liking you make adjustments with the next shot.

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48 minutes ago, newdent said:

Thanks guys, I'm starting to get the gist of what I've got myself into regarding learning how to pull good shots. Lots of learning and practice to do!!

When upping the ratio to try and improve these sour shots (note that all the coffees I've bought from extract seem to recommend 2:1), is it OK to stop the shot, taste and then brew some more if it needs it or is a case of trying to correct on the next shot? I know there's a bit of suction at the end of brewing, which presumably damages the puck?

Was hoping to experiment today but was running late for work and whilst rushing, completely forgot to tamp!! Surprisingly not the worst shot I've had, no channelling either but I had used my distribution tool... Will experiment tomorrow, may try a lower ratio just for the hell of it. 

No, you can't stop and start. Their recommendation might work, thing is they aren't using your equipment so it might not. 

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Thanks guys, thought that would be the case. 

Pulled a few 1:1.5 today. Getting closer to what I'm after but think I'll try slowing the shot tomorrow to see if that improves mouth feel. There seems to be a lot of contradictory info out there on ristretto. Some say grind for espresso and end the shot early, some say normal espresso shot times and grind finer. Will try both because hey, why not!

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21 minutes ago, newdent said:

Thanks guys, thought that would be the case. 

Pulled a few 1:1.5 today. Getting closer to what I'm after but think I'll try slowing the shot tomorrow to see if that improves mouth feel. There seems to be a lot of contradictory info out there on ristretto. Some say grind for espresso and end the shot early, some say normal espresso shot times and grind finer. Will try both because hey, why not!

That's because there is no consensus/correct way to make a ristretto. There is no historical precedent for ristrettos inhabiting the same extraction range as normales (longer ratios). There are really 2 regions of extraction that taste good, one is a very low extraction before sourness kicks in (coarser/normale grind, fast shot), the other is probably the highest extraction you can get at a short ratio, past sourness (fine grind, normal range of shot time). The latter may not be available to everyone at 1:1.5 or less.

Whatever tastes good is right.

If you want more mouthfeel, grind finer &/or pull shorter. 

Don't think in terms of slowing, speeding up shots, think in terms of grind setting...after all this is how you will be affecting the shot time (and more importantly flavour balance). Times at similar settings, but different extractions can overlap. Times at the same setting & extraction will differ slightly too.

 

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