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Greetings all.

 

Having read many comments (both good and not-so-good) on the Eureka Mignon, with the departure of my Bodum Bistro to the big coffee shop in the sky, I have taken the plunge and bought one from Bella Barista.

 

It promises to be a great upgrade and some may say it doesn't require any additional instructions to the minimal ones provided. However, I would like additional guidance. Can any one point me to any threads within this forum, or any other source, which will help here?

 

Pleas accept my thanks in advance.

 

Cheers

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Just tell us what you want to know!


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Thanks for your reply.

 

What I really want to know is how to work the micrometric adjustment! I've just used 500gm of beans and I am nowhere nearer getting any 30ml shots of the black stuff in 25-30 seconds than I was when I started!

 

Now I'll own up that I'm not weighing the beans for each shot! It was suggested to me that as long as the pf was well filled, the ground coffee was stirred to get rid of clumps and, after tamping, the coffee was up to the line on the filter basket, I should be doing it about right. I am using a standard Gaggia double shot basket (not the pressurised type) in my Classic and an Espro tamper - so I think my tamping pressure should be about right. But my shots are all over the place.

 

As an example, I might have the dial set to '4' and I'm getting 15ml of coffee. So, I turn, say, a quarter turn towards the coarse and I get 30 ml in 15 seconds. Back an eighth of a turn towards fine and I'm still getting 30ml in 15 seconds. So down another quarter turn, to below where I was at the start, and now I'm getting 20ml in 30 secs. Great, almost cracked it! Just a teensy bit more towards the coarse and we'll be there?

 

No way! Up an eighth of a turn and I get 5ml in 30 seconds!

 

These aren't actual figures but they give you the picture.

 

Can you imagine how I'm looking forward to our son coming to stay - when he likes espresso and French press alternately?

 

So where am I going wrong and is it possible/practicable with the Eureka to switch between the 2 extremes consistently?

 

All advice will be much appreciated - especially before I pick up the next half kilo of beans tomorrow. Let me say that my wife is not impressed at the moment!

 

Cheers

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Right! The Mignon, once dialed in is very accurate and will only need very small adjustments. that said, t is not the best machine for switching between fine and coarse grinds. To get it set for espresso, not knowing where it is now, turn the dial one full revolution and try to pull a shot. I do not know what espresso machine you have, but the grind usually wants to be very fine, more of a powder than a sand type particle. try ans tamp to the same weight and pull a shot. I dose at 20 gms for a double, but many go less than that. Depending on your machine, you might have pre-infusion but as a guide, from flicking whatever switch you have, if you can pull your shot in 25 seconds you are about there. The difference between 25 and 30 seconds presuming your beans are the same and you tamp the same, is a microscopic adjustment on thee wheel, not a 1/4 turn!

Keep doing this until you reach the 25 to 30 second (maximum) time. But, there are so many variables. Depending on the beans you are using, they might be supermarket specials, it is highly unlikely that you will ever pull a decent shot from them. A good roaster will tell you to consume your beans within 30 days of them being roasted, or once the bg has been opened, several days. the stuff on supermarket shelves will have a shelf life of many months. How is that possible? And as soon as they are exposed to air, they start to stale.

Anyway, please ask anything and I am sure the helpful people on here will chuck their own views in!


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Thanks again. You not sleeping either?

 

Just to fill in a few of the variables/queries for you.

 

My machine is a Gaggia Classic. My tamper is an Espro, which is one of those wizard ones which tells you when you have applied 30lb pressure - so I believe that my tamping weight is pretty standard.

 

I note that you say you dose at 20gms for a double: should I imply from that that you weigh the beans for each shot? As I said in my initial post, I haven't been weighing mine.

 

The beans I am using are ones from our local tea room - the end of his last season's stock. They are in airtight 500gm bags with one-way valves. They are not named - simply espresso beans - and they are probably about 4 months old. It is quite possible that they may not provide a great shot taste-wise but I am simply using them initially to get the grinder close to where it needs to be, so I don't waste large quantities of best beans to get near to the 'sweet spot' once I'm fully ready to go.

 

I see from one of your other posts that you own a Mignon yourself and are quite happy with it. Are you able to tell me whether, once I have found the right grind for espresso, it is possible to count the number of revolutions to coarse and then count back the same number to land on the right spot for espresso again? Or would I have to start calibrating all over again? I accept you say that it is not the best machine for switching between fine and coarse grinds - but it would be helpful to know.

 

The need for microscopic turns rather than 1/4 revolutions is noted!

 

Thanks again

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It is not possible to accurately dose consistently by eye. This is done in the commercial world as there is not time to weigh out beans for each shot, and some large grinders have a more accurate doser.

 

So, do not store beans in the hopper, they will only go stale. Weigh out (to at least 0.1g) beans for each shot pulled, I would imagine 15g would be right for your basket. That provides a consistent parameter that along with your espro tamper will mean the grind should be the sole remaining parameter to change. As above, very small adjustments needed on the Mignon to alter grind size.

 

Other points to note, how are you deciding when to stop the shot? Again better to stop at a target weight rather than volume whilst dialling in. Have you adjusted the OPV? If not the water could be coming out at too high a pressure and even if your grind is spot on it could be a gusher.

 

Remember: the grinder is never the problem, just the user ;)

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Hi,

 

Thanks for your response. Mea Culpa, I am sure it will be the operator rather than a piece of kit which is used successfully by so many. I'll get there, with a bit of guidance - and yours helps.

 

In answer to your questions.

 

Firstly, yes, I adjusted the OPV last week (it had only been 10.8 when I bought it new it appears and is now reading 10 on the static test)

 

Secondly, I am simply using a timer for my shots and therefore I am finding that I will currently have either well over or well under the suggested 30ml volume shot at 25-30 seconds.

 

I have frequently noted reference to the 'weight' of the shot. How is this done? Is it simply a matter of weighing the shot glass before and after the pull and checking the difference? What weight should I be looking for? And why the preference for weight over volume, if I am using a timer for the shot?

 

So may questions!:time-out:

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Another vote here for scales, mine cost just under £5 on ebay! They aren't the most accurate in the world but they are good enough for consistency.

 

Also 20g is a pretty high dose in general, Try backing down to about 15-16 g to get things dialed in and then up your dose if you wish.


Londinium I, Mahlkönig Vario, Hario Skerton, Chemex 1-3 Cup.

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Thanks,

 

Oddly enough, I have specific scales, which I had used prior to replacing my grinder - but I had a specific recommendation that they would be no longer necessary if I knew my tamp weight and always ensured that there was sufficient coffee in the pf to reach the marker line in the basket after tamping. Obviously I was destined to be trying to change too many things at once and therefore introduced too many variables.

 

It's back to the scales with immediate effect!

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Going back to beans. I would revisit your chap, and ask him outright if he really thinks a 4 month old bean is representing his skills as an artisan roaster! They should be chucked out! Everything mentioned above is relevant, but none more so than a decent, fresh bean. There are plenty of online retailers who will supply beans roasted within the past couple of days or so, nd most if not all suggest consuming within one month. A stale bean will never produce a cup of coffee which you will enjoy. Do not buy supermarket beans either.

Making coffee is all about variables. If you can control, or be consistent with as many of them as possible, it makes life a lot easier. 20 gms into a Callis pf is too much, but I am sure if you visit the gaggia part of this forum many will tell you in great detail! If you weigh your beans in, and the same out again you are controlling this which helps with fault finding.

Good luck


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The only thing I would add to this is that I've noted that sometimes on the larger adjustments the settings takes a quick run to take effect. By this I mean I feel that sometimes you move the adjuster and then you have to run the burrs for a bit to get them to settle into their new position. There's nothing scientific about this notion at all, just the fact that I've noticed that if I make an adjustment and immediately run some beans through, I get a different behaviour to if I run a few seconds before I run the beans through. The other thing to be conscious of here is that you may have grounds trapped between the burrs affecting the adjustment so those may need to clear before the new position takes effect. Make sense?

 

Overall once dialled in the adjustments are very minimal. Much less than you would think, especially coming from another grinder. 1/8th turn on the Mignon is two or more full turns on an MC2 for example or thereabouts. Certainly day to day with the same beans I will sometimes adjust it very very slightly by using two hands (one to turn, one to resist), sounds ridiculous but the adjuster can be overly sensitive. One of my few criticisms of this grinder.

 

Orig


Fracino Cherub Stainless, VST baskets, Eureka Mignon. Knock VST Tamper, a few motta tampers. Various press/moka pots, Aeropress, Baraza Virtuoso Preciso at work

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Thanks dfk41

 

I do recognise that 4 month old beans will not produce a good drinkable coffee and I have advised the chap I got them from accordingly.

 

However, I was simply using them for grind/extraction set up purposes, rather than use more expensive 'current' beans. Are you suggesting that using the older beans could also significantly affect the volume of a timed shot - all other parameters being equal? Let's say I have the weight of beans and tamp weight correct, will older beans generate a major difference in volume to the same weight of new beans?

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Here's my input, gained mainly after a great on site course from Glenn (I hope I got it right) ....

 

Firstly, the sticker on the thumb wheel means almost nothing. The only value is knowing the direction and that it's graduated in 1/6th revolution steps.

 

The coffee that we use tends to be on the dark side and the trick is to grind the coffee such that the espresso comes out almost like a thin line of treacle. If it comes out as droplets its on the limit of either being too fine or the tamp is too hard. Like a stream and the tamp is too light or the grind too coarse. The grind needs to be almost a fine powder. In some places I have heard that it should be half way between sugar and flour. I would err toward flour.

 

When you start the extraction in the Gaggia it should take about 4 to 5 seconds before the coffee starts to come out into the cup. Some say to let it run for 25 seconds. Better I find to watch the colour - with a darker roast it will start off very dark brown and as the extraction progresses it will gradually lighten. It's a bit of a guess when to stop but I find that when it is quite light and appears to be heading toward water texture rather than treacle is the time to stop. That could be 25 seconds but it could be anything. Remember: treacle!

 

Then look at the coffee in the cup. With a non pressurised basket and a darker roast you want a crema across the top of the coffee. A few gaps with a big cup is fine. You also want a reddish speckly hue in the crema. If the edges around the cup are more dark brown than mid brown crema it may indicate an over extraction.

 

Then, having extracted the espresso and given the basket time to dissipate, release the portafilter and take a look at the content. On the gaggia there should be a slight dent in the top of the puck. This is the screw for the shower head and it indicates that the right amount of coffee was in the basket and it has expanded to fill the basket up to the shower screen. You want an even, fairly dry puck which ideally comes out in one knock. If you get that you probably have the combination of grind and tamp right. If you don't you need to experiment.

 

Finally, taste the coffee... no sense in adjusting everything mechanically perfect if you hate the final taste!


~~~~~

Ian

 

Fracino Cherub, Eureka Mignon grinder, empty bank account.

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Thanks dfk41

 

I do recognise that 4 month old beans will not produce a good drinkable coffee and I have advised the chap I got them from accordingly.

 

However, I was simply using them for grind/extraction set up purposes, rather than use more expensive 'current' beans. Are you suggesting that using the older beans could also significantly affect the volume of a timed shot - all other parameters being equal? Let's say I have the weight of beans and tamp weight correct, will older beans generate a major difference in volume to the same weight of new beans?

 

The short answer to this question is yes. More so if you include crema in the volume measurement (which most do). That said you should be able to get it in the ballpark and then fine-tune later.

 

Firstly, the sticker on the thumb wheel means almost nothing. The only value is knowing the direction and that it's graduated in 1/6th revolution steps.

 

Absolutely! It's just where the Italian man assembling it on the day put it on :). I'd go so far as to say that even the graduation is not very useful at all.


Fracino Cherub Stainless, VST baskets, Eureka Mignon. Knock VST Tamper, a few motta tampers. Various press/moka pots, Aeropress, Baraza Virtuoso Preciso at work

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You really need to weigh both the grinds you put in the pf, and the shot afterwards.

I always weigh the grinds going into the pf, and go for 17-18g in the portafilter, and about 35g shot in 25sec.

 

One thing to remember when dialing in the grinder, is that there is a good amount of grinds from the previous grind in the chute, making the next grind a mix of the two.

 

Always remember to tilt the grinder forward and bang it on the sides to get everything out.

 

I usually grind about 14g, then tilt it for the last 3-5g, and then using around 17g in the portafilter.

 

It is also harder to adjust with old coffee as it needs to be a finer grind than fresh coffee.

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Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the responses to my query.

 

Having taken the combined wisdom of the group and spent a happy morning in my kitchen, I think I've pretty well cracked it! The extraction time is right, the volume is right and, my goodness, what a difference in taste to what the same beans produced when ground with my previous grinder!

 

The one (minor) problem I have is that the pucks are very wet, particularly if I use the single shot basket instead of the double. Is this problem caused by using too few beans? (We Yorkshiremen like to be careful with our beans) Various contributors suggested a range of bean weights - from 15 to 20 gms for a double. I opted for 16 for the double and 8 for the single, which is what I used to use. Would increasing the dose do the trick and give me the perfect shot?

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Here's my input, gained mainly after a great on site course from Glenn (I hope I got it right) ....

 

Firstly, the sticker on the thumb wheel means almost nothing. The only value is knowing the direction and that it's graduated in 1/6th revolution steps.

 

The coffee that we use tends to be on the dark side and the trick is to grind the coffee such that the espresso comes out almost like a thin line of treacle. If it comes out as droplets its on the limit of either being too fine or the tamp is too hard. Like a stream and the tamp is too light or the grind too coarse. The grind needs to be almost a fine powder. In some places I have heard that it should be half way between sugar and flour. I would err toward flour.

 

When you start the extraction in the Gaggia it should take about 4 to 5 seconds before the coffee starts to come out into the cup. Some say to let it run for 25 seconds. Better I find to watch the colour - with a darker roast it will start off very dark brown and as the extraction progresses it will gradually lighten. It's a bit of a guess when to stop but I find that when it is quite light and appears to be heading toward water texture rather than treacle is the time to stop. That could be 25 seconds but it could be anything. Remember: treacle!

 

Then look at the coffee in the cup. With a non pressurised basket and a darker roast you want a crema across the top of the coffee. A few gaps with a big cup is fine. You also want a reddish speckly hue in the crema. If the edges around the cup are more dark brown than mid brown crema it may indicate an over extraction.

 

Then, having extracted the espresso and given the basket time to dissipate, release the portafilter and take a look at the content. On the gaggia there should be a slight dent in the top of the puck. This is the screw for the shower head and it indicates that the right amount of coffee was in the basket and it has expanded to fill the basket up to the shower screen. You want an even, fairly dry puck which ideally comes out in one knock. If you get that you probably have the combination of grind and tamp right. If you don't you need to experiment.

 

Finally, taste the coffee... no sense in adjusting everything mechanically perfect if you hate the final taste!

 

Just awaiting delivery of the Mignon, now I know you used to use Illy ground in the tin - probably the dark one like me....

 

quick question for you...

 

when grinding my own coffee.....do i need a finer grind than Illy? Im using illy as a comparison as its a common point for us both.

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You will need to dial your grinder in. So, if it s out of the box, give it about 3 complete turns, then grind and pull a shot. Time it or weigh it and adjust from there! Should not take too long!


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i was told that the best way to find a starting was to take off the hopper, switch on the grinder turn slowly finer until you can just hear the burrs beginning to touch - a sort of faint chirruping sound. this would be your 'zero' point i suppose. doing this won't damage the burrs apparently as it's the flat, run off areas of the burrs that will touch first. back off immediately you hear the burrs start to touch and go coarser by around 1.5 numbers as a starting point and dial in from there.

 

i'll probably get slaughtered for saying all that, but anyway, it worked for me. feel free to shoot me down in flames :)

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Just awaiting delivery of the Mignon, now I know you used to use Illy ground in the tin - probably the dark one like me....

 

quick question for you...

 

when grinding my own coffee.....do i need a finer grind than Illy? Im using illy as a comparison as its a common point for us both.

 

 

as others have said, its a dial in of the grind.

 

Your best bet is to buy some cheap coffee beans and set the grind to be slightly finer than the illy. Pull a shot and, provided it is tamped reasonably correctly, go for a point of almost treacle in what comes out. On my training I was told that it isn't necessarily about the time it takes for the amount that you get. It's more the way it comes out and the look of the crema afterwards. You could, for example, pull a shot for 25 seconds, get the right amount of liquid but first 20 seconds of that time could be the machine trying to break through the coffee and the last 5 seconds could be an explosive dump of goodness knows what!

 

When you move to another bean you may need to adjust the grind slightly - probably no more than a quarter turn either way from your ideal position.


~~~~~

Ian

 

Fracino Cherub, Eureka Mignon grinder, empty bank account.

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